Six Minority Student Science Association students smile next to President Morehead

Minority Student Science Association at UGA receives top student organization award 

The Student Engagement Awards celebrate the accomplishments of student leaders and student organizations at the University of Georgia 

The Minority Student Science Association was named “Organization of the Year” during the 23rd Annual H. Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Engagement Awards, given out March 26 at the Tate Student Center. The Student Engagement Awards, hosted by Engagement, Leadership, and Service, celebrate the accomplishments of student leaders and student organizations at the University of Georgia. 

The Minority Student Science Association (MSSA), a registered student organization, strives to bring students, professionals, and experts together to explore the dimensions of diversity within STEM disciplines aimed at empowering the next generation of diverse leaders in healthcare.  In addition to supporting its members, MSSA connects with the local community through clinical and non-clinical support of organizations such as the Athens Area Diaper Bank, Period Project @ UGA, Athens Area Humane Society, University Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and Books for Keeps.   

Autumn Hampton was named “Student Leader of the Year.” Hampton, a fourth-year Biomedical Physiology and Sociology double-major, currently serves as the president of University Union, social media manager for VIDA UGA, and as the operations coordinator for Camp Kesem at UGA. Hampton is also a member of the Eta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a Fall 2023 inductee of Palladia Women’s Society, and an inaugural participant in the Women Lead program. 

Autumn Hampton accepting “Student Leader of the Year” award- photo courtesy of Pandora Yearbook

Other award categories and their recipients are as follows: 

  • Advisor of the Year, Angela Almaguer 
  • Candice Sherman Emerging Leader, Nyla Souffrant 
  •  Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, XChanged Life  
  • Commitment to Peer Mentorship, Dailey Jackson 
  • Excellence In Marketing & Communication, Black Affairs Council 
  • Most Innovative Program, Minority Student Science Association  
  • Outstanding Campus Event, Science Olympiad Outreach at UGA: Division C High School Tournament 
  • Outstanding Membership Engagement, Mary Frances Early College of Education Student Ambassadors  
  • Outstanding New Organization, Pickleball Club at UGA  
  • Organizational Collaboration, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Political Alliance & Black Felicity Student Association  
  • Outstanding Service to the Community, Camp Kesem at the University of Georgia 
  • Liza Burke Community Spirit Award, Julian Bolanos & Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated 

In addition to the awards, Pandora Yearbook named its annual “Outstanding Senior Leaders:” 

  • Caitlyn Miller  
  • Daniel Maxwell  
  • Emily Chopra  
  • George Moore  
  • Hannah Oh  
  • Jordan Elwarner  
  • Kennedy Johnston  
  • Liora McElvaney  
  • Myesha Mateen 
  • Shivani Patel 

This year, more than 170 nominations were judged by a panel of faculty and staff members. There are currently nearly 900 registered student organizations on campus. 

The awards are sponsored by Engagement, Leadership, and Service, a department within UGA Student Affairs. For more information, see