Leadership and Service Awards 2022

Undergraduate Excellence in Leadership Award

This award salutes student leaders who not only participated in DPE events but have made significant contributions guiding a student organization to achieving its organizational goals and supporting its members’ needs.

Portrait of Adigun
Adigun Olusola

Adigun Olusola ’24, Civil Engineering

Adigun Olusola has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to leadership and advocacy for URM students, both in the College of Engineering and the field in general.  He serves as the business coordination lead for the Cornell Seismic Design Project team, the Academic Excellence Char of NSBE, an Ambassador for the College of Engineering, and a peer mentor and Ambassador for the Bridges Scholars Program. His colleagues agree that he “excels in [each of] his current leadership positions,” and “is a leader within the Cornell community” who has helped not only to recruit promising URM and first generation freshman into the College of Engineering, but who also serves as a mentor to first year students, helping them to transition positively to the rigors of life as a Cornell Engineer.  His is universally admired by his peers both inside and outside of academic spaces, and is “a perfect example of what a hard working, dedicated leader should look like.”



Honorable Mention: Jaden Jeswald ‘22, Environmental Engineering, Sneha Nagarajan ‘22, Computer Science, and Miah Sanchez ‘22, Computer Science 

Honorable mention awardees
Jaden Jeswald, Sneha Nagarajan and Miah Sanchez


Graduate Excellence in Leadership Award

This award honors a graduate student who is a leader that has motivated, guided, and supported their engineering organization working effectively with their colleagues, honoring the contributions of every member of the organization, and encouraging others to excel on their own while striving to improve the organization.

Portrait of Jesus
Jesus Lopez Baltazar

Jesus Lopez Baltazar, Chemical Engineering, PhD Candidate

Since Jesus Lopez Baltazar began his PhD studies, this student has been a leader within the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association (ChEGSA). As president since spring 2020, he has been creative in providing programming and events within COVID constraints. He also led efforts to advocate for department transparency and ensure more students’ voices were being heard. These efforts sparked deeper conversations between students and faculty and resulted in important changes in department exam structure. A peer notes, “he became a beacon of hope and resilience for other graduate students who are facing challenges of their own. He genuinely cares about improving our experience as CBE graduate students.”




portrait of Maria
Maria Antoniak

Honorable Mention: Maria Antoniak, Information Science, PhD Candidate

Undergraduate Distinguished Service Award

This award is given to an undergraduate student who has made outstanding contributions through efforts to reach out to the Cornell community as well as beyond the University by applying their skills, knowledge, and experiences as related to their undergraduate education.

Portrait of Demola
Demola Ogunnaike

Demola Ogunnaike ’22, Environmental Engineering

Demola Ogunnaike served on the Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council, where he shared valuable feedback to colleagues and leadership regarding the undergraduate experience in the College of Engineering.  He has also served as a peer advisor and mentor, DPE programs, events, and initiatives adviser, and Ambassador for the Bridges Scholars Program.   This student balances his commitment to service while excelling academically and serving in multiple positions, including as Chair of several NSBE committees, and a member of two project teams (CUSD and ESW). He consistently makes himself available when asked to provide perspective on how to improve the student experience to support his colleagues.

Robert Mozia Graduate Distinguished Service Award

This award is presented in memory of Robert Mozia, a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering, who was extremely committed to inspiring the next generation of engineers, dedicated a significant amount of energy to engaging in outreach activities and who took pride in developing a close-knit community at Cornell.

This award is given to a graduate student who has made outstanding contributions through efforts to reach out to the Cornell community as well as beyond the University by applying their skills, knowledge, and experiences as related to his or her graduate education.

Portrait of Breanna
Breanna Green

Breanna Green, Information Science, PhD Student

Breanna Green has made a significant contribution to the Cornell community as a leader and mentor. Along with a fellow graduate student, she secured a $10,000 mini grant from the Sloan Foundation entitled “Curating Community: Health and Wellness Series.” Additionally, she has held leadership positions in the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association. She organized the Black Excellence in Research Symposium. Finally, she serves as graduate student representative for the Cornell NSBE chapter. A fellow student notes “she has been an amazing addition to the board and has offered her wisdom and support as a graduate student to help the chapter succeed.”

Return to 2022 Annual Awards list