Vanessa Purpura/ The Daily Gamecock

USC recognizes student achievement at Awards Day

Faculty, students and families gathered on the Horseshoe Thursday afternoon for Awards Day, where a variety of students from each college were recognized for academic achievements, community service and leadership within the Carolina community. 

Emily Martin, a fourth-year criminology and criminal justice student, received the Diamoney A. Greene Memorial Award. The award is given to a student in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice who has contributed to prevention or intervention of intimate partner violence and sexual assault through advocacy, service or research.

As the vice president of programming for the College Panhellenic Association, Martin organized Greek Week to focus on sexual assault awareness. Martin is also co-director of the local chapter of It’s On Us, a national nonprofit advocacy group, and mentors a youth who experiences intimate partner violence. 

Martin said her passion for the issue comes from a personal back story, which she hopes to use to empower others.

"It's such an honor to receive this award in memory of Diamoney A. Greene, who unfortunately we lost a few years ago due to intimate partner violence, and to honor her memory through work that is contributing to the betterment of society and the betterment of our Carolina community,” Martin said. “I can't even describe how much this means to me."

Molly Beman, a fourth-year public health student, received the Steven N. Swanger Leadership Award. The award recognizes a student who has been a leader at the university and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa.

Beman earned this award through her work as a University 101 peer leader, university ambassador, Pillars for Carolina extended mentor, Dance Marathon volunteer and former vice president of Delta Zeta.

"I think being a university ambassador definitely had the biggest impact on my experience,” Beman said. “I think it's a really kind of humbling experience to be able to welcome people who have never even been to the university before, get to show them around campus, and then to be able to serve as leaders in that organization too.”

Michael Clinton, fourth-year biology student, and Olivia Reszczynski, fourth-year biochemistry and economics student, each received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. This is USC’s top leadership award and is granted to one male and one female graduating senior in recognition of character.

Reszczynski is a recipient of the Magellan Grant and has presented research at a number of academic conferences. She is also a Mount Vernon Leadership Fellow. As a means of service to the Columbia community, Reszczynski founded the local chapter of a national nonprofit, working to end food insecurity. 

She's also served as a writer and section editor for The Daily Gamecock and a managing editor for Garnet and Black magazine.

“I do a lot of work with food insecurity, that's something I'm really passionate about, and the social determinants of health and just making the healthcare continuum more efficient in general, so I pull a lot from my economics background and biochemistry," Reszczynski said. 

Reszczynski said her involvement at USC had an immeasurable impact on her and Awards Day is the culmination of her experience.

"I feel like I'm a completely different person from when I came in to college," Reszczynski said.

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