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Outstanding Student Life Awards

The Division of Academic and Student Affairs hosts the Outstanding Student Life Awards each Spring to recognize FIU students who have excelled academically and in the areas of distinguished service to others, citizenship, innovation, leadership, diversity advancement, and promotion of the Panther Spirit. These student leaders serve as a source of pride and inspiration to others by giving unselfishly of themselves in order to enhance life on campus and to make FIU a better place for all of us.

If you are interested in sponsoring or donating towards this event, please contact Joan Casanova Gonzalez, Director of Development for Student Affairs at or 305-348-3583.


Division of Academic and Student Affairs
11200 SW 8th Street, GC 219
Miami, FL 33199

Award categories and descriptions

  • Outstanding Leadership Award

    The Outstanding Leadership Award recognizes integrity, leadership and teamwork exhibited by individual FIU students. Strong nominations will highlight the student’s commitment to and leadership in co-curricular campus involvement in the following categories:

    • Freshman Leader of the Year Award (less than 30 credits)
    • Sophomore Leader of the Year Award (30-59 credits)
    • Junior Leader of the Year Award (60-89 credits)
    • Senior Leader of the Year Award (90 credits and above)
    • Graduate Student Leader of the Year Award

    In addition to demonstrating leadership in the university community, eligibility will be based on the number of credit hours completed at the time of the nomination. All nominees for the category “Senior” must be eligible for graduation within the year of the award.

  • Outstanding Service Award

    The Outstanding Service Award recognizes the commitment of time and service to others by a student and/or organization/group. Strong nominations should speak to the impact and outcomes of the service and when applicable, how these achievements have impacted the nominee’s contributions toward promoting active citizenship.

  • Outstanding Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Award
    The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Award embodies the Division of Academic and Student Affairs' ongoing commitment to educate and/or advocate for the importance of valuing and celebrating diversity on FIU campus. This award will recognize a student and/or organization/group which has demonstrated their advocacy, leadership or intentional impact in shaping and driving the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion agenda on campus and in the broader community.
  • Outstanding Spirit Award

    The Outstanding Spirit Award honors one student and/or organization/group that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus spirit, pride, and loyalty to FIU. Strong nominations will provide examples of Panther pride and, when applicable, information related to the impact this has had on their peers and FIU.

  • Outstanding Innovation Award

    The Outstanding Innovation Award recognizes one student and/or organization/group that has created a new campus tradition, innovative programming idea or shown exceptional commitment to supporting a campus tradition and/or increasing the university’s prestige. Strong nominations will also elaborate on the impact made by the student or organization on campus through the program, tradition or other new idea.

  • Outstanding Scholar Award

    The Outstanding Scholar Award recognizes a student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership through academic achievement and/or research. Strong nominations will share the significance of the academic achievements and/or research conducted by the student. When applicable, nominators will share information related to the potential implications of the student’s findings.

  • Presidential Award

    The Presidential Award recognizes one student who has significantly impacted the FIU community. Strong candidates will have shown continuous dedication and action to enhance life on campus and university prestige. The recipient of the Presidential Award will be selected from all nominees, so you need to nominate them for any of the other award categories for them to be considered.

Eligibility and process

  • Nominees and applicants for all awards
    • Have demonstrated leadership in the university community that enhances life on campus in either virtual or in-person environments.
    • Must be enrolled at FIU during the semester of the awards ceremony.
    • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.
    • Must be in good conduct standing with the university.
    • Required to complete the Nominee Form, which is sent by email when a nomination is submitted.
      • Check your junk and/or spam mail for this message. It will be from FIU Student Life Awards <>.
      • Called a "Letter of Recommendation" by the system.
      • Must upload resume (.pdf), headshot (.jpeg), and a video submission sharing a quick description of what the nomination means to you and/or the organization.
      • If you receive multiple nominations, you will need to complete the Nominee Form multiple times.
  • Nominators

    Nominators must complete the online nomination form:

    • Create a profile when first logging into the system. (This will auto-populate some of the form.)
    • The questions generated depend on the category selected.
    • Nominators will be asked to complete the questions provided within the form OR provide a letter of support in PDF form stating the award category and examples that indicate the strength of the student’s candidacy, and whenever applicable, the impact the student has had through co-curricular involvement.
    • Track the nominations you submit through this system:
      • Provide an email address for the student, who will receive a request to fill out a Nominee Form. The nomination is NOT valid until this Nominee Form is also filled out.
      • See if the student submitted their Nominee Form (note: called a "Pending Letter of Recommendation" by the system). If they have not, you can resend it to them.
      • After the student submits their Nominee Form, you will receive an email indicating your nomination is complete.
  • Guidelines and Resources

    Below you will find additional resources to assist nominators with nomination letters and nominees to create or update resumes. 

    Nomination Letter(s) Guideline: Letter of Recommendation Guideline

    Resume Guidelines and Resources:

    Resources were created by FIU's Career and Talent Development and from the Office of Pre-Health Professions Advising.

2021 Outstanding Student Life Awards

2021 Winners

External Relations dedicated an article to the Outstanding Student Life Awards finalists and highlighting the winner's accomplishments via FIU News.


Outstanding Sophomore Leadership Award – Ania Kerr

Outstanding Junior Leadership Award – Natalia Cordero and Amelia Raudales

Outstanding Senior Leadership Award – David Garcia, Parsa Nilchian, Jolieth Pineiro, and Rafael Vazquez

Outstanding Graduate Leadership Award – Travis Darnell MarQuentis Dozier and Brittney Pardinas

Outstanding Diversity Individual Award – Rosen T. Gordon and Shantell Rolle

Outstanding Service Individual Award – Osmari Novoa

Outstanding Service Organization Award - FIU Rotaract

Outstanding Innovation Individual Award – Ti Ti Nguyen 

Outstanding Innovation Organization Award – Panther Community Action Board

Outstanding Spirit Individual Award – Celesse Temes

Outstanding Spirit Organization Award – Bartenders Guild at FIU

Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award – Kaytlin Alzugaray, Celeste Marin, and Ana Ruas

Outstanding Graduate Scholar Award – Rumi Agarwal, Saman Farhangdoust, and Nuket Serin

Presidential Award – Mohammad Ebrahimi Kalan