Monday, April 23, 2001
OU announces winners of top student awards
Oakland University recently announced the 2001 recipients of its most prestigious student honors, the Alfred G. Wilson and Matilda R. Wilson Awards and the Human Relations Award.
Charles Archer of Clinton Township and Cristina Kapustij of Sterling Heights are this year's Wilson-award recipients, while Natasha Vanover of Pontiac has won the Human Relations Award.
The Wilson awards are presented annually to an OU senior man and woman who have contributed as scholars, leaders and responsible citizens to the university community. The award recognizes students for outstanding academic achievement, commitment to improving campus life and concern for social problems.
A university committee of students, faculty and administrative staff selects finalists to recommend to OU President Gary D. Russi. Russi then chooses the winners.
Archer majored in History and has demonstrated academic excellence as a member and co-president of the Golden Key International Honor Society and Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society. He also served as vice president and chairman of the Best of America program and chairman of the Cranbrook Activities Committee.
Archer was a University Student Congress legislator, holding the positions of student representative to the Senate Planning and Review Committee, Senate Academic Conduct Committee and Senate Academic Career and Advising Committee. He also was a member of the Student Association for Teacher Education.
Kapustij majored in both Biology and Russian Language and Civilization and was an exchange student at Herzen University in St. Petersberg, Russia. She demonstrated academic achievement as a student researcher by performing scientific analysis for Oakland University's Eye Research Institute. She also presented scientific results at the 2000 Meeting of the Minds Undergraduate Research Conference and served as a Genetics Laboratory Teaching Assistant. Kapustij demonstrated her leadership capabilities and commitment to the university and greater community as a Board of Trustees Liaison. She was a founding member and president of the Russian Club, a member of the Student Advisory Board and a Student Congress Legislator, holding positions on the Research and Review Committee, the Elections Committee, and was the Legislative Affairs Committee assistant director. She received the Don R. Iodice Grant-in-Aid for Foreign Study, Oakland University Undergraduate Research Grant, Commuter Involvement Award and Campus Activity Award.
The Wilson Awards are an integral part of the annual graduation ceremony, this year on May 5, at which winners are presented with an individual plaque and $500. OU adds the winners' names to a bronze plaque on campus.
The Human Relations Award is another annual honor. It awards $500 to a graduate who has made an outstanding contribution to inter-group understanding and conflict resolution in the Oakland University community.
Vanover majored in both Journalism and Japanese Language and Civilization. On campus, she distinguished herself as a conscientious student leader committed to increasing unity and understanding among diverse groups of students. She also demonstrated leadership capabilities and commitment to the university and the community through her participation to improve race relations and multi-cultural understanding as a Board of Trustee's Diversity Ambassador, Student Congress Legislator, Orientation Group Leader, Connections Peer Leader, Office of Equity Peer Mentor and as a King/Chavez/Parks and Wade McCree Peer Mentor.
Vanover presented published works at the 1999 Meeting of the Minds Journal of Undergraduate Research. She also worked as a teen editor and columnist for the Oakland Press and wrote for the United Fronts Newsletter. She received the 1999 Keeper of the Dream Award and the 2000 Michigan Association of Governing Boards (M.A.G.B.) Outstanding Student Award.