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CMU students recognized for leadership during MLK Week

| Author: Logan Pellegrom

Central Michigan University is honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a weeklong celebration of in-person and virtual activities organized by Multicultural Academic Student Services.

As part of that celebration, students who carry out Dr. King’s values on campus and in the community were recognized during the annual CommUNITY Peace Service through the PNC Bank High Achievers Award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest.

PNC Bank High Achievers Award

This award recognizes CMU student leaders who go above and beyond to make the university and wider community a better place for all. These students exemplify a commitment to making a difference in our world through a collaborative approach to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, education, innovation, and/or entrepreneurship.

Garrin Blake
Garrin Blake

 

Garrin Blake

  • Senior from Southfield, MI
  • Campus involvements: MAC Scholar, Resident Assistant in Trout Hall, Trout Hall Desk Staff, Secretary of National Association of Black Accountants, Secretary of Future Financial Advisors Association, Men About Change, Michigan Finance Scholars, and Intramural Sports Champion.
  • “During my time at CMU I just wanted to show others that you can make a name for yourself, you can be who you want to be and people won't criticize you. You just have to be sure to reward yourself and make sure that you know your self-worth.”

 

Isabella Correa
Isabella Correa

 

Isabella Correa

  • Senior from Holland, MI
  • Campus involvements: MAC scholar, Honors program, Alternative Breaks site leader and student coordinator, Gamma Phi Omega – Noble Founder and Community Service, Multicultural Greek Council
  • “Dr. Martin Luther King was always pushing for a better world, including creating safe spaces for other individuals. I’ve tried to do this while at CMU while having the education and the range to be able to back that up my words with my actions.”

 

Josie DeHaan
Josie DeHaan

 

Josie DeHaan

  • Senior from Grand Rapids, MI
  • Campus involvements: Centralis scholar, Student Social Work Association, Residence Life Office Assistant, Interning in the CMU Social Work Office and Mass Office, and former North RA.
  • “I was very shy and withdrawn when I came to campus but through the support of others I've been able to get involved, grow to be a leader and help others do the same. I’m a role model that not everything is as scary as it seems. I want to continue to support people on campus, helping them get to their goals, and just being a safe place for them feel supported.”

 

 

Katya Domínguez
Katya Domínguez

Katya Domínguez

  • Senior from Clarkston, MI
  • Campus involvements: Centralis Gold Scholar, Honors Program, Founder and President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Vice President of the Society of Women Engineers, Founder of the Spanish Campus Ambassador Program, Student Web-Developer at the Office of Diversity Education.
  • "By getting involved you meet other leaders and you inspire each other to be better and to make the university a better place. College for me is about being involved, hanging out with other leaders, pushing myself to be a better person and to be a better ally to different communities that before maybe I wasn't as educated on or knowledgeable about.”

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest

This contest recognizes and gives students the opportunity to reflect on the words of Dr. King while connecting his messages to issues facing our nation in the 21st century and enhancing their own writing and communication skills through oration.

Nikolay Aleksiev
Nikolay Aleksiev

 

Nikolay Aleksiev

  • Freshman from Hoffman Estates, IL
  • Campus involvements: MAC scholar
  • “I think one of the biggest issues today is that people aren't empathetic enough and we need more empathy in the world,” Aleksiev said, “So the ‘Be Love’ message is just a very simple two word way of saying be more compassionate, be the love you want to see in the world and make a change.”

 

Deschalyn Riase
Deschalyn Riase

 

Deschalyn Riase

  • Sophomore from Port Huron, MI
  • Campus involvements: MAC scholar, Women’s Initiative of Strength and Hope (WISH), Impact bible study, CMU Impact mentor, certified college positive volunteer
  • “In Dr. King’s “Be Love” message, I think about how powerful the transformation is, how it's so simple that each one of us has the power to change the way we think and how we speak and our actions and our beliefs to be love and be kind to each other.”

 

Sophia Scarnecchia
Sophia Scarnecchia

Sophia Scarnecchia

  • Sophomore from Ann Arbor, MI
  • Campus involvements: MAC scholar, resident assistant, Spectrum, Ballet Folklorico de La Luz, organization of women leaders, planned parenthood generation action, college democrats
  • “Acting like problems don't exist just creates more problems. We all have power and we can all do something about inequality,” Scarnecchia said. “We shouldn't just watch or rely on other people's words to act like it is there in the first place.”