Joplin, MO (SNS) – The Student Activities Office at Missouri Southern State University has announced the winners of the first annual Registered Student Organization Awards.

Each student organization on campus received a nomination form to nominate themselves or other groups for the awards. The winners were selected by a panel from Student Activities.

Best Student Organization-Led Philanthropy: Student Athlete Advisory Committee

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee was selected for their work raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The organization raised nearly $1,000 toward their cause through the annual MSSU All-Athlete Talent Show and the Lion Idol competition, which was held in between innings at a MSSU baseball game. The group also collected more than 5,000 canned goods for Soul’s Harbor through their Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat event.

Best Student Organization-Led Program: Student Veterans Organization

The Student Veterans Organization celebrated Veterans Week with a variety of events, beginning with ceremonies at a MSSU home football game. Activities included the annual Run with the Heroes 5K, screenings of “American Sniper” and “Unbroken,” a Veterans Day ceremony, the Veterans Appreciation Luncheon and a CrossFit competition.

Emerging Organization of the Year: Southern Black Student Union

In just over one year, the Southern Black Student Union has grown rapidly while working educate and serve the campus community through events designed to raise awareness and spark conversation about diversity. They have offered programs that have discussed minorities in higher education as well as an event entitled “The Injustice System.”

Emerging Leader of the Year: Brianna Allen, Southern Broadcasters Club

As president of the Southern Broadcasters Club, Allen’s strong leadership and ability to encourage others to get involved has guided the organization on a positive path forward. She has been recognized for her enthusiastic attitude and encouragement of others to go above and beyond.

Leader of the Year: Michael Reynolds, MOSO LARP Guild

Reynolds began the 2015-16 school years as the fundraising chair for the MOSO LARP Guild, but his dedication and devotion to the group quickly earned him the vice president’s seat. He was described as a hard worker who always goes the extra mile.

Advisor of the Year: Steven Benfield, Southern Black Student Union

Members of the Southern Black Student Union nominated Steven Benfield for the integral role in taking the organization to new heights. They also commended him for his open-door policy and the relationships he’s build with all of the club members.

Organization of the Year: Social Work League of Lions

Established during the Fall 2015 semester, the Social Work League of Lions has grown its membership to more than 20 students. It was established the goals to serve the community and university, and as a way for students in the new bachelor’s program to network with area professionals. Highlights of the 2015-16 year included gathering more than 200 winter coats for Watered Gardens, raising awareness on campus about child abuse prevention and donating pajamas and other clothing items to Children’ Haven of Southwest Missouri.

-WWW.MSSU.EDU-