Student leader recognized for her efforts across the Quinnipiac community

October 17, 2022

Headshot of Grace Claudio

Coming out of high school, Grace Claudio ‘23 was very shy and kept to herself. Coming to college as a first-year student, she knew she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and try new things.

Claudio, president of the Student Programming Board, has been informed that she is the recipient of the National Association for Campus Activities’ Ken M. Benini Student Leader Award for the Northeast region. This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of undergraduate student leaders who continuously make a difference in their institutions.

“I have worked hard alongside my peers in the organization to make SPB accessible, engaging and welcoming to the entire Quinnipiac community,” said Claudio. “Personally, I do not feel that it is just me who is receiving this award, but everyone who is currently in SPB and who was involved in my entire four years at Quinnipiac is receiving it as well. I have had amazing professional staff and peer mentors in SPB who have helped shape the person I am today. They deserve equal — if not more — credit in me receiving this award as I do.”

Jahmil Effend, the assistant director of campus life for student centers and student involvement, was excited to have the opportunity to tell Claudio the news of her well-deserved award.

“Working with Grace has been a joy,” said Effend. “She is beloved by the folks around her because she is ever present and always supportive. I have such great trust in her decisions and in her approach as a leader. She is every advisor’s dream student, she is committed to her organization, selfless in her pursuits and willing to try new things, even if they won’t be successful early on."

Claudio was stunned to hear the news from Effend, as she originally thought their meeting was related to an SPB event. She was shocked but felt proud to receive such a prestigious award. She is also proud to be a community leader within a student-run organization as it has been a catalyst for her growth in college.

“This award means a lot to me, especially because I have to be nominated by my peers in order to receive it,” said Claudio. “I am so honored that they would consider nominating me for this award. The Student Programming Board means a lot to me, I have met amazing people, have had many amazing opportunities and created memories that will last a lifetime. This award represents a culmination of all those things to me.”

To those in the Bobcat Community, Claudio exemplifies the balance of both academics and passion for extracurricular activities, Effend explained.

“Grace defines what it is to be a student leader. She is successful in the classroom and makes it a priority each day, while she is also a leader to her fellow students,” said Effend. “She makes time for them and is completely invested in their development. Grace is too humble to say it, but she is a great student leader, one of the best in the Northeast.”

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