Judges give insight on Greek Awards decisions


Sam Cohlmia, center, presents Jonathan Dennill, senior Phi Delta Theta member, right, and Mariah Smith, junior Kappa Kappa Gamma member, left, with the Greek Man and Woman of the Year award during Greek Awards on Monday.

Being a judge for the Greek Awards was an easy choice for junior Jenny Nguyen, president of the Panhellenic Council. However, picking the Outstanding Fraternity was not.

“Each chapter has really grown throughout 2015, and each chapter displays their values very well and what they do and the programs they offer, so it was definitely hard choosing one winner,” she said.

Nguyen was one of 15 judges for the 2016 Greek Awards on Monday, in which fraternities and sororities were evaluated based on 12 different categories — three for overall chapter excellence and nine for individual awards.

But being a judge wasn’t the only way Nguyen was involved. She was awarded the Panhellenic Council Community Servant Award for 2015.

“I don’t see it as an award,” she said. “I enjoy what I do and I love serving my community, I love serving others. I hope to inspire not only the Greek community, but Wichita State students to get out there and volunteer because it’s a great experience.”

Nguyen is a member of Gamma Phi Beta, and she said she enjoys volunteering with multiple programs, but her favorites are Girls on the Run and the Lords Diner. Overall, Nguyen recorded about 242 hours of community service in 2015, she said.

Girls on the Run is a program for girls who want to increase their confidence, social skills and self-esteem through working with older counterparts, such as Nguyen.

“Getting to interact with these young, bright girls and seeing them so happy makes them a great group of girls to be around,” she said. “It’s great to go there after a stressful day, just forget about what I’m worried about and focus on them.”

Aside from Girls on the Run, Nguyen volunteers at the Lord’s Diner, where she’s volunteered since high school and now through her college years.

“I love volunteering there just because of the interactions I get to make with the people I help,” she said.

Other judges Monday included Tim Cason, Sharieka Fisher, Angela Gaughan, Ben Hopper, Augustine Iacopelli, Darius Jones, Marcus Kidd, Justin McCormick, Ann Reightler, Jacob Ternes, Maria Thompson, Jacob Tidwell and Nicolle Zeller.

Staff judges were chosen based on their involvement and knowledge with the Greek community both on and off campus. Nine off-campus judges came from other campuses and schools within the region to review applications, while four on-campus judges aren’t involved directly with the WSU Greek community to review presentations.

“It was a double-blind judging process for the Greek Awards,” said Chad Warrick, coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life. “For this year, I think that was better because we had fraternity and sorority advisors from other campuses looking at the awards and they are trained to know what the growth looks like, what the chapter has accomplished and the chapter evolvement throughout the year, whereas the on-campus professionals couldn’t see that.”

Cason, a Pi Kappa Phi alumnus from Texas Christian University and Wichita State coordinator for Student Conduct and Community Standards, was one of 13 staff judges involved, mainly scoring individuals in the Sophomore of the Year and the Man and Woman of the Year categories.

“For sophomores, we focused more on what impact they want to make, why you joined the organization, how do you exemplify the values and how do you hope to continue growing in the community,” Cason said. “But for Man and Woman of the Year, it was more of how have you left your legacy and how do you intend to use what you’ve learned in your future career.”

While judging Greek tradition can be a challenge, Warrick said he intends to choose different judges each year.

“Being a judge takes up a lot of time, pages on pages of applications, presentations and interviews were two whole days, so we try to give the judges a break,” Warrick said. “Next year it will look a little different by designating a day for each award that will be presented.”


President’s Scholarship Cup

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Phi Delta Thea

Intramural Champions

Delta Delta Delta

Sigma Phi Epsilon

PC Community Servant Award

Jenny Nguyen, Gamma Phi Beta

Dottie C. Miller Award

Lindsay Shirk

MGC Schneikart-Luebbe Camaraderie Award

Gamma Phi Beta

Outstanding Advisor Awards

Sarah Kidwell, Delta Gamma

Jason Carlson, Beta Theta Pi

Danielle Johnson, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Outstanding New Member

Thao Le, Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc.

Breck Towner, Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Outstanding Sophomore

Amy Vuong, Delta Gamma

Reece Burns, Phi Delta Theta

Greek Man and Woman of the Year

Mariah Smith, Kappa Kappa Gamma

Johnathan Dennill, Phi Delta Theta

Outstanding Sorority

Delta Gamma

Outstanding Fraternity

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.