Tony Diggs Excellence Awards

The Tony Diggs Excellence Awards celebrating student groups for the 2022-23 academic year will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

In honor of Tony Diggs, former Director of the Student Activities Office, the Tony Diggs Excellence Awards are intended to recognize annual student group achievements. The awards, which take place every March or April, are open to all Campus Life Programs and Registered Student Organizations.

Student groups may be nominated in the following categories:

Congratulations to the 2021 and 2022 Award Winners

This year, we received 49 Excellence Award nominations in 9 different award categories. Each category can have an undergraduate and a graduate winner.

Excellence in Academics

The Science and Engineering Student Board’s mission is to provide resources, support, community, and advocacy for students and student groups by fostering a network of leaders within CSE and between colleges.

The Global Surgery Student Alliance serves as a resource at the University of Minnesota for medical and health professional students interested in global surgery. Their goal is to educate future healthcare professionals on how surgery fits into the world of global health. They aim to raise awareness about barriers to affordable and quality surgical care and to cultivate a community of future healthcare professionals who are motivated to improve the accessibility of surgical care across the globe. They also connect students with mentors, opportunities, and educational experiences related to global surgery and global health.

Excellence in Career Readiness

Multipotentialites in Medicine (MinMs) is a pre-health organization at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities that aims to teach and inform undergraduate students about different multidisciplinary aspects of healthcare that can be either obtained (such as MD/Ph.D., DDS/MBA, DO/MPH, etc), practiced (such as medical sociology), or innovated (like biomedical engineering). They work to be a safe space for students to explore their interests and guide them in their thinking about their application progress towards their medical journey while incorporating another degree or area of expertise. Furthermore, to improve the skill base of those entering medical careers through education on the intersectionality of other fields (such as business, policy, law).

Excellence in Civic Engagement

The mission of Engineers Without Borders USA – University of Minnesota is to partner with communities locally and internationally in order to assess and address community-identified unmet needs. They strive to implement engineered projects that prove environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. At the core of this mission is their commitment to building strong relationships with partner communities and organizations, institutional resources (including UMN and EWB-USA), their student volunteers, and professional mentors. Both as individuals and as a chapter, we are dedicated to continually learning, improving, and adapting.

Black Doctors Association (BDA) is a student organization at the UMN - Twin Cities established in the spring of 2022 by medical students. Its mission is to create opportunities for students identifying as underrepresented in post-secondary education and medicine through community partnership. BDA partners with North Community High School (Minneapolis) to create drop-in mentorship opportunities for students interested in STEM; TRIO Upward Bound Vision Quest to present professional panels with University of Minnesota Law and University of Minnesota Medical students and leadership and college campus tours; Boys & Girls Club to host career interest workshops, campus tours and college preparedness discussions.

Excellence in Community Building

The Queer Student Cultural Center (QSCC) aims to celebrate the diversity and culture of the queer community; educate the University of Minnesota community on issues pertinent to the lives of queer students; advocate for inclusion and equality of all individuals regardless of gender identity and sexual/romantic orientation; provide a safe space for queer students to meet and form a sense of community; and empower queer individuals, groups, and organizations.

Phillips Neighborhood Clinic is to support community partnerships and promote overall health and wellbeing in the communities we serve. They increase accessibility of comprehensive, patient-centered, quality health services to patients with unmet needs. They will develop compassionate, culturally sensitive future health professionals in an interprofessional, team-based learning environment.

Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

Jazba (a Hindi-Urdu word meaning "passion") Entertainment is a registered nonprofit organization that focuses on spreading South Asian cultural awareness through dance and the arts. In addition to this cultural element, Jazba proudly supports and raises awareness for the nonprofit Women In Need (WIN).

White Coats for Black Lives mission is to dismantle racism and accompanying systems of oppression in health care, while simultaneously cultivating means for collective liberation that center the needs, priorities, and self-determination of Black people and other people of color, particularly those most marginalized in our communities.

Excellence in Health and Wellness

Boynton Health's Recovery on Campus, or Boynton Health's ROC, is a University of Minnesota student group that offers camaraderie and support to anybody who is questioning their relationship with drugs and alcohol. Staying away from drugs and alcohol is not easy, especially around a big university. For those trying to maintain sobriety, it can be overwhelming. For those trying to have sober fun, it can feel impossible. Boynton Health's ROC was built on the belief that we can’t stay sober by ourselves, and that we aren’t very much fun by ourselves either. So, why do it alone?

Boynton Health's ROC accepts and welcomes people with a wide range of substance use history. Whether you are an ex-heroin addict in 12-step recovery, a heavy drinker who is beginning to lose control, or a freshman who just had a terrible weekend of partying — we welcome you, no matter what happened to you, or where you come from. Come hang with us, relax, reach out, and hopefully, we can find a common joy in sobriety.

The mission of Phillips Neighborhood Clinic is to increase accessibility of comprehensive, patient-centered, quality health services to patients with unmet needs. They also develop compassionate, culturally sensitive future health professionals in an interprofessional, team-based learning environment. Lastly, they support community partnerships and promote overall health and wellbeing in the communities we serve.

Excellence in Leadership Development

The mission of Engineers Without Borders USA – University of Minnesota is to partner with communities locally and internationally in order to assess and address community-identified unmet needs. They strive to implement engineered projects that prove environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. At the core of this mission is the commitment to building strong relationships with partner communities and organizations, institutional resources (including UMN and EWB-USA), the student volunteers, and professional mentors. Both as individuals and as a chapter, they are dedicated to continually learning, improving, and adapting.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School aims to equip and engage interprofessional student teams in quality improvement projects within the local health landscape through mutually beneficial relationships with our community partners. They strive to better the health of our community and prepare future professionals to lead in the delivery of the highest quality healthcare.

Excellence in Recreation and Entertainment

The Indian Student Association operates as a non-profit, non-political, non-religious organization, with an intent to preserve and promote the Indian culture in the University of Minnesota Community to South Asians and non-South Asians alike.

Excellent Student Group Advisor

The Science and Engineering Student Board have this to say about their excellent advisor: “Ben encourages insightful conversations amongst SESB’s leadership team by asking questions that require students to self-reflect on themselves as well as SESB’s mission, vision and values. He also helps us in the planning of internal leadership development events by providing ideas for activities we can work on. He allows SESB members to flesh ideas out with him, helps members strategize their efforts for pushing change in the college, and connects members to relevant faculty and staff they can work with.”

Phi Delta Chi Fraternity shared this about their excellent advisor “One of Dr. Jason Varin’s strongest attributes is his ability to encourage student development. He has always advocated for individuals to reach outside of their comfort zone and take on a new role they may be uncertain with. He is currently serving as one of the course directors for the first year course on ""Becoming a Pharmacist"" and he is able to make personal connections with students before they join the fraternity. Another thing to note about his exceptional contributions to the fraternity is that he brings in new and old alumni brothers to interact with the current chapter members and further their networking and socializing skills. He strives to give all students an equal chance of succeeding and at professional events, he takes time to talk with the students and ask how they are doing and what they are working on for projects, work, etc. I would not be the student leader I am today without the help of Dr. Varin.”