Tony Diggs Excellence Awards

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.

Congratulations to the 2019 Winners

Excellence in Inclusion

  • Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services

Students from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine recognized a lack of consistent, accessible veterinary services on Native American reservations in Minnesota and founded the Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services (SIRVS). SIRVS enables students to acquire clinical experience under veterinarian supervision by providing free physical exams, parasitic control, vaccinations, heartworm testing, primary care services, and spay/neuter surgeries to dogs and cats. SIRVS has provided over 2,000 wellness exams and over 400 spay/neuter surgeries for under-served pets whose families experience barriers to veterinary care like lack of transportation, distrust of health providers, or poverty.

Innovation Award

  • UMN Robotics Campus Transition - University of Minnesota Robotics

University of Minnesota Robotics is a student group centered around robotics and therefore has numerous build projects. Members have the opportunity to mentor teams in programs for students grades K-12, volunteer at FIRST events in the area, and hosts workshop events for teams. We innovate in our robot designs, our award-winning autonomous navigation algorithms, how we reach out to the community, and how we operate. In 2019, UMN Robotics worked to transform and revitalize itself in innovative ways as a newly-established Campus Life Program (CLP).

Outstanding Collaboration

  • Small World Coffee Hour African and Latino Traditions - Small World Coffee Hour, African Student Association, Latino International Student Association

SWCH’s mission is to provide regularly scheduled events where students can have authentic intercultural experiences that would be beneficial to have in our globalized world as well as to provide a welcoming place for students to make new friends. As students on campus prepared for Thanksgiving, we invited the Latino International Student Association (LISA) and the African Student Association (ASA) to share their cultural celebrations. We attracted 75 participants and we had a nearly 50/50 ratio of students from the US and students from other countries. This achieved our goal of helping international students learn about the local tradition of Thanksgiving and domestic students to learn about celebrations in Africa and Latin America.

Outstanding Program or Event

  • Bot Shot - University of Minnesota Robotics

University of Minnesota Robotics is a student group centered around robotics and therefore has numerous build projects. Members have the opportunity to mentor teams in programs for students grades K-12, volunteer at FIRST events in the area, and hosts workshop events for teams. Bot Shot was a one time event put on by Land O Lakes to celebrate the basketball final four being hosted in Minneapolis. They reached out to several universities to see who would be interested in building a robot to shoot real basketballs to play a game of HORSE against other universities.

Outstanding Service or Philanthropic Project

  • VeTouch Clinics - VeTouch

VeTouch is a veterinary student organization at the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine that stands for Veterinary Treatment Outreach for Urban Community Health. VeTouch provides basic veterinary medical care to the pets of low-income and no-income residents of the Twin Cities to promote urban community health and enhance the welfare of people and animals in Minnesota. In 2019, VeTouch clinics offered care to 423 animals in need. Our necessary resources are medical in nature (i.e. vaccines, preventatives, select prescription medications) and are primarily donated from corporate partners or purchased using grant funding.

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Group

  • American Medical Student Association -- Pre Med Minneapolis Chapter

Pre-Med AMSA is a pre-professional medical student organization. We strive for all our members to be well-balanced pre-medical students. While having a good MCAT score, GPA, and resume is important to medical school applications, we believe our members will stand out by their commitment to improving our community and advocating for health locally and globally.

Outstanding Student Group Advisor

  • Dr. Amelious N. Whyte - Phi Gamma Delta

Dr. Amelious Whyte truly embodies the five values Phi Gamma Delta live by: Friendship, Knowledge, Service, Morality, and Excellence. Amelious has been someone our members look to for advice, career development, and academic achievements. Amelious’ role in Phi Gamma Delta cannot be overstated in the slightest. Amelious became our academic advisor in the Fall of 1998 and has worked constantly to better our fraternity’s goal setting and member development.

Outstanding Graduate or Professional Student Group

  • Organization for Graduate and Professional Students With Disabilities

The Organization for Graduate and Professional Students with Disabilities supports and advocates for graduate and professional students with disabilities, chronic illness, and mental health concerns, and their allies and advocates, at the University of Minnesota. We welcome, support, and advocate for all graduate and professional students with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and mental health concerns.

Rookie Student Group of the Year

  • First Generation College Students

The aim of First Gen Students is, in addition to fostering a sense of community and belonging, to provide information and opportunities relative to the benefit and empowerment of multicultural and first generation college students, within the CLA and University of Minnesota at large, through: Lists of available resources, social events, speakers, professional development, group projects, fundraising, community service, etc.

People’s Choice Award (Graduate)

  • Phillips Neighborhood Clinic

Phillips Neighborhood Clinic (PNC) is an interprofessional student-run clinic located in the Phillips Neighborhood that provides health care services to men, women, and children of all ages. We will develop compassionate, culturally competent future health professionals in a team-based learning environment, and we support community partnerships and promote overall health and wellbeing in the communities we serve.

People’s Choice Award (Undergraduate)

  • Society of Women Engineers

The primary focus of the Society of Women Engineers is to support and encourage women in science and engineering fields. SWE provides support, leadership opportunities, outreach experiences, community involvement, teamwork skills, and personal/professional development for females and allies in science and engineering.

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