Student Awards

Each year, the College recognizes those students and student groups whose qualities of leadership and service have enriched the life of the community. During the Leadership and Service Awards Celebration, coordinated by the Division of Student Life, students and alums are honored for their achievements in creating community, serving in leadership roles, serving their MHC and local community, and much more. For additional information about the awards overseen by Student Life please review the below.

Leadership and Service Awards

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to nominate students and groups who deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions!

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H. Elizabeth Braun Catalyst for Change

Established in 2010 by the division, the Catalyst for Change Award recognizes a student each year who has done extraordinary work in the service of creating a diverse and inclusive community.

Named for Dean of Students, Liz Braun (2003-2010), who committed abundant energies to challenging racism and oppression and inspired many to do the same. Her work reflected her deep commitment to nourishing a community of teaching and learning and her dedication to building a more just and equitable college and world. Criteria:

  • Enduring commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive MHC community
  • In sustained service to the community at/within MHC
  • Deep commitment to continued reflection and learningInspires others to work for social justice challenging racism and other oppression
  • Inspires others to work for social justice challenging racism and other oppressionJunior or Senior
  • Junior or Senior

Ruth E. Warfel Art Prize

This prize, which carries a value of up to $500 yearly, is used to continue Ruth Warfel's practice of purchasing a piece of student art annually to place in residence halls. A committee meets each year to review and select senior artwork for the award, based on the quality of the art and its appropriateness for a residence hall setting.

Ruth Elizabeth Warfel served as the Dean of Students for Mount Holyoke College from 1964 to 1982. Ruth's career in higher education began with her master's studies in college personnel administration at Indiana University and further advanced studies at Teacher's College, Columbia University. Prior to her appointment at Mount Holyoke, Ruth served as Associate Dean of Students for 13 years at the State University College in Potsdam, New York and Dean of Women for 3 years at Miami University in Ohio. On campus, Ruth remained deeply committed to student welfare issues through her service on the committee on financial aid to students, foreign students, graduate work, the multi-racial community, student affairs, and the advisory committee on affirmative action. Ruth was described by colleagues as a great example of "leadership, optimism, civility, professional agility, and good cheer". Ruth's interests included opera, arts and crafts.