The Jaguar Connection link The Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs establishes leadership opportunities for students who excel in academic and co-curricular achievements. To award their commitment, an awards ceremony is held at the end of each Spring semester. Faculty and students participate in the nominating process for this distinguished honor.

  • Student Leadership Awards 2023


    This Spring, the Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs honors outstanding student leaders and advisors for their contributions to the GSU community on Friday, April 21st at 1 pm. 

    Honorees are recognized for their contributions to any part of student engagement, including: work with student clubs and organizations, intercollegiate athletics, residential life, student senate, orientation programs, community service, civic engagement, etc. Nominations are accepted from students, staff, and faculty, including self-nominations, unless otherwise stipulated in the award description Questions? Email us at 



  • Student Commencement Speaker and Vocalist


    GSU selects two outstanding students to serve as commencement speaker or vocalist for the Commencement Ceremonies in May. The commencement student vocalist sings the National Anthem at the start of their Commencement Ceremony and the commencement speaker provides inspirational words of encouragement for the graduating class.

    Applications accepted on the Jaguar Connection website only.  Dates TBA.

  • Lincoln Laureate


     Lincoln Laureate BannerEach fall, an outstanding senior from each of the degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion and thereby becomes a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

    The Lincoln Laureate honor individuals whose contributions to the betterment of mankind have been accomplished in or on behalf of the State of Illinois, or, whose achievements have brought honor to the state because of their identity with it, whether by birth or residence, or by their dedication to those principles of democracy and humanity as exemplified by the great Illinoisan whose name it bears. It is to honor senior students at each of the four-year, degree-granting institutions in Illinois for overall excellence, in both curricular and extra-curricular programs.


    Applications and nominations are accepted at the beginning of the Fall semester. Questions? Email




  • 2022 Lincoln Laureate Award Recipient


    James Adduci, a first-generation college student and a staunch professional animal welfare advocate, is the 2022 Lincoln Laureate. 

    Adduci, a Business and Applied Science major slated to receive his degree at the end of the fall semester, has worked relentlessly in Chicagoland non-profit animal shelters and veterinary hospitals for nearly a decade. He has also served as a Certified Veterinary Technician with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, interned for the ASPCA in New York and Washington D.C. and earned an associate degree in Veterinary Technology from the Bradford School. 

    Adduci, raised in Glenwood, also made impressive strides at GSU, earning multiple scholarships and repeatedly ranking on the Dean’s list. He hopes to take what he’s learned from the university back into animal welfare and nonprofit sectors as a key decision-maker. 

    “I am extremely passionate about advocating for those who are unable to speak for themselves, leading by example, and believe everyone possesses the unique power to set and achieve goals,” he wrote in his student Laureate bio. “No matter what roadblocks are thrown our way, no matter our background or current situation; as long as we act from the heart, remain passionate, and believe in ourselves, we will always have the opportunity to succeed.”

    Each fall, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois selects an outstanding senior from each of the four-year-degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the state as student laureate. The laureates are honored for their leadership and service in addition to their overall excellence in both curricular and co-curricular activities. For their outstanding achievements, they are rewarded the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award, bestowed by the governor. 

    Ciara Noel, Coordinator of Civic Engagement and Intercultural Education, nominated Adduci for the achievement, citing his work ethic inside and outside the classroom.

    “For him to be so involved at GSU and still find the time to give back is truly remarkable,” she said. “I think it speaks to his commitment towards nonprofits and service. It also speaks a lot to his perseverance and I think it’s an indicator of future success.”

    Congratulations, James!