Lamar University recognizes outstanding leadership at annual Toast to Leadership Award Ceremony



  • Lisseth Aguilar

    Lisseth Aguilar

    Major: Mechanical Engineering
    Organizations: President Engineers Without Borders, Lamar Engineering Ambassador, Humane Society & Southeast Texas Food Bank Volunteer.
    Hometown: Port Arthur
  • Umera Ahmed

    Umera Ahmed

    Major: Biology and Psychology
    Organizations: President and Treasurer Pre-Dental Society, Secretary Muslim Student Association, Vice President Pakistani Student Association, LU Lead Certificate, Compassion Hospice Volunteer.
    Hometown: Beaumont
  • Taliah Belcher

    Taliah Belcher

    Major: Finance and Accounting
    Organizations: Secretary/Treasurer Student Government Association, President of College of Business Student Advisory Council and President of Beta Alpha Psi, Resident Assistant, LU Lead Certificate. Southeast Texas Food Bank Volunteer.
    Hometown: Plano
  • Brendon Camp

    Brendon Camp

    Major: Criminal Justice and Political Science
    Organizations: Resident Assistant, President Lamar Moot Court Association, Ambassador, Public Relations Chair Student Government Association, Model United Nations, Deputy Voter Registrar for Jefferson County, Southeast Texas Food Bank Volunteer.
    Cedar Hill
  • Bethany Edwards

    Bethany Edwards

    Major: Nursing
    Organizations: Class President BSN May 2022 Co-Founder & Member MEDLIFE Lamar Univ Chapter, Student Athlete Lamar University Softball, Raised over $1,700 in donations for COVID-19 relief in South America.
    Hometown: Belton
  • Vivica Edwards

    Vivica Edwards

    Major: Industrial Engineering
    Organizations: President Caribbean Student Association, Treasurer of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc and Treasurer of National Society of Black Engineers, Post-Hurricane Laura & Southeast Texas Food Bank Volunteer
    Hometown: Killeen
  • Menna Elsaka

    Menna Elsaka

    Major: Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Organizations: President of American Medical Student Association, President of Lamar Undergraduate Research Association and President of Student Members of the American Chemical Society. Houston Food Bank Volunteer Southeast Texas Food Bank-Hurricane Laura Relief Volunteer.
    Hometown: Houston
  • Ali Hamza

    Ali Hamza

    Major: Political Science
    Organizations: President Honors Student Association, Founder & Organized LU Strong Hurricane Laura Relief; Executive Member Alpha Tau Omega, Ambassador, Ranked 8th best orator in the Nation-Moot Court.
    Hometown: Port Neches
  • Krystal L

    Krystal Le

    Major: Biology
    Organizations: Treasurer & Vice President American Medical Student Association, Treasurer Student Members of the American Chemical Society, Student Advisory Council to the Dean, LU Lead Certificate, Marketing Coordinator LU Table Tennis.
    Hometown: Port Arthur
  • Aris Martinez

    Aris Martinez

    Major: Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Organizations: Treasurer & Vice President American Medical Student Association, Treasurer Student Members of the American Chemical Society, Student Advisory Council to the Dean, LU Lead Certificate, Marketing Coordinator LU Table Tennis.
    Hometown: Conroe
  • Thanh Nguyen

    Thanh Nguyen

    Major: Chemical Engineering
    Organizations: President & Founder Vietnamese Students Association, President & Founder Blockchain Students Society. Honors Student Association, Ambassador, Alpha Tau Omega.
    Hometown: Bridge City
  • Ayokunle Oni

    Ayokunle Oni

    Major: Chemical Engineering
    Organizations: Senior Class Senator Student Government Association, President National Society Black Engineers, Ambassador, Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader, Texas Adopt-A-Beach Volunteer, The Big Event
    Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
  • Kaylie Overstreet

    Kaylie Overstreet

    Major: Nursing
    Organizations: Vice President & Treasurer Lamar University Texas Nursing Student Association, Service Chair Zeta Tau Alpha, Service Chair Global Goodwill Ambassadors Program.
    Hometown: Beaumont
  • Cade Pelleri

    Cade Pellerin

    Major: Mechanical Engineering
    Organizations: Ambassador, Orientation Leader, Cheerleader, Student Government Senator Reaud Honors College, Model UN in Washington D.C.
    Hometown: Buna
  • Lamarr Reed

    Lamarr Reed

    Major: Theatre and Dance
    Organizations: President Greek Council, President Phi Beta Sigma Inc, Orientation Leader, President Lamar NAACP College Chapter Unit 6915, Vice President Relentless LU Cru, Co-Founder Code Redd Dance Team, Guest Performer Victoria Ballet, New Dance Season Concert, Lake Charles Civic Ballet.
    Hometown: Beaumont
  • Landon Richard

    Landon Richard

    Major: Human Resource Management
    Organizations: Secretary, College of Business Advisory Council to the Dean; Orientation Leader, LU Lead Certificate, Vice President LU Society for Human Resource Management, Student Advisor College of Business Student-Faculty Relations Committee.
    Hometown: Beaumont
  • Maissa Salibi

    Maissa Salibi

    Major: Political Science
    Organizations: Supreme Court Associate Justice and Chief Justice, Election Commission Chairwoman, Student Government Association, Ambassador, Vice President Pi Sigma Alpha, LU Lead Certificate, Quarter-finalist Moot Court Regional Tournament, Secretary/Treasurer Honors Student Association.
    Hometown: Beaumont
  • Dion Tran

    Dion Tran

    Major: Accounting
    Organizations: Vice President of Communications Lamar Green Squad, President, Secretary & Chairman Vietnamese Student Association, Executive Cabinet Student Government Association, Hurricane Laura Relief, Southeast Texas Food Bank and The Big Event Volunteer.
    Hometown: Beaumont
  • Tiffany Tran

    Tiffany Tran

    Major: Biology
    Organizations: President Student Government Association, Senator College of Arts & Sciences, Senator Reaud Honors College Senator, Vice President Pre-Dental Society, Ambassador, Service includes Seafarer’s Center of Southeast Texas Volunteer, Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas.
    Hometown: Beaumont
  • David Williams

    David Williams

    Major: Mechanical Engineering
    Organizations: Vice President Student Government Association, LU Lead Certificate and Student Mentor, Ambassador, Orientation Leader and Student Orientation Coordinator, Head Delegate National & State Moot Court, Bass Section Leader A Cappella Choir & Grand Chorus
    Hometown: Beaumont

For the 42nd year, Lamar University has recognized the achievements of student organizations and awarded the advisor of the year, Seniors of Significance and the Ann Shaw, Bess Gentry and C.R. Kemble award recipients at the 2022 Toast to Leadership Award Ceremony.

“Without strong leaders, we would not have strong student organizations as they are the foundation of student life at the University,” said Dr. Vicki McNeil, vice president of Student Engagement.

The Seniors of Significance Award, created by the Division of Student Engagement in 2016, recognizes those seniors for excellence in scholarship, leadership and community service and for bringing distinction to Lamar University. The 20 recipients of the 2022 Seniors of Significance Award represent all undergraduate colleges and are individuals that have made a positive impact on the Lamar University campus, in their individual academic fields, given themselves through service and are academically strong.

Recognized as 2022 Seniors of Significance were:

Lisseth Aguilar, mechanical engineering; Umera Ahmed, biology and psychology; Taliah Belcher, finance and accounting; Brendon Camp, criminal justice and political science; Bethany Edwards, nursing; Vivica Edwards, industrial engineering; Menna Elsaka, chemistry and biochemistry; Ali Hamza, political science; Krystal Le, biology; Aris Martinez, civil and environmental engineering; Thanh Nguyen, chemical engineering; Ayokunle Oni, chemical engineering; Kaylie Overstreet, nursing; Cade Pellerin, mechanical engineering; Lamarr Reed, theatre and dance; Landon Richard, human resource management; Maissa Salibi, political science; Dion Tran, accounting; Tiffany Tran, biology; David Williams, mechanical engineering.

Kelvin Elgar with Dr. Jaime TaylorThe Ann Shaw Award was established to honor a junior or senior for fostering a spirit of teamwork, excellence in leadership and exhibiting exemplary ethics and integrity while making a significant contribution to Lamar University and the recipient receives $1,000. The recipient of the 2022 Ann Shaw award is chemical engineering junior, Kelvin Elgar. Elgar serves as president of student organization the Asian Scientists and Engineers, he is a member of the College of Business Student Advisory Council, a Lamar University Ambassador, a Cardinal Orientation Leader, veteran academic coach and an engineering ambassador.  He also is an Office of Undergraduate Research grant recipient and serves as a lab assistant for the Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality.

The award for New Student Organization of the Year was awarded to the Lamar University Blockchain Students Society, which has over 240 members and hosts on-campus events centered around Blockchain Student Society

The award for Program of the Year was awarded to the Asian Night Market hosted in early April by the Vietnamese Students Association. The event highlighted was designed to spread awareness to the different cultures across and the Asian/Pacific Islanders community at LU.

Outstanding Student Organization of the Year was awarded to Medlife, “an organization dedicated to Organization of the yearincreasing awareness of international need and to help create a world free from the constraints of poverty.” With Dr. Ashwini Kucknoor, associate professor of biology, serving as faculty advisor, the organization has raised more than $3,300 to fight food insecurity and provide medical care to those in Latin America as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Members also have served at the Hope Clinic, translators at the St. Katherine Drexel Annual Health Fairs and have held donation drives for Altus Hospice Care and Family Services for Southeast Texas.

Dr. Feddi Titus
Dr. Feddie Titus

The Outstanding Advisor of the Year is named in honor of the late Dr. Melvin Brust, an Emeritus Professor and advisor to the Finance Association and Students in Free Enterprise at Lamar University. The award is given to an advisor who has shown outstanding dedication, service, and support to their organization and its members.

This year’s award was presented to assistant professor of teacher education, Dr. Freddie Titus, who serves as the advisor of the National PanHellenic Council, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and Psalms 150.

The Bess Gentry Award was established in February of 1985 to honor Mrs. Gentry and to recognize an 

Tiffany Tran with Dr. Jaime Taylor
Tiffany Tran

outstanding senior woman with an award of $1,000. This award is based upon leadership, exemplary character, contribution and service to the university, esteem held by others, contribution to the community state and nation, and academic scholarship.  

The 2022 recipient of the Bess Gentry award is senior biology major Tiffany Tran.

Brendan Camp with Dr. Jaime Taylor
Brendon Camp 

The C. Robert Kemble Award was established in December of 1981 and first conferred in April 1982 and carries with it an award of $1,000. The award was established and is perpetuated to pay tribute to Dr. Kemble for his example and the high standard of educational excellence that he represented and recognizes an outstanding senior man.

The 2022 recipient of the C. Robert Kemble Award is senior political science major Brendon Camp. Camp was chosen based on his leadership, character, contribution to community and state and academic scholarship.