Becca Abara, David Harris Win Campus Life Awards

Becca Abara, David Harris Win Campus Life Awards

The Division of Student Affairs honored seniors Becca Abara and David Harris with Campus Life Awards for fall quarter 2013. The award recognizes six students who have significantly contributed to the quality of student life and who represent positive student engagement at Northwestern. 

“These students have impacted our community through program development and implementation, bridging cultural differences, or have taken responsibility for and worked collectively with others to create a more engaged and inclusive campus community,” says Burgwell Howard, assistant vice-president of student engagement.

Becca Abara

Becca Abara 
Abara was selected for her work with the Free Your Mind collective of student organizations committed to the support of mental health initiatives at Northwestern. She worked with various offices and departments on campus in partnership with a coalition of student organizations to create a multi-pronged series of events providing discussion, resources, training and advocacy for mental health issues.

“It is very common that mental health issues are ignored or swept under the rug in our culture,” says Abara. “As of late, current events have shown us that disregarded mental health issues can be devastating to the individual and those around them. When we heard of the second suicide of a fellow Wildcat last year, I was shocked. I felt that it shouldn't take the death of a person for us to offer support and advocacy for one another's needs.”

“As someone who knows what mental health issues can do to people, I wanted to put together a campaign to show that the love, support, and resources that are needed at a time like this are readily available,” she says. The Free Your Mind! series offered a way to answer these questions: What are mental health issues? How can we help those who are suffering? How can I help myself if I'm suffering? Is there a community of people who care about my well-being?  Abara, who majors in learning and organizational change, is also involved in the African Student Association, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Out Da Box Sketch comedy group and the African American Theater Ensemble.

David Harris

David Harris
Harris, also a learning and organizational change major, was selected for his work with Associated Student Government (ASG). Harris created an ASG mentoring program for new senators to help them develop into active representatives for the student body.

This fall Harris also co-authored a bill to provide ASG funds to assist students with financial need with the Dance Marathon registration cost, thereby expanding the number of students able to participate in the philanthropic event. He serves on the executive board of Dance Marathon as public relations co-chair in addition to his role as ASG chief of staff.

"Dance Marathon and ASG are two organizations dedicated to making our community better, and it is especially exciting when we see groups align efforts to help one another. Hopefully we'll continue to find new opportunities for groups to collaborate," he says.

Harris is active with a number of student groups on campus. He serves as an Admissions Office tour guide and a SESP peer adviser for Wildcat Welcome. He is also involved with Northwestern Student Holdings and Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Other winners of the Campus Life Award for fall quarter 2013 are Deniz Alpay, Andrew Christy, Noor-Ul-Ain Hasan and Meera Patel.

Nominations for future awardees may be submitted by logging in using NU Netid/ password to this website: 
https://northwestern.collegiatelink.net/organization/studentengagement. The nomination form is accessed by selecting the forms link on the left hand side of the page.

 
By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 5/15/14