The NIC’s Undergraduate Award of Distinction recognizes fraternity men who, throughout in their collegiate experience, have found an outlet for development as both a leader and a better man. They are exemplary members of their organizations and serve their brothers, campuses and fraternity/sorority communities with humble confidence.
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About the 2020 honorees
Congratulations to the 2020 Undergraduate Award of Distinction recipients! Browse below to learn more about each honoree.
SIGMA TAU GAMMA, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
High personal standards of leadership helped Elliot Beck create and sustain positive change on campus. As IFC Vice President of Programming, he partnered with a local nonprofit to bring domestic and sexual abuse prevention education to fraternity members, and he also created a new program for students going through IFC recruitment that promotes healthy, respectful manhood. Serving as Chapter President for Sigma Tau Gamma, this future mathematics teacher emphasized academics, operational proficiency, recruitment, health and wellness and individual member development within his brotherhood. As a 2020 graduate achieving a 3.6 GPA, he is known for his energy for every task he’s given and his compassion for others. His enthusiasm for fraternity is contagious. “Elliot is a passionate and invigorating undergraduate leader,” one nominator wrote. “We need men like Elliot to make other men better.”
DELTA SIGMA PHI, THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
One nominator said Andrew Binder makes them hopeful for the future of fraternity. This Delta Sigma Phi Chapter President guided his 100-plus brothers to earning chapter of the year honors in the large Ohio State IFC community. He spearheaded diversity and inclusion initiatives in the chapter, retooled the officer training program and created a recruitment scholarship for new members. “Andrew has a unique ability to facilitate brotherhood, strengthen relationships, and to help members find joy in the work of fraternity,” another nominator said. Also a high achieving student in the classroom, he succeeded in prestigious internships, other student organizations and volunteer roles.
PI KAPPA PHI, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHARLOTTE
This exceptional leader makes the most of every opportunity and always puts service before self. “He balanced academics, leadership, and fraternity, while still managing to always keep a smile on his face,” one nominator said. Chandler Crean promotes successful student life as an orientation leader and campus tour guide. He served as President of his Pi Kappa Phi chapter for two terms before becoming Student Government President. Tragically, during his term, the campus suffered a shooting, but Crean provided a powerful voice of leadership through the incident and its aftermath. The first-generation college student graduated in May and has joined the Pi Kappa Phi international staff with a long-term goal of pursuing a career in higher education.
SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
As a scholar, Fred Dauphin is one of the few students in the country studying and contributing to the science of astrophysics. As Chapter President, he ushered in his Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter’s 100th year with a successful alumni and family gathering and a philanthropic effort that raised over $80,000 for a local children’s charity. As the captain of university track team, he broke records on the field and off the field led conversations on stress and time management, nutrition, alcohol, drug use and other health-related topics. His nominators are impressed by the ways he brings out the best in others around him: “Fred is an excellent example of a quiet leader who motivates from the behind the scenes. He is conscientious, strong-willed, resilient.”
ZETA BETA TAU, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
This “mature, dedicated and responsible“ Chapter and IFC President personally steered crucial change on one of the largest campuses in the country. As an interfraternal leader, Max Harberg organized the first official summer recruitment orientation for the fraternity community and authored an amendment of the IFC Constitution with stricter alcohol polices. He put his entertainment promotion and marketing major to good use when he implemented safety and risk prevention techniques over a major high-risk party weekend through charismatic, on-the-ground leadership – and even facilitated a serious philanthropic success in conjunction with the weekend, raising $120,000 for local Austin charities. “He reminds me how powerful the impact of one individual can be on an entire organization,” a nominator said. “He was not afraid to do the hard, yet right thing.”
SIGMA NU, SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
“Words cannot do his efforts justice,” nominators said of Justin Jacobs. “He’s widely respected for his work ethic and honesty.” The 2019 Sigma Nu Chapter President of the Year not only brings integrity and commitment to his role in his fraternity; he is deeply rooted in the Southeast Missouri State campus. He has leadership roles in student government, he advises the administration as a student advocate in several key areas, he received a prestigious international internship last summer and he embodies school spirit in his role as homecoming festivities chair. The accounting major with a 3.84 GPA has served the Interfraternity Council on committees and is a national student leader through the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute. “He is a truly exceptional student leader,” another nominator added. “He is a young man of rare ability and achievement.”
PI KAPPA PHI, PURDUE UNIVERSITY
Taking a rigorous course load in engineering at a nationally top-ranked program, Nathan Longo has been able to achieve a 4.0 GPA, maintain leadership positions in his chapter and nationally with Pi Kappa Phi, take on the role of IFC President for a large fraternity community, and still have time to be involved in other areas across campus. He seems to do all of this with a sense of ease, calm and professionalism rarely found in college students. One nominator from the Purdue staff said Nathan is among the best IFC officers he’s worked with: “I am most impressed with his ethical/moral compass and his ability to lead by example. He is certainly on my ‘Mount Rushmore’ of student leaders.”
SIGMA CHI, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
This IFC President stepped up to lead his community and council through a period of adversity when fraternity life faced strong opposition from others on campus. The servant leader used his skills to listen, cooperate, support and facilitate change in the aftermath of a major risk management issue, playing a key role in uniting all fraternity/sorority councils to present safer social event policies. “I deeply respect Jason Stone for the way he continually challenges himself to build bridges across difference and go above and beyond what others may expect of him,” his nominators said. He worked to bring about positive, consequential change through Chapter Treasurer and Vice President positions within Sigma Chi. The economics major graduated in May and plans to pursue a master’s degree.
DELTA SIGMA PHI, MIAMI UNIVERSITY
This IFC President steered the fraternity community through the backlash of a severe hazing incident and significant operational changes. Grant Zehnder shined through this major leadership challenge, providing stability and advocating for the community with grace and tact. “Grant has poured his heart and soul into the community for his entire collegiate career and especially in the last year” as IFC President, a nominator said. He has created programming to support and facilitated crucial conversations on alcohol, toxic masculinity and peer accountability, while working with other councils to establish mental health initiatives for Greek students. He is equally committed to academic success and mentoring younger students.