Student Affairs

Student Affairs honors several outstanding students at spring awards program


The Division of Student Affairs presented its annual student awards on Thursday during a divisionwide celebration. Following breakfast, staff heard a comprehensive update on the University from President Jim Clements before honoring several undergraduate and graduate students with awards.

“It is always a privilege when we are able to recognize the hard work and commitment of our students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Chris Miller. “These leaders have gone above and beyond and made positive contributions to Clemson University’s goal of delivering the No. 1 student experience.”

The Almeda R. Jacks Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award is presented in honor of Clemson’s former vice president for Student Affairs. It is given to the best “all around” junior or senior with a minimum GPA of 3.0 who upholds Clemson’s core values, maintains high scholarly achievement and demonstrates a cross section of involvement.

This year’s Almeda R. Jacks Award recipient is Matthew Murdaugh.

Murdaugh has been a student employee with Campus Recreation since January 2022, serving as an operations assistant, operations manager and recreation supervisor. As recreation supervisor, he helps oversee the Swann Fitness Center at Fike. As operations manager, he assists with scheduling, training and developing student assistants.

Christopher Davis

The R.C. Edwards Outstanding Graduate Student Award is presented in memory of the longtime president best known for leading Clemson from an all-male military college to a major coeducational and integrated university. It is given to the best “all around” graduate student with a minimum 3.25 GPA who exhibits a high level of support for the mission, vision and goals of his/her department while going above and beyond expected duties.

This year’s R.C. Edwards Award co-recipients are Christopher Davis and Robert O’Hara.

Robert O’Hara

Davis served as a graduate assistant with the Office of Community and Ethical Standards (OCES) while pursuing a master’s degree in counselor education, with a focus in student affairs. He also served as an intern in the Office of Undergraduate Studies in the summer of 2022. Davis will move into a full-time role with OCES this summer.

O’Hara recently completed two terms as president of Graduate Student Government. He oversaw the formation of Justice for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, a new committee. O’Hara also served as a graduate teaching assistant in the learning sciences department.

Lia Fiore

The Walter T. Cox Graduate Student Award is presented in memory of the 10th university president and longtime vice president for Student Affairs. It is given to a first-year graduate student employed by the Division of Student Affairs. The recipient shows excellence as a contributing member of the Clemson community through their leadership, support of the holistic academic experience and commitment to diversity and acceptance.

This year’s Walter T. Cox Award recipient is Lia Fiore.

Bella Huston

A graduate assistant with the Michelin Career Center, Fiore has co-supervised the career ambassador program, where her primary responsibility is mentoring undergraduate peer advisors. Fiore also serves as a Graduate Student Government senator and is president-elect of Chi Sigma Alpha Honor Society. She is a first-year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in counselor education, with a focus in student affairs.

The Rising Star Award is presented to a first- or second-year student who is currently involved in leadership or service activities and is actively pursuing future leadership roles at Clemson.

This year’s Rising Star Award recipient is Bella Huston.

Micah Jordan

Huston has been employed with Campus Recreation throughout the 2022-23 academic year. She entered as an operations assistant and recently assumed a promotion to recreation supervisor. Outside of Campus Rec, Huston is a member of Eta Sigma Gamma, Women’s Weightlifting Club, Clemson Bodybuilding Club and the Pre-Physical Therapy Club.

The Matt Locke Leadership Award is presented to a student who demonstrates outstanding leadership with regard to service and devotion to humankind and Clemson University.

This year’s Rising Star Award recipient is Micah Jordan.

Jordan is a bioengineering major who recently earned the C. William Hall Undergraduate Department Honors Award. He is a Dixon Policy Global Scholar and member of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. He has also served as a resident assistant with Clemson Home.

Four students received the Frank A. Burtner Scholarship. The scholarship is presented to rising juniors and seniors who display exemplary leadership qualities and outstanding academic records. This year’s scholarship recipients are Chisom Emetu (microbiology), Allison Jennings (English), Laura Lothridge (horticulture) and Ruxi Xia (biochemistry).