Oluwadamisi Atanda Named CUNY Student Leader of the Year

Queensborough student Oluwadamisi Atanda (Kay) received CUNY’s Student Leader of the Year Award during the 19th Annual Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Leadership Awards event, held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice on May 11. This is the inaugural presentation of the award to honor a student who has exhibited extraordinary service to the University and demonstrated exceptional academic achievement.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” said Kay with a winning smile. “I am also extremely grateful to my wonderful professors and mentors for their relentless drive to bring out the best in me and my fellow students.”

Kay, who was raised in Nigeria, enrolled in Queensborough’s Honors Program in the fall of 2010. In addition to being named to the Dean’s List and awarded a Merit Scholarship, Kay was selected as a Silver Scholar on Coca-Cola 2012’s Academic Team. He was also chosen to the Phi Theta Kappa, New York All-American, First Academic team for 2012. He served as President of the Student Government Association and is Vice Chair on CUNY’s University Student Senate. Kay has participated in several prestigious clubs on campus, including the Mock Trial Team and The Fed Challenge Team.

“Kay has been a tremendous asset to Queensborough and I have every confidence he will be successful in whatever path he chooses to follow,” said Ellen F. Hartigan, Vice President for Student Affairs, who nominated Kay for the award.

Each year The City University of New York honors its outstanding student leaders. The honorees comprise students from each of the CUNY colleges with a wide array of majors who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership on their campus and in their communities.

Kay was also one of two Queensborough students named to the 2012 Malave Leadership Academy. Leilani Blira-Koessler has twice received the distinctive honor. Leilani, who enrolled at Queensborough at 2008, has made the Dean’s List twice, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and was awarded a Merit Scholarship. Her additional accomplishments include serving as SGA President and Chairperson of the Student Senate.

Darline Bertil, a survivor of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, received the 2012 Michael Solomon Scholarship Award. The annual award recognizes a CUNY student who has overcome obstacles, including natural and man-made disasters, in order to pursue their higher education.