Campus News

Black Affairs Council named top student organization

UGA's Black Affairs Council. (Submitted photo)

The Student Engagement Awards celebrate the accomplishments of student leaders and student organizations at the University of Georgia

The Black Affairs Council was named “Organization of the Year” during the 22nd Annual H. Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Engagement Awards, given out March 28 at the Tate Student Center. The Student Engagement Awards celebrate the accomplishments of student leaders and student organizations at the University of Georgia.

The Black Affairs Council, a student organization advised out of Multicultural Services and Programs, serves to assist the university in meeting the needs of the Black student body. BAC’s mission is to preserve, enhance, examine and celebrate Black culture at the University of Georgia. Additionally, BAC encourages cultural diversity, articulates the concerns of Black students, and cultivates relationships with other student organizations and the Athens-Clarke County community.

BAC annually presents major events attended by hundreds of UGA students, including the Black Student Convocation, Café Soul, Unity Ball and BACyard Bash. This year, the group also hosted the Black Alumni Networking Event and produced the BUGA Bulletin on Instagram. BAC is committed to serving the UGA and Athens communities, participating in Dawg Day of Service, hosting a toy drive for the East Athens Community Center, and helping at Joy Village.

Calvin Rausch was named “Student Leader of the Year.” Rausch, a fourth-year international affairs and political science major with a minor in public administration and policy and two certificates in Nonprofit Management & Leadership and Global Studies, has served in numerous student leadership roles, including co-president of the Dean William Tate Society and within the Student Government Association as chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, executive director of student engagement, executive director of the Professional Clothing Closet, and the executive director of the Fresh Express Food Pantry. Under her leadership, the Professional Clothing Closet doubled the number of students served year over year, and she led the creation and growth of the Fresh Express Fresh Produce Food Pantry.

Other award categories and their recipients are as follows:

  • Outstanding Service to the Community: Hearts for the Homeless Athens
  • Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging: CommunicAID+Nation
  • Outstanding Organizational Collaboration: Entertainment Media Industries Club and the University Union Student Programming Board for co-hosting the Blacklight Student Film Festival
  • Commitment to Peer Mentorship: Jayden Braxton of the Mary Frances Early College of Education Student Ambassadors
  • Candice Sherman Emerging LeaderTJ Stephens of Esports at UGA
  • Advisor of the Year: Lindsey Welch, advisor for the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists
  • Outstanding New Student Organization: Ethiopian/Eritrean Student Association
  • Outstanding Membership Engagement: Student Alumni Council
  • Excellence in Marketing and Communication: Homecoming Committee for their “Decade of Dawgs” initiative
  • Most Innovative Initiative: Panhellenic Council for its “Body Talks” program
  • Outstanding Campus Event: Asian American Student Association for their APIDA Night Market

In addition to the awards, Pandora Yearbook named its annual “Outstanding Senior Leaders:”

  • Sarah Burnett
  • Sudhan Chitgopkar
  • Jeremiah de Sesto
  • Sebastian Herrera
  • Bryson Henriott
  • Kate Lindgren
  • Mason McClintock
  • Anna E. Mercer
  • Claire Myers
  • Calvin Rausch

This year, more than 170 nominations were judged by a panel of faculty and staff members. There are currently more than 850 registered student organizations on campus.

The awards are sponsored by Engagement, Leadership, and Service, a department within UGA Student Affairs. For more information, see