Campus News

First Book UGA receives top student organization award

SOAR Awards 2017-h
The Student Organization Achievement and Recognition Awards celebrate the accomplishments of student organizations at the University of Georgia.

Athens, Ga – First Book UGA was named “Organization of the Year” during the 16th Annual H. Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Organization Achievement and Recognition Awards, given out April 6 at the Tate Student Center. The SOAR Awards celebrate the accomplishments of student organizations at the University of Georgia.

From collecting more than 1,500 books through book drives to hosting trivia nights, First Book’s goal is to close the literacy gap faced by low-income students in Athens. The organization tripled its membership roster this academic year and spent hours volunteering with local schools where they are developing long-lasting mentorship relationships.

This year, First Book also implemented its Sustainability Grant proposals for the Downtown Academy in partnership with ASHA for Education. They have received full funding to purchase software that will allow the Downtown Academy to create a fully functioning library to keep track of their books and to provide ease of access to children.

Other award categories and their recipients are as follows:

  • Adviser of the Year: Julie Evans, Special Olympics
  • Bulldog Vision: Executive Board of Women in Science
  • Candice Sherman Emerging Leader: Dhairya Shukla, American Mock World Health Organization
  • Commitment to Social Justice: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Large Event: Indian Cultural Exchange for India Night
  • Small Event: Journal of Language and Literacy Education for “Out of the Box and Into the Margins” Conference
  • Most Innovative Program: Journal of Language and Literacy Education
  • Outstanding New Organization: Black Ostentatious Lawless Daedal (BOLD) Modeling Agency
  • Organizational Collaboration: Amnesty International at UGA and Students for Justice in Palestine at UGA
  • Organizational Improvement: Relay for Life at UGA
  • Pillar of the Community: Briana Clark
  • Outstanding Service to the Community, Large Organization: Food2Kids
  • Outstanding Service to the Community, Small Organization: Designated Dawgs
  • Outstanding Cross-Cultural Program: Student Government Association

This year, 178 nominations were submitted for the 15 award categories. A panel of 54 faculty and staff members judged the nominations.

There are currently 789 registered student organizations on campus.

The awards are sponsored by the Center for Student Activities and Involvement within the Tate Student Center. For more information, see

Tate Student Center is a unit within UGA’s Division of Student Affairs.

UGA Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs comprises 18 campus departments that enhance the learning environment for students at the University of Georgia by stimulating the learning process, integrating the in-class and out-of-class experiences, promoting an environment conducive to growth and discovery and facilitating intellectual, spiritual, social, occupational, physical, cultural and emotional development. For more information, see