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Leadership Awards

John Muir College honors select student leaders annually with an assortment of leadership awards at an annual leadership regconition celebration.  Learn more about the awards below!

Chips Dreilinger "Independent Spirit" Award

Chips Dreilinger served as Muir College’s Dean of Students for 23 years. He embodied Muir’s “Independent Spirit”. Chips was firm in his core principle of Muir & student centric, however this took shape such as jumping out of a cake, wearing t-shirts and shorts to work every day, regardless of important meetings and sporting a beard that rivaled John Muir’s. Chips was without fail committed to the life of students at John Muir College and it is in this spirit this award is presented each year to a student who is involved in a variety of leadership and involvement roles during their tenure

  • 2022 - Jay Wilson
  • 2021 - Eleanor Grudin
  • 2020 - Jennell Encizo
  • 2019 - Patricia Vasquez Cabrera
  • 2018 - Isaac Raymundo
  • 2017 - Shady Soliman
  • 2016 - Robert Wood
  • 2015 - Rebecca Rangel
  • 2014 - Lauren Han, Helen Ly
  • 2013 - Mikayla Garvin
  • 2012 - Jessie Rosales

John L Stewart "Leadership in the Arts" Award

This award is given in the spirit of John Stewart who was the founding provost of Muir College. Highly innovative and creative, John Stewart came from Dartmouth and was given the task of building 2nd college and to also initiate the “arts” programs at UCSD: Theatre, VA and Music. He was in short, a renaissance man. This award is bestowed on a student who has excelled in one of these disciplines and in so doing contributed in meaningful ways to the Muir community.      

  • 2022 - Jade Coniglio
  • 2021 - Ivy Penn
  • 2020 - Desiree Leonard
  • 2019 - Alma Trinidad Javier
  • 2018 - Rita Navarro & Jonathan Ang
  • 2017 - Emily Tao
  • 2016 - Nathan Harper
  • 2014 - Jordan Solorio
  • 2013 - Brain Damp

Patrick J Ledden "Affirmation of Diversity" Award

Dr. Patrick J Ledden was a strong advocate of the importance of exploring and celebrating the richness of cultural diversity within our society. During his time as Provost Dr. Ledden encouraged the creation of Muir’s “Affirmation of Diversity” by the Muir students and staff.The institution of a Muir graduation requirement that asks every Muir student to take at least one course that explores the topic a diversity within the United States.The development of a Cultural Diversity activity participated in during Orientation which became an essential bonding component of OL training and an integral part of the Freshman Orientation Program.The “Provost Reading List” which offered students the opportunity to discuss relevant books in small groups while being hosted for lunch by the Provost in the Faculty Club. I hear that most students earned dessert! Dr. Ledden loved these interactions.To continue to expand on these wonderful traditions and to honor Dr. Ledden’s commitment to diversity, Muir established the PJL Diversity Award in his honor.   

  • 2022 - Fascio Vallente, Wyndi Valencia
  • 2021 - David Nuñez
  • 2020 - Gavin Granitto
  • 2019 - Miguel Ángel Tapia Trujillo
  • 2018 - Sima Navid
  • 2017 - Gabriel Schneider
  • 2016 - Kathleen Mitchell
  • 2015 - Ted Del Rosario
  • 2013 - Andrew Heald, Priya Chakrabarti
  • 2012 - Elizabeth Garcia

Patricia Mahaffey "Green" Award

Patricia “Patty” Mahaffey served as the Dean of Student Affairs for 14 years. As Dean, she was an advocate for students, the college, and John Muir’s environmental spirit, advising the Muir Environmental Corps.She is currently serving as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life for UC San Diego.This award is given in the spirit of Muir College’s and Patty’s commitment to sustainability and preserving wild places. The recipient of this award has had to demonstrate through their own actions and involvement individually, at the college and campus-wide a dedication to the environment and the preservation of sustainability.     

  • 2022 - Anna Mothersole
  • 2021 - Jade Coniglio
  • 2020 - Roxanna Maltavo
  • 2019 - Bethany Shimasaki
  • 2018 - Kylie Etter
  • 2016 - Joyce Smith
  • 2015 - Estelita Lejia
  • 2014 - Andrew Buselt
  • 2013 - Devin Ratelle

Susan L Smith "Community Spaces" Award

Dr. Susan Smith's tenure as Provost of John Muir College saw the construction of the Tamarack Apartments, the first construction in Muir College since the early 1970s; the establishment of the Muir College Environmental Fellows Awards that honot selected UC San Diego faculty, staff, and alum whose work has contributed significantly to the cause of sustainability and environmental preservation; and the establishment of the Stewart Society, Muir's senior honors society that recognizes the academic achievements of Muir College students who come to UC San Diego as transfer students.  She was also integral in the planning and renovation process of the Muir College Center into a more vibrant community space.

The recipient of this award demonstrates, through their actions and involvement, efforts towards the enhancement of community & physical spaces and the positive development of the social environment of Muir College     

  • 2022 - Sabrina Major
  • 2021 - Vanessa Morales Soto
  • 2020 - Haana Leung & Aleksander Antic
  • 2019 - Alexandra Harbert
  • 2018 - Wendy Rodriguez
  • 2017 - Tahiez Toro
  • 2016 - Alona Jackson
  • 2014 - Shannon Colin
  • 2013 - Mario Gumina

Pat Danylyshyn-Adams "Residential Life" Award

The Residential Life Legacy award is for a residential Student Leader/House Advisor/Intern who exemplifies the strong work ethic and dedication to the Muir Residential Life Community. Serving JMC for 43 years, Dr. Danylyshyn-Adams’s passion and commitment fostered a community steeped in tradition at John Muir College. This award recognizes an individual that goes above-and-beyond to contribute to their college community and to promote the a positive residential experience. Overall, this individual takes pride in fostering the next generation of leaders; lasting contributions impacting the Muir College community for years to come.  The Legacy Award will be awarded to a person who’s dedication to residence life, encompasses equity, diversity, and inclusion, giving their all to fellow students and keeping Pat D-A’s Legacy alive.

  • 2022 - Jill Thomas
  • 2021 - Gabriella Bulacan

UC San Diego Alumni Award for Muir College

Each year the UCSD Alumni Association seeks nominations from the college and recognizes one Outstanding Senior from each undergraduate college. The recipient of this award must have excelled academically as well contributed meaningfully to campus life.      

  • 2022 - Harper Estus
  • 2021 - Xavier Perez
  • 2020 - Catherine Mullenmeister
  • 2019 - Kyler Vaughn
  • 2018 - Gabriel Schneider
  • 2017 - Maryam Sonboli
  • 2016 - Kelsey Chittum
  • 2015 - Pritha Multani
  • 2014 - Phoebe Beall
  • 2013 - Anisha Mocheria
  • 2012 - Gerrit Granado

Oceanids Award for Service to Community

The Oceanids Award is among the longest standing awards given at the college. The award is given in recognition for outstanding service and leadership to the college and campus community.    

  • 2022 - Luzia Ceballos-Mendoza
  • 2021 - Harper Estes
  • 2020 - Eleanor Grudin
  • 2019 - Andrew Auh
  • 2018 - Kyler Vaughn
  • 2017 - Henry Cauffman
  • 2016 - Cathy Looc
  • 2015 - Jessy Nguyen
  • 2014 - Jeannie Arciaga
  • 2013 - Elizabeth Garcia
  • 2012 - Robyn Sablove

People's Choice Award for Outstanding Senior

Created by Muir College Council, the People's Choice Award is nominated and voted on by the students of Muir College in recognition of a Graduating Senior having made a significant impact of the student experience at Muir College.


  • 2022 - Daniel Cuyate-Palomino
  • 2021 - Cynthia Gutierrez
  • 2020 - Hashem Asfour
  • 2019 - Sima Navid
  • 2018 - Lesly Figueroa
  • 2017 - Doris Stumps
  • 2016 - Yaamini Venkataraman
  • 2015 - Karina Demirchyan
  • 2013 - Lisa Le
  • 2014 - Jenny Kingston
  • 2012 - Mikayla Garvin

College Leadership Award

The Muir College Leadership Awards are given each year to students who have dedicated themselves continually to bettering the Muir College Community, througha variety of opprtunities like college organizations, residential life, or academic advising. These individuals have stayed involved throughout their tenure, finding ways to make a positive impact in the community.


  • 2022 - Sasami Scott, Amanda Mark, Olivia Michael, Camryn Halfpenny, Veronica Amaya, Clara Schoenbeck, Xally Alvarez
  • 2021 - Alex Badawi-Mieszkowski, Daisy Gonzalez, Emily Lazcano, Eric Ron, Mitchell Gonzales
  • 2020 - Kaylee Lee, Nicole Sowers, Kavonna Holloway, Meagan Montalto, Daniel Rivera, Andrew Auh
  • 2019 - Henri Skinner, Shantel Leyva, Matthew Lin, Brayan Campos
  • 2018 - Taylor Raymundo, Divya Raman, Sarah Lim, Uma Mahto, Shay Ross
  • 2017 - Ricky Flahive, Amanda Dieterle, Brianne Logasa, Cathy Looc, Brian Hanst
  • 2016 - Aleesha Anderson, Jessie Gois, Jessy Nguyen, Paul Jimenez, Diana Nguyen, Tavish Grade
  • 2015 - Ariana Johnson, Kristy Figueora, Alicia Rios, Joey Atangan
  • 2014 - Anita de la Porte des Vaux, Sean Gomez, Kit Wong, Kirsten Van Langerhoven
  • 2013 - Kiley Buffington, Mai Kee, Ivan Gonzalez
  • 2012 - Louis Lou, Meng Lee, Lauren Lagano, Martin Kwok, Neftali Valle

Emerging Leader Award

This award is given each year to a new student (freshmen or transfer) who has demonstrated strong leadership skills combined with an intentional willingness to be involved with and enhance the Muir Community.


  • 2022 - Nickolet Smiggs
  • 2021 - Sarahy Martinez
  • 2020 - Jina Lee
  • 2019 - Harper Estus
  • 2018 - Eleanor Gruden
  • 2017 - Albert Nencioni
  • 2015 - Christine Kim

Student Organization/Committee of the Year Award

This award is given to an organization that has self-nominated or been nominated for their outstanding contributions to the Muir Community through lasting and sustaining efforts.


  • 2022 - Tribe of Muir Transfers
  • 2021 - Muir Residents' Council
  • 2020 - Gourmet Muir
  • 2019 - Muir College Commuter Council (M3C)
  • 2018 - Muir College Commuter Council (M3C)
  • 2017 - Muir Unplugged
  • 2016 - Muir Volunteer Program
  • 2015 - Muir Volunteer Program