Aaron O. Hoff Awards 2021: Highest Honors recipients speak on their impact

The annual Hoff Awards recognize extraordinary students, faculty members and student organizations on campus. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette Communications)

The annual Hoff Awards recognize extraordinary students, faculty members and student organizations on campus. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette Communications)

Last Monday, the Division of Campus life honored twenty-three students, faculty members and student organizations at the annual Hoff Awards. The ceremony, held in honor of Aaron O. Hoff, the first African-American student at Lafayette, recognizes their leadership, dedication and contributions to the College.

Jeremiah Alterman ’23, Emily Ross ’22 and Fatimata Cham ’23 received the Emerging Leader Awards this year. The Emerging Leader Award honors students who have made impressive strides towards implementing change on campus. 

Cham, a rising junior, reflected on her leadership thus far at Lafayette and how they contributed to her award. 

I definitely think that the things I’ve been able to do on campus with my club Girl Up Lafayette, my work in student government along with Dear Lafayette has played a large role in being the recipient of this award. I’ve been able to find these welcoming and beautiful student-led communities and grow in my activism,” Cham said.

Cham is a first-generation college student from the South Bronx who has worked to create a safer, more inclusive campus. Through her work outside of Lafayette as a Generation Green Fellow, she has also been able to combat issues including environmental racism both at home and on campus, as well as many other issues that she is passionate about. 

“To be recognized for my leadership potential and the change that I’ve been able to be a part of on campus means a lot,” reflected Cham. 

“My work with Dear Lafayette and all the amazing members we have and our common mission towards creating a welcoming space to BIPOC students is something I plan to continue to work on. Although this is an award for individual merit, it is truly the people and ideas I work with every day that push me to become an emerging leader on this campus,” Cham said with regards to her next two years at Lafayette. 

Lulu Kirtchuk ’21 received the Marquis Individual Reward, an honor given to seniors who have displayed exemplary leadership throughout their time at Lafayette.

Kirtchuk, who is involved with multiple organizations on campus but focuses her time specifically on leading the McKelvy Scholars Program and the new women and non-binary centered Sheesh organization, said she was “shocked” to learn that she received this award. 

“I really wanted something to show my parents, I think they work really hard for me to get where I am. I really just did it for them,” Kirtchuk said.

Kirtchuk attributes the reward to her work on campus and noted that it is never too late for students to get involved on College Hill. 

“I spent three years not getting any awards, just analyzing and learning and experiencing. And I put that three years of experience [in my senior year]. That’s why I was able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time,” she said.  

Nathan Kornfeind ’23 contributed reporting.


Change Agents

1974 Award

Kelsey Moum ’21

The World Citizen Award

Yazdan Basir ’23

Mattachine Award

Caitlyn Dempsey ’22

Robert I. Weiner Interfaith Award

Morgan Limmer ’21

Frances Ocansey-Ahene Spirit of Multiculturalism Award

Milena Berestko ’22

Big 8 Program of the Year Award

Disabilities Awareness Week (Beth Anne Castellano ’22, Alison Maxwell ’22, Allie Bindler ’21)

Program of the Year Award

Winternational Orientation (ISA)

Community Builders

Student Organization of the Year 

Engineers Without Borders

International Students Association

Commitment to Service Award

LafKid Connect

Service Above Self Award

Nicole Segalini ’21

Residential Spirit Award

Andrew Bachman ’21


Superior Teaching Award – Sciences and Engineering

Joshua Smith

Superior Teaching Award – Humanities and Social Sciences 

Dana Cuomo

John T. McCartney Excellence in Diversity Education Award

Angela Bell

Administrator of the Year Award

Janine Block

Staff Member of the Year Award

Alana Danois

Mike Conover

Unsung Hero Award

Sumini Siyambalapitiya ’21

Hoff Awards Highest Honors

Emerging Leader Award

Jeremiah Alterman ’23

Emily Ross ’22

Fatimata Cham ’23

Marquis Award for an Individual

Alexandra “Lulu” Kirtchuk ’21