From the Manchester College Archives

News Release


MC honors outstanding

student leaders

       Two May grads have received Manchester College’s highest honor for student leaders, the Capstone Outstanding Senior Leadership Award:  Riyanka Subrahmanyam of Bahrain and Jessica Hicks of Wawaka, Ind.

        Ria Subrahmanyam, a psychology major and resident assistant, served “as a role model for everyone. Living so far away from home, she still did a great job,” said Garver Hall Director Bill Potter. Her activities ranged from A Cappella Choir; Psychological Society and Garver Hall Council to Manchester College International Association, and Faith, Sexuality and Gender.

        “I have worked to be a balanced, genuine, dynamic leader at Manchester College,”  said Ria, who sang with the choir at Carnegie Hall after graduation and now is off to Africa to do volunteer work in an orphanage. Afterward, she will hone her leadership skills as a hall director for  St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, and work on a master’s degree in organizational leadership.

        Jessica Hicks, a sociology major, “led with a quiet strength and was a very hard worker, always behind the scenes getting the job done,” said Student Activities Director Shanon Green.  Jessica was active in the Manchester Activities Council all four years, serving as vice president her senior year. Also her senior year, she was president of Facts 4 Life, Oakwood Hall desk assistant, Student Activities employee, and worked with Relay for Life, Hispanos Unidos and as a mentor to first-year students.

        “To know that I have helped MC students through all these organizations is a gift to me,” said Jessica, who hopes to work this summer for a social work or criminal justice organization before determining her master’s degree studies.

        Outstanding Student Leaders of the Year are junior social work major Tim Polakowski of Rockton, Ill., and sophomore physical education major Melanie DeGrandchamp of Fort Wayne.

        During his junior year, Tim was an officer for Student Government, Social Service Club, Manchester Activities Council and Habitat for Humanity. He was a member of Oakwood Hall Council, Relay for Life, Facts 4 Life, MARC, Hispanos Unidos and United Sexualities. He also was a tutor for the Indiana Reading Corps, resident assistant for Oakwood Hall and a Spanish lab assistant.

        Melanie was secretary of the MC chapter of the Student Education Association, captain of four intramural teams, a board member of Sports, Health and Physical Education Club, designed the intramural sports website, was intramural photographer, softball supervisor, helped with MC recruiting and volunteered with Indiana Reading Corps, Mothers of Preschoolers and Special Olympics.

       The Residence Hall Association is Organization of the Year and the International Buffet is Program of the Year. Member of the Year is 2007 grad Ashley Owens of Mentone, Ind., and Advisor of the Year is Dr. Benson Onyeji, associate professor of political science.

       For more about student development and student activities at Manchester College, visit

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