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RAIL recognizes outstanding student leaders

The Recognizing Achievement in Leadership (RAIL) Outstanding Student Leader of the Month Award recipients for the Fall 2007 semester are: Colleen Murray ’08 (September), Jim Donecker ’08 (October), Michelle Gannon ’08 (November), and Jessica Kim ’10 (December). These students have each contributed to the outstanding leadership of William and Mary students in significant ways.

Colleen Murray, September recipient, has worked with College Partnership for Kids since her freshman year; this is her third year as program director. In the words of her nominator, Jodi Fisler, “She always has a mature, calming presence, even in the most stressful situations. She leads by consistent example and encouragement, and she is not afraid to put forth her ideas for consideration by the group.”

October award recipient, Jim Donecker, serves as co-leader of the Student Organization for Medical Outreach and Sustainability (SOMOS). Donecker, who has been involved with SOMOS since its inception three years ago, recently spent six weeks in the Dominican Republic conducting research for the upcoming January trip. Whether conducting research, analyzing data, or helping to organize weekly seminars, Donecker’s nominator, David Aday, states, “Jim is not only the leader of the SOMOS project; he is its heart and soul.”

Michelle Gannon, November award recipient, has served as editor of the Colonial Echo, William and Mary’s yearbook, for three years. Rather than allow the yearbook to go unpublished for a year when a successor could not be found, Gannon rallied for another year as editor. Mark Constantine, Gannon’s nominator, has this to say about her, “You do it because you love your institution and because of your dedication to a product. That product is the compilation of memories, people, and events that affect many, many individuals.”

December recipient, Jessica Kim, is the Student Coordinator for the Campus Kitchens Project, a new campus organization. Having played an integral role in developing this organization, Kim’s dedication to hunger and homelessness has been evident through her hands-on approach to Campus Kitchens. As Lauren Grainger, Kim’s nominator, puts it, “Hunger and homelessness are issues that can often be overlooked in Williamsburg – Jessica’s organization not only serves people in need in our community, but also brings these issues close to home for William and Mary students.”

The Recognizing Achievement in Leadership (RAIL) Committee, established through the Office of Student Activities at the College of William and Mary, recognizes these student leaders for their contributions to student leadership and campus life at the College of William and Mary. We seek those students who add depth and breadth to the College. Thank you for your contributions!

Monthly nominations are solicited from faculty, staff and students. Further information about RAIL, the nomination process, and previous Outstanding Student Leader of the Month award recipients can be found on our website at:

RAIL committee members: Dexter Bush-Scott ’08, Ryan Eickel ’10, Samantha Fien-Helfman ’09, David Gordon ’09, Ross Grogg ’09, Jay Jones ’10, Graham Otton ’09, Austin Pryor ’08, Sarah Rojas ’10 and Laura Sauvain ’09
RAIL advisor: Nicole Losavio, EPPL Graduate Student ‘08

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