2022 Active Minds National Conference Award Winners

University of Wisconsin Whitewater Active Minds Logo

Chapter of the Year

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

This award recognizes an Active Minds chapter that sets itself apart as an invaluable asset to its campus.

Active Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has been working to deeply engrain mental health awareness, advocacy, and education into the fabric of their school community. They have successfully amplified the conversation around mental health with many programs and outreach events including a tabling event for mental health with lollipops called “Stigma Sucks!”, mental health jeopardy, guest speakers from CultureChange at their weekly meeting, and the creation of two TikToks: one that allows members share their favorite Active Minds memory, and another to highlight how suicide and mental health conditions affect all people. The chapter has partnered with many student-led, university, and community organizations to bring unique perspectives to their work and bring mental health education to communities where it may not exist. The chapter strives for creativity and accessibility in their programming and collaboration efforts which shines through in their astronomic growth over the past year.

Amna Mohammed Updated Headshot

Adam Carlson Student Leader of the Year

Amna Mohammed (St. Francis Xavier Secondary School)

This award is given to a student who made significant contributions to the Active Minds mission at their school.

Amna launched the Active Minds chapter at St. Francis Xavier amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Through her chapter, she has led efforts to advocate, educate, and support her peers, and help her teachers better understand students’ perspectives. This school year, Amna has created many opportunities for her members to engage with the chapter outside of meetings using a program she created called “Monthly Member Creations,” where members can contribute to the Active Minds Xavier community through social media.

Janie Egan Headshot

Chapter Advisor of the Year

Janie Egan (Temple University)

This award is given to an advisor of Active Minds chapters who provides clarity, support, and meaningful counsel to their chapter.

Janie has helped transform Active Minds at Temple University into a positive movement centered around mental wellness rather than mental illness, while also helping to cultivate the chapter’s goals to align with the purpose and mission of the National Active Minds movement. With Janie’s guidance, Temple’s chapter has become a recognized peer resource on campus. The Active Minds student leaders appreciate Janie for playing a pivotal role in their success and growth!

El Camino Real Charter High School Active Minds Logo

Award for Excellence in High School Mental Health Advocacy

El Camino Real Charter High School

The Award for Excellence in High Schools recognizes the innovative work chapters, students, and staff are undertaking to support the needs of high school students and lay the groundwork for a lifetime of mental health awareness.

From engaging in discussions about reducing stigma to campus-wide events, the Active Minds at El Camino Real Charter High School has worked hard to support students’ mental health through the 2021-2022 academic year. Through creative programs such as gratitude card writing, small group discussions about mental health, and campus-wide events, this chapter has responded to and supported students’ mental health both in-person and virtually over the past year in ways that were directly responsive to the needs of their peers. The chapter leaders at El Camino Real Charter High have laid the groundwork to create a long-lasting community of change that fosters a safer, healthier high school experience and will help cultivate the next generation of mental health leaders.

Colorado State University at Fort Collins Active Minds Logo

Pandemic Response

Colorado State University

This award is given to a chapter who has creatively mobilized around the pandemic and adjusted their advocacy to meet the needs of their community.

Active Minds at Colorado State University put in a lot of thought on how they could best be creative and engaging in the way they use the Zoom platform so that meetings still encouraged conversation and participation. They accomplished this by hosting creative online events, virtual mental health trainings, and socially-distanced positive messaging. One of their favorite events was a virtual Valentine’s Day Gram in which students could use an online form to write valentines to their loved ones that were then personally sent by members of their chapter. Over 350 valentines were sent this year. At a time when 900 students were not allowed to leave their rooms due to a mandatory lockdown, their Active Minds chapter drew uplifting messages such as “Thank you for keeping others safe,” and “We miss you,” on the sidewalks outside of the students’ windows. Students who were part of the quarantine said it was single-handedly the most supported they felt during that difficult time.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University Active Minds Logo

Peg’s Foundation Transformational Change Award

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

The Peg’s Foundation Transformational Change Award recognizes a chapter each year achieving lasting change through advocating for campus-wide policies and systems that improve, protect, and prioritize student mental health.

Active Minds at Southwestern Oklahoma State has worked hard to change the culture around mental health through campus-wide policy advocacy. Their chapter has advocated for several initiatives, including expanding funding for their Campus Counseling Center, integrating mental health resources into new staff and student orientations, and advocating for a more inclusive model of care.

Battlefield High School Active Minds Logo

Luke Beischel Chapter Jumpstart Scholarship

Battlefield High School

This scholarship, generously sponsored by Xavier University chapter alumnus Luke Beischel, will be awarded to a developing chapter that has shown excellent commitment to the Active Minds mission.

Since their launch in Fall 2021, Active Minds at Battlefield High School have hosted monthly V-A-R® trainings, integrated Active Minds into their first-year orientation, and created a robust Spirit Week program including Mindfulness Monday (wear blue to represent a calm mind and a soothing environment), Tie-Dye Tuesday (wear tie-dye to represent all the colors symbolizing many emotions and all of their values), Wear Green Wednesday (to represent mental health), Toasty Thursday (wear a sweater to represent warmth, safety, and comfort), and Get Up and Go Friday (wear pajamas to represent a comfortable environment going into the weekend).

Louisiana State University, Shreveport Active Minds Logo

Luke Beischel Chapter Jumpstart Scholarship

 Louisiana State University, Shreveport

This scholarship, generously sponsored by Xavier University chapter alumnus Luke Beischel, will be awarded to a developing chapter that has shown excellent commitment to the Active Minds mission.

Since launching in January 2021, Active Minds at Louisiana State University, Shreveport (LSU) have established “Mental Health Monthly Check-Ins” that involves a partnership between students and the counseling department where they check in with people around campus. They have also provided powerful V-A-R® trainings in honor of Suicide Prevention Month, incorporated Active Minds into Welcome Week, and organized a campus-wide mental health speaking event with a professional speaker.

Nathan Blanken Headshot

Sue Cimbricz Spirit Award

Nathan Blanken (University of Maryland, College Park)

 The Sue Cimbricz Spirit Award recognizes an outstanding member of the Active Minds Student Advisory Committee who embodies Sue’s spirit and passion for mental health.

As a dedicated chapter leader at the University of Maryland, College Park, and through his work on the Active Minds Student Advisory Committee, Nathan has been an invaluable contributor to the Active Minds movement. Throughout the last year, Nathan has reactivated his campus’ chapter of Active Minds (now serving as president) and quickly turned his chapter into a trusted partner for implementing national initiatives, program pilots, and partnerships on campus, such as hosting a V-A-R® tabling event that featured our national partner Kendra Scott and piloting a new curriculum associated with our immersive Behind the Backpacks experience. He advocated for mental health resources to be more widely available on campuses across the University System of Maryland. Nathan has demonstrated his commitment to the broader Active Minds movement by supporting his peers and supporting students across the country.