The Ebony Excellence Awards Ceremony is an annual awards program that recognizes individuals, groups, and programs for their labor and contributions to transforming Black student life at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the local community.

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Spring 2024 Ceremony

  • Date: Thursday, April 18th 2024
  • Time: 4:30-6:30 pm
  • Location: Spurlock Museum
  • Theme: Blackout sneaker ball, semiformal dress with sneakers

RSVP and Nominations are due by March 24, 2024.

Award Categories:


Community Activism Award: This award recognizes a Champaign Urbana Community member who has demonstrated a commitment to service, liberation and social justice through an intersectional, inclusive and community centered lens. 


Emerging Student Leader: This award is awarded to a new student leader ( first-year student, transfer student, or a student who has never had any prior involvement until this academic year) who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and shows potential for future leadership.


Faculty Member of the Year: This award recognizes an Illinois faculty member (professor) in any department that furthers its student's interests in learning and opportunities through culturally relevant pedagogies and by fostering a culture of care. 


Graduate Student of the Year: This award recognizes an exemplary graduate student for their character, service, outstanding contributions to their field of study, and academic achievements. 


Graduating Student of the Year (3):  This award recognizes 3 outstanding graduating students who have made a lasting impact in their field of study, on campus and/or in the community. One undergraduate student, one master’s level student and one doctoral or professional degree student who is graduating in 2021 will be awarded. 


Most Engaged Alum: This award is awarded to an alum that has been actively involved in the campus community by helping to support the development of current students. 


Most Impactful Mentor: This award recognizes an Illinois staff member, faculty member or student for their role in supporting, encouraging, and advocating for a student or group of students in the contexts of the students’ interests, passions, and academics.


Outstanding Leadership in an RSO: This award recognizes an Illinois RSO general or executive board member that leads, motivates, and inspires its members to be better and do better as individuals and as an organization. 


Staff Member of the Year: This award is given to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty within their specific job duties and who has an unmatched commitment to students and their holistic wellbeing. 


Student Organization of the Year (1):  This award is presented to exceptional RSOs for their contributions to the campus community.  The recipients of this award have made a significant impact on the university’s culture, as well as BNAACC through their activities which reflect their missions.  


Program of the Year (1): This award is presented to a student organization’s program that excelled in the planning and implementation of an event that supports the growth of black student experience on campus through service, education or entertainment. 


Past Winners

Community Activism Award: Abigail Aderinto(2023), Stephanie Stewart-Cockrell (2022), Keyana Diaz (2021),

Emerging Student Leader: Triniti Nelson(2023) Jadah Gibson (2022), Kennedy K. Campbell (2021)

Faculty Member of the Year: Jessica Ballard (2023), Karen Flynn PhD (2022), Eboni M Zamani-Gallaher(2021)

Graduate Student of the Year: Dante Satudamire(2023), Candace Livingston (2022), Nimot Ogunfeni(2021)

Graduating Student of the Year (3):  Zainab Umardeen, Kyra Robinson, Robert Walker, Drake Materre (2023), Sierra Fitzpatrick-Skinner, Kitan Akinosho, Kayla Brothers (2022), Dr.Anthony B SUllers Jr(2021)

Most Engaged Alum: Allen Bryson(2023), Pamela Greer(2022), Derrius Carter MPH (2021),

Most Impactful Mentor: Shawn Hampton(2023). Desiree McMillion PhD (2022),

Outstanding Leadership in an RSO: Thomas Sanders(2023), Bria Thurman (2022), Teara Morrow (2021)

Staff Member of the Year: Jazmyne Kellogg (2022), CARRIE Anderson (2021),

Student Organization of the year (1):  The Kat Walk (2023), Black Business Network (2022)

Intern of the year: Patrick Ben & Lauren Purchase (2023), Trinity Rosa (2022), Tyler Roberson(2021)