Three Students Honored with Oakland University Awards

Oakland University (OU) Recognizes Three Students for Distinguishing Themselves as Outstanding Scholars and Leaders on Campus and in the Community

The Alfred G. Wilson and Matilda R. Wilson awards – the most prestigious honors the university presents to students – have recognized OU’s top male and female scholars and leaders since 1965. The awards commemorate the Wilson family, whose generous donation of land and financial resources helped establish the university in 1957.

The Human Relations Award recognizes a student who has made a valuable social impact within the university community. A committee that reviews nominations from faculty, staff and students selects award recipients. Recommended candidates are ultimately approved as honorees by the vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer, and the president.

Alfred G. Wilson Award – Christopher Russell

Christopher Russell

Christopher Russell

Throughout his time at OU, Christopher Russell demonstrated academic excellence combined with a passion for serving others. He was president of the Student Program Board, student liaison to the Board of Trustees, executive director of the Student Activity Fund Assessment Committee and a member of the executive board of the Student Life Lecture Board.

Russell has volunteered with community nonprofits, including the Older Persons’ Commission (OPC) and the Rainbow Connection in downtown Rochester. He worked with the OPC to develop a Commodity Foods Program, which provides care packages to feed the hungry. With the Rainbow Connection, he helped raise money and volunteered at events to support the organization’s mission of fulfilling wishes of terminally ill children.

A marketing major, Russell also excelled academically, earning many scholarships and serving as an ambassador for OU’s Honors College, of which he was a member. He actively supported “Strive for 45” an OU-led advocacy campaign in support of a more equitable state funding model for public universities in Michigan.

In addition, he was one of a select group of students in the School of Business Administration to serve as a portfolio manager for OU’s Student Managed Investment Fund, a $2 million portfolio donated by the Kresge Foundation.

With a 3.93 GPA, Russell was also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the Alpha Mu Alpha Marketing Honor Society and the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. He will attend Notre Dame Law School this fall.

Matilda R. Wilson Award – Camila Joy Ramos

Camila Joy Ramos

Camila Joy Ramos

The biomedical sciences major served as social coordinator, vice president and president of OU’s Pre-Medical Society. The organization helps students build the skills and knowledge necessary to gain entry into medical school and become exceptional physicians by providing a range of opportunities and support in academics, volunteering and preparatory material. She also worked as a Human Anatomy Lab Teaching Assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences. An aspiring physician, Camila Joy Ramos will attend Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine this fall. Her undergraduate years were filled with experiences that prepared her for the next steps of her educational journey.

In her role as a STEM Outreach Instructor at OU, Ramos collaborated with engineering and non-STEM college students to create a program that introduces STEM subjects to children in grades 3-12 from surrounding communities, including Pontiac and Detroit. She also worked as a medical scribe in the Emergency Department of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland and volunteered in the hospital’s pediatric unit, providing comfort to children and their families.

As a volunteer at FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation in Birmingham, Ramos provided dance movement therapy to adults and children with disabilities.

She was also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and was awarded numerous scholarships, including the Honors College Merit Scholarship, Distinguished Scholar Scholarship and the Dr. Nasir Haque Endowment Scholarship.

Human Relations Award – Eric Henckel

Eric Henckel

Eric Henckel

As head philanthropy liaison on OU’s Student Philanthropy Committee, Henckel helped launch “Aspire. Advance. Achieve.,” Oakland’s comprehensive campaign to raise funds for student success, teaching, research and discovery, community collaboration, campus expansion and innovative programs.Eric Henckel has made a positive social impact through leadership roles in a variety of student organizations and campus offices. He served as secretary and co-founder of the OU College Democrats, providing a forum for all students to learn about politics, debate issues, meet political leaders, and make new friends and connections.

He also served as vice president and events coordinator for OU’s Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, whose members help build affordable housing in Michigan and around the world. The organization also helped spearhead Grizzlies Healing Hunger, a campus food-packaging event, which provided approximately 24,000 meals for Flint residents over a two-year period.

Henckel’s other roles include serving as a Housing Ambassador, OU Student Congress Legislator, CMI Peer Mentor, International Allies Organization Peer Mentor, Academic Peer Mentor, Orientation Group Leader, Resident Assistant and Admissions Ambassador. He also was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha National Honors Society, National Residence Halls Honorary and the OU Residence Life Association.

Beyond OU’s campus, Henckel was an inaugural member of the City of Rochester Hills’ Pathway to Public Service Program, which connects millennials and Generation Z members to careers in local government. He graduated in August 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

To learn more about the Wilson and Human Relations Awards at Oakland University, visit the website.

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