Students recognized with Stanford Alumni Association awards

Three Stanford students are the recipients of the Outstanding Achievement and Sterling awards, presented each year by the Stanford Alumni Association.

Three Stanford seniors are the recipients of awards that recognize their exceptional leadership and service to the Stanford community.

Coterminal student Will Paisley, ’20, is a recipient of the Sterling Award. (Image credit: Courtesy Will Paisley)

One senior has received the Sterling Award, and two seniors have received the Outstanding Achievement Award. Both awards are presented annually by the Stanford Alumni Association (SAA).

Coterminal student Will Paisley is the recipient of the Sterling Award. Named for former Stanford President J. E. Wallace Sterling, the award is given annually to a graduating senior who demonstrates outstanding leadership and impact in volunteering activities.

Paisley is double majoring in sociology and Native American studies and minoring in Spanish. He is concurrently pursuing a master’s degree in education through the Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies program. Paisley is from Lake Tapps, Washington, and is Native American Two-Spirit; his maternal tribe is Navajo and his paternal tribe is Blackfeet. At Stanford, he has been an active member of the Native American Cultural Center, where he has helped organize and lead numerous events, including the Project 562 exhibition, Indigenous artist curation through Stanford Live and the popular springtime Stanford Powwow.

According to the SAA, Paisley has demonstrated a deep investment in inclusivity and acceptance of people from all backgrounds through his work on campus. He is a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity and has served as its recruitment chair. He was also a staff member at Enchanted Broccoli Forest, where he worked to make space for Indigenous voices and served as the director of Stanford Student Enterprises Cardinal Group, which provides financial and asset management services to student organizations.

“I owe all of my accomplishments at Stanford to my family, friends, and communities,” Paisley said. “The joy I have found in service to Stanford’s student body and larger community is incomparable, and I could not be more elated to continue my work as a graduate student. Thank you to the Alumni Association for this award and to everyone who has helped me flourish into the individual I am today. Ahéhee’.”

Courtney Cooperman, ’20, is a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award. (Image credit: Josh Cobler)

Courtney Cooperman of Short Hills, New Jersey, is one of two recipients of this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award, given to students who demonstrate exceptional leadership and impact in volunteer work at Stanford.

A political science major, Cooperman has been involved with the Haas Center for Public Service, where she has served as an Alternative Spring Break leader, frosh service liaison and member of its National Advisory Board for two years. Cooperman also has been involved with Hillel and served as co-president of the Jewish Student Association.

Cooperman’s service work includes volunteering with the Heart and Home Collaborative, a nonprofit organization serving women experiencing homelessness in Palo Alto, and with Stanford Votes, a student-led organization that encourages Stanford students to exercise their constitutional right to vote. An accomplished writer, Cooperman has also published opinions columns in the Stanford Daily.

“I feel so fortunate that my Stanford experience allowed me to channel my passion for service into community leadership – especially within the Jewish community and through various Haas Center initiatives – and to instill in others the same commitment to justice that made my undergraduate career so meaningful,” Cooperman said. “I’m incredibly grateful to the friends and mentors who gave me the confidence to take on leadership roles, served as models of thoughtful engagement and supported me in every endeavor.”

Sheck Mulbah, ’20, is a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award. (Image credit: Courtesy Sheck Mulbah)

Sheck Mulbah is also a recipient of this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Born in Liberia and raised in Harlem, New York, he is majoring in political science and minoring in African and African American Studies.

Mulbah was recognized for his work with Stanford’s (FLI) (first-generation and/or low-income) community. He has served as the undergraduate student coordinator for the FLI Mentorship Program, which is led by the FLI Office, and also worked as an FLI student orientation leader for incoming first-year students. As a first-year student, he was involved with the Leland Scholars Program, a summer bridge program meant to ease the matriculation process for FLI students. Mulbah also served as the co-chair of the Black Student Union’s Black & FLI Committee. He said he is determined to continue uplifting FLI voices at Stanford.

Mulbah has also made contributions to Stanford’s Black community, serving as a board member for the Black Men’s Forum, financial manager for the Black Family Gathering Committee and as a resident assistant at Ujamaa.

As president of the Nu Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mulbah facilitated community service projects such as building low-income housing with Habitat for Humanity. Mulbah also served as president of the African-American Fraternal & Sororal Association, which is the governing body of the historically Black Greek letter organizations at Stanford.

In addition to these awards, the Stanford Alumni Association has presented the Award of Excellence to the top 10 percent of graduating seniors for their commitment to the university through involvement, leadership and extraordinary Stanford spirit. See the full list of recipients.

The Association has also presented the Community Impact Award to 63 graduate students who have enhanced the Stanford community with their exemplary leadership through a student organization, creation of an event or program, or other unique campus contribution. A list of recipients is available here.