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Stanford Alumni Association awards recognize students for outstanding achievement, excellence, and community impact

The Stanford Alumni Association awarded graduating senior Adam Nayak the 2022 J.E. Wallace Sterling Award. Other graduating seniors and graduate students were also honored by SAA for their achievements.

Each year, the Stanford Alumni Association (SAA) awards the J.E. Wallace Sterling Award to an exemplary graduating senior for their service and contributions to the campus community, based on nominations by faculty and staff. This year’s J.E. Wallace Sterling Award honoree is Adam Nayak. SAA also recognized three graduating seniors with the Outstanding Achievement Award; 227 graduating seniors with the Award of Excellence, and 71 graduate students with the Community Impact Award.

J.E. Wallace Sterling Award winner

Adam Nayak (Image credit: Courtesy Adam Nayak)

Named for J.E. Wallace Sterling, who served as Stanford’s president from 1949 to 1968 and as chancellor until 1985, the J.E. Wallace Sterling Award is given to a graduating senior whose leadership and volunteer activities have made an impact on the Stanford community. This year’s winner is Adam Nayak. Nayak majored in civil & environmental engineering with a minor in comparative studies in race and ethnicity. He is also a coterminal master’s student, pursuing a graduate degree in management science and engineering. According to his nominators, Nayak “lives and breathes service” and is a committed activist and natural leader. He served as co-president for Engineers for a Sustainable World, worked on the ASSU Executive Cabinet, and is a co-founder of the Undergraduate Equity Working Group in Civil & Environmental Engineering. He has worked as a Resident Assistant at 576 Alvarado and was the Lead Public Service Peer Advisor at the Haas Center for Public Service. Nayak is an ASSU co-director of Community Responsibility and a member of Students for Workers’ Rights. He also served on numerous university boards and committees, including the National Advisory Board for the Haas Center for Public Service and the Undergraduate Advisory Board to Stanford’s Vice Provost for Student Affairs.

Outstanding Achievement Award winners

Created in 2011, the Outstanding Achievement Award is granted to J.E. Wallace Sterling Award finalists. These top seniors have made a significant impact on the campus community with undergraduate activities that demonstrate a commitment to continued service. This year’s winners are, graduating seniors Sean Casey, Charlie Hoffs, and Corey Lamb.

Sean Casey (Image credit: Courtesy Sean Casey)

Sean Casey is a passionate and effective advocate for civic engagement. Among many other accomplishments, he was singularly instrumental in the creation of Democracy Day, an Election Day academic holiday that Stanford’s Faculty Senate voted to approve in June of 2021. Casey served as a director of StanfordVotes and, in 2020, played a key role in Stanford having the most students registered through the TurboVote online platform of any university in the nation.

Charlie Hoffs (Image credit: Courtesy Charlie Hoffs)

Charlie Hoffs was described by a nominator as “undertaking intellectually rigorous studies while also trying to create change in the community.” Holding leadership and event-planning roles in Students for a Sustainable Stanford, Hoffs works to raise awareness on food and housing insecurity at Stanford and campuses nationwide. She co-founded unBox, an organization dedicated to ensuring all Americans have access to healthy, affordable food.

Corey Lamb (Image credit: Courtesy Corey Lamb)

Corey Lamb has been an exemplary leader in the Stanford recovery community – both in official and unofficial capacities. Officially, he has served as a student worker for the Cardinal Recovery Community program but, according to a nominator, “unofficially, Corey was a leader in the recovery community, even before the program “officially” started this year. He has worked many paid hours and many more unpaid hours supporting students in their recovery path.” Lamb has served on the board of multiple Stanford committees including the Office of Community Standards and Committee for Disability Advocacy.

Award of Excellence winners

Designed to recognize the top 10% of the class, the Award of Excellence honors graduating seniors who have demonstrated a sincere commitment to the university through involvement, leadership, and extraordinary Stanford spirit. Faculty and staff nominate students for this honor. This year, 227 were named Award of Excellence recipients. See the full list of honorees.

Community Impact Award winners

The Community Impact Award recognizes outstanding graduate students. Throughout this past year, with its more than fair share of ups and downs, 71 graduate students fostered a sense of belonging and inspired enthusiasm among their fellow grad students. They enhanced the Stanford community through their exemplary leadership of a student organization, creation of an event or program, or other unique campus contributions. Examples of this year’s contributions include programs that support first-generation college students, women in STEM fields, international students, academic initiatives, diversity equity and inclusion, and graduate life. Faculty and staff nominate students for this award. This year’s winners come from the Schools of Law, Medicine, Education, Engineering, Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Business, and Humanities and Sciences. See the full list of honorees.