Center for American Progress

Campus Progress Announces 2007 Student Award Winners
Press Release

Campus Progress Announces 2007 Student Award Winners

Students honored for activism and journalism

Washington, D.C. – Campus Progress announced today the winners of the 2007 Campus Progress Awards for student activism, advocacy, and journalism. Throughout the year, across the country, progressive students are speaking out on issues like the war in Iraq, climate change and the increasing burden of student debt. Campus Progress presents these awards to honor the most innovative and effective student action, commentary, and reporting on the issues that matter to young people. 

The winners will be honored at the 2007 Campus Progress National Student Conference on June 26 at the Hyatt Grand Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

“There is, at last, a resurgent youth movement in America. Through the Campus Progress Awards, we are proud to highlight the students who are leading the charge on their campuses,” said Ramya Raghavan, Outreach and Organizing Associate Manager for Campus Progress.

The awards honor students who organize at their schools on behalf of Campus Progress; who run publications, issue campaigns, and events supported by Campus Progress; and who write for the web magazine  This year’s winners are:

Student Representatives of the Year: Sarah Baird (Centre College) and Greg Cendana (UCLA)

Chapter of the Year: Vanderbilt (Corey Ponder, President)

Best Publication: Jaded, UC Irvine (Julianne Ong Hing, Executive Editor)

Breakthrough Publication: Michigan Independent, University of Michigan (Becca Rueble, Editor in Chief)

Best Student Organizing of a Campus Progress Event: Lauren Villarroel (Amherst, Iraq Film Project)

Student Issue Campaign of the Year: University of Texas Death Penalty Spring Break (Hooman Hedayati) Contributor of the Year: Tim Fernholz (Georgetown)

Campus Progress MVP: Asheesh Siddique (Princeton)

The 2007 Campus Progress National Student Conference includes major speeches, panel discussions, and trainings on skills including working with media, organizing online, and building successful issue campaigns. Speakers this year include Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senator Russ Feingold, Representative Keith Ellison, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; public interest advocates Wade Henderson, Van Jones, Maria Teresa Petersen, John Prendergast, Jon Soltz, and Ralph Nader; blogger Jessica Valenti; and hip-hop artist M1 of Dead Prez. Students from all 50 states and over 250 schools are registered to attend the conference.

About the Winners

Sarah Baird is the H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele Stodghill Scholar at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky where she is a second-year student majoring in anthropology with minors in gender studies and history.  Sarah has risen to the challenge of progressive organizing at a very small school in a conservative area of Kentucky. During the Campus Progress road trip through the south, she put together the most well-attended event, despite the size and political dynamics of her school. 

Gregory Cendana is a junior majoring in Sociology and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He serves as Internal Vice President of the Undergraduate Students Association.  Greg is an amazing activist, who has also done a lot of work on Campus Progress’ “debt hits hard” campaign. He was profiled in a USA Today story about the need to make college more affordable.

Corey Ponder, a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University, was president of Campus Progress, where initially as a campus rep he helped to establish the first chapter of Campus Progress there. Since then the chapter has been active, inviting Iraq War veterans to come speak to students, tackling local communications legislation in Tennessee, and promoting understanding of the issues of our minority groups on campus.

Julianne Ong Hing is the Executive Editor of Jaded Magazine, a University of California, Irvine publication. Jaded is a progressive politics and culture magazine committed to social justice and creative expression. The magazine has used the backdrop of Orange County to tackle the broader issues of security, suburbia, consumerism, and pop culture.  Jaded combines both design and substance to create a visually-appealing, extremely well-written magazine. Jaded writers have shown a grasp of investigative reporting that is not usually seen in college publications.

Becca Rueble graduated in April 2007 from the University of Michigan with Highest Honors and her B.A. in both Spanish and Women’s Studies. While there, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Michigan Independent, the progressive news and views magazine for the University of Michigan. Published monthly, the Independent focuses on stories and topics affecting Michigan students that are generally not covered by traditional media.

Lauren Villarroel is a senior at Amherst College with a double major in Women and Gender Studies and Fine Arts. On campus, she is active in Amherst Democrats and Social Council as well as working at a local pre-school. Lauren planned four Iraq film screenings as part of Campus Progress’ Iraq Film Project.  With each screening, she hosted speakers who discussed the film and the issues surrounding the war in Iraq. Speakers Lauren worked with include the director of the film, “When I Came Home,” and an assortment of Amherst professors from the Law, Justice, History, Women’s Studies and Political Science departments.

Hooman Hedayati is an Iranian immigrant, student at the University of Texas in Austin, and political activist who founded Texas Students Against the Death Penalty in 2005 and the national organization, Students Against the Death Penalty in 2006.Hedayati assumed responsibility for organizing the 2007 anti-death penalty alternative spring break. He recruited a record number of participants by inclusively using new media advertising outlets. Hooman’s media-savvy promotion of the alternative spring break attracted the attention of major media outlets such as MTV and NPR.  The week long event included an amazing group of speakers that shared their personal stories about the death penalty, trained students in organizing skills, and educated them about the issue.

Tim Fernholz is a senior at Georgetown University, studying political science, theology and Arabic. He has written for Campus Progress for over a year and has been a contributing writer since fall 2006. Fernholz is also the Editor-in-Chief of The Georgetown Voice, the Georgetown’s liberal newsweekly since 1969, where he has won three Bunn journalism awards in feature writing, review and commentary.  Tim began writing for in the spring of 2006, when he pitched and reported several articles on Congress, including one on student loan legislation. Tim burnt rubber during his editorial internship at Campus Progress, interviewing a Middle Eastern correspondent based in Lebanon during the July war there, arguing for international intervention in Darfur, and even defending the dreaded SAT. 

Asheesh Siddique will receive his AB in History, with highest honors, and with minors in American Studies, and the Study of Women and Gender from Princeton University in June 2007.  While at Princeton, Asheesh edited the Campus Progress-supported publication, the Princeton Progressive Nation, and helped organize the “Filibuster Frist” protest of spring 2005, named “Student Protest of the Year” by Mother Jones.  Asheesh has been involved in Campus Progress since the day it launched, and has continued to be a presence in all areas of the program.  

Campus Progress, part of the Center for American Progress, works to help young people — advocates, activists, journalists, and artists — make their voices heard on issues that matter. Through an on-line magazine and student publications, public events, and grassroots issue campaigns, Campus Progress acts to empower new progressive leaders as they develop fresh ideas and communicate in new ways. The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan progressive think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.