Staff, students and families attended the 15th annual Student Excellence Awards.

Hillsborough Community College’s SouthShore campus celebrated its 15th annual Student Excellence Awards to recognize exceptional students and staff.

Around 200 faculty, students and community members attended the program held at the Main Kings Point Clubhouse. The awards recognized the dean’s list of students and faculty along with staff of the year.

Campus President Dr. Jennifer Wells China invited her Presidential Advisory Council to support their outstanding students and staff.

This year’s Faculty of the Year Award went to mathematics professor Dr. Craig Hardesty.

“The Faculty of the Year Award represents a faculty member who fosters an atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration among students,” said executive staff assistant Brenda Sanchez.

Job placement assistant Fauna Keppen was given the Staff Person of the Year Award at the SouthShore event as well.

“The Staff Person of the Year Award represents a staff member who demonstrates a high degree of excellence and integrity in their work, which promotes improvement in the overall student body of the SouthShore campus,” explained Sanchez.

Librarian Roxanna Palmer received the Servant Leadership Award to recognize her stewardship and community building and the impact she has had on campus.

Finally, Student of the Year was awarded to Allen Chen. Chen is graduating with a 4.0 GPA and plans to attend the University of South Florida in the fall.

“Mr. Chen is a stellar student who has also provided service and leadership excellence,” said Sanchez.

Hillsborough Community College serves around 45,000 students every year across all five of its campuses. Each campus, including the SouthShore location, has different clubs and organizations for all students, including a Student Government Association and a Student Nurses Organization.

The SouthShore campus is home to the Lennard Collegiate Academy, which partners with Lennard High School to help students earn their associate degree in high school. It also offers EMT, paramedic and nursing pathways and is a green campus.

Hillsborough Community College’s SouthShore campus is located at 551 24th St. NE in Ruskin, right across the street from Lennard High School.

To contact the SouthShore campus, call 813-253-7000. For more information on specific academic and student life offerings or to book a tour, visit

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.