Seven students win 2022 Spirit of Princeton Award for service, contributions to campus life

Seven students have been named winners of the 2022 Spirit of Princeton Award, honoring Princeton University undergraduates for positive contributions to campus life. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the undergraduate experience through dedicated efforts in student organizations, athletics, community service, religious life, residential life and the arts.

The selection committee received over 150 letters of nomination on behalf of outstanding undergraduate students. The Spirit of Princeton Award is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and has been given annually since 1995.

Spirit of Princeton Award winners

The 2022 Spirit of Princeton award winners are (from left to right): Elijah Barnes, Emma Treadway, Sally Jane Ruybalid, Shruti Venkat, Tamilore Ajeigbe, Naomi Hess, and Alex Charles.

The recipients of the 27th annual Spirit of Princeton award are:

Tamilore Ajeigbe, a senior from Newark, Delaware, concentrating in African American studies and pursuing a certificate in statistics and machine learning. Ajeigbe is the former president of the Princeton African Students Association and a school liaison for Community House. In addition to her involvement in student organizations, she is an intern in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, advising fellow for Matriculate, Recognizing Inequities and Standing for Equality (RISE) peer facilitator, and dormitory assistant (DA).

Elijah Barnes, a senior from Freehold, New Jersey, concentrating in history. Barnes is a forward on the varsity men’s basketball team and a founding member of the Black Student-Athlete Collective (BSAC). Off the court, he is a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, is involved with the Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP) and helps new citizens register to vote in Trenton.

Alex Charles, a senior from Durham, North Carolina, concentrating in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) and pursuing a certificate in statistics and machine learning. Charles is a defender on the varsity men’s soccer team and a founding member of the Black Student-Athlete Collective (BSAC). Off the field, he is a Writing Center Fellow and part of the Princeton Charter Club. He also volunteers with Academic Success Today, a mentoring organization connecting Princeton students with students in middle school.

Naomi Hess, a senior from Clarksville, Maryland, concentrating in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) and pursuing certificates in journalism, and gender and sexuality studies. Hess is the former associate news editor and current senior writer for The Daily Princetonian. She co-led the Disability Task Force of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and advocated for increased accessibility on campus. Additionally, she is a member of the Princeton Disability Collective student organization and a fellow with the AccessAbility Center. Hess is actively involved in religious life and residential life at Princeton; she is a community engagement intern with the Center for Jewish Life and a peer academic adviser (PAA) in Butler College.

Sally Jane Ruybalid, a senior from Trinidad, Colorado, concentrating in architecture and pursuing a certificate in urban studies. Ruybalid is a manager for the varsity women’s basketball team and sings in the Princeton Chapel Choir. She is a leader in Butler College, serving as a peer academic adviser (PAA) and member of the Residential College Leadership Team (RCLT).

Emma Treadway, a senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, concentrating in classics. Treadway is the former editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian and served as the undergraduate departmental representative in the Department of Classics. Her involvement on campus also includes a commitment to service; she is a tutor with Matriculate, a Service Focus fellow and a John C. Bogle ’51 Fellowship in Civic Service recipient.

Shruti Venkat, a junior from Edison, New Jersey, concentrating in economics. Venkat is pursuing certificates in statistics and machine learning, finance and music performance. She is the publicity chair of the Princeton University Glee Club, vice president of the Swara Indian classical ensemble and the social chair of the Princeton Hindu Society. She is also an Orange Key tour guide, learning consultant with the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, a member of the Residential College Leadership Team (RCLT) in Rockefeller College and a peer career adviser in the Center for Career Development.