California Higher Education Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Conference

Awards & Recognition

Student Leadership Award


Nicholas Bell
San Jose State University

Nicholas BellNicholas Bell is a graduating senior majoring in Health Science and minoring in Nutrition and Food Science. Throughout his time at SJSU, Nicholas has demonstrated exemplary leadership and a passion for empowering his campus community. As a sophomore, Nicholas joined Delta Sigma Phi and has held various leadership roles including New Member Educator and GAMMAH representative. Within these roles Nicholas has had the opportunity to facilitate discussions surrounding brotherhood, accountability, and responsible drinking. Nicholas has also served as an advocate for diversity and inclusivity within his fraternity. Nicholas is involved with Residential Life first as a Resident Advisor and now as a Senior Resident Advisor. Within this role Nicholas has facilitated programs that address multicultural competence, identity, academic development, and civic engagement. Throughout his time in Residential Life, Nicholas has planned over 75 developmental programs reaching 3,500 students. His commitment to his residents and fellow RAs has helped create an interdependent community.

For the past year, Nicholas has served as the Lead Peer Health Educator for Alcohol. As a Lead PHE, Nicholas has assisted professional staff by aiding in the development of alcohol education curricula using current public health theories and best practices. He has used this curriculum to facilitate alcohol education training modules for over 1,500 student leaders on campus. He has also adapted the curricula to fit the needs of specific subsets of students such as, Greek-affiliated students, incoming freshman, and students majoring in Health Science reaching another 2,000 students. Evaluation data from his presentations has shown an increase in knowledge and an increase in intentions to change from participants. Nicholas has also demonstrated a great sense of teamwork by managing and training a group of new Peer Health Educators (PHEs). Under his tutelage, these new PHEs have increased their health knowledge, developed their public speaking skills, and have grown their outreach abilities.

Nicholas’ dedication to his team’s professional development can be clearly seen in the high caliber work that his team produces. Fellow PHEs describe him as a “passionate leader”, “an advocate”, and a “friend”. Furthermore, Nicholas has spearheaded the planning of numerous Alcohol Education events including the “Will You Pass Party” which was implemented in collaboration with University Police, Residential Life, and RADD. Additionally he assisted with the planning and implementation of “DUI Court”, an event that allowed students to sit in on a live DUI Sanctioning.

Nicholas also serves as a student representative in the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention committee which works with numerous campus partners to address alcohol and drug issues on campus. It is for these reasons that Nicholas has been recognized by his peers and colleagues through several prestigious awards including the Vice President of Student Affairs Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service and the AS 55 Award which recognizes students who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to SJSU and have continually given back to their campus community. It is truly a joy to work with Nicholas and we look forward to watching his professional career in Student Affairs unfold.


Selenne Alatorre
CSU Sacramento

Nicholas BellSelenne Alatorre, from CSU Sacramento,  has consistently demonstrated her commitment to student and community wellness enhancement in a variety of ways.  Selenne volunteered to be a member of our Student Health Advisory Council in 2011 as a first semester freshman after attending one of our outreach events. The following year she enrolled as a Peer Health Educator in our Alcohol and Violence (AOV) internship.  Selenne was hired as a Student Manager to Health and Wellness Promotion Services shortly thereafter. As a Student Manager, Selenne has had to help students who are often coming to us in crisis. She is empathetic and supportive of these students, and handles the various situations with professionalism and integrity.

A shining example of Selenne’s leadership skills is our ability to trust her with the most important aspects of our AOV program. Selenne coordinates and supervises all our Peer Health Education outreach efforts for the AOV program and serves as a mentor to our new Peer Health Educators. She also has conducted many Peer Health Education meetings independently. Due to her exemplary maturity and leadership skills, we hired her to teach the Substance Seminar classes on campus. These classes teach students with alcohol or drug infractions how to make better choices. Her ability to mentor is what makes her so effective in this role.

Selenne values continued education. In January 2012 Selenne volunteered to complete the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). She is also open to exploring new cultures in an effort to support her fellow Health and Wellness Promotion peers. In 2011, Selenne, along with several of our HWP students, volunteered to learn and perform a Bollywood Dance routine for our annual Sac State Multi-Cultural Awareness night which raised money for cancer research. Selenne’s interest and investment in diversity is one of the reasons Selenne is an amazing student leader. She also volunteered to be Safe Zone trained in LGBTIQA awareness. She also volunteered for our annual campus Out of the Darkness Walk to bring awareness to suicide prevention.

As a community leader outside of Sac State, Selenne somehow finds time to volunteer in our local community. She spends three hours a week tutoring 6th grade students at Will C. Wood Middle School. She also volunteers two hours a week at a local soup kitchen. Finally, she wants to pursue her dream of attending graduate school to become a speech pathologist. Selenne is a strong, dedicated, advocate for student health and wellness.  Her dedication to educating the student population on alcohol, tobacco other drug, and violence issues, and the link between them, is remarkable.

Choose an award below to read about the recipient: