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Athena Student Excellence Award

The Athena Student Excellence Award aims to support and recognize students at the University of Idaho. The selection is particularly interested in recognizing diverse and underrepresented individuals. Through this award, Athena also intends to recognize and develop individuals who promote access, inclusion and advancement of women through their course of study or co-curricular activities.


  • Any current University of Idaho degree-seeking student is eligible for nomination.

Submit a Nomination

  • A submission link will be available when nomination season is open each Spring.
  • Nominations for award recipients are sought from the U of I community and completed using an online form.
  • Self-nomination: Self-nominees must submit a narrative (500 words maximum) demonstrating how they meet or exceed the award criteria and submit a letter of recommendation from a U of I faculty or staff member.
  • Nomination from a U of I Faculty or Staff Member: U of I faculty or staff may nominate a student for the award. They must submit a narrative (500 words maximum) demonstrating how the nominee meets or exceeds the award criteria. They must also submit a letter of recommendation from the same or another U of I faculty or staff member.

Selection Criteria

  • In the narrative, the nominating individual must demonstrate how the nominee’s educational and/or career goals align with Athena’s mission of:
    • commitment to promoting access, inclusion, and advancement of women through their course of study and/or co-curricular activities;
    • efforts to advance women personally, professionally, and/or academically; and
    • other exceptional qualifications of service in gender equality.
  • The nominating individual is encouraged to explain how this award could help further the nominee’s efforts.

Award Details

  • The award amount will be distributed by the U of I Foundation.

Award Ceremony

  • The award will be given out at the Athena Woman of the Year ceremony.

Support the Student Excellence Award

Help Athena support the educational goals of women by donating to the Athena Student Award Endowment. 

Give to the Student Excellence Award

2021 Recipient

Alondra Castaneda 

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Art History, minor in Spanish
Graduated May 2021

Alondra is a very dedicated student and an SSS - TRIO peer mentor. Her mentoring ability is evident by the relationships she has built with her mentees and the overwhelming feedback they have given. Alondra has demonstrated her commitment to promoting access, inclusion, and the advancement of young mentee women that come from underrepresented backgrounds like herself. She inspires mentees to be better and supports them to reach their goals. Alondra has served as the President of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., as well as the Community Service and Sister Spirithood Chairs; she served as the Secretary for OELA; and has worked on and with the President's Council for Diversity and Inclusion, the Women's Center, CAMP, McNair Scholars Program, the Native American Student Center and the Office of Campus Visits. At the time of this award, Alondra was working with the Latah County Historical Society to create a digital timeline of women's voting rights in Idaho.

Alondra Castaneda
Alondra Castaneda

Past Winners

Alondra Castaneda

Farjahan Shawon

Rebecca Witinok-Huber

No award given.

No award given.

No award given.

No award given.

No award given.

Olivia Balemba

No award given.

Karie Davidson

Giselle Veach

Jodi Frost

Lorena Vega Tamayo

Jackoline Livingston

Jessica Sampson

Alison English

Mariangie Ramos

June Clevy

Kathryn Dafoe

Angie Shephard

Cynthia Barnett

Tamara Cougar

Laila Kinnunen

Khaliela Wright

Eve Foster

Jody Swearingen

Betsy Peters

Contact Us

Memorial Gym Suite 109

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1064
Moscow, ID 83844-1064

Phone: 208-885-2777

Fax: 208-885-6285


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