Arts and sciences students to be recognized at FSU’s Leadership Awards Night

| Mon, 04/10/23
FSU students Janeen Green and Aubrey Heiss.
Arts and Sciences students Janeen Green and Aubrey Heiss. Photos by Kendall Cooper.

Two Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences students will receive Academic Leadership Awards and are slated to be recognized during the university’s annual Leadership Awards Night ceremony Tuesday, April 11.

Janeen Green, a double major within the Department of Religion and Program in Interdisciplinary Humanities, and Aubrey Heiss, a sophomore applied and computational mathematics major within the Department of Mathematics, will receive awards for outstanding leadership development and activity in their departments and organizations.

The awards, sponsored by FSU’s Division of Student Affairs, are presented to up to two students in each academic college at FSU’s Tallahassee and Panama City campuses annually based on academic performance, university service, and other contributions both in and out of the classroom. The awards honor the diverse collection of individuals and groups across campus who engage in leadership learning. Green and Heiss were selected from among the more than 8,000 undergraduates studying in the college’s 18 departments.

“Being recognized as a leader is so rewarding in and of itself, and I felt really supported by my nominator and community,” Green said.

Green became inspired to focus on humanitarian work after hearing about her grandmother’s experiences growing up in Jamaica. While engaged in humanities coursework at Florida State, Green realized she also needed to examine religion as a key component of her studies, which motivated her to double-major in religion.

“Humanities and religion are very much intertwined,” Green said. “I realized that religion is a running theme in humanities and at the center of why many humans do things.”

Green conducted research on three late 18th and early 19th century European painters — Wilhelm Marstrand, Jean-Étienne Liotard and Eugène Delacroix — and how their bodies of work negatively depict Black women. In March, she presented her research at John Hopkins University's Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland. Green also presented this research in April at FSU’s Students Organized for Religious and Cultural Exploration’s annual student-run research symposium. Green is the club’s president, and this is the second consecutive year she co-organized, chaired, and presented at the SORCE symposium.

“Experiencing that kind of research setting is part of FSU’s culture,” Green said. “I feel extremely grateful to be able to dive into my passion for research.” Following her anticipated Fall 2023 graduation, Green, who is also a Honors in the Major student, plans to study international law. Her career goals include working as a lawyer with the United Nations or a non-governmental organization to provide legal representation for vulnerable populations.

Heiss also developed an early passion for her studies, helping her peers understand complex math formulas and concepts in high school, and she was consequently motivated to pursue a degree in math. She serves as president of the Society for Undergraduate Mathematical Students and organizes SUMS meetings and events, which feature professors speaking about their research as well as career liaisons discussing career paths in math. Additionally, Heiss is a part of the math curriculum committee board, a group that discusses and explores proposed curriculum changes within the department.

“I feel honored to receive this award,” Heiss said. “It’s really rewarding to know that people recognize the work I put in and think highly enough of me to be nominated.”

Beyond her studies and involvements in the Department of Mathematics, Heiss is also active in the Catholic Student Union, an experience she says has been extremely meaningful.

“Math is a big part of my life, but I think that being involved in a broad spectrum of other things helps me be an even better leader,” Heiss said.

Upon her anticipated graduation in Spring 2025, Heiss hopes to pursue a math-related position in the military, private industry or education.

To learn more about this year’s ceremony and the awards to be presented, visit