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Source: Pat Bosco, 785-532-6237, bosco@k-state.edu
Note to editor: Donnie Hampton is a graduate of Leavenworth Senior High School.

Friday, April 23, 2010

K-STATE HONORS 14 GRADUATING SENIORS FOR LEADERSHIP, IMPROVING CAMPUS LIFE

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University students from fields as diverse as aeronautics and political science have been named outstanding graduating seniors.

The awards, first given in 1999, recognize the significant contributions the seniors made to student life at K-State. Directors and staff members in the division of student life nominated candidates. Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, made the final selections.

"It's always a difficult decision," Bosco said. "K-State has so many remarkable seniors who go out of their way to improve the campus experience for other students. But this group's accomplishments really stand out."

Each student received a plaque. Recipients of the awards include:

* Katie Niederee, journalism and mass communications and life sciences, Great Bend, was director of communications and co-chair for the K-State Proud Campaign, a member of the Student Alumni Board, director of banquet and recognition for Blue Key Senior Honor Society and a Student Governing Association intern. "I have grown immensely as a person and leader during my time at K-State. This growth would not have been possible without mentors encouraging me to get involved in opportunities I truly feel passionate about," Niederee said. She plans to complete a public relations internship at the Richards Group in Dallas, Texas, in the summer.

* Wayne Stoskopf, agribusiness and speech, Hoisington, was 2009-2010 student body vice president and served as privilege fee chair for the Student Governing Association. He also was U-Speak co-coordinator for Blue Key Senior Honor Society, vice president of Wildcats Forever and a member of the K-State Proud advisory board. "My leadership experiences have increased my confidence, judgment and critical thinking skills. I can now walk into a meeting and trust in my abilities and be able to advance discussions, make decisions and lead a group of my peers. I am ready to make a difference in the world," Stoskopf said. He plans to work as field director in Jerry Moran's campaign for U.S. senator and explore a career in public policy in Washington, D.C.

* Brittany DeLaney, communication sciences and disorders, Junction City, was an Alpha Kappa Alpha National Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a member of Mortar Board National Senior College Honor Society. She also is active with K-State's Black Student Union and Multicultural Student Honor Society. "My leadership experiences gave me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone in order to challenge myself to reach higher limits," DeLaney said. She plans to go to nursing school and specialize in either pediatric nursing or psychiatric nursing.

* Donnie Hampton, management and management information systems, Manhattan, was K-State Student Ambassador in 2009, student chair of the 2010 K-State All-University Open House Coordinating Committee, and music and entertainment co-chair for the Union Program Council. He also was a ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholar. "Through my many different experiences, not only have I learned things such as the importance of being inclusive, but I have found myself to be someone who is passionate about life and those in it," Hampton said. He has accepted a position with ConocoPhillips in the information technology department in Bartlesville, Okla.

* Amy Schultz, biology, Manhattan, was speaker of the K-State Student Senate, chair of the Student Governing Association's College Council Allocations Committee, vice president of Blue Key Senior Honor Society, homecoming chair for Alpha Xi Delta sorority, and floor president for Ford Hall Governing Board. "Throughout my time as a leader at K-State, I have had to work with numerous individuals who manage and lead differently than I do. Working with these individuals has prepared me for the numerous interactions I will have with future colleagues," Schultz said. She plans to attend graduate school at Colorado State University to study student affairs in higher education.

* Herbert Thompson III, biology, Overland Park, was a member of the K-State Proud advisory board, Multicultural and Leadership Ambassadors and was a dean of student life and Developing Scholars award winner. "A leader is somebody that inspires others to do better. In my leadership roles I have brought a different energy that I hope has motivated others to do better. These roles have changed my life in a way that has exposed me to many amazing opportunities to connect with amazing and enthusiastic people that have shaped the leader I am," Thompson said. He plans to attend the University of Kansas School of Medicine to pursue a master's in public health and attend dental school to become a pediatric dentist.

* Dalton Henry, agricultural communications, Randolph, was K-State's 2009-2010 student body president, a College of Agriculture ambassador and senator, and a Collegiate Farm Bureau founding member. "My leadership experiences changed my life by opening my eyes. I have had opportunities to meet people and go places I never would have imagined," Henry said. He hopes to work on public policy as it relates to agriculture.

* Robert Gomez, elementary education, Shawnee, was president of the 2008-2009 chapter of Mortar Board National Senior College Honor Society and a Harry S. Truman Scholarship finalist. He also received the McKelvie Scholarship, Wallace Family Memorial Scholarship and Joey Lee Garman Multicultural Student Scholarship. "Being president of Mortar Board was an incredible experience. I am fortunate because I made many lifelong friends who share a passion for scholarship, leadership and service," Gomez said. He plans to move to New York City as part of the Teach for America program, where he will teach in a low-income community and complete a master's degree in education.

* Molly Hamm, English and secondary education, Shawnee, was a Truman Scholarship finalist, Campus Compact Frank Newman Leadership Award winner and 2009 Greek Woman of the Year. "When I started directing community service and philanthropy efforts for the Greek community, I helped create the Greeks Going Green campaign that minimizes the environmental impact of the Greek chapters on campus. Not only did this experience open doors for me to get involved with a variety of environmental projects, but I am most proud of the personal changes that it brought to myself and my family," Hamm said. She plans to move to New York City and pursue a master's degree in international educational development at Columbia University.

* Deborah Muhwezi, journalism and mass communications, Wichita, received the Commerce Bank Presidential Award for Enhancing Multiculturalism, Big 12 Black Student Government Most Outstanding Senior Award and Diversity Pioneer Award. She also was vice president of K-State's Black Student Union and a Tilford-Dow Scholar. "One way my leadership experiences have changed my life has been through seeing my impact on others," Muhwezi said. She plans to work as a content aggregator for Information News Services and will pursue additional studies in media management.

* Brian Koester, professional pilot and technology management, Ankeny, Iowa, was president and vice president of K-State at Salina's Student Governing Association, and a founder of the K-State Ultimate Team and the Powercat Endurance Racing Club. He also received the Larry Caldwell Good Sportsmanship Award. "After spending two years in student government I developed talents and interests that made me think the cockpit might not be the place for me," Koester said. He plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University to study aviation administration and airport management.

* Paul Mintner, political science, Higginsville, Mo., was an orientation leader, Quest freshman honorary co-coordinator for the Blue Key Senior Honor Society and a member of the Student Alumni Board. "Not only have I grown as a student in college, but K-State and my K-State family have helped me grow to be a better person. I have been blessed by the people who took time to invest in my success and saw potential in me," Mintner said. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in public policy, with a focus in higher education.

* John Lantz, finance, Town and Country, Mo., was a resident assistant, member of the Blue Key Senior Honor Society and orientation leader. He also received the Muir Family and Alpha Tau Omega Leadership Award and the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award. "Because of the activities I was involved in, I changed my career ambitions from wanting to be an accountant or financial adviser to working in higher education," Lantz said. He plans to finish a master's degree in public administration and to work in the university setting or with the federal government.

* Kari Phelan, management, Omaha, Neb., was a resident assistant and community assistant, ambassador for the School of Leadership Studies, president of the American Humanics Student Association and a NextGen Leader. "My leadership experiences have changed my life by showing me what I want to pursue as a career. Holding meaningful leadership positions gave me the opportunity to learn my strengths and my passions, and taught me how to combine them to create lasting impact," Phelan said. She plans to work for a nonprofit organization in the area of administration and operations.