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Sources: Carla Jones, 785-532-7305,;
and Pat Bosco, 785-532-6237,

Friday, April 17, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Fourteen Kansas State University students have been named 2009 outstanding graduating seniors.

The awards, first given in 1999, recognize the significant contributions of the seniors to student life at K-State. Students are nominated by directors and staff members involved with the various student life services at K-State. Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, makes 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."

Bosco recognized each student with a plaque at an April 9 reception.

K-State's outstanding 2009 graduating seniors, their major and hometown include:

* Mark Meier, animal sciences and industry, Hays, has been a member of the Union Program Council, K-State Club Baseball, K-State Poultry Judging Team, Little American Royal, and resident assistant at Goodnow Hall. "My opportunities being a campus leader have truly allowed me to grow as a person," he said. "I feel like I've learned a lot about people through all my interactions, and that has helped shape the person I am." Meier wants to attend veterinary school or a graduate school with an emphasis in medical research.

* Madison Loeb, political science and pre-law, Leawood, has been a member of the K-State Proud Student Campaign, Student Opportunity Awards Allocation Committee, Mortar Board senior honor society, K-State Student Foundation and a College of Arts and Sciences student senator. "My leadership experiences at K-State have provided me the opportunity to be surrounded by truly inspirational student leaders whom I continue to learn from on a daily basis," she said. "Each one of these individuals has taught me how to be a humble and servant leader, while also helping me to discover my passion for people and serving others." Loeb will become a K-State admissions representative after graduation.

* Brett Beier, management and marketing, Manhattan, has been president, secretary, recruitment chair and alumni relations chair for Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. He also has been an ambassador for K-State's School of Leadership Studies, a K-State orientation leader and a K-State Northeast Kansas student ambassador. "If someone were to tell me when I first entered K-State that I would do half the stuff that I have been a part of, I would have thought they were talking to the wrong person," he said. "I'm much richer for my involvement with so many quality programs." Beier plans to pursue a master's in public administration at K-State.

* Kara Bowman, kinesiology, Manhattan, was a member of Mortar Board senior honor society, the All-University Student Homecoming Committee, Student Alumni Board, and served as a K-State Student Ambassador. "My leadership experiences at K-State have prepared me for almost any situation I may face in the future," she said. "They've thrown me out of my comfort zone many times, refined my organizational and communications skills, and have allowed me to meet remarkable people I otherwise wouldn't have met." Bowman plans to pursue a master's degree or doctorate in physiology or public health.

* Kathryn Fraser, professional pilot, McPherson, has been treasurer of the Flight Team, a Writing Center tutor, a student senator, an ambassador for Women in Aviation International, K-State at Salina student ambassador and a flight instructor. "There is no doubt that my involvement and leadership experiences have made me a much stronger and motivated person," she said. "The opportunities I have had are unparalleled and will not only stay with me for the rest of my life, but also encourage me to continue such experiences." Frasier is considering several options, including going to law school or becoming an air traffic controller.

* Lydia Peele, secondary education, Olathe, has been active with K-State's Student Governing Association. She was the first student body vice president to be elected student body president at K-State. She also has been a student senator and an intern. She has served as a Panhellenic delegate; a Greek ambassador; a member of the K-State Student Foundation, serving as vice president of membership; a member of Chimes, the junior honorary; and a member of Mortar Board, the senior honor society. "One of the greatest lessons I have learned is to never underestimate the positive impact that one person can make," she said. "You can never really know the influence that you've had on another person, but the K-State faculty, staff, alumni and my peers have changed my life for the better, in big and small ways, and I hope to do the same for others." Peele will be a student teacher in the Kansas City area in fall 2009, and then plans to teach or go to graduate school.

* Jennifer Bantham, elementary education, Overland Park, has been vice president of the College of Education Council, director of recruitment for K-State's Panhellenic Council and a College of Education ambassador. "My leadership experiences at K-State not only helped me to be a better student and a more productive member of the student body, they also provided me with opportunities that I never would have had if I never accepted the challenge of leadership," she said. Bantham plans to teach elementary school in the Kansas City area.

* Jessica Pope, hotel and restaurant management, Pittsburg, has been a member of the Union Program Council, Mortar Board senior honor society, Travel and Dining Auction Committee, and a small group leader for Introduction to Leadership. "My leadership experiences have taught me how to work with, for and alongside others," she said. "Through these events and interactions, I have learned the importance of generosity, humility, creativity and passion." Pope's future plans include serving an internship abroad, and to eventually work for a convention and visitors bureau.

* Brett Eakin, management, Rossville, has served as a K-State School of Leadership Studies ambassador and as a member of the Mortar Board senior honor society and the K-State PROUD Advisory Board. He also was a public address announcer at K-State basketball games. "Over the past four years, I have learned that K-State is about the people around you, the family you create, and who is wearing the purple next to you," he said. Eakin will be attending the University of Louisville in the fall to pursue a master's in sport administration.

* Katherine Beye, political science, Stilwell, has been active in the Blue Key, a senior honor society, and the K-State Student Governing Association. "My leadership experiences at Kansas State have shown me how much of a difference one person can make," she said. "Even if you're only mentoring one other student, that person may go on to do amazing things, partly because of the simple encouragement you gave them." Beye will start law school at the University of Virginia in the fall.

* Sheila Ellis, print journalism, Topeka, has been editor of the Kansas State Collegian for the spring 2009 semester. She also was a member of the Developing Scholars Program, Multicultural Student Honor Society and Philippine Student Association. In addition, she helped start K-State's Diverse Mass Communicators. "My leadership experiences have taught me how to identify a problem and create a plan of action to create change," she said. "Through various leadership positions I have learned a lot about myself." Ellis plans to become a reporter for a metropolitan daily newspaper.

* Joseph Revell, aviation maintenance, Topeka, has been a member of Alpha Eta Rho aviation fraternity, a treasurer for Skills USA, a K-State at Salina campus ambassador and has participated in intramural sports. "Even though the phrase 'you can do anything you put your mind to' is pounded into our heads from childhood, the leadership experiences I have taken part in while enrolled at Kansas State University have really led me to believe this," he said. Revell plans work as an aviation mechanic or possibly pursue a master's degree.

* Taylor Symons, communication studies, Wamego, has been a member of Blue Key senior honor society, the K-State Student Alumni Board, K-State Student Foundation and the K-State PROUD Campaign Planning Committee. He also served as an orientation leader and Wildcat Warm-up director. He was active with the Student Governing Association, served as a Greek ambassador and was a member of Silver Key, the sophomore honor society. "I can truly say I am a better person now than when I became a Wildcat four years ago," he said. "I have come across so many different and amazing people." Symons will join K-State as an admissions representative in July.

* Careem Gladney, finance, Wichita, has been active in the K-State Black Student Union, Mortar Board senior Honor society and National Pan-Hellenic Council. He also was a member of the K-State Presidential Search Committee. "I have truly realized the importance of serving and giving back," he said. "Active involvement in the development of others is the key for our community to flourish." Gladney has been hired by Cargill Inc. in Wichita. He also would like to eventually earn his doctorate in business or education and work in higher education.