Sources: Carol Shanklin, 785-532-7927, shanklin@k-state.edu;
Ashley Gleiman, 785-532-5525, agleiman@k-state.edu;
Hannah Leventhal hrlvet@k-state.edu;
and Christopher Nichols, christopher.nichols@cune.edu
Hometown connection/news tip: Fort Leavenworth and Lawrence, Kan.; Arvada, Colo.; Parkville, Mo.; and Lincoln and Seward, Neb.
News release prepared by: Megan Molitor, 785-532-1566, molitor@k-state.edu

Monday, Dec. 19, 2011

Lifelong learners: Graduate students' successes recognized with national honor society award

MANHATTAN -- While their chosen career and academic paths may run the gamut, three award winners in the Kansas State University family have one passion in common: learning.

Two current K-State students and one alumnus were recipients of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi's 2011 Love of Learning Awards. Recipients receive a $500 award to help fund their graduate studies or career development. This year's Kansas State University recipients are Ashley Gleiman, doctoral student in adult and continuing education; Hannah Leventhal, veterinary medicine student and graduate student in animal sciences and industry; and Christopher Nichols, a 2007 master's graduate.

Carol Shanklin, dean of the university's Graduate School, said the Love of Learning Awards recognize these past and present students' commitment to enhancing their professional careers as well as their excellent performance as graduate students and alumni.

"Receiving national recognition from honorary organizations and professional associations highlights the quality of K-State's graduate students and the recipients' use of their education to advance their careers," Shanklin said. "We are proud of Ashley, Hannah and Christopher and their professional accomplishments."

Gleiman is the adult education program coordinator at Fort Leavenworth for the College of Education's master's program in adult and continuing education. She advises military students and their families on educational opportunities at K-State and guides them through the process of obtaining a graduate degree.

Gleiman received the spring 2011 College of Education Graduate Student of the Year Award and served as vice president of the Military Family Member Scholarship Fund at Fort Leavenworth from 2010 to 2011. She also served as a member of the Brigade Command Team Spouse Development program at the Army post.

"I believe I was a strong candidate for the award based on my strengths as a student, my personal accomplishments as a military spouse and my aspirations to continue my education in the adult and continuing education doctoral program at K-State," she said.

Gleiman, who was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in January 2011, plans to use the award funding for conference travel and educational research. She hopes to continue working with military spouses and families by developing future educational programs benefiting military communities.

Leventhal, Arvada, Colo., is a first-year veterinary medicine student and a graduate student in animal sciences and industry, specifically focusing on equine nutrition. She said she was honored to have been chosen for the Love of Learning Award out of so many well-qualified candidates, and believes it was due to her combination of graduate and professional studies.

"Not many of my veterinary classmates choose to pursue a master's degree while completing veterinary school," Leventhal said. "I keep quite busy in both programs, but thoroughly enjoy what I do and know I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue both degrees. If anything, my chosen fields of study reflect my true love for learning and challenging myself."

After completing veterinary school, Leventhal hopes to pursue her passion for horses through a residency program, focusing on either equine internal medicine or equine surgery. Her ultimate goal is to become a board-certified specialist and practice at an equine specialty hospital.

Leventhal was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi in fall 2010 as a senior undergraduate student, and said she plans to use the award funding for her graduate studies.

Nichols, who received his master's degree in clarinet performance from K-State in 2007 after graduating magna cum laude from the Boston Conservatory, is a recipient of Phi Kappa Phi's Love of Learning-Professional Development Award. He said funding from the award helped subsidize the expense of attending the International Clarinet Association's 2011 ClarinetFest in Northridge, Calif.

Nichols, who lives in Lincoln, Neb., is an instructor at Concordia University in Seward, Neb., where he teaches applied clarinet and saxophone, directs the chamber orchestra and teaches other music-related courses. Additionally, Nichols is the principal clarinet of both the 312th Army Band in Lawrence, Kan., and the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City in Parkville, Mo. He occasionally performs as a recitalist at various universities, including Kansas State University.

"Attending the ClarinetFest let me hear professional performers from across the world, observe master classes and stay up to date on recent advancements in instruments and accessories," Nichols said. "This opportunity aids my own professional development as a clarinetist, but the accrued information I share with my students is the most important benefit to attending this conference."

In addition to Phi Kappa Phi, Nichols is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the College Music Society and Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Kansas.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society.