College of Education honors seven new graduates for excellence, promise as future teachers
Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
MANHATTAN -- Outstanding work as undergraduates or their potential as future teachers has earned seven new graduates awards from Kansas State University's College of Education.
The students received the awards at the college's commencement ceremony Dec. 14 on the Manhattan campus. The awards presented included the college's Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award, Outstanding Future Teacher Award for Elementary Education and Outstanding Future Teacher Award for Secondary Education.
The recipients and their award include:
* Carla Medrano, December 2013 bachelor's graduate in elementary education, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Medrano, Dodge City, is a cum laude graduate of the university, where she was a member of the Bilingual Education Student Organization; League of United Latin American Citizens; fundraising chair for Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education; and activities chair for Relay for Life. She also was a member of Golden Key, an international honor society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She received the university's BESITOS Scholarship and she worked as a child care designee before and after school at Amanda Arnold Elementary School in Manhattan. Medrano is a 2010 graduate of Dodge City High School and attended Dodge City Community College. She is the daughter of Eliseo Medrano and Maria Elena Ortiz, Dodge City.
* Samantha Shirley, December 2013 bachelor's graduate in business education, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Shirley, Dodge City, was active in Pi Omega Pi, the national business education teacher honor society, where she is a national student representative through 2015 and was 2012-2013 chapter president and 2011-2012 vice president. She also was president of the Business Education Club from 2011-2012, Relay for Life public relations and online chair from 2010-2013, and a School of Leadership Studies ambassador from 2010-2013. A 2009 graduate of Dodge City High School, she is the daughter of Brian and Suzanne Shirley, Dodge City.
* Nicole McLaughlin, December 2013 bachelor's graduate in elementary education, College of Education Outstanding Future Teacher Award in Elementary Education. McLaughlin, Manhattan, received the Shining Star Award from USD 475, Geary County Schools, in 2010. A 2007 graduate of Junction City High School, she is the daughter of Stephen and Michelle McLaughlin, Washington, Pa.
* Margaret "Meg" Swagerty, December 2013 bachelor's graduate in social studies education, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Swagerty, Overland Park, earned many honors at the university, including the School of Leadership Studies Outstanding Civic Engagement Award, College of Education Alumni Scholarship, Tomorrow's Teachers Scholarship, KSU Foundation Scholarship and the Civic Leadership Scholarship. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, serving as recording secretary, chaplain and academic tutor; Bible study leader for Christian Challenge; historian for Silver Key, the sophomore honorary; event planning co-chair for Chimes, the junior honorary; and a Johnson County ambassador for the university. She also was in the University Honors Program, served on the College of Education Advisory Committee and was a Lead 212 instructor for the School of Leadership Studies. Off campus, she was a children's ministry intern for the First Presbyterian Church, on the top staff leadership team for Camp War Eagle and was active with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club. A 2009 graduate of Shawnee Mission North High School, Swagerty is the daughter of Daniel Swagerty and Margaret "Peggy" Killam, Overland Park.
* Kirstin Keller, December 2013 bachelor's graduate in elementary education, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Keller, Salina, was a member of the College of Education Ambassadors, Kappa Delta Pi international education honor society, College of Education Council, Kansas National Education Association, International Buddies and the K-State Athletics Student Advisory Team. She was fundraising chair for project EXCELL, vice president of Study Abroad Mentors and chief justice of the Haymaker Hall Governing Board. She was named a Project EXCELL teacher/ambassador, was a Nancy Larson Foundation scholar and Megan Taylor Foundation scholar, and received semester honors from the university for multiple semesters. Off campus, Keller was a court appointed special advocate, or CASA, and was named its advocate of the month for April 2013. A 2009 graduate of Salina High School South, she is the daughter of Kevin Keller and Tisha Keller, both of Salina.
* Amanda Ross, December 2013 bachelor's graduate in elementary education, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Ross, Highlands Ranch, Colo., was a member of Kappa Delta Pi international education honor society, College of Education Council and vice president of the Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy International Student Learning Organization. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, serving as music chair and Corp Board representative. She received the university's Purple and White Scholarship, Global Scholarship from the office of international programs, participated in study abroad in Quito, Ecuador, and played intramural soccer. A 2010 graduate of Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Ross is the daughter of Allen and Beth Ross, Highlands Ranch.
Alberto "AJ" Vinent, December 2013 bachelor's graduate in secondary social studies education, College of Education Outstanding Future Teacher Award for Secondary Education. Vinent, Miramar, Fla., served as a basketball team manager. A 2009 graduate of Center of Life Academy in Miami, he is the son of Alberto and Linda Vinent, Miramar, Fla.