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Source: Jim Hohenbary, 785-532-6904,
News release prepared by: Kristin Hodges, 785-532-6415,

Monday, Feb. 9, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University has nominated four students for the 2009 Harry S. Truman Scholarships: Ann Virgo, Overland Park; Robert Gomez and Molly Hamm, both of Shawnee; and Dena Bunnel, Welda.

The Truman Scholarship competition is for students seeking a career in public service, and scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate studies. Truman finalists will be announced Feb. 17 and will be interviewed in Kansas City, Mo., before the scholars are announced March 26.

Virgo is a senior in marketing with a minor in nonprofit leadership. She has been a member of the Silver Key and Quest honoraries and has served as a Wildcat Warm-up counselor. She is president of Gamma Phi Beta sorority and the vice president of student relations for the K-State Student Foundation. She has served on a K-State Relay for Life team and on the All-University Open House Coordinating Committee. Virgo has received a Next Generation Nonprofit Leader Award from American Humanics and the E. Walter Morrison Scholarship. In addition, she has been published in the 2007 "Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul" and is involved with St. Isidore's Church and the Red Cross volunteers. A 2006 graduate of Blue Valley Northwest High School, she is the daughter of John and Sally Virgo.

Gomez is a senior in elementary education. He has coached a Little Apple Soccer Club team and volunteers at the Wonder Workshop, a nonprofit after-school program in Manhattan. He is the secretary of Sigma Lambda Beta International fraternity and a volunteer for the K-State Proud Campaign. He is the president of the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and a member of the Kappa Delta Pi education honor society. He also is a member of the Developing Scholars Program, a K-State Collegian writer and has served as a College of Education ambassador. He has received the Wallace Family Memorial Scholarship and the Joey Lee Garman Undergraduate Multicultural Student Scholarship. A 2005 graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, he is the son of William Gomez and Julie Alvarez-Gomez.

Hamm is a senior in English literature and secondary education. She also is pursuing a secondary major in international studies and a minor in nonprofit leadership. She is a student senator and has been a chair of several Student Governing Association committees. She is president of the K-State Student Foundation, and is a member of K-State's Delta Delta Delta sorority, Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and American Humanics Student Association. She serves on the planning committee for the IMPACT National Student Conference on Service, Advocacy and Social Action.

Hamm has served on K-State's Panhellenic Council and is the honors program representative for the Teacher Education Advisory Council. She is the founder of the university's Greeks Going Green initiative and is a founding member of the K-State Student Sustainability Coalition. She has served as an AmeriCorps-Kansas Community Youth Service Corps member, a K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan Start Up Team member, a Teach for America campus liaison, a United Nations Environment Programme "Kick the Carbon Habit" Campaign Youth Network representative, secretary of the K-State Child Development Center advisory board, and has interned in the Kansas House of Representatives. Hamm has received the Marjorie J. and Richard L. D. Morse Family and Community Public Policy Scholarship and was selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University in New Orleans in the Energy and Climate Change Category. She has received a Next Generation Nonprofit Leader Award from American Humanics and a Greek Woman of the Year Award from K-State. A 2005 graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, she is the daughter of Tim and Lori Hamm.

Bunnel is a senior in political science and agricultural communications and journalism. She is a member of Blue Key Senior Honor Society, the K-State Student Alumni Board, the Collegiate Farm Bureau and the K-State Proud advisory board. She is a member of the K-State Women's Fastpitch Softball Club and a former vice president and treasurer of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She has been a K-State College of Agriculture's Student of the Month and a Kansas Farm Bureau Discussion Meet winner. She has received the K-State Foundation Scholarship, the Lou Douglas Scholarship and a Political Science Departmental Excellence Award. A 2005 graduate of Anderson County High School, she is the daughter of Russell and Margie Bunnel.