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Source: Candi Hironaka, 785-532-6085,
News release prepared by: Kayela Richard, 785-532-2535,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


MANHATTAN -- The School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University is recognizing five of its recent graduates with outstanding senior awards.

The students were chosen through a nomination and ballot process. They were recognized for their outstanding work in service and leadership.

"The students that we recognize at the School of Leadership Studies are serving their communities because it's something that they are passionate about," said Candi Hironaka, senior associate director of the school. "The opportunity to recognize students is a way of sharing our gratitude and appreciation for the service that they give so unselfishly. I think it's always a most significant way of recognizing students for their leadership."

Students, all May 2011 graduates, earning an outstanding senior award include:

Katie Friesen, bachelor's in secondary education, Colby, the Pat J. Bosco Leadership Studies Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. Friesen was an ambassador for the School of Leadership Studies for three years, serving as education chair. She was the keynote presenter for a leadership conference for student leaders with special needs. She is currently a member of AmeriCorps and student taught at Eisenhower Middle School this spring. She will attend the master's program in leadership studies at Marquette University this fall.

Keith Kennedy, bachelor's in journalism and mass communications, Lenexa, the Pat J. Bosco Leadership Studies Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. Kennedy was president of the School of Leadership Studies' student ambassadors and was an ambassador for three years. He was an academy coach for the First Tee Life Skills and Leadership Academy, working with youth golfers from diverse backgrounds across the nation. He also participated in an alternative spring break service trip to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Kennedy wants to pursue a career in public relations and will be interning with Sprint this summer.

Lyndsay Bruns, bachelor's in marketing, Overland Park, the Nonprofit Leadership Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. Bruns was the academic mentoring student coordinator at HandsOn K-State and was on the executive board of K-State's chapter of Up 'til Dawn, which raises funds for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. She also was a member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters. She was the 2010-2011 president of the Nonprofit Leadership Student Alliance and has been an active member of the Student Affairs Committee.

Jamie Schendt, bachelor's in history, Overland Park, the Pat J. Bosco Leadership Studies Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. Schendt has presented at national conferences, such as the IMPACT Conference and served on its national planning committee. He has served as a student coordinator for the School of Leadership Studies' International Service Teams for two years and completed a summer of service in Kenya. Schendt will attend graduate school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Morgan Holechek, bachelor's in journalism and mass communications, Salina, the Pat J. Bosco Leadership Studies Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. Holechek was an ambassador for the School of Leadership Studies for four years, serving as public relations chair. She was involved in Relay for Life and school supply drives for local elementary schools. She has impacted the local community by implementing barrier free dance through the Manhattan Department of Parks and Recreation. Holechek will start her career as an admissions representative for K-State.