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Sources: Myra Gordon, 785-532-6276, mygordon@k-state.edu;
and Brandon Hall, branhall@-state.edu
Web site: http://www.k-state.edu/bsu
Photos available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415, bbohn@k-state.edu

Thursday, March 4, 2010

K-STATE'S BLACK STUDENT UNION NAMED BEST BLACK STUDENT GOVERNMENT COUNCIL IN BIG 12 FOR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW AND FOURTH TIME IN LAST FIVE YEARS

MANHATTAN -- For the third year in a row and the fourth time in the last five years, Kansas State University's Black Student Union is the best in the Big 12 Conference. And, the group also is being recognized for having some of the most outstanding members in black student leadership.

K-State's Black Student Union was named the most outstanding council at the 33rd annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government, Feb. 25-28, at the University of Texas-Austin. The K-State black student leadership group also earned the honor in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

In addition to being named the top council, two K-State Black Student Union members received honors for their service and leadership. Marcus Bragg, freshman in industrial engineering, Kansas City, Kan., was named the most outstanding freshman, and Deborah Muhwezi, senior in mass communications, Wichita, the most outstanding senior.

Also at the conference, Brandon Hall, junior in marketing, Overland Park, and president of the K-State Black Student Union, was elected the 2010-2011 chair of Big 12 Council on Black Student Government.

"K-State's BSU is so consistently excellent because it is focused on its mission, the brightest and the best rise to leadership, the group has an unparalleled work ethic, the advisement and mentorship it receives is very dedicated and strategic, and they have learned how to win. That's a difficult combination to beat when you come to the table for anything," said Myra Gordon, K-State associate provost for diversity and dual career development and faculty adviser to Black Student Union.

Hall said the best council award is based on the programming and activities offered by each Black Student Union during the year. For K-State, this included a welcome back celebration in the fall; study sessions for members; organizing K-State's Black History Month in February; community service; organizing a ball for members of K-State's multicultural student organizations; bringing such speakers as Hasani Pettiford, chairman and CEO of Hasani Pettiford Enterprises, to campus; and much more.

When it comes to the individual honors received by K-State Black Student Union members, Hall said he wasn't surprised.

"Marcus Bragg just shines overall," Hall said. "Only a freshman, he is an outstanding student and he has been very active in BSU since coming to K-State in the fall, including helping with many events including a recent community service project for Habitat for Humanity and with Black History Month activities."

Bragg, a fall 2009 K-State honors list student, has received numerous scholarships, including the Capitol Federal Scholarship, Cargill Project IMPACT Scholarship, Dean's Choice Scholarship, Gasaway Family Scholarship, Housing Leadership Award, Koch Impact Scholarship, Leadership Scholarship and Nancy Landon Kassebaum Scholarship. He also is vice president of United Black Voices, the K-State gospel choir.

"Her service and leadership to the Black Student Union and her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, really make Deborah stand out," Hall said of Muhwezi.

Muhwezi, who has previously served as vice president and a council delegate of the K-State Black Student Union, is a Tilford-DOW Scholar and a member of K-State's Multicultural Student Honor Society. She is a recipient of K-State's Commerce Bank Presidential Award for Enhancing Multiculturalism, which recognizes outstanding student efforts to enhance diversity at K-State. She helped found K-State's chapter of Diverse Mass Communicators and has been a writer and editor at the K-State Collegian student newspaper. She is a member of United Black Voices gospel choir, the National Panhellenic Council and is president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Hall will serve a one-year term as president of the Big 12 Council on Black Student Government beginning in August 2010.

"The council serves as an umbrella organization for the 10 Black Student Unions in the Big 12 Conference, with representatives from each of those organizations serving on the council," Hall said. "The council meets four times a year. We determine the award winners for the annual conference and help the host school plan the conference."

Hall said he was excited to lead the council.

"It really is a diverse group of individuals and leaders," he said. "I'm excited to take on this challenge and look forward to making sure we get things done and that everything is going well at our member councils."

Hall has been active with the Big 12 Council for a year and half, serving as one of K-State's delegates. He also is a member of K-State's Multicultural Business Student Association.

K-State will be host to the Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government in 2013.