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Sources: Carol Kennedy, 785-532-6595,;
and Dianna Schalles, 785-532-6595,

Monday, May 4, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Three Kansas State University students are being recognized for their volunteer service and leadership as members of a K-State Lafene Health Center-sponsored student organization.

Recipients of Lafene's Outstanding Student Leadership Awards are Lauren Griffen, senior in dietetics, Lansing; Morgan Thierer, senior in biology and nutritional sciences, Manhattan; and Madeline "Maddie" Ross, senior in public health nutrition, Roeland Park.

Griffen is being honored for outstanding leadership and service as a peer educator with Lafene's Sensible Nutrition And body image Choices peer education program. "Lauren's leadership ability was evident from the very first semester she became involved as a peer educator," said Dianna Schalles, the organization's adviser. "As a freshman, she volunteered to serve as co-coordinator for Eating Disorders Awareness Week, SNAC's largest event on campus. Soon after, she was instrumental in piloting the Sensible Nutrition And body image Choices' after-school program, and led training sessions for future program volunteers." Griffen currently serves as vice president of the group and has been its former secretary. She also has held multiple offices with the K-State Student Dietetics Association, serving as publicity chair for Fruit of the Fight; was a Mentor Task Force leader; and religious education teacher at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Manhattan. Griffen plans to complete her clinical and management dietetics practicum at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Leavenworth.

Thierer was recognized for outstanding leadership and service to Lafene's Sensible Nutrition And body image Choices peer education program. "Morgan has served as the program's president for nearly two years, many times going above and beyond the call of duty," Schalles said. "She has given 100 percent to help promote SNAC's mission, despite a demanding academic schedule. Her dedication and leadership have been true assets to our organization." In summer 2008, Thierer volunteered to lead the group's eight-week after-school program which targets eating-disorder prevention in sixth-grade girls; she served as the group's treasurer her sophomore year; and she has volunteered to make many of the group's presentations to members of K-State's Greek community and residence halls, as well as to elementary and middle school students. Thierer also is active with several other campus and professional organizations, including K-State's Healthy Decisions campaign, where she is the current president and has served as its secretary. She plans to attend medical school after graduating from K-State in December 2009.

Ross, a May 2009 bachelor's candidate, is being recognized for her participation in Lafene's Student Health Advisory Committee. "Maddie has demonstrated excellent leadership skills in her role with the Student Health Advisory Committee," said Lannie Zweimiller, Lafene director and the committee's adviser. "She is a very creative and professional person, exhibiting strength with compassion." Ross was the committee's 2008-2009 president, supporting Lafene's work with the K-State Student Governing Association and its review of student funding for health services. After graduating, Ross plans to seek a master's in health services administration at the University of Kansas Medical Center.