Source: Carla Jones, 785-532-7305, cjones@k-state.edu
Hometown connection:
Leawood, Louisburg, Manhattan, Olathe, Overland Park and Shawnee, Kan.; Urbana, Ill.; Derwood, Md.; and Pleasant Valley, Mo.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Class achievers: Contributions to student life earn 13 outstanding graduating senior award

MANHATTAN -- Thirteen Kansas State University students from fields as diverse as aeronautics and biology are the university's newest Dean of Student Life Outstanding Graduating Senior Award winners. The awards, sponsored by the K-State Parents and Family Association, were presented at a recent reception by Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students.

First given in 1999, the awards recognize graduating seniors who make significant contributions to student life at K-State. Directors and staff members in the Division of Student Life nominate candidates, with Bosco making the final selections.

"It's always a difficult decision because K-State has so many remarkable seniors who go out of their way to improve the campus experience for other students," Bosco said. "But this group's accomplishments really stand out."

Each student received a plaque. Recipients of the awards include:

* Mitchell Loeb, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in public health nutrition and pre-dentistry, Leawood, was a member of Quest freshman honorary, the university honors program, K-State Proud Student Campaign, the Kansas State University Student Foundation, Student Alumni Board, Mortar Board senior honor society, Delta Upsilon fraternity and the student staff of the School of Leadership Studies. He also received the Medallion Scholarship, Leona Thurow Hill Memorial Award in Home Economics and the Nina M. Browning Memorial Scholarship. "Servant and authentic leadership has driven my last semester at K-State," Loeb said. "While working at the School of Leadership Studies, I have seen the genuine nature of every faculty and staff member. This sincere approach has personally reinforced the concept that caring for people is truly the most important thing. I cannot wait to continue to practice this throughout my studies and future as a dentist." Loeb will attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry in August. He would like to pursue periodontics or pediatric dentistry.

* Natalie Rauth, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in advertising and public relations, Leawood, is a member of the Student Governing Association, Blue Key senior honorary, Pi Beta Phi sorority, Panhellenic Council, K-State Orchestra and the Royal Purple Yearbook staff. Her honors include the Jean Wirths Scott Change Leadership Award, Susan M. Scott Outstanding Female Leader award and the Honor Initiate Award from the Kansas Beta chapter of Pi Beta Phi. "It is hard to choose just one way that leadership experiences have changed my life," Rauth said. "However, I would say the most profound change is in my work ethic. High expectations are set for leaders in this community, and hard work is recognized and genuinely appreciated. While I am confident that many people in the world could outrun me and outsmart me, this community and these experiences have given me the confidence to say that no one will outwork me. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to develop a work ethic and mindset that will aid me in my endeavors for years to come." Rauth is pursuing a job in public relations.

* Kate Bormann, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in agricultural communications and journalism, Louisburg, was university student body vice president for 2011-2012. She also was a member of Blue Key, the senior honorary, serving as co-director of Catalyst; served on the Student Alumni Board; and was a College of Agriculture ambassador. A Nancy Landon Baker Kassebaum Scholar, Bormann was selected as the May 2012 College of Agriculture student commencement speaker. "The biggest lesson I feel I have learned is that leaders choose to be busy, but excellent leaders choose to be healthy. Outstanding leaders take time to nourish their personal health and friendships, making them far more successful in their responsibilities," Bormann said. She plans to pursue a career in public relations and business development related to the agricultural industry.

*John Grice, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in political science, Manhattan, was co-chair the K-State Proud Student Campaign, vice president of the K-State Student Foundation and a student senator for the College of Arts and Sciences. He also served as president of Delta Upsilon fraternity; was a member of Blue Key, the senior honorary, serving as director of leadership conferences; and was a Nancy Kassebaum Scholar and a Developing Scholars Program Scholar. He also was on the K-State Debate Team and was junior varsity national champion in 2009; was a member of the Student Alumni Board; served as a keynote speaker at the 2011 Big XII Development Conference; and was a member of Quest, the freshman honorary. "My Kansas State University leadership experiences fundamentally changed my life as they provided opportunities to accomplish challenging tasks and equipped me with tremendous skills sets that have prepared me to be successful in my career, community and family after graduation," Grice said. Grice is joining the staff of the Kansas State University Foundation.

* Katy Zapletal, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in kinesiology, Manhattan, was a finalist for university student ambassador, served as Quest co-coordinator of Blue Key senior honorary and as recruitment vice president of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She also was a member of Quest freshman honorary, Student Alumni Board, K-State Student Foundation and the K-State Proud Campaign. In addition, she was a scholar tour guide, orientation leader, and Wildcat Warm-up counselor for the university's new student services. "I have found a passion for continuing to grow and develop my leadership abilities," Zapletal said. She is joining K-State as an admissions representative.

* Ariel Anib, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in Spanish and criminology, Olathe, is a house church leader for Ichthus Campus Ministries. As a member of the Developing Scholars Program, she did undergraduate research for three years. She also was a senior student adviser for the Edgerley Franklin Urban Leadership Scholarship program; president of the Nonprofit Leadership Student Alliance; a leadership ambassador for the School of Leadership Studies, serving as selections chair for 2009-2010; active with the Student Governing Association, serving as director of multicultural affairs in 2009-2010; a member of the K-State Student Foundation, serving as selections chair in 2010-2011; was a class leaderfor the School of Leadership Studies; served as a multicultural assistant forGoodnow Hall; and was a tour guide and Wildcat Warm-up counselor for new student services. Anib was the recipient of the Commerce Bank Award for Enhancing Multiculturalism at the university, Joey Lee Garmon Award for Social Justice, Exemplary Scholar Award from the Developing Scholars Program, K-State Proud Hero Award, Wildcat Peace Award and Housing Leadership Scholarship. She earned a certificate in leadership education and development. Anib also was a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, Multicultural Student Honor Society, and Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish honorary. "My leadership experiences have shown me that there is nothing more empowering than edifying someone else," Anib said. She plans to teach English in Mexico for a year.

* Derrik Wiggins, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in sociology, Olathe, was a member of the Developing Scholars Program, an Edgerley-Franklin Urban Leadership Scholar, volunteer manager for HandsOn K-State, a member of Mortar Board senior honorary and the Multicultural Student Honor Society, and a resident assistant at Haymaker Hall. "I honestly think that my leadership experiences have made me a happier person and allowed me to more genuinely care for others," Wiggins said. "Different experiences have had me lead by understanding people better, making real connections with them, and taking the time to work in new environments. This growth has pushed me to be even more involved where I can. Seeing that change can be made for the betterment of others has developed a new attitude in me." Wiggins is applying to the JET Program to teach English in Japan.

* Brandon Hall, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in marketing, Overland Park, served as president of the university's Black Student Union and was chair of the Big XII Council on Black Student Government and a delegate to its conference. Hall was assistant district director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and was dean of membership development for the fraternity's Kappa Tau chapter. He also was a member of Mortar Board, the senior honor society. His many honors include the Morden Taylor-Archer Award, Black Student Union's Presidential Pioneer Award, Alpha Phi Alpha's Kansas District Association of Chapters' Onward and Upward Award and its District of Kansas College Brother of the Year award. A Cargill Impact Scholar, he was a finalist for university student ambassador and the Commerce Bank diversity award. "My leadership experience has changed my outlook on life," Hall said. "Prior to my leadership experience, I chose to only live within the moment rather than mapping a strategic plan. Now that I've experienced leadership, I create short- and long-term goals that have allowed me to be prepared for my journey through life." Hall is joining Cargill as an associate business manager in the company's Feed and Nutrition Business Unit.

* Stephanie Larson, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in elementary education, Shawnee, was a student ambassador for the university, alternative breaks site leader, a member of Mortar Board senior honor society and an orientation leader. "The leadership experiences and people who invested their time and hearts into my success at K-State have changed the way I see myself and the world," Larson said. "I am very fortunate to have a K-State family that saw my potential and supported me through my journey at the university." Larson plans to teach at an elementary school in the Kansas City area while pursuing a master's degree in education administration.

* Madison Peak, a senior in political science and pre-law, Shawnee, was director of social engagement for Alpha Delta Pi sorority; a College of Arts and Sciences ambassador; served as vice president and as treasurer of the College of Human Ecology College Council; was a Johnson County ambassador; a member of the College Council Allocations Committee and Student Review Board for the Student Governing Association; and a College of Human Ecology Academic Scholar and Up and Coming Scholar. "The opportunities offered to me at K-State inspired me to pursue a career where I can give back to my community," Peak said. "Deciding to enter the legal field, there are a myriad of paths available. However, I want to take a direction that allows me to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate and give a voice to those who are often overlooked. I feel my experiences at K-State further instilled me with this passion of using my skills to better the lives of those around me." Peak will graduate in December 2012 and plans to seek an internship for the spring 2013 semester in the Kansas City area. She hopes to attend law school and then work in family law as an advocate for women and children, specifically within the Hispanic community.

* Jamie Weiser, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in life sciences and pre-optometry, Urbana, Ill., served as president and assistant vice president of scholarship for Sigma Kappa sorority; president of K-State Healthy Decisions; scholarship co-chair of Chimes, the junior honorary; was a K-State orientation leader; staff member on the Kansas State Collegian; and a student worker at the International Student Center and the K-State Center for Child Development. "My leadership experiences at K-State have, without a doubt, helped me create more meaningful relationships with my peers," Weiser said. "Along with these relationships, my leadership experiences have offered me multiple occasions to grow as a person, a friend, an employee and a mentor. I know how much I have developed thanks to the leadership opportunities I have had at K-State. Weiser will begin the four-year doctor of optometry program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Optometry in the fall.

* Felix Tse, senior in aviation maintenance and professional pilot, Derwood, Md., was a member of Alpha Eta Rho, the international aviation fraternity, serving as president and vice president. He also was a member of Wildcat Pride for Determination, Cat Cannon and Skills USA. He served as a K-State Salina student ambassador and resident assistant. "I have gained more confidence and I do not get as nervous in front of crowds,” Tse said. After graduating in summer 2012, he plans to work for a commercial airliner.

* Megan Denison, May 2012 bachelor's graduate in family studies and human services, Pleasant Valley, Mo., is a resident assistant and multicultural assistant at Ford Hall. She is chair of the Of The Month award committee for the National Residence Hall Honorary, a member of the LGBTQ and Allies student group and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the academic honor society. "My leadership experience has shown me that each student on this campus needs an advocate," Denison said. "Advocating for students takes a lot of work, and it is important to know each student individually in order to learn how he or she can best be supported. However, I have learned that when I put in the effort to get to know those around me and take an extra step to support them, we can work together to create a more successful campus." Denison will pursue a master's in counselor education in student affairs at Clemson University in 2013, where she also will be a graduate hall director for the university's residence halls. She wants to work in the field of student affairs to create a more inclusive and empowering experience for students.