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Source: Young-Ok Yum, 785-532-6937, youngok@k-state.edu

Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010

STUDENTS FROM OLATHE, OVERLAND PARK RECEIVE FIRST WILDCAT PEACE AWARDS

MANHATTAN -- Two Kansas State University students will receive the first Wildcat Peace Awards at the Community Cultural Harmony Week banquet, Friday, Sept. 24.

Recipients are Ariel Anib, senior in Spanish/Hispanic studies and sociology, Olathe, the USA Peace Award; and Meghan Minardi, senior in elementary education, Overland Park, the Global Peace Award.

The Wildcat Peace Awards were created to commemorate the annual International Day of Peace, Sept. 21. They recognize K-State as a citizen of the global community; promote the culture of peace every day and everywhere; and emphasize the identity of K-State as a peace and community builder. The awards honor members of the Wildcat family who have contributed to diversity appreciation, international community building and peacemaking efforts at K-State and in the Manhattan area during the 2009-2010 school year.

Students were nominated for the honor, with selections made by the Wildcat Peace Award Committee: Doug Benson, professor of modern languages; Sara Thurston Gonzalez, director of international student and scholar services; and Candice Hironaka, senior associate director of the School of Leadership Studies.

"Both of our award winners are heavily involved in U.S. and international activities," Benson said. "We think that these two students' contributions embody precisely the goals laid out in the peace awards description and do honor to us all."

Anib served on a K-State International Service Team in Mexico during summer 2009. She also was part of the College of Education's bilingual education program in Guatemala this summer. She is currently fasting as part of Ramadan, although she is not Muslim. Anib works for social justice and inclusivity on the K-State campus, and has served on numerous diversity committees and organizations. She is a graduate of Olathe East High School.

"Ariel has been actively involved in service and social justice issues since she was a freshman. As I have come to know her over the past three years, I know without doubt that she is involved because she genuinely cares and wants to make a difference," said Anita Cortez, administrative director of K-State's Developing Scholars Program. Cortez also nominated Anib for the award.

Minardi is being honored for her service to the university's international community and her work at office of international programs, where she organizes and facilitates welcoming activities for incoming international students; assists with programs to help international students adapt to the campus and community; and plans gatherings to bring people from different nationalities together. She also has studied abroad. She is a graduate of Shawnee Mission South High School.

"Meghan has exceptional skills in recognizing the value of understanding culture and language through multiple perspectives. She shows initiative in getting to know others and supporting the efforts of K-State," said Socorro Herrera, professor of elementary education and executive director of K-State's Collaborative Intercultural Multilingual Advocacy Center. Herrera nominated Minardi for the honor.

More information on the awards banquet, to be in the K-State Student Union Ballroom, is available at http://www.k-state.edu/cchw.