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K-State Today

May 1, 2014



K-State Alumni Association honors eight K-State students for excellence

By Amanda Brookover

Award recipients

Eight graduating Kansas State University students have been recognized by the K-State Alumni Association for their outstanding academics, leadership, inspiration and service. Amy Button Renz, Alumni Association president and CEO, presented the students with plaques during an awards luncheon April 23 at the K-State Alumni Center.

The honors include four recent university graduates who earned the Anderson Senior Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements during their college careers. Faculty and peers nominate students for the award, which was established in 1998.

The alumni association also recognized two graduate students with its Graduate Student Award, which was established in 2010. A committee consisting of members of the alumni association board of directors and K-State students selected the recipients.

The ceremony also recognized three students with the inaugural Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Awards. Established in honor of the late K-State professor Tony Jurich, who taught undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Human Ecology for more than 39 years before his death in 2010, the awards recognize both graduate and undergraduate students who have demonstrated a commitment to community leadership and service through Jurich’s Core Leadership Tenets.

One student received both an Anderson Senior Award and a Tony Jurich Award.

"We are excited to honor these individuals for what they have achieved at K-State," said Amanda Brookover, assistant director of student programs for the K-State Alumni Association. "These winners were chosen from a group of exceptional candidates. We appreciate the efforts of the K-State faculty, staff and students and Alumni Association board of directors who nominated and selected these individuals for this outstanding recognition."

Recipients of awards from the Alumni Association are:

Kyle Probst, doctoral candidate in grain science and industry, Bloomington, Indiana, Graduate Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service. Probst has served as president of the Grain Science Graduate Student Organization, on the K-State Student Union Governing Board, on the Alpha Mu Honor Society and as the president of the University Inline Hockey team. He also is the recipient of the NSF IGERT Fellowship.

Nathan Spriggs, bachelor’s candidate in agricultural economics and food science, Galena, Anderson Award for Outstanding Leadership. Spriggs served as the student body president for two consecutive terms. As president, his team organized a successful student referendum to renovate and expand the K-State Student Union. Spriggs also is a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, Student Alumni Board and Mortar Board Senior Honorary Society, and serves as the vice president for operations for the Union Program Council and president of the Union Governing Board.

Graciela Orozco, bachelor’s candidate in biological systems engineering and biology, Kanopolis, Anderson Award for Outstanding Academics. Orozco is a member of the Multicultural Engineering Program and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. She also  is a volunteer at St. Isidore’s Catholic Student Center. She served on the K-State research task force committee to define and promote undergraduate research as part of K-State 2025, K-State’s visionary plan to become a Top 50 public research university by 2025.

KeNeice Musgrove, bachelor’s candidate in hotel and restaurant management, Kansas City, Anderson Award for Outstanding Inspiration. Musgrove is a member of the American Ethnic Studies Student Association, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, K-State Black Student Union and Hospitality Management Society. She also is a volunteer at the University Christian Church, Flint Hills Breadbasket and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Kaitlin Long, bachelor’s candidate in entrepreneurship, Leawood, Anderson Award for Outstanding Service and Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Undergraduate Student Award. Long is involved in Blue Key national honor society and Student Governing Association. She is a member of Student Alumni Board and Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Long also is the coordinator of the International Service Teams through the School of Leadership Studies.

Lori Kniffin, master’s candidate in counseling and student development, Manhattan, Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Graduate Student Award. Kniffin serves as an instructor and adviser of academic programs for the School of Leadership Studies. She also is the Leadership Studies Ambassador adviser, the EcoRep to the sustainability office and is involved with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and mobile food distribution.

Marcie Lechtenberg, doctoral candidate in marriage and family therapy, Oakland, Nebraska, Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Graduate Student Award. Lechtenberg volunteered at the Wamego Family Health Ministries as a family therapist. She has led support groups for couples where one person has a terminal cancer diagnosis and a group for people with a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. She also has spoken to several community groups on making courageous changes in life.

Raghavendra Amachawadi, doctoral candidate in pathobiology, Mysore, India, Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Academics. Amachawadi resurrected and served as the president for the Graduate Student Association in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He has worked as a graduate student panel reviewer and on the Graduate Student Council. His doctoral research is in the area of antimicrobial resistance in swine and cattle, which are major food producing animals. He has been successful in getting grant proposals funded, including one from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More information about the awards programs is available online.

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