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K-State Today

February 9, 2016



Community invited to Distinguished Young Alumni presentations Feb. 23

By Tim Schrag

DYA Logo

The K-State Student Alumni Board, a program of the K-State Alumni Association, will honor the 2016 Distinguished Young Alumni Award recipients, Kourtney Bettinger and Clemente Jaquez, on Feb. 23.

The award, established in 2012, recognizes two Kansas State University graduates who are younger than 35 and are using the scholarship, leadership and service experience they acquired at K-State to excel in their professions and contribute to their communities.

Bettinger and Jaquez will return to campus Feb. 22-24 to visit with student groups and university classes. The K-State community is invited to attend their keynote presentations Feb. 23 in Little Theatre in the K-State Student Union. Bettinger’s presentation will begin at 3 p.m. A casual reception will take place from 3:30-4 p.m. in the lobby of the theater, followed by Jaquez’s presentation at 4 p.m.

"We encourage everyone to join us for the keynote presentations, which are sure to be inspiring to current students as well as alumni, faculty and staff," said Amanda Lee, assistant director of student programs for the Alumni Association and Student Alumni Board adviser. "This year’s recipients truly embody what it means to be a K-Stater and are not only succeeding professionally but also are using their time and talents to better their communities and the world."

Bettinger, a native of the Kansas City area, is a physician and pediatric resident at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado. While at K-State, Bettinger was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and served as president of Student Alumni Board and president of the K-State Rotaract Club, among other roles. Bettinger also was a 2006 Truman Scholar. She graduated from K-State in 2006 with a degree in modern languages and also earned a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

"I discovered myself through my K-State experience," Bettinger said. "My experiences at K-State set me up for incredible opportunities, including the Harry S. Truman Scholarship that led me to a social justice internship in Washington, D.C., medical school and the executive board of a free clinic. Through these programs, I gained an appreciation for reaching underserved populations in my own community, which is leading me back to Wyandotte County next year to work as a Spanish-speaking pediatrician."

Jaquez, a native of Garden City, Kansas, is the design director for Hoefer Wysocki Architecture in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from K-State in 2008 with a master’s degree in architecture and has been recognized as an outstanding practitioner and community advocate. While at K-State, Jaquez was an active member of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, National Organization of Minority Architecture Students and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, among other roles. He was also a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, K-State Alumni Association Anderson Senior Award recipient, president of Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity and the Sigma Tau Delta Architecture student of the year.

"For me, K-State became a gateway to the world, whether it was through research or travels, I begin to appreciate the relevance of social trends, culture and economy on everyday life … I became a design thinker," Jaquez said. "This mentality drives my design approach: to make practical and meaningful contributions."

For more on the Distinguished Young Alumni program, visit www.K-State.com/DYA or call the K-State Alumni Association at 800-600-ALUM (2586).

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