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Source: Bill Muir, 785-532-6237, billmuir@k-state.edu

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Robert Gomez, senior in elementary education, Shawnee, is the first recipient of the new Michael E. Brown Alpha Tau Omega Mortar Board Leadership Scholarship.

The $1,000 scholarship was donated by William L. "Bill" Muir through the K-State Alpha Tau Omega Students' Aid Endowment Fund. It was established in 2009 to perpetuate the life of Michael E. "Mike" Brown on the K-State campus, and to provide educational opportunities and assistance for upper-level students who possess exemplary attributes in leadership, scholarship, fellowship and character. Brown, Urbandale, Iowa, is a former member of K-State's chapter of Mortar Board, the senior honor society, and served as its adviser for 13 years. While a student at K-State, Brown was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and has served as treasurer of the fraternity's Students' Aid Endowment Fund for 22 years.

The scholarship, to be awarded annually, goes to a qualified student who is a member of Mortar Board with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA, is judged to be of good character and sound academic standing, and who has substantially contributed to the quality of student life and outstanding leadership at K-State.

Gomez served as president of Mortar Board during the 2008-2009 school year. He is assisting the chapter this year as its webmaster. He also has been involved in many other campus activities and programs, including the K-State Proud Advisory Board, Developing Scholars Program and the K-State Collegian as an opinion columnist. He received the Commerce Bank Presidential Award for Enhancing Multiculturalism at K-State, McKelvie Scholarship, Inspire by Example Outstanding Student Award, K-State Hero Award, Wallace Family Memorial Scholarship and Joey Lee Garman Multicultural Student Scholarship. In addition, Gomez was a 2009 Truman Scholarship finalist.

Gomez has been a student teacher at several schools, including Fort Riley Middle School, Ogden Elementary School, Centro Escolar Miguel Migone School in Mixco, Guatemala, and is currently at Lincoln Elementary School in Junction City. After graduating from K-State in May, he plans to become a full-time elementary school teacher.

"This would allow me to utilize my creativity, enjoyment of children and versatility in teaching multiple subjects," Gomez said. "My teaching goal is to create a living, learning community where respect, trust and democracy are the foundations for the giving and receiving of knowledge."

Gomez was selected by a three-member committee that included Muir; Pat Bosco, K-State vice president for student life and dean of students; and Mary Hale Tolar, director of the K-State School of Leadership Studies.

"We are very pleased to be able to offer this scholarship to an outstanding Mortar Board member who is involved in university leadership activities and programs," Bosco said. "Special thanks to the local Alpha Tau Omega Endowment Fund and Bill Muir for making this scholarship a reality, and congratulations to Bobby Gomez on being the first scholarship recipient."

Muir, who is president of the K-State Alpha Tau Omega Students' Aid Endowment Fund, said, "We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to award this scholarship in honor of Mike Brown to an outstanding student like Bobby Gomez. Mike has been involved with Kansas State University and its programs for more than twenty years. He was a member of both Mortar Board and Alpha Tau Omega. It is very appropriate that we honor his life of service with this scholarship."

"We are extremely proud to have this scholarship named after Mike Brown, who was Mortar Board adviser for more than 13 years," Tolar said. "Bobby is one of K-State's outstanding student leaders, and possesses good, all-around qualities that fit the criteria for this scholarship."

A permanent scholarship plaque will be on display at the School of Leadership Studies.



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