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College of Human Ecology honors seven outstanding seniors

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 

MANHATTAN — The College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University will honor seven graduating seniors for their academic achievements and contributions to their major, the university and the community on Friday, Dec. 11.

Dean John Buckwalter will present the awards at Graduation Honors and Student Awards Celebration at 4 p.m. in Flint Hills Room of the K-State Student Union. The students were chosen by their academic program faculty.

Earning the recognition are the following seniors:

• Lakyn Baughman, communications sciences and disorders, Altamont, has worked as a behavior therapist for a young child with autism and has participated in a language research lab. She has been active in the Student Speech-Language Hearing Association and has volunteered as a Little League basketball coach and with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She plans to attend graduate school and become a speech-language pathologist.

• Kimberly Friedrichs, nutrition and health with a minor in leadership studies, Mount Hope, is a Putnam scholar and a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She has worked at Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community and has been a volunteer with the Women's Crisis Center, Wildcat Wellness and Flint Hills Community Clinic. She was part of the cadaver dissection team. Friedrichs plans to attend graduate school to become a physician's assistant and work with the medically underserved.

• Kaitlyn Ellis, hospitality management, Overland Park, also was selected as the student speaker for the college's commencement on Dec. 12. She was one of five students nationwide — and the first from Kansas State University — to receive the Joe Perdue Scholarship from the Club Managers Association of America Foundation. She has completed introductory sommelier certification and hopes to become a certified club manager. She would like to work in the private club industry in Kansas City. Ellis served as president of Sigma Kappa sorority and of the university's chapter of Club Managers Association of America. She has a secondary major in gerontology with minors in leadership studies, French and business administration.

• Jennifer W. Haake, distance student in general family studies and human services from Overland Park, hopes to become a medical social worker, a choice inspired by a social worker who helped her and her husband deal with their son's cleft lip and cleft palate. Graduation has been a 15-year journey; Haake worked her class schedule around military life and three sons. She has earned scholastic honors and has been a student member of the National Council on Family Relations. She has promoted awareness and education about children born with craniofacial anomalies.

• Kayla Zerr, kinesiology with an emphasis on exercise physiology, Quinter, will graduate summa cum laude and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Pre-Physical Therapy Club. Her volunteer work includes Special Olympics Polar Plunge and Polar 5K Strut, Manhattan Parks and Recreation third- and fourth-grade girls' basketball coach and Kansas Kids Fitness Day group leader. She has worked as a rehabilitation technician at Lafene Health Center and a farmhand with Zerr Farms in Park.

• Jennifer Fox, general family studies and human services at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus, has volunteered at the Early Head Start program to raise awareness of children with special needs. A resident of Salina, she hopes to work with low-income at-risk children and their families or survivors of domestic violence. Said one of her professors, "She has great drive and determination that stands out in the classroom."

• Savannah Smith, general family studies and human services, Chinook, Montana, has been on the university's equestrian team for three years and was its captain in the 2014-2015 season. She has been an Academic All-American for two years and was reserve champion Western Team member and competitor. She has worked with the Crisis Center, volunteered at the animal shelter and was a child and youth development program intern at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Her goal is "to advocate for those who have had their rights stolen, neglected or abused," she said.


Cara Richardson


College of Human Ecology

News tip

Altamont, Mount Hope, Overland Park, Park, Quinter and Salina, Kansas; and Chinook, Montana.

Written by

Jane P. Marshall

At a glance

Kansas State University's College of Human Ecology is honoring seven of its graduating seniors for excellence.