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K-State Today

June 29, 2018

Faculty, staff and students receive K-State Global Campus awards

Submitted by Grant Guggisberg

Kansas State University Global Campus presented awards to university faculty, staff and students at the 2018 K-State Global Campus honors and awards reception April 25.

Jessyca Waddell, online graduate student pursuing a youth development master's degree, received the Extraordinary Student Award. This award is given to a currently enrolled distance student who has overcome obstacles in their educational path and demonstrates academic excellence, focus and career ambition.

Waddell's academic journey has at times taken a backseat to a host of medical challenges. She has been diagnosed with numerous chronic and degenerative health conditions, and has undergone 11 spinal surgeries. Because of her limitations, Waddell was forced to reconsider her dream of becoming a veterinarian.

"My passion for science and medicine, along with my own medical struggles, led me to my current career aspiration: to become a physician assistant with a focus on adolescent medicine," Waddell said.

Waddell plans to continue her education after finishing her master's degree at K-State in support of her dreams.

Sarah Riforgiate, associate professor of communication studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Excellence in Online Teaching Award. The award recognizes an online instructor or faculty member who has provided outstanding online teaching, course development, mentoring of students and service to the field of continuing education.

Riforgiate was nominated by former students who noted her attention to detail, interactive and thought-provoking teaching style and strong communication skills, all of which are key to successful teaching online.

Suzy Auten, director of the online professional Master of Business Administration through the College of Business Administration, received the Outstanding Advisor Award, given to a K-State faculty or staff member demonstrating exceptional efforts in assisting and advising distance students.

As director, Auten takes on a number of different roles relating to the Professional Master of Business Administration program, but it's her personal touch as an advisor to distance students noted by those who nominated her for the Outstanding Advisor Award. Several nominations spoke to Auten's willingness to familiarize herself with the interests and needs of each individual student.

Art Rathbun and Robert Stokes each received the Friend of Global Campus Award for significant contributions to advance K-State Global Campus programs and services.

Rathbun supports Global Campus by continuing to teach a stress management course years after his retirement from a full-time career with K-State Counseling Services. To date, Rathbun has taught 704 students in 41 sections, most of which were online.

Stokes, professor of civil engineering and former civil engineering department head, has benefited Global Campus and its constituents by encouraging faculty to teach online courses and to host conferences, workshops and seminars through Global Campus.

Kristen Egger, a student employee in the Global Campus conferences and noncredit programs office, received the Star Student Award, which recognizes a student employee who consistently goes above and beyond the requirements of their position to make meaningful and positive contributions to Global Campus.

Egger is a senior in mass communications who plans to pursue a law degree. In her time with Global Campus, Egger was extremely dependable, able to work independently and a creative problem-solver.

Marci Ritter, executive assistant to the dean of Global Campus, received the Lynda Spire Positive Focus Award. This award honors the positive leadership of Lynda Spire, retired assistant dean of K-State Global Campus.

In addition to providing administrative assistance to the dean, Ritter leads the dean's office staff and coordinates many Global Campus activities, including annual goals, special projects, evaluations and personnel issues. Ritter, a self-described believer in the power of positivity, was nominated for this award based on her constant professionalism and positivity in the workplace.