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K-State Today

May 6, 2016

Blue Key Senior Honorary selects Outstanding Alumni award recipient

Submitted by Ava Clark

The K-State chapter of Blue Key has a deep focus on leadership development and service to others. Blue Key selected Jill Arensdorf as this year's recipient of the Richard E. Mistler Outstanding Blue Key Alumni award. Arensdorf was a member of the 1999-2000 Blue Key class.

Arensdorf graduated with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from K-State, and earned a master's degree in agricultural education and leadership from Texas A&M and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from K-State.

Arensdorf currently serves as an associate professor and chair of the leadership studies department at Fort Hays State University, where she has been teaching courses on leadership theory and behaviors for 14 years, and serving as department chair for nearly five years. She coordinates a living-learning community at the university called L3-Live. Learn. Lead. She also serves as a fellow for the Center for Civic Leadership. Arensdorf has received numerous awards for her teaching and advising.

Arensdorf is committed to the idea that leadership can be learned, and her teaching and scholarship demonstrates the value of applied learning through service and civic engagement. She has published numerous articles on the effects of service-learning on the development of youth's leadership skills, as well as the transfer of skills to the workplace.

In her personal and professional roles, Arensdorf emulates the Blue Key motto "serving I live" each and every day. She actively serves in the community serving the American Red Cross to volunteering with summer baseball programs, to teaching Sunday school classes.

Arensdorf's friends and colleagues note that she is a true servant leader; she leads with a caring heart and fierce passion for developing others. She has the unique ability to make you feel special and supported while challenging you to grow.

Arensdorf was recognized for modeling a true commitment to service, leadership and scholarship. She is committed to developing student leaders, and Blue Key recognizes that it is because of the legacy of outstanding alumni like her that the organization continues to thrive.

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