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K-State Today

October 5, 2012

Mortar Board presents Excellence in Advising Award with Distinction to Candice Hironaka Pitts

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society announced Candice Hironaka Pitts as the recipient of the Excellence in Advising Award with Distinction. For the past 15 years, Hironaka Pitts has been the senior associate director of student, alumni and community relations in the School of Leadership Studies until her retirement earlier this year.

The honor was presented at the society's national conference in Chicago in late July.

For the first time in the 14-year history of Mortar Board's advising award program, the Mortar Board National Council has created a separate category to recognize advisers who had already received an advising award and whose service as adviser has been exemplary over the long term. The Excellence in Advising Award with Distinction was created for extraordinary service of longstanding by advisers of Mortar Board chapters.

Prior to her career in higher education administration, Hironaka Pitts taught elementary school for over two decades. She earned a baccalaureate degree in elementary education from Oregon State University, where she was a member of the Cap & Gown chapter of Mortar Board, and she holds a master's degree in educational leadership from Kansas State University.

Describing Hironaka Pitts, her nominators for the award wrote, "Whenever we set goals for ourselves, she is our biggest cheerleader, be it in Mortar Board, on campus, or in the 'real world.'"

Facilitating the fall retreat with team-building exercises, explaining how to set attainable goals, moderating the rare disagreement -- with a reminder that Mortar Board's ideals are what is important -- and striving for diversity are only some of this versatile adviser's skills.

The groundwork laid by Hironaka Pitts is evidenced by the chapter's success at the national level, earning both a Golden Torch Award and a Project Excellence award for their outstanding efforts this year. Though retiring as adviser, Hironaka Pitts' Mortar Board involvement continues forward as a charter member of the newly-formed national Mortar Board Alumni Association.

Mortar Board is the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. Since its founding in 1918, the society has grown from four to 229 chartered collegiate chapters with more than a quarter-million members across the nation. The XIX chapter at Kansas State University was chartered in 1928 and currently has 25 members.

Mortar Board provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Some notable Mortar Board members include pioneering engineer Lillian Gilbreth, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Emmy-winning actor Rue McClanahan, astronauts Judith Resnik and Janice Voss, adventurer Aron Ralston and lifestyle expert Bruce Littlefield. Learn more about Mortar Board at www.mortarboard.org.

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