Student Alumni Board Recognizes First Distinguished Young Alumni Honorees

K-State Alumni Communications

Justine Sterling, a recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Young 
Alumni awards, is congratulated by Amy Button Renz, president 
and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association.
(Photo: David Mayes)
The K-State Alumni Association’s Student Alumni Board’s honored the first recipients of its Distinguished Young Alumni awards at a Feb. 26 dinner reception at the K-State Alumni Center.

Nick Piper, a native of Shawnee, Kan., and Justine Sterling, a native of Hardtner, Kan., are the inaugural recipients of this award, which recognizes two K-State graduates younger than 30 who are using the scholarship, leadership and service experience they acquired at K-State to excel in their professions and contribute to their communities.

Piper, a 2008 graduate of the College of Business, is the founder and CEO of Phoria Energy Solutions, a China-based company that promotes clean and efficient energy use in developing economies. Piper also is involved in several philanthropic organizations, including those that help children with special needs and organizations that promote clean energy. Piper was unable to attend the dinner, but he will be honored during the 2014 presentation next spring.

Sterling, a 2007 graduate of the College of Agriculture, serves as the director of alumni relations for the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. She also has organized large-scale events to recognize servicemen and women wounded in combat, and she has traveled to Africa twice to support the Bush family's trips there as part of their global health program.

While on campus Feb. 26, Sterling presented to several university classes and student organizations. She gave a keynote presentation that evening in Forum Hall, and it was attended by more than 200 students, faculty members and her family. There were several campus dignitaries present for the event, including Amy Button Renz, president and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association, and Fred Cholick, president and CEO of the Kansas State University Foundation.

Following the keynote, Renz presented Sterling with a DYA plaque at a dinner attended by Student Alumni Board seniors and executive members, members of Blue Key honor society as well as Sterling's family members. Other guests at the dinner included John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture, and his wife, Patricia; Don Boggs, associate dean of the college; and Mary Ice, member of the Alumni Association board of directors.

For more information about the program, visit
For more photos from the event, visit

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