K-State Alumni Association honors eight K-State students for excellence

Posted April 12, 2017

Eight graduating Kansas State University students will be recognized by the K-State Alumni Association for outstanding achievements throughout their college careers during an awards luncheon on April 18 at the K-State Alumni Center.

The honors include four upcoming graduates who earned the Anderson Senior Award, which recognizes graduating seniors for academics, leadership, inspiration and service. The award was established in 1998 and pays tribute to K-State’s second president, John Anderson, who served from 1873 to 1879.

The Alumni Association will recognize two graduate students with its Graduate Student Award, which was established in 2010. The award recognizes outstanding graduate students for academics, service and leadership.

Two students also will be presented with the Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Award at the ceremony. The award was established in honor of the late K-State professor Tony Jurich, who taught in the College of Human Ecology for more than 39 years. It recognizes both graduate and undergraduate students who have demonstrated a commitment to community leadership and service through Jurich’s core leadership tenets.

Faculty and peers nominate students for the awards, and committees consisting of members of the Alumni Association board of directors and K-State students select the recipients.

“These students are role models for leadership, community service and academics and exemplify the caliber of students at K-State,” said Michelle Elkins, associate director of awards and special events for the Alumni Association. “It is an honor to recognize their achievements.”

Recipients of awards from the Alumni Association are:

Stephen Kucera, bachelor’s candidate in accounting and music performance, Kansas City, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Outstanding Leadership. Kucera has been a member of the Student Governing Association for the past five years, holding the office of speaker pro tempore since spring 2016. Additionally, he was a member of the Union Governing Board, Union Corporation Board, College of Business Administration’s Professional Advantage Program, It’s On Us, K-State Advocacy Campaign. He also served as treasurer for Phi Mu Alpha honor society.

Zev Allen, bachelor’s candidate in life sciences and pre-medicine, Soldier, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Outstanding Service. Allen was a member of Acacia Fraternity, Blue Key Senior Honorary, Student Alumni Board, the K-State FEED task force, and was an integral part of the establishment of HandsOn Kansas State which distributes over 20,000 pounds of food each semester. 

Raquel Ortega, bachelor’s candidate in chemistry, Wichita, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Oustanding Academics. Ortega was a member of the Developing Scholars Program, the Hispanic American Leadership Organization, the Bossmann-Troyer Cancer Research Group and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Her research as an undergraduate student has been stellar with exciting results presented at the Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Shari Humbard, bachelor’s candidate in accounting, Junction City, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Outstanding Inspiration. Humbard has been a peer-to-peer counselor for Powercat Financial Planning, a member of the College of Business Administration’s Professional Advantage Program, Beta Alpha Psi and Student Accounting Society. Humbard has demonstrated her commitment to the alleviation of poverty, through her volunteer work with Thrive!, an organization that provides life skills, educational and social connections for people in poverty.

Michael Reichenberger, doctoral candidate in nuclear engineering, Mount Hope, Kansas, Graduate Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service. Reichenberger has contributed to research projects that have brought more than $3 million to K-State. He has served as the graduate student representative for the Student Governing Association and treasurer of the Graduate Student Council. Reichenberger was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Graduate Student Leadership Development Program.

Brooke Cull, doctoral candidate in human nutrition, Oakland, Nebraska, Graduate Award for Outstanding Academics. Cull has been the wellness policy and project coordinator for a grant promoting wellness and obesity prevention in Girl Scout troops in the Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri Council. She also served as the laboratory manager of the Physical Activity and Nutritional Clinic Research Consortium. She has been a winner of the College of Human Ecology Research Forum for the past two years. Cull’s research focuses on health promotion for adolescents.

Emily Stolfus, bachelor’s candidate in elementary education, St. Joseph, Missouri, Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Award. Stolfus was a member of the K-State Marching Band Drum Line, Mortar Board Honor Society, International Service Teams program and was involved with the Mandela Washington Fellows Program. Stolfus played a key role in organizing Reading is Power Day at the Manhattan Public Library and participated in the International Service Team Program where she spent a summer working with a rural migrant community in Mexico.

Janelle Brooks, master’s candidate in counseling and college student development, St. Louis, Missouri, Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Award. Brooks has served as a StrengthsQuest Advocate and a member of the Higher Education Student Association leadership team. In her work with the College to Career Institute, Brooks has developed career readiness programming for first-generation and multicultural undergraduate students.

For more information about the awards programs, visit www.K-State.com/awards or call the K-State Alumni Association at 800-600-ALUM (2586).