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

Posted April 23, 2018

Nine 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 25 at the K-State Alumni Center.

The honors include five 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:
Jack Ayres, bachelor’s candidate in chemical engineering and biological engineering, Overland Park, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Outstanding Leadership. Ayers served as student body president. During that time he served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council, Faculty Senate, Kansas Board of Regents Students’ Advisory Committee, K-State Alumni Board of Directors, Student Alumni Board and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

Bryan Davis, bachelor’s candidate in management information systems, Topeka, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Outstanding Leadership. Davis served as president of the K-State Black Student Union; chair of the Big XII Council on Black Student Government; assistant district director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; a member of the planning committee for the Multicultural Student Center, the search committee for the assistant vice president for diversity and the Diversity 2025 Committee.

Geordy Williams, bachelor’s candidate in computer science, Prairie Village, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Outstanding Service. Williams served as the first president of the Edgerley-Franklin Urban leaders, webmaster and historian for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and was a member of the Developing Scholars Program. He also served as director of NSBE’s Engineering a Dream event for youth to experience engineering activities on campus. He founded CoderDojo MHK, a volunteer service organization for young people to learn how to code. He has volunteered with the mobile food bank, Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community, Habitat for Humanity and other service organizations.

Faith (Mi Ge) Kim, bachelor’s candidate in biology and pre-medicine, Wichita, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Outstanding Academics. Kim maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her academic career and conducted 20 hours of weekly research in the biology lab resulting in the co-authorship of a manuscript. In addition, she held leadership roles within the K-State Red Cross club, conducted research for the Johnson Cancer Center, volunteered for Via Christi hospital and Sunset Zoo, and performed as a member of an acapella group.

Samantha Estabrook, bachelor’s and master’s candidate in community and regional planning, Buhler, Kansas, Anderson Senior Award for Outstanding Inspiration. Estabrook was an Edgerley Franklin Scholar and an undergraduate researcher with the Developing Scholars Program. She served as a Residential Learning Assistant for 50 students in the residence halls. She also is the membership chair for the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students and secretary for the Student Planning Association and served as the president of the Environmental Design Student Association.

Bhupinder Sandhu, doctoral candidate in inorganic chemistry, Punjab, India, Graduate Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service. Sandhu was the vice president of the Indian Student Association. She organized a cricket tournament and a traditional Indian social function called "Sanskriti" for K-State students in an attempt to bridge the gap between the diverse communities on campus. Additionally, Bhupinder served as the treasurer of Phi Lambda Upsilon chapter in the Department of Chemistry and co-chair of the International Student Affairs Committee on the Graduate Student Council.

Lauren Ruhlmann, doctoral candidate in couple and family therapy, Edmund, Oklahoma, Graduate Award for Outstanding Academics. Ruhlmann’s research focuses on the development of protocol for treating the complex trauma and substance abuse issues facing victims of human trafficking resulting in the establishment of RESTORE, a community-based research and education program dedicated to promoting resilience and empowerment for victims. She taught advanced undergraduate courses, presented at national conferences and submitted 10 research publications. She also served as Lab Coordinator for the Trauma Research Education and Consultation lab at K-State.

Mary Abounabhan, bachelor’s candidate in management, Zahle, Lebanon, Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Award. Abounabhan served as multicultural affairs director for the Student Governing Association, president of the Chinese language and Culture Club, a workshop facilitator for the KSUnite universitywide event, and the student representative for the chief diversity and inclusion officer search committee.

James Krotz, master’s candidate in college student development, Belleville, Kansas, Tony Jurich Community Commitment and Leadership Award. Krotz served as a student senator in the Student Governing Association, and as SGA’s state relations director, representing SGA to Kansas government, including the Kansas Legislature and the Board of Regents. He was chairperson of the Legislative Advocates, a grass roots group to support students’ interests in public service, and was appointed as Graduate School representative on the tuition and fees strategy committee. He also chaired the Chet E. Peters Lecture Series in student development.

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).