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College of Human Ecology

K-State honors 13 graduating seniors for leadership, improving campus life

Friday, April 27, 2007

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University students from fields as diverse as aeronautics and environmental sciences have been named outstanding graduating seniors. The awards were presented at an April 18 reception by Pat Bosco, K-State associate vice president for institutional advancement and dean of student life.

The awards, first given in 1999, recognize the significant contributions these seniors made to student life at K-State. Directors and staff members in institutional advancement nominated candidates; Bosco made the final selections.

"It's always a difficult decision," Bosco said, "because K-State has so many remarkable seniors who go out of their way to improve the campus experience for other students. But this group's accomplishments reallystand out."

Each student received a plaque. Recipients of the awards include:

* Lindsay MacAdam Frasier, December 2006 bachelor's graduate in public relations, Augusta, was a member of Blue Key senior honorary, Chimes junior honorary and Golden Key academic honorary. She also has served on the All-University Open House Committee and worked with new student services and the Student Governing Association. She was a member of the Solar Car Racing Team. Her community service includes work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "I believe my leadership experiences taught me the confidence to really strive toward my goals," Frasier said. "I found that through hard work, anything can happen." Her long-term goal is to lead a nonprofit organization that supports children in need.

* J. Tyson Moore, senior in information systems, El Dorado, has been active in Student Senate and in his fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi, where he was pledge educator, treasurer and director of alumni relations. He is president of the Blue Key, the senior honorary, and executive secretary of the Phi Eta Sigma honorary. Moore has volunteered with United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Flint Hills Breadbasket and at Manhattan elementary schools. "You will fall or stumble on your journey to be the best person you can be," Moore said. "True character is measured by how fast you stand back up, learn from your mistakes and move on."

* Akilah Mahon, senior in finance, Kansas City, Kan., has been president of K-State's Black Student Union, a delegate to the Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government and chair of the Diversity in Action conference. She has volunteered with Telefund, the Girl Scouts, the Salvation Army, the First Tee National Golf Academy and the Peer-Mentor Academic Assistance Center. Mahon has the following advice for future leaders: "Understand that your actions weigh more than your words and will impact others and yourself." After graduating from K-State, Mahon would like to pursue a master's degree while working for a finance company.

* Zachary Hauser, senior in political science, Lenexa, has been a columnist for the Kansas State Collegian, a student senator and the president of the Interfraternity Council, as well as vice president of his fraternity, Delta Chi. Hauser also was co-founder of K-State's V-Week, which raises awareness about violence against women. His other volunteer work includes the Adopt-a-School program. In describing the leadership lessons he has learned, Hauser quotes Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." After graduation in May, he plans to pursue a master's degree in public administration.

* Sheena Tiruvoor Nagaraja, senior in biology, Manhattan, is a Putnam scholar and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholar. She has held numerous positions in her sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma, as well as in Mortar Board senior honorary, Silver Key sophomore honorary and Chimes junior honorary. Her volunteer work has included Adopt-a-Family, the annual university blood drive, Letters to Soldiers, Relay for Life and tutoring at the Douglass Community Center. "My leadership experiences at K-State have provided me with the tools, experiences and support throughout the years, and I'm thankful for all the opportunities and amazing people I've met, she said. Nagaraja plans to study optometry at the University of California at Berkeley after graduating from K-State in May.

* Shea Larson, senior in communication sciences and disorders and Spanish, Scandia, was a member of Silver Key sophomore honorary, Chimes junior honorary, Blue Key senior honorary, and Kappa Omicron Nu, the national honor society for human sciences. She has been a speech pathology lab instructor and an ambassador for the College of Human Ecology. A member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, Larson has been a delegate to the Panhellenic executive council. Her volunteer work includes coaching youth track and cross country clubs and working as a court-appointed children's advocate. "The people I met through my leadership experiences have truly shaped the person I am today," she said. Larson plans to pursue graduate work in bilingual speech language pathology.

* Amanda Lyn Hoffman, senior in speech, Topeka, has been chief of staff for the Student Governing Association, a class leader and ambassador for K-State leadership studies and programs, and a member of Women's Glee Club and the K-State Singers. She belongs to the Lambda Pi Eta communication studies honorary, Phi Eta Sigma freshman honorary and Chimes junior honorary. Hoffman has volunteered on fundraisers for Nothing but Nets, Hurricane Katrina victims and the Cats for Cans food drive. "When I get involved in an organization," she said, "it is most important to me that I am truly doing something for the people around me." Hoffman will be a K-State admissions representative after her graduation in May.

* Matthew D. King, senior in political science, Wichita, has been active in the Student Governing Association and Student Alumni Board, as well as his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. He was president of the K-State Proud campaign. He belongs to Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi academic honoraries; Blue Key, the senior honorary; Chimes, the junior honorary; and Silver Key, the sophomore honorary. He was selected as both a Fulbright and Udall scholar, and was a finalist or nominated for the Truman, Rhodes and Marshall scholarships. At K-State, he was a Kassebaum and Kansas State University Foundation scholar. As a Fulbright scholar, he will work on a master's degree in environmental change and management at Oxford University. He then plans to attend law school.

* Brian J. Weber, senior in professional pilot, Wichita, is editor of On the Record, the student newspaper of K-State at Salina, where he also is a student ambassador. He volunteers with the Boy Scouts and was Web update team leader for the GlobalFlyer closed-circuit distance record flight in 2006. "Being a leader helped me break out of my shell and become a more outgoing person," Weber said. His postgraduation plans include working as an air-safety investigator for Hawker Beechcraft Corp.

* Emily A. Besler, senior in political science and marketing, Evergreen, Colo., has been vice chair of Student Senate, vice president of membership for the Student Alumni Board and co-director of recruitment for Blue Key, the senior honorary. A member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Besler also belongs to the K-State Student Foundation and has been an intern with the office of student life. She also coordinated the K-State Proud: Students Changing Lives campaign, which raised more than $62,000. Besler hopes to find a marketing job in the nonprofit sector after graduating in December 2007.

* Trisha Gott, senior in Spanish, Crystal Lake, Ill., has been president of Mortar Board senior honorary as well as an intern at the Coffman Institute. She has served on the diversity team at Moore Hall, where she was named new student of the year in 2003-04. Gott has volunteered at a children's summer camp in Izamal, Mexico, and at the K-State Women's Center. "My experiences in Mexico changed my life, as they piqued my interest in becoming a Spanish major," Gott said. Her advice to future leaders: "Welcome bad news, look for laughter in every situation and relish every opportunity you get to grow and change." She will spend the next two years as an admissions representative for K-State.

* Ashley Boldt, senior in family studies and human services, Omaha, Neb., has been chair of Student Senate, an ambassador for leadership studies and programs, secretary of the Asian-American Student Union and a member of the K-State Proud student advisory board. A resident assistant in Goodnow Hall, Boldt belongs to the National Residence Hall Honorary, which has granted her several awards. She also has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Clubs and the Salvation Army. "Leadership is not about status or position," Boldt said. "It is about the people around you and the situations that you can make better for everyone." She plans to devote the next few years to a service-based organization before going on to graduate studies or law school.

* Dena Nicole Dourisseau, senior in kinesiology, Omaha, Neb. has earned numerous scholarships in her time at K-State, including a housing leadership scholarship, and has served as treasurer of K-State's Black Student Union and as president of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. She is a member of Mortar Board senior honorary and the Multicultural Student Honor Society. In addition to participating in the Developing Scholars Program, Dourisseau has worked on many boards and committees across campus, including the Campus Activities Board and the Diversity Funding Board. "Being flexible and open-minded about new and challenging situations has made me the person I am today," she said. Dourisseau plans to go to graduate school to become a physician assistant.

Source: Pat Bosco, 785-532-6237, bosco@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Andy Badeker, 785-532-6415, abadeker@k-state.edu

This article was posted on Friday, April 27, 2007, and is filed under Family Studies & Human Services.