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College of Health and Human Sciences

College of Human Ecology recognizes outstanding seniors and commencement speaker

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The College of Human Ecology is proud to honor our outstanding seniors Friday, May 12, at an awards ceremony in the Kansas State Student Union.

Dean John Buckwalter, Assistant Dean Shawna Jordan and Assistant Dean Karen Pence will recognize the outstanding seniors, mentoring program graduates, bestow honor cords and honor program completion certificates, and pay tribute to the student commencement speaker, Courtney Claxton. The presentation will begin at 4 p.m. in the ballroom of the Kansas State Student Union on May 12. A reception will precede the presentation at 3:30 p.m.

This celebration provides a wonderful opportunity to recognize the College of Human Ecology’s most outstanding scholars and leaders.

Courtney Claxton, communication sciences and disorders with a minor in anthropology. Courtney has served as philanthropy chair for the Kansas State Speech Language Hearing Association, senator for K-State’s Student Governing Association, president of the Human Ecology College Council and president of her campus ministry organization. She was selected as a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, human ecology’s honor society, and Delta Alpha Pi, honor society for students with disabilities, and has volunteered over 500 hours with United Services Organization. Courtney worked with young children at Fort Riley as a care provider and at an early childhood center as a speech paraprofessional. She is from Olathe.

Beginning in 2016, each academic program could nominate an outstanding senior in one of three categories that the student best exemplified: engagement, leadership, and research and creative scholarship. Nominations came from faculty and staff.

The Outstanding Student Engagement Award is given to graduating seniors who have made exemplary contributions that impact the well-being of the community or individuals in the community:

Lindsay Adams, personal financial planning with a minor in business. Lindsay served as a peer financial counselor with Powercat Financial for two years. Through Powercat, she worked one-on-one with students and presented on financial topics campuswide. Lindsay was an active member and social chair in her sorority and worked with young children at a church. She was part of the financial planning team that placed third at the 2016 Financial Planning Challenge. She is from Clay Center.

Melissa Curtis, dietetics. Melissa served as co-coordinator for educational programming including Cooking Matters grocery store tours and OrganWise Guys nutrition program. She volunteered with Geary County Health Department and helped plan their WIC Family Fun Day. After moving to Alaska, Melissa became a global campus student and volunteered to educate the Boys and Girls Club of Anchorage about nutrition. She is from Lansing, Michigan.

Jill Haake, family studies and human services with a minor in business. Jill served as an AmeriCorps/VISTA member with the school of Family Studies and Human Services and worked with K-State Research and Extension organizing and evaluating a communitywide poverty simulation. She has volunteered with Thrive!, a nonprofit organization in Manhattan, Manhattan Emergency Shelter, Purple PAWS and Everybody Counts, to gain experience in and with the community. She is from Olathe.

Abby Richards, hospitality management with minors in business and mass communication. Abby was a member of the international honor society for hospitality management students, Eta Sigma Delta. She was human ecology student ambassador and served as vice president of the Hospitality Management Society. Abby participated in Wildcat Watch, the Collegian, the K-State Cheer Team and her sorority. She has interned with Pheasant Run Resort, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and the Columbian Theatre Foundation. She is from Valley Center.

Katlyn Smith, kinesiology and gerontology. Katlyn was a human ecology student ambassador, kinesiology student ambassador and gerontology student ambassador. She served as an officer in the Kinesiology Student Association and was active in her sorority. Katlyn was an undergraduate teaching assistant for the kinesiology program and chosen as a Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellow. Her dedication to the Manhattan community was seen in her volunteer role in many organizations. She is from Andale.

Brooke Wallace, apparel design and production. Brooke served as homecoming chair, new member educator and apparel chair for her sorority and advertising chair for the K-State Rodeo Club. She educates the public about rodeo as a sport and shares her love of horses. A study tour to Guatemala inspired Brooke to sponsor a child’s education. She placed first in the 2105 K-State Project Runway and received a 2016 Best of Show award for her outfit as part of the ATID Showcase of Excellence runway show. She is from New Cambria.

The Outstanding Student Leadership Award is given to graduating seniors who have exhibited excellence in leadership and contributions to their campus, college, program and professional organizations:

Breta Alstrom, dietetics. Breta was vice president of Kappa Omicron Nu and a K-State Open House representative for the dietetics program. She is active in the Student Dietetics Association and through attendance at the National Food and Nutrition Conference, she developed a passion for public policy. Through volunteering, Breta took on an assistant director role with the summer food service program in Lindsborg, Kansas. She is from Halstead.

Katie Baker, hospitality management with a minor in business. Katie was the team lead for the inaugural 2017 Hospitality Summit and organized her classmates in operations, marketing and sponsorship requirements. She served as community engagement chair for the Professional Event Management Society and helped create and coordinate the inaugural Weekend in Wichita event. She was chosen as a 2016 Snyder Legacy Leadership Fellow. Katie completed internships with Walt Disney World, Kansas City Chiefs, Country Stampede and K-State Athletics. She is from St. George.

Gabriella Boeger, family studies and human services with a minor in conflict analysis and trauma studies and a certificate in conflict resolution. Gabriella volunteered with Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan and helped plan teen night and also tutored and provided after-school care at the Douglass Center. She was elected to chaplain and formal recruitment secretary with her sorority and was chosen as a teaching assistant and held two undergraduate research positions. While traveling abroad in Italy, Gabriella organized activities in a child care center. She led a focus group for adolescent females that encouraged open discussion of sensitive topics. She is from Overland Park.

Kelsie Carpenter, kinesiology. Kelsie was a member of the executive board with her sorority, events director and president for the Kinesiology Student Association, and a K-State Open House representative for the kinesiology department. She was a leader among the inaugural Department of Kinesiology Student Ambassadors and a member of the Kinesiology Student Advisory Board. Kelsie was a member of the Human Cadaver Dissection Team and she accumulated over 100 hours of shadowing and 150 hours of volunteering. She is from Leawood.

Lauren Conrow, personal financial planning. Lauren was an active the K-State Financial Planning Association, elected to treasurer for three years, and involved in planning fundraisers. She was part of Kappa Omicron Nu, human ecology’s honor society, and served as their recording secretary. Lauren demonstrates leadership in the classroom through providing and seeking help as needed. She is from St. George.

Melina Cope, interior design and gerontology with a minor in art. Melina co-led the revitalization and was the key to the College of Human Ecology’s involvement in the Kansas State University’s US Green Building Council student chapter, which advocates for sustainable building practices. She was a teaching assistant who took ownership of her role through interacting with students, developing content and suggesting new discussions about relevant issues. Melina’s peers often recognized her ability in exploring advanced digital technologies. She is from Olathe.

Rachel Juenemann, dietetics and nutrition and health. Rachel was a human ecology student ambassador for three years and served as president and vice-president. She was a member and treasurer of the Student Dietetic Association and a national nutrition month committee member. She volunteered with Meals on Wheels, Flint Hills Breadbasket and 4-H.  Rachel was a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, an inaugural Snyder Legacy Leadership Fellow and a recipient of a K-State Leadership scholarship. She is from Colby.

Baylee Ragsdill, apparel marketing with minors in business administration and journalism and mass communications. Baylee was elected president of the Panhellenic Council in addition to serving her sorority. She was involved in the leadership of the AMDA student organization, helped organize the 2016 and 2017 ATID Showcase of Excellence runway shows. As student co-chair for the ATID symposium, Baylee fundraised, planned, recruited speakers and panelists, and communicated with alumni and students. In 2015, she spearheaded the establishment of Odyssey Online for the K-State and operated as the editor-in-chief. She is from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Aaron Simon, apparel design and production. Aaron served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for three faculty members and as the undergraduate student representative for an apparel and textile faculty search. He led his peers as an apparel and textiles student ambassador and the co-director for 2017 Showcase of Excellence. Aaron earned second place in mounted exhibit at the 2015 ATID Showcase of Excellence and his team won best of show for their lookbook. He is from Olathe.

The Outstanding Student Research and Creative Scholarship Award is given to graduating seniors whose research or creative activity has made a significant contribution to the field of study:

Sarah Christensen, hospitality management with a minor in business. Sarah worked as an undergraduate research assistant with hospitality management faculty researching disruptions in event education. As part of this project, she collected data on all available event education sources in detail to create a comprehensive database of event education. Sarah was a member of the Professional Event Management Society and the event manager for the 2016 Travel and Dining Auction. She worked as the event coordination assistant for Visit Topeka. She is from Tecumseh.

Jordan Clipson, family studies and human services with a minor in conflict analysis and trauma studies and a certificate in conflict resolution. Jordan was an undergraduate research assistant and worked on projects such as Kansas Strong Dads, Differentiation in Couple Relationships and Couples with Type 2 Diabetes. She earned first place at the 2016 College of Human Ecology Undergraduate Research Forum for her project “Honey, Can We Talk? The Role of Emotional Disclosure in Romantic Relationships.” Jordan served as a K-State Texas Ambassador and Panhellenic recruitment guide. She is from Paris, Texas.

Twila Linville, dietetics. Twila conducted research in the Exercise Physiology Lab and learned effective participant interaction skills and methods. She assisted with several school nutrition program research projects. Twila worked with the Food and Human Microbiome Laboratory at the University of Illinois to contribute to the preparation and deployment of 3,000 research study meals. During a mission trip to Zambia, she taught nutrition education lessons in the elementary schools and she teaches similar lessons to second grade classes in Manhattan. She is from Bement, Illinois.

Bradyn Nicholson, kinesiology. Bradyn participated in numerous labs within the kinesiology department under many different faculty members regarding public health. She conducted an investigation into the feasibility of sit-to-stand desks for students with emotional disturbances to determine the impact of the desks on sedentary time, physical activity and classroom behaviors. Bradyn was a WellCAT ambassador, a member of Wildcat Wellness Coalition and a member of the Body Project as a peer leader who conducted body acceptance workshops. She is from Wichita.




This article was posted on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, and is filed under Applied Human Sciences, Center on Aging, College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health, Hospitality Management, Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families, Interior Design and Fashion Studies, Kinesiology, Personal Financial Planning.