Student Excellence Awards Recognize Outstanding Student Leaders

Published on May 11, 2022

The second annual Student Excellence Awards recognized student leaders from across all facets of student life Thursday, April 21 at the EKU Center for the Arts. 

“Students are truly the heart of EKU and are continually giving back to the institution, their peers and the community in unique ways,” said Loni Yost, executive director of Student Life & First-Year Experience. “It is important that students know their service and efforts positively impact the EKU experience for others. The Student Excellence Awards provide an opportunity to recognize some of the amazing students and student organizations for their contributions.” 

The list of winners is as follows:

Housing and Residence Life

  • National Residence Hall Honorary Member of the Year: Bethany Orr

  • Living Learning Community Student of the Year: Emily Burcham 

  • Housing and Residence Life Colonel Student Service Award: Jakob Smith 

First-Year Courses recognized three students: Sarah Butler, Jenna Cecil and Liam Kaune. 

NOVA recognized five students as winners of the Nancy Hindman Leadership Award: Charity Asher, Hannah Jacobs, Helena Simms, Russell Smith and Rachel Williams. 

Campus Recreation

  • Adventure Programs Participant of the Year: Thomas “Gabe” Price

  • Intramural Male Participant of the Year: Cameron Gillum 

  • Intramural Female Participant of the Year: Sarah Ezell

  • Sport Club of Year: Women’s Club Soccer

  • Group Fitness Participant of the Year: Maggie Hall 

EKU Athletics

  • Donna Sowder Award of Exemplary Colonel Spirit: Phi Delta Theta 

  • “Oh Yeah!” Award of Exemplary Colonel Spirit: Chi Omega

  • EKU Athletics Male Athlete of the Year nominees are: Will Brian and Kendal Ewell from baseball; Ahmed Jaziri from cross country/track and field; and Davion Ross from football 

  • EKU Athletics Female Athlete of the Year nominees are: Nerea DeDiego from soccer; Ragnhildur (Ragga) Kristinsdottir from golf; Sammi Miller from softball; and Quantasia Perry from cross country/track and field. 

The Center for Africana Engagement recognized two students as Interns of the Year: Sophia Carter and Cinzeen Grace Daleng. 

Bobby Verdugo and Yoli Rios Bilingual Peer Mentor and Tutoring Center “El Centro” Awards: 

  • Professional Excellence and Mentoring: Mauro Madrid Perez 

  • Outstanding Leadership and Peer Mentor Award: Brittany Guerrero 

  • Outstanding Ambassador and Tutor Award: Erin Wilson 

  • Outstanding Service Award: Karla Rodriguez

Center for Inclusive Excellence and Global Engagement 

  • Ambassador Awards were given to: Alyssa Reneros, Amiya Griffin Taylor, A’Mya Vasser, Bianca Apariciio, and Laura DeCotiis

  • Collaborator of the Year Awards were shared by Cinzeen Grace Daleng, president of the African Student Association, and Hodavia Kaseya, vice president of the African Student Association. 

  • Rodney Gross Excellence Awards were presented to: Peou Ratana Bun, Elijah Cruz Cardona, Chloe Greenidge, and Jediah Holman. 

Student Government Association

  • Gardner Award (General Senate Member): Holly Miller

  • Gardner Award (Senate Chair) Travis Pendygraft 

  • Begley Award (CAB General Member): Lilly Lorenz

  • Begley Award (General SGA Member): Macy Zellars

  • Outstanding Senior: Andrew Cathey 

  • Funderburk Award: Jenna Smith 

Fraternity and Sorority Life

  • IFC New Member of the Year: Dean Carlson from Phi Delta Theta

  • Panhellenic New Member of the Year: Grace Alleruzzo from Kappa Alpha Theta

  • IFC Man of the Year: Ken Nguyen from Phi Delta Theta

  • Multicultural Greek Council Leader of the Year: Oscar Garcia from Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity 

  • National Pan-Hellenic Council Leader of the Year: Diamonique Ealy, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 

  • Panhellenic Woman of the Year: Kae Peterson, Kappa Alpha Theta

  • Fraternity Man of the Year: Curtis DeGrant, Sigma Nu

  • Sorority Woman of the Year: Kylee Tyson, Alpha Delta Pi 

  • IFC Outstanding Chapter: Phi Delta Theta

  • Multicultural Greek Council Outstanding Chapter: Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity 

  • National Pan-Hellenic Council Outstanding Chapter: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.. 

  • Panhellenic Outstanding Chapter: Chi Omega

  • IFC President of the Year: Michael Prater, Phi Delta Theta 

  • National Pan-Hellenic Council President of the Year: Imani Anderson, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. 

  • Panhellenic President of the Year: McKenna Moore, Chi Omega

  • The Kelly Hardy & Caleb Dunn Inspirational Awards were presented to Gabby Cordas of Chi Omega and Katelyn Richardson of Alpha Omicron Pi

Student Life & First-Year Experience

  • Colonel Community Service Awards were presented to Sarah Hornback, Bradley Behymer, Aaron Easterlink and Elana Arlinghaus

  • Excellence in Service (Individual): Bradley Behymer

  • Colonel Community Service Award (Group): EKU Recreation & Parks Administration, Council of Exceptional Children, and Alpha Phi Omega 

  • Excellence in Service (Group): EKU Recreation & Parks Administration 

  • RSO Outstanding Service Program: “Spread the Word to End the Word” by the Council of Exceptional Children 

  • RSO New Event of the Year: 

    • Honorable Mention: “RPA Pig Roast and Pumpkin Painting” by the Rec Club

    • Winner: “Campus Karaoke” by the Student Alumni Ambassadors 

  • RSO Collaboration of the Year was presented to two groups: 

    • “Canned Food Drive Competition” by Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Gamma Delta, Pre-Physical Therapy Student Association and Alpha Phi Sigma

    • “Greek Feud” by National Panhellenic Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council 

  • RSO Officer of the Year: Curtis DeGrant, Maroon Platoon President 

Student Excellence Awards

  • First-Year Student of the Year: Kimberly Bargo 

  • Sophomore Student of the Year: Julia Day

  • Junior Student of the Year: Lydia Smith 

  • Senior Student of the Year: Jared Christian 

  • Graduate Student of the Year: Damon Tichenor