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180 students awarded and recognized at Student Recognition Dinner

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180 students awarded and recognized at Student Recognition Dinner

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Aaron Nicholaisen | Staff Writer

Buena Vista University (BVU) held its annual Student Recognition Dinner on April 25. Each year, the dinner brings light to club presidents and students who are nominated within the university for their academic success. This year, 380 individuals attended where 180 students were honored and awarded.

BVU President Fred Moore expresses the importance of the dinner within the university.

“Traditions such as the Student Recognition Dinner help define a community of learners,” Moore said. “It is critically important for us to pause and celebrate student achievements in academics and co-curricular pursuits,” Moore said.

This year 28 first year, 24 second year, 21 third year, and 25 fourth year students were awarded the BV Academic Excellence award. In order to be considered for the award, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher.

The Fine Arts Award is given to one BV student who demonstrates outstanding talent in fine arts. This year’s recipient is Dong Wang. The award congratulates an outstanding artist and purchases one of the artist’s pieces for addition to the college’s art collection.

“I was definitely surprised,” Wang said. “As an artist, I feel honored as people approve and appreciate my art. I would like to thank my art professors, Buena Vista University, and others who make this award available.”

BVU art student, Emily Bunch, was awarded the Mac Honecker Artistic Enrichment Grant. This grant is awarded to a student for financial support to assist an artist with completion of a project, experience, or art related internship.

The Marjorie Holmes Award was given to Kacee Baker, Ranelle Irwin, and Tanner Jensen. This award is made possible by Marjorie Holmes, a Storm Lake best-selling novelist. Certain English majors who meet a stipulated GPA submit a portfolio of creative writing and are judged.

Every year, one first year student receives the Vivian and Paul Mccorkle Freshman and Leadership Potential Award for demonstration of outstanding potential for leadership. This year’s outstanding freshman is Matthew Swanson.

BVU junior biology major Elizabeth Kim, was recognized for her great contribution to the University’s campus life by being awarded the Wesselink Award. This award is in honor of W.D. Wesselink, a past Campus leader.

The Stief Award recognizes distinguished students who have had a positive impact on the community life in the residence halls. This year the award was given to Allyson Ervin, Wilfredo Salamanca, and Sydney Sears.

The Neil Ball Service Award, established by a Buena Vista alumni, honors students who demonstrate commitment to helping the community and fellow classmates. Taylor Loy was recognized as this year’s recipient.

An outstanding junior is awarded the Meinhard Endowed Service Award for service to their university, community, and church. Haley Kohlmeyer, who completed three years of service without financial compensation, was the recipient of the award.

Emily Johnson received the Cumberland Student Development Award. This award will assist an academically talented student in an internship, off-campus and foreign semesters, or foreign trips.

The William H. Cumberland Research Award was given to Kacee Baker for writing the best research paper during this academic year. This award is in honor of Bill Cumberland, professor emeritus of history.

Rachel LaPaglia received the Wendy Waugaman Women and Leadership Award. This award is given to a female student who is interested in leadership development.

Several students received recognition for their contribution academically and through service to Buena Vista University. The Parents of the Year Award, however, doesn’t only recognize a student’s work but honors the parents of a particular student.

In order to nominate parents for this award, the student must submit a written essay explaining why they are thankful for their parent’s support while enrolled at Buena Vista University.

This year the award was given to Hyun and Peggy Kim, parents of Elizabeth and Emily Kim who are both BVU students. Elizabeth is double majoring in Biology and Spanish, and Emily is majoring in Athletic Training with a minor in Biology.

Elizabeth explained why her parents fit this award.

“I wanted to nominate my parents because I feel very blessed to be a part of my family and am very thankful for all of the sacrifices they have made to help me grow and learn,” Kim said.

The next award was given to Bonnie Keller and Blake Laursen as the Leaders of the Year. This award is presented to one female and one male student who have made significant contributions to the quality of life on campus.

The J. Leslie Rollins Fellowship assists a student with off-campus internship experience. This award was given to Sarah Mackey in recognition of her leadership accomplishments.

The night concluded with the announcement of the Senior of the Year Award recipients Callie Hoffman and Alec Sindelar for their outstanding achievements.

“It felt like all of my hard work throughout my four years had paid off,” Hoffman said. “A week later I still smile when I think about that moment.”

During the program, students were honored by faculty, friends, and family for scholarly achievements during this year’s academic year.

Dale Scully, Dean of Students believes this dinner allows students to be noticed and praised for their effort and accomplishments:

“BVU has amazing students that truly do spectacular work—both inside and outside the classroom. To recognize great achievements in this sort of way reinforces the notion that we truly are a community of learners.”

Photo by Stephanie Steiner

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180 students awarded and recognized at Student Recognition Dinner