Wiebers Recognized as Senior of the Year at Student Recognition Dinner


Olivia Wieseler, News Editor

The night was winding down as the last award of the night was about to be presented.  Five seniors were called to the front of the large ballroom, and each were recognized for their outstanding performance in academics, school organizations, and leadership on campus.  The whole room was waiting in suspense.  No one knew who the award would go to because all five seniors were worthy of this award.   

However, as his name was called, Kyle Wiebers stepped forward to receive the Senior of the Year award at the 2018 Buena Vista University (BVU) Student Recognition Dinner on April 29.   

“To see [President Merchant] there and just smiling and saying, I’m so proud of you, that was a very emotional experience,” Wiebers says. 

A psychology major with an educational studies minor, Wiebers is currently president of four student organizations on campus and is involved in a handful more.  While his academic and leadership commitment on campus are clearly deserving of recognition, Wiebers was very humble about the experience, saying each semi-finalist was equally deserving. 

“All five of us have worked together for all four years,” Wiebers says. “We’ve all put blood, sweat, and tears into building up people around us and working so hard in each of our respective fields.” 

The other four semi-finalists who were up for the award were Tanner Cook, Alyssa Kragelund, Sarah Mackey, and Rosalind Russell.  These four seniors had all been a part of Wiebers career at BVU, and he says that is what made receiving the award so incredible.  

“I think you could roll a five-sided die and choose people.  I think that, too, was why it was so awesome because we’ve all worked together in some way, shape, or form,” said Wiebers.

Above all else, Wiebers felt humbled by the experience. 

“I think sometimes we get so caught up in trying to get assignments done and working with all of our organizations [we don’t] realize the impact we have on people,” Wiebers says.  “I would argue that each of us have affected a handful of people on this campus at least, and you know, to see that kind of culminate in a matter of five minutes was a really, really humbling experience for me.” 

Wiebers was not the only person to be honored for outstanding contribution to BVU. Carolina and Hector Trujillo were recognized for Parents of the Year. As a first-generation college student, their daughter Karla Trujillo, a senior communications studies and Spanish double major, nominated them because of their dedication to her getting an education. 

“I wouldn’t actually be here if it wasn’t for my parents,” says Trujillo.

Trujillo said that this year was a tough one with one parent losing a job and the other being diagnosed with a disease.  However, Trujillo says that they were not going to let these trials get in the way of her education. 

“I told one of my parents, ‘Do you need me to stay at home to take care of you so I wouldn’t leave you alone.’ And they were like, ‘No, you’re going to go back to school and you’re going to finish this year.  You’re going to graduate this May.’” 

When Trujillo’s parents received the award at the dinner, there were tears falling down their faces.  Trujillo says it was because they were proud of her, but she believes they should be proud of themselves. 

“They were crying.  But I think they were proud crying,” Trujillo says.  “They were really in disbelief.  They were really proud of me, but I feel like they should proud of themselves, because I wouldn’t be what I am today if it wasn’t for my parents.” 

Many other individuals were honored for their academics and leadership at BVU.  There were awards for seniors of the year in respective majors, travel awards, scholarships, service awards along with plenty more.   

Both Wiebers and Trujillo say that while getting awards are great, the celebration of the people who help us succeed is what truly matters.    

“Our parents are what drives us to be better. Because we see their work, and we see their struggles, and we see how much they want us to succeed. All of that hard work needs to be celebrated by the university,” Trujillo says. 

“I know that my name is the only one that’s on the award, but quite honestly, there should be an award for every person that has impacted me in even just the littlest of ways on this campus because I’ve taken every experience and tried to mold that into the person that I am,” Wiebers says.  “I definitely, definitely didn’t do it alone.”