Ten KU seniors named finalists for 25th annual Ex.C.E.L. Awards

Posted on Oct 23, 2015 in Campus News and News

2014 ExCEL Award Winners | www.kualumni.org
Ten finalists have been selected for the 25th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards at the University of Kansas. The finalists, all seniors, will participate in the Homecoming parade at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, along Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. Two winners, one male and one female, will be announced during halftime of the KU-Oklahoma homecoming football game Oct. 31 at Memorial Stadium.

The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $500 scholarship to two students. The winners will plan the Blueprints Leadership Conference next spring in conjunction with KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center. Nominees were selected on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The selection committee included representatives from Student Union Activities, the Board of Class Officers, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and the Homecoming Steering Committee.

The award was first given in 1991 to recognize one male and one female student for achievement. Names of winners are listed on a plaque on the fifth level of the Kansas Union. To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Each finalist completed an application and participated in an interview. The finalists and their academic majors are listed below, along with highlights of their campus achievements.

From Lawrence
Alex Kong, pharmaceutical studies with a minor in creative writing, serves Mortar Board as president and is founder and president of the KU Society of Scientists. He is an advisory board member for the School of Pharmacy peer mentor program and volunteers at the Lawrence Community Shelter and Kansas Audio Reader.

From Overland Park
Elliott Brady, biology, is on the executive board of the Jayhawk Health Initiative and a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He is the drum major for the Marching Jayhawks and also served as rank leader. He volunteers at the Heartland Community Health Center and has been a children’s camp counselor for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Camille Douglas, business marketing, is a multicultural recruitment student ambassador for KU admissions and president of the National Panhellenic Council. She served as vice president and secretary of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and is a member of the Black Student Union. She is a Sunday school teacher and a Christian youth camp counselor.

Michael Schugart, finance with a minor in psychology, is president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and also served as chaplain and historian. He is a student ambassador for KU admissions and the University Honors Program and is a sponsorship committee member for KU Dance Marathon. He volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence.

Alvaro Papa Silva, mechanical engineering, is president of the Engineering Student Council and service chair for Mortar Board. He serves as vice president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and is a member of the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Class of 2016. He is a University Honors Program student and studied abroad in India.

From Prairie Village
Madeline Sniezek, finance and accounting, is treasurer of Student Senate and a justice for the Panhellenic Association Judicial Board. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority and serves as the leadership and involvement chair. She is a founding member and past fundraising director of Hawks Helping Hawks, and volunteers for the Girl Scouts of America and KU’s Big Event.

From Stillwell
Lauren Arney, biology with a minor in public policy, chairs the Student Health Advisory Board and is a member of Student Senate. She is president of the KU Memorial Unions Corporation Board and a member of Chi Omega sorority, where she has served as director of outreach cabinets, chapter secretary and community service chair.

From Parkville
Hannah Reinhart, journalism and political science, is president of the Panhellenic Association and previously served as the director of interfraternal relations and membership development. She directed fundraising for Rock Chalk Revue and served on Student Senate. She was a recruitment committee coordinator for the Big Event and volunteers at Kansas Audio Reader, Natural Ties and Service for Sight.

From Swanton
Angela Bass, elementary education, is vice president of membership for the Student Alumni Leadership Board and a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, where she served as vice president of membership programming. She is on the family relations committee for KU Dance Marathon and cofounded KU Students Together Against Cancer.

From Edmond
Evan Traylor, political science and Jewish studies with a minor in leadership studies, is an intern at KU Hillel and a board trustee for the Union for Reform Judaism, where he also served as a Kutz Camp co-program coordinator. He is a KU peer leadership consultant and a LeaderShape graduate. He participates in the Mortar Board Honor Society.

Photo: The 2014 Ex.C.E.L. Award winners, Ellie Eastes and Graham Naasz. Learn more. 

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Union hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony for new event space, the Jay

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 in Campus News and News

img_news_jay_ribbon_cuttingKU Memorial Unions and Student Union Activities opened the doors Sept. 3 for the Jay, a new, 4,200-square foot event space in the former Jaybowl site.

Jessie Pringle, student body president; Lauren Arney, KU Memorial Unions Corporation board president; and Kassandra Valles, Student Union Activities president, performed the ribbon-cutting as David Mucci, KU Memorial Unions director, welcomed students, faculty and staff into the renovated space.

“I think you’re going to like what you see,” Mucci said, “and there will be more to come.”

Among the ceremony participants were U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, c’99, l’02, past president of the KU Memorial Unions board, and Dan Sabatini, a’86, whose architecture firm, Sabatini Architects, designed the renovation.

“We maintained some of the Jaybowl’s original character,” Sabatini says. “The ceilings still have the black lights, and those special projectors for cosmic bowling are still here.”

Fans of the old Jaybowl, which closed its doors May 9, will also find memorabilia and photographs of the 62-year-old campus fixture displayed in cases outside the entrance of the new Jay.

See more pictures from the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Flickr.

—Heather Biele

Photos by Dan Storey

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