Students Honored at UNK Academic Success Awards and Recognition Event

David Brandt
academic services coordinator, 308.865.8798

UNK– University of Nebraska at Kearney  students were honored this week at the Academic Success Awards and Recognition Event which took place at the UNK Alumni House. 

Academic Success is a collaboration of offices that provide academic assistance. Transition and skills classes, a computer learning lab, make up testing for students with disabilities, testing accommodations, and other services that support academic and life-long learning are available for all students. Student Support Services is a grant-funded program which assists students who meet select criteria for participation. Participation is limited to students who work actively with the program which is designed to enhance academic performance, persistence and graduation. 

Among the awards presented were the Outstanding Student, Student Support Services Pacesetter’s Award, Distinguished Tutor, Distinguished Tutee and MAEOPP (Mid America Education Opportunity) and MOKANNE (Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska) scholarship recipients.

“This is a great opportunity to recognize students who are doing all the right things and are focused on their academics,” said David Brandt, academic services coordinator.

The Outstanding Student Award is presented to upper-class students who exemplify scholarship, leadership, and service to UNK and to the community.

“The student is nominated by faulty who have actually worked with the student and know that they’re doing all the right things to be successful,” Brandt said. Award recipients epitomize a successful blend of ability, work ethic and spirit of the pursuit of excellence.

Kari Kent, a senior from Fremont majoring in industrial distribution, received the Spring 2009 Outstanding Student Award. 

“Kari is always working towards her goals and always finds ways of improving herself. She strives for the best,” said Bridgette Swenson, Student Support Services counselor. 

The Pacesetter Award is presented to Student Support Services freshmen who have demonstrated that they are developing the necessary skills, habits and motivation to become successful students. Recipients this semester are José Lara, a history secondary education major. and Abigail Martinez, a double major in Spanish translation and interpretation and pre-nursing, both of Lexington; Aaron Murray of Miller, a business administration major; Elizabeth Manfull of Gibbon, a business administration major; and Parker Jolly of Fort Collins, Colo, a major in political science and pre-law. 

The Distinguished Tutor Award recognizes one tutor each semester who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication based on nominations by their tutees, peers, faculty and staff, as well as the student’s attendance and participation in training seminars and meetings, overall performance, dependability, leadership skills, dedication to the tutor program and ability to initiate contact with tutees, fellow peers, faculty and staff. 

The Spring 2009 Distinguished Tutor award was presented to Nicole Peters of Cairo. She is a secondary education language arts major. Peters was recognized based on her outstanding ability to work both professionally and personally with students.

“She is outstanding at customer service, and all of her tutees are pleased with her service. They constantly revisit her for help,” said a faculty nominator. 

The Spring 2009 Distinguished Tutee was awarded to Gustavo Ramirez of Lexington. Ramirez was nominated for the award based on his active involvement during tutoring sessions, while focusing on improvement and asking for constructive criticism. 

Rebecca Jacobson, a freshman from North Platte who is majoring in family studies, was awarded the MAEOPP Board of Directors scholarship. 

“Rebecca was chosen because she is so proactive in getting things done. She wants to know how to improve herself, and she isn’t afraid to ask,” said Megan Friesen, Student Support Services counselor.

Ana Barbosa, a junior from Omaha who is majoring in social work, received the MOKANNE Board of Directors scholarship.

“Ana is responsible and hard-working,” Friesen said, “she has a caring personality, and she always turns her work in on time.” 
In addition, two certified College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) tutors were hired in the tutoring program. The Academic Success Peer Tutoring Program focuses on helping students in the areas of study skills and general courses of study. Kevin Carstensen of North Platte is a new CRLA tutor. Carstensen, a senior majoring in biopsychology, tutors students taking organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology, psychology and math. The second new tutor is Danielle Policarpio, a junior majoring in chemistry. Policarpio is from Sherman Oaks, Calif.  She tutors students taking general chemistry, physics and English/writing skills.