Michelle Widger
UNK Alumni Association, 308.865.8474

Six University of Nebraska at Kearney students have been chosen as recipients of the Student Alumni Foundation Outstanding Senior Award.

The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes seniors for excellence in scholarship and leadership, as well as involvement and dedication to UNK and the Kearney community. The Student Alumni Foundation has been making these awards since the group was founded in 1981. The recipients will be honored at the UNK Mortar Board Honors Convocation in April.

Recipients are:

Alicia Titus is a mathematics major and a business administration minor from Aurora. She graduated in three years with a perfect 4.0. Alicia is an undergraduate researcher, a member of the Honors Program, grades for the Kearney math department and works at the Student Union Welcome Desk. She is a Student Diplomat for the UNK Admissions Office and an Academic Peer Tutor for the Learning Commons. Alicia has coordinated the Big Event, coached softball at Aurora High School and volunteered at the Press-on Youth Center. She has served as the Chancellor’s Ambassador, secretary of Kappu Mu Epsilon, vice president of Loper Liaisons and Math Club, and has been a Nation Leadership Conference qualifier in client services at the Future Business Leaders of America competition.

Emmalena Kelly is a pre-med and exercise science major with a health science minor from Falls City. She is actively involved in the Honors Program, ROTC, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority where she served on the Leadership Council and in many other capacities. Emmalena has participated in both Women’s Soccer and UNK Track and Field Team. Emmalena is on the Leadership Team of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has served in many leadership capacities in UNK ROTC as well.

Mckenzie Wiese is an exercise science, pre-occupational therapy major with a health science minor from Filley. She is Mortar Board chair, Lopers Programming and Activities Council president and serves on the Honors Program Advisory Board. McKenzie is also a member of Kiwanis Circle K, Phi Eta Sigma honor society, Health Science Club vice president and Campus Recreation advisory committee. She also participates in Christian Student Fellowship, Loper Liaisons and Loper Legion. McKenzie has been a Dean’s List student, Homecoming Royalty candidate and Freshman Convocation keynote speaker.

Paloma Mena-Werth is a music education major from Kearney. She has been highly involved in the Kearney community working with several elementary bands, both the public middle school bands and with Kearney Public High School band. Paloma is a member of the National Association for Music Education and the Nebraska Music Educators Association. She served as Student Body Vice President, chair and founder of UNK Traditions Council and chair of Student Affairs. Paloma has also been senator for the College of Fine Arts and Humanities as well as Mortar Board vice president. She is an ex-officio of UNK Division of Student Affairs, president and founder of the Astronomy Club and Student Life presenter for Summer Advising and Enrollment. Paloma has earned a place on the UNK Dean’s List every semester as well as being a member of intercollegiate honor band and Phi Eta Sigma.

Brooke Brown is a psychology and pre-occupational therapy major and music minor from Scottsbluff. She has been a member of UNK Pride of the Plains Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Circle K and Mortar Board. Brooke has been on the Dean’s List for six semesters. She has poetry published, and has presented at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Conference and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Vanessa Leeper Jones is a business marketing and sports administration major with an international business minor from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She played Varsity Women’s Basketball as well as soccer at UNK. In 2012, she was named First-Team Academic All-American, the first woman UNK athlete to achieve this honor. Vanessa also earned RMAC Academic-Player of the Year in 2011 and First-Team All-Conference. She is active in the American Marketing Association where she serves as vice president and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma where she presented at a National Conference for Undergraduate Research.