Outstanding Seniors selected by Blue Gold BriGade, Alumni Association

Outstanding Seniors
Outstanding Senior Award Recipients, left to right: Ryo Suzuki, Abbey Rhodes, Jill Mallam and Luke Friesen with Dean of Student Affairs Gilbert Hinga.

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney student organization Blue Gold BriGade and UNK Alumni Association have selected four outstanding senior award recipients who will be recognized during the Applauding Excellence ceremony Thursday.

The honor recognizes seniors for excellence in scholarship and leadership, as well as involvement and dedication to UNK and the Kearney community. Students were selected by a panel of UNK alumni.

Blue Gold BriGade, formerly known as Student Alumni Foundation, has been presenting the Outstanding Senior awards since the group was founded in 1981.

For questions or for more information, contact Tricia Danburg at 308-698-5271 or tricia.danburg@unkalumni.org.

Outstanding Senior Award Recipients

Luke Friesen
Luke Friesen

Luke Friesen, son of Del and Colleen Friesen from Grand Island. Luke is an athletic training major with an emphasis/minor in pre-physician’s assistant. After graduation, Luke will be working at Grand Island Physical Therapy as an athletic trainer.
As a student athletic trainer for UNK, he aided in medical coverage for several UNK athletic teams as well as for various Nebraska high school sporting events. Friesen interned at Grand Island Senior High School as well as Family Physical Therapy in Kearney.
Outside of UNK, Friesen was a small-group leader for AWANA and served on the college ministry teams at Kearney E-Free Church.

Jill Mallam
Jill Mallam

Jill Mallam, daughter of Lawrence and Jane Mallam from Wymore. She is an elementary education K-6, mild-moderate special education K-6 major. Mallam will be student teaching this fall at Norris Public School and graduating in December.
While at UNK, Mallam was involved with Loper Programming Activities Council and is a member of the Nebraska Student Education Association, Student Education Association of Nebraska and assisted with many projects and events at area elementary schools.

Abbey Rhodes
Abbey Rhodes

Abbey Rhodes, daughter of Deborah and Keith Rhodes from Kearney. Rhodes is a business administration major with an emphasis in finance and economics. Rhodes has accepted a position with the FDIC after she graduates in December.
While at UNK, Rhodes earned the Dean’s Academic Excellence Award each semester. She was a member of the honorary fraternities Beta Gamma Sigma and Omicron Delta Epsilon. Rhodes served as president of Enactus, the entrepreneurial student organization, and was manager at the student-run coffee shop at UNK, Brewed Awakening. She interned at Lexington Regional Health Center and Northwestern Mutual Financial Services.
Rhodes was also involved in the Queer Straight Alliance, honors program, UNK recycling task force, theatre department and Board of Ex-Officio under the Dean of Student Affairs.

Ryo Suzuki
Ryo Suzuki

Ryo Suzuki, son of Yukiko Suzuki from Tokyo, Japan. Ryo is a business administration major with a management emphasis. Suzuki will be pursuing an MBA at UNK this fall. Ryo is currently an intern with the University of Nebraska Foundation.
While at UNK, Suzuki was a Chancellor’s Ambassador, World Leaders Camp coordinator, student director of International Student Affairs and served on the board for International Student Association. Suzuki was also a part of honorary fraternities Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Beta Delta.


Contact: Tricia Danburg, UNK Alumni Association, 308-698-5271, tricia.danburg@unkalumni.org