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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

April 4, 2017

Awards ceremony recognizes school year’s outstanding organizations, leaders, student employees

Student Employee of the Year Tucker Peve

Student Employee of the Year Tucker Peve

Shelby Simpson and Lilly Tighe, representing Outstanding Student Organization AdInk

Shelby Simpson and Lilly Tighe, representing Outstanding Student Organization AdInk

Outstanding Organizational Advisor Malinda Tobin

Outstanding Organizational Advisor Malinda Tobin

Outstanding Student of the Year Taylor Linenberger

Outstanding Student of the Year Taylor Linenberger

Aaron Schmidt, first placed in the B.D. Owens Library annual research contest

Aaron Schmidt, first placed in the B.D. Owens Library annual research contest

Northwest Missouri State University honored its outstanding student organizations, leaders and student employees as well as its Tower Service Award winners April 3 during the University’s seventh annual Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

The collaborative celebration is sponsored by Student Senate, the Office of Campus Activities and Student Employment. It recognizes the winners of the B.D. Library Research Contest, Student Organization and Leadership Awards, Student Employment Awards and the Tower Service Awards.

Traditionally, the last award to be given is the Student Employee of the Year, which went this year to Tucker Peve, a senior business management major from Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Peve, who works as a student manager in the Department of Athletics, also was declared the Missouri Student Employee of the Year by the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators. 

“This individual is a visionary, go-getter, and their organizational skills are second to none,” Northwest Coordinator of Student Employment Paula McLain said, reading from Peve’s nomination. The nomination continued, calling Peve, “the best of the best. They have gone above and beyond the expectations for the football program.”

While Student Employee of the Year winners are selected based on standards established by the National Student Employment Association, McLain noted Northwest’s internationally benchmarked student employment program consists of about 950 student employees. They play a key role in the institution’s educational, research and operational excellence.

“Student employees perform invaluable services with enthusiasm, dedication and initiative,” McLain said. “Student employment is our bridge to those we serve, a bridge that personally brings us friendship, ideas and motivation, among many other valuable assets. Indeed, Northwest depends on this irreplaceable workforce.”

The Office of Student Involvement also hands out awards recognizing outstanding students, advisors, programs and organizations.

AdInk was recognized as the year’s Outstanding Student Organization. Malinda Tobin, a senior instructor of accounting, was named Outstanding Organizational Advisor for her work with the Accounting Club, and Lacy Larsen, a senior communication major from Rock Port, Missouri, was named Student Organization President of the Year for her work with Panhellenic Council.

Taylor Linenberger, a senior biology major from Garden City, Kansas, was named Outstanding Student of the Year. Linenberger’s nomination recognized her “distinguished success in our academic program, effective peer success mentoring, impressive teaching assistance, scholarly work, and for her impressive command of organic chemistry and other science courses. She seizes every opportunity to learn challenging concepts, and students regularly seek her for additional help, advice, and tutoring.” Linenberger, who is a member of the Bearcat volleyball team, also is active in student organizations, honor societies and volunteers in community service and philanthropy efforts.

The B.D. Owens Library recognized winners of its annual research contest, which is designed to encourage critical thinking and reward undergraduate students for research excellence. Papers are judged by a panel of faculty and librarians based on the application of scholarly information sources to the topic; the demonstration of skillful incorporation of source content to support the paper’s thesis; and a responsible use of information by providing complete and accurate citations.

For the second consecutive year, Aaron Schmidt, a junior history major from St. Joseph, Missouri, earned first placed in the contest. Schmidt earned the top prize this year for his paper, “Nodaway County during the Civil War: A Graphical Examination.” Schmidt’s paper, written for Assistant Professor of History Dr. Elyssa Ford’s local history practicum course, organized selected facts and figures about Nodaway County during the Civil War. He also included original charts and maps to facilitate understanding of his written material.

Chloe Faris, a senior vocal music education major from Weston, Missouri, received second place for “The Castrato Phenomenon.” Haley Riffle, a senior elementary education major from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, placed third for “How Elementary Students Select Library Books from the School Library.”

Lisa Gruenloh, a Northwest alumna, delivered the keynote address, titled “Purpose: The New Leverage Point for Success from the Inside Out.” Gruenloh is president of Purpose Journey Inc., through which she provides consulting, training and coaching services in organizational culture, leadership development, team effectiveness and stakeholder engagement.

On Monday, she challenged Northwest students, faculty and staff to consider the things that spark their passions and look for ways to use their skills and gifts more often to serve others. She instructed the audience to work for organizations that share personal values.

“Purpose is good for you, whether it’s work or in your life,” Gruenloh said. “People are more engaged in their work when they connect with the purpose of their work.”

A complete listing of the award winners appears below.


Library Undergraduate Research Awards

Presented by B.D. Owens Library


Student Organization and Leadership Awards

Presented by the Office of Student Involvement


Tower Service Awards

Presented by Student Senate


Commitment to Social Justice Awards

Presented by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Graduate Assistants of the Year

Presented by the Graduate Office


Student Impact Awards

Presented by the Office of Human Resources 


Student Employment Awards

Presented by the Office of Human Resources

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468