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News Release

April 12, 2019

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

Aly Copp

Aly Copp

Shyla Kallhoff

Shyla Kallhoff

Megan DeShon-Runge

Megan DeShon-Runge

Drake Summers

Drake Summers

Madeline Waskowiak

Madeline Waskowiak

Northwest Missouri State University honored its outstanding student organizations, leaders and student employees April 8 during the University’s ninth annual Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

The collaborative celebration is sponsored by Student Senate, the Office of Student Involvement and Student Employment. It recognizes the winners of the B.D. Library Research Contest, Student Organization and Leadership Awards, Student Senate Tower Service Awards, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s Commitment to Social Justice Awards, the Office of Human Resources’ Student Impact Awards, Student Employment Awards, the Graduate Assistant of the Year Award and Northwest-Kansas City Awards

“These awards mean so much to all of us and hopefully to you, but what it really represents is there’s so many amazing people in this organization that are dedicated to what they do every day,” Northwest Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman said. “Their time, their energy, their happiness, their thoughts, the grueling work. Everything they do, they dedicate to Northwest to make it a successful place to be, which makes it a great place to work.”

Traditionally, the last award to be given is the Student Employee of the Year, which went this year to Aly Copp, a senior human services major from Liberty, Missouri, who works as an office assistant in the Office of Human Resources. Copp’s nomination commended her leadership and eagerness to take on challenges and responsibility in her student employment role.

“Aly’s ability to view problems from many angles, to identify potential issues and prevent them from happening, is like that of a seasoned professional,” her nominator wrote. “She has been an outstanding mentor for our students, and I will go as far to say an outstanding mentor for me as well. She inspires me to not only perform better in my role within the office, but also to be a better person.”

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. Northwest supports more than 200 student organizations on its campus.

“Those organizations, as well as their leaders, work tirelessly to provide their members opportunities for growth, development and learning,” Delaney Kramer, office manager for the Office of Student Involvement, said. “Whether they are coordinating campus wide events, raising thousands of dollars for charities or providing thousands of service hours to local organizations, our student organizations and their leaders make an impact every day.”

Shyla Kallhoff was named Outstanding Student of the Year Award, for demonstrated excellence in academics, community service, work experience, school spirit, achievement and leadership at Northwest. A senior Spanish and human services major from Omaha, Nebraska, Kallhoff’s involvement includes service as vice president and Inclusion Committee chair with Student Senate and president and director of lecture programming with the Student Activities Council (SAC).

SAC was recognized as the year’s Outstanding Student Organization. Megan DeShon-Runge, Northwest’s assistant director for Greek Life, was named Outstanding Organizational Advisor for her work with Panhellenic Council, and SAC President Drake Summers, a senior human services and psychology major from Excelsior Springs, Missouri, was named Student Organization President of the Year.

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 extensive use of scholarly sources and their application to the topic, a demonstrated ability to evaluate information sources, a responsible use of information and academic citation style as well as clarity, grammar and quality communication.  

Madeline Waskowiak, a junior social science major from Omaha, Nebraska, received first place for her paper “Rationing in World War I: How Food Won the War,” written for Dr. Devlin Scofield’s fall 2018 course, Historian’s Craft. Her paper focused on Britain, Germany and the United States, paralleling their food campaigns and the effects on their citizens during wartime, showcasing how food won the war. 

Dr. Katy Strickland who is in her sixth year as director of athletic bands and an associate professor of music at Northwest, where she also serves as the chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, provided the day’s keynote address. Strickland focused her remarks on the importance of interacting with others in a wise way.

“If you aren’t wise about your interactions with the world, it doesn’t matter what you know,” Strickland said. “Very few people will listen to you, and your hard-earned smarts will have a very limited influence on the world.”

Congratulating the day’s award winners, Strickland urged students to keep using “the smarts” that earned them the recognition. “Continue to seek out wisdom and be wise in every way you possibly can,” she said. “Just be nice, but not a pushover. Walk in someone else’s shoes, talk to them, even when it is uncomfortable. And own up to your mistakes and step up. That’s how you leave your best mark on the world.”

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

The Outstanding Student Organization of the Year, Student Activities Council
The Outstanding Student Organization of the Year, Student Activities Council

Tower Service Awards

Presented by Student Senate


International Involvement Award

Presented by the International Involvement Center


Graduate Assistant of the Year

Presented by the Graduate Office


Student Impact Awards

Presented by the Office of Human Resources 


Northwest-Kansas City Award

Presented by Northwest-Kansas City


Student Employment Awards

Presented by the Office of Human Resources

  • Supervisor of the Year: Selena Foreman, office manager, Auxiliary Services
  • Student Employment Team of the Year: Safe Ride, University Police Department 
  • The Northwest Award of Excellence for Reliability: Pasang Gyalzen Sherpa, nursing assistant at Wellness Services
  • The Northwest Award of Excellence for Professionalism: Natasha Helme, writing tutor at the Writing Center
  • Student Employee of the Year: Alyson Copp, office assistant at the Office of Human Resources
  • The Northwest Award of Excellence for Quality of Work: Jensen Meyer, teacher’s aide, at the Leet Center
  • The Northwest Award of Excellence for Initiative: Carly Hostetter, multimedia assistant in the Office of University Marketing and Communication
  • The Northwest Award of Excellence for Uniqueness of Contribution: Stone Cole, multimedia web developer at the B.D. Owens Library

Supervisor of the Year: Selena Foreman, office manager, Auxiliary Services

Supervisor of the Year: Selena Foreman, office manager, Auxiliary Services


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215