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News Release

April 17, 2020

Northwest recognizes outstanding organizations, leaders, student employees with annual awards

Northwest Missouri State University honored its outstanding student organizations, leaders and student employees with the University’s 10th annual Northwest Awards and Recognition announcements.

While the event annually involves a ceremony on the Northwest campus each April, this year’s gathering was canceled due to restrictions placed on events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Northwest announced this year’s outstanding nominees and award winners through a series of social media posts April 6-17.

The Northwest Awards and Recognition is a collaborative celebration to recognize excellence exhibited by students, faculty and staff. This event celebrates awards presented by Student Senate, the Office of Student Involvement, the International Involvement Center, Academic Success and Retention, Student Employment, the Office of Human Resources, the Graduate Office and the B.D. Owens Library.

A complete listing of outstanding nominees and award winners appears below.

B.D. Owens Library Research Awards
  • Taylor Dodson: “Trumpets of the Renaissance: Structural Development and Applications” (first place)
  • Ashley Beffa, Erinn Fitzgerald, Kylie Miller, Makayla Mularoni and Paige Bearinger: “The Influence of Music on Image Recall” (second place)
  • Christian Dixon: “The Christmas Truce: Peace in the Killing” (third place)
Office of Student Involvement awards
Student Organization Sustainability Leadership Award
  • Bearcats Going Green (winner)
Student Organization President of the Year Award
  • Kyle Harris, Student Activities Council (winner)
  • James Erlbacher, Delta Sigma Phi
  • Brett Kremer, Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Ayomide Popoola Anne, African Student Organization
  • Sydney Thatcher, Advocates for Animal Awareness
Outstanding Organizational Student of the Year Award
  • Jacob Wheeler (winner)
  • Natalie Coté
  • Madison and Mykaela John
Outstanding Student Organization of the Year Award
  • Alternative Spring Break (winner)
  • Delta Sigma Phi
  • International Student Organization
  • Sigma Society
  • Student Activities Council
Outstanding Program of the Year Award
  • Panhellenic Council, Fall Panhellenic Recruitment (winner)
  • Campus Recreation, Colden Pond Canoe and Kayak Event
  • Student Activities Council, Walkout Day Celebration
Outstanding Organizational Advisor Award
  • Amy Nally, Alternative Spring Break (winner)
  • Dr. Debra Brown, National Association for Music Education
  • Megan Deshon-Runge, Panhellenic Council
  • Kristina Martinez, Advocats
  • Drake Summers, Student Activities Council
Community Leadership Award
  • Alpha Delta Pi (winner)
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon
Outstanding New Organization Award
  • Black Student Union (winner)
  • American Choral Directors Association
  • Financial Markets Organization
  • Horsemen's Association
  • Northwest Trapshooters

Academic Success and Retention Awards

Commitment to Student Success Staff Award
  • Dr. Kori Hoffmann, assistant vice president of student affairs (winner)
  • Leslie Abarr-Cuenca, associate director of academic success and retention
  • Ashley Henggeler, bursar
  • Joshua Wilmes, officer-in-charge, Show-Me GOLD
  • Jacob Wood, residential hall director
Commitment to Student Success Faculty Award
  • Rebecca Moore, instructor of professional education (winner)
  • Dr. Benjamin Blackford, associate professor of management
  • Dr. Alice Foose, associate professor of recreation
  • Dr. Douglas Hawley, director of the School of Computer Science and Information Systems
  • Dr. Nissa Ingraham, associate professor of professional education
  • Kenton Wilcox, senior instructor of English
  • Dr. Sue Wood, associate professor of professional education
Commitment to Student Success Student Award
  • Alice Trotter (winner)
First-Generation Achievement Student Award
  • Whitney Redler (winner)
  • Brady Netzel
International Involvement Center Awards
Outstanding International Student of the Year Award
  • Vitaliy Tsysyk (winner)
  • Rohit Bhatta
  • Sai Kiran Kuppala
  • Abha Niraula
  • Gurinder Singh Brar

Student Employment Awards

Student Employee of the Year Awards
  • Heidi Roesener, Office of Human Resources (Student Employee of the Year Award)
  • Ashley Beffa, Office of Student Affairs complex (Quality of Work Award)
  • Zoe Brink, admissions operations
  • Breanna Conover, Wellness Services
  • Natalie Coté, University Archives (Uniqueness of Contribution Award)
  • Taylor Jones, community service (Initiative Award)
  • Olivia Krohne, University Police Department
  • Haley Larson, Office of the President (Professional Award)
  • Ryan Talkington, R.T. Wright University Farm (Reliability Award)
Student Employment Team of the Year Award
  • Admissions operations (winner)
  • Athletics Equipment Room
Student Employment Supervisor of the Year Award
  • Jack Bilbo, theatre technical director and facility manager, Fine and Performing Arts (winner and regional runner-up)
  • Mark Hornickel, communication manager, University Marketing and Communication
  • Erika Lees, assistant director of international affairs, International Affairs
  • Dr. Ashley Strickland, assistant director of academic support, Academic Success and Retention
Graduate Office Award
Graduate Assistant of the Year Award
  • Taylor Jessen (winner)
  • Arpana Pokhrel
Student Senate Awards
Student Senate Tower Service Staff Award
  • Erika Lees, assistant director of international affairs, International Affairs (winner)
  • Nikki Hackett, office manager, Fine and Performing Arts
  • Kristin Little, campus visit coordinator, Admissions and Recruitment
  • Kris Mavity, faculty technical support assistant, Learning and Teaching Center
Student Senate Tower Service Student Award
  • Marisa Alvares (winner)
Student Senate Tower Service Team Award
  • Enterprise Applications
Student Senate Tower Service Faculty Award
  • Daniel Smith, assistant professor of political science (winner)
  • Dr. Keely Cline, assistant professor of psychology
  • Dr. Joe Kreizinger, professor of theatre
  • Bryan O'Neal, Horace Mann first grade instructor
  • Dr. Carol Spradling, professor of computer science and information systems
  • Brian Swink, instructor of mathematics and statistics
Student Senate Tower Service Student Organization Award
  • Alternative Spring Break (winner)
  • Student Activities Council
Student Impact Staff Award
  • Judy Frueh, assistant director of wellness services, clinic services (winner)
  • Lori Constant Haws, career services specialist
Student Impact Faculty Award
  • Dr. Jodie Leiss, assistant professor of health and physical education (winner)


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215