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News Release

April 16, 2021

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

Northwest Missouri State University honored outstanding organizations, students, faculty and staff this month with its 11th annual Northwest Awards and Recognition.

While the event previously involved a ceremony on the Northwest campus each April, a formal gathering did not take place for the second consecutive year due to restrictions placed on campus 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 5-16.

The Northwest Awards and Recognition is a collaborative celebration to recognize excellence exhibited by students, faculty and staff. The 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
  • Brianne McDermott: “An Undeserving Un-Welcome Home: How Racial Tensions in the United State Contributed to the Mistreatment of World War I African American Soldiers and Veterans” (first place)
  • Kayla McArtor: “America's Global Role Before and After ‘America First’ Foreign Policy” (second place)
  • Camilo Alejandro Castelblanco Riveros: “Cognitive Biases of the Northwest Missouri State University Campus” (third place)
Office of Student Involvement awards

Student Organization President of the Year Award

  • Cayla Vertreese, Active Minds (winner)
  • Thomas Goldizen, Northwest Student Veterans Association
  • Spencer Gouldsmith, Phi Sigma Kappa
  • Alek Kocher, Pre-Law Society Club
  • Matthew Nash, Dungeons and Bearcats
  • Annaliese Punt, Alpha Sigma Alpha
  • Jesse Reed, Cyber Defense Club
  • JD Wessel, Sigma Tau Gamma

Outstanding Organizational Student of the Year Award

  • Marisa Alvares (winner)
  • Parker Adams
  • Kelly Keezer
  • Haley Endsley
  • Chloe Godding
  • Kayla Lincoln
  • Krysta Otta

Outstanding Student Organization of the Year Award

  • Kappa Kappa Psi (winner)
  • Delta Sigma Phi
  • National Association for Music Collegiate
  • Northwest Student Veterans Association
  • Phi Mu
  • Student Activities Council

Outstanding Program of the Year Award

  • SAC Speaks Lecture Series: “Jim Obergefell: Love Wins” (winner)
  • Northwest Dance Company: “Northwest Dance Company Showcase”
  • Student Activities Council: “Advantage Fireworks” 

Outstanding Organizational Advisor Award

  • Monica Zeigel, Active Minds (winner)
  • Amanda Cullin, Alpha Sigma Alpha
  • Shantel Farnan, Dr. Sara Taylor and Tamara Lynn, Council for Exceptional Children
  • Matt Johnson, Northwest Student Veterans Association
  • Drake Summers, Student Activities Council

Community Leadership Award

  • Alpha Sigma Alpha (winner)
  • Students for Life

Outstanding New Organization Award

  • Student Veterans Association (winner)

Academic Success and Retention Awards

Commitment to Student Success Staff Award

  • Cathy Barr, assistant coordinator of field experiences in the School of Education (winner)
  • Dr. Kori Hoffmann, assistant vice president of student affairs for student engagement and development
  • Dr. Ashley Strickland, assistant director of academic support
  • Leslie Abarr-Cuenca, associate director of academic success and retention

Commitment to Student Success Faculty Award

  • Dr. Luke Campbell, assistant professor of political science (winner)
  • Dr. Amy Barton, assistant professor of psychology
  • Dr. Jessica Gracey, assistant professor of political science
  • Dr. Sandy Seipel, assistant professor of political education

Commitment to Student Success Student Award

  • Bailey Hopkins (winner)

First-Generation Achievement Student Award

  • Brady Netzel (winner)
  • Thomas Goldizen
  • Timia Johnson
International Involvement Center Awards

Outstanding International Student of the Year Award

  • Ayomide Popoola (winner)
  • Pratham Mitra

Student Employment Awards

Student Employee of the Year Awards

  • Cayla Vertreese, Student Employee of the Year Award
  • Morgan Looten, Quality of Work Award
  • Alison Burski, Professional Award
  • Nolan Harless, Uniqueness of Contribution Award
  • Garrett Craig, Reliability Award

Student Employment Team of the Year Award

  • KXCV/KRNW (winner)
  • Athletic Equipment Room
  • International Involvement Center
  • Department of Fine and Performing Arts Stage Technicians
  • Office of University Advancement Cat Callers

Student Employment Supervisor of the Year Award

  • Cathy Barr, assistant coordinator of field experiences in the School of Education (winner)
  • Tucker Peve, director of equipment operations in the Department of Athletics
Graduate Office Award

Graduate Assistant of the Year Award

  • Ben Moran (winner)
  • Ayrton Barbolina
  • Gurinder Brar
  • Faith Casel
  • Gabbi Day
  • Madi DeBoer
  • Lauren Lambertz
  • Jill Spire
  • April Walkup
Student Senate Awards

Student Senate Tower Service Staff Award

  • Kim Todd, business operations specialist, Office of Information Technology (winner)
  • Jerry Sharr, plumber, Facility Services
  • Terri Vogel, registrar

Student Senate Tower Service Faculty Award

  • Rhonda Beemer, associate professor of health and physical education (winner)
  • Shantel Farnan, assistant professor of professional education

Student Senate Tower Service Student Award

  • Jill Spire (winner)
  • Hannah Lucas
  • TJ Persell

Student Senate Tower Service Team Award

  • Wellness Services (winner)
  • Learning and Teaching Center
  • Residential Life Resident Directors
  • TRIO SSS Mentors

Student Senate Tower Service Student Organization Award

  • Sigma Society (winner)
  • Northwest Student Veterans Association
Office of Human Resources Awards

Student Impact Staff Award

  • Dr. Brooke McAtee, director of nursing (winner)
  • Tammy Hamilton, custodian
  • Mark Hendrix, university scheduling coordinator
  • Will Murphy, TV and video engineer
  • Meghan Sheil, early childhood teacher
  • Terri Vogel, registrar
  • Amee Wilmes, assistant director of financial assistance

Student Impact Faculty Award

  • Dr. Karen Britt, assistant professor of art (winner)
  • Stancy Bond, senior instructor of English
  • John Carr, instructor of emergency and disaster management
  • Karen From, senior instructor of nutrition and dietetics
  • C.J. Holthaus, instructor of English
  • Cris Jacobson, instructor of psychology
  • Matt Johnson, senior instructor of history
  • Stephanie Jorandby, assistant professor of theatre
  • Dr. David Kiene, associate professor of professional education
  • Dr. Rena Smith, senior instructor of chemistry


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215