USD honors students for extraordinary leadership, service

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Several students were honored for their extraordinary leadership and service during the Celebration of University Leadership at The University of South Dakota on Saturday, April 9.

The reception recognized students that were nominated by their peers, faculty and staff. Awards were determined by a committee of members from USD faculty, along with staff and students. All students, undergraduate or graduate, were eligible for nomination, which included 25 recipients in 10 categories.

Justin Breske of Watertown, S.D., received the New Student Leader Award, which is presented to a first-year student who has become involved in campus or community activities. Breske was one of three students to also receive Unsung Leader recognition. Additional Unsung Leader recipients were Samantha Berres of St. Paul, Minn. and Josh Carlson of Alcester, S.D. Craig Triplett of Spearfish, S.D., was awarded the Service Learning Advocate Award, presented annually to a student who has exemplified leadership in the doctrine of service-learning. The Community Spirit Award, awarded to a student whose work demonstrates a compassion for others through efforts in community service on a local, national or global level, went to Zac Talaga of Mitchell, S.D., while Janea Hagen of Bellevue, Neb., received Community Assistant of the Year and Josh Van Holt of Worthington, Minn., was the Rookie Community Assistant of the Year.

Several students were honored by their respective Schools for outstanding leadership, including Cassie Bennett  of Vermillion, and Mike Gee of Dillon, Mont., who were presented with the School of Law Leadership and Service Award; Mitchell Morrison of Sioux Falls, S.D., received the School of Law Outstanding Leadership Award; Mike Garvey  of South Sioux City, Neb. and Jodi Sutton of Watertown, S.D., School of Health Sciences Student Leader;  Luralyn Helming of Redondo Beach, Calif., Jennifer Ogren of Raymore, Mo., and Rebecca Packard of Kingsley, Iowa, School of Education Outstanding Leadership; Caleb Lyle of Beresford, S.D., and John Whalen of Pierre, S.D.,  Beacom School of Business Outstanding Leadership. Jennifer Hsai of San Marino, Calif., and Karl Reasoner of Sioux Falls were honored with the Graduate Student Leadership Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership and enrichment of campus life at The U; and Tim Carr of Lamoni, Iowa was this year’s recipient of the Dave Lorenz Senior Leadership Award. Named in honor of Dave Lorenz, former Dean of Students at The U, this award is presented annually to a graduating senior who has enriched campus life throughout his or her tenure at USD.

Additionally, several students honored at the ceremony were Dale Aadland of Wilmot, S.D., for Best in Show Stillwell Art Competition; Megan Blaue of Sioux Falls, John W. Carlson Research Grant; Holly Carlson of Groton, S.D., Student Ambassador of the Year for exemplifying true commitment to the Office of Admissions and university community; Adrienne Evans of Sioux Falls, University Libraries Student Assistant Outstanding Leadership Award for Archives and Special Collections, Jenny Johnson of Centerville, S.D., University Libraries Student Assistant Outstanding Leadership for Interlibrary Loan and Collections, and Jordan McQuillen of Aberdeen, S.D., University Libraries Student Assistant Outstanding Leadership Award for Circulation.

Three students were presented with the Outstanding Leadership and Service Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership and service by participating in one or more leadership positions and by making a significant contribution to campus or community life: Alexa Walker of Vermillion, Kelsey Schroeder of Woonsocket, S.D., and Brenan Tjelmeland of Blair, Neb. Jennifer Gieselman of Sioux City, Iowa received the Gary and Judy Marx Servant Leadership Award by the College of Arts and Sciences for understanding the obligations as citizens of a local community and a sense of responsibility as a citizen of the world and custodian of the planet, and the John W. Carlson Research Grant was awarded to Aaron Gregor of Vermillion.

Teniesha Cash of Castana, Iowa received the Dean Joseph H. Cash Award for Excellence in Writing while Cody Strand of Brandon, S.D. received the Irene Ryan Acting Competition Region V Award. Chris Kirkeby of Rapid City, S.D. was named Fraternity President of the Year and Miranda Tracy of Pierre, S.D. was named Sorority President of the Year. For diversity, Marque Snow, Apo, AP, received the Rosa Louise Parks Award for contributing to enhancing diversity on campus, and Shea Smith of Mitchell, S.D. was honored for Outstanding Diversity. Women’s soccer standout Catherine Quinones of Rochester, Minn., was honored as Female Athlete of the Year and Thad Stoddard of Douglas, Wyo., men’s swimming and diving, was honored as Male Athlete of the Year.