Campus Honors Outstanding Students

Apr 20, 2012

Continuing a tradition begun in 1950, Humboldt State University honored its Outstanding Students 2011-2012 at award ceremonies Apr. 19, hosted by President Rollin Richmond, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Bob Snyder and Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Peg Blake.

Three seniors are the top undergraduates of academic year 2011/2012:

Chyna Balonick’s major is Kinesiology, Pre-Physical Therapy (College of Professional Studies). She was honored for her accomplishments as a scholar, volunteer, mentor and student-athlete. She has been the recipient the past two years of the Department of Kinesiology’s Sue Grigsby Scholarship. She was a member of the Women’s Crew team for four years and has contributed volunteer service with many agencies. Her physical therapy experience includes La Canada Sports Medicine in La Canada, CA and Saint Mary Medical Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, both in Long Beach.

Jahnna Constance Mae Morehouse is a Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies major, with a concentration in Women’s Studies (College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences). Her double minor combines Ethnic Studies and Sociology. She is a Presidential Scholar and an Associated Students Campus/Community Scholarship recipient. Her extensive volunteer, outreach and work experience includes the HSU Wymen’s Resource Center (four years), the Diversity and Inclusion Office, workshop and public relations coordination, grant writing, teaching assistance, campus activism and organizing, and an internship at the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Nicole Umayam is a double major in French/Francophone Studies and English, with a minor in Linguistics (College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences). She has held multiple internships and teaching and tutoring positions, including in the HSU Writing Center and as an English Writing Lab consultant. She studied French at the Universitē de Quēbec ā Montrēal and pursued linguistic anthropology and special topics in British literature. As a volunteer with Youth Educational Services (Y.E.S.), she assisted homeless children and served as a prison reform advocate. Her poems have appeared in Arcata’s Cultural Times.

Outstanding Contribution to a Campus Club, Program or Organization

Sergio C. Allen (senior, Social Work): Dedication to empowering student athletes via an Athletics internship position; Leenyque L. Carbin (senior, Sociology): Outstanding contributions to the Educational Opportunity Program; Haley E. du Bois (sophomore, Nursing): Commitment and dedication as a Department of Housing student staff member; Rory D. Flay (senior, Sociology): Leadership and commitment to the Sociology Student Association; Alexis F. Grant (junior, Sociology): Leadership and dedication in serving the Sociology Student Association; Justina E. Harrison: (junior, Social Work): Outstanding contributions to the Residential Academic Mentoring Program; Chryste L. Johnson (master’s program, Social Work, recipient): more than 10 years of commitment and contributions to Housing & Dining, Residence Life, the University Center Board of Directors, the campus community and local families; Monica Mercado (junior, Sociology): Exceptional service to Y.E.S. and the local Latino population; Jahnna C. Morehouse, etc.; Kelly J. Muth (senior, Geography): President of the student Geographic Society, Student Educational Assistant, Department of Geography; Victoria C. Orozco (senior, Social Work): Outstanding contributions to Y.E.S.; Kaci W. Poor (senior, Journalism & Mass Communication): Presidential scholar, commitment to excellence as Editor-in-Chief of the Lumberjack; Keith O. Reid (junior, Biology): Outstanding performance and service in Housing maintenance; Eli N. Rohl (junior, Journalism & Mass Communication): Outstanding contributions to KRFH radio during his two semesters as General Manager; Layla A. Valenzuela (senior, Child Development /Social Work): Outstanding contributions to Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.

Outstanding Contribution to an Associated Students Program

Rachel M. Brownell (senior, Zoology): Dedicated service to the Associated Students Council as Administrative Vice President; Wendy C. Gonzalez (senior, Social Work, recipient); Dedication to the MultiCultural Center, the Latino community and Social Justice; Bryan P. Kelly (senior, Politics): Outstanding service to students as Associated Students President; Calvin K. Li (senior, International Studies): Dedication to university community and the raising of cultural awareness; Whitney M. Strouse (senior, International Studies, Globalization Studies, German): Creativity and dedication to students as Y.E.S. Program Consultant; Edwin J. Vazquez (senior, Psychology): Inclusive leadership in the expansion of the annual Q-Fest.

Al Elpusan Award for Student Activism

Jennifer Alejo (junior, Political Science, recipient): Dedication to Social Justice and community service; Chloe Hawkins (junior, Studio Art and Psychology): Creation of Subvert the Dominant Paradigm in the 21st Century poster campaign; Chryste L. Johnson (master of Social Work): Commitment to fellow humans; Jessica Moreno (senior, Psychology): Guidance to others.
Awards for Academic Excellence & Achievement

Best Poster Presentation to a Professional Association

Yesenia L. DeLeon (senior, Wildlife, recipient): Feeding ecology of rodent species in coastal dunes of Humboldt County, 2012 Meeting of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, Sacramento; Alicia A. Iverson (senior, Geography): Insecure at Last: A Political Memoir, a map presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) conference in Madison, Wis.

Best Undergraduate Research Project

Laura E. Dawson (senior, Sociology): Originality of research paper, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal: Exploring the Constructions of Hegemonic Masculinities and Nationalism”; Kelly K. Matsunaga (senior, Botany, recipient): Sole designer, driver and effector of a biologically and methodologically complex pollination biology study with a species of flowering plants (Scoliopus, the slink pod); Kelly J. Muth (senior, Geography): Research project, “A Taste of Provençe: an Agricultural Analysis of the Cultural Identity in Southeast France” and research poster “The Nuclear Energy and Waste Dilemma in the United States;”Hoshimi C. Tominari (junior, Communication): “We Are Barbie Girls in the Japanese World,” a rhetorical criticism of the ideology presented in the Japanese fashion magazine ViVi.

Best Professional Publication (Team Award)

Nominated for the winning paper in 2011 International Mathematical Contest in Modeling: recipients Paul “Rick” Bailey (senior, Engineering), Brenda G. Howell (senior, Engineering) and Zachary P. Stanko (senior, Engineering), Electric Cars as a Widespread Means of Transportation, one of three papers published in the Journal of Undergraduate Mathematics and its Applications. The HSU team was one of just six among 736 contestants to receive the highest award, “Outstanding Winner.”

Best Professional Presentation, Competition or Forensic Debate

Katherine A. Howard (senior, Wildlife, recipient): Independent summer research project and Honor’s thesis on how insect-eating birds might help control pests in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society, Sacramento.

Best Individual Artistic Achievement in Visual and Performing Arts

Jason A. Hall (senior, Music): Excellence in guitar performance as soloist, ensemble member and leader; Samantha B. Seglin (senior, Environmental Science): Exceptional photography portfolio and exceptional performance as photo editor at the Lumberjack newspaper; Joseph W. Welnick (senior, Music-piano performance, recipient): Outstanding piano accompaniment skills in the Department of Music; Charles R. Welty, IV (senior, Music Performance): outstanding classroom student and exceptional string bass performer.

The Brian Lorensen Residence Life Staff Award

Alexsandra Chavez (senior, Business Administration-Marketing): contributions to improving the Residence Hall Association and the resident student experience; Meghan V. Green (senior, History, recipient): Excellence as Assistant Residence Life Coordinator; Julie A. Rausch (graduate student, Credential Program-Special Education): Superlative commitment to Residential Life; Macy M. Stewart (sophomore, Anthropology): Outstanding commitment to Housing, Residence Life and the Residence Hall Association; Joshua R. Weingarten (senior, Kinesiology): Outstanding leadership skills and dedication to Residence Life.

Award for Excellence in Intercollegiate Athletics

Kindra J. Aschenbrenner (sophomore, Sociology): Outstanding performance as scholar-athlete and member of the Women’s Cross Country Team; Chyna M. Balonick (senior, Kinesiology Pre Physical Therapy); A top athlete on the HSU Women’s Rowing Team; Christopher I. Bolt senior, (Kinesiology, Physical Education option): Outstanding football talent, teamwork; Brejeque S. Collins (sophomore, Sociology); Outstanding scholar-athlete, member HSU track team; Michael N. Proulx (senior, Business Management): Outstanding accomplishments, Lumberjack football-2011 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year; two-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week 2011; 2011 HSU Team Captain; No. 1 all-time Humboldt State career total 7,722 yards passing; No. 1 all-time Humboldt State career total offense of 8,003 yards; Great Northwest Athletic Conference passing leader in total yards with 2,888; Great Northwest Athletic Conference leader in total offense with 2,942 yards; Kayla M. Williams (senior, Environmental Resources Engineering): Excellence, leadership and dedication, Women’s basketball.

Award for Excellence in Sports Clubs

Eliza L. Luna (junior, Child Development, recipient): Coaching and cheerleading excellence--Humboldt State Cheer. Luna’s team captured first place, named 2011 National Champions, American Grand National Competition, Las Vegas, for the first time in HSU history; Dylan B. Rode (senior, Oceanography); Dedication and commitment to Lacrosse Club.
Award for Excellence in Community Service
Lily A. Barrera (senior, Social Work): Outstanding volunteer, community and food bank service via Delta Phi Epsilon sorority; Jennifer J. Howell (senior, Business, recipient ): Outstanding leadership as Service Learning intern team leader, contributions to the community including Halting Hunger in Humboldt; Marquitta T. Morgan (senior, Liberal Studies Elementary Education): Exceptional student, volunteer and putative (? What does this mean?) teacher; Chisa Y. Oros (senior, Ethnic Studies I.S.): Outstanding community service to indigenous peoples nationally and internationally; Mary P. Pero (senior, Journalism): Community-service projects including suicide prevention, the Human Rights Commission, homeless children and L.E.A.P. (Leadership Education Adventure Program); Christina E. Urbanczyk (junior, Environmental Resources Engineering): Outstanding service to the homeless.

Advisor of the Year

Susan Abbey, Department of Theatre, Film & Dance, nominated by the Humboldt Film Festival; Claire Knox, Department Child Development Department, nominated by Child Development Association; Craig Kurumada (recipient), Department of Math and Computer Science, nominated by APASA, Asian Pacific American Student Alliance, for outstanding service; Kay Libolt, Office of the Vice President Student Affairs, nominated by Delta Phi Epsilon; Judy Risling, ITEPP, nominated by Indian Teacher and Educational Personnel Program Club; Jennifer Tarlton, Department of Environmental Management and Protection, nominated by the Redwood Chapter of Environmental Educators and Interpreters.

Patricia O. McConkey Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

Karen D. August (Sociology) Thesis: Playing the Game: Marijuana Growing in a Rural Community; Jessica E. Black (Academic Research Psychology) Thesis: Initial Development and Psychometric Characteristics of the Moral Cognition Inventory; Flora H. Brain (Environment and Community program) Thesis: Eating Totem Salmon: Exploring Extinction and Collaborative Restoration in a Coastal California Watershed Community; Chloe B. Brown (Psychology) Thesis: Online Counseling: Attitudes and Potential Utilization by College Students; Samantha M. Bryant (Sociology) Thesis: Public Policy Assessment of Local Government Approaches to Implementing California's Medical Marijuana Laws; Cheyenne E. Davis (Psychology) Thesis: My Continuing Journey in the Field of School Psychology: Serving the Psychological, Academic, and Social-Emotional Needs of Children and Families in Light of Cultural, Socioeconomic, and Intrapersonal Diversity; Mathew L. Mitchell (Natural Resources) Thesis: A Comparison of Invertebrate Communities in Spartina-Invaded and Restored Humboldt Bay Salt Marshes; Mary Sue Prangley (English with an emphasis in master of arts in the teaching of writing) Thesis: Changing the Way We Think in the Ecocomposition Class: A Move Toward a Sustainable Human Future;Jessica K. Uehling (Biology) Thesis: Systematics of the Clavulinaceae from the Guiana Shield.

Awards for Excellence in an Academic Discipline

College of Natural Resources and Sciences
Katherine A. Howard (senior, Wildlife) – Honor’s thesis, insect-eating birds and pest control in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties; Arlee L. Mesler (senior, Biology-cellular and molecular): Exceptional academic and research performance; Kelly M. Roelf (senior, Biology-cellular and molecular): perfect academic record; Zachary P. Stanko (senior, Engineering, recipient): Academic excellence, leadership, teamwork and fostering community among his fellow students; Christopher M. Steenbock (senior, Botany/Biology-Ecology): Lasting contributions to HSU scholarship and teaching.

College of Professional Studies
Chyna M. Balonick (senior, Kinesiology, Pre-Physical Therapy): Outstanding Student of the Year recipient, see above; Carly M. Kolpin, (junior, Child Development, recipient): Outstanding academic performance, leadership and ability to apply discipline’s knowledge base; Women’s Soccer team, CCAA All Academic Award recipient for three years; Marquitta T. Morgan (senior, Liberal Studies Elementary Education): Outstanding role model.

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Kindra J. Aschenbrenner (sophomore, Sociology): Excellence in academic pursuits and community engagement; Heidi A. Bilbro (senior, Sociology): Outstanding academic in social theory and intellectual curiosity; Shelby D. Celia (senior, Communication): Exceptional student dedicated to service, Humboldt State and beyond; Laura E. Dawson (senior, Sociology): Outstanding major, leader among Sociology majors; Jason A. Hall (senior, Music-guitar performance, see above); Alicia A. Iverson,(senior, Geography, recipient): Exceptional academic performance, award-winning Poster Presentation to a Professional Organization, winner of 2010/2011 Professor Joseph S. Leeper Geography Award for 2010-11, winner of first prize in the North American Cartographic Information Society Annual Meeting, marquee event in the geospatial field; Jacqueline Martinez (junior, Sociology): Exceptional classroom accomplishments, sociology tutoring, EOP summer bridge program, classroom aid at local elementary school; Kelly J. Muth (senior, Geography): Outstanding researcher, Student Educational Assistant, “indispensable” President of the Student Geographic Society; Kaci W. Poor (senior, Journalism): Presidential Scholar, commitment to excellence as Editor-in-Chief of the Lumberjack newspaper; Ashley C. Randall (senior, Communication): High academic standards, humble demeanor, service and assistance to other students; Nicole C. Umayam (senior, English, French and Francophone Studies): recipient, Outstanding Student of the Year Award (see above); Joseph W. Welnick (senior, Music-piano performance): Academic achievements, contributions to Department of Music; Brandon L. Widder (senior, Journalism): Outstanding academic record; contributions to the Lumberjack and Osprey magazine.