By Julee Cobb
After countless hours of studying, collaborating on class projects, engaging in student clubs and volunteering at events and with organizations throughout the school year, students at K-State Salina were celebrated for their hard work and perseverance at the annual awards banquet on April 23.
Students, along with faculty and staff, gathered for Kansas State University Salina’s 29th Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet, which honors members of the campus community with 30 different accolades. Held in the College Center conference room, guests were treated to a meal before the evening’s program began.
Four K-State Salina students are the recipients of the Wildcat Pride Awards given out at the campus’s annual awards and recognition banquet. Pictured, from top left clockwise: Aaron Evans, Sarah Byarlay, Taya Smith and Trillian Svoboda.
Awards were handed out in three categories: Outstanding Academic Student awards, Outstanding Campus awards and Wildcat Pride awards. Within each of those areas, students, faculty and staff were recognized for a variety of reasons, including their program of study or instruction, sportsmanship, tutoring, advising and student club performance. Award nominations were open to anyone on campus and then were voted on by an established committee.
One of the most anticipated moments of the night is when the Wildcat Pride awards were announced. These student-only honors contain appreciation in the areas of community service, determination, dedication and most inspirational.
Aaron Evans, a senior in family studies and human services, Salina, was announced as the winner of the Wildcat Pride Award for community. According to its nomination description, the award recognizes a student who understands the civic responsibility of serving the community. The student sees the bigger picture and is aware of the community’s needs. Evans was nominated because of his involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Salina, something he has been a part of since 2008. Additionally he has organized numerous volunteer activities for his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, including a kickball tournament to benefit the Love, Chloe Foundation.
Sarah Byarlay, a sophomore in applied business, Salina, was the recipient of the Wildcat Pride Award for determination, which suggests its winner shows a quality of firmness in beliefs and actions, doesn’t quit until an answer or decision is reached, and pursues life by focusing on achieving a goal with passion. Byarlay was nominated for her diligent work ethic and attitude within the student club she presides over – the Student Veterans Association. She is also a tutor with the campus writing center and was praised for her efforts in encouraging her pupils.
Trillian Svoboda, a junior in social work, Salina, received the honor of the Wildcat Pride Award for most inspirational student. This award recognizes someone who inspires others to achieve the highest level at which they are capable, and epitomizes the qualities of determination, dedication and service. This student must also maintain a GPA of 2.5 or above. Svoboda was nominated because of her infectious smile and positive attitude, her ability to overcome obstacles outside of the classroom and her encouraging involvement with various groups in the community.
Taya Smith, a junior in social work, Salina, was the recipient of the Wildcat Pride Award for dedication, which states its winner goes above and beyond normal duties and is committed to a particular course of thought or action. Smith was nominated because of her repeated involvement in and service to clubs, events and other functions without the need for recognition or the limelight. She is described as efficient and organized with a steady presence, never seeking accolades.
Below is a list of other winners from K-State Salina’s 29th Annual Awards and Recognition Banquet:
Outstanding Academic Student Awards
Expository Writing – Preston Renfro, Ashley Crego and Matthew Miller
Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Trevor Witt
Aviation Maintenance – Rachael Luna
Airport Management – Russell Canter
Professional Pilot – Landon Keller
Family Studies and Human Services – Yesica Swenson
Social Work – America Ramirez, Irma Ramirez, Jana Weathersby, Jessica Geist, Jessica Rindt, Kendra Lawson, RayeAnn Underwood, Ryan Wands, Shelby Geddes and Victoria Brewer
Personal Financial Planning – Logan Wardyn
Computer Systems Technology – Alex Bunger
Chemistry – Matthew Kyle Haugh
Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology – Michael Finch
Mechanical Engineering Technology – Tyler Bohl
Technology Management – Zachary Baker
Dean of Student Life Graduating Senior – Daison Batangan
Outstanding Campus Awards
Intramural Team of the Year – MonStars
Larry Caldwell Sportsmanship Award – Torrance Hollins
Club Advisor of the Year – Jimmy Splichal
Academic Advisor/Faculty Mentor of the Year – Julie Rowe
Staff Member of the Year – Annette Hernandez
Faculty Member of the Year – Joel Matthews
Student Organization of the Year – Student Veterans Association
K-State Salina’s Student Governing Association, residence life department, student ambassadors, writing center tutors and peer tutors were also acknowledged for their contributions on campus.