March 30, 2004

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Contact: Ann Eversole, associate dean of students, (785) 864-4060.

4 KU graduating seniors cited in 2nd round of Chancellor's Student Awards

LAWRENCE -- Four University of Kansas graduating seniors were surprised today with news that they are among the nine 2004 Chancellor's Student Award winners. The awards recognize the students' academic, volunteer and leadership accomplishments during their undergraduate years. Five of the nine learned of their awards yesterday.

Richard Johnson, associate vice provost and dean of students, and Ann Eversole, associate dean of students, visited the students' classrooms to present the citations. In addition, as part of the 132nd commencement activities at KU, Chancellor Robert Hemenway will host a reception to honor the students May 22 in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union.

The Chancellor's Student Awards Committee selected the winners from nominations submitted by KU students, faculty and staff. The 15-member selection committee includes students, faculty and staff. Winners receive cash prizes, except for the Agnes Wright Strickland Award, which brings with it a lifetime membership in the KU Alumni Association.

The four students recognized March 30, along with brief biographies and a description of their awards are:

 • Catherine Bell, Coffeyville political science and communications studies major, and Mark DuPree, Kansas City, Kan., political science major, received Rusty Leffel Concerned Student Awards. These honors go to two students who demonstrate a concern for furthering the ideals of the university and higher education. The awards were established in 1973 by a group of graduating seniors to honor their friend and fellow student Rusty Leffel.

Bell plans to attend law school at KU following graduation, with the goal of working at a university in the area of student affairs to enhance the multicultural experiences and success of college students. She is the daughter of Doug and Marsha Bell of Coffeyville and is a Field Kindley Memorial High School graduate. During her four years in student government, including being vice president of the Student Senate and chair of its executive committee, she organized and led student advocates in issues affecting diverse current and future KU students. The undergraduate project she described as her most challenging and rewarding was leading the student initiative to create the new Multicultural Resource Center building in her role as its committee chair. She has served as vice president of Chi Omega sorority, participated four years in the University Honors program and coded transcripts on breast cancer support groups as a communications studies research assistant.

DuPree is the son of Alvin and Linda DuPree of Kansas City, Kan., and is a Wyandotte High School graduate. He is president of the Big 12 Council on Black Student Government, a position that oversees 10 Big 12 schools and 42 other schools. During his sophomore and junior years at KU he was Black Student Union president and chair of the Black Leadership Symposium. He was a 2003 summer intern in the Washington, D.C., office of Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback. DuPree has been a student senator for three years and is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, for which he is treasurer. He has been assistant chaplain for two years of Inspirational Gospel Voices, founded in 1976 at KU as a part of the Black Student Union. The musical performance ministry group is the only gospel choir at the university.

 • Fallon Farokhi, Lawrence elementary education major, received the Donald K. Alderson Memorial Award, which goes to a graduating senior who has demonstrated loyalty to and interest in the university and who has been active in student activities and services that benefit other students.

Farokhi is the daughter of Saed and Mariam Farokhi of Lawrence and is a Lawrence High School graduate. After receiving her undergraduate degree in elementary education, she plans to pursue master's and doctoral degrees, focusing on education, policy and leadership. Farokhi has held leadership roles with Student Union Activities and Student Senate. She has been president, summer programs coordinator and public relations coordinator for Student Union Activities, during which she not only planned and supervised SUA events but also served as official SUA representative for university and union issues. Within the Student Senate, she has served as chair of the Multicultural Affairs Committee and worked toward developing a diversity course requirement at KU.

 • Andrew Knopp, Manhattan accounting and business administration major, received an Agnes Wright Strickland Award, established in 1953 in memory of Strickland, a member of the KU 1887 graduating class. The awards are given to a graduating senior man and woman in recognition of academic record, demonstrated leadership in matters of university concern, respect among fellow students and indications of future dedication to service to the university. He is the son of Joe and Nancy Knopp and is a Manhattan High School graduate.

As 2003-04 KU student body president, Knopp implemented Jayhawk Express, a free on-campus bus route for students; a nighttime on-campus safe-walk program; and a successful online course/instructor evaluation program. In addition, he lobbied the Kansas Legislature on behalf of higher education. A member of Theta Chi fraternity, he served as president of the Interfraternity Council, where he established a new member retreat for hazing prevention and education. In summer 2002, he studied in Italy through the KU Business Consortium, followed by an internship with Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. His KU student government and business education opportunities have influenced his plans to attend law school and pursue a career with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Another life goal is to continue his volunteer activities with children. While at KU he initiated and led the Foster Parents' Night Out project, coordinated a Hearts for the Holidays program that made and delivered cards to pediatric wards nationwide, and served as a site coordinator in a Lawrence public elementary school for Students Tutoring for Literacy.

Honored March 29 were five students, including Laura Dakhil, Wichita senior in strategic communications, Caryl K. Smith Student Leader Award; Sarah Feldt, Norman, Okla., senior in physics and mathematics, and Travis Weller, Garden City senior in sociology, Class of 1913 awards; Ben Kirby, Dallas, Texas, senior in biology, Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement Award; and Jennifer Sweeton, Parkville, Mo., senior in cognitive psychology and French, Agnes Wright Strickland Award.

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