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University Relations

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October 25, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Denny, Homecoming Steering Committee, (785) 864-5490.

2005 Ex.C.E.L. finalists to be honored Friday; winners announced Saturday

LAWRENCE -- Finalists for the 14th annual Excellence in Community Education and Leadership, or Ex.C.E.L., Award at the University of Kansas were announced by Student Union Activities, Board of Class Officers and the Homecoming Steering Committee today.

The 10 finalists will be recognized during a homecoming reception at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, on the sixth floor terrace of the Kansas Memorial Union. Two winners, a man and a woman, will be announced and recognized during the halftime ceremonies of the KU-University of Missouri homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 29, in Memorial Stadium at KU. Kick-off time is noon.

Ex.C.E.L. awards provide annual $500 scholarships to a male and a female student for achievement and leadership. Winners also must work on a leadership conference during the school year in conjunction with the KU Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

A selection committee with representatives from SUA, the Board of Class Officers and the Homecoming Steering Committee chose finalists on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement in the KU community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The award was established in 1991.

To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Each student completed an application and participated in an interview, and 10 finalists were selected.

The finalists are:

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence
Elizabeth Loraine Morel, senior majoring in chemical engineering, is the daughter of James and Renee Morel. She is a Lawrence Free State High School graduate. Morel has completed internships with Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering in Fairfax, Va., and a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at Johns Hopkins University. She has volunteered with KidSci, a KU program in Lawrence elementary schools and has worked as a New Student Orientation assistant at KU. Morel was named the 2004-05 Most Outstanding Junior in Chemical Engineering and a KU Woman of Distinction. She has served on the Watkins Scholarship Hall executive board for four years. She is a Kansas/Asia Scholar and a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.

Jenna Sheldon-Sherman, senior in psychology and women's studies, is the daughter of Jim Sherman and Jan Sheldon. She is a Lawrence Free State High School graduate. Sheldon-Sherman represents KU on the Douglas County United Way board and directs KU's Alternative Breaks program. She was named a 2004-05 KU Woman of Distinction and received the 2005 Women's Recognition Award for Outstanding Woman in an Organized Living Group. Sheldon-Sherman is a member of Mortar Board and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She is a Watkins-Berger Scholar and has received a Coca-Cola Scholarship for children of KU faculty since her freshman year.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Leawood
Tyler James Waldorf, senior majoring in architectural engineering, is the son of Debra Waldorf. He is a Blue Valley North High School graduate. He was president of Beta Theta Pi social fraternity and is president of Phi Alpha Epsilon architectural engineering honor society. He is also a member of Tau Beta Pi (engineering) and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. Waldorf was a 2004 Ex.C.E.L. finalist and was named Outstanding Student Organization Member of 2003-04 by the Student Senate for his work as co-director of the Homecoming Steering Committee.

From Prairie Village
Greyson Andrew Clymer, senior majoring in business administration, is the son of David and Melanie Clymer. He is a Shawnee Mission East High School graduate. Clymer is a Board of Class Officers member and is president of Phi Delta Theta social fraternity. He serves as a vice president for interfraternal relations on the Interfraternity Council. He was president of his freshman class and secretary for the sophomore class. He is a member of several honor societies including Mortar Board, Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi.

McPHERSON COUNTY
From Lindsborg and from Salina
Ethan Montgomery Nuss, senior majoring in sociology, is the son of Jo Nuss Montgomery and Lawton Nuss of Salina. He is a graduate of Salina High School Central. Nuss is co-president of Students for Peace and Justice and vice president of WAVE (Working Against Violence Everywhere). He was elected a student senator during his freshman and sophomore years and lobbied the Kansas legislature with the campus Amnesty International chapter against the death penalty in Kansas. He is a member of the National Honors Society and a scholarship hall resident.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY
From Independence
Alexis Ali Bannwarth, senior majoring in strategic communications in journalism, is the daughter of David and Marlene Bannwarth. She is an Independence Senior High School graduate. Bannwarth is president of Watkins Scholarship Hall and a founding member of Kansas Connections, a group for students from small Kansas towns. She is a member several honor societies including Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key and Phi Sigma Alpha (political science). She was a Watkins-Berger Scholar and has received an Outstanding Peer Educator Award at KU.

SALINE COUNTY
From Salina and from Lindsborg
Ethan Montgomery Nuss, senior majoring in sociology, is the son of Lawton Nuss and Jo Nuss Montgomery of Lindsborg (see McPherson County).

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Derby
Kyle Mathew Stearns, senior majoring in communication studies, is the son of Jim and Lynn Stearns. He is a Derby High School graduate. He is a student coordinator of leadership programs at KU. Stearns works as an orientation assistant for New Student Orientation and was a 2005 intern in the Dole Institute of Politics. He serves in the Student Senate. He has volunteered with Jubilee Café, serving breakfast for the needy in Lawrence and has been a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. He is a member of several honor societies including Mortar Board and Golden Key.

From Wichita and from Highland Village, Texas
Marynell Taylor Jones, senior majoring in English, is the daughter of Scott Jones and Mary Lou Reece. She is a graduate of Edward S. Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas. Jones is student body vice president and was selected as a KU Woman of Distinction for 2005-06. She serves on several KU boards and committees including the Lied Center Advisory Board and the Memorial Corporation Board (Kansas Union) and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Executive Council. She is a member of Lambda Sigma honor society.

NEBRASKA
From Lincoln
Nicole Leigh Kansier, senior majoring in biology, is the daughter of Raymond Kansier. She is a Lincoln Southeast High School graduate. Kansier is executive producer for the Rock Chalk Revue Advisory Board. Kansier works as an instructor in KU's algebra program and this past summer was an intern in nephrology sponsored by Dialysis Clinic, Inc., at the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. She was a National Merit finalist and received the Sally Frost Mason Award for Outstanding Woman Student in biological sciences. She is a member of several honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board and Golden Key.

BOLIVIA
From La Paz
Juan Araoz, senior majoring in business administration, is the son of Rebeca Riveros-Dimberg. He attended high school in Germany. Araoz was president of the KU International Student Association last year and is vice president of KU's International Student Ambassador program. He is an Honors Program student who has received multiple scholarship awards including the Fred McElhenie Scholarship for Community Service and an Arthur Jerome Boynton Memorial Scholarship in economics. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, a business honor society, and Phi Beta Delta honor society for international students. He is a proctor for Stephenson Scholarship Hall and volunteered with KU's Alternative Spring Break program for the past two years.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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