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University Relations

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Oct. 21, 2008
Contact: Jennifer Alderdice, KU Alumni Association, (785) 864-9778.

10 finalists for ExCEL Awards to be recognized during KU homecoming events

LAWRENCE — Ten finalists have been selected for the 17th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards at the University of Kansas.

The finalists will be recognized during a private reception Friday, Oct. 24, at the Adams Alumni Center and will participate in the homecoming parade at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, along Jayhawk Boulevard.

Two winners, one male and one female, will be announced during halftime of the KU-Texas Tech homecoming football game Oct. 25 at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at 11 a.m.

The ExCEL Award provides an annual $500 scholarship to two students. The winners will plan a leadership conference during the spring semester in conjunction with KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

Nominees were selected on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The selection committee included representatives from Student Union Activities, the Board of Class Officers, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and the homecoming steering committee.

The award was established in 1991 to recognize one male and one female student for achievement and to add student interest to annual homecoming festivities.

To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Each finalist completed an application and participated in an interview. The finalists are listed below by hometown, level in school, major, parents’ names and high school (when available).

From Fort Scott 66701
John Babcock, senior majoring in music, is the son of Paul and Debbie Babcock and a graduate of Holton High School. Babcock, the son of a United Methodist minister, has been active in Wesley KU as student associate and worship coordinator. He also has directed and managed a six-member worship band. At First United Methodist Church in Lawrence, he has been a worship, mission and youth group volunteer in Peru, Mexico, Chicago and Greenville, N.C. He was a KU Alternative Spring Breaks site leader working with non-native English speaking students in public schools in the Chicago area. For the past three years, he has worked in New Student Orientation — two years as an orientation assistant and later as its registration coordinator. He is a member of Mortar Board, assistant live music coordinator for Student Union Activities and a Mount Oread Scholar. Following graduation, he plans to work for Teach for America and later consider graduate studies in higher education administration.

From Andover 67002
Kimberly Westphall, senior majoring in journalism with a leadership studies minor, is the daughter of Walter and Dorothy Westphall and a graduate of Andover Central High School. As vice president for public relations for the KU Panhellenic Council executive board, Westphall created a marketing program that included launching a monthly newsletter and designing a 16-page brochure that helped drive the largest sorority recruitment at KU in recent years. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism and was chief designer for the University Daily Kansan student newspaper. She also was Jayhawk Sports Talk anchor, producer and Web producer and a newsroom intern at KAKE-TV in Wichita. Westphall was a marketing intern in Dallas for Court Appointed Special Advocates, the national philanthropy of her Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She is a marketing program manager for KU Recreation Services. She also volunteers with Douglas County CASA, Audio-Reader, Jubilee Café and at her family’s David Westphall Veterans Foundation in Angel Fire, N.M. She plans a career in public relations.

From Lawrence 66047
Nathan Mack, son of John and Karen Mack, is a senior in linguistics and Russian and was home-schooled in Kansas. He is a graduate of Sophia Academy. He is vice president of administration for Student Union Activities where he monitors the organization’s budget details and is a peer adviser to two of its committees. He has been president of the Russian Club and worked to help integrate new Russian immigrants into the Lawrence and KU communities. After his freshman year at KU, Mack volunteered as an English teacher in Uganda and served as president, secretary and treasurer of KU for Uganda. He is a member of Student Senate, Board of Class Officers senior advisory board and the 2008 homecoming steering committee. He has been a new student orientation assistant for two years and was selected outstanding student assistant by the University Advising Center. He is a LeaderShape graduate. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and is undergraduate representative in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. He hopes to complete further study in higher education administration and work with student activities and leadership development.

From Lawrence 66049
Alex Rock, son of Randall and Jane Rock, is a senior in secondary education and chemistry, and a graduate of Lawrence Free State High School. He is president of Interfraternity Council and has encouraged collaborations among scholarship halls, residence halls, fraternities and sororities, particularly with philanthropic activities, student voter registration, alcohol-awareness programs, blood drives and fundraisers. As a freshman member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, he received the top overall male student community-service award by contributing 263 volunteer hours as part of 2006 Rock Chalk Revue; the next year he was the fraternity’s community service chair. Rock was in the first group of Robert J. Dole Public Service Scholarship recipients in 2005 and has been a coordinator of its summer Youth Civic Leadership Institute. This year, he also is a coordinator of the Dole Institute’s student advisory board. He was a varsity cross-country runner for KU in fall 2007. After graduation, he plans to work for Teach for America, then complete a dual law and master of business administration program focusing on health care administration and public service.

From Leawood 66206
Todd Crawford, son of Jeff and Kim Crawford, is a senior in finance preparing to study medicine and a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village. He is president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and vice president of the 2008-09 Board of Class Officers. He was a facilitator for a two-day Greek Endeavor leadership retreat and has led his fraternity and other greek volunteer campus and community scholarship and leadership activities. Since his freshman year, he has volunteered at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in same-day surgery, emergency, escort and recovery areas and was selected as the Ryan Kanost Volunteer of the Year in May. Crawford is a volunteer and secretary of Natural Ties, a KU student-run program through Center for Community Outreach that establishes friendships with KU students and individuals with developmental disabilities. He is a student teaching assistant in a KU financial modeling and risk analysis class. He plans to attend medical school.

From Overland Park 66212
Mandy Shriwise, daughter of Rod and Susan Shriwise, senior in biochemistry and dance, is a graduate of Shawnee Mission South High School. She is a 2008 KU nominee for Rhodes and Marshall scholarships and has won outstanding honors research and achievement awards in chemistry and dance. Also a 2007 Truman scholar nominee, she is a Watkins-Berger scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. Shriwise is co-director of Center for Community Outreach, which provides volunteer service to the Lawrence community. She was a co-founder of the International Children’s Assistance Network that raised $5,000 for an orphanage in Haiti and $12,000 for a preschool in Tanzania, where she also spent two summers doing hospital volunteer work. As chair of the School of Fine Arts student advisory board, she helped develop a scholarship/career development program for fine arts students and is president of the University Dance Company. She is a member of the Natural History Museum student advisory board. Shriwise’s future plans include law school and international development.

From Basehor 66007
Elizabeth Bartkoski, daughter of John and DeAnn Bartkoski, is a senior in business management and leadership with concentrations in human development and applied behavioral science. She is a graduate of Bishop Ward High School, Kansas City, Kan. She has been treasurer, programming chair and community service chair for Douthart Scholarship Hall and this year is vice president of the All-Scholarship Hall Council. While Bartkoski was community service chair, Douthart received Scholarship Hall of the Year Award with particular recognition for 846 hours of community service, or about 18 hours per person. She has been a volunteer and site leader for Give Kids the World and Mountain Housing Opportunities through KU’s Alternative Breaks program. She has also been a new student orientation assistant for two years and a KU Student Ambassador. Bartkoski’s goals include working in community development in a large metropolitan area, getting a master’s degree in higher education administration and joining AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps.

From Hutchinson 67502
Kaleigh Braun, daughter of Steve and Debbie Braun, is a senior in chemical engineering with concentration in biomedical engineering. She is a graduate of Trinity Catholic High School in Hutchinson. She is a KU Engineering Ambassador and president of the Engineering Student Council, which coordinates the annual Engineering Expo open house for K-12 students, helps allocate funds for student organizations and activities and plans school social events. Among activities she organized are the Pre-Career Fair Trivia Night for engineering students and prospective employers, a school basketball tournament and Rockin’ On Learned Lawn during Hawk Week, which included a barbecue, engineering student band, prizes and a “Dunk the Dean” fundraiser to benefit United Way of Douglas County. Braun volunteers at Jubilee Café with other members of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. Through Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, she volunteers with Court Appointed Special Advocates. She is secretary of Wesley KU, where she is also a student associate and teacher. With her interest in pediatric oncology, she is recruitment chair and volunteer for Up ’Til Dawn, which raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She plans to either attend graduate school for a doctorate in biomedical engineering or medical school to become a physician.

From Topeka 66614 and Fairmont, W.Va.
Rachel Burchfield, daughter of Larry Burchfield and Joy Burchfield, is a senior in journalism with a minor in leadership studies and special concentration in political science. She is a graduate of Washburn Rural High School. She is senior class president and president of the 2008-09 Board of Class Officers, for which she helped increase the organization’s membership fivefold. She is secretary of Student Senate Elections Committee and Mortar Board senior honor society. For the last two years, Burchfield has been advisory board secretary of the KU’s Rock Chalk Revue, which benefits United Way of Douglas County. She was president of her Alpha Gamma Delta sorority pledge class. Her efforts as vice president of educational programs and scholarship for Panhellenic Association led to a 3.25 all-sorority grade-point average. She is a new student orientation assistant and a University Daily Kansan copy editor and works with KU Info and the Student Involvement and Leadership Center. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in higher education administration with a goal of becoming a greek life or leadership development director at a major university.

From El Dorado Hills 95762
Bill Walberg, son of Scott and Mary Walberg, is a senior in journalism and political science and a graduate of Saint Francis High School, Mountain View, Calif. He is Student Union Activities president. He has been anchor, producer and reporter for KUJH-TV and a sports reporter for the University Daily Kansan. He was 2007 homecoming co-director working with Kansas Athletics and other university departments to coordinate activities. He has been elected to Student Senate, representing the freshman class, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Through the Student Senate’s Student Legislative Awareness Board and Student Union Activities, he has helped with “Rock the Vote” voter registrations for the 2006 and 2008 elections. He is a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Dole Institute of Politics Student Advisory Board. During academic breaks, he works with his church in downtown Sacramento, Calif., preparing meals and distributing toys though Powerhouse Ministries Lunches for the Hungry. His future goals include attending law school, focusing on constitutional and media law, working for a corporate media firm and becoming a political analyst for the San Jose Mercury News in California.

From Fairmont 26554 and Topeka, Kan.
Rachel Burchfield. See SHAWNEE COUNTY


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