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The fourth annual Rising Sophomore Awards Ceremony honored outstanding Chadron State College freshmen Thursday at the Student Center. The awards were established by the college’s retention committee as a way to recognize students who have gone above and beyond in a variety of categories during their freshman year. Award winners were nominated by faculty, staff or peers.

Instructor Brittany Helmbrecht delivered the keynote address. She reassured students that changing majors is a normal part of college life and their involvement in jobs and clubs on campus provide opportunities to explore future career options. Helmbrecht teaches Health, Physical, Education, and Recreation courses and is pursuing a doctorate in Health Education from A.T. Still University.

Celeste Cardona, last year’s Young Eagle award winner, spoke about the importance of overcoming failures, persisting in college and choosing healthy options to manage stress. She presented the award to the 2018-19 Young Eagle recipient, Tyreek Bryant of Denver, Colorado.

The Young Eagle award recognizes a rising sophomore who has made significant accomplishments as a leader who has positively affected positive change on campus.

James H. Powell Sr., dean of Applied Sciences, Curriculum and Assessment and Accreditation, and his wife, Karla, presented the James H. Powell Jr. Academic Achievement Award to Estabon Bozeman of Los Angeles.

This award and its $500 scholarship recognizes a rising sophomore who participated in the Transitional Studies program and has demonstrated excellence while achieving academic goals.

Other awards included:

Community Engagement

Damien Zuniga of Colorado Springs, Colo.

This award recognizes the efforts of a rising sophomore who is living out a vision of connections between campus and community through service and giving.

Student Peer-Leader of the Year

Madilyn Barraza of Scottsbluff, Neb.

This award recognizes a rising sophomore who has been an effective peer-leader. Peer-leaders play a variety of roles including mentor, teacher, friend, and cheerleader. The recipient of this award uses friendship, experience, expertise, and perspective to promote the individual development of her or his fellow first-year students. In addition, the students were nominated by their peers.

Student-Athlete of the Year

Alpine Hickstein of Chadron

This award recognizes a rising sophomore whose work and service on or off the athletic field or gym represents excellence in academics and service. The recipient of the award is a strong and active advocate for student-athletes.

Artist of the Year

Davon Johnson of Ballwin, Mo.

This award recognizes the musical, theatrical, writing, or artistic creativity of a rising sophomore who has made an outstanding contribution to the musical, theater or artistic life of the college through demonstration, performance, composition, and/or group leadership.

Unsung Hero

Michelle Nett of Cheyenne, Wyo.

This award recognizes a rising sophomore who works behind-the-scenes consistently going above and beyond the call of duty as the member of a group. Consideration is based on the following criteria: A strong commitment to the group, positively influences the group from behind the scenes, positive attitude toward Chadron State College and the group, strong attendance commitment and accountability to a project or group, and completes tasks and duties with a high level of quality.

Working Eagle

Collin Sanders of Merriman, Neb.

This award recognizes a rising sophomore who has effectively balanced academics with his or her on- or off-campus job.

Residence Hall Citizen of the Year

Kelsey Crock of Cheyenne, Wyo.

This award recognizes a rising sophomore from the residence halls for outstanding service to her or his floor. This student has demonstrated engaged citizenship, including leadership, self-governance and peer accountability. They are respectful of all members of the community and have positively contributed to the Residence Hall organizations. Most importantly, this individual is a leader and role model for his or her peers and consistently serves his or her community to enact positive changes within it.

First Generation Eagle

Jahani Wright of Miami Gardens, Fla.

This award recognizes a rising sophomore who would be the first in his or her family to attain a four-year degree upon graduation. This award recipient will have successfully navigated the academic, financial, and social aspects of college life.

Excellence in the Advancement of Social Justice

Sarah Wagoner of Mitchell, Neb.

This award recognizes a rising sophomore whose single action or repeated behaviors has moved the college forward in its commitment to building an inclusive and just community. The recipient is one who has contributed to finding solutions to challenges as it relates to social justice.

Diversity in Thought and Experience

Imran Ayele of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

This award recognizes a rising sophomore who is a strong and active advocate for diverse communities, and challenges and supports students to engage beyond what is comfortable.

Academic Grit

Kylie Peters of Rushville, Neb., and Juan Estrada of Denver

This award recognizes a rising sophomore who has made significant steps in his or her academic development. This award recipient will demonstrate noticeable growth in the areas of academic achievement and will have utilized campus resources to have done so.

Student Leader of the Year

Caprise Cominiello of Burlington, Colo.

This award recognizes a rising sophomore who has a zest for life and learning, a strong commitment to CSC and the community, and a demonstrated belief in the goodness of all people.

Outstanding Academic Awards

Education: Madilyn Barraza of Scottsbluff, Neb.

Applied Science and Rangeland: Hayden McGinnis of Buena Vista, Colo.

Family and Consumer Sciences: Cole Martinez of Ulysses, Neb.

Music: Ashley Jackson of Mitchell, Neb.

Psychological Sciences: Kori Teasley of Custer, S.D.

Health and Physical Education/Sport and Recreation Management: Machaela Puck of Bennington, Neb.

K-12 Health and Physical Education: Faith Simon of Burwell, Neb.

History: Natalie Boyd of Stratton, Neb.

Social Science: Kaitlyn Hayhurst of Scottsbluff, Neb.

Social Work: Destiny Beacham of Wauneta, Neb.

Theatre: Kyeisha Garza of Scottsbluff, Neb., and Kori Teasley of Custer, S.D.

Business Administration-Management: Cassidy Horn of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Art: Rylie Cole of Minden, Neb.

Communication: Kyle Rayl of Yuma, Colo.

English: Kaitlyn Yuen of Commerce City, Colo.

Pre-Physical Therapy: Joss Linse of Plattsmouth, Neb.

Pre-Dental Hygiene: Gabrielle Rader of Lexington, Neb.

Pre-Nursing: Ashley Maschmeler of Gering, Neb.

Pre-Medicine: McKinna Faulkenberry of Randolph, Neb.

Pre-Veterinary Medicine: Beau Jerslid of Chadron

Pre-Radiography: Katelyn Keffeler of Holdrege, Neb.

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