LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas students, Sana Cheema of Hays and Zoya Khan of Overland Park, are winners of the 27th Annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (Ex.C.E.L.) Awards. The award presentation during halftime of the KU-Texas Tech football game Oct. 7 in Memorial Stadium concluded KU’s 105th Homecoming celebration.
Cheema, a senior who is majoring in biology, is vice president of the Pre-Medical Society and founder and president of KU Friends of Pakistan. She is a University Honors Scholar and serves as the historian for Mortar Board honor society. She is a member of Student Senate and vice president of membership for the Student Alumni Leadership Board.
Khan, a senior who is majoring in political science and global and international studies with a minor in Middle Eastern studies, has served as president of the Muslim Student Association. She chaired the Student Senate Multicultural Affairs Committee, and she has been a member of KU Students for Refugees, the Dole Institute Student Advisory Board and International Student Services.
The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $250 scholarship to two students. The winners will present at the Blueprints Leadership Conference next spring in conjunction with KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center.
The theme for this year’s Homecoming was “Jayhawks of the Galaxy.” Students and alumni participated in several activities throughout the week, including competitions, community service opportunities and reunions. Members of the KU and Lawrence communities collected more than 3,300 cans of non-perishable food for Just Food of Douglas County during the CANstellation competition. They also donated more than 1,500 office supplies for Community Village Lawrence, which was sponsored by the Homecoming steering committee and the United Way of Douglas County.
The annual event was organized by the KU Alumni Association and a student-led Homecoming steering committee, directed by Nellie Kassebaum, a Burdick junior in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She worked with Alumni Association adviser Jacey Krehbiel, assistant director of membership and business development. Homecoming sponsors were Crown Toyota Volkswagen, PepsiCo and Kansas Athletics.
The Homecoming parade was Oct. 6 on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence and featured retired NASA astronauts and KU alumni Joe Engle and Steven Hawley as grand marshals. A meet and greet with Kansas Athletics preceded the parade at South Park.
Other 2017 Homecoming event and award winners are:
Jennifer Alderdice Homecoming Award
Anna Perrone, a junior from Modesto, California, majoring in strategic communications and business
Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award
Larry Stoppel, 1973 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences alumnus, and his wife, Nancy Tade Stoppel, a 1973 School of Education alumna, from Washington, Kansas
1st place: Alpha Delta Pi and Triangle
2nd place: Sigma Delta Tau, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Sigma Psi
3rd place: Delta Gamma, Delta Tau Delta, Pi Kapa Phi, Alpha Kappa Lambda
1st place: Engineering Student Council
2nd place: Beta Upsilon Chi
3rd place: Sellards Scholarship Hall
For more information and a complete list of competition winners, visit homecoming.ku.edu.
About the KU Alumni Association
Through the support of members and donors, the KU Alumni Association advocates for the University of Kansas, communicates with Jayhawks in all media, recruits students and volunteers, serves the KU community and unites Jayhawks. For more information, visit kualumni.org.