Erinn Barcomb-Peterson
KU News Service

KU recognizes 13 students with University Awards, Campanile Award

Fri, 05/05/2023

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has awarded 13 students with honors that recognize community engagement, leadership and academics.

Campanile Award

Issued by the Board of Class Officers, the Campanile Award is given to a single graduating senior who has displayed remarkable leadership, character and respect for KU.

Claire DoppClaire Dopp is senior from Olathe majoring in chemistry with a minor in environmental studies. Dopp’s research in inorganic chemistry has taught her the importance of small molecules and their greater impact. Dopp said James Blakemore, associate professor of chemistry, and his research group altered her career path and because of them Dopp will attend graduate school in the fall.

"I couldn't be more grateful to have had such an amazing undergraduate experience at the University of Kansas,” Dopp said. “I owe much of who I am to my family and friends, and I cannot thank any of these people enough for their continued support of my work, my interests and myself.

“I cannot wait to represent KU throughout my career, and I am incredibly proud to be a Jayhawk for life.”

University Awards

The University Awards, among the most prestigious awards presented at KU, were established to recognize students who embody service excellence, dedication or whose academic achievements are stellar.

Class of 1913 Awards

These annual awards go to two graduating students who show evidence of intelligence, devotion to studies, personal character and promise of usefulness to society.

Aylar AtadurdyyevaAylar Atadurdyyeva is a senior from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, majoring in microbiology, political science, Slavic studies and global & international studies and is minoring in German studies and psychology.

Atadurdyyeva said her time at KU has provided the privilege of exploring most, if not all, of her interests. Atadurdyyeva’s research spans from Wolbachia-Drosophila interactions to language policies in Kazakhstan to antimicrobial resistance in Europe to Turkmen wedding traditions.

“I have wonderful mentors who supported my endeavors and encouraged me to further grow as a scholar,” Atadurdyyeva said. “As a first-generation college student having moved halfway across the globe, I felt welcomed at KU and will forever be grateful for and to everyone I interacted with these past four years.”

Kade Townsend is a senior from Topeka majoring in microbiology.

Townsend said he has achieved much more than he thought possible as a first-generation student and credits his mentor, Josephine Chandler, associate professor of molecular biosciences, “for showing me the ropes of bacterial genetics research and pushing me to be the best version of myself.”

Townsend is also thankful for professors, friends and especially family for being at his side in times of need and times of celebration. 

“Without the ability to conduct research at KU, I would be in a completely different position than I am today and for that, I am forever grateful,” Townsend said.

The Donald K. Alderson Memorial Award

The award goes to a graduating senior who has demonstrated loyalty to and interest in the university and who has been active in events and services that benefit other students. This award was established in memory of Alderson, former dean of men and dean of student services.

Quinn Smith is a senior from Phoenix, Arizona, majoring in psychology and minoring in social justice.

“It is an honor for me to be recognized for service to the university,” Smith said. “KU has given me so much over these last four years — a sense of community and purpose, fun athletics to watch and great friends. It’s been a privilege to give back to others.”

The Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement Award

This award goes to two graduating students who have unselfishly contributed to the university through campus involvement. It was established in 1993 by Dillard’s family and friends to remember and honor him.

Ethan Christ is a senior from Overland Park majoring in biochemistry and anthropology.

Christ said he is thankful for family, friends and mentors for their continued support during his four years at KU.

“They taught me the value of service and getting involved in your community, which has been a significant part of the work I have done while here,” Christ said. “Progress does not come easy, and it is a student leader's responsibility to rise to the occasion and make KU a better place for those who follow. I only hope I was able to motivate and inspire other student leaders like how I was inspired from those who came before me.”

Kamiyah Hicks is a senior from Kansas City, Kansas, majoring in human biology.

Hicks said she is honored to receive the Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement Award and is proud to leave a mark and inspire future students of “such an amazing university.”

“All of the organizations I joined allowed me to achieve things I never thought I could,” Hicks said. “The University of Kansas has helped me grow and develop into the proud Black woman I am today, and I am more than excited to be recognized as a deserving person of this prestigious award.”

The Rusty Leffel Concerned Student Award

This award annually goes to students who demonstrate a concern for furthering the ideals of the university and higher education. The award was established by a group of seniors in 1973 to honor their fellow student, Leffel.

Mary Morrison is a senior from Lawrence majoring in political science and minoring in African & African diasporic languages, Middle Eastern studies, global & international studies and Jewish studies.

Morrison said KU has given more than just an education. Rather, Morrison has gained lasting relationships, a passion for community service and “a hunger” for making a difference.

“Being a member of the scholarship halls, Student Senate and other groups on campus taught me that the best person to speak about your own experiences is you,” Morrison said. “I have many friends, family members and mentors to thank, but mostly I want to thank TRIO for giving me the tools to succeed, for showing me that I can be a first-generation student and be successful, and that those two things are not mutually exclusive.”

Murtaza Shoaib is a senior from Overland Park majoring in psychology.

Shoaib said his time and experiences at KU have been a source of personal growth.

“My work with disadvantaged groups in the Lawrence community has taught me lessons and developed in me a sense of empathy that will long outlive my time at KU,” Shoaib said.

“I urge my peers to recognize that they are capable of giving back to their communities and making a difference, even as students.”

Navya Singh is a junior from Chandigarh, India, majoring in biochemistry.

At KU, Singh became involved in undergraduate research, gaining executive positions in cultural organizations and pursuing opportunities through the University Honors program. She credits support of friends and the “incredible mentorship” of Laird Forrest, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, and Regan Baker, senior academic advisor for the University Honors Program.

“I am incredibly thankful for KU's undergraduate research program and for all the opportunities to conduct, present and be awarded for my research project,” Singh said. “I look forward to another amazing year full of exciting opportunities at KU.”

The Caryl K. Smith Student Leader Award

This award goes to a graduating sorority or fraternity member who has demonstrated commitment to the local chapter, the KU sorority and fraternity community, the university and the Lawrence community. It was established in 1993 to honor Smith, a former dean of student life.

Sadie Williams is a senior from Augusta majoring in English and economics and minoring in Spanish.

Williams said she is grateful to professors, friends and family members “who have given me so much more grace than I ever deserved, and all the love I could ever hope to receive.” Williams said one constant in her time at KU has been her sorority, Chi Omega, and the Panhellenic community as a whole — which led her to serve as president of the Panhellenic council, of her sorority’s chapter and eventually of the KU student body.

“I feel sincerely lucky to have been able to benefit so greatly from this university and the awe-inspiring people who compose it for the past four years,” Williams said.

The Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle Student Scholar Award 

This award is presented to a graduating senior scholarship hall student. Recipients have demonstrated academic focus, leadership in the scholarship hall and also commitment to the KU and Lawrence communities.

Dulani Hannadige is a senior from Colombo, Sri Lanka, majoring in global & international studies and sociology and minoring in women, gender & sexuality studies.

Hannadige said that, as an international student, coming to KU could feel daunting, but that her time at KU has exceeded expectations and allowed her to pursue interests and develop academically, professionally and personally. In addition to gratitude for friends and family for love and support over the last four years, Hannadige said she is especially grateful to the Sellards Scholarship Hall community.

“I have met so many incredible people at Sellards who have exemplified leadership, compassion and excellence and driven me to be the best I can be as student, leader and friend,” she said.

The Agnes Wright Strickland Awards

These awards were established in 1953 in memory of Strickland, a member of the Class of 1887. They go annually to graduating seniors in recognition of their academic records, demonstrated leadership in matters of university concern, respect among fellow students and indications of future dedication to service in the university.

Javen Betts is a senior from Kansas City, Kansas, majoring in elementary education.

Betts credits supportive family members, friends, mentors and professors as contributing to his success at the KU — an experience “nothing short of amazing.”

“Ensuring that campus was equitable for all Jayhawks was a big goal of mine, which led to my experiences of leading, serving and impacting campus through a variety of capacities,” Betts said. “To our current and future Jayhawks, I am elated to pass the torch and hope that we continue to enhance our great alma mater. I am excited to continue serving KU even during my alumni years.”

Mikayla Leader is a senior from Wichita majoring in mathematics.

Leader said she values creating a welcoming environment and support system on campus for all students.

“I will never be able to thank my mentors, experiences and connections enough for what I have gained through my involvement at KU,” Leader said.

“I promise to return to my nest often, continue to support Jayhawks and give back to the community that has given me the best four years of college.”

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