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Six Students Honored With Chancellor's Award

Chancellor Ann Lydecker has recognized six UW-River Falls graduating seniors with the 2003 Chancellor's Award for contributions to the University.

Those honored with the award included Megan Clarke, a journalism major from Mitchell, S.D.; Manjesh Gurnani, an economics major from River Falls; Ryan Perkl, an environmental science major from Pittsville; Terrence Galbreath, a history major from River Falls; Dawn Puro, an elementary education major with a minor in Spanish from Twin Lakes; and Nicole Schoenemann, a marketing communications major from Port Washington.

They will be recognized during an awards ceremony set for May 12.

Each of the students to receive the award has excelled throughout college with activities related to their field of study.

Clarke's focus was on campus media. Currently she is the station manager of WRFW campus radio, which serves the campus and surrounding region. She is also a reporter and anchor for "NewscenterU," the campus television news program. She recently served as host and producer of the television magazine show "Focus on U," and reported for the campus television sports program "St. Croix Sports." Clarke also was recognized with the Northwest Broadcaster's Award for her reporting, an award that is typically won by professional broadcasters in public radio.

Gurnani, who was born in West Africa and attended high school in India, has sought to educate international and American students on differences of culture as president of the UW-RF International Student Association and as leader of the Campus International Ambassadors. He has tutored economics and taught other subjects to middle and high school students at the UW-RF summer Pre-College Program.

Perkl has contributed more than 500 hours of volunteer service with Americorp and the Student Conservation Association. He also served as president of the Earth Consciousness Organization from 2001 to 2003. As a student senator from 2001 to 2003, he fought to increase student awareness of campus environmental issues and initiated efforts for the creation of a Student Senate Environmental Committee.

Galbreath has served as a student senator and a member of the Asian American Student Association. He was co-president of African American Alliance, and is now a student advisor to the organization. He was a member of the University's football team for three years and was selected for the scholastic honor roll by the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He is a McNair Scholar.

Puro has been involved with activities that included planning two senior citizen proms and mentoring fellow students. A significant commitment during Puro's four years at UW-RF has been to the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity, where she served on the executive team for three years and as president for the past year. Over winter school breaks, she has traveled to Santa Fe, N.M., and Jacksonville, Fla., to help build homes.

Schoenemann devoted herself to service while a student at UW-RF, through involvement with several organizations. For the past two years she has acted as chairperson for the Campus and Community Cleanup Coalition. She also helped establish National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at the University by organizing a sleep out, food drive, and other events to raise awareness about hunger and homelessness.

Lydecker congratulated the students on their work, saying, "You certainly have distinguished yourself at UW-RF. Not only have you participated broadly in the life of this institution, but you have also exhibited leadership in University affairs while at the same time gaining great respect from faculty, staff and students. You are an example of our best and brightest undergraduates.

"As your life unfolds in the months and years ahead, I will eagerly watch as you further distinguish yourself as a leader in professional and community service."

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