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Students Receive Chancellor’s Award
By Jenna Campbell
UW-RF University Communications
APRIL 21, 2006-- Seven students received the 2006 Chancellor’s
Award for Excellence at the University of Wisconsin and were honored at
a ceremony April 17.
The Chancellor’s Award is the highest non-academic honor that a
student can receive at UW-River Falls. The award is given to students
who hold distinguished leadership skills and have served UW-River Falls
during the course of their academic careers. This year’s recipients (back row, from left)
include O’Neal Hampton, Nicholas Cluppert, Kristofer
Kulsrud, Jessica Kopp, Stephanie Jicinsky, (front row, from left) Carolyn Schenk, Chancellor Don Betz and Megan Learman.
"The 2006 UW-River Falls Chancellor's Award winners represent some
of the finest collegiate talent in the region,” said Chancellor
Don Betz. “Each of the recipients will be graduating secure in the
knowledge that they have made valued and lasting contributions to the
institution. Collectively, they are bright, committed, accomplished, persistent,
collaborative and multi-talented."
The recipients of this award are typically juniors or seniors who are
nominated by a faculty or academic staff member or student peers through
the Student Senate. A committee that reports directly to the chancellor
considers each nominee. After select interviews, the committee provides
their recommendations to the chancellor, who makes the final decisions.
•Nicholas Cluppert, a senior from Markesan, Wis., who is majoring
in political science, was nominated by Professor Tracey Gladstone-Sovell,
who is chair of political science department. Cluppert is the 2005-06
Student Association Student Senate president. In that role Cluppert hosted
a radio program in the fall 2005 called “Prez Sayz.”
Cluppert has also held other positions on campus including resident assistant,
a senator in the student association, and chair of the student affairs
and academic services committee.
Off-campus Cluppert has had an internship with the United Council of State
Representative Joan Ballweg as well as worked in numerous philanthropic
efforts to benefit organizations such as the American Red Cross, Gillette
Children’s Hospital and the American Cancer Society.
Tracey Gladstone-Sovell compliments Cluppert on his dedication. “During
my 20 years at the University, I have sat on any number of committees
with student representatives. I cannot remember a single student on any
of those committees who has been more diligent and committed to the work
of the committee than Nick,” say Gladstone-Sovell.
•O’Neal Hampton, a senior from Richfield, Minn., who is majoring
in psychology, was nominated by Njia Lawrence-Porter, the McNair Scholars
coordinator at the university. Hampton is a McNair Scholar whose research,
“Participant Sex and Type of Harassment as Predictors of Coping
Responses to Sexual Harassment Encounters,” has been presented at
regional and national conferences.
Hampton has also been an active player on the Falcon Football Team. Hampton
has been selected to serve on a committee charged with exploring ways
in which more African-American athletes can be attracted to join the football
program. He serves as a volunteer coach for the university’s summer
football camp and has also worked with the Kansas City Chiefs training
camp for the past three summers.
In addition, Hampton has assisted his fellow athletes by serving as an
academic outreach advisor and study symposium facilitator.
In the nomination form Lawrence-Porter noted that Hampton’s character
is exemplary. “O’Neal’s solid character is evidenced
by four major qualities: consistency, dependability, excellence and humility.
By all accounts, O’Neal demonstrates a maturity and stability beyond
his years. I have been in awe of O’Neal’s stamina and poise
in balancing a high level of responsibility and accountability in multiple
•Justin Hauer, an academic advisor at UW-River Falls, nominated Stephanie
Jicinsky, a senior from Baraboo, Wis., who is majoring in animal science/pre-vet.
Since, 2004 Jicinsky has served as an outreach advisor in Prucha Hall,
answering academic and student-life related questions for residents.
Jicinsky’s leadership roles include: co-captain of the Women’s
Cross Country team, an officer in the Pre-Veterinary Club and working
in the Admissions Office as a tour guide.
Jicinsky also tries to build connections between dairy producers, students,
Hispanic employees and family in Latin America through the Puentes/Bridges
Advisory Group. Jicinsky has also held an internship with the USDA Dairy
Forage Research Center and has competed in horse shows as a member of
the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.
Justin Hauer wrote in a nomination form that above all of Jicinsky’s
accomplishments is her greatest asset is her passion towards others. “Stephanie’s
greatest asset is her genuine compassion for the well-being of others.
She inspires and ascribes worth to all the students she comes into contact
with by giving them 100% of her attention and making them feel like they
are the most important student at the university.”
•Kristofer Kulsrud, a senior from Apple Valley, Minn., who is majoring
in music education, was nominated by David Milne, a professor of music.
For the past four years, Kulsrud has been very involved in the campus
music scene having performed in the Symphony Band, Concert Choir, Jazz
Ensemble I, Chamber Singers, Men's’ Chorus, University Chorus and
Kulsrud has also held leadership positions in various organizations such
as: the Performing Arts Committee, Collegiate Music Educators National
Conference, Leadership Programming and Development Board and Commissioned
In addition, to on-campus involvement, Kulsrud is actively involved in
the music community of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. In Minnesota,
Kulsrud has performed with Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Valley Men’s
Chorale, the Minneapolis Trombone Choir, the Bloomington Civic Theater,
Eagan Summer Theater and Brooklyn Center Summer Stock Theatre.
Kulsrud also led the River Falls High School Jazz Ensemble III and has
been the recipient of the Gaader Award, the Wisconsin Music Educator award
for college music education students.
•Jessica Kopp, a senior from Forest Lake, Minn., who is majoring
in psychology, was nominated by Travis Tubre, an assistant professor of
psychology. Kopp has served numerous departments at UW-RF including recreation,
the admissions office, the writing center and residence life where she
served as both a resident assistant and vice president of the Crabtree
Kopp has also held many leadership roles on campus. She is the current
tenure co-president of Psi Chi and is a member of the College of Arts
and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Committee.
Off-campus Kopp has spent time interning with the Wisconsin English Journal
and was a participant of the J-Term trip to rebuild communities impacted
by Hurricane Katrina.
In nominating Kopp, Tubre states her greatest strength is her interpersonal
skills. “On a personal level, I would like to note that getting
to know Jessica has been among the most rewarding experiences of my academic
career. She is bright, compassionate, humorous and optimistic. Students
like Jessica are rare, but their presence makes it clear why this career
is so rewarding.”
•Megan Learman, a senior from Minocqua, Wis., who is majoring in
speech communications, was nominated by Brent Greene, director of International
Learman has been involved in many on-campus activities including, an aid
to the Chancellor and intern/peer advisor in the Office of International
Programs and has held many positions through residential life.
Learman has an immense amount of international exposure, including travel
to Scotland through the Wisconsin in Scotland program. Currently, Learman
serves as the program coordinator of the Wisconsin in Scotland Ambassador
Program. Learman is also a participant of the international mission on
diplomacy to Eastern and Central Europe and has worked with 4-H Exchange
In addition, Learman has served as a member of the International Listening
Greene has very high goals for Learman's future, "One day she may
direct and International Studies Program, be a college professor or perhaps
even a college president," says Greene.
•Carolyn Schenk, a senior majoring in psychology is from Chanhassen,
Minn., was nominated by Brent Turner, the leadership training coordinator
at UW-River Falls.
Schenk has been involved with the Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts, participating
in the J-Term Destination Gulf Coast relief trip and was also the director
of the Adopt-a-Student program. In this program UW-RF faculty, staff and
students adopted 48 students from the University of Southern Mississippi
and who had been affected by the hurricane.
Schenk also holds leadership positions on campus, including residence
hall manager and chair of the Leadership Development and Programming Board.
Turner said in his nomination of Shenk that her greatest strength is within
the relationships she builds with others. "Carolyn's greatest strength
is her presence on campus and ability to relate to both students and faculty.
She carefully considers essential facts and stakeholders when making important
decisions, and uses compassion and empathy to relate to others."
Said Chancellor Betz, "Each of this 'magnificent seven' has unique
perspective, accomplishments and aspirations. They represent a much larger
group of their peers here at UW-River Falls who are also committed to
excellence and service, to scholarship and leadership. They truly have
earned this honor and we join with their families and friends in celebrating
Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:20 Central Daylight Time