Up 'til Dawn was recognized Tuesday as the 2014 Student Organization of the Year at the annual Student Organization Awards Reception at Fort Hays State University.
As the No.1 fundraiser in the state of Kansas and in the top 10 fundraisers in the nation for St. Jude Children's Hospital, Up 'til Dawn raised $20,000 for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Throughout the academic year, the student organization hosted Staying Up for Good, Childhood Cancer Awareness Week, Give Cancer the Boot and Super Canning.
FHSU is well represented in raising money for children's cancer research. McMindes Hall Council's fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Hospital won the award for Outstanding Community Service event.
Eight different awards at this year's Student Organization Awards Reception honored students, faculty and organizations for outstanding contributions to campus life at FHSU.
Circle K International won the Best New Program award for its service week. Circle K was recognized for providing "several opportunities for members to get engaged with the campus and surrounding community." Events during service week include the campus food pantry, clean water awareness, literacy in students, community cleanliness and March of Dimes.
The Black Student Union's Generation-to-Generation program won the Program of the Year award. The members of Black Student Union made an impact on the FHSU student body by putting together a stage performance showcasing Black History.
The Student Government Association made new initiatives this year winning the Most Improved Student Organization award. These new initiatives include: "improved safety methods on campus, more efficient organization of student fee distribution, a simplified allocations process, increase library hours and the Rules of Rent Campaign, among others."
Isaac Ortega, Waukesha, Wis., graduate student majoring in higher education student affairs, received the Outstanding Diversity Ally award. Ortega has made positive relationships with students of all backgrounds and has made a conscious effort to further educate himself in the development of diverse students.
Kenton Russell, instructor of justice studies, won the Outstanding Advisor for the Defensive Tactics Club by providing continuous support. Russell was recognized for holding club members to a high standard and for instilling "integrity, accountability and discipline in the members."
Sixteen students were recognized as Outstanding Members of their organizations:
BELTON, Mo. (64012): Jeffrey Sommerfeld, freshman, McMindes Hall Council.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (80905): Damien Hightower, junior, Defensive Tactics Club.
ELLIS: Emily Cox, senior, National Association for Music Educators.
Jennifer Kinderknecht, senior, Fort Hays Honor Society.
GRAINFIELD (67707): Trisha Goetz, graduate student, FHSU Student Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
GREAT BEND (67530): Emily Goad, senior, Up 'til Dawn.
HAYS: Ellie Kasra, senior, Alpha Gamma Delta.
Lindsay Smith, junior, Tigers4Ever.
Rebecca Kohl, junior, Students for Life.
McCOOK, Neb. (69001): Tyler Hayes, senior, Student Veterans Association.
PHILLIPSBURG (67661): Deric Jerby, senior, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (80033): Carolyn Campbell, senior, Student Government Association.
WICHITA (67204): Camille Gaddis, senior, University Activities Board.
(67211): Erick Perez, sophomore, Circle K International.
(67223): Ian Blankinship, junior, Longboarding Club.
WINFIELD (67156): Dylan Hogan, junior, Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Each year the Students Organization Awards Reception is made possible by the Center for Student Involvement and Office of Student Affairs, the Student Organizations Committee, and the support of the Student Government Association.