Eight Graduating Seniors Receive Alumni Award for Excellence
May 9, 2011 -- The Western State College of Colorado (WSC) Alumni Association honored eight graduating seniors with its Alumni Awards for Excellence (AAE).
The AAE were established by former WSC President Harry Peterson in 1997 as an opportunity to recognize the talents and achievements of graduates. The award is the College’s highest honor for graduating seniors, who are nominated by WSC faculty and staff. The criteria for the award are: outstanding scholarship; creativity and thoughtfulness in the classroom; initiative in his/her work; and service to the campus/community outside the classroom. Nominees also need a minimum grade point average of 3.20, have 60 credit hours at Western (if a transfer student) and be graduating during the 2010-11 academic year.
Recipients were honored at a banquet on May 6. In addition, the award recipients honor a WSC faculty or staff member who has had the greatest impact on their careers at Western.
The 2011 Alumni Award for Excellence recipients are:
- Loren Ahonen, of Temperance, Mich., graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in politics and government and environmental studies. A stand-out member of the WSC track and field and cross country teams, he is a six-time All-American athlete and has received numerous academic All-American honors. Ahonen was involved with the College’s Sustainability Action Committee, which is charged with improving Western’s environmental responsibilities. Ahonen and a classmate received a grant for funding to install Western’s first solar panels installed on Kelley Hall. He also was a presenter at the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Summit. Ahonen honored John Hausdoerffer, associate professor of environmental studies and philosophy and director of the Environmental Studies Program.
- Colin Courtney, of Hudson, Wis., graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in exercise and sport science. He has been a writing, math and exercise and sport science tutor. He was an active member of the Association of Students in Exercise and Sport Science and participated on its winning quiz bowl team. In the community, Courtney was a mentor through the Gunnison Partners program, and has volunteered for the Crested Butte Health Fair, the Commit to Be Fit community-based adult fitness program and Gunnison's Community Clean Up program. Courtney honored Scott Drum, associate professor of exercise and sport science.
- Nicholette “Niki” DeRosia, of Montrose, Colo., graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and sociology. She was a member of the Honors Program and spent a year studying abroad in Galway, Ireland. DeRosia was president of Active Minds (psychology and mental health student club), completed a two-day intensive Certified Peer Educator course, worked as a resident advisor for the Office of Residence Life and volunteered with the Nurturing Parenting Program. DeRosia honored Kari Commerford, lecturer in psychology.
- Emily Donahue, of Idaho Springs, Colo., graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry. She had been selected to deliver the student address at commencement. Donahue received an Achievement in Organic Chemistry Award and Freshman Achievement in General Chemistry Award, as well as several scholarships. She served as president of the Chemistry Club and vice president of the Academic Leadership Program. She also was involved with intramural sports. In the community, Donahue has been involved with Relay for Life, Gunnison Community Clean Up and English as a Second Language. Donahue honored Anne Ryter, professor of chemistry.
- Aleshia Fremgen, of Golden, Colo., graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in biology. She was in the Honors Program and the Academic Leadership Program. She also served as secretary of the Tri Beta Biology Club and president of the WSC student chapter of the Wildlife Society. Fremgen participated in the highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research for Undergraduates (REU) Program at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. She also organized a trip to Humboldt State University for nine WSC biology students to attend the 2011 Wildlife Conclave. Also a member of the WSC volleyball team, she was named to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Honor Roll three times. Fremgen honored Patrick Magee, Thornton Chair in biology.
- Marcella Fremgen, of Golden, Colo., graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in biology. Fremgen was a teaching and research assistant for the College’s Thornton Undergraduate Research Program. She volunteered to care for research animals and has served as a tutor. She enrolled in a wildlife management course held in South Africa, participated in the WSC Honors Program, applied and received Research for Undergraduates (REU) position at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, was a member of Academic Leadership Program and served as co-coordinator of the Gunnison Sage-grouse Watchable Wildlife Site. She also organized the 2010 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival held at Western, helped with a Bingo fundraiser and was an officer in Tri Beta Biological Honors Society. Fremgen also was a member of the WSC volleyball team and was named three times to the RMAC Honor Roll. Fremgen honored Patrick Magee, Thornton Chair in biology
- Jamie Hamsa, of Waverly, Neb., graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. Hamsa was an officer for the Sociology Club and National Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta, and was the director of the Inter-Club Council for the WSC Student Government Association. In the community, she volunteered at the nursing home, as well as with Six Points, which works with developmentally disabled adults. Hamsa also was a mentor with Partners and was active with the Special Olympics. A member of the WSC volleyball team, she was a three-time RMCA Honor Roll recipient. Hamsa honored Dan Cress, professor of sociology.
- Kimberly McCoy, of St. Louis, graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and biology. She co-authored two grant proposals, presented at the 2010 and 2011 Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, as well as at the 2010 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. She also held positions in two academic honor societies, Tri-Beta in biology and was president of Psi Chi in psychology. In the community, McCoy was mentor for Partners. McCoy honored Scott Cohn, assistant professor of psychology.