Honors Students Recognized at the 14th Annual Torchbearer Awards Ceremony

On April 30th, 2014, the Center for Leadership, Activities, and Career Services hosted the 14th Annual Torchbearer Award Ceremony to “recognize outstanding student leaders, student organizations, faculty, and staff.” At this year’s ceremony a number of Honors students received awards.

Katherine Rachon received the Torchbearer Award. This award is presented to ten graduating seniors or graduate students who have exhibited outstanding leadership skills during their careers at Ferris State University. Torchbearer recipients are leaders on campus, in the classroom, and the community.

The Rising Star Award is presented to five emerging student leaders who have at least two years remaining in their careers at Ferris. This award is intended for students who have already accomplished a great deal through leadership and involvement and whose potential to achieve even more is evident. K. Lee Barnes, Logan Bixman, Megan Brockett, and Tiffany Newman were recognized as Rising Stars.

Dr. Charles Vannette, who was recognized as Outstanding Faculty by the Honors Program last fall, was celebrate as the Outstanding RSO Advisor of the Year. This award is given to one advisor who goes beyond his or her normal duties to develop a student organization.

Danielle Berens, Lindsey Berndt, Logan Bixman, Nicole Carlin, Nicole Christy, Amber Cumings, Michelle Dunn, Janelle A Dykstra, Shannon Fick, Jenna Grimm, Madison Herbart, Angie Knapp, Tiffany Newman, Mackenzie Pahl, Kirsten Thornhauer, and Melanie Trinh each earned the remarkable Woodbridge N. Ferris Level of Community Service by completing 125, or more hours of community service.

Danielle Rustem earned President’s Level of Community Service, or 100-124 hours. While Sarah Scobey and Alex Warju earned Dean’s Level of community service, 75-99 hours.

Five-Star Registered Student Organization awards go to RSOs that are active on campus and in the community. Their members take part in service events and are leaders on campus. This year the American Marketing Association, Circle K International, Colleges Against Cancer, Music Industry Management Association, and the Social Work Association earned 5-Star Recognition. Among the organizations winning 4-Star status was our own Honors Programming Board.

Below are profiles of some of our award winners:

Alex Warju-Dean's LevelName: Alex Warju
Major: Pre-Medicine
Volunteering Experience: The Hospice of Michigan and the Salvation Army
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I would encourage everybody to participate in this challenge [of service]. I chose to do so many community service hours because of the feeling I get from devoting my time to helping people. Volunteering gives me a great sense of gratification and fulfillment. This feeling is exactly why I would recommend others commit themselves to volunteering. It truly is a rewarding experience like no other.”

Name: Danielle Rustern
Major: Pre-Pharmacy
Volunteering Experience:
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I would definitely encourage others to participate in this challenge. Community service is a great way to give back to the people of Michigan, and you get a great feeling, knowing that you helped make a difference in someone’s life. I love helping people, so I took advantage of as many of the community service opportunities offered to me. After a service project, I love knowing that we were able to help someone out, and while it may not have seemed like a big deal to us, it could have meant the world to someone else.”

Name: Danielle Berens
Major: Pre-Veterinary
Volunteering Experience: Honors Peer Mentor, Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County, His House Mission Trip, Relay for Life, the Big Event
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “By being involved with a few different organizations it was really not a difficult challenge to complete. Once I found organizations and opportunities that interested me, I jumped at the chance to be involved and help out around the community.”

1544400_10203810416760293_8948607902911666118_nName: Logan Bixman
Major: Biology/Pre-Pharmacy
Volunteering Experience: Honors Program, Honors Peer Mentor, Adopt-A-Highway, Cran-Hill Ranch Retreat Leader, Ferris State Equestrian Team, Relay for Life, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Dawg Days Student Representative, Riverview Elementary PTO, Salvation Army, Honors Invitational
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I didn’t realize how easy it was to earn 125 hours of community service… I actually earned 147.5 this year. Most people also don’t realize what counts as community service. The smallest, easiest tasks count as community service. You never know until you submit your hours!”

Nicole Carlin R-Initiative 125 copyName: Nicole Carlin
Major: Social Work and Early Childhood Education
Volunteering Experience: ARC, Big Rapids Halloween Festival, 30 Hour Famine, Relay for Life, Honors Peer Mentor
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I would encourage others to participate because it is wonderful to serve others, not only because it betters their lives, but because it can be so rewarding in return. You can learn so many new things from the people you work with and even the animals [I worked with]. Service is something anyone, even the poorest of us, can give.”

Name: Nicole Christy
Major: Biology/Pre-Dentistry, Minoring in Psychology
Volunteering Experience:  Student Alumni Gold Club (alumni events, sporting events, handling Brutus), Pre-Dent Club, Spectrum Health Gift Shop, SCHOLAR Peer Mentoring Program
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I would definitely encourage students to push and challenge themselves to try and achieve the Initiative 125. Many students don’t know that there are actually three levels, 75, 100, 125. So even if they don’t get all the way to 125, it’s still a great achievement and it’s really rewarding to know that you can have helped out the community. Many students don’t realize that they can easily get community service hours for things that they already do. For students that want to get involved, I recommend just try logging your hours (it helps if you put them in Excel). You’ll be surprised how quickly they stack up, and when you see how involved you get, it makes you want to get even more involved. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’ve made a positive impact on not only the FSU community, but every community that you help.”

Amber Cumings-Initiative 125Name: Amber Cumings
Major: Graduate Student at the Michigan College of Optometry
Volunteering Experience: The University Eye Center, Circle K Haunted House, the Heidelberg Project in Detroit, Newman Center’s Mission Trip in Memphis, Tennessee, the Big Event, Relay for Life, the Crop Walk
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I would highly encourage everyone to try and participate in the [service] challenge because it gives a sense of accomplishment and betterment because you’re helping so many people. I personally participated so much because I love giving back and seeing what a difference I can make in the lives of others.”

Janelle Dykstra-Initiative 125Name: Janelle Dykstra
Major: Pre-Pharmacy
Volunteering Experience: Her Church’s Praise Team, Alternative Spring Break Trip to Repair Homes, Cran-Hill Ranch
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I would definitely encourage others to participate in this challenge! I would encourage them to find something that they enjoy doing. Volunteering doesn’t have to be a chore or boring. When you’re doing something you enjoy, it’s easy to reach 125 hours.”

Leadership AwardName: Madison Herbart
Major: Psychology, Minoring in Communication
Volunteering Experience: American Red Cross Blood Drives, Proctoring Psychology Lab Experiments for Dr. Christopher Redker, Relay for Life, the Big Event, her Church’s Children’s Ministry, Children Bereavement Network’s Camp “Live Laugh Love,” the Educational Counseling Disability Services, Honors Program
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I completed the service I did because I wanted to help others as much as I could. I would encourage everyone to volunteer because even a small task can make a big impact! For example one donation of blood can save up to three lives! The Initiative 125 Community Service challenge is great in that it recognizes those who serve, but what is most important is how volunteering can make people feel and how wonderful it is to see change.”

Angie Knapp L-Initiative 125Name: Angie Knapp
Major: Social Work
Volunteering Experience: Honors Peer Mentor, Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services, 30 Hour Famine, Relay for Life, ARC Animal Shelter 
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I would encourage others to participate. I love helping others and seeing their faces when I help them out. It makes me feel happy myself then.”

Tiffany Newman-Initiative 125Name: Tiffany Newman
Major: Forensic Biology, Biotechnology
Volunteering Experience: Circle K International District Convention: Food Bank Packaging, Christmas Presents and Easter Baskets for local foster children (with Circle K), Hair Donations to Wigs 4 Kids and Children With Hair Loss (with Circle K), the Big Event, Relay For Life
Why Others Should Participate in Service:

Kirsten Thorauer-Initiative 125Name: Kirsten Thorhauer
Major: Pharmacy
Volunteering Experience: Crafter’s Anonymous, Relay for Life
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “Serving others is a major part of my life and future career! Everyone needs help sometimes and I’d like to be able to help people in those times of need.”

Melanie Trinh-Initiative 125Name: Melanie Trinh
Major: Pre-Pharmacy
Volunteering Experience: Circle K International, Lambda Kappa Sigma, Project Hope
Why Others Should Participate in Service: “I definitely would encourage others to participate in Initiative 125. It never hurts to do extra for others.”



Congratulations to everyone!


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