Senior of the Year Award

The Alumni Association of Elmhurst College created the Senior of the Year Award in 1992 as a way to honor the senior who typifies the Elmhurst College graduate.

Students of senior status are nominated through a process that includes a summary of activities on campus, an essay, and two letters of endorsement from members of the faculty, staff and administration. These nominations are reviewed by a committee of alumni volunteers and finalists are selected.

Finalists appear for an interview by an alumni panel and are critiqued based on three categories: scholastic aptitude, campus involvement, and his or her passion for continuing the Elmhurst College tradition. The award is presented to the student who most excels in all areas.

2020 Senior of the Year

Alexandria Schultz

  • Majors: Political Science, Urban Studies

Alexandria came to Elmhurst College as part of a legacy family following in her mother and brother’s footsteps. However, in her time at Elmhurst she established herself as a known leader on campus. Her involvement and impact spans various parts of the campus and includes membership in the Sigma Kappa sorority, holding the office of president of the Student Government Association and as a competitor on the Mock Trial team. She has also taken part in multiple academic honor societies like Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha and Pi Gamma Mu. Alexandria is proud to graduate knowing that she has found her place and found her voice in this world. Her nominator stated, “She led by example, always prepared to go above and beyond to contribute to the success of the team.” She enters the world eager to represent the College and is excited to continue to give back to the place that has allowed her to become the woman that she is today.

Stacie Harms

  • Majors: Accounting, Finance, and Human Resource Management

Stacie’s first arrival on campus during her freshman year was greeted with the words, “Reach your full potential.” Over the course of her Elmhurst College career, she did more than just reach it. Not only has she maintained a 4.0 GPA as a triple business major, she was a member of the women’s volleyball team and served the campus in a multitude of honors organizations and activities such as: Delta Mu Delta, Athletes in Action, CRU, Relay for Life, and as a tutor in the ELSA program. As her nominator described Stacie, “Her selfless nature has stretched her to the limit but that is her nature, to give to others in need first then tend to herself later”. This is also how she intends to carry on the Elmhurst College tradition as a proud alumna.

Joanna Juskiewicz

  • Major: Nursing
  • Minor: Psychology

Joanna will always remember the vast opportunities for growth and leadership that were afforded to her at Elmhurst College. She is thankful to have worked with the amazing faculty and staff during her involvement in academic and social groups such as: Student Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, and the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Joanna also served an important role on campus as a resident advisor in Niebuhr Hall and made it her mission to provide educational opportunities for her first-year residents, as well as creating a safe and inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds. Joanna is excited to see the continued cultivation of a diverse and inclusive campus environment as she enters into the next chapter of her life as an Elmhurst College alumna.

Alex Kielion

  • Majors: Accounting and Finance

When Alex was searching for the best college to attend, he knew Elmhurst College would be the perfect fit. Elmhurst would not only provide him with a high-quality liberal arts education, it would also allow him to play Division III baseball, a sport he’s loved for years. What Alex didn’t anticipate, however, is how Elmhurst helped him come out of his shell and grow into the strong, quiet leader that he is today. Alex played on the baseball team during his entire undergraduate career and served as captain during his senior year. Additionally, he has held multiple leadership roles in the Office of Residence Life such as president of Neibuhr Hall Council as a freshman, resident advisor as a sophomore and junior, and head resident of Stanger Hall during his senior year. As an accounting and finance double major, Alex is a member of three Honors Societies: Phi Kappa Phi, Delta Mu Delta, and Omicron Delta Kappa.  He has also served as a member of the Accounting, Finance & Economics Club for all four years.

Elizabeth Kolell

  • Majors: Communication Sciences and Disorders and Intercultural Studies
  • Minor: Psychology

Elizabeth credits many of her peer mentors for encouraging and supporting her to step into her various leadership roles during her collegiate experience. She is most proud of her multiple leadership roles in her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, where she held the following positions: nominating committee chairwoman, member engagement director, president, and new member experience director. During her senior year, she was so honored to serve as a coordinator for the New Student Orientation program. Serving in this role was possible because of her own experience, as a first-year student, when her own Orientation Student Leaders encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone and learn about the program, the College and most importantly teamwork. She is also an active member of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA), Habitat for Humanity, and Athletes in Action. Elizabeth is a double major in communication sciences and disorders and intercultural studies with a minor in psychology. She is also a part of the Honors Program and a member of three Honor Societies: Phi Beta Delta, Pi Gamma Mu, and Order of Omega.

Emilie Kottmeier

  • Major: Nursing
  • Minor: Psychology

As a member of the United Church of Christ, Emilie is so grateful and proud to have attended Elmhurst College. She has always appreciated the hallmarks of the Elmhurst community—friendly, encouraging and approachable. As a nursing major and psychology minor, Emilie serves as the co-president and mentee for the Peer Undergraduate Nursing Mentorship Program (PUNMP) and is a member of four honor societies: Sigma Theta Tau, Phi Beta Delta, Pi Gamma Mu, and Omicron Delta Kappa. During her time at Elmhurst, Emilie served as president, facilitator and ambassador, and community events chair in Cru, Orientation Student Leader and as an associate member of Alpha Phi Omega. Emilie worked in the Office of Institutional Advancement as a phonathon caller and as a student ambassador for the Office of Admissions. Emilie also had a rare opportunity to conduct psychology research for the Honors Program, which she presented at a national conference, NCHC, during her sophomore year.

Emily Marquez

  • Majors: English and Communications
  • Minor: Intercultural Studies

Like many prospective students, Emily recalls feeling “right at home” when she toured the College for the first time as a high school senior. She loved meeting the faculty in the Honors Program and always knew she wanted to major in English. Since her time at Elmhurst, she double majored in English and communications with a minor in intercultural studies. Emily is a member of three honor societies: Sigma Tau Delta, Lambda Pi Eta and Omicron Delta Kappa. She has held multiple leadership positions on campus: president of Alpha Phi Omega, president of Asian Club, student coordinator of Electrify Student Leadership Retreat, vice president of Union Board, and resident adviser for the Honors Living Learning Community. Additionally, she served as one of the student-leaders in the EC Connections orientation program designed specifically to introduce the College’s students of color to one another. Emily is most proud of her own identity development as a woman of color and is committed to serving marginalized student groups to ensure that they have access to advocacy, resources and support on campus.

Diana Martinez

  • Major: Accounting
  • Minor: Dance Education

Diana proudly followed her big sister’s footsteps and chose to attend Elmhurst because she wanted to be a part of all the college experiences that her sister raved about as a student. As head captain of the Elmhurst College Poms Team and member of the dance program for four years, Diana helped lead her team to a first-place win at their very first NCAA Conference Competition. It’s no wonder that her favorite place on campus is the dance studio as it allows her to be expressive and relieve any stress she is carrying. Diana has also served as the vice president of finance for her sorority, Alpha Phi, during all four years of her undergraduate career. Some other organizations that she’s been involved in include, Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, and the Accounting, Economics & Finance Club. She has also served as an Orientation Student Leader Coordinator and is a member of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society.

Kaylah Schukas

  • Major: Elementary Education
  • Minor: Spanish

Kaylah will forever cherish her memories of Elmhurst College. Her four years were filled with growth and self-discovery. As an Orientation Student Leader, she is proud to have provided a welcoming and inclusive campus home to first-year students. During her involvement in several honor societies like Kappa Delta Pi and the Elmhurst College Honors Society, she also maintained other leadership roles in organizations like Alpha Phi sorority which included her holding the post as vice president of community relations. Her impact extended past the Elmhurst community as she traveled to four different countries for study abroad opportunities. Kaylah acknowledges that Elmhurst College has been instrumental in shaping her into the woman she is today. For that reason, she has made it her mission to instill in her future students that they can all go to college and have that experience, no matter their socio-economic background. She cannot wait to share her experiences and hear about those of others as an alumna of Elmhurst College.

Allison Vickers

  • Major: Music Education

Allison attributes all that she is today as a result of her experiences at Elmhurst College; “a well-rounded, thoughtful, global scholar with a passion for people and education”. This is clear throughout her time on campus as she not only took part in a multitude of academic and music honor societies, but also held leadership roles within each. In the College’s renowned music program, she was a member of the College and Community Philharmonic Orchestra, Women’s Chorus, chamber strings and viola ensemble. Allison also explored and committed herself to other organizations on campus such as, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, yoga club, and American String Teachers Association. Allison is proud to be a global scholar having traveled to Jamaica and India during her time at Elmhurst. She remains committed to sharing and living out the ideals of the Elmhurst College tradition as she enters the next chapter of her life.

  • 2019: Riley Schweig
  • 2018: Esther Pereira
  • 2017: Erik Maranto
  • 2016: Tyler Espino
  • 2015:  Meredithe Mimlitz
  • 2014: Marissa McLean
  • 2013: Uchenna Ebiringah
  • 2012: Jacob Meding
  • 2011: Genesis Jelkes
  • 2010: Elizabeth Harland
  • 2009: Melissa Steirer
  • 2008: Alexander Kefaloukos
  • 2007: Brian Slackert
  • 2006: Dain Gotto
  • 2005: Isabel Bauer
  • 2004: Joud Abdel Majeid
  • 2003: Kelly VanGuilder
  • 2002: Christopher Speil
  • 2001: Angela Gianforte
  • 2000: Analy Ponce
  • 1999: Anastasia Buriegi
  • 1998: Amy Ferraro
  • 1997: Herb Washington Jr.
  • 1996: John Barr
  • 1995: Gretchen Gehrlein
  • 1994: Stephanie Nawyn
  • 1993: Eric Lindberg

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