MLK Distinguished Service Award winners announced today

By: Alexis Stallard, Editor-in-Chief

Nominations for Newman’s MLK Distinguished Service Awards were gathered last week, and the winners will be announced today. The award is given to one staff or faculty member and one student whose peers feel they honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and commitment to service.

The student nominees for the award are Breanna Brown and Alondra Valle. Brown is a member of Newman’s Cheer and Dance team and a junior majoring in social work. She is also a representative in the Student-Athlete Activities Committee (SAAC) and a student representative for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

Valle is a sophomore majoring in social work and minoring in business. She is involved with several groups on campus, including the Student Government Association. This fall she was responsible for coming up with the idea for Newman’s Fall Formal and then executing that idea.

There are five nominees for the faculty and staff positions: Huachuan Wen, an associate professor in the school of education; Melissa Castle, the employment specialist in Newman’s human resources department; Sonja Bontrager, an associate professor of Spanish and co-director of Hispanic Initiatives; Susan Crane-Laracuente, an associate professor of English; and Darnell Vargo.

The winners will be announced at a special reception from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday in the Dugan Conference Center. Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson will be the keynote speaker.

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