Ten finalists have been selected for the 29th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards at the University of Kansas. The finalists, nine seniors and one junior, will participate in the Homecoming parade at 5 p.m. Oct. 25 along Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. Two winners will be announced during halftime of the KU-Texas Tech Homecoming football game Oct. 26 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Among those finalists is Jessica Guardiola, a senior in political science and history with a minor in women, gender & sexuality studies from Hesston. She is president of the Student Alumni Leadership Board. She was a student senator and secretary of the diversity, equity and inclusion committee. She interned at the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica for U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran in Washington, D.C., and at Axiom Strategies, a political consulting firm in Kansas City. She is an assistant in immigration law at Treviño Law Office in Lawrence and she volunteered with the Human Rights Brigade in Panana in 2016.
The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $250 scholarship to two students. Nominees were selected on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The selection committee included representatives from Student Union Activities, the Board of Class Officers, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Homecoming Steering Committee.
The award was first given in 1991 to recognize two students for achievement. Names of winners are listed on a plaque on the fifth level of the Kansas Union. To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Each finalist completed an application and participated in an interview.