Hesston hosts virtual 'Larkfest'

Special to the Kansan

HESSTON –Not everything is returning to "normal" as the pandemic loosens its grip during vaccine rollout — this year  Hesston College students and faculty were recognized for their achievements in academics and leadership in a virtual LarkFest Awards ceremony, broadcast on April 23.

The top student award—Lark of the Year—went to sophomore Den Morita, Chigasaki, Japan, for excellence in leadership, academics and service. Students are nominated for Lark of the Year by faculty and the recipient is chosen by a faculty vote.

Other student award winners include:

Admissions Outstanding Ambassador Award: Anna Banman (Lenexa, Kan.), Kimberlin Hopson (Sanger, Texas), Alex Miller (Arlington, Kan.), Diane Soguilon (Batangas, Phillipines), Isaac Troyer (Millersburg, Ohio) and Paige Weber (Freeport, Ill.).

Behavioral Science Award: Myley George (Woodland Hills, Utah).

Bill Mason Business Scholarship (Receive a $2,500 scholarship for their sophomore year of business study at Hesston): Katie Alaniz (Longmont, Colo.), Alyssa Burkholder (Hillsboro, Kan.), Mari Gerber (Dallas, Texas) and Star Her Many Horses (Lawrence, Kan.).

Student Development Officer Awards (For students who call alumni during Phonathon): Zoe Rasas (Spring Branch, Texas) for the most money brought in, and Fortesa Hysenaj (Istog, Rep. of Kosovo) for the most completed calls.

Clayton V. Beyler Award for Bible and Ministry students: Jacob Boller (Kalona, Iowa) and Morgan Graybill (Freeport, Ill.).

Daniel Gerber Peace and Service Award: Kara Longenecker (Harrisonburg, Va.) and Rachel Weaver (Broadway, Va.).

Art Department Leadership Award: Shinju Baxter (Sedgwick, Kan.) Shelby Bontrager (McPherson, Kan.), Alisha Dorsing (Othello, Wash.) and Natalie Ladd (Hesston, Kan.).

Dedicated Artist Award: Olivia Galbraith (Millersburg, Ohio), Claire Moyer (Thompsontown, Pa.), Lesly Tello (Kansas City, Kan.), Tannah Tilley (Derby, Kan.) and Jessica Wilson (Spring, Texas).

Art Department – Craftsmanship Award: Ethan Hildebrand (Stafford, Kan.).

Disaster Management Program Graduate: Kaytlen Keough (Albany, Ore.).

Honors Program Graduates: Christian Becker (Marion, Kan.), Sydney Bontrager (Milford, Neb.) Morgan Graybill (Freeport, Ill.), Kauy Kuhn (Cheney, Kan.), Alex Miller (Arlington, Kan.) and Erica Naccarato (Hutchinson, Kan.).

Musician of the Year Award: Kara Longenecker (Harrisonburg, Va.) and Tanner Unruh (Washington, Ill.).

Peer Educator Award: Annalys Hanna (Fraser, Colo.) and Daniel Ochs (Hutchinson, Kan.).

Physical Education Award: Destiny Kessay (McNary, Ariz.).

Nursing Excellence Award: The Graduating Class of 2021.

Outstanding Math/Science Sophomore Student Awards: Aidan Boettcher (Benton, Kan.), Caleb Oesch (Caldwell, Idaho) and Tanner Unruh (Washington, Ill.).

Yoder/Zaid Scholarship (Awarded to a chemistry student who shows promise): Sam Otto (Orrville, Ohio) and Quinn Yoder (South Euclid, Ohio).

Outstanding Academic Achievement Award (Given to graduating international students with a 4.0 GPA): Den Morita (Chigasaki, Japan) and Yuuya Muranaka (Hiroshima, Japan).

Resident Assistants of the Year: Grace Litwiller (Hopedale, Ill.) and Caleb Oesch (Caldwell, Idaho).

Hesston College also gave awards to faculty for the first time during LarkFest.

Teaching Rookie of the Year: Dr. Will Friesen, professor of chemistry

Award for Teaching Excellence: Rachel Jantzi, professor of theatre

The 2021 LarkFest awards ceremony can be viewed at hesston.edu/larkfest.