Several students from the Department of Counseling and Higher Education and the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education were chosen to receive 2020 Outstanding Graduate Student Awards from the NIU Graduate School.
The award is given to one student from each program who has been designated by that department as distinguished in his/her area of research and scholarly activity.
Here are their award-winning nominations.
Counseling and Higher Education
Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision
Andrew has contributed tremendously to the department through his roles as a graduate research assistant, graduate teaching assistant and through participating in service activities. He has supported faculty research efforts and collaborated with each faculty member in the counseling program on research projects and conference presentations. Andrew has taught all three undergraduate counseling courses and excelled as an instructor. He has created the materials and was the first to teach CAHC 425 Human Relation Skills and Strategies course, which is a newly developed course as part of the new counseling minor. Andrew has contributed to the program by serving as the doctoral student representative on the counseling advisor board for the past three years. Additionally, he has been invited as a guest lecturer to several of our courses. Andrew is an exceptional doctoral student who not only excelled academically but also has the intellectual curiosity and social skills to emerge as an effective counselor educator and supervisor.
M.S. in Counseling
Arielle stands out as an exemplary student who is highly deserving of recognition. She is a true leader in our program. She has served in executive leadership positions for multiple student organizations, including the Rho Alpha Kappa chapter of Chi Sigma Iota and the Northern Illinois University chapter of the Illinois Counseling Association. In these roles, she is consistently leading new initiatives and raising awareness of issues affecting both students and the NIU community at large. Disability awareness and advocacy is one particular area where she has developed her skill and knowledge base. Her warmth and care for her fellow students is clear to all who meet her, and her dedication to NIU is infectious. Of course, she shines academically as well, with excellent writing and critical thinking skills. Unsurprisingly, Arielle has plans to continue her leadership by pursuing a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, thereby broadening the impact she is certain to have a professional counselor. For these reasons, she is our nominee for Outstanding Master’s Student.
Ed.D. in Higher Education
Tashena Briggs started her doctoral program as she directs the TRIO Upward Bound Program at Kishwaukee Community College. Her dedication to support and empower historically marginalized students has motivated her to learn and prosper in the program. Her academic journey and equity-minded achievements make her an outstanding student in the Community College Leadership Program.
M.S. in Higher Education and Student Affairs
This student was selected because of her leadership and engagement both inside and outside of the classroom. In addition to her coursework and her assistantship at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, Sam serves as the co-advisor the NIU’s LGBTQ student organization, Prism. She is also active in Chi Sigma Alpha Honors Society, serves as a liaison to the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (PCSOGI), as well as the Center for Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) Governance Council. Sam has helped with numerous HESA events, such as the first-year master’s student orientation, GSARP and has served on a number of student panels. Perhaps most important is that with everything that Sam does, she brings an enthusiasm, passion and desire to increase access and participation for all students NIU. In this way, she is representative not just of the HESA program’s values, but of the values and mission at NIU.
M.S.Ed. Kinesiology and Physical Education
Kayla Emory has been an outstanding graduate student in the Kinesiology and Physical Education department for the past two years. She is a lead laboratory instructor for KNPE 452 Applied Exercise Physiology and KNPE 462 Clinical Exercise Physiology. Her master’s thesis was titled, “The effects of in-season training changes on body composition in division I collegiate football players,” and was conducted in conjunction with the director of sports performance coach Ryan Napoli. In addition, while working on her thesis she still found time to work as a leading graduate assistant on a research-funded project titled, “The response of cytochrome c to high intensity interval exercise in sedentary nondiabetic adults and prediabetes,” which is a collaboration project between the School of Nursing and the KNPE department.
M.S. Sport Management
Nate has presented at a number of academic conferences, currently has three manuscripts under review as a M.S. student, was scheduled to represent NIU at the College Sport Research Institute’s case study competition before the conference was cancelled this spring. His post-grad plans are pursuing a Ph.D. in Sport Management at LSU.