The UNK Alumni Association has awarded the Outstanding Senior Award to deserving seniors since 1982. Applications are available each spring for students who will graduate by December of that year. An alumni committee will choose up to five outstanding seniors to be recognized in April.
Students who will graduate by December of the calendar year, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 overall, demonstrate leadership qualities, exude service to UNK and the community and is involved in a variety of student and community life can be considered for the award.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney Alumni Association recognizes five students with Outstanding Senior awards. The award honors UNK seniors for excellence in scholarship and leadership, as well as involvement and dedication to the university and Kearney community. Recipients were selected by a panel of UNK alumni.
Austin Jacobsen, son of Lee and Angie Jacobsen of Kearney and a Sidney High School graduate. Austin will receive his degree in sports communication and exercise science in May. Austin has accepted a position with KRVN Radio in Lexington as a news reporter and sports broadcaster following graduation.
During Austin’s time at UNK, he served as a Chancellor’s Ambassador, UNK Campus Visit Assistant, and a student ambassador for the Kinesiology and Sports Sciences Department. He worked at the campus radio station, KLPR, serving as the sports director. Austin won numerous Intercollegiate Broadcasting System and Nebraska Broadcasters Association awards. Austin was active in his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and served as the Inter Fraternity Council president.
Paige Kristensen, daughter of Doug Kristensen and Terri Harder of Minden. Paige will graduate in December with degrees in business administration and sports management. Paige plans to pursue an MBA at UNK or UNL following graduation.
During her time at UNK, Paige served as the coordinator of the Chancellor’s Ambassadors and was a UNK Campus Visit Assistant. She was in the Honors Program, on the Dean’s List, and studied abroad at Palacky University in the Czech Republic. Paige was active in her sorority, Alpha Phi, serving as an executive board member and a Panhellenic Council executive board member. She is a member of Mortar Board Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She completed internships with the Nebraska Golf Association, and Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation & WIN for KC.
Grace Magill, daughter of Jack and Dru Magill of Arnold. Grace will graduate in May with a degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis and a minor in visual communications and design. Grace plans to pursue an MBA at UNK this fall.
While at UNK, Grace served as president of the Brewed Awakening campus coffee shop, vice president of UNK Enactus, was a Cope Scholar and a UNK resident assistant. She was active with her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, serving as chapter president, public relations vice president and administrative vice president. She also helped host community service events for the Kearney S.A.F.E. Center, Girls on the Run and McKenna’s Rae of Hope. Grace works in the UNK financial aid office.
Madison Parshall, daughter of Shane and Sheryl Parshall of Plattsmouth. Madison will graduate in May with a degree in social work. Madison plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work at UNO this fall.
During Madison’s time at UNK, she was the vice president of Order of Omega, served on student senate, was a member of Mortar Board Honor Society, Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. Madison was active in her sorority, Alpha Phi, serving as the vice president of risk management and director of parent relations. Madison completed internships with CHI Good Samaritan Hospital and the NU Foundation, volunteered for AseraCare Hospice and worked at Boys Town as a summer youth supervisor.
Haley Pierce, daughter of Lynn and Maggie Pierce of West Point. Haley will graduate in May with a degree in journalism with minors in political science, women’s and gender studies, and media production. Haley will be pursuing a master’s degree in political communications at Indiana University this fall.
While at UNK, Haley participated in the Honors Program; served as the president of FIRST Leaders; president, vice president and homecoming chair for the Loper Programming and Activities Council; president of Lambda Pi Eta; treasurer for Students in Mass Media; and managing editor, news editor and sports editor of The Antelope Newspaper. Haley participated in undergraduate research, including presentations in Omaha, St. Louis, San Diego, and Tokyo, Japan. She was a mentor in the Friends Program and served as the Blue and Gold Welcome coordinator for the UNK First Year Program.