Outstanding Senior Award

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.

Now Accepting Student Applications:

Download and complete the Outstanding Senior Award 2024 application and submit to Tricia Danburg at tricia.danburg@unkalumni.org or danburgt@unk.edu on or before Friday, March 8, 2024, at 5 p.m.

You can also apply online by clicking the below button.

 Apply Online

For questions, please contact:
Tricia Danburg

UNK Alumni Association Recognizes Four Outstanding Seniors

2024 Outstanding Seniors

The University of Nebraska at Kearney Alumni Association recognized four 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.

Samuel Buss of Tecumseh

Samuel Buss, Tecumseh, son of Jody Schultz and Paul Buss. Samuel graduates in May with a degree in applied health sciences and minors in chemistry and finance, with a pharmacy emphasis. He will attend pharmacy school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center this fall.

During his time at UNK, Samuel was in the Kearney Health Opportunities Program and participated in the Thompson Scholars Learning Community. He served as director of communications and vice-president of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, served as the vice president of administration and vice president of scholarship on the Interfraternity Council, was selected as the 2022 National Delta Tau Delta Kershner Scholar. Additionally, Samuel was active in Mortar Board, Order of Omega, Kearney Skills for Success and the UNK Men’s Project. He was a chemistry and biology tutor and a pharmacy technician at Medicap Pharmacy.

Talera Kinsey of Gering

Talera Kinsey, Gering, daughter of BJ and Cory Kinsey. Talera will graduate in May with a degree in mathematics education 6-12. This fall, she will be teaching math at Gering High School while pursuing a master’s in STEM education through UNK.

While at UNK, Talera was active in the Teachers Scholars Academy, Phi Eta Sigma, Math Club, Honors Program and was on the Dean’s List. She was the recipient of the 2023 UNK Rising Leader Award. Talera served as a resident assistant and assistant hall director, as well as a math tutor for the Teachers Scholars Academy and was a private math tutor.

Ryan Sims of Columbus

Ryan Sims, Columbus, son of Michelle and Mark Hanson and Russell Sims. Ryan graduates in May with a degree in music education PK-12. Ryan will be the director of bands at Columbus Middle School this fall.

During his time at UNK, Ryan was the drumline section leader for the Pride of the Plains Marching Band, rhythm section leader for the UNK Jazz Rock Ensemble and president of the UNK Wind Ensemble. He also served as the director of collegiate members for the Nebraska Music Educators Association, president of the UNK chapter of Nebraska Association for Music Education and participated in the Nebraska Intercollegiate Band, NMEA collegiate recital and College Band Directors National Association Regional Intercollegiate Band. Ryan was active in Delta Tau Delta fraternity and Teachers Scholars Academy. He served as a music tutor, drumline and percussion instructor, and substitute teacher.

Megan Wallman of Syracuse

Megan Wallman, Syracuse, daughter of Chris and Jacqueline Wallman. Megan will graduate in May with degrees in health sciences and business administration. She will be enrolled in the University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Omaha this fall in a dual master’s program, pursuing a master’s in public health and a master’s in business administration.

At UNK, Megan was a Chancellor’s Ambassador, New Student Enrollment leader, Public Health Early Admissions Student Track Scholar and Ron and Carol Cope Leadership Program Scholar. She was also involved in Mortar Board, Order of Omega, Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Phi sorority, Future Business Leaders of America and was on the Dean’s List. Megan participated in the National Student Exchange with Bridgewater State University. She completed an internship with the Nebraska Future Business Leaders of America and worked at Schrock Medical Clinic in Kearney and Linden View Assisted Living in Syracuse.