BVU students receive governor’s volunteer awards

Monday, August 21, 2017
From left: Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, Gov. Kim Reynolds, Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson, and BVU student, Cristina Heschke, who was on the event’s planning committee.

Seventeen Buena Vista University students were honored at the 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Award ceremony held Aug. 9 on the BVU campus.

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg attended the event, and approximately 80 individuals and organizations from northwest Iowa received awards at the ceremony in Storm Lake, which was one of six awards programs held across the state.

The individual BVU students were nominated by Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson, assistant dean for student life and director of civic engagement at BVU, who serves as a member of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service’s Program Development Committee. BVU’s 17 student recipients have been involved in a variety of volunteer organizations and activities, including BV Buddies, an organization in which students serve as mentors to local middle school students; Student MOVE, which coordinates service programs and events that focus on direct service, education, and reflection; and Iowa College AmeriCorps, a federal program that students apply to be a part of that meets local community needs by volunteering 300 or 450 hours of service during an academic year

The students who received awards are:• Ryan Mellott, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in biology from Westminster, Colo.

•Luke Hastie, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in criminology and criminal justice from Indianola.

•Haley Kohlmeyer, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in elementary education from Chatfield, Minn.

•Jodi Tish, a senior accounting and business double major from Grinnell.

•Kristina Grossman, a recent BVU graduate with a distributive degree from Glidden.

•Naomi Wood, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in exercise science - human performance from Farmington, Minn.

•Oscar Perez, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in Spanish from Storm Lake.

•Molly Hesnard, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in biochemistry from Sac City.

•Ambrea Mouw, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in business from Le Mars.

•Michelle Eccher, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in communication studies from Fonda.

•Jaelyn Olson, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in chemistry from Iowa City.

•Alexis Beenken, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in exercise science - human performance from River Falls, Wis.
•Jacob Braddock, a senior biology major from Swea City.
•Nahomi Estrada, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in business from Storm Lake.
•Rachel Herrington, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in social work from Fort Dodge.
•Mackenzie Reed, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in elementary education from Jackson, Minn.

•Matt Tennyson, a recent BVU graduate with a degree in elementary education from Truman, Minn.

The Governor’s Volunteer Awards program was created in 1982, with inaugural awards presented in 1983. What began as a small program only available to state government agencies has expanded over the years and now provides all Iowa non-profit, charitable and government organizations with a way to honor their volunteers with a prestigious state-level recognition award.

Several hundred volunteers are recognized each year with awards in one of several categories: Individual, Group, Length of Service or Disaster Volunteer. The program is coordinated by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and the Governor’s Office.