The Alumni Association presented four outstanding Student Alumni Leadership Board members with Judy L. Ruedlinger Awards of $500 each for spring 2015.
The recipients are Elizabeth Rupp, a senior from Hays; Rachel Volk, a junior from Greeley; Austin Lear, a senior from Springfield, MO; and Jenni Corcoran, a senior from Evergreen Park, IL.
The Judy L. Ruedlinger Award honors the memory of Ruedlinger, who founded the Student Alumni Association (SAA) in 1987 and was known by her students as “Judy Rudy.” The award was established to maintain commitment and involvement of past, present and future SAA members. It recognizes student leaders who convey pride in membership, public awareness of SAA and a sense of permanence, strength and integrity in the organization. Ideally, it also is meant to encourage Student Alumni Leadership Board members to join the KU Alumni Association after graduation and continue contact with the university.
The Judy L. Ruedlinger Award Fund is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management foundation for KU.
The awards were presented Dec. 9th at the Adams Alumni Center.
Student award recipients are listed below by hometown, major, level in school, parents’ names and high school.
From Hays, Kansas: Elizabeth Rupp, senior in Health Information Management, daughter of Kathy and Andrew Rupp; Thomas Moore Prep-Marian High School
From Newton, Kansas: Rachel Volk, junior in Math Education, daughter of Marilyn and James Volk; Newton High School.
From Springfield, Missouri: Austin Lear, senior in Accounting & Information Systems, son of Danette and Andy Lear; Kickapoo High School.
From Evergreen Park, Illinois: Jenni Corcoran, senior in Spanish, daughter of Judy and Clarke Corcoran; Marist High School.
This past week has been a busy one for Student Alumni Leadership Board members. In the midst of midterms, members still found time to cheer on the KU women’s soccer team, attend a networking night and dance the day away for KU Dance Marathon.
To start the week off, SALB and SAA members headed over to Rock Chalk Park for a behind-the-scenes tour of the new athletics facilities. After the tour, members cheered the women’s soccer team in their match against West Virginia.
“I enjoyed getting to tour the new facilities that women’s soccer, track and field, and softball share at Rock Chalk Park. I loved how the architects mirrored the look of the Oread Hotel on the interior and how the press box resembles Memorial Stadium,” said Elizabeth Rupp, vice president of legacy recruitment for SALB.
On Tuesday, Oct. 21, SAA hosted a fall Networking Night. Although game 1 of the World Series was taking place at the same time, 50 SAA members attended the event and spent the night mingling with KU alumni.
“The alumni were great and had a lot of valuable advice about internships and entering the job market post graduation,” said Autrin Naderi, vice president of communications.
To finish the week, SALB members participated in KU Dance Marathon, an all-day event that raises money for Children’s Miracle Network. This is the first year SALB has participated and everyone who attended had a blast hanging out with the children.
Thoreau asks, “what are we busy about”, and to answer that question: SALB was busy with a little bit of everything. It is a busy time of the year, and this past week is evidence of the various events SALB members have the opportunity to be a part of. Visit our Flickr collection to see more pictures of Student Alumni Association events.
The Student Alumni Association (SAA) is a level of membership in the KU Alumni Association especially for current students. Throughout a student’s years at KU, SAA provides numerous benefits and opportunities. Members also get to meet Jayhawk alumni, friends and faculty–birds of distinction who will share proud traditions and provide a network of mentors to support you. Join today!
Student Alumni Leadership Board (SALB) members serve as the official student representatives and volunteers of the KU Alumni Association. Members also facilitate spirit functions, serve as campus ambassadors and organize community service projects. SALB is governed by eight executive board members, who have the opportunity to interact with some of the best student leaders, campus officials and alumni. Get to know Elizabeth Rupp, a sophomore from Hays, the 2013 SALB president.
What’s your favorite KU tradition or KU memory?
I don’t know if I could pick a favorite tradition or memory because I love them all! When I look back though, the thing I remember most is the camaraderie between KU students, alumni, and fans. I’m not a legacy of KU so I didn’t grow up with a strong connection to the Jayhawks. To me, it’s amazing to see that bond between fellow Jayhawks. I love going out of town wearing a KU T-shirt or jacket and getting a “Rock Chalk” from complete strangers; because of where we went to school, we have an immediate connection.
What do you think is KU’s best kept secret?
I think this ties back into KU’s traditions. Until students are part of the KU family and get to experience campus, as well basketball and football games as a student, there is no way to imagine the immediate bond you grow with your fellow Jayhawks. Whether you’re waving the wheat at a football game or singing “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” at the end of a basketball game, you feel the connection with fellow students, alumni and fans. Since I didn’t grow up with those KU traditions, I feel that I treasure those experiences more now that I get to experience them first hand as a student.
How did you become involved with SAA and SALB?
I first found out about Student Alumni Leadership Board (SALB) and the Student Alumni Association (SAA) the summer before my freshman year when I attended a Jayhawk Generations Picnic. I met both alumni and KU Alumni Association staff who explained what SAA was and the benefits it offered. I was excited by the networking opportunities so I signed up right at the event. I also talked to an SALB member who told me about all of the additional benefits and leadership opportunities that SALB offered. After hearing from that student and some of the alumni I decided to apply for SALB and was accepted onto the board. I am so thankful for those that encouraged me to apply to SALB, because not only are the leadership experiences wonderful, but the opportunities I’ve had are one of a kind.
What made you decide to attend KU?
When I visited KU as a senior in high school, it was my first time in Lawrence. From the moment I stepped on campus, KU felt like home and a place where I could spend the next part of my life. I chose KU for a number of reasons, but most importantly because KU offers academic excellence in many areas. I also loved that I could be a part of KU’s rich history and long standing traditions. Whenever I heard a KU student or alumni speak I could tell how proud they were to be a Jayhawk, and I wanted to experience that pride too!
How many crunchy chicken cheddar wraps have you consumed since arriving on campus?
Ironically, I haven’t had one of these yet. I’ve heard how great they are, but my favorite place to eat on campus is the Asian restaurant in the Underground, Jump.
Check back for more profiles of the Student Alumni Leadership Board members!