Layne Krizek named Torch Award winner; Arensdorf given Pilot Award<span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: black;">05/11/12 kb<br/> </span>

05/11/12 kb

HAYS, Kan. -- Layne Krizek, Hays, was named today as the recipient of the Torch Award as the outstanding graduating senior from the Class of 2012 at Fort Hays State University.

Krizek will receive a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance, summa cum laude, at Commencement, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12, in Gross Memorial Coliseum on the FHSU campus.

The announcement of the Torch Award came today at the annual Graduate and Faculty Brunch, sponsored by the FHSU Alumni Association. The Pilot Award for outstanding faculty member and the Navigator Award for outstanding faculty advisor were also announced. The recipients will sit on the platform and be recognized at Commencement.

Dr. Jill Arensdorf, associate professor of leadership studies and chair of the Department of Leadership Studies, was the Pilot Award recipient, and Cole Engel, instructor of economics, finance and accounting, received the Navigator Award as outstanding faculty advisor.

In announcing the Torch Award winner, Dr. Marcy Aycock, president-elect of the Alumni Association, quoted a faculty member who said that Krizek has held numerous leadership positions in departmental and college organizations, became a licensed insurance customer service representative with the state of Kansas while still a full-time student, and was a member of the 2011 national championship financial planning team.

Aycock quotes a faculty member who said Krizek "is in the top 1 percent of all students that I have taught at the university level for the past 31 years and may be the best I have taught." Another faculty member said, "While I have written a few of these letters of recommendation in the past, Layne rises to the top of my list of qualified candidates."

Pilot Award winner Arensdorf was nominated by five students, said Aycock, one of whom described her as "a proactive and caring instructor as well as guide during my FHSU career. She is very positive and supportive, extremely enthusiastic, and is very knowledgeable in regard to assisting students in the degree process."

Arensdorf has also been extensively active on campus, said Aycock, in such activities as Faculty Senate, the L3 Live and Learn community, numerous departmental and university committees, the American Red Cross, the Kansas Youth Leadership Academy, and Jana's Campaign.

Engel, the Navigator Award winner, was introduced by Alex Hendee, Roeland Park junior and vice president of the Student Government Association. Navigator Award candidates are nominated, interviewed and selected by graduating seniors. Hendee quoted one nominating senior's praise of Engel: "Mr. Engel is actively involved with my class selection process … and double-checks to make sure I am taking classes in the right order and on time. He also is constantly checking with me on how my classes are going. HIs door is always open to any student with a question."

The Alumni Association instituted the Torch and Pilot awards in 1974 to emphasize the importance of excellence in teaching and learning. They are presented every year at the Graduate and Faculty Brunch in advance of Commencement.

The Torch Award candidates are nominated by members of the faculty on the basis of classroom excellence, participation in professional organizations and involvement in student or civic activities. The Pilot Award is given on the basis of classroom excellence, ongoing research and service activities. Candidates are nominated by graduating seniors. Nominations for the Navigator Award are also made by graduating seniors in a process conducted by the Student Government Association.

The Alumni Association, established in 1916, is dedicated to identifying and serving the needs of more than 46,000 graduates living throughout the United States and 70 foreign countries.

For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 785-628-4430 or

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