Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) celebrated accomplished student leaders during the Tenth Annual Top Ten Freshmen ceremony on Monday, March 25, 2019.
“The Top Ten Freshmen ceremony has quickly become one of NEO’s featured traditions,” said Dr. Jeff Hale, NEO President. “This year’s event celebrated our 10th anniversary and was highlighted by inspirational comments from NEO graduate Admiral Jeff Trussler. I can’t think of better way to honor our top students and celebrate the start to NEO’s Centennial Week activities.”
First celebrated in 2009, the Top Ten Freshmen ceremony is co-sponsored by NEO’s President’s Partners and the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA). The keynote speaker was Admiral Jeff Trussler, the director of future planning for the United States Navy. Admiral Trussler encouraged students to seize opportunities and go through open doors. He also told students they couldn’t be passive and wait for opportunities to arrive, they must also work to create opportunities for themselves.
All honorees are now sophomores and were selected by a committee of faculty, President’s Partners representatives, and student activities representatives. Students received scholarships as well as the opportunity to participate in leadership development activities.
The Centennial Year event also served as the ten-year reunion for the Top Ten Freshmen honorees. Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed a dinner catered by Sodexo Food Services.
“Since 2009, the Freshman Top Ten program has become one of NEO’s treasured traditions, representative of the College’s mission to develop students into lifelong learners and community leaders,” said Rachel Lloyd, Center for Academic Success and Advisement director and program coordinator. “We were thrilled to welcome back several alumni honorees for the program’s 10th anniversary.”
(Photo from left. Top row: Gavin Bohn, Robbie Phillips, Eli Chenoweth, Troy Silva Bottom row: Dulcinea Wenzel, AnElizabeth Henry, Reghan Trease, Amber Oerly, Hannah Jenkins. Not pictured: Kyle Lukasiewicz )
This year’s honorees include:
Gavin Bohn is a General Studies major from Columbus, Kansas. Gavin is an active student leader on campus. He currently serves as the President of NEO’s Mu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and the Secretary Treasurer of NEO’s Sierra Club. In these positions Gavin has helped organize PTK’s Annual Quiz Bowl, a charity benefit for Miami’s Community Crisis Center, multiple street clean-ups, and hiking trips for students.
Eli Chenoweth is a Miami native majoring in Business Administration. Eli is a young business owner who has used his business as a platform to raise funds to help community members. Eli is a member of NEO’s Loves Cup team. For the past two years, Eli has attended the Rotary Youth Leaders of America camp where last year, he served as a Chief in Training for year one campers.
AnElizabeth Henry is from Riverton, Kansas and is a Pre-Engineering major. An is a member of the Norwegian Legion Marching Band, Golden Blues Jazz Ensemble, Berserker’s Basketball Band, Concert Choir, and Chamber Choir. An has become involved on campus through her active participation in the Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa, Resident Life Council, and the Masquer’s Club.
Hannah Jenkins is an Agriculture Education major from Ozark, Missouri. Hannah’s dedication to NEO and the Agriculture Department can be witnessed through her commitment to serve. Hannah taught children about the importance of farming through the Agriculture-Education Club and has worked to build and shape the Young Farmers and Ranchers Club for future Aggies. Hannah is a member of the Horse Judging Team, the Honors Program, and is a student tutor on campus.
Kyle Lukasiewicz is from Centennial, Colorado and is a Construction Management major. As a member of the NEO Men’s Basketball Team, Kyle is a leader both on and off the court. Kyle has used his leadership skills to help children at a basketball camp that was held on campus. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll.
Amber Oerly is an Agriculture Business major from Boonville, Missouri. Amber has attended the AFA Leaders Conference, the AFA Agriculture Policy Institute in Washington D.C., and the Oklahoma Summer Policy Institute in Tulsa. On campus, Amber is a student ambassador, President of Young Farmers and Ranchers, and member of the Agriculture Education club, and Student Body Government.
Robbie Phillips is a Social Sciences majoring hailing from Coweta, Oklahoma. As a freshman, Robbie was elected to the Reporter position of Student Body Government. Robbie now serves as the Student Body Government President. He is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa and helped organize many campus events, including student Homecoming activities and the NEO Christmas celebration.
Tyler Silva is a Business Administration major from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. As a member of the NEO Baseball team, he was elected to be Co-Captain by his teammates this year. This year, Tyler has a .397 Batting Average and has caugth 9 runners stealing as a catcher. Tyler has been a member of Phi Beta Lambda and is active in the athletic bible study. He has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll.
Reghan Trease is from Commerce, Oklahoma and is a Natural Sciences major. Reghan is a member of the NEO Cheer Squad. Reghan learned to combine her leadership skills with her athletic talent by coaching local high school students through their season to the State Track Meet. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and has been recognized on the Dean’s Honor Roll.
Dulcinea Wenzel is a Miami native majoring in General Studies. She has served as the Student Body Government Representative for the Masquers Club and at the conclusion of her freshman year, she was elected Vice President of Fellowship for Phi Theta Kappa. Dulcinea is a member of the NEO Concert Choir and NEO Chamber Singers. She has worked on multiple service activities through her participation in Phi Theta Kappa.