Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) celebrated accomplished student leaders during the Eleventh Annual Top Ten Freshmen ceremony on Thursday, January 30, 2020. “The Top Ten Freshmen ceremony is one of the most impressive traditions that I have seen at NEO so far,” said Dr. Kyle J. Stafford, who began as NEO President in January. “It is inspiring to see these high-achieving students give passionate evidence of the impact our staff and faculty have in the lives of each student.”
First celebrated in 2009, the Top Ten Freshmen ceremony is co-sponsored by NEO’s Presidential Partners and the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA). The keynote speaker was Hanna Brown, an alum of NEO A&M and Oklahoma State University. She was honored as a Top Ten Freshman in 2014. She currently teaches Agricultural Education at Morrison Public Schools, just north of Stillwater. In her address, Brown told students that her classroom motto is to produce fewer excuses and more results, to shovel through, and the learn to grow where you are planted. She said the final may be the most important, because opportunities present themselves in unexpected ways.
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 Top Ten Freshmen program allows us to honor student leaders who model civic engagement, academic excellence and dedication to improving the NEO experience,” said Rachel Lloyd, Center for Academic Success and Advisement director and program coordinator. “It was a pleasure to welcome back a former award recipient to encourage the honorees to trust that the positive decisions they are making now will open doors at the right time in their future endeavors.” (Photo from left. Top row: Emily Norris, Mattie Haynes, Roy Stovall, Katie Krehiel. Bottom Row: Faith Swart, Trinity Pruitt, Owen Coon, Georgian Agan, Addison Chenoweth. Not Picture: Alejandro Lurbe)
This year’s honorees include:
Georgia Agan Georgia Agan is an Agriculture major from Venedy, Ill. She has been named on the President’s Honor Roll and will soon be inducted into the PTK Honor Society. She is an active member of the NEO Honors Program, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and NEO Rodeo Team. Through her participation in these organizations and her church, Miami Friends, Agan has volunteered her time at the Ottawa County Boys and Girls Club, Tulsa State Fair, Rodeo Miami, and Quiz Bowl.
Addison Chenoweth Addison Chenoweth is a Nursing major from Welch, Okla. She is an active member of the PTK Honor Society. She has organized clothing and blood drives, collected and distributed hygiene products, volunteered with the Miami Animal Alliance, and tutored students of all ages. She also served as a student aide in a Kindergarten classroom. Addison’s commitment to excellence extends beyond her education and service to her self-owned and operated business, “Sawdust Originals.”
Owen Coon Owen Coon is from Wingate, Ind., and is an Agriculture Business major. On campus, he is a member of the NEO Livestock Judging Team, the Aggie Society, Young Farmers and Ranchers, and the Ag Ed Club. He has served as a judge for FFA contests, taught educational activities to the children of NEO employees, and helped with the Angel Tree Program. He has also served as a voice of support for agriculturists across the state by lobbying at the State House.
Mattie Haynes Mattie Haynes is an Agriculture Business major from Jay, Okla. Throughout her time at NEO, she has conducted extensive research through the NEO Honors Program, volunteered on campus and in the community, and helped run her family business, Jay Floral. She is a member of the NEO Livestock Judging Team, the Ag Ed Club, Young Farmers and Ranchers, Aggie Society, and PTK. She is also a Student Ambassador and an Agriculture Ambassador. Haynes was recently named National High Point Rider at the North American International Livestock Exposition.
Katie Krehbiel Katie Krehbiel is an Agriculture major hailing from Inman, Kan. In addition to being named to the President’s Honor Roll, she is a member of the PTK Honor Society. She has dedicated her time to volunteering at the NEO Alumni Rodeo, Rodeo Miami, Tulsa State Fair, and NEO Aggie Days. Krehbiel is an active member of the Aggie Society, Young Farmers and Ranchers, the Ag Ed Club, and the NEO Honors Program.
Alejandro Lurbe Alejandro Lurbe is a Business Administration major from Valencia, Spain. During his time at NEO, he has competed as a student-athlete for the NEO Men’s Soccer Team. During his freshman year, Alejandro was invited to join the PTK Honor Society. His hard work on the soccer field earned him the distinction of making the NJCAA Region II All Region Team. He graduated from NEO this fall with an Associate in Science and now attends Eastern Illinois University.
Emily Norris Emily Norris is from Mountain Grove, Mo., and is an Agriculture major. She has proven her leadership skills by serving as Student Body Government President. She is also a member of the NEO Livestock Judging Team, the NEO Honors Program, PTK Honor Society, and the Aggie Society. Through her work with the NEO Honors Program, Emily helped re-establish a student food pantry on campus and raised money for the Miami Public Schools Backpack Program. She serves as a tutor for Student Support Services and has earned a spot on the Dean’s and President’s Honor Rolls.
Trinity Pruitt Trinity Pruitt is a Psychology and Sociology major from Fairland, Okla. She is an active member of the NEO Honors Program and the NEO Theatre Experience. She has been named to the President’s Honor Roll and has earned acceptance into the PTK Honor Society. She currently serves as the Vice President of Scholarship and Student Body Government Representative for PTK, and as Vice President of the Students Striving for Success Club.
Roy Stovall Roy Stovall is from Wyandotte, Okla., and is majoring in Agriculture. He is currently serving as the NEO Student Body Government Senator and previously served as the Treasurer. He is a member of the Aggie Society, where he serves as Treasurer, and the Collegiate Farm Bureau, where he serves as Vice President. Stovall was also member of the George and Donna Nigh Leadership Academy. He will be representing NEO at the state and national FFA Conventions this spring.
Faith Swart Faith Swart is an Early Childhood Education major hailing from Vinita, Okla. She has volunteered by donating clothing and food items, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, preparing back-to-school goody bags for area students, assisting students in the Craig County Fair and Vinita Spring Livestock Show, and working with the Angel Tree Project. She also founded the Hornet Help Box in Vinita. She has earned repeated appearances on the Honor Roll and has earned acceptance into the PTK Honor Society.