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The 2015 Top Ten Freshmen at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) recently participated in a leadership retreat on the campus of NEO. Members had a panel luncheon with community leaders, visited historic Miami sites, and spoke with businesses owners. Established in 2009, the Top Ten Freshmen program is co-sponsored by NEO’s President’s Partners and the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA). Students honored as Top Ten Freshmen are recognized for their community involvement, academic performance, and leadership potential. The annual retreat allows students to engage with the Miami community while learning valuable leadership skills.

This year’s panel included City Manager Dean Kruithof, and prolific businesswomen Carmen Couch and Ann Neal. Over lunch, the panel fielded questions from the students and shared their experience and expertise. Mr. Kruithof graduate from Miami High School, NEO, and OSU, and served as the city manager for Branson, Mo. He became the city manager for Miami in 2014. Ms. Couch attended NEO and served as manager for Quad States Financial Services, Inc. She now serves on the Development Foundation and was honored as the NEO Award of Merit recipient in 2012. Mrs. Neal received her MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and manages Chapters book store, Miami Home Plate LLC, Nashville Newspapers LLC, Kansas Newspapers LLC, and was recently elected to the Miami City Council.

The event concluded with a tour through the Dobson Family Museum, the Coleman Theatre, and Chapters in Downtown Miami. The Top Ten Freshmen, most of whom are sophomores graduating in May, now plan for their next step, whether that is entering the workforce or continuing their education. The fall 2015 Top Ten Freshmen are: Mollie Brewer, Shawnee, Okla. Anneke Carr, Fairmount, Ga. Caleb Cox, Miami, Okla. Tyson Howard, Commerce, Okla. Madison Moss, Commerce, Okla. Dylan Price, Norris City, Ill. Johannah Richardson, Gerald, Mo. Miguelangel Pineda Soto, Maracaibo, Venezuela. Justice Tamplen, Frisco, Texas. Daniel Vonthin, Wetzlar, Germany. For more information about the Top Ten Freshmen program, contact Rachel Lloyd at Rlloyd@neo.edu.

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