By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor
The Who’s Who Among Students national organization is conducting a strategic review, and the organization did not accept nominations this year. This could be a reason why some colleges have stopped supporting this program or have not recognized their students.
However, Hutchinson Community College continues to have this program, led by Academic Affairs and Curriculum/Program Improvement Coordinator Ryan Diehl.
“We wanted to find a way to continue to recognize our students, which led to the decision to create Who’s Who among Students at Hutchinson Community College,” Diehl said.
Wednesday, the Who’s Who among Students at Hutchinson Community College ceremony was at the Stringer Fine Arts Gallery Theatre.
Diehl has been the organizer for Who’s Who among Students at Hutchinson Community College since 2009, with other co-chairs.
Each year, Diehl and other faculty members recognize a variety of students that achieve academic excellence.
According to Diehl, these students need to meet particular criteria to be considered as a candidate.
“My involvement started somewhat by accident,” Diehl said.
Before, the coordinators for the event were Ila Stone and Pat Bryant. When Stone retired in 2008, Bryant was searching for another helper. Diehl happened to be in the office next to Bryant, and the rest fell into place.
Since then, she retired and others have continued to help Diehl keep the tradition going.
“During my undergraduate years, I coordinated the event for several years thanks to an organization on campus in which I was I was involved overseeing it,” Diehl said. “Pat’s invitation to take part was a way to continue that work.”
Diehl also said why he enjoys his involvement with the Who’s Who ceremony.
“It’s a great way to recognize many amazing students who have accomplished great things while here at HutchCC,” Diehl said. “I thoroughly enjoy getting to learn about the students when I am crafting the mini-biographies that are read about each of the recipients, as well as meet them at the event.”
Katie Reisinger, Havensville freshman, was one of 34 honorees for this ceremony.
“When I got the email that I was nominated, I was really surprised, especially when I saw the list of people nominated along with me,” Reisinger said. “I was thinking I must have done something really good to be a part of this.”
At the ceremony, Reisinger said that she heard about other students and their involvement on and off campus. “There was a short biography read for each of the honorees by faculty members,” Reisinger said. “A faculty member nominates a student they see as an academic leader.”
That was how Reisinger found out she was nominated. One of her teachers saw her around the community and knew she had already been on a leadership scholarship. Reisinger also filled up her community service hours before she came to the college and still joined Circle K, the community service club on campus.
According to the faculty member, Reisinger also showed hard workmanship and dedication in her studies, and in Symphonic and Pep Band.
Another student picked for the Who’s Who was Nathan Light, Wichita sophomore.
“The ceremony was very exciting, and I felt very grateful to have the pleasure to attend,” Light said. “I felt very honored once I found out I was nominated, and have always been told that my hard work would pay off eventually.”
Light is a member of the sports video team and the budget coordinator for the A/V Club.
When asked why it is important that the college continues the Who’s Who event, Light said, “To help give exposure and recognize the most hard working people here at HCC.”
To make the event better in the future, Light suggests getting the word out more.
“I think we deserve to have asterisks by our name at graduation or be able to wear something there that recognizes who we are and what the program is,” Light said.
The students can be nominated by either faculty or advisors. Then all nominations were reviewed by the Who’s Who Selection Committee
- Student must be full time (carrying 12 credit hours or more) and be of sophomore standing (have accumulated 27 or more credit hours).
- Student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
- Student must be active in at least one campus or
This Year’s Students Being Honored:
John (Thomas) Nelson
Jeffrey “JJ” Rhymes