Five Southeast Students Win William Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

May 27, 2005 – Five Southeast Missouri State University students recently were honored with the national William Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award.

Recipients are Sally Smith of Union, Mo., Gina Juenger of Fenton, Mo., Dane Huxel of Washington, Mo., Claudia Favre of Freeburg, Ill., and Victoria Butler of St. Louis.

Lori Lynn, director of Campus Life at Southeast, said just 24 undergraduates and 12 graduate students from across the country are honored each year with the award.

“Southeast had four undergraduates and one graduate student selected as the recipients of this national award,” Lynn said. “This speaks volumes about the quality of the recreational sports program and the students actively involved in the program at Southeast.”

Smith is a senior majoring in physical education with a 3.5 grade point average. Smith works as a student supervisor in the Student Recreation Centers on both the north and south campus at Southeast. She also participates in club and intramural sports. 

Juenger is a senior majoring in human environmental studies with a minor in exercise and fitness with a 3.3 grade point average. She works as an office assistant and group exercise instructor at Southeast.

Huxel is a senior majoring in manufacturing engineering with a 3.6 grade point average. He served as Student Government president and was instrumental in spearheading the movement to build a new Aquatic Center at Southeast, an initiative recently approved by the University’s Board of Regents. He participates in club and intramural sports.

Favre is a sophomore double majoring in recreation administration and human environmental studies with a 3.9 grade point average. She works as a climbing wall supervisor and activity attendant at the Student Recreation Centers on both the north and south campus at Southeast.

Butler was a graduate student who recently received her master of arts degree in higher education administration. She worked as an undergraduate student supervisor, facility graduate assistant and recently was hired full time by Recreational Sports as the facility coordinator for the Student Recreation Center South Campus.

Undergraduates considered for the award were required to be full-time students with a minimum 2.75 grade point average of a 4.0 scale or a 3.75 grade point average on a 5.0 scale. Undergraduate nominees also were required to be participants of, volunteers for or employees of the Department of Recreational Sports. Nominees also must have demonstrated scholarship or professional development through research, honors, self-improvement, continuing education, certifications, presentations and participation in professional organizations. Nominees also were required to be active in service to their department through participation in student organizations, employee or campus recreation advisory boards, committee work, community or campus activities, or leadership in employee training or orientation programs. Nominees also must have demonstrated campus or community involvement through volunteerism and have promoted or participated in campus diversity.

Graduate students considered for the award were nominated based on much of the same criteria. Graduate students were required to be full-time students when they were nominated or must have graduated from a university within the academic year that the award was bestowed. Graduate student nominees were required to have a minimum overall grade pint average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or 4.0 on a 5.0 scale. Graduate student nominees also must have been employed by the Department of Recreational Sports and been a student member of the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).

The award recognizes outstanding students who are active participants of, volunteers for or employed by recreational sports departments on university and college campus across the nation. The award honors undergraduate and graduate students who “set the standard” on campuses across the country.

The award is named for Dr. William Wasson, the founder of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association. Wasson was a biology professor at Dillard University and served as the assistant football coach, the assistant basketball coach and the head track coach. He developed an intramural program for Dillard University students and was awarded a grant from the Carnegie Foundation in 1948 to study student intramural programs at black colleges. As a result of the grant, Wasson collected data and wrote “A Comparative Study of Intramural Programs in Negro College.” This document was mailed to all participating colleges and ultimately led to the meeting of intramural directors from 11 colleges at Dillard University in 1950. The National Intramural Association (NIA) was created at this meeting, and Wasson since has been known as the founder of the Association.