Luther College's Launching Luther Leaders program announced the recipients of the seventh annual Student Leadership Banquet where they honored individuals and groups for their contribution to the college's mission of service. Award recipients include the Luther College Ballroom & Swing club for the Dancing with the Luther Stars program, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee's Norse Unity Bowl, Luther professor Lisa Lantz, Luther senior Allison Meier and the Hola-Enlaces program.
The Outstanding Event/Activity Award was presented to Luther College Ballroom & Swing for their 2016 Dancing with the Luther Stars program. Dancing with the Luther Stars is an event in which Luther faculty and staff are partnered with student dancers from the club to compete against one another. This first-time event brought together students, staff, faculty, community members, alumni and professional dancers to vote for three faculty members vying for the trophy. The student dancers taught their dance partners the basics of two different ballroom dances and choreography over the course of a semester. The event was organized by the Luther College Ballroom & Swing Executive Board and LCBS members Sara Ranscht and Elizabeth Hurley, Luther class of 2016; and Cody Arndtson and Berit Breed, Luther class of 2017. Participating Luther faculty included Jennaya Robison, assistant professor of music; Andrew Last, assistant professor of music; and Justin Sprung, assistant professor of psychology.
Student Athletic Advisory Committee earned the Outstanding Service Project, awarded for a specific service project that made significant contributions to improve the lives and well-being of a local, national or global community. The SAAC Norse Unity Bowl is an event that brings together Luther student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes from northeast Iowa. Special Olympics athletes were introduced at halftime of the women's basketball game then went with Luther athletes to the bowling alley for an afternoon of bowling, pizza, awards and comradery. Organizers of this event were Luther students Mallory Carr, Melisse Chassé, Madison Crow, Patrick Larson, Max Uetz and Amanda Witzlib.
The Outstanding Student Adviser was presented to Lisa Lantz. Lantz has been a member of the Luther Visual and Performing Arts department since 2006. According to her advisees, Lantz is an incredibly engaged advisor for the Ballroom & Swing student organization, constantly accessible, happy to answer questions, sign forms and help the club to the extent of her abilities. She has been praised for going above and beyond the role of an adviser for this student organization, giving advice and assistance as well as space for the organization's leaders to learn and grow independently as leaders.
The Outstanding Student Leader Award, presented to a student who has demonstrated exceptional leadership on behalf of his or her group or organization at Luther, was given to Allison Meier, a senior psychology major from Eldridge, Iowa. Meier was recognized for her contributions to two organizations at Luther. Serving in leadership roles for both Dance Marathon and APO, she strives to make sure all students are included. According to her peers, she continuously shows her dedication and passion for both of her organizations, and her passion for the organizations is contagious.
The Outstanding Student Organization Award, presented to the student group or organization that made significant contributions to a local, national or global community, was awarded to Hola-Enlaces. Hola-Enlaces was praised for actively contributing to making Luther an inclusive and welcoming home for all students. They helped coordinate an immigration panel; sold t-shirts to both celebrate Hispanic/Latino culture and support domestic and international students by donating $1,000 to kickstart the fund for the new Coordinated Campus Response Team; put on the Spanish Talent show; and helped campus celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Additionally, they continue to send students to Postville to teach English as a Second Language classes. The club is lead by Luther students Emily Alcock, Johanna Beaupre, Kylie Hanschman, Emily Kuhn and Hannah Potter.
Seventeen Luther students graduated from the L3 program this year. Those honored with certificates of achievement include Emily Alcock, Gifty Arthur, Leslie Brandt, Meredith Bruster, Melisse Chassé, Luigi Enriquez, Brenna Hafner, Marlene Jones, Kyle Knoke, Patrick Larson, Anna Madrigal, Kyle McNeese, Deveny Miles, Pharez Monney, Samantha Phillips, Katherine Salazar, Joseph Silversmith and Anne-Galle Sy.
Launching Luther Leaders was founded in 2010 by Jon Lund, executive director of the center for global learning and international admissions, and Ann Highum, former Vice President and Dean for Student Life. The intent of the program is to provide a wide variety of opportunities for students to learn about leadership theories and practices, apply and develop their leadership skills, and reflect on the significance of leadership and service experiences across campus. The L3 program supports students as they use their talents to unite career with vocational calling.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.