News Story

2002-2003 Outstanding Seniors Named

Left to right, NSU First Lady Pam Williams, Outstanding Undergraduate Senior Kristina Robel, NSU President Dr. Larry Williams, and Outstanding Graduate Senior Ryan Hiesterman.

TAHLEQUAH – On Friday, April 25, Northeastern State University named Kristina Robel and Ryan Hiesterman as the top Outstanding Seniors for 2002-2003.

The Outstanding Senior Award program, or Jack Kaufman awards, are given to deserving seniors each year who are nominated by NSU faculty and staff. Award guidelines include that a nominee must: have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 or higher; have demonstrated his or her concern for Northeastern through campus involvement; and be an all-around student who typifies the spirit of NSU.

The NSU Alumni Association chose eight students as 2002-2003 Outstanding Seniors. They include: Kristi Bippus of Owasso; Dale DeWoody of Fort Gibson; Kristin Green of Muskogee; Warren Gladd of Norris City, IL; Ryan Hiesterman of Washington, KS; Bridgett Jamison of Tulsa; Kristina Robel of Jay, OK (Hamburg, Germany); and Desiree Watts of Tahlequah.

“These seniors exemplify Northeastern’s best - campus leaders who truly exemplify our students as a whole,” said Dr. Larry Williams, NSU president. “We proudly recognize these talented, driven, and intelligent individuals that have freely given themselves to NSU, as well as a number of civic and student organizations.”

Robel, originally from Hamburg, Germany, garnered the top undergraduate senior award. She is the daughter of Jens Robel and American host mother, Nancy Dykes. Robel is a Meetings and Destination Management major and will graduate in May with a grade-point average of 3.8. She was nominated by Kin Thompson.

“Kristina is an exemplary student. Her graciousness puts others at ease and students always enjoy being around her. Not only is Kristina highly motivated, but she brings out the best in others,” said Thompson. “I can’t think of a more deserving student for this prestigious award.”

Active in student organizations, Robel holds affiliations with and/or is a member of several organization including the Meeting International Professional Club (MJP), Meeting and Destination Meeting Club, Resident Hall Association, Campus Christian Organizations, and Northeastern Activities Board. She has received honors from the Tau Eta Honor Society, Rho Theta Sigma Honor Society, and been named to the NSU President’s and Dean’s Honor Rolls.

Hiesterman, of Washington, KS, took home the top graduate senior award. He is the son of Dale and Arlene Hiesterman. A student in the Doctor of Optometry program, Hiesterman will graduate in May with a grade-point average of 3.61. Dr. George Foster nominated Hiesterman for the prestigious award.

“Ryan has been a star in our program from the very beginning. He has excelled in both the classroom and in the clinic. But more importantly, he has displayed unusually great character and high moral values,” said Dr. Foster. “Our goal is to graduate the most competent ethical practitioners to diagnose, manage, and treat the vision/medical eye problems of our patients. They are also expected to be leaders in their communities. Ryan has demonstrated all these characteristics these last four years. I am confident that he will be a superstar for the profession and for his community.”

Hiesterman has remained an active student throughout his studies at Northeastern. He holds affiliations with and/or is a member of several organizations including the Optometric Student Association, American Optometric Student Association, Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society, and Fellowship of Christian Optometrists.

Jack Kaufman began elementary school in 1915 at Northeastern State Normal School, where his father was a custodian in Seminary Hall. Fifteen years later, he completed his bachelor of science degree in education and began his teaching career. From that point on, his career and life were dedicated to helping students achieve their goals. Mr. Kaufman also never forgot his roots and was one of NSU’s most active and influential alumni. He took great pride in helping and watching students of all ages accomplish their goals and find success. Because of his dedication to NSU and to students, the NSU Alumni Association board of directors named the Outstanding Senior program in honor of Jack Kaufman.


Go back to News Central