Each month, we'll share highlights of NSLS members' accomplishments, and we hope you will find their stories as inspirational as we do.
Our mission at the NSLS is Building Leaders Who Make a Better World. Nationwide, our members participate in social events, volunteer for charities, and take part in a wide range of community service initiatives. Additionally, upon graduation and entering the workforce, members apply the interpersonal skills they've acquired to start businesses, pursue promotions, and continue applying what they learned as NSLS members!
NSLS Member Receives the Presidential Service Award for Exceptional Service
Thurston Smith of Capella University has earned this prestigious honor through his service as a Federal Advisory Committee Member for the U.S. Treasury Department. The Presidential Service Award recognizes outstanding U.S. citizens who have selflessly dedicated their time and resources to the community, making a positive impact and inspiring those around them to take action as well. This comes after a decorated career with the U.S. Veterans’ Health Administration and years working in healthcare and community advocacy.
A policy activist and community organizer, Smith has been at the forefront of improving policies in health and human services for years, organizing countless educational workshops and seminars to encourage others to join the fight with him. He was recently chosen by the Biden/Harris Presidential Inauguration Committee to host a public forum commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s National Day of Service.
High Point Student Earns Dean’s List for Sixth Consecutive Semester
Hannah Nemanic earned Dean’s List for the Spring 2021 semester, having now maintained over a 3.5 GPA for the sixth semester in a row. The Dean’s List regular is earning A’s towards a degree in political science, while minoring in criminal justice and public and professional writing at High Point University in North Carolina.
Nemanic, from Unity Township, Pennsylvania, is an honors and Presidential Scholars junior and holds several leadership roles for various organizations on campus. She is also an editor for the school’s publication, Innovation: Journal of Creative and Scholarly Works.
Recent Graduate Nominated for Centennial Conference NCAA Woman of the Year Award
Kailyn Brandt, from White Hall, Maryland, has been nominated for the Centennial Conference 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year award. This annual award is given to graduating female college athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their college careers in academics, athletics, service, and leadership.
The team captain and three-time All-Centennial honoree on the Shorewomen field hockey team excelled off the field as well by demonstrating leadership in Washington College’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, plus developing and facilitating initiatives promoting team unity, community outreach, and career development among student athletes. To help during the COVID-19 Pandemic, she also worked as a nursing technician at the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Center.
The four-time National Hockey Coaches Association Scholar of Distinction graduated with a 3.92 GPA and earned a degree in biology with a chemistry minor.
Piano Phenom Earns Music Diploma from National Guild
Gigi Cheng, a graduate of Calhoun High School in Port Lavaca, Texas, has earned her diploma from the National Guild of Piano Teachers, American College of Musicians.
Cheng was evaluated by classical pianist Ibolya Kovacs, who awarded her with a superior plus rating. In addition to earning her diploma, Cheng also received the Paderewski Gold Medal for having performed National or International Programs (10 to 20 memorized pieces). She has received gold and silver medals over the years for achieving superior ratings on the State Texas Music Teachers Association Theory Exams, as well as a Senior Scholarship Award from the Victoria Music Teachers Association in 2021.
She's a member of the Victoria College chapter and will attend Texas Tech University in the fall, where she plans on studying English.
Director of University’s Career Success Center Creates Clothing Closet for Students
Kathleen Lindenmayer, the Director of Western Connecticut State University’s Career Center, is helping soon-to-be professionals by making them look sharp. Through donations, her professional career clothing closet offers students professional outfits for little-to-no-cost, ensuring students with financial burdens can dress professionally as they start interviewing and begin their careers.
Additionally, she’s created three 1.5 credit career classes that will be free-of-charge to students. From “Designing Your Life,” “The Employment Process,” to “Professionalism in the Workforce,” the Kent, Connecticut resident is on a mission to set her students up for success.
Other NSLS Members Receiving Recognition IN JULY:
Ashley Berger, from Gonzalez, Texas, is heading to Victoria College this fall after getting a head start by taking dual-credit classes in high school. She will be the first in her immediate family to attend college. Full story >>
Chris Abbate, a recent graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been named a Scholar All-American by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, graduating with a 3.41 GPA and a degree in civil engineering. Full story >>
Makensey Caroon graduated at the top of her class at John A. Holmes High School in North Carolina. The valedictorian was dual-enrolled at JAHHS and the College of the Albemarle, where she earned an associate arts degree, summa cum laude. Full story >>
Chantel Bebee, of California State University, Chico, is set to earn her degree in communication sciences and disorders after going back to school at 29. She was inspired to specialize in neurogenic communication disorders when her son was diagnosed with a severe case of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Full story >>
At 47, Jennifer Villarreal earned her Associate of Science degree in business management from Victoria College, walking the stage with her daughter who also graduated. Villarreal completed her studies while homeschooling her younger daughter, battling COVID-19 herself, and after losing her brother. Full story >>