Colorado State University Pueblo has named Jenna McKinley as the 2021 recipient of the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence. The seven finalists were selected from a pool of candidates compiled from nominations by CSU Pueblo faculty and staff from various university departments. McKinley was given the award at the Student Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony on Apr. 15.
Named for the late Budge Threlkeld, a former administrator and professor, the award is presented to a graduating senior who demonstrates excellence in academic and co-curricular activities as well as service to the University and the community. The Threlkeld winner will receive a stipend as well as the first diploma during the Commencement Ceremonies on May 8.
Jenna McKinley, Mosca, Colo., will graduate summa cum laude (3.962 GPA) with a bachelor of arts in exercise science, health promotion and recreation (teacher preparation K-12). During her tenure at CSU Pueblo, McKinley participated in Track and Field (team captain and scholarship recipient), SHAPE Colorado and SHAPE America, CSU Pueblo Physical Education Club (president and treasurer), Student Athlete Advisory Committee and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference committees. McKinley plans to continue as a graduate student in education at CSU Pueblo.
The six other finalists for the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence include:
Alexander Daugherty, Pueblo, Colo., will graduate summa cum laude (3.946 GPA) with a bachelor of arts in politial science. Daugherty was a member of the President’s Leadership Program; a four-year Kane Family Foundation scholarship recipient; was a legislative intern with Colorado State Senator Tammy Story (District 16), Denver, Colo.; and completed a Cox Diplomacy Fellowship at the State Department in Washington D.C.
Wyatt Farris, Carbondale, Colo., will graduate summa cum laude (3.973 GPA) with a bachelor of science in mechatronic engineering. Farris completed internships with NASA Ames Research Center; SIAD Macchine Impianti in Bergamo, Italy; and is currently a value engineering/value added engineering intern with Trane Technologies.
Cindy Ledesma Ruiz, Pueblo, Colo., will graduate summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) with a bachelor of science in social work. Ruiz is a member of Phi Alpha Zeta Delta Honor Society, Alpha Psi Lambda and is currently an immigration intern with Catholic Charities where she assists community members with filing immigration paperwork and teaches English as a second language.
Cailey Sweckard, Pueblo, Colo., will graduate summa cum laude (3.991 GPA) with both a bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in accounting and a master of business administration. Sweckard was a four-year recipient of the Jennie and Albert Gersick Foundation scholarship. She was a member of the CSU Pueblo Accounting Club; Founder of Pack Nation (a community service organization at CSU Pueblo that engages in homeless teen care package drives); and CSU Pueblo SAAC Committee. Sweckard is currently interning with the accounting firm McPherson, Goodrich, Paolucci and Mihelich, PC and has accepted a permanent position with the firm upon graduation.
Kimberly Turner, Naperville, Ill., will graduate summa cum laude (3.988 GPA) with a bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in accounting, a bachelor of science in computer information systems (software development) and a master of business administration. Turner was a member of National Cyber League and was a member of the CSU Pueblo Women’s Lacrosse team. She has been a graduate assistant for the last year in the Computer Information Systems department and works as a parking and safety officer at the University.
Raena Vigil, Pueblo, Colo., will graduate summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) with a bachelor of arts in mass communications (integrated communications). Vigil is a four-year recipient of the Kane Family Foundation scholarship. She was a social media intern for History Colorado; a CSU Pueblo Cru student leader and social media manager; a marketing intern with the Wolfpack Wellness Center; did advertising sales for the CSU Pueblo TODAY Newspaper; and is currently a teaching intern and tutor for the CSU Pueblo School of Education.