Local resident receives MSU 2017 Spirit of State award

Local resident receives MSU 2017 Spirit of State awardMERIDIAN, Miss.— Lauren M. Kiefer of Meridian is among 14 Mississippi State students who are receiving the university’s premier student recognition for exceptional personal contributions to campus life.
            Keifer, a senior elementary education major was recognized as MSU-Meridian’s 2017 Spirit of State Award recipient at the recent Spirit of State Awards ceremony in Starkville.
            Now in its 12th year, the Spirit of State Awards program organized by the university’s Division of Student Affairs formally honors those who have made a positive impact on peers and the broader campus community through organizational involvement, service to the institution and personal actions promoting school spirit and tradition.
              Honorees were nominated by either faculty and staff members or fellow students.  A minimum 2.25 grade point average and good academic and disciplinary standing within the university are among the eligibility criteria.
              A member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a Riley Scholar, Keifer has been on both the Dean’s List and President’s List at Mississippi State University.
              Nominated by assistant professors, Penny Wallin and Ksenia Zhbanova, Keifer is described as a bright, empathetic, visionary, articulate student with a big heart.  A great student academically, Wallin noted “it is in her field experiences in K-8 classrooms that she captures the spirit of MSU as a student, a professional, and a citizen. In every arena, from mentoring two young Choctaw students through a Pen-Pal program to connecting with her 6th grade students at Northwest Junior High, she displays a unique and extraordinary ability to build trust with the students she comes in contact with.”
               Keifer exemplifies devotion to “serving the community and the university,” said Zhbanova.  Since 2011 she has been heavily involved with the local Read for the Record program, developed by Jumpstart to bring national attention to inequities in early learning and to inspire adults to read with children.  Keifer and a few classmates also designed and put up a bulletin board at Meridian High School to encourage the ninth grade students to stay in the community and pursue their degree at MSU-Meridian. 
             To learn more MSU-Meridian, visit www.meridian.msstate.edu.
              MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

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