Elmhurst College names Founders, Senior of the Year winners

Updated 5/24/2020 8:17 AM

Four Elmhurst College seniors received the Founders and Senior of the Year awards, considered among the college's top honors for individual student achievement.

The winners were announced during the Elmhurst College 2020 Student Leadership Awards, held virtually on Tuesday, May 12.


The Founders Award, among the college's oldest and most prestigious, comprises three awards. Each recognizes self-initiated service that brings about change and embodies humane values. One Founders Award is given for service to the campus community; a second is given for service to the greater society; and a third, the Cureton Award, is given for service to the global community. Candidates are nominated by members of the college community.

• Rebecca Kaltenbach, a senior and nursing major from Lake in the Hills received the Cureton Award for Service to the Global Community. Two nursing faculty nominated Kaltenbach for the award, for her significant work serving others through Habitat for Humanity and, in particular, several service-learning trips she has taken to Jamaica to work in the Robin's Nest Children's Home. She described her experiences at the orphanage as life-changing, and vowed to bring everything she learned there to her nursing career. "I will make sure my patients always feel heard, that they never feel alone, and that they can trust me to take care of them," she wrote in her nomination essay.

• Shawndell Young, a music business major from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the Founders Award for Service to the College Community. The senior has served in many leadership roles on campus, as an RA and in student government and in campus organizations such as the Black Student Union, Union Board and the President's Advisory Council for Strategic Planning. He also was active in the choral music program and in performance ensembles such as the Late Night Blues Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band. He is especially known for founding and producing the student talent showcase "EC on the Rise."

• Emily Marquez, an English and communications major from Shiloh, Ill., received the Founders Award for Service to the Greater Society. A member of the Honors Program, the senior is a member of three honor societies and has held multiple leadership positions on campus, including Alpha Phi Omega, Asian Club, the Electrify Student Leadership Retreat and Union Board. She also served as one of the student-leaders in the EC Connections orientation program, which introduces Elmhurst's students of color to one another.

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The Senior of the Year Award is a highly sought-after award whose winner is selected by a special committee of the Elmhurst College Alumni Association, which created the award in 1992 to honor the senior who typifies the Elmhurst College graduate. The winner excels in academics and campus involvement, and is passionate about continuing the Elmhurst College tradition.

• The 2020 Senior of the Year is Alexandria Schultz, a political science major from Elk Grove Village who established herself as a known leader on campus. Her involvement and impact spans various parts of the campus and includes serving as president of the Student Government Association, a competitor on the Mock Trial team, and as a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority. She has also taken part in multiple academic honor societies, including Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha and Pi Gamma Mu. Her nominator wrote that Schultz "led by example, always prepared to go above and beyond to contribute to the success of the team."

Elmhurst College is a leading four-year college that seamlessly blends liberal learning and professional preparation to help students reach their full potential. Elmhurst offers more than 60 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate programs, evening and online programs for adults, and the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy for young adults with differing abilities. Elmhurst College is among the top-ranked colleges in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report. Elmhurst College will become Elmhurst University this summer.