Published on April 18, 2019
On April 14, students, faculty, and family members gathering in Leadership Auditorium for the annual Honors Awards Ceremony. Over a dozen awards were given to students and faculty alike for outstanding achievements in a variety of fields.
One of the most coveted awards at the ceremony each year is Outstanding Senior Award. This year, two students received this honor: Seniors Allie Greenspun, strategic communication major with a minor in peace studies, and Jacqueline Ihnat, pre-med student majoring in business management with a minor in Spanish. Greenspun and Ihnat received this award for their involvement, dedication and achievements in the Honors College.
From serving as an Honors Ambassador to working summer registration to sitting as the student representative on the Honors Council, Greenspun has certainly left her mark on the Honors College. From day one, she has made it her mission to not only participate wholeheartedly in Honors courses, but to serve the Honors College in any way possible.
“From the beginning of college, I’ve really made it a goal of mine to invest in the Honors program,” Greenspun said. “The Honors College has given me so much, so I wanted to give back. Being recognized for that is really special.”
Though Greenspun originally stumbled upon MU because of the top-tier journalism school, it was actually the Honors College that convinced the Maryland-native to pack her bags and move to the Midwest.
“I’m someone who likes to be challenged in all that I do, but especially in school,” Greenspun. “When searching for colleges, I knew that I wanted an Honors education. The Honors presentation during my campus visit was really what pushed me to pick Mizzou.”
During her time at MU, Greenspun truly found her people through the Honors College. Coming from across the country can be difficult, but the family she found through Honors helped make this campus feel like home.
“Honors college was so important for me in building a sense of community at Mizzou, especially coming from so far away and not knowing anyone,” Greenspun said. “The Honors College was that niche community that I got to lean on that made Mizzou feel like home and gave me the confidence to branch out into other parts of campus life.”
As a pre-med student balancing her schoolwork, her extracurriculars and her job as a boxing instructor, Ihnat has a lot on her plate. However, that hasn’t stopped her from giving her all to the Honors College for the last four years. For Ihnat, winning this award makes all her hard work worth it.
“It’s a huge honor to win this award,” Ihnat said. “Many of the Honors students who have received the award in previous years are people I’ve really looked up to and seen as role models. It’s amazing to be included in that group.”
Like Greenspun, Ihnat felt a strong desire to give back to the Honors College in any way she could. She attributes much of her growth to the Honors program, and she loves being a part of the growing program.
“The Honors College has given me so much during my time here at MU,” Ihnat said. “The people, classes, and fellowship and scholarship programs have really shaped my experience and given me so many opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. Because of that, I’ve worked really hard over the past few years to give back to the Honors College and contribute to its growth and success. It’s really exciting to see all of the changes that are happening throughout the Honors College and to be able to be a part of it.”
Over the past four years, Ihnat has taken a number of Honors courses that have truly changed the way she sees the world. However, there is one course that particularly sticks out as one of her favorites.
“Darcy Holtgrave’s tutorial, ‘Folk Medicine and Alternative Healing Practices in the U.S.’ is the class that I believe was most impactful” Ihnat said. “As a future physician, it was incredibly eye-opening to try to put myself in the shoes of people from other cultures and understand their beliefs about health. Of course, the small class size was also an incredibly unique experience. I was friends with everyone in the class by the end of the semester.”