Graduate Named Top Student
Kelli Riedmiller, a sophomore from Wichita, was named Cowley’s Student of the Year during the annual Celebration of Excellence banquet April 19 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. Riedmiller, a graduate of Mulvane High School and the daughter of Karen and Gary Riedmiller, was a liberal arts major at Cowley who holds a 3.77 grade-point average.
Riedmiller was Cowley’s December 2000 Student of the Month and was chosen over seven other students of the month. Maggie Picking, vice president of student affairs at Cowley, presented Riedmiller with her award.
Riedmiller came to Cowley with extensive community service, including being active in the Derby 4-H Club for many years. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do” (after high school), Riedmiller said. “I liked so many things in so many different areas. It was hard to decide. I knew I could come here and get a little bit of everything.
The community service program was awesome, and that’s what really drew me here. Community service is a big part of my life.” Riedmiller was president of Cowley’s Volunteers Learning Through Service, and she served on the Board of Directors of Service Learning Central. She volunteered a minimum of 15 hours per week for various VoLTS and SLC activities. She is a graduate of Cowley’s AmeriCorps program, having logged 900 hours of community service. She also was a resident assistant in the William R. Docking Dormitory, and she tutored at C-4 Elementary School just east of Arkansas City. Also, Riedmiller is involved with St. Michael Catholic Church in Mulvane. And through her involvement with Habitat for Humanity, Riedmiller spent Jan. 6-12 in Rio Bravo, Mexico, building a house with the Methodist Mission group. “I’m happy because I’m doing as much as I can and doing a good job at it,” Riedmiller said. “The community service has given me great skills for the future. Everything’s a learning experience.”
Riedmiller will graduate in May, then plans to transfer to Kansas State University and major in landscape design. Riedmiller continues to be active in 4-H. She is superintendent of demonstrations for the Sedgwick County Fair, and assists the horticulture program in 4-H. A spiritual person, Riedmiller also was instrumental in starting a Bible study group in her dorm with about nine other women. And a new project through SLC has her excited. “I’m chair of the Community Garden Committee through SLC,” she said. “The community garden is a place where people in Arkansas City can have a little piece of land to grow whatever they want like vegetables, flowers, whatever.” The group has ground along Mill Road between Kansas and Chestnut where some homes were destroyed by the October 1998 flood. Outdoors is where Riedmiller enjoys being.