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Five finalists announced for Threlkeld Prize for Excellence

Release Date: April 06, 2023

Gena Alfonso

Director of Communications/PIO

Marketing, Communications, Community Relations

(719) 671-0929

Five finalists for the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence have been selected from a pool of candidates nominated by CSU Pueblo faculty and staff across multiple departments. The finalists include Nicole Buttram, Phillip Flores, Mikayla Lerch, Tiffany Post, and Jocelyn Sanchez. The Threlkeld Prize for Excellence was established in 1990 in memory of respected faculty member and beloved community member, Budge Threlkeld. The award recognizes a graduating senior who has completed at least four semesters at CSU Pueblo, maintained a grade point average of 3.7 or higher, and has demonstrated service to CSU Pueblo and the community. 

The winner will be announced during the Student Involvement and Leadership Awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 11 at the Occhiato Student Center Ballroom. The Threlkeld recipient will be recognized at the spring commencement ceremony and will receive the first diploma and a monetary award on Saturday, May 13 at the ThunderBowl. 

Nicole Buttram will graduate in spring 2023 with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a BSBA in business management (marketing emphasis), and a minor in leadership studies. She will graduate summa cum laude (3.943 cumulative GPA). Nicole is a four-year Kane Family Foundation scholar, part of the President’s Leadership Program, and a CSU Pueblo Hasan School of Business Healy Fellow. As a Healy Fellow she created a marketing feasibility study for St. John Neumann Catholic School. She is also an ambassador with the American Red Cross.

Phillip Flores will be a Chicano first-generation graduate in spring 2023 with a Master of Science in mechatronics engineering, double majors in engineering (BS) and world language – Spanish (BA), and a minor in leadership studies.  His cumulative grade point average is 3.891 (summa cum laude).  Phillip was selected as the Colorado Leadership Alliance's Student Leader of the Year (Denver Metro Leadership Foundation - Denver, CO - February 2022). He has interned every summer with Kellogg’s Company since 2020 as a supply chain intern and most recently interned with Kellogg’s Company as a Global Engineering RTEC Intern. Phillip has been involved in associated students’ government since his freshman year and has served as a justice, STEM senator, chief of staff, and vice president. As a junior, he was featured in the ‘Life Changing’ campaign for the university and filmed interviews and photos that were shown across the state of Colorado.

Mikayla Lerch will graduate in spring 2023 with a Bachelor of Social Work, and minors in leadership studies and legal studies. She will graduate summa cum laude (3.935 cumulative grade point average). Mikayla is a four-year Kane Family Foundation scholar and has completed internships with Senator Leroy Garcia (political intern, May 2021); Pueblo district attorney’s office (legal intern, July 2021); El Pomar Foundation (Elevating Leadership Development intern, August 2022) and 10th Judicial District Probation (August 2022 to present). She is the Associated Students’ Government Student Body President (May 2021 to present) and Vice Chair of the Colorado Student Government Coalition (May 2022 to present). Mikayla serves as the CSU Pueblo student representative for the Colorado State University System, the CSU Pueblo Foundation Board of Trustees, and the University Leadership Team. She is a member of the Alumni Association, the CSU Pueblo Academic Council and has worked for the Student Engagement and Leadership Team as a new student orientation leader. Mikayla's leadership has been recognized by the President's Leadership Program Leader of the Year Award and has been nominated for the Denver Metro Chamber's Student Leader of the Year Award.

Tiffany Post will graduate in the spring of 2023 with a Bachelor of Social Work.  Her cumulative grade point average is 4.0 (summa cum laude). She is currently employed as a family development specialist with Catholic Charities of Southern Colorado where she has served the Pueblo community for 4.5 years. Tiffany interned with Health Solutions (peer specialist intern) and Steelworks Center of the West (graphic design intern). Tiffany was recently inducted into the Pueblo chapter of Phi Alpha Honors Society. Before coming to CSU Pueblo, she received an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communications, and a Professional Certificate as a creative communications specialist from Pueblo Community College. Tiffany has been accepted into the Master of Social Work program at CSU Pueblo beginning in fall 2023.

Jocelyn Sanchez will graduate in spring 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in liberal studies and a minor in education.  She will graduate summa cum laude (4.0 cumulative grade point average). Jocelyn is a four-year Kane Family Foundation scholar and has served as a student ambassador for CSU Pueblo since fall of 2021.  She was a volunteer educator for Youth Academic Programs Association and was a teaching assistant/supplemental instructor for the RDG 355 Linguistics class at CSU Pueblo.  After completing classroom field work at Minnequa Elementary, Carlile Elementary, PSAS Charter School and Villa Bella Expeditionary School, Jocelyn began student teaching at Irving Elementary as a kindergarten teacher. 

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