Danielle Geier and Benjamin Linzy were named Outstanding Senior Woman and Man for December 2014 graduates.
Both students will graduate in December, and Geier is currently completing her student teaching in Belize.
Geier, who is majoring in secondary English education, has been a member of the National Council for Teachers of English since 2012, became the events coordinator of the NCTE last spring and is the vice president of Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity.
She has been the choreography director for Campus Lights and the choreographer for Murray Dance Company since 2012 and is a member of Drum Corps International.
“My goal for the future is to teach at the high school level,” in her application.
She would like to continue with her passion, dance in musical theater, teach it at the high school level and obtain her doctorate in medieval british literature.
Geier said she didn’t see the selection coming.
From a computer in Belize, she apologized for not having access to Wi-Fi and explained her shock at winning.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect to be selected,” she said. “I’m a hard working student, but didn’t see myself as ‘outstanding.’”
Linzy, who is majoring in criminal justice and history, didn’t have much time for celebration.
He found out he’d been selected while posting fliers for the Education Abroad office.
“I haven’t celebrated yet,” he said. “There are plenty of miles to go and things to finish before graduation.”
After graduation Linzy said he’d let loose a little and open a bottle of wine with friends.
“I will admit I fist pumped though,” he said.
Linzy’s goal is to continue his education to a doctorate, then teach at the university level.
Already, he has earned awards for his undergraduate research and has been published in the American Leadership Journal in Student Research.
He has been on the Dean’s List for every semester of his college career and holds a 3.82 GPA.
Linzy has given 15 presentations in six states, most of them regarding Muslim insurgency in the Middle East and fascist Italy. One was titled “Problem Solving Training: Zombie Apocalypse.”
Linzy was awarded a Certificate in Terrorism Prevention for Law Enforcement Academic by the Institute for Preventive Strategies.
“I wasn’t nervous about whether I would get it or not,” Linzy said. “I knew that my application was strong and if someone had a better application, that they too deserved the award.”
Linzy said it was an honor to be recognized by the University for the hard work he had done throughout his time at Murray State.
“Taking my place with those who have gone before me was truly humbling,” Linzy said.
Story by Amanda Grau, News Editor