LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas seniors received the 26th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards during halftime of the KU-Oklahoma State Homecoming football game Oct. 22 in Memorial Stadium.
The 2016 Ex.C.E.L. award winners are Jordan Hildenbrand of Blue Springs, Missouri, and Abdoulie Njai of Wichita.
Jordan Hildenbrand, who is majoring in engineering, is the daughter of Wendy Hildenbrand of Blue Springs, Missouri, and the late Wade Hildenbrand. She is a member of the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Class of 2016 and a KU Admissions student ambassador. She is a member of Delta Gamma sorority and has served on the Homecoming Steering Committee. She has also conducted research at KU and the Mayo Clinic.
Abdoulie Njai, a human biology major, is the son of Ousman and Mariama Njai of Wichita. He is director of diversity and inclusion in Student Senate and president of the Minority Association of Premedical Students. He is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon premedical fraternity, where he serves as academic chair, and he also served as a Hawk Link guide for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $250 award to two students. The winners will present at the Blueprints Leadership Conference next spring in conjunction with KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center.
The winners were selected from among 10 finalists on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The selection committee included representatives from Student Union Activities, the Board of Class Officers, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, and the Homecoming Steering Committee.
The award was established in 1991 to recognize one male and one female student for achievement and to add student interest to annual Homecoming festivities. To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Each finalist completed an application and participated in an interview.