Standing Ovation Awards

The Standing Ovation Award recognizes an MSA faculty member or RA who exemplifies the highest ideals of the Missouri Scholars Academy.

The 2022 recipient: Jenny Blank

MSA is delighted to announce that this year’s Standing Ovation award goes to MSA Coordinator of Residential Life, Jenny Blank!  

When asked why they thought this year’s recipient deserved the award, one nominator replied with “is this rhetorical?”  

Among faculty and staff alike, Jenny Blank is an obvious a choice for this wider recognition. 

Long before her current position as Coordinator of Residential Life, Jenny was a scholar herself in 2006. She then returned as an RA for the 2009 and 2010 Academies, where many people first got to know her as a leader. Brian Stuhlman wrote, “When I think about Jenny Blank and her time at MSA, I would note her sincere energy and ebullience. She is, to borrow a phrase, ‘interested and interesting.’ As an RA, she interacted with scholars with a sincere heart and a desire to engage.  She seems equally comfortable and accomplished talking about robotics and STEM in the classroom as she is talking about social and emotional strategies for gifted teens.”  

Jenny joined faculty in 2019 and taught the minor Breakout!, which took the popularity of escape rooms and turned it on its head. With Jenny’s guidance, scholars were tasked with working together to solve clues that lead to opening a breakout box. In 2021, Breakout! was virtual, like the rest of the academy’s classes, but it remained interactive and impactful. The virtual minor included simulations and exercises that focused heavily on teamwork.  

Jenny’s long-term dedication is recognized by colleagues and scholars alike. “I first met Jenny Blank when I was a scholar in 2010 and she was the RA who co-facilitated my minor’s PSD sessions,” one nominator wrote. “Jenny has consistently found places to be of use and [she has] gone above and beyond the role she was originally hired for to perform when the situation called for it.” 

Above and beyond: that was a common trend seen in the nominations for Jenny. She took on many roles during the 2022 Academy, including unexpectedly stepping up to fulfill the Coordinator for Residential Life position. Many colleagues and RAs saw how much responsibility she took on with grace and determination. RA Grace Sullentrup wrote, “Jenny would go above and beyond for the Resident Assistants, finding new and silly ways to connect with the RAs and fostering a community among the RA staff. From creating scientific candy preference studies to crafting cheers to encourage a job well done, Jenny did everything she could to make being an RA safe, fun, and productive.”  

Jenny was able to use what she applied in her short time as a minor teacher and Cor: PSD facilitator and implement it in an entirely new position. 

Another nominator said, “She didn’t hesitate to step up and take charge when things went wrong; she always had a positive, can-do attitude, and made everyone feel appreciated and valued. Jenny’s kindness, authenticity, and dedication to others embody the spirit of MSA. She put scholars and the Academy first at all times, even when that meant sacrificing her minor and sleep schedule.” 

The 2022 Academy would not have been what it was without Jenny. She is truly an asset to MSA. Congratulations! 

Past recipients of these awards include:

FIRST NAME LAST NAME AWARDED MSA ROLE / CONTRIBUTION
Jenny Blank 2022  Coordinator of Residential Life
Adela Caratti 2019  Dining Hall Staff
Rachel Harper 2019  Co-Director, ’18-’22
Dani Eschweiler 2019 MSA ’11, RA ’18, Faculty ’19, ’22
Chris Holmes 2018 Faculty ’13-’18, ’21-’22
Steve Keller 2017 Director ’15-’22
Craig Buschkoetter 2017 RA ’14-’17
Jordan Henson 2016 MSA ’10, RA ’13-’15, Faculty ’16-22
McKenzie Pendergrass 2016 MSA ’10, RA ’13-’16
KelLeigh Bryant 2015 MSA ’12; Office Staff ’14-’19
Mike Lumetta 2015 MSA ’09; RA ’12, ’15
Marjorie Perkins 2015 MSA ’10; RA ’14-’17; Faculty ’18
Doug Valentine 2015 Faculty ’12-’22; Asst. Director ’22
Tina Casagrand 2014 MSA ’06; RA ’12-’13; Coord. Comm. Service ’14; Faculty ’15-’18, ’22
Kyna Iman 2014 Lobbyist, 2000-2022
Abigail Keel 2014 MSA ’09; RA ’12-’14; Faculty ’15
Kelsey Klostermeyer 2014 MSA ’05, Med. Staff ’12-’14
David Knieter 2014 Faculty ’12-’14, ’16
Stephen Riesenberg 2014 MSA ’06; RA and Accompanist ’10- ’11, ’13-’14
Frankie Bruning Synovec 2013 MSA ’05, RA ’11, ’13; Coord. Res Life ’14-’19; Res Life Liaison ’22
Brady Deaton 2013 MU Chancellor, 2004-2013
Alex Dzurick 2013 MSA ’06; Office Staff ’12
Kyle Lovercamp 2013 MSA ’96; Faculty ’11-’16
Sam Rayburn 2013 MSA ’05; RA ’11-’13; Prog. Coord. & DVD ’14-’16
Kurt Schaeffer 2013 Missouri State Senator, 2002-2016
Steve Senger 2013 MSA ’98, Faculty ’11-’14, ’19
Jesse Garwood 2012 RA ’09, ’11-’12; Med Staff ’14-’15
Charles Hang 2012 MSA ’07
Adithi Vellore 2012 MSA ’07; RA ’10-’12
Angela AuBuchon 2011 MSA ’98; Faculty ’09-’12, ’16-’17; Coord. Comm. Service ’11
Robert Bartman 2011 DESE Commissioner of Education, 1987-2001
Ronnie Bass 2011 MSA ’03; RA ’09-’11
Mike Kersulov 2011 Faculty ’09-’22
Ryan Wylie 2011 Faculty ’09-’13
Christina Andrade 2010 MSA ’04; RA ’08-’10
Kayla Bronder 2010 MSA ’03; RA ’07-’08; Coor. Community Service ’09; Faculty ’10
Kyle Buschkoetter 2010 MSA ’09; RA ’13, ’15
Jennifer Richards Fisher 2010 MSA ’04; RA ’08-’09; Senior RA ’10; Faculty and Coord. Comm. Service ’11; Staff Asst ’12; Asst. Coord. Res Life ’13; Faculty ’16-’19
Barry Still 2010 RA ’08-’09; Senior RA ’10; Faculty ’11, ’14-’15
Vince Foley 2009 Lead Technology Assistant, ’05-’06, ’08-’11
Greg Holliday 2009 Psychologist ’03-’18; ’22
Steve Ikpe 2009 MSA ’99; Medical Staff ’07-’09
Nicholas Jain 2009 MSA ’06; RA ’09, ’11-’12; Faculty ’15
Meredith Johnson 2009 MSA ’05; Office Staff ’07-’11
Jennifer Sanders 2009 RA ’08-’09; Coord. Res Life ’10-’14; MU Res Life Liaison ’13-’15
David Weber 2009 MSA ’06; RA ’10-’11
Kate Blankmeyer Votaw 2008 MSA ’03; RA ’07-’09; Faculty ’13
Jay Johnson 2008 MSA ’03; Office Staff ’06; RA ’07-’08
R.J. Koscienlniak 2008 RA ’06-’08
Kyndal Marshall Riffie 2008 MSA ’03; Office Staff ’06-’10; Media Producer ’08-’10; Webmaster ’11- ’14
Justin Arft 2007 MSA ’94; Faculty ’05-’13
Rose Briccetti 2007 MSA ’01; RA ’05-’07
Sarah Jenkins 2007 MSA ’00; RA ’05-’07; Coord. Comm. Service ’08
Bill Palmer 2007 Faculty ’02, ’06-’10
Brian Stuhlman 2007 MSA ’93; Teacher Apprentice ’00; Part Time Faculty ’01; Faculty ’02, ’07- ’22
Laura Baty Kauffman 2006 MSA ’98; RA ’02; med staff, science, and Comm. Service ’04, ’06-’07; Faculty ’13
Marcia Chatelain 2006 Faculty ’03-’07
Jeffrey Gall 2006 Faculty ’94-’96; Coord PSD ’97
Dan Glover 2006 Graphic Designer and Publications Consultant, ’00-’06
Mollie Hosmer-Dillard 2006 MSA ’99; RA ’04-’05; Part Time Faculty and Coord. Comm. Service ’06
Patrick Jackson 2006 MSA Disc Jockey, ’00-’06
Chris Joplin 2006 RA ’98-’99; Med Staff and Science Assistant, ’00
Magda Mello 2006 Dining Hall Staff ’99-’11
Michael Rozier 2006 MSA ’97; RA ’01-’02; Senior RA ’03; Faculty ’08
Amy Smith 2006 Dining Hall Staff ’97-’13
Ian Wille 2006 MSA ’05
Silas Allard 2005 MSA ’98; RA ’02-’03, ’05; Coor. Res Life ’06
Tom Bander 2005 MSA ’96; RA ’99-’00; Development Staff ’04-’05
Adam Campbell 2005 MSA ’93; RA ’03; Senior RA ’04-’05; Faculty ’07, ’09, ’11, ’18; Lead Volunteer ’14
Shannon Ferguson 2005 MSA ’98; RA ’02-’04; Senior RA ’05; Coord. Res Life ’06-’09
Suzette Heiman 2005 Faculty ’96-’09
Ericca Thornhill 2005 MSA ’90; Faculty ’02-’04, ’07, ’12, ’22; Spec. Asst. ’06
Chris Young 2005 MSA ’00; Tech Staff, Office Staff, & Photographer ’02-’08; Program and Media Coord. ’06-’09; Faculty ’09
David Buck 2004 Faculty ’01-’05; Coord. PSD ’06- ’07
Ted Carnahan 2004 MSA ’99
Margaret Hagenhoff 2004 DESE Administrative Assistant ’01- ’10
Antwaun Smith 2004 MSA ’91; Comm. Service Staff ’99; Faculty ’03-’04, ’07
Travis Thornhill 2004 MSA ’90; Comp. Staff ’02-’04; Exec. Sec’y MSAAA ’04-’16
Kate Virostko 2004 MSA ’92; RA ’00-’01; Co-Coord. Res Life ’02; Coord. Res Life ’04-’05
Lucy Chang 2003 MSA ’03
Sara Copeland 2003 MSA ’93, RA ’00-’01
Leslie Eager 2003 MSA ’97; RA ’01-’02; Senior RA ’03- ’04; Fac ’05
Kenyon Railey 2003 RA ’01-’02; Medical Staff ’03
David Welch 2003 Co-Director ’93-’09
Ila Guthrie 2002 Dining Hall Staff ’85-’02
Nicholas Kirschman 2002 Faculty ’99-’06, ’09-’22
Ryan Moore 2002 MSA ’91; RA ’95-’97; Asst. Faculty and Program Staff ’00-’01; Faculty ’02-’03
Eric Rogers 2002 MSA ’90; RA ’94-’97
Kevin Wolf 2002 RA ’86; Senior RA ’87-’89
Jerry Wright 2002 Quick Copy Service ’95-’02
Alex Campbell 2001 MSA ’93; Office Staff ’96; RA ’97, ’99; Medical and Science Assistant ’01
Nancy Fischer 2001 Faculty ’99-’09
Steve Ornes 2001 MSA ’90; RA ’95, ’97-’98; Faculty and Program Staff ’01; Faculty ’02- ’05
Tyler Perrachionne 2001 MSA ’01
Jenelle Beavers 2000 MSA ’95; RA ’98-’99; Senior RA ’00; Coord. Res Life ’01, Assoc. Director ’17
Hoa Ngo 2000 RA ’97-’99; Senior RA ’00; Coord. Res Life ’01; Asst. Instructor ’03-’04
Mike Todd 2000 MSA ’94; Office Staff ’98-’00; Faculty ’04
Rick Vogt 2000 MSA ’88; RA ’92, ’94-’95; Coord. of Technology ’98-’01; Faculty ’03, ’05, ’08
Sarah York Moore 2000 MSA ’90
Pat Garrett 1999 RA ’95; Faculty ’96-’02
Frances Logan 1999 Dining Hall Staff ’85-’99
Mike O’Brien 1999 Faculty ’93-’00
Robin Wenneker 1999 MSA ’85; Office Staff ’88
Jeannie Bealer Harding 1998 MSA ’86
Jim Meyer 1998 MSA ’90; RA ’94-96, ’98; Program Coord. ’97, ’99-’00; Exec. Sec’y MSAAA ’99-’01; Faculty ’01-’11, ’14- ’15; Coord. PSD, ’08-’16
Joan Potthast 1998 Faculty ’96-’11
Don Arni 1997 Faculty ’87-’88, ’90-’09
Leasa Kowalski 1997 MSA ’96
Karl Qualls 1997 MSA ’87; RA ’91-’92; Program Coord. ’93-’94, ’96, ’98; Faculty ’99- ’00
Nancy Singer 1997 Faculty and Yearbook ’90-’93; ’95- ’00
Frank Corley 1996 faculty ’92-’98, ’07-’22; Coord. PSD ’00-’05
Dan Massey 1996 MSA ’89; Office Staff ’93; Computer Specialist ’94-’96; Chief Technology Specialist ’96
Kristin Moore 1996 MSA ’88
Tom Byrnes 1995 Faculty ’92-’95
Paulina Pranschke 1995 MSA ’91
Chad Prewett 1995 MSA ’89; RA ’93-’96; Faculty ’01- ’02; Exec. Sec’y MSAAA ’02-’03; Coord. Res Life ’03
Anna Rybolt 1995 Quick Copy Service, ’85-’94; Deceased ’96
Manuel Tatayon 1995 MSA Lead Security Officer ’85-’88 and ’90-’97
Jack Dykes 1994 Res Life Custodial Services ’85- ’94; Deceased
Jason Fletcher 1994 MSA ’91; Office Staff ’94-’95
Stuart Shaw 1994 RA ’89; Asst. Instructor ’90
Allena Volskay 1994 MSA ’91
Kim Fischer Redinger 1993 MSA ’87
Roger Richardson 1993 Faculty ’90-’07; Deceased ’12
Andy White 1993 MSA ’87; RA ’91; Senior RA ’92-’93; Faculty ’04-’05
Karen Davis 1992 Faculty ’87-’90, ’92-’93 and ’95-’99
Toby Gilk 1992 MSA ’85
Heather Kirkpatrick 1992 MSA ’85; RA ’89-’97; Asst. Coord., Res Life & PSD ’98-’99
Tonya Lane 1992 MSA ’85; RA ’89-’92
Betty Prather 1992 Dining Hall Manager ’86-’94
Ake Takahashi 1992 Faculty ’88-’22; Taiso Master forever
Monica Cawvey 1991 MSA ’87; Office Staff ’90-’91; RA ’92- ’94; Asst. Instructor ’97; Faculty ’98- ’00; Lead Development Officer ’06
Keith Elmore 1991 Coord. PSD ’85, ’87, ’89-’96, ’98-’99
Bill Nelson 1991 Faculty ’85-’86
Bill Northrip 1991 Faculty ’86-’87, ’89-’91; Deceased ’99
Carla Schlink 1991 Administrative Associate ’87-’09
Bryan Watson 1991 MSA ’87; Office Staff ’90-’91; RA ’92- ’93; Senior RA ’94; Law Workshop ’96
Patty Wells 1991 Sr. Secretary ’87-’94
Bill Young 1991 Faculty ’88-’89
Tina Crayton 1990 RA ’88-’89; Senior RA ’90-’96; ’98; Asst. Coord., Journalism ’99; Coord. Residential Life ’00
Vicki Jones 1990 Faculty ’88-’95, ’97-’98
Angela Wilson 1990 MSA ’88
Julia Alsobrook 1985 RA ’85; Hall Coord. ’86; Coord., Residential life ’87-’99; Asst. Journalism and Community Service ’00; Faculty ’04
Doug Anthony 1985 RA ’85-’88, ’90; Asst. Instructor ’92; Program Coord. ’95
Mike Bancroft 1985 Faculty ’85-’91
Ed Grooms 1985 Faculty ’85-’86, ’88-’09
Bill Heyde 1985 Faculty ’85-’99, ’01-’06
Lou Jobst 1985 Faculty ’85-’15
Kim Moody 1985 RA ’87; Program Coord. ’88-’92
Paul Rahmoeller 1985 Faculty ’85-’15; Special Staff ’16-17; Coord. PSD ’18-’22
Bob Roach 1985 Co-Director ’85-’92; Deceased ’11
Dexter Schraer 1985 Faculty ’85; Program Staff ’86-’87; Coord. PSD ’88; Coord., Special and Alumni Events ’89-’99
Ted Tarkow 1985 Co-Director ’85-’14