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Washburn University Announces Spring 2020 Sibberson Award Winners

     Topeka, Kan. – Washburn University May 2020 graduates Britnee Douglas, Marcie Koch, Jacob Talkin and Madison Farr have been presented with Washburn’s highest academic honor, the Sibberson Award. Each semester Washburn University honors the top-ranking member(s) of the senior class with a monetary award established by trusts from Erna Sibberson and Gretchen O.A. Sibberson.

     “Sibberson Award recipients represent the highest achieving students at Washburn University,” said Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek, Washburn University’s vice president of academic affairs. “These students accomplish top honors in their scholarly pursuits, as well as demonstrate a commitment to excellence and Washburn’s core values in their activities outside the classroom - from their memberships in organizations to volunteer work, to the work they’ve done in internships and part-time jobs.”

     Sibberson awards are made annually, traditionally during commencement, with one award in December and four in May. For spring semester graduates, the highest-ranking member of the senior class from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Applied Studies, the School of Business and the School of Nursing receives the award. These four students were selected from 18 finalists.

Britnee Douglas, School of Nursing

     Britnee Douglas graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, with a minor in leadership studies. In June 2020, she begins a nurse residency program and work in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Saint Luke’s Hospital. She plans to pursue a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree and practice in an outpatient surgical clinic in the surrounding area. She also plans on spending time going on mission trips to provide holistic care to people who do not have adequate resources and healthcare access. Douglas is from Saint Mary’s, Kan.

     Douglas is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Student Nurses of Washburn and the Mentoring Program. She is also a member of the Leadership Institute and enjoyed the opportunity to go to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in Washington D.C. in 2019.  Douglas was also a member of the university’s softball team and was an MIAA Academic Excellence Award Winner.  Throughout nursing school, she volunteered at Let’s Help and the Washburn UniversityWellness Center. 

     Douglas received the Presidential Scholarship, Pusitz Nursing Scholarship, Heaton Leadership WEA Scholarship, WAA Scholarship, Alumni Association WEA Scholarship, Sylvester A. Skoch Nursing Scholarship, Everitt Athletic Scholarship, Bowers Athletic Leadership WEA Scholarship, Class of 1930 Scholarship, Price WEA Scholarship, Hillmon Scholarship, Lee Leadership WEA Scholarship, Norton WEA Scholarship, Price WEA Scholarship, and the Long WEA Scholarship. She has also received the Who’s Who of American Universities and Colleges Award.

Marcie Koch, School of Applied Studies

     Marcie Koch, from Mission, Kan., earned a Bachelor of Health Science in medical imaging. She has been a radiation therapist for 18 years and currently works at the University of Kansas St. Francis Campus in Topeka, Kan. In the future, she plans to pursue a master's degree in medical dosimetry. Koch has been on the planning committee of the annual Cancer Day Survivors’ Picnic since 2011. She volunteered at The Whisper Walk for Ovarian Cancer from 2011-2015. She has conducted volunteer sun cancer screenings the at Harrah’s Potawatomi Prairie Band 2012 Health Fair and promoted sun safety. She has also been involved in fundraising for the Race Against Breast Cancer.  Marcie graduated Summa Cum Laude and received the School of Applied Studies Award of Excellence.

Jacob Talkin, College of Arts and Sciences

     Jacob Talkin, from Kansas City, Kan., graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in actuarial science. He has taken additional coursework to complete a minor in computer information science, a Kansas Insurance Certificate and is two semesters shy of Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in finance and management. Talkin begins as an actuarial analyst within product development at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America in Minneapolis, Minn. this June. While with Allianz, Jacob will continue his Society of Actuary exam series until achieving a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA). After gaining this experience, Jacob plans to finish his finance and management degrees at Washburn University and pursue a graduate degree in data science. In furthering his academic resume, Jacob hopes to revisit Europe to better understand the role of finance and data analysis in an international business context. 

      Talkin is the president of the Washburn Club Mathematica, the Kansas Delta Chapter of the Kappa Mu Epsilon Honors Society (National Honors Society for Mathematics) and is the founder of the Washburn Statistics Club. Furthermore, he is the vice president of the Washburn Men’s Soccer Club and an avid member of the Washburn Student Computing Association, Washburn Honors Program, and Washburn Finance Society with additional inductions into the Kansas/ Western Missouri Chapter of Mu Sigma Rho and Phi Kappa Phi.  He took a founding role in the establishment of the Midwest Math & Stats Conference intended to bring together like-minded students and industry professionals from across the Midwest for networking and knowledge sharing.  While attending Washburn University, Talkin has had a variety of internships. He has spent two years as an intern with SE2 and an additional summer with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi, both as an actuarial intern. He has also spent a lot of time working within the food and beverage industry at Kansas-Missouri venues including Sporting Kansas City, the Kansas City T-Bones, Allen Fieldhouse and in fast food management at Taco Bueno.

Madison Farr, School of Business

      Madison Farr has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting degree. She plans to begin Washburn University’s Masters of Accountancy degree program this summer, which she anticipates completing in May of 2021. Upon earning her master’s degree, Farr will have completed the requirements needed to sit for the CPA certification exam. In the future, she plans to work as a certified public accountant specializing in governmental auditing and assurance services. She is from Garden City, Kan.

     Farr is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society and the Beta Alpha Psi Accounting and Finance Honor Society. She has gained professional experience as a summer intern with Lewis, Hooper & Dick, LLC in Garden City, Kan. and as a tax season intern with Wendling, Noe, Nelson & Johnson in Topeka, Kan. She enjoys volunteering with Meals on Wheels, Kansas Children’s Service League and the Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society. 

      Farr received the Marcoux Business Scholarship, Finnup Foundation Scholarship, Garvey Competitive Scholarship, Ronald & James Snyder Scholarship and the Topeka Chapter of the IIA Scholarship. She was also recognized as one of the Magnificent Seven business students in spring of 2020.


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