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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Ndiritu Wins Kaufman Prize, Top Old Dominion University Student Award

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Graduating Student Government Association President Christopher Ndiritu received Old Dominion University's Kaufman Award, and four students shared the Evon-Broderick Award for Community Engagement and Service during the Old Dominion Student Honors and Awards dinner May 5.

Ndiritu, who graduated May 7 with a degree in public health, was recognized for his service in two terms as SGA president. The Kaufman Award, the highest honor given to a graduating student, includes a $10,000 cash award.

Originally from Kenya before his family moved to Richmond in 2002, Ndiritu named Don Stansberry, dean of students, as his most inspirational faculty member.

"Dr. Stansberry has come to be my greatest friend, mentor and a father-like figure at ODU," Ndiritu said. "In any position I have acquired at the university, I have been blessed to be able to learn and grow, through Dr. Stansberry. He has also been able to support me in numerous ways, whether it be pertaining to my academics, professional development or life."

The Evon-Broderick Award was created in 2011 by President John R. Broderick and Old Dominion First Lady Kate Broderick in honor of their mothers, Joan Evon and Betty Broderick.

Kate Broderick presented the award to four students, Jennifer Alviar of the College of Health Sciences, Charles Chiou of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, Sandra Nelson of the College of Health Sciences and Iamme Staton of the Strome College of Business.

"Each year this award is presented to a student - or students, as is the case this year - who demonstrate superior leadership and commitment to civic engagement and service to the university, as well as the Hampton Roads community," Kate Broderick said. "Each of these students exemplifies the spirit for which this award is intended."

The Kaufman Award runner-up, who also received a cash prize, was Dejah Singh, who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. Other Kaufman Award finalists included Katelyn Anderson, Fontaine Bland and Joshua Slaughenhoupt of the College of Arts & Letters; Josiah Emery and Mary MacKinnon of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, and Matthew Fitzpatrick and Stephanie Flores of the Strome College of Business.

The Kaufman Prize was established by Landmark Communications Inc., now known as Landmark Media Enterprises, to recognize graduating seniors who had an exceptional and constructive influence on the university, its students or the community by demonstrating the highest qualities of leadership and service.

Following Kaufman's example, all of the nominees demonstrated sustained participation in leadership of campus or community groups, an outstanding record of volunteer activities, academic achievement or the achievement of a major task affecting the campus or community.

The Kaufman Prize Selection Committee interviews nominees and recommends to President Broderick those to be chosen for the Kaufman Honors and the person to receive the Kaufman Prize.