Student Leaders Honored With 2019 HILL Awards

Rogers State University honored 30 students, two recent alumni and two community partners during its second annual HILL Awards on Friday morning.

The awards recognize High Impact Leaders and Leaders (HILL) among the student body with awards presented for each level of academic classification as well as for student workers. Awards were presented to recent alumni who have demonstrated leadership and to community partners who support university initiatives that enhance student development. The awards program was conceived and organized by the RSU Office of Student Affairs.

The awards recognize accomplishments based on four key areas: commitment, community engagement, influence and integrity. The students, alumni and community partners were each nominated for consideration by RSU faculty, staff or students. About 100 students, alumni and organizations were nominated.

Freshman honorees in the Leader and Learner of Excellence category were: Jake Brillhart of Collinsville, Mya Hilderbrand of Owasso, Thanh Duc Pham of Bien Hoa, Do, Vietnam, Tien Vu Thuy Pham of Bien Hoa, Do, Vietnam, Moriah Rake of Skiatook, Cheyenne Sanders of Catoosa, and Trenton Siever of Pryor.

Sophomore honorees in the Leader and Learner of Excellence category were: Dennis Ackley of Salina, Erin Dinsmore of Claremore, Ngan Thu Thi Nguyen of Dong Nai, Vietnam, Jesus Ramirez of Tulsa, Kylie Ray of Broken Arrow, and Beth Smith of Locust Grove.

Junior honorees in the Leader and Learner of Excellence category were: Hannah Baird of Claremore, Cody Berry of Afton, Shiloh Johnson of Pryor, Mikala Richardson of Claremore, and Monica Scott of Sapulpa.

Senior honorees in the Leader and Learner of Excellence category were: Ashley Cole of Hulbert, Amber Frost of Owasso, Paige Gruenberg of Claremore, Ashley Purcell of Claremore, and Cade Thomas of Broken Arrow.

Student workers of excellence honorees and their campus work offices were: Cassi Barry of Salina (Residential Life), Heather Clark of Pryor (Pryor Campus), Alyssa Cravens of Oologah (President’s Office), Michaela Farrill of Shawnee (Academic Enrichment), Zach Harmon of Owasso (Athletics) and Forrest Young of Barnsdall (Athletics).

Recent alumni honored were Camaron Dearinger, Class of 2009, and Leah Tecle, Class of 2015.

Dearinger graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and was a member of the inaugural men’s basketball team. Today, he serves as chief operations officer and director of sales and marketing for his family’s Stillwater-based business, which is a state leader for promotional products and apparel. He has actively supporter RSU alumni events and also is a leader in his community, where he serves on the boards of local non-profit organizations.


Tecle was a member of the RSU Honors Program who graduated with a degree in psychology. She currently is a doctoral student in industrial and organization psychology at the University of Tulsa. She recently designed a new system for RSU to use in interviews with finalists for the RSU Honors Program. Through her work, RSU has a systemized and focused interview process based on the qualities most conducive to student success in the university’s Honors Program.

Two local organizations were honored for their support of the university and its students. BancFirst was honored for its ongoing support of university operations, as well as its participation in career-focused student development activities, such as mock interviews, etiquette dinners and more. Safenet Services, Inc. was recognized for regularly engaging in campus events while raising awareness for the need for assisting victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault. The Claremore-based non-profit also provides internships for RSU students.