Kate Hevner Mueller served Indiana University from 1937 to 1969 as Dean of Women, Senior Counselor for Women, and Professor of Education. Dr. Mueller was a national pioneer for women professionals and developed the Master’s Program in College Student Personnel (Higher Education and Student Affairs) at Indiana University in the early 1950s. The Kate Hevner Mueller Senior Awards were established in 2013 to honor IU seniors who have proven leadership on campus both inside and outside of the classroom and who have improved the IU community by their presence.
This year, Indiana University has selected 28 outstanding recipients for the Kate Hevner Mueller Outstanding Senior Award. In this article, we congratulate Austen Ott for their ability to represent Dr. Mueller’s essential goals of the university: to promote intellect, develop personality, and inspire citizenship and leadership to all students.
Austen is earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the College of Arts and Sciences with minors in Chemistry, Biology, and Latino Studies. Austen’s research experience as an assistant in the Newman Memory Lab at Indiana University focused on molecular neuroscience data and behavioral neuroscience, which became crucial in their Neuroscience Honors thesis. In addition, they wrote a Spanish honors thesis on the formation and division of border identities for Latinx writers in the Borderlands. Their campus involvement included leadership roles in the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students as the Director of Internal Affairs and the Diversity Co-Chair; in their membership on the 99th Board of Aeons; and in various positions on the Women’s Rugby Club at Indiana University. Austen also received the Jeffrey H. Hills Scholarship Award for their demonstrated commitment and leadership in LGBTQ+ issues on campus.
Austin had many IU community members including professors, coaches and peers who helped them thrive here at Indiana University. When asked Austen to specifically share a few members of the community that helped them thrive, they said:
Thank you to professors Ehren Newman, Andrés Guzmán, and Laura Gurzynski-Weiss, and rugby coach Vaughn Mitchell for informing my worldview, supporting my pursuits, and mentoring me into the person I am today. Thank you, also, to Willow Johnson, Jordan Cruse, Sarah Nance, and Sam Messier for making IU a place where I could grow and thrive.”