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 through their presence.
This year, Indiana University has selected 29 outstanding recipients for the Kate Hevner Mueller Outstanding Senior Award. In this article, we congratulate Iswerya Ajay, Erika Araujo, Brandon Barnes, Madeline Clemmer, Maiya Cook, Jacob Cooley, Madeline Dederichs, and Jayna Dolfi 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.
Iswerya is earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Arts & Sciences. On campus, Iswerya has been a residential assistant for the past two years at Union Street Center. Iswerya went through a rigorous process known as “gunning” to earn a spot on the Indiana University Student Foundation Steering Committee, while also being a founding member and Director of Content for People of IU. In this role, she was the sole writer and wrote over 100 stories of inspiring Hoosiers. She was awarded the Up-and-Coming Student Leader of the Year Award in 2021 for her contributions to the People of IU. Additionally, she has been on the Dean’s List, received the Kelley Moment Coin, and is an IU Ventures Scholar.
When sharing her thoughts on the importance of a support system throughout her journey at Indiana University, Iswerya said:
IU has consistently exceeded my expectations and given me a better student experience than I could’ve ever imagined. The people I’ve met during my time here have been remarkable and I truly cannot express my gratitude to everyone I have had the honor to meet and learn from, because without each of you I would not have had the opportunities or grown into a leader I am today.”
Erika is a Hudson and Holland Scholar earning a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the School of Public Health. Since her freshman year was involved with the IU Auditorium. Starting off as a volunteer usher, she was promoted to Student Manager after one year. One semester later, she was promoted to Assistant Guest Services Manager. Additionally, erika is an active member of Latinos Unidos and took on the role of President in Fall 2019. Erika is proud of making the School of Public Health Dean’s List in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Currently, she is interning at Middle Way House with their prevention team.
While reflecting on the people that have impacted her journey at IU most, Erika said:
I would like to thank Miriam “Mimi” Attenoukon, Erin Wylie, and Maria Talbert for nominating me and for writing my letters of recommendation. I see them as my mentors and motivators and appreciate their support. I would also like to thank my friends and family for being there for me and supporting me while I’ve been at school. I also want to thank my professors at the School of Public Health, the IU Auditorium, and La Casa/Latino Cultural Center for shaping my journey at IU and making Bloomington feel like my “home away from home.”
Brandon is earning a Bachelor of Arts in International Law and Institutions and Political Science with minors in Informatics and Intelligence Studies from the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. During his time at IU, Brandon has been involved in IU Dance Marathon and has been actively involved with the IU Student Foundation, where he currently serves on the organization’s Steering Committee. As a student representative, Brandon has served as a Peer Coach with the Walter Center for Career Achievement and as a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admissions. Additionally, he has been a student in the Indiana Political Analysis Workshop within the Department of Political Science.
When asked to reflect on who he would like to thank for supporting him during his journey at Indiana University, Brandon said:
[I would like to thank] my family for their unconditional love and support; my professors, advisors, and supervisors for their constant inspiration and mentorship; and my friends for making IU a place I can genuinely call home. I would also like to express my gratitude to the staff of the IU Student Foundation and the Walter Center for Career Achievement – particularly Andrea Hardisty, Jenna Piva-Laramie, and Andrea White – for considering me for this award and for giving me a place and an environment in which I have been able to thrive during my time at IU.”
Madeleine is earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the College of Arts & Sciences. During her time at IU, she worked to establish Youth for Environmental Sustainability, a club that strives to develop a more comprehensive local sustainability legislature. In the summer of 2019, her club’s first resolution passed through Bloomington’s city council with six major changes the city would work to implement – many of which have already become a reality. The city has introduced new water bottle-filling stations, safer bicycle routes to schools, and more climate goals. Madeleine has done research in Dr. Ken Mackie’s neuroscience laboratory, where she focused on projects that involved understanding changes in the adolescent mouse brain associated with chronic phytocannabinoid exposure. The process of learning about changes in the brain associated with drug use furthered her interest in medicine. Next year, Madeleine plans to attend medical school.
Thinking back on the individuals that have supported her most throughout her time at IU, Madeleine said:
I would like to thank my mom and dad for their encouragement and guidance; my grandparents for their support; and Dr. Mackie and the Mackie Lab for allowing me to participate in research.”
Maiya is earning a Bachelor of Science in Economic Consulting and Law, Ethics, and Decision-Making from the Kelley School of Business. She is also a Kelley Honors Student and a William R Fry Scholar. Maiya has spent three years in Indiana University Student Government with focuses on expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and supporting leadership development. During her time with IUSG, she collaborated with the Dean of Student’s Office to form the United Council of Equity, which brings student leaders from marginalized backgrounds together to support one another and learn how to combat bias. She participated in the first IU Student Leader Delegation Trip to Israel, and has also participated in an International Rescue Committee volunteer trip to provide English literacy lessons to refugees. Additionally, Maiya led a trip to the Florida Keys to remove microplastics and other debris in Biscayne National Park through the Alternative Break Program.
Currently, Maiya serves as Vice President of Outreach for Kelley Student Government, and continues to emphasize organization collaboration and DEI-based initiatives and events through her position. She is also proud to be one of the eleven Black Women of Fry who urged the Kelley School of Business to provide more support and resources towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Upon graduating from IU, she will be going to Chicago to work as a management consulting analyst at AArete Consulting.
When Maiya was asked who all she wanted to thank for standing by and supported her through her achievements at IU, she said:
I would like to thank the entire Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives for not only recruiting me, but for being my home base when my family has been so far away. I would also like to thank my mentors from IUSG – Matt Stein and Isabel Mishkin – for treating me as an equal and instilling me with the confidence to be the leader I am today. I would also like to thank my professors – [especially] Kathy Fisher, Jeanette Heidewald, and Stephanie Moore – for their patience and for seeing the potential in me before I could. Lastly, I would like to thank my wonderful friends, who have truly been my family these past four years and have inspired me to be my best self every step of the way.“
Jacob is earning a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Kelley School of Business. Throughout his time at Indiana University, Jacob made it a priority to join clubs and organizations that had a purpose or mission that was bigger than himself. Jacob joined the Indiana University Dance Marathon (IUDM) – which raises money for children at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN – serving on the Morale Committee. Jacob served as a tour guide for both Indiana University and the Kelley School of Business. Additionally, he is currently a Program Manager for the Investment Banking Workshop, where he mentors students interested in a job in finance/investment banking. During his four years at Indiana University, Jacob is proud to have been a student leader in both Fellowship of Christian Athletes and The Salt Company, a multi-generational and college student-focused ministry.
When considering the figures at IU and beyond that have influenced his college career most, Jacob said:
I would first and foremost like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as I would not be here today without Him. Additionally, I would like to thank my parents, Jason and Kimberly, my sister, Lauren, and my grandparents for shaping me into the person that I am today. Finally, I would like to thank Professor Amy Kinser, Professor Clark Barwick, Professor Susan Monaco, and Professor Steven Sibley for being my biggest supporters at every step of the way during my time at Indiana University.”
Madeline is earning a Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis from the O’Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs. Madeline began her campus involvement as soon as she stepped foot on-campus starting with IU Student Government, serving as the Director of Student Life, a member of Congress, and currently, the Student Body Vice President. Throughout her various terms, she worked closely with the IU Police Department and Public Safety and Institutional Assurance Office to clarify the use of the Clery Act when students received IU Notifications; and engaged with student workers and faculty to promote fairness and improved on-campus working conditions. In 2020, Madeline served as the President of the Student Recreational Sports Association, where she consulted with campus partners to negotiate an increase to the approximately $6 million annual revenue from the student activity fee to improve facilities and programming.
In talking about her time and her community impact at IU, Madeline said:
I’m incredibly grateful for the encouragement and support I have received over the years from the faculty and staff that I’ve engaged with in my leadership roles. With their recognition of my talents and skillsets, they’ve pushed me to hone in on my strengths and continue pursuing initiatives that benefited the greater campus community.”
Jayna is earning a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management from the Kelley School of Business. During her time at IU, she developed an award-winning two-part training session that educated 105 student athletes on the Green Bandana Project, a mental health awareness and suicide prevention initiative. In 2019, Jayna became an executive board member for All IN, a mental health student group within athletics that strives to have an open conversation about mental health and raise awareness amongst athletes. In 2020, she was elected to the Student Athletic Advisory Committee as Mental Health Executive, where she oversaw 15 committee members through the planning of mental health-related events such as round table discussions, yoga sessions, and meditation events. Jayna has received the 2020 Excellence Academy Spirit award for her exemplary display of leadership that embodied the “Spirit of Indiana: 24 Sports, One Team” mentality, and has also been recognized as a 2019 Founder’s Scholar.
In recognizing her personal and Student Athletics communities that have impacted her time at IU most, Jayna said:
First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents, Greg and Pollyanna Dolfi, for being my biggest cheerleaders and supporting me throughout my ups and downs. I would also like to thank Lisa Winters, Mattie White, and Sam Hortsman for always being there and for helping develop me into the leader I am today. Lastly, I want to thank Allen Kohn for always being a friendly ear to help me through anything life could throw at me.”