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 Kylie Lewis, Xue “Snow” Li, Maren McClelland, Carrick Moon, Jessica Morris, Kaitlyn O’Connor, and James Romano 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.
Kylie will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Mathematics from the College of Arts and Sciences.
Kylie served as a Resident Assistant in Forest Quadrangle for two years, helping first-year students acclimate to Indiana University. Since freshman year, she was also heavily involved in TEDxIndianaUniversity, where she served as a curator and as Director of Finance. Kylie was an involved member of the Political and Civic Engagement (PACE) department’s Student Leadership Council, which granted her opportunities to moderate IU-based and national public issue forums; prepare a presentation on restorative justice for a university conference; and grow her civic skills. She also interned for the Big Ten Voting Challenge and is currently working as the Engagement Intern for Sustain IU.
While looking back on her time at IU, Kylie wanted to recognize numerous individuals that have guided her:
I want to thank my family for being consistently supportive of any and everything I have wanted to do in college. Thank you for driving down from Indianapolis whenever I needed it, whether it be because I was sad and stressed or because my windshield wiper fluid needed changing; I am so grateful for your love and support. I also want to thank all the professional and academic mentors I’ve gained over these last four years – you all give me so much to aspire to!”
Xue is earning a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Digital Technology Management from the Kelley School of Business. Xue has achieved considerable academic success through the Kelley Honors program and Hutton Honors College. She served as a research assistant and peer tutor for the Kelley School of Business. As a student coordinator at the Office of International Services, she committed to making international students feel at home by creating and/or leading extracurricular activities and programs that allowed international and domestic students to connect, including Conversation Partners, a language exchange program. Her efforts provided opportunities for international students to share and display their culture and allowed domestic students to learn from different global perspectives.
Xue would like to recognize all of the support and opportunities that were given to her during her journey at IU by her family and friends, as well as her faculty and staff nominators:
[To my faculty and staff nominators] thank you for… all the support and opportunities you have given me during my journey at IU. I have grown academically and professionally with your guidance, and I am grateful to have worked with you. I would also like to say thank you to all my friends and family for their kindness, support, and companionship!”
Maren is earning a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. Maren had the opportunity to pursue many different research and leadership experiences while at IU. She co-authored a paper on online trolling through the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology’s Research Experience for Undergraduate Women program; assisted the Department of State in implementing artificial intelligence into their security systems; and evaluated open-data policies across the nation through the Ostrom Workshop. Maren also co-founded the Rotaract Club and served as president of the Student Alumni Association, where she served the Bloomington community and IU alumni from around the world.
When asked to share her gratitude for the award, Maren said:
At a place like IU, there are people changing the world around every corner. I’m extremely grateful and thankful for the professors, alumni, and community leaders who taught me how to become one of those people!”
Carrick is earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the College of Arts & Sciences. Carrick has interned for Authentic Campaigns, the Scott County Judge Executive’s Office, and the IU Office of the Provost. He is a Dean’s Scholar and the recipient of the 2021 Jeffrey Haynes Hillis Award, the 2021 Richard Bishop Award, and the 2021 Jim Fielding Award. He was also a finalist for the 2022 Carolyn Kelly Memorial Scholarship.
During his senior year, Carrick served as an undergraduate research fellow for the Kovener Program, where he has worked alongside a cohort of students and faculty to interrogate pedagogical practices within the College. This spring, he is participating in the Jane Jorgensen Internship under Director Patrick Smith, where he is researching and crafting strategies to better serve marginalized students through mentorship at Indiana University.
Carrick was the first transgender candidate for President of IU Student Government, where he served as a member of the Cabinet of Student Leaders. He has also been Treasurer of IU’s student-run fashion editorial, Season Magazine. Carrick has also volunteered with the Bloomington Boys and Girls Club, the LGBTQ+ mentorship program, and the College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors program. He is most proud of his work as the founder and first president of the Queer Student Union at IU. He has led the development of a dynamic community of LGBTQ+ students committed to empowering each other in pursuit of a more inclusive campus. He looks forward to watching the organization reach new heights, guided by IU’s next generation of LGBTQ+ student leaders.
Carrick wanted to give thanks to the many figures that have influenced him throughout his time at IU:
First, to Mom, Dad, and Colin, thank you for all your love through success and stumbling. Thank you for teaching me to keep my eyes forward, my head up, and my heart on what I can do for others. Thank you to Sarah Kachmann for teaching me how to move with grace, and for believing in the best of who I am and who I can be. Special thanks to Bruce Smail, Jim Fielding, and Mara Bernstein for their unwavering support and encouragement. To all the friends who inspire me every day: it speaks to a remarkable privilege that the names of positive influences would overrun this page. If you read this and consider yourself so, you undoubtedly are.”
Jessica is earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, International Studies, and Linguistics from the College of Arts & Sciences. Jessica is a Herman B Wells Scholar, Founders Scholar, Hutton Honors College member, and a member of Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, which recognizes students for their academics, leadership, abroad experience, and community service in the study of Spanish. She is also the recipient of the Indiana Outstanding College Student of Spanish Award, presented to Indiana college students for their academic excellence in and passion for the Spanish language, culture, and literature. She is also working to complete a thesis on gender during Argentina’s Dirty War.
Jessica currently serves as the congressional secretary for IU Student Government (IUSG), where she helps enact policy initiatives with other members of the IUSG Executive Branch, including efforts to decrease policing on campus and establish gender-neutral restrooms in all IU buildings. She also held many leadership roles on the Independent Council, including her current leadership role as Co-President. In addition, she is involved with Hoosier Scholar Ambassadors (HSA), serving in multiple leadership roles over the past three years; at present, she is serving as the Director of External Relations for HSA.
When asked to share a few acknowledgments for those who helped support her during her journey at IU, Jessica said:
I would first like to thank my mom, dad, and sister for all of their support and encouragement… I would also like to thank my incredible friends (especially Molly, Meghan, and Raul) for reminding me to relax and for loving me endlessly.”
Kaitlyn is earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from the O’Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs. Kaitlyn is a self-proclaimed advocate for women’s health, well-being, and safety. She served as the Vice President of Risk Management for the Panhellenic Association (PHA), where she implemented organization-wide risk, health, and safety-related policies and procedures for PHA’s 4,000 members. During her term, she and her team shifted the culture around sexual violence by mobilizing a powerful coalition of women to create higher standards for perpetrators of sexual violence. This initiative led to an invitation to speak at one of the largest Greek student leader conferences in the country, the Association of Fraternal Leader & Values Central in February 2022.
Kaitlyn’s leadership expanded to judicial board procedures, resulting in an Innovation in Judicial Proceeding Award. She also supported the community’s transition back to in-person events and educated both fraternity and sorority members on risk management procedures in a new training. She hosted a first-ever Panhellenic Association National Hazing Prevention Week Campaign with an emphasis on why and how women haze. Kaitlyn has also served as the Panhellenic Director of Honor Board, and Alpha Delta Pi’s Director of Social Enrichment. Kaitlyn’s has also acted as Chair of the IU Dance Marathon Fundraising Committee, for which she was nominated for the Ashley Louise Crouse Award, which recognizes strong character and leadership within IU Dance Marathon.
There are many people Kaitlyn would like to thank who have supported her through her time as a leader at Indiana University:
I would like to thank my family and friends for always encouraging me to have a life full of continuous learning and for loving me wholeheartedly every step of the way. To my Panhellenic advisor, Leo Serrato, and Assistant Dean, Dr. Leslie Fasone: thank you for always offering sage advice and empowering me to continue with new initiatives, even when they seemed daunting. I also want to thank Professor Cheryl Hughes for being a fierce advocate, educator, and kind confidant when I needed it most. Lastly, a special thank you to the entire OSFL team, Dean of Students Office, Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Advocacy, Chief [Jill] Lees [of the IU Police Department], and the rockstar 2021-2022 Panhellenic Executive Team.”
James will receive a Bachelor of Arts in International Law and Institutions and East Asian Language and Cultures from the College of Arts and Sciences, with minors in Spanish and History. He was a four-year recipient of the Founders Scholar Award, and has been involved at IU through his role as the founding president of the Chi Phi Fraternity Iota Delta Chapter. He was also the founding Vice President and Director of Outreach for the Alexander Hamilton Society Chapter at Indiana University. James has been the co-editor-in-chief of The Tab IU, a student news organization that promotes justice and provides a voice to the issues of the student community. He is currently the program assistant for the East Asian Studies Center, where he facilitates colloquium events with East Asia scholars.
While reflecting on the people that have impacted his journey at IU most, James said:
I want to thank my parents, Anthony and Jennifer Romano, for serving as role models for community leadership and demonstrating the importance of justice, education, and civic participation. I want to thank Rabbi Sue Silberberg at IU Hillel; Paul Helmke, director of the Civic Leaders Center; and Heather Payne, Residence Life Coordinator at Union Street Center, for being exemplars of building inclusive communities on campus. I want to thank my Co-Editor-In-Chief Leighton Howard and The Tab IU team, my brothers in the Chi Phi fraternity, and the members of the Alexander Hamilton Society at IU.”