The University of Tulsa will honor its 2019-20 Jess Chouteau Outstanding Seniors and Top 10 Freshmen during Homecoming week, Oct. 24-27. Ten seniors are selected each year from an Alumni Association panel for their exceptional achievement in academics and community engagement.
This year’s outstanding Seniors are Conner Bender of Jenks, OK; Madi Bickle of Catoosa, OK; Claire Chapman of Chillicothe, MO; Olivia Holmes of Chesterfield, MO; Ella Luttbeg of Stillwater, OK; Andrew Morgan of Hot Springs, AR; Cameron McLaury of Jenks, OK; Chee Yang “Evan” Ng from Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia; Madison Pickett of Overland Park, KS; Claire Zehentner of Friendswood, TX.
Conner Bender is a computer science and mathematics major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences in the Cyber Corps Program. Bender is a Truman Scholar, Fulbright Institute Scholar, TU Presidential Scholar, TU Global Scholar, and Stanford University Innovation and NOVA Fellow. He has been president of both Student Association and Future Alumni Council and is currently a senator and a Captain ‘Cane mascot. As a university ambassador and orientation leader, he has spoken on many university leadership panels. He was named Greek Man of the Year in 2019, received a Medicine Wheel Award for a meal swipe donation program in 2018 and was named a Top 10 Freshman in 2017. Bender has served on Sigma Chi international committees, in addition to being chapter vice president, and has lobbied for single-sex organizations on Capitol Hill as a student board member. He has been a teaching assistant in the TU Office of the President while working for the U.S. government. Additionally, Bender is a member of Phi Mu Alpha, RUF Ministry Team and the President’s Honor Roll.
Madi Bickle is a biological science major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences and is also minoring in psychology. She participates in undergraduate student research in the Biology department and has received three grants for her work, one of which was from the National Biological Honor Society. Madi is a Teaching Assistant in the organic chemistry lab, too. Bickle is a varsity coxswain and captain on the TU Women’s Rowing Team, where she has been named to the AAC All-Academic Team and was recognized as a 2018-2019 Collegiate Rowing Association Scholar-Athlete. Madi is president of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the Pre-Health Honors Society, and she is also involved in organizations such as BBB and NRHH. Bickle is a Resident Assistant in the residence halls on campus, where she has helped guide both domestic and international students. Additionally, Madi has done volunteer work both locally through Reading Partners, St. John Medical Center and the Foodbank and internationally in India, Zimbabwe, and Nepal. This summer, she spent her time interning at a hospital in Mombasa, Kenya and learning about global health. Madi is a recipient of the Cherokee Nation Scholarship and Indian Health Services Scholarship.
Claire Chapman is a biology major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Through work on the Honors Program Selection Committee, as a University Ambassador and as an Orientation Leader, she has supported students in every stage of their TU journey. Further, as executive director of Homecoming for Student Association and as a Future Alumni Council member, she has connected students to new and old traditions. Chapman is currently the chief executive officer of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and chief justice of Student Association, and she was nominated as a Top 10 Freshman in 2017. In her spare time, she volunteers in Tulsa with Reading Partners, Special Olympics, St. John Medical Center and Good Samaritan Health Services, as well as in Honduras through World Gospel Mission. Her future goals are to become a bilingual physician and take care of patients the way TU teaches to take care of each other.
Olivia Holmes is majoring in computer information systems in the Collins College of Business. She is vice president of Information Technologies United and serves as chief learning officer of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, where she led 45 members in the chapter’s ritual and initiation week for 13 new members. She helped re-instate the TU Club Volleyball Team and served as president for two years. She is also an orientation leader, a university ambassador and works as a tutor for student-athletes. Holmes is a member of: Phi Eta Sigma, Order of Omega, Future Alumni Council, Mortar Board and has been named to the President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s Honor Roll. As associate director of the festivals committee for TU’s Student Association, Holmes helped plan Springfest, featuring the Ben Rector concert and events for about 300 members of the TU community. Outside of her campus involvement, Holmes served as a Girl Scouts Robotics team mentor and volunteered with a group of fifth grade Girl Scouts to teach them about careers in STEM. She has interned with ConocoPhillips and plans to work in their Information Technology function after graduation.
Ella Luttbeg is a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA during her academic career at TU. She’s made a positive impact through her diverse involvement on campus and in the Tulsa community. She’s currently a member of the TU Honors Program and president of Chi Omega sorority where she leads more than 60 women while overseeing the welfare of the organization. Before she was president, Luttbeg served as chapter secretary and philanthropic director. Outside of Greek life, she serves as secretary of Make a Difference Engineering (MADE at TU), an engineering initiative that partners with local organizations to develop therapeutic devices for members of the community with physical and emotional challenges. She has previously volunteered as a mentor for the Tulsa Girls Math Circle to help middle school students understand the importance of math skills and problem-solving.
Andrew Mangan is an exercise & sports science major with a pre-med option in the Oxley College of Health Sciences. He is currently the president of Kappa Alpha Order, and he has served his fraternity as the province undergraduate chairman, corresponding secretary and rush chair. He is involved with Future Alumni Council, Reformed University Fellowship, Exercise Sports Science Club, College Republicans and Club Tennis. He has served the university as the secretary for university ambassadors, associate director of Springfest, and he is an orientation leader for the department of New Student Services. Andrew is a member of Mortar Board, Alpha Epsilon Delta and Order of Omega honor societies, and he has been recognized as a member of the President’s and the Dean’s Honor Roll. He has volunteered and worked at Kanakuk Kamps for the past seven years and most recently served as the director of Camper Care. He has participated in research with the kinesiology and rehabilitation department through the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge (TURC) and has served as lead honor marshall for the Oxley College of Health Sciences. Andrew volunteers with the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Tulsa and St. John Medical Center.
Cameron McLaury is a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. As Beta Upsilon Chi president, he encouraged members to fund and attend philanthropy events at other fraternities. McLaury has volunteered at St. John Medical Center, the Tulsa Food Bank and Life Church. He has shared his experiences on campus through TU snapchat stories. While mentoring students at TU, he provided advice on studying for the MCAT, course scheduling and assisting with job applications. McLaury has also conducted several research projects ranging from biological robotics to assessing risk injury in Tulsa firefighters. He initiated a program at Burroughs Elementary School to help improve students’ reading and math skills. Additionally, McLaury is a member of the TU spirit squad.
Chee Yang Evan Ng is majoring in petroleum engineering in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. He can summarize his experience at TU in one phrase: “bringing the world to TU and TU to the world.” As an international student, Ng played an important role by providing global learning opportunities to the TU community and cultivating global awareness among future leaders on campus. Ng was nominated a Top 10 Freshman in 2017. He also served as president of the Association of International Students where he led more than 25 officers from 14 different countries. Other leadership roles include facilitating a weekly cultural program at Kendall Whittier Elementary School. Ng created the first Global Challenges Forum, which brought together international students to discuss pressing issues in their home countries. In 2019, Ng presented his undergraduate research findings and won first place at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Mid-America Regional Conference Student Paper Competition.
Maddie Pickett is a biochemistry major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. She has held several leadership positions at TU, including Student Association president and treasurer, Mortar Board treasurer, vice president of Early Careers in Community Medicine, associate director of Student Awareness and acting senator for the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Through Pickett’s work in SA, she emphasized diversity and health programming while promoting support for the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education office and requiring on-campus leaders to participate in bystander intervention training. Through her leadership efforts, she assisted in chartering an organization on campus that supports women in STEM. Because of her work, she was selected as a DAAD Rise scholar, awarding her an internship sponsored by the German government. Pickett has represented the TU community both domestically and internationally. In 2017, she worked as a NIH/NIDA intern, studying the effects of oxytocin on maternal-fetal attachment and its relationship to child abuse. She presented her research at the national NIH/NIDA conference in Washington, D.C.
Claire Zehentner is majoring in accounting and computer information systems in the Collins College of Business. She is a member of the 2019 TU Homecoming Court. As president of the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, she has completed more than 100 hours of community service in Tulsa while managing her chapter and fostering events with other organizations on campus and in the community. She is also currently the membership chair and reporting secretary of Beta Alpha Psi, communications director of Information Technologists United and a piccolo section leader in The Sound of the Golden Hurricane marching band. Zehentner has traveled to Australia and Panama through the TU Global Scholars Program. When she traveled to Panama as a sophomore, she pitched several business expansion ideas to a small musical group, Luna Llena de Tambores, who made their U.S debut at TU Springfest. She was named a Top 10 Freshman in 2017 and has consistently been featured on the President’s Honor Roll at TU.
This year’s Top 10 freshmen are Lauren Agpoon, business management, Derby, KS;
Candelaria Alayon, mechanical engineering, Hudson, FL; Emma Dawson, music education, Branson, MO; Chloe Henderson, chemistry, High Ridge, MO; Lanie McKinney, physics and applied math, Tulsa, OK; Jayla Meeks, political science, Farmington, MI; Adam Pashley, chemical engineering, Westmoorings, Trinidad and Tobago; Lucas Pickett, electrical engineering, Overland Park, KS; Andrew Varvara, biological sciences, pre- med, San Diego, CA; Liz Williams, political science and sociology, Tulsa, OK.