June 1, 2020
The whirlwind school year for Cowley College sophomore Kendall Ray culminated in her being named the 2019-2020 Student of the Year.
Wishing to recognize the hard working students at Cowley College, this year’s annual Honors and Awards Banquet was aired through a series of videos on the Cowley College YouTube Channel and shared across social media platforms. During the Honors and Awards ceremony, a representative from each department at Cowley College honored students that excelled during the 2019-20 academic year. The video series finished with Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle’s announcement of Kendall Ray as Student of the Year. Ray, along with the school’s other Student of the Month selections, were up for the prestigious honor of Student of the Year.
“As I was listening to Dr. Rittle begin to talk about the Student of the Year having grown up around Cowley I began to tear up,” Ray said. “Being named Student of the Year was just the cherry on top to what Cowley has offered me.”
The occupational therapy major is the daughter of Todd and Deb Ray of Braman, OK. Her father, Todd, is the director of maintenance and grounds at the college, while her mother, Deb, was a cheerleader and Student Senate president while attending Cowley. Her grandmother, Carol Hobaugh-Maudlin (deceased), was a long-time instructor at the college, while Kendall’s brothers, Hunter and Parker Ray, each competed for the nationally ranked Tiger track and field team, as Kendall did as a freshman.
According to Cowley College executive director of student affairs Jason O’Toole, Kendall was a leader on campus. While admissions representative Mandi Hernandez has enjoyed the opportunity to work with Kendall.
“She is a very hard worker, a positive person, and is always willing to help in admissions with anything that we ask,” Hernandez said.
After her first year at Cowley Kendall was named to the President’s Honor Roll and was selected as a Junior Ambassador. She was recognized for her stellar work by being named the Outstanding Ambassador of the Year for the 2018-19 academic year.
At Cowley she was a member of the track and field team, was Student Senate president, was a Cowley Student ambassador, a Cowley Tutor, a member of Phi Theta Kappa and participated in Intramurals. She received the September 2019 Student of the Month Award, was a finalist for Queen Alalah, and was crowned 2020 Homecoming Queen.
“When I was named September Student of the Month I was surprised and honored,” Ray said. “Then I was named 2020 Homecoming Queen and I was at a loss for words. Then being named Student of the Year was all of those feelings plus so much more. Never in a million years did I think I would even be in a position to be nominated for such awards.”
Ray plans to transfer to Northeastern State University to complete bachelors and master’s degrees to become a traveling occupational therapist.
“My experience at Cowley has been extraordinary,” Ray said. “Cowley has allowed me to grow as a person in and out of the classroom. Cowley has introduced me to peers, mentors, and community members that have truly changed my life. Cowley has become my happy place and my home away from home. Never did I think that a college just 20 minutes from my home would give me such huge opportunities to make personal advancements. As I close my chapter at Cowley I want to thank everyone that has been instrumental in my journey thus far. Cowley College you have my heart. As always, GO TIGERS.”
*Art Club – Sarah Shields and Haley Smith.
*Business & Social Sciences – Levi Macy.
*Derek Burroughs Award – Priscilla Bianchini.
*Health and Human Services – Janica Haynie.
*DECA Club – Cole Godberson, Spencer Rahn, Randie Wingert, and Levi Macy.
*Collegiate Quiz Bowl – Amanda Glenn, Connor Lancaster, and Jacob Helzer.
*International Student Organization & Multicultural – Priscilla Bianchini and Dawson Leach.
*Multicultural Scholars Program – LyNise Jackson.
*Natural Science and Mathematics – Dawson Leach.
*Writing Center – Amanda Glenn, Dachey’ Stubbs, Caleb Vining.
*Resident Assistants – Caleb Vining and Qwynn Marquez.
*Outstanding Student Ambassadors – Dawson Leach and Audrianna Bruce.
*Ambassador of the Year – Kendall Ray.
*Trap Club – Brian Cox and Jeanie Gage.
*Visual and Performing Arts – Chello Curtis.
*Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Gamma Upsilon – Priscilla Bianchini and Childress Rittle.
*Phi Theta Kappa Beta Phi Upsilon – Adrienne Morris and Haddy Staley.
*Creative Claws – Dachey’ Stubbs and Rachel Shriner.
*Vocal Music – Sarah Flickinger and Matthew Sinnett.
*ACES – Eric Herrera.
*Act One Drama Club – Jacob Giger and Abiah Konrad.
*Humanities & Communications – Erin Sitzler.
*Campus Tutors – Ainsley Carson, Aline Miranda, Alejandra Delgado, Britton MacLaughlin, Elluan Martins Gomes, Gabe Capps, Kendall Ray, Levi Macy, Lucas Freitas, Meghan Harrison, Olivia Seiter, Skylar Darnell, and Trevor McDowell.
*Student Senate – Kendall Ray and Priscilla Bianchini.
*Student of the Month/Year – Kendall Ray, Priscilla Bianchini, Dawson Leach, Ainsley Carson, Caleb Vining, Sasha Elizondo, Hope Strader, and Kate Pani.