Student Spotlight

Throughout the academic year, the Donnelly College community nominates students who exemplify the college's values of Truth, Excellence and Community. Nominations are sent to the office of the Dean and one student is selected each month to be featured as the Student Spotlight. The student who is selected will have his or her photo displayed outside the Academic and Student Affairs office on the second floor and they will also receive a gift card. 

Spring 2020 Recipients 

Donnelly student Liliana Rodriguez

Yazmin Bruno-Valdez

Associate of Arts
Nominated by: Mary Pflanz

Yazmin demonstrates academic excellence in her course work here at Donnelly. Her presentation at the Student Expo in February showcases her work with girls’ education. Yazmin promotes Donnelly values within the community as well. In her work with the Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance, she helps DACA students with their questions and concerns. She also volunteers at Bishop Sullivan. I highly recommend Yazmin as a Student Spotlight recipient.

Fall 2019 Recipients 

Headshot photo of Jose Marquez

Yareli Castor

Associate of Arts
Nominated by: Lisa Stoothoff

Yareli is the epitome of an involved, active college student. She belongs to many clubs and organizations here on campus including the Pro-Life Club and the Running Club. She is involved in Student Senate and is always available to promote Donnelly to future and current students. When I see a student like Yareli on campus, I just want to clone her because she embodies all that we stand for at Donnelly.

Headshot photo of Victoria

Kritshna Diaz-Ibarra

Associate of Arts
Nominated by: Megan Jordan and Yvonne Telep

Kritshna was nominated for dedication and service to Donnelly College. Kritshna is a dedicated student, working with others to do her very best in her classes and to help others excel as well. She is such a joy to see walking the corridors of Donnelly College. She is enthusiastic about learning and engages with students and faculty day to day. She does beyond what is expected and required and always with a smile on her face.

Headshot photo of Vilma Palma-Perez

Liliana Rodriguez

Associate of Arts
Nominated by: Lisa Stoothoff

Lilliana has demonstrated such a strong commitment to her educational journey. She is persistent and determined to excel not just in her classes, but in all her experiences. Since she has started at Donnelly College, Liliana took on leadership roles in the tutoring center and by being elected by her peers as Secretary of the Student Senate. Liliana "Lily" is wise beyond her years and is most deserving of this incredible honor and recognition. When you award Lily, you are awarding not just her ambition, but her commitment to improving herself and her peers through her pursuit of education at Donnelly College. 

Spring 2019 Recipients 

Donnelly student Ian Suarez

Ian Suarez

Associate of Arts
Nominated by: Sister Marie Kathleen

Ian is a freshmen who got involved during his first semester at Donnelly. He co-founded the Jazz Club and performed during our Thanks & Giving Celebration. He recently became a member-at-large in Student Senate. Ian is a very positive person who sees the best in all people and in all situations. He is ready to volunteer where he can and is friendly to all he meets. He exemplifies the best of Donnelly! Ian has an interest in STEM fields and hopes to go into Engineering. 

Donnelly student Br. Martin Navarro

Br. Martin Navarro

BS, Organizational Leadership
Nominated by: Father John Melnick

He is a 'Work Study' for Campus Ministry.  He has actively led pro-life club and pro-life issues.  He has actively participated in the various academic and social discussions and workshops on campus, seeking truth.  

He is a 'Straight A' Student during his four years here and has manifested outstanding study habits.   He is involved in intra-murals for past three years and has distinguished himself as an excellent soccer player and team builder.  

He has consistently reached out to all students, promoting Donnelly Community, welcoming them and helping them to grow in a sense of self. He is active in student and campus activities (too many to list).  He has been an outstanding ambassador of Donnelly College at many events in the city and beyond.   

Br. Martin typifies everything we want to celebrate at Donnelly College.  Truth, Excellence, Community and academic achievement.

Fall 2018 Recipients

Headshot photo of Jose Marquez

Jose Marquez 

BS, Information Systems 

Nominated by: Ana Maradiaga

Jose is a hardworking student, involved in serving our community. He has been part of Student Senate for the last two years and he is president of both the Soccer and STEM clubs. He participates in as many school activities as he can and helps out. He has good useful advice for students as a panelist in the STEM Success Student Panel. He has been an example of excellence by representing Donnelly College at Kansas State University this past summer with great success. He has contributed to our college by providing great service through the IT department. Jose is a great leader and a great example of effort, hard work, perseverance and service. 

Headshot photo of Victoria

Victoria Githieya

Practical Nursing

Nominated by: Sandra Tapp

Victoria Githieya exemplifies the Donnelly values of Truth, Excellence and Community in many ways. Victoria is a young, single female with growing, rambunctious twins who decided to better her situation. She is pursuing not only an education, but a career as a nurse. Her first stepping stone is to complete the Practical Nursing program, after which she intends to continue for her degree as a Registered Nurse. She is hoping to do this with Donnelly becasue as she has said many times, Donnelly is family.

Victoria is the first to admit when she has made a mistake. She is always transparent and looking for the truth in her dealings in life. Victoria has been able to obtain excellent grades; even when challenges seemed to cause her to stumble. She has to come to me, the Director of the Nursing program, to seek advice and guidance that will allow her to grow stronger and become the nurse she wishes to be. Victoria shows her love of the community by being available to her fellow peers by answering questions and studying together.

She recently shared a story with me regarding her values and ethics. Recently, the nursing students were given the opportunity to attend a Pro-Life convention. She was very excited to attend becasue of the impact her twins had made on her life. She reports that although it's challenging, it was the best choice she ever made by having them. 

Headshot photo of Vilma Palma-Perez

Vilma Palma-Perez

Associate of Arts 

Nominated by: Yvonne Telep

Vilma came to Donnelly as part of the Gateway to College program and graduated with her high school diploma in May 2018. Her dream is to become a teacher, and she is working steadily and determinedly toward that goal. She has been working as a math tutor for the last four semesters and also runs Supported Study groups for math. 

Vilma has a knack for explaining difficult concepts to students in a way that makes sense to them. She is dedicated to her math tutees and has even been known to attend class with a student in order to better help them. 

The Tutoring Center is a more joyful, welcoming place because of Vilma's presence and demeanor. She really is a friend to everyone and a joy to work with. 

I want to add that Vilma's nomination was suggested to me by one of her fellow tutors who observes the great work she does and appreciates her. 


Need more information? Contact: 

Annie Dreher

Coordinator of Academic and Student Affairs