National Recognition Earned for UMKC Mortar Board

Photo credit:  Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Will Self and Andrew Wrisinger Honored for Their Roles

Why are members of an organization, a student and a faculty advisor celebrating? The answer lies in the recently-held Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society’s annual conference.

First, the UMKC Mortar Board chapter won its first-ever Golden Torch Award, which is given to only the top five percent of chapters nationally.

“Receiving this recognition means a lot to our chapter. Mortar Board has been on an upward growth trajectory since its ‘reboot’ on campus about four years ago,” said Andrew Wrisinger, president of the UMKC chapter and a senior in the Bloch School of Management.

“In the last two years, we have reached a scale and stability that has allowed us to pursue more ambitious internal and external projects and to focus more on our membership. This award signals that we have been successful in these efforts and that our national organization has recognized these improvements,” said Wrisinger.

According to the organization, the Golden Torch Award is awarded for “superior exemplification of the ideals of our Society through exceptional chapter operations and service to the alma mater.” Chapters must excel at the three values of Mortar Board: scholarship, leadership and service.

Wrisinger and Will Self, Bloch assistant professor of leadership and organizational behavior, are responsible for adding to the impressive national recognition.

Wrisinger was elected to a seat on the National Governing Council, the highest student position in the organization, and Self received the National Excellence in Advising Award.

As a newly-elected council member, Wrisinger will serve a two-year term, beginning in August 2014. He will assist in guiding the long-term future of Mortar Board.

“In particular, I hope to bring new, state-of-the-art methods for cultivating member retention and tracking to the national level,” said Wrisinger. “We have been piloting predictive modeling technologies at UMKC for using data to identify which applicants will be the most successful members later and for predicting which members may become less engaged or exit the organization over time.”

As an advisor for only two years, Self was one of three advisors to win the award out of the 230 chapters nationally. In order to receive the honor, a nomination is needed by the local chapter and is awarded by a national committee.

“This award meant so much to me because of how much I respect and admire our students. The fact that they started the nomination process means everything to me,” said Self. “Through this experience, I have been able to meet amazing, dedicated advisors from across the country who have been working with their chapters for decades. I am inspired to continue my work with the organization and humbled to see what our students can accomplish with the right resources and support.”

For the UMKC chapter, Wrisinger and Self have a common goal: to keep improving, growing and having a larger impact on the school and local communities.

“We already have big projects planned for this coming year, so keep an eye out for us on campus.”

Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for their collegiate achievements in scholarship, leadership and service. The organization provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community.

|Wandra Brooks Green, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

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