CSU–Pueblo honors Schoch with Threlkeld Prize as top senior

Colorado State University - Pueblo announced this week that graduating senior Brandon Schoch of Pueblo is the 2007 recipient of the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence. Named for the late Budge Threlkeld, a former administrator and professor, the award is presented to a graduating senior who demonstrates excellence in academic and co-curricular activities as well as in service to the University and to the community. Three outstanding students were selected as candidates for the Prize, and the winner was honored at the Achievement Day luncheon at CSU-Pueblo on Sunday, April 15 in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom.

To be considered for the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence, nominees must be a graduating senior (fall 2006, spring 2007or summer 2007) who will have completed at least four semesters at CSU-Pueblo; have at least a 3.7 grade point average for the three full-time semesters prior to nomination; and relate, in writing, co-curricular activities as well as service to both the University and the community. A selection committee consisting of representatives from each college, the library, a retiree, and a classified employee review the applications, then select and interview the finalists.

The recipient receives a plaque and a substantial cash stipend upon graduation. Schoch’s name also will appear on a permanent plaque located in the Occhiato University Center.

Schoch will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology (criminology) with a minor in psychology on Saturday, May 5 with a 3.978 graduate point average. Ten individuals nominated Schoch for the honor. Among his campus awards, Schoch has been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies, earned a first place awards in CSU-pueblo writing contest and the Students in Free Enterprise Ethics Bowl.

Raised in England, Schoch came to the United States in 1998 and subsequently served this country in the U.S. Navy, where he was honorably discharged following service as an Information Technology Specialist for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He one day hopes to serve the Pueblo community as a police officer, pursue graduate studies, and eventually work for the Department of Homeland Security or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The idea of serving the community and ensuring the safety of my family and my country has always struck me as the greatest privilege an individual can have,” Schoch said.

To better serve veterans on campus, he founded and served as President of CSU-Pueblo’s Veteran’s Fraternity, Beta Sigma Iota Alpha. He also co-founded the Pueblo Criminology Club, and served as Election Commissioner for the ASG 2007 elections. He also has served the community by coordinating volunteers for the 8th annual POSADA Homeless Veterans Stand-down, organizing the planting of flags at the Roselawn Cemetery for fallen veterans, supporting getting the Stolen Valor Act made into law, and organizing a fundraiser for the spouse of a fallen soldier to assist with her day-care expenses.

He also directed a variety of activities from organizing the first annual CSU-Pueblo USO-Style dance, a fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina relief, a memorial ceremony for victims of 9-11, and Constitution Day activities.

He has accomplished all this while being a devoted husband and father. He and his wife, Stacey, also a CSU-Pueblo student, have three children.

Two other students were nominated for the award:

Shylo Dennison, Rye, will graduate on May 5 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Health Promotion and a 4.0 grade point average. She will seek a master’s degree in community health and career that allows her to teach people how to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles. She hopes one day to open a wellness center of her own. She is certified in CPR as well as a peer educator and a smoking cessation facilitator.
On campus, she has been involved in the Tackling Life’s Choices student organization, teaching smoking cessation classes and planning activities to increase awareness of healthy life choices. She also has served on the Student Health Advisory Committee. She is involved in the community through Home United Methodist Church, where she has planned mission trips, hospitality for the church, fundraising and outreach activities.

Carmen Flores, Colorado Springs, will graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She will pursue a master’s degree in social work at New Mexico Highlands and hopes to help children and their parents lead more successful lives. Flores was a non-traditional student who attended Pikes Peak Community College before transferring to CSU-Pueblo. She has served as president of both the Student Social Work Association and the Phi Alpha Honor Society.
She has been active in the community through her internship with the Department of Social Services and volunteer activities at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and with Family Readiness Group for military spouses. A bi-lingual student, she developed religious education classes for Spanish-speaking students and helped tutor students both in English and Spanish. 

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.