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Nichols and Riley named Barton Outstanding Graduates #GoBarton #RoarCougs

2019 Barton Outstanding Graduates Kieora Nichols and Nolan Riley

Kieora Nichols and Nolan Riley were recognized Friday during the 49th commencement ceremony of Barton Community College as the College's 2019 Outstanding Graduates.

The pair were selected from a pool of nominees submitted by College staff, personnel, and faculty, with final selections made after evaluation and interview process conducted by representatives of the three areas, as well as, student representation in the process.

2019 Barton Outstanding Graduate Kieora Nichols receiving her award from Dean of Students Angie Maddy.Photo by Brandon Steinert. A member of the women's track and field team, Nichols' athletic season was cut short due to an injury but the Jacksonville, North Carolina, native kept excelling throughout her involvement on and off the track. Inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Nichols worked as a peer tutor in the Student Support Services Tutoring Center, assisted with Barton's Field Operations Day event, and engaged in multiple community service initiatives including helping with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, the Great Bend Dream Center, the Special Olympics and the Great Bend Rodeo.

Appearing in eighty-one and counting games on the baseball team, Riley also balanced a student-athlete workload and high GPA in joining Nichols as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Serving this year as Co-President of Barton chapter of the organization, the Augusta, Kansas, native participated in a variety of community service initiatives including PTK Parent's Night Out and 5K fundraisers for Campus Hope, volunteered as a Salvation Army bell ringer during the holiday season, and assisted in the Watchdog Program, which is a student and parent involvement program at a local elementary school in Great Bend.

A passion and heart for serving others, Nichols will continue her education at Kansas State University in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in social work and eventually a master's degree in social work as well.

At the completion of Barton baseball's season which continues Wednesday in Wichita, Riley's next stop will be the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith in continuing his athletic career and pursuit of a bachelor's degree in business administration.

The duo's selection also marked the third straight year members of Barton athletic teams have garnered both awards. Last season Carol Goncalves of the volleyball team and Enrique Martinez of track and field were selected for the 2018 honor following the 2017 selections of baseball's Corrigan Bartlett and Ezekiel Charles of men's basketball.