MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees presented its annual student achievement awards to Layla Khoury-Hanold of Kingsford, Kyle Ortiz of Chicago, Ill., Christine Robinson of Marquette, and Brian Thanasiu of Charlevoix. The honors preceded Northern’s May 1 commencement ceremony.

Khoury-Hanold received the outstanding achievement award among female graduating seniors. She traveled extensively throughout her childhood, beginning almost immediately after her birth in Iron Mountain. Her family moved to Minneapolis, then journeyed abroad for several years with stays in Congo and Tunisia, Africa; Paris, France; Aberdeen, Scotland; and Jakarta, Indonesia. Khoury-Hanold eventually came full circle, returning to Kingsford in MichiganÂ’s Upper Peninsula at the age of 15.

She has been involved in a long list of activities at NMU. In her junior year, she became the assistant coordinator of the campus Volunteer Center. Khoury-Hanold will graduate with a double major in marketing and French – a combination that will help with her future goal of moving to Paris to study fashion marketing.

The board presented Ortiz with the male graduating senior outstanding achievement award. He also was selected as the student commencement speaker. Ortiz will earn a bachelorÂ’s degree in social science with a political science emphasis. He spent his last year serving president of the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University, or ASNMU.

In addition to his visible leadership role, Ortiz was commended for impacting people on a more personal level through his volunteer work in the Marquette community. His volunteer activities have included tutoring students and coaching a little league baseball team.

Robinson received the non-traditional student achievement award. She is chair of the board of directors for the North Wind student newspaper; a member of the Association of Non-Traditional Students; and former member of the Economic Student Association and the Sawyer Community Planning Project.

Robinson is a past recipient of the following scholarships: Peter White, NMU Board of Trustees, ATHENA Lifetime, and Zonta International. The NMU College of Business faculty chose her as one of its three outstanding graduating seniors. Robinson will graduate with a bachelorÂ’s degree in finance, which she completed in three years.

The NMU board also presented a student achievement award to Thanasiu, who was praised for his desire to volunteer and make a difference on campus and in the Marquette Community. While many students were enjoying fun in the sun during spring break in March, Thanasiu was donating his bone marrow to a woman who needed a transplant.

He has also been involved with Alpha Phi Omega and the NMU Student Leader Fellowship Program, among other activities. Thanasiu will graduate May 1 with a bachelorÂ’s degree in environmental science. He plans to attend Vermont Law School in the fall.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director