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Published May 02, 2019
Kasandra Kister, from Riverton, was a finalist for the University of Wyoming’s highest honor as a top graduating senior.
She was among 11 students nominated for the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri and Tobin Memorial Award, which recognizes the most outstanding graduates from the 2018-19 undergraduate class.
The award is based on academic excellence and achievement, service to the university, participation and leadership in the community and campus activities, and citizenship qualities.
Jess Fahlsing, from Rock Springs, and Dylan Rust, of Green River, were the recipients of the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri and Tobin Memorial Award. The announcement was made at the Friday, April 26, luncheon at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.
Kister, who is majoring in physiology with minors in Spanish and honors, says before attending UW, she could speak only a few phrases in Spanish. After an opportunity to study in Spain through UW’s study-abroad program, she can speak Spanish fluently and uses that to help others.
“Through the study-abroad program, I spent four months in Spain, and my simple phrases transformed into full conversations,” Kister says. “This ability has connected me with people all over the world. My experiences range from Peru to Spain to here in Laramie, as well. I currently share my Spanish knowledge by volunteering for World Languages Day.”
A nominator says Kister’s kindness allows her to make a difference in the world, and it is the predominant reason she was nominated.
“Kassi Kister is, in fact, an uncommonly good person, with an uncommonly good heart,” the nominator says. “To my mind, she epitomizes who we really want our students to be, and she will go out into the world, quietly continuing to perform her everyday kindness. In doing so, she will make a difference. She already does.”
Another nominator echoed those sentiments, noting that Kister’s kindness has helped to improve UW’s chemistry department.
“There are those who go about their business unobtrusively, quietly making the world around them a better place,” says the nominator. “Kassi Kister is one such student. She has certainly contributed to the larger UW mission: Kassi has worked as a chemistry teaching assistant for three years, and her gentle, approachable manner is a boon to those around her.”