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The Buzz: Student Edition

To no one’s surprise, our amazing students are doing amazing things and we want to share it with you! 

Horizons Spring 2023 Home

University News - Spring 2023

June 13, 2023 | Georgia Seagraves

From NAIA and Heart of America Athletic Conference awards to excellent leadership in Graceland Student Government (GSG) and House President (HP) roles, Graceland students are taking “the Hill” — and even other parts of the world — by storm.


Talia MartinezTalia Martinez

HOMETOWN: San Jacinto, California
MAJOR: Master of Science in Nutrition & Human Performance

Talia Martinez, who graduated from Graceland with her Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance (MSNHP) in 2022, collaborated with Assistant Professor of Health and Movement Science Melanie Mason, DAT, LAT, ATC, CES, PRES, and Assistant Professor of Allied Health James Geiselman, DC, to publish a review paper in the Nutritional Foundations journal. The paper, titled “Weight Loss Using a Ketogenic Diet for Adults with Type II Diabetes” was part of her thesis project in the MSNHP program. It reviews the differences in weight loss between very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets and diets using normal, smaller reductions in fat intake in adults with Type II Diabetes. Martinez is the first graduate of the new MSNHP program and is setting a tone of excellence.


Peyton AndersonPeyton Anderson

HOMETOWN: Lee’s Summit, Missouri
MAJOR: Economics
MINORS: Data Science, Sport Management
HOUSE: Cheville
INVOLVEMENTS: HP (2022-23), Track & Field, GSG (2023-24)

Out of 11,000 NAIA scholar-athletes, Peyton Anderson received the distinguished A.O. Duer Scholarship Award for the 2021-22 season at the NAIA National Convention held in New Orleans in April 2023. Anderson displays leadership both in sports and academics, and many who nominated him echo the strong character, work ethic, and leadership he has shown in his time at Graceland. This combination of characteristics and respect from his peers allowed Anderson to serve as Cheville House President this past year and be elected to represent the entire student body as Graceland Student Government President for the 2023-24 school year.


Delaney FoxDelaney Fox

HOMETOWN: Lee’s Summit, Missouri
MAJOR: Art Education
HOUSE: Hanthorne
INVOLVEMENTS: HP (2022-23), GSG (2023-24), Enactus, Drumline

Delaney Fox can be seen in all aspects of Graceland’s social life, and after serving as an HP, she has been elected COSA President for the 2023-24 school year. She had not planned on doing anything her senior year, but said, “This year, I have grown so much and been able to create so many relationships with the other house presidents and girls on my house … as I thought about my Graceland Experience and how much fun I had participating in COSA events, it inspired me to create those experiences for others.”


Gerald MonroeGerald Monroe

HOMETOWN: Glenn Heights, Texas
MAJOR: Communications
HOUSE: Orion
INVOLVEMENTS: Football, Intramurals Freshman

Gerald Monroe was named the Heart North Football All-Conference; Co-Offensive Player of the Year. He recorded 93 receptions for 1,518 yards and 16 receiving touchdowns during his debut season with the Yellowjackets. This set a new record for the highest number of receiving yards in a single season by a player in the conference’s history. At the spring Association of Student Athletes awards, Monroe received fall male athlete of the year, freshman athlete of the year, and co-overall male athlete of the year.


Daniel DennisDaniel Dennis

HOMETOWN: Lee’s Summit, Missouri
MAJOR: Biology
MINORS: Music, Chemistry
HOUSE: Cheville (2022-23), Faunce (2023-24)
INVOLVEMENTS: Soccer, Campus Ministries, HP 2023-24

Danny Dennis is a highly involved student and can be seen on the soccer field, playing instruments for Campus Ministries’ Afterglow worship service, and even as one of the hosts of the new Instagram series, “Questions with COSA.” In a light-hearted interview style, Dennis travels across campus with a miniature microphone asking students, faculty, and staff goofy questions about food, Graceland, and life.


Eden CliftonEden Clifton

HOMETOWN: Arlington, Texas
MAJOR: Nursing
HOUSE: Solah
INVOLVEMENTS: Outdoor Track & Field

The Heart of America Athletic Conference announced Eden as the Heart Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week on March 27. Clifton earned three first-place finishes at the Viking Invitational, winning the women’s 100-meter dash in a time of 12.26, the women’s 200-meter dash in a time of 25.89, and helped lead the Yellowjackets 4×100-meter relay team to a first-place finish time of 52.85. At the spring Association of Student Athletes award ceremony, Clifton received the Track Newcomer of the Year award, a testament to her achievements. She closed out the season with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash at the 2023 Heart Outdoor Track & Field Conference Championship.


Cydney StablesCydney Stables

HOMETOWN: Gaston, Oregon
MAJORS: Agricultural Business, Communications, Sustainability
HOUSE: Solah
INVOLVEMENTS: Basketball, Golf, Agricultural Business Club

At just 17 years old, Cydney Stables started her own business “Flowers by Cydney,” and in October 2022, she she was one of four people in the nation honored at the Future Farmers of America (FFA) national competition for the Agricultural Proficiency Award in Agricultural Sales – Entrepreneurship based on the portfolio she submitted outlining her business. Most recently, Stables created floral arrangements for the C.H. Sandage School of Business Dinner & Auction event in April.


Konnor ChaseKonnor Chase

HOMETOWN: Adel, Iowa
MAJOR: Music
HOUSE: Agape
INVOLVEMENTS: Choir, Harmonium, House Chaplain

Konnor Chase’s summer will be a whirlwind of travel and music. In May, he joined the Graceland Choirs for the 2023 Koonce Family Honorary Choir Tour all the way out to the West Coast and back — seven stops in 14 days. In June, he is traveling to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy for La Musica Lirica, a prestigious five-week summer opera training program he was accepted into. Along with weekly solo performances, Chase will perform in three operas and receive professional voice lessons and master classes. He is also an active member of the Agape House Council and serves as their Chaplain.


Spyridon KalentzisSpyridon Kalentzis

HOMETOWN: Corfu, Greece
MAJOR: Allied Health
HOUSE: Orion
INVOLVEMENTS: Football, Track & Field

Freshman Spyridon Kalentzis has been rowing competitively since 2012 and has been in too many competitions to count. In February, Kalentzis traveled to Toronto, Canada, to participate in the 2023 World Rowing Indoor Championship. Representing Greece, his team, “International Men of Mystery,” won first place in the the men’s 2,000-meter race. With an impressive time of five minutes and 10.7 seconds, the team of four took home the gold.


Tumisang LeshoeliTumisang Leshoeli

HOMETOWN: Johannesburg, South Africa
MAJOR: Graphic Design
HOUSE: Khiyah (2022-23), Amici (2023-24)
INVOLVEMENTS: Soccer, HP 2023-24

Since Tumisang Leshoeli first arrived, her joy, sincerity, and leadership reverberated throughout campus. This spring, she was elected as Amici House President for the 2023-24 school year. “Leaving my country and coming here, I knew I would experience culture shock. So, I wanted to have an open mind and be open to all the people I would meet. I think it was this mindset that allowed me to connect with others and will help me be a successful HP next year,” said Leshoeli. Some of Leshoeli’s art projects, inspired by her South African culture, were recently highlighted on the Graceland Art Program’s Instagram account.


Michael MillslagleMichael Millslagle

HOMETOWN: Lamoni, Iowa
MAJOR: Business Management
MINOR: Economics
HOUSE: Closson

At the 58th annual men’s indoor track & field national meet in March, Michael Millslagle secured his name in Graceland history by becoming the first high jumper to hold the men’s individual national title in program history. Millslagle finished second at nationals during his sophomore campaign and has been on a record-breaking tear ever since. In the past 12 months, he has broken the Graceland men’s indoor record, set multiple facility records, and become an international champion at the International University Sports Federation America Games held in Merida, Mexico. Millslagle also received male co-athlete of the year from the Association of Student Athletes. He finished the season claiming the top spot in high jump at the 2023 Heart Conference Championship, followed by a seventh-place finish in high jump (both with a mark of 2.05 meters) at the 2023 NAIA Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Championship, which earned him All-American honors.

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