Each year, one undergraduate student from five different universities receives the Carver Spirit of Innovation and Service award.
Adriana Meneses, junior in animal sciences and industry, was the K-State student chosen to receive the award this year.
“It was a really great honor to be nominated,” Meneses said. “George Washington Carver was an inventor and always pushed himself to higher limits, so it was really cool to be a part of the award and the first annual award ceremony.”
The award is given to students who show determination and perseverance in their educational and life goals, strong academic performance in a scientific degree program, active involvement in research and professional ethics, demonstrate service to others for the betterment of diverse community, engage in arts and humanities and/or represent the first generation in a family to attend college, according to Zelia Z. Wiley’s K-State Student Edition article, “Undergraduate student Adriana Meneses receives Carver Spirit of Innovation and Service award.”
Meneses said that since she has been at K-State, she has been involved in many activities. She is the president of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and involved in Project IMPACT.
Meneses said being involved in multiple activities has helped her find one of her lifelong friends.
Shakyra Everett, senior in agricultural communications and journalism, said she became friends with Meneses after they both were involved in MANRRS. At the time, Everett was vice president of the organization under Meneses.
“With only being a sophomore last year in the president role, she really helped guide me,” Meneses said. “She helped me become more confident.”
When it comes to leadership, Everett said she believes Meneses does a great job, which is one of many reasons why she believed Meneses deserved the award.
“She walks into the room and lets her role be known and takes charge as needed,” Everett said. “She’s definitely patient with all the adults and members.”
Meneses said Terri Blackmon, interim diversity programs office coordinator and co-adviser for MANRRS, is another person who has left an impact on her.
Blackmon also said leadership is something that Meneses specializes in.
“(Meneses) has truly grown as a leader,” Blackmon said. “She has taken more initiatives to do things on her own. She is also very good at encouraging her members (of MANRRS) to take their own initiatives and bring about change.”
When Everett was vice president under Meneses in MANRRS, she said she saw the way Meneses led the group and became inspired by her leadership.
“She’s inspired me to be more of a sensitive leader,” Everett said. “Not sensitive as in soft, but when to put my foot down and how hard to put it down at the same time.”
Blackmon said she has been inspired by the way Meneses acts when she is around her.
“She’s inspired me to not be so serious all the time,” Blackmon said. “She’s always so laid-back and that’s when I think maybe I should relax more and take things with a little more ease.”
Once Meneses graduates from K-State, Everett said she believes all the different qualities Meneses possesses will help her in searching for a job and in the rest of her life.
“She’s a diverse person that can understand diversity across all aspects of life,” Everett said. “She also wants to be put in leadership roles.”
Blackmon said the qualities that Meneses possesses are exactly what future employers are looking for.
“If you talk to any employer, they’re looking for employees who can think on their own,” Blackmon said. “MANRRS has given her that opportunity.”
Meneses said she grew up in Independence, Missouri, where at a young age she knew she wanted to pursue a career involving animals and she thought K-State was the best place to get her there.
“I like the surroundings, and everyone here is very nice,” Meneses said. “It’s like another home and it’s very comforting.”