Alma College seniors Chelsea Deisler of Lake Ann, Michelle Jerezano of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Michael Reeves of Lisle, Ill., are the 2014 nominees for the Barlow Trophy, Alma’s most prestigious award for a graduating senior.
Established in 1949 by Dr. Joel Barlow, a 1929 honors graduate of Alma College, the award will be announced at the Senior Dinner on April 2.
The award recognizes academic achievement for students in the top 10 percent of their class as well as contributions to campus and community. The Barlow winner is determined by a vote of Alma’s Student Congress and faculty.
Chelsea Deisler participated in numerous service projects during her four years at Alma while pursuing a degree in elementary education and early childhood development. She also served for a year on Student Congress and was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honorary and the Catholic Student Organization.
Her service experiences included involvement in Alternative Break trips to communities in South Dakota and Tennessee, where she participated in activities that focused on rural poverty, and Kentucky, where she worked for a week for Habitat for Humanity.
She also participated in service learning coursework that involved community work as part of the course requirements. She helped design an exhibit for the Mount Pleasant Children’s Museum, hosted a family night at Alma College Head Start, and prepared a community Ecuadorian dinner.
An experienced rider, Chelsea also helped form the Alma College Equestrian Team, representing Alma last year at the semifinals in Syracuse, N.Y. and at the national finals in Harrison, Penn. She is currently student teaching in a kindergarten classroom in St. Louis. A graduate of St. Francis High School in Traverse City, Chelsea is the daughter of Kris and Virginia Deisler.
Michelle Jerezano first stepped on Alma’s campus after living her entire life in Honduras. At Alma, she has served as president of both the International Club and the Alpha Mu Gamma Foreign Language Honorary. She also serves as a student tutor coordinator and Spanish teaching assistant and is a member of the Rho Chi Epsilon Business Administration Honorary.
Her desire to explore cultural differences took her to Dharamsale, India, where she volunteered with migrant communities at a local children’s daycare during summer 2011. A four-year member of Alma’s Model United Nations team, Michelle returned to India in fall 2013 to help lead the U.S. State Department-sponsored Model UN conference in New Delhi.
As president of the International Club, Michelle has promoted events that generate diversity awareness on campus. She also has participated in Alternative Break service projects on the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, and the Ronald McDonald House in Detroit. In El Paso, she developed a passion for the rights of migrant workers and led a campus awareness campaign about the discriminatory conditions often faced by migrants.
A graduate of DelCampo International School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Michelle is the daughter of Dr. Angel Ramon Jerezano and Dr. Edelmira de Jerezano.
Michael Reeves has participated in numerous extracurricular activities at Alma while pursuing a degree in elementary education. He has been active in the performing arts, campus residence life and the local community. He was voted Alma’s homecoming king in fall 2013 and served as an officer in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honorary.
His community involvement includes volunteering as head coach for the local Alma Tigers Special Olympics Basketball Program and organizing games with announcers, music and fans on Alma’s campus. He also volunteered at Hillcrest Elementary School in Alma.
In addition to working as a residence hall advisor for the past three years, Michael led campus tours and participated in panel discussions with prospective students and parents as a student admissions representative. A past member of the Kiltie Wind and Jazz ensembles, Michael has since performed and toured with the Alma College Choir during his junior and senior years.
Additional campus activities included playing one year of varsity football and three years of intramural basketball, and he has been active with Youth for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Alma College Chapel ministries. A graduate of Lisle Senior High School, Michael is the son of Mark and Laura Reeves.