Of all the outstanding students at Butler University, seniors Matthew Miller and Carla Black were recently announced as the 2012 Most Outstanding Man and Woman.
Now in its 51st year, the Outstanding Student Recognition Program honors juniors and seniors who are nominated by faculty and staff on campus. The Most Outstanding Man and Woman, the Top 10 and the Top 100 students are recognized.
“There were more than 700 students nominated this year, which is amazing,” said Meghan Haggerty, associate director of student affairs.
“We actually had 101 award-winning students this year because we had a tie.”
Black, a senior music and Spanish major, said she is honored and humbled to be the Most Outstanding Woman.
“(Butler) is what has shaped me into who I’ve become,” she said. “I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t come to Butler. I owe so much to all the professors I’ve worked with.”
Black said she will be attending medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington after graduation.
She said she hopes to use her liberal arts education and open-mindedness she has learned at Butler to make patients feel like individuals, not just patients.
Miller could not be reached for comment by press time.
After being nominated, students have the option of filling out an application to continue the process. Haggerty said about 350 students filled out the application this year.
These applications are reviewed by two committees, both of which are made up of faculty and staff and two Top 100 or Most Outstanding alumni per committee.
The first committee ranks the applications according to a rubric and narrows the field to 100—or 101, in this year’s case.
The Top 100 are then notified to gather letters of recommendation for the Top 10 process.
A second committee of new faculty and staff then review the applications and letters of recommendation and narrow the choices to the Most Outstanding Man and Woman and the Top 10.
The Most Outstanding Man and Woman aren’t notified until the 2012 Outstanding Student Banquet, held at the Ritz Charles in Carmel.
Haggerty said for the 50th anniversary of the program last year, the program began filming short interviews of the students’ recommenders and playing them at the banquet.
“It’s neat to get that personal effect and that recommendation from someone who has worked so closely with (the student),” she said.
“You can just tell (the recommenders) are so proud to be able to speak on behalf of someone they’ve really enjoyed as a student.”