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Emporia State University announces 2012 Outstanding Recent Graduates

October 8, 2012

Emporia State University is honoring three alumni who have launched distinguished careers soon after receiving their diplomas. Outstanding Recent Graduate awards will be presented during Emporia State’s 2012 Homecoming celebration to Leah Childers of Pittsburg, Cory M. Haag of Emporia and Howard West of Boston, Mass.

The award recognizes career achievements, community service, and dedication to Emporia State. The university’s undergraduate colleges and schools annually select the award recipients.

“We’re proud to recognize this year's class of Outstanding Recent Graduates,” said Tyler Curtis, executive director of alumni relations.

“They make us proud to count them among the almost 60,000 alumni of our institution,” said Curtis.

The trio will be recognized by Emporia State’s Alumni Association at the Alumni Awards Dinner beginning with a 5:30 p.m. reception Friday, Oct. 12 in the Memorial Union’s Webb Hall. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call 620-341-5440 or email

About the honorees

Leah Childers, Ph.D., (BSE-Mathematics 2003, MS-Mathematics 2005) is in her second year as a mathematician and assistant professor at Pittsburg State University. As a relatively new faculty member there, she has already been active in encouraging students, particularly young women, to pursue further study in mathematics and mathematics-related fields. While at Emporia State, Childers was active in a variety of organizations including Kappa Mu Epsilon, the math honor society, and Expanding Your Horizons, a program to motivate young women in science and math. She was the 2003 Outstanding Senior at Emporia State. She was recently elected as secretary of the Kansas section of the Mathematical Association of America.

Cory M. Haag (BSB-Business Management 2002) is Director of Operations for Haag Management, Inc., in Emporia, a family-owned business specializing in the development of college, residential and senior housing. Haag has worked to develop quality properties throughout the Emporia area. Notable examples include the 2008 development of Granada Plaza and Lofts in downtown Emporia, part of a revitalizing project that has brought new commercial businesses and residential loft apartments to the downtown area. In 2011, he oversaw the development of another downtown project, the Kellogg Plaza and Lofts across the street from Emporia State University. He continues to work with local businesses and organizations to help redevelop downtown properties and housing options around the university.

Howard West (BSB-Computer Information Systems 2005, MS-Instructional Design and Technology 2007), trains the U.S. Armed Forces, Federal Aviation Administration and law enforcement personnel on security solutions such as air traffic control and emergency communications systems. As a training specialist with Raytheon Technical Services Company, West provided support to the U.S. Air Force at Kirkuk (Iraq) Regional Air Force Base. He has also provided training for administrative personnel in New York City’s police, fire and emergency medical departments. He volunteers for The Boys and Girls Club of Boston-Dorchester, Mass., serves as a mentor to Emporia State IDT graduates seeking private-sector employment, and is a frequent speaker for IDT online webinars.



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