Skip to main content

ESU Honors 3 Recent Graduates

The Emporia State University Alumni Association will turn to virtual tools to honor three alumni who graduated within the past decade. The 2020 Outstanding Recent Graduate honorees are flourishing in their jobs, both in the Great Plains region and halfway around the world in the country of Georgia.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, and The Teachers College each select an outstanding recent graduate recipient from nominees who have earned degrees from ESU within the last 10 years. Decisions are made on the basis of several criteria, including contribution to society, professional distinction, civic leadership, and service to the university.

Normally, the three Outstanding Recent Graduates are honored during a gala on the Friday of Homecoming weekend. For 2020, they instead will be showcased through interviews via Zoom.

The three 2020 honorees and the dates and times of their interviews are:

  • Elizabeth Hagenmaier of Lenexa, 7 p.m. Oct. 1;
  • Miranda Manjgaladze of Georgia in eastern Europe, 10 a.m. Sept. 30; and
  • Dr. Jessica Stallings of Omaha, 7 p.m. Oct. 8.

More information and links to register for the Zoom events are online at

Elizabeth Hagenmaier (BS 2011-Earth Science, Geospatial Analysis) of Lenexa had been a physical science aide for the Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 before she was hired full-time in October 2011 as an EPA remedial project manager.

She leads teams of technical, support staff, and stakeholders to efficiently manage large-scale Superfund sites, and has organized annual RPM training in her region for more than four years. As lead RPM for the Region Tri-State Mining District site team, Hagenmaier manages two Superfund mega-sites and three groundwater/landfill Superfund sites in Iowa. She specializes in cleaning up some of the worst hazardous wastes sites in the country, including one near Picher, Oklahoma, described as one of the most-toxic towns in America. She also organizes and leads the annual RPM training for Region 7.

Hagenmaier was National Remedial Project Manager of the Year in 2019, and received a bronze medal in 2018 for science achievement, a gold medal National Honor Award in 2016 for Exceptional Services Team, and a Regional Excellence Spirit Individual Award in 2016.

Miranda Manjgaladze (BSB 2008-International Business, Business Administration; MBA 2010-Business Administration) came to ESU after graduating with honors from Olpe High School, as a result of participating in the Future Leaders' Exchange Program. She had joined FLEX at the age of 16 and had come to the United States from Georgia, an Eastern European country bordered on the north by Russia and on the south by Turkey and Armenia. Through diligence and a few scholarships, she graduated from bachelor's and master's programs with a 4.0 GPA.

Now, home again in Georgia, Manjgaladze is managing director for a chain of convenience stores, Spar Georgia, and is responsible for more than 200 stores with over 3,000 employees. She previously had been chief executive officer of State Catering Services, and managed more than 50 dining facilities with 1,300 employees providing more than 10,000 meals daily. Manjgaladze carried that company's name into the international arena by providing innovative catering services for international NATO military exercise participants.

Manjgaladze holds a Project Management Professional certificate. Her strengths include planning projects, demonstrating empathy, and resolving problems for the benefit of employees and customers alike.

Dr. Jessica Stallings (MS 2005-Art Therapy; MS 2011-Mental Health Counseling) is a licensed counselor and board-certified art therapist at the Center for Mindful Living in Omaha. In addition to her degrees from ESU, she holds a doctorate in art therapy, a specialist certification from the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training at the University of Kansas, and an interdisciplinary certificate in developmental disabilities. Stallings also is a lecturer at Emporia State.

She won the American Art Therapy Association's annual research award for her doctoral research in 2018 and is a nationally recognized expert on autism spectrum disorders and art therapy. She has received numerous grants, has made more than 30 peer-reviewed professional presentations, and is author or co-author of numerous books and articles, primarily on art therapy's role in treating various conditions.