Former Pack volleyball player Wilkinson secures CSU-Pueblo Threlkeld Prize

Former Pack volleyball player Wilkinson secures CSU-Pueblo Threlkeld Prize

An award-winning volleyball player and nursing major from Colorado Springs has been named the 2013 recipient of the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

As the Threlkeld recipient, Ashley Wilkinson will receive the first diploma of the ceremony when she graduates with a bachelor's degree in nursing on Saturday, May 4 at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.

Wilkinson is the third student-athlete in the past five years to receive the honor, joining another former volleyball, Jenna Garcia (2009), and former softball student-athlete, Bonita Nuanez (2011).

Named for the late Budge Threlkeld, a former administrator and professor, the award is presented to a graduating senior who demonstrates excellence in academic and co-curricular activities as well as in service to the University and to the community. Wilkinson was selected from five finalists for the Prize, and the winner was honored at the Student Leadership and Involvement Awards dinner at CSU-Pueblo on Thursday, April 14 in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom.

To be considered for the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence, nominees must be a graduating senior (fall 2012, spring 2013, or summer 2013) who will have completed at least four semesters at CSU-Pueblo; have at least a 3.7 grade point average for the three full-time semesters prior to nomination; and relate, in writing, co-curricular activities as well as service to both the University and the community. A selection committee consisting of representatives from each college, the library, a retiree, and a professional and classified employee review the applications, then select and interview the finalists. The recipient receives a plaque and a substantial cash stipend upon graduation. Wilkinson's name also will appear on a permanent plaque.

A native of Colorado Springs and a Liberty High School graduate, Wilkinson will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing with a 4.0 grade point average. In addition to the traditional nursing coursework, Wilkinson enrolled in extra clinical hours in the emphasis of neonatal care and is seeking a nurse residency program in Neonatal Intensive Care through which she can be a preceptor for nursing students while gaining experience in the field.  She intends to pursue a master's degree in neonatal nursing to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. She was elected secretary of the Southern Colorado Association of Nursing Students (SCANS), helped organize the 2012 Colorado Association of Student Nurses Conference in Pueblo as well as a bone marrow drive for Genny's Hope Foundation, and served as site coordinator for the annual KOAA5 Health Fair.  
For her achievements as a middle blocker for the CSU-Pueblo volleyball team, she was named the Jessie Banks Award recepient as the University's top female student-athlete in 2012. 
She also traveled to Haiti this March as a participant of the World Wide Village Medical Mission.

"I have a passion for traveling and volunteering, and I want to be able to travel to underdeveloped countries in order to teach neonatal care," Wilkinson said. "I find it incredible that we can give an opportunity for a full life to a baby born with hardly a chance."