Indiana State University Newsroom

Blue Leaf recognition and more

February 19, 2015

Sycamores don’t have to be second-semester seniors to stand out. The Center for Student Success singled out three seniors, one junior, one sophomore and two freshmen for special honors during its 2015 Awards Ceremony on Feb. 3.

Throughout the ceremony, the center recognized more than 100 students for their efforts in academics, involvement with the campus, community engagement and service. Students who met or exceeded a 3.0 GPA were given awards for academic excellence while six departments or programs — LEAP, FirstSycamores, Student Support Services, 21st Century ScholarCorps, Tutorial Program, and Student-Athlete Support Services — honored a model student (or in the case of the tutorial program, two students) who served as role models for their fellow students. Seven students were honored with Blue Leaf awards for outstanding participation in student success programs.

Shelby Smith, daughter of Steve and Brenda Smith of Indianapolis, was presented a Blue Leaf Award for her achievements in the LEAP program. Smith is a 2014 graduate of Perry Meridian High School and is currently a freshman athletic training major at Indiana State University. The Center for Student Success also recognized her 3.6 overall GPA and 3.8 major GPA with an Academic Excellence Award. She attributes her success to participating in the Summer LEAP program at Indiana State in addition to the support provided by Jim Pond, Joy McCall, LeVisa Evans, and Center for Student Success Director Roberta Allen.

Leroy Richardson, the son of Lillie Richardson of Indianapolis, received a Blue Leaf Award on behalf of FirstSycamores. Richardson merited his own Blue Leaf award for actively participating in FirstSycamores and demonstrating tireless involvement in community service and campus engagement while maintaining a high GPA. Richardson is a 2011 graduate of Columbia Heights Educational Campus in Washington, D.C. and is a senior psychology major. He is also pursuing a minor in women’s studies.

Tyler Pfaff, the son of Jeff and Sherri Pfaff of Lewisville, received a Blue Leaf Award for his participation, volunteer work, and academic effort with Student Support Services. He was presented the award by Debbie Huckabee, tutor coordinator and counselor for Student Support Services, and also recognized as the center’s Honor Scholar for maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher during the fall 2014 semester. Pfaff is a 2013 graduate of Tri Jr.-Sr. High School and is a sophomore accounting major.

21st Century ScholarCorps chose Kandace Slayton as its model student. A freshman nursing major from Elwood, Slayton received a Blue Leaf Award for excellence in community service and in academics. She is the daughter of Leanna Zech and John Robbins and a 2014 graduate of Elwood Community High School.

The Tutorial Program recognized two students — a tutor, Justin Applegate, for his excellence in helping other students, as well as Tawanna Sanders for her dedication to the program and to academic success.

Justin Applegate—a senior exercise science major (focusing on biomechanics) with a massage therapy minor, and Dartfish Certified Technologist from Martinsville, Ind. — was presented with a Blue Leaf Award for his outstanding service to his fellow students as a tutor in the Tutorial Program, where he helped others understand anatomy, physiology, biology, physics, and biomechanics. He is the son of Mark and Kim Applegate and is a 2012 graduate of Martinsville High School.

Tawanna Sanders received a Blue Leaf Award from the Tutorial Program. The junior human development and family studies major from Indianapolis stood out for her academic effort and determination to succeed. Sanders graduated from Pike High School in 2012 and is the daughter of Angel and David Sanders.

Demetra Camble, daughter of Cheryl Ford-Ross and Cortez Ross of Milwaukee, Wis., received accolades from Student-Athlete Support Services, where she works — and where her love of mentoring and guiding her fellow students was recognized with a Blue Leaf Award. Camble is a senior criminology and criminal justice major and a 2011 graduate of Riverside University High School.

Photo: - Blue Leaf Award winners pose together at the 2015 Center for Student Success Awards Ceremony.

Contact: Roberta Allen, Director, Center for Student Success, 812-237-2700 or

Writer: Kristen Kilker, media relations assistant, 812-237-3773 or