Newman University is excited to celebrate its annual Alumni Award recipients with a virtual ceremony at 7 p.m. April 15 via the university’s Facebook page.
The 2021 winners were originally chosen as the 2020 recipients, but due to COVID-19, the ceremony and celebration was postponed to 2021.
In lieu of an in-person event, representatives from the Newman University Alumni and Advancement offices will hand deliver the awards to each winner along with a basket filled with gourmet snacks and drinks to enjoy while watching the virtual celebration.
The annual Newman University Alumni Awards is a time-honored tradition with the purpose of honoring alumni who are striving to make a difference in their communities and beyond.
Nominations are submitted by alumni, staff and faculty and a special selection committee determines which Newman alumni will be honored each year.
The Newman University mission states that the university’s purpose is to empower graduates to transform society — and alumni do not disappoint.
The winners being honored this year are Bob ’82 and Nancy Diepenbrock, Danny Krug ’90, Nina Shaw-Woody ’13, and Mike Wescott ’82.
BEATA NETEMEYER SERVICE AWARD
Bob ’82 and Nancy Diepenbrock are living examples of service and faith. Bob graduated from Newman University with a biology degree, which he used to start his career in the K-12 education field.
He has had a stellar career in education including his roles as teacher, principal and superintendent of a school district. He is currently the executive director of the South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative. He also travels to Wichita weekly to participate in the Adorers of the Blood of Christ (ASC) choir.
Nancy spent her career in education as well. She was an English teacher at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School. She is currently retired but stays extremely active in the community. Her passion for helping the homeless leads her to volunteer, serve food and spend her personal time crocheting sleeping mats using plastic bags.
Both are ASC associates and love helping the younger generation by volunteering as international exchange student hosts.
ST. MARIA DE MATTIAS AWARD
Danny Krug ’90 earned her business administration degree from Newman University focusing on management. Today, she works for the Diocese of Wichita as director of Hispanic Ministry.
Danny is making a difference in the lives of the Wichita Hispanic community through program offerings and mission work. She organizes retreats for young people, executes a Spanish-speaking adult religious education program, is in charge of English as a second language and citizenship classes, is a resource to parishes with Spanish-speaking parishioners and helps with many other services that the diocese offers.
SPIRIT OF ACUTO AWARD
Nina Shaw-Woody ’13 has used her Master of Social Work degree to take on a leadership role as executive director and therapist of Kansas Family Advisory Network (KFAN).
Nina feels blessed to have had a wonderful childhood, but feels a calling to help those who are less fortunate, and aids them as if they were her own. Nina is a mother of eight, six of whom she adopted. Her experience with her daughters has helped her find even more success and passion for her work.
Through KFAN, Nina goes above and beyond to aid families who are at risk or who are already involved with the child welfare system. KFAN provides them with the support, education, advocacy and training they need to restore their families. Her nominator, Jae Hedrick, said, “Nina not only believes in vulnerable families in our state but personally spends hours of her weeks driving to help keep the program going.”
Nina is dedicated to the Lord, her work and the families she serves.
THE LEON A. MCNEILL ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Mike Wescott ’82 has spent the past 20 years of his career fundraising for the Diocese of Wichita.
He finds that his Newman education benefits him in more ways than one.
His Catholic education, Catholic faith and his relationships with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ are a vital part of his success.
As the Wichita Diocese director of development, Mike helped create the Saint Katharine Drexel Fund, which supports low-income schools in the Diocese and has grown to offer more than $2.4 million in support in any given year. He also created the Support for Catholic Schools, which allows donors to contribute to low-income students’ cost of education. He also proudly helped raise funds for the St. Joseph House of Formation.
Mike’s nominator, J.V. Johnston, said, “Monsignor McNeil would be very proud of the work Mike has done to support Catholic schools, especially schools with many low-income families.”