Nominations are being accepted for Wichita Difference Makers

Oct 09, 2017
Difference Makers

The 2nd annual Difference Makers Awards Banquet will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at Newman University.

Now is the time to send in your nominations. With a goal to recognize individuals and organizations for the positive impact they create for our community, Newman University and the Wichita Eagle and established the Difference Makers for Wichita Awards.

The awards will celebrate the contributions and positive influence of individuals and organizations that are making a difference for the greater Wichita community.

Newman University President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., appreciates the opportunity to partner with the Wichita Eagle and in this effort.

“We are grateful the Eagle is joining us to help draw attention to those making a real difference in our community,” Carrocci said. “The mission at Newman is to empower graduates to go out and transform society so honoring those in our community doing just that is a natural fit for us.”

Nominations are now open and the public is encouraged to submit nomination forms for deserving individuals and companies and not-for-profit organizations at

Taylor Cusick-Wetta
Taylor Cusick-Wetta, recipient of the 2017 Brian Bergkamp Student Service Award.

“Our hope is the Difference Maker Awards will become Wichita’s Heisman Trophy or Nobel Prize for recognition of community impact players,” said Newman Vice President for Advancement JV Johnston. “It’s truly a way for those on the front lines to receive well-deserved recognition.”

Winners in five specific categories will be recognized during the awards ceremony. The main Difference Maker award categories are:

  •     The Murdock Award for Business

To be awarded to an area business that is making a positive impact on our community by pioneering efforts to address a major community challenge or by implementing ideas which enhance opportunities for employees and positively impact our community, through the creativity and innovation employed.

  •     The Award for Community Leadership

To be awarded to an individual who is making a positive impact in our community through demonstrated excellence in leadership and outstanding initiative to create solutions for critical issues facing the Greater Wichita Area.

  •     The Ivonne Goldstein Award for Community Volunteer

To be awarded to an individual, who through outstanding volunteer community service and commitment, is making a measurable difference in the community.

  •     The Sr. Tarcisia Roths, ASC, Award for a Not-for-Profit Organization

To be awarded to a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that is creating a significant impact in our community.

  •     The Student Service Award

To be awarded to a high school student who by example has demonstrated a selfless and giving attitude to positively transform society.

In addition to the awards above, separate nominees will be selected for monthly Quiet Hero awards to be awarded to individuals who do not seek recognition but rather are inspired by an unwavering commitment to the day-to-day service of others to make a positive difference in our community. These honorees will be recognized prior to and during the February event.

During the Difference Makers for Wichita event, the 2018 Cardinal Newman Medal winner will also be honored.

Nick Dondlinger
Nick Dondlinger (left), recipient of the 2017 Cardinal Newman Medal stands with his wife Sarah and daughter Allison.


Individuals and organizations in the Greater Wichita region, including Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey, Cowley, Reno and Sumner Counties may be nominated. Individual nominees from all sectors – from government agencies, not-for-profit, corporations, will be accepted.

More information about each award criteria can be found at

Deadline for nominations is December 1, 2017.