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Barton Presents Student Ambassador Awards


By Barton Community College


GREAT BEND, Kan. — Barton Community College has announced its 2023-24 Brant J. Ballhorst Student Ambassadors of the Year. Named in memory of Brant J. Ballhorst, the award recognizes two outstanding Student Ambassadors each year. The winners this year were Wyatt Trombley of Dodge City and Bradley Beck of Great Bend.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the award. The Admissions office also named Emma Hickel of Claflin as the recipient of this year’s “The Rock” award, which is presented to students who go above and beyond the call of duty in assisting the Admissions office. The award recipients were chosen by their peers and Barton’s Admissions staff.

Ambassador of the Year: Wyatt Trombley

Trombley is a sophomore and was involved in Student Ambassadors. He plans to transfer to Fort Hays State University in the fall and get his bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, and marketing. He is the son of James and Cindy Trombley.

Ambassador of the Year: Bradley Beck

Beck is a sophomore and was involved in Student Ambassadors and the Sports Medicine Program. He plans to transfer to Kansas State University in the fall to get his master’s degree in athletic training. He is the son of Randy and Daphne Beck.

The Rock Award: Emma Hickel

Hickel is a freshman and was involved in Student Ambassadors. She plans to finish Barton in the fall and transfer to Fort Hays State University in the spring to study business. She is the daughter of Kyle Hickel and Angie and Jeremy Liebl.

About Brant J. Ballhorst and the award

From Smith Center, Ballhorst was a 2002 Barton graduate and former Student Ambassador. Despite health concerns throughout his time at Barton, he was the model Ambassador. He balanced a challenging course schedule and golf team commitment while remaining dedicated to his role as a Student Ambassador. Ballhorst was a respected peer and cherished friend of many on campus, especially the Admissions Office. His determination and dedication touched the lives of everyone he met.

He graduated from Barton with a degree in pre-pharmacy and attended the School of Pharmacy at the University of Kansas. He was a student at KU until his death on Aug. 5, 2004. He always had a positive attitude about his illness and joked that it was a good education for his major. He was the son of John and Gayle Ballhorst of Smith Center.

Barton will continue to honor Ballhorst’s achievements, character, personality, and work ethic by awarding future Ambassadors of the Year in his memory. A permanent plaque dedicated in his honor is displayed in the corridor of the Kirkman Activity Center on Barton’s campus.

For more information, contact Director of Admissions Tana Cooper at [email protected] or (620) 792-9241.