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Ratzlaff, Van Zelfden Named Young Kansans


By Hutchinson Community College


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Two outstanding Hutchinson Community College students were recognized as the 2024 Young Kansan Award winners at a ceremony on campus on May 1. The students will also be honored during the College’s commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 3.

Megan Ratzlaff (Buhler) and Ellie Van Zelfden (Valley Center) were selected from a field of students nominated for the honor.  The Young Kansan award recognizes two outstanding graduates each year at Hutchinson Community College, and is chosen by a vote of the faculty and administration at the college.

The award is sponsored by RCB Bank.  Each winner received a plaque and a cash honorarium in recognition of their achievements.

Megan has served in officer positions for the Phi Theta Kappa Kappa Gamma Chapter as well as the Hutchinson Community College’s Honors Program’s Honors Student Council and Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). Megan is one of 459 community college students nationwide who were named semi-finalists in the 2024 Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship competition. She is the only student listed for the state of Kansas who will advance to the finalist round. In addition to this, she is one of 150 community college students nationwide who were named to the 2024 Coca-Cola Academic Team. After graduation, Megan will attend Sterling College majoring in Political Science & History.

Ellie is a tutor for Rimmer Learning Resource Center. From one of her nominators: “She is responsible, caring, and willing to go the extra mile for anyone who comes in for help. Every time I see her in a conversation on campus she is engaged and truly sees value in the person.

Ellie is an outstanding young Kansan who has an amazing future ahead of her.” Ellie is also a member of the HutchCC track team. After graduation, she plans to attend Fort Hays State University.