Three UNI graduates receive Lux Service Award

May 17, 2013

Leslie Williams, dean of students, University of Northern Iowa, 319-273-2332,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa presented three graduating students with the Lux Service Award for their service to the university. Karl Baresel, of Davenport; Darvel Givens, of Waterloo; and Theresa Luensmann, of Aspinwall, were recognized during the 2013 spring commencement ceremony as recipients of the university's most prestigious award for undergraduates.

Baresel, a German education major, acted as an academic coach, planning and implementing curriculum workshops, to help a variety of students. He served as the vice president of Finance for Vocal AmmUNItion Show Choir, chair of Golden Graduates/Homecoming activities with Connecting Alumni to Students (CATS) and as member of the German Club. Karl also served as the university's official mascot, TC Panther.

Givens, a business management major, served as president of the Black Student Union, during which the organization increased membership by 700 percent. He has been involved with Black Male Leaders Union, Ethnic Student Promoters, UNI Entrepreneurs, Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG), Campus Activities Board (CAB) and CATS. Givens said, "Leadership is service, it is a selfless thing. I just wanted to make an impact and see a better environment."

Luensmann, a biochemistry and biology major, served as a resident assistant, a summer orientation leader and career guide. She acted as a student admissions ambassador, a NISG representative, a member of Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society and several residence hall organizations. All the while, she maintained a 3.93 cumulative GPA.

A selection committee chose the Lux Service Award recipients based on nominations from UNI faculty, students and staff. Requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA, completion of at least 90 credit hours and demonstration of service to UNI during the recipient's university career.

For more information about the Lux Service Award, visit