Jess Chouteau Outstanding Senior

About the Jess Chouteau Outstanding Senior Award


The Jess Chouteau Outstanding Senior Award recognizes TU seniors who demonstrate exceptional achievement in both academic and service endeavors. The Jess Chouteau Outstanding Senior Award is bestowed upon no more than ten seniors each year. Winners are selected by alumni of The University of Tulsa and are recognized at Homecoming each year. To apply for the Jess Chouteau Outstanding Senior Award, visit www.TUAlumni.com/outstandingsenior. For more on Homecoming, visit www.TUAlumni.com/Homecoming


2016 Jess Chouteau Outstanding Seniors


Jeremiah Benes
is a computer science and Spanish double major in the College of Engineering & Natural Sciences and the Kendall College of Arts & Sciences. He is president of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity and is involved with Future Alumni Council, Mortar Board Honor Society, Global Scholars, TU Student Association, Math Association, and Engineers Without Borders. Benes is a Phillips 66 SHIELD Scholar and recipient of the TU Vision Scholarship. He has been named to the President’s List and Dean’s List and is a member of Order of Omega, Mortar Board, and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. He has had several internships with the U.S. Government. He is a reading partner volunteer at Kendall-Whittier Elementary and has participated in other community activities assisting nonprofits with their technology. While at TU, he continued operating his website design and technology consulting service, working with many local Tulsa businesses. After graduation, he plans to continue his education at TU by earning a master’s degree in computer science through the Cyber Corps program.

Whitney Cipolla is majoring in English and women and gender studies in the Kendall College of Arts & Sciences. She is the Vice President of the TU Student Association and President of the Student Senate. Cipolla has been in leadership positions in many organizations such as Kappa Delta sorority, the Society for Gender Equality, Panhellenic Council and TU University Ambassadors. She is a founding member of the Student Alliance for Violence Education and executive director of Order of Omega’s Greek Week. Cipolla has been named to the President’s Honor Roll every semester she has attended TU and has received many awards including the James C. and Nieta M. Pinkerton Endowment Grant and the national Corre Anding Stegall Collegiate Leadership Award. She has been a classroom volunteer at Tulsa’s Little Light House, a reading partner at Kendall-Whittier Elementary and has served as an assistant coach for YWCA Girls on the Run. She has interned as a law clerk, participated in a study abroad trip to Accra, Ghana, and earned certifications as a Safe Zone Trainer and a Bystander Intervention Trainer. She plans to join the Tulsa Corps of Teach for America and carry on a family tradition as a fifth generation teacher before attending law school.

Carter Krafft is a chemical engineering major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Kappa Sigma fraternity, Order of Omega and TU University Ambassadors. He led the HydroSense EPA P3 project and serves as a TU Orientation Leader. Krafft is a Tulsa Undergraduate Research Scholar and member of Mortar Board, the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, the Omega Chi Epsilon chemical engineering society and Future Alumni Council. He has been named to the TU President’s Honor Roll and received many awards such as the AlChE Tulsa Chapter Scholarship and the Cherokee Nation Undergraduate Scholarship. Krafft has tutored students in math and science at Will Rogers High School and also volunteered at Tulsa’s Little Light House, Habitat for Humanity and the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. After graduation, he plans to launch his career as a professional engineer and obtain his Professional Engineer License.

Kaitlin Mar is a biology, pre-med major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences and a member of the TU Spirit Squad’s POM team. She is active in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, the Student Health Advocates Association, Future Alumni Council, TU University Ambassadors, Phi Eta Sigma, Tri-Beta, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Mortar Board and Scroll Society. Mar is a member of the TU Honors Program and has conducted research in Professor Mohamed Fakhr’s microbiology laboratory. She has been named to the President’s Honor Roll and the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She is a harpist in TU’s Chamber Music Group and has studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mar is a children’s dance instructor and has volunteered for the Hospitality House of Tulsa and the Court Appointed Special Advocates organization. As a member of Global Brigades, she helped establish a student-run medical clinic in Juan Diaz, Panama. She plans to attend medical school and volunteer in clinics to treat local, underserved populations.

Natalie Santa-Pinter is a biochemistry major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. She is founder of STEM2 (Student Team Engaging Minorities in STEM) and a member of Engineers Without Borders, TU University Ambassadors, and VP of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the National Health Preprofessional Honor Society. She was a member of the TU women’s soccer team in 2014 and the TU women’s rowing team in 2013. She is a TU Presidential Scholar and a member of the President’s Honor Roll, Mortar Board, and both Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa national honor societies. Santa-Pinter has participated in both biochemistry and chemical engineering research through the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge, during which she has competitively presented her work at conferences all over the US. She has completed an internship at the OU-TU School of Medicine and studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, where she volunteered at a Spanish children's hospital. Furthermore, she is a peer minister for students at the St. Philip Neri Catholic Newman Center. Santa-Pinter plans to attend medical school and specialize in family medicine.

Kyla Sloan is a speech-language pathology major in the Oxley College of Health Sciences. She is a TU Orientation Leader, University Ambassador and founding executive director of Diversity and Multiculturalism in Student Association. Sloan is active in the Association of Black Collegians, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the TU Speech Language and Hearing Association. She has completed bystander intervention training as a member of the Advocacy Alliance and participates in the Tulsa Capella Chamber Singers group. She has been named to the President’s and Dean’s Honor Rolls in addition to a recipient of Music, Heritage Award, and Diversity Scholarships. Sloan studied abroad in Seville, Spain, where she served as an assistant English teacher and tutor. She was a Tulsa Oratorio Chorus intern and works as a peer advisor and exchange student programs coordinator. She is a Kendall-Whittier Elementary Reading Partner and volunteer for Oklahoma Advocates Involved in Monitoring. She has participated in TU Service Day and Tulsa’s McClain High School clothing drive. Sloan plans to attend graduate school and earn certification as a speech-language pathologist while also improving local education systems as a social activist to empower voices that have been silenced.

Meg Smith is majoring in biological science and French in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences and the Kendall College of Arts & Sciences. She is the president of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Professions Society and has served as an academic tutor for student-athletes. She participated as a speaker and poetry performer the past two years in the TEDx University of Tulsa event. Smith is a University Ambassador and Reformed University Fellowship Student Leader and has conducted research in Professor Robert Sheaff’s biochemistry laboratory. She has earned independent scientific publication in the Southwestern Naturalist along with several honors in the Stylus Student Journal of Art and Writing. Smith is a Presidential Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society and Mortar Board. She has completed an international missions internship, serving during the refugee crisis in Athens, Greece, and volunteered at St. Francis Children’s Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma, and the Little Light House. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school and specialize in family medicine or pediatrics and eventually serve in medical missions.

Kaitlin Snyder is a communication major in the Kendall College of Arts & Sciences and a TU Orientation Leader. She has helped organize TEDxUniversityofTulsa for the past two years and assisted with the National Student Advertising Competition. She has participated in TUTV broadcasts, served on the National Residence Hall Association officer team and is a current TU NOVA Fellow. Snyder is a TU University Ambassador and member of the Phi Eta Sigma national honor society. She has received the prestigious Vance & Betty Stickell Award from the American Advertising Federation and been named to the TU Dean’s List and President’s Honor Roll. She has been a PulsePoint Group summer consulting intern, a Propeller Communications public relations intern and an Oklahoma Center for the Humanities Student Fellow. Snyder has volunteered as a Kendall-Whittier Elementary Reading Partner and a tutor in the TU Office of Academic and Student Services. After graduation, she plans to work in advertising.

Emma Stewart is majoring in English and pre-law in the Kendall College of Arts & Sciences. She is a member of the TU Student Association and Delta Delta Delta sorority. She is an Oklahoma Center for the Humanities Research Fellow and vice president of the Club for English Enthusiasts. She is a member of TU University Ambassadors, Future Alumni Council, Common Sense Action and as a freshman worked in set building, costumes and lighting in the TU Department of Theatre. Stewart is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, Scroll Society, Order of Omega, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. She was named to the President’s Honor Roll and awarded a Dean’s Scholarship. She was a George Kaiser Family Foundation intern at the nonprofit Women in Recovery program and volunteered as a Kendall-Whittier Elementary Reading Partner. She is an aftercare teacher at University School and is a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. She has studied abroad in Valencia, Spain, where she worked with disabled youth in the Valencia community and taught English to children at Casa Ronald McDonald. After graduation, she plans to attend law school.

Timothy Witham is a geoscience major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. He is a TU Orientation Leader and member of GeoClub, Kappa Alpha Order, Catholic Newman Center, TU University Ambassadors and Sigma Eta Phi honor society. He has received the Tulsa Geological Society’s award for most “Outstanding Geoscience Student” and been named the Interfraternity Council’s Greek Philanthropist of the Year. He is a recipient of the PJ & GF McMahon Engineering Scholarship and a Heritage Award Scholarship. Witham has interned at Netherland and Sewell and Associates, Inc., and TransSolutions. He has studied abroad in Natal, Brazil, through the “Descobrindo a Terra” geophysics program and volunteered at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Tulsa office, Kendall-Whittier Elementary School, Nathan Hale High School and the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. He plans to attend graduate school.