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Dietz Receives Distinguished Service Award


JONESBORO – Patrick Dietz of Searcy is one of eight outstanding students who received a 2017 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) at Arkansas State University. He was honored at a recognition dinner, Thursday, April 27, at 6 p.m. at the Cooper Alumni Center.

The DSA acknowledgement comes during A-State’s Convocation of Scholars, an annual celebration of academic achievement that includes college and departmental awards and recognition events.

The Distinguished Service Award winners are recognized as the institution’s most outstanding graduates because of their leadership, scholarship and citizenship. Faculty, staff, advisers to student organizations and other members of the campus community submit nominations for these prestigious awards.

All of the nominees have provided countless hours of service to the community, their classmates, their departments and colleges and to Arkansas State University. A committee comprised of students, faculty, staff and past Wilson Award recipients makes the final selections.

Dr. Kate Krueger, associate professor of English and coordinator of the women and gender studies program, nominated Dietz. Dietz is a biology major and will graduate in May with a grade point average of 3.81. He plans to attend pharmacy school in the fall.

Dietz is a recipient of the A-State Leadership Scholarship, the Tina B. Daniels Memorial Scholarship presented by the Arkansas Board of Realtors and the Arkansas Lottery Scholarship. Among his academic achievements, he is a five-time member of the Chancellor’s List and a member of the Dean’s List. Dietz was selected as an undergraduate researcher at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute in 2014.

Dietz is a member of the A-State Student Advisory Council and is instrumental in helping to develop and implement ideas for the betterment of the campus and the students. He is also a global student leader and traveled for a week to Belize to learn about the country’s economic, political, ecological and environmental conditions.

A member of the Honors College Association, Dietz traveled to Lanjarón, Spain as part of the Honors Study Abroad program. While there, he lived in a Spanish village of 3,000 people for a semester learning Spanish special topics, Spanish literature, political philosophy and the Spanish language.

As an undergraduate researcher in 2014, he worked under the supervision of Dr. Argelia Lorence, professor of metabolic engineering, carrying out plant tissue culture. He planted, harvested and cataloged seeds of rice plants and collected and weighed plant tissues and root systems. He also helped to complete a study of six different genetic lines of rice plants in order to find strands that were salt tolerant. The long-term goal was to help ease world hunger by finding genetic strands of rice plants that could produce food for those in areas that were unable to farm due to high salt content soil.

A member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Dietz served as vice president of member development for A-State’s Interfraternity Council. He helped create a philanthropy effort for A-State’s St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn program by raising funds selling wristbands. He participated in Alcohol Awareness Week on campus. He was also key in planning and holding workshops and meetings. He worked with the fire marshal to host a risk management seminar.

Dietz also served as the external vice president and philanthropy chairman. In that role, he was the founder and promoter of the Color Run for Kids with all proceeds benefitting Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The inaugural event raised more than $11,000. Behind his efforts, Lambda Chi Alpha raised $3,000 for the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas through the Lambda Chi Alpha Sandblast Volleyball Tournament. In all, he helped coordinated food drives with A-State sororities to gather more than 26,000 pounds of food.

His other duties with his fraternity include serving as scholastics and academics chairman, executive committee chairman, philanthropy committee member, recruitment committee member, ritual committee member, Big Brother coordinator, and t-shirt chairman. He also represented Lambda Chi Alpha as a member of Arkansas State’s Homecoming court in 2015.

Dietz is active in the St. Bernards Medical Center ambassador program by volunteering at the hospital weekly. He also is a volunteer for Special Olympics College.