May 11, 2018
Story and photo by Micah Oelze
Barton Community College has announced its 2017-18 Brant J. Ballhorst Student Ambassador of the Year awards. Named in memory of Brant J. Ballhorst, the award recognizes two outstanding Student Ambassadors each year. The winners this year were Konner Ireland of Great Bend and Cynthia Torres of Liberal.
This year marked the 14th anniversary of the award. The Admissions office also named Delaney Smith of Hoisington as the recipient of this year’s “The Rock” award. This award 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: Konner Ireland
Ireland is a sophomore involved in Student Ambassadors and Phi Theta Kappa who plans to transfer to the University of Kansas to pursue a degree in Sports Management. He is the son of Jim and Tami Ireland of Great Bend.
Ambassador of the Year: Cynthia Torres
Torres, a sophomore, is involved in Student Ambassadors and Athletic Training. She has been accepted into the Fort Hays State University Athletic Training program, which she will attend in the fall of 2018. She is the daughter of Ruth and Francisco Torres of Liberal.
The Rock Award: Delaney Smith
Smith, a freshman, is involved in Student Ambassadors, Golf, SPARK, Phi Theta Kappa and the Community Service Organization. She plans to transfer to Kansas State University to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Business and Accounting. She is the daughter of Gary and Dee Ann of Hoisington.
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 good attitude about his illness and joked that it was 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.