Just being nominated was good enough for Alexa Deghand.



Besides, she put her chances of winning the Area 5 Outstanding Student award at the BACCHUS Network Peer Health Education Conference earlier this month at one-in-a-million.



“I honestly didn’t think I was going to get it,” the Pittsburg State University student said. “I wasn’t quite sure how many people were nominated, but I knew it was quite a few.”



It was quite a few, but not a million. Deghand’s actual odds of becoming the first PSU student to win the award was one-in-50. And she was the one.



“I was very surprised to win,” she said, “and very excited.”

Just being nominated was good enough for Alexa Deghand.

Besides, she put her chances of winning the Area 5 Outstanding Student award at the BACCHUS Network Peer Health Education Conference earlier this month at one-in-a-million.

“I honestly didn’t think I was going to get it,” the Pittsburg State University student said. “I wasn’t quite sure how many people were nominated, but I knew it was quite a few.”

It was quite a few, but not a million. Deghand’s actual odds of becoming the first PSU student to win the award was one-in-50. And she was the one.

“I was very surprised to win,” she said, “and very excited.”

The BACCHUS Network is a university and community-based network focusing on comprehensive health and safety initiatives. Deghand, a member of the PSU group Gorillas In Your Midst, was nominated for the outstanding student award by the GIYM adviser J.T. Knoll. 

Knoll said he nominated Deghand for the honor based on her high involvement in campus and community organizations. Deghand has been involved in virtually all aspects of Gorillas In Your Midst, including: program presenter and program design, recruitment, AIDS Week coordinator, assistant peer health trainer, SafeRide emissary, Smokeout coordinator and she is the author of a monthly online “Ask Alexa” health column.

Deghand has also been an Up ‘Til Dawn team leader, a member of University Student Ambassadors, head of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital campaign, member of the International Interior Design Association and a Pitt Cares leader.

In his nomination letter, Knoll wrote that “Alexa uses hard work, intelligence and creativity to further not only the efforts of Gorillas In Your Midst but also the healthy choices of the campus as a whole. Her compassion knows no bounds — as can be seen in everything from her work with St. Jude’s and Up ‘Til Dawn to her willingness to tutor a struggling student or act as a designated driver. And she does so without the slightest hint of pretension. Pittsburg State is truly fortunate to have her as a student.”

Deghand said she enjoys being involved in as many things as possible, as it allows her to fuel her passion for meeting new people.

“I’m a people person,” she said. “I’ve always been that way. The more people I know, the happier I am.”

But perhaps more important than meeting new people, is helping new people.

“I just like to help people,” she said. “I grew up in a Catholic family and attended Catholic schools. I’ve always been involved in some type of community service. Though a lot of things I do on campus don’t necessarily have to do with that, that is where it stems from.”

The three-day BACCHUS conference took place earlier this month in Kansas City. Other PSU members of Gorillas In Your Midst and GAMMA who attended were Mitch Ayers, Danielle Minnis, Shelli Normile, Callie Croucher, Danielle Geier and Marcus Nelson.