Award for Academic Distinction

The University of Missouri Award for Academic Distinction recognizes undergraduate students who exceed expectations to contribute to the academic atmosphere at the University of Missouri. Established in 2014 by a group of students to celebrate fellow Tigers, this award recognizes students who, through their academic efforts, have improved the intellectual and academic culture of the university and motivated other students to do the same. It is one of the highest honors MU offers based on academic distinction alone.

Group of 2024 recipients of the University of Missouri Award for Academic Distinction

Left to right: Jayden Francois, Alyssa Fritz, Asher Ferguson, Tanner Smith, Laine Cibulskis, Jackson Bailey, Aubrey Pipkins, Josh Donaldson, Ansa Sunil, Corey Valleroy and Randi Noel

The 2024 Honorees

This year’s 12 recipients represent five schools and colleges and 17 majors, demonstrating excellence in academics and research throughout campus. Many of the recipients have also received national recognition for their academic and research accomplishments. Select the pictures below to read about each student.

The honorees are:

  • Jackson Bailey, a senior constitutional democracy and political science double major from Willow Springs, Missouri
  • *Laine Cibulskis, a sophomore journalism and economics double major from Bolingbrook, Illinois
  • *Josh Donaldson, a sophomore biological engineering major from St. Joseph, Missouri
  • *Asher Ferguson, a sophomore geography and romance languages double major from Columbia, Missouri
  • *Jayden Francois, a senior physics major from Kansas City, Missouri
  • Alyssa Fritz, a senior natural resource science and management major from Blue Springs, Missouri
  • *Kristyna Le, a senior history and sociology double major from Kansas City, Missouri
  • Randi Noel, a junior plant sciences major from Butler, Missouri
  • Aubrey Pipkins, a senior biological sciences major from Gainesville, Missouri
  • *Tanner Smith, a junior communication and political science double major from DeSoto, Kansas
  • Ansa Sunil, a sophomore interdisciplinary and psychological sciences double major from Columbia, Missouri
  • Corey Valleroy, a senior mechanical engineering and physics double major from St. Peters, Missouri

*Denotes MU Honors College students

Scenes from the reception

The honorees and their families, nominators, award committee members and deans celebrated with a reception on May 5, 2025.