2016 Lindley Award Recipient
Ashley Kuznia is the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences 2016 Lindley Award recipient.
The Lindley Award is presented each year to the top graduating senior in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) who is deemed the most outstanding in scholarship and character. This is the highest award a student in CLASS can receive. Established in 1962 by distinguished alumnus Ernest K. Lindley, the award was created as a memorial to his parents Ernest Hiram and Elizabeth Kidder Lindley.
Kuznia, a psychology major with a 4.0 GPA, was nominated by the Department of Psychology and Communication Studies. Kuznia is from Meridian, Idaho, and transferred to UI from the College of Idaho in spring 2014.
Faculty members note that Kuznia stands out as a remarkable student through her research, engagement and coursework.
“When Ashley was a student in my courses, what was even more striking and memorable than her grades was the intensity of her attentiveness and engagement,” said Ken Locke, a psychology faculty member.
Since arriving at the University of Idaho, Kuznia worked as an intern at the Center on Disabilities and Human Development where she wrote a proposal for the Student Arts-fee grant establishing the artAbility project. She is now in the second year of directing the artAbility project, which encourages adults with disabilities to express themselves through participation in art workshops with local art instructors and student volunteers.
“The artAbility program is an exemplary expression of the university’s core values of community engagement, inclusion and actively changing lives,” Locke said.
Kuznia has also pursued research projects with Gwen Mitchell, clinical faculty member, in the Center on Disabilities and Human Development exploring faculty and staff knowledge about the autism spectrum. She also worked with psychology professor and CLASS Associate Dean Traci Craig on a research project addressing gender bias in STEM fields. She also has served as a peer mentor as part of the CLASS IDEA Peer Mentoring program. She has participated in a wide range of student organizations, including the Feminist Leadership Activist Movement to Empower where she has used her artistic endeavors on themes of masculinity, femininity and power.
“Ashley Kuznia is intelligent, creative, resilient, resourceful and compassionate,” said Ben Barton, a faculty member in the department.
After graduating from UI this May, Kuznia will be attending the University of Kansas, where she will be working on her master’s in counseling psychology.