Mu Mu Aye '18
Outstanding Senior Award

Active both on campus and off, our Outstanding Senior has been a role model to fellow students and has taken a leadership role in cultural events on campus and the community. She is a past LeAnn C. Tolk Scholarship winner, and most recently, a 2018 Welter World Citizen Award winner, one of just 20 Minnesota State students so honored.


She will achieve her degree today with English being her second language. She is an honors student, and her commitment to her academics is obvious. What’s less obvious is her commitment to the new populations in southwest Minnesota. She was a volunteer interpreter and cultural advisor for the Migrant Voices project in 2016, and presented her work at a professional conference. Her work, “A Typical Place to Live and Learn: A Visual Tour of Four College Towns,” will be on display at South Dakota State University. She served on the university’s Strategic Planning Committee a year ago. And through the Karen Organization of Minnesota, she helped coordinate a multi-cultural event at last year’s Marshall community celebration, Sounds of Summer.


This year’s Outstanding Senior is a Sociology major and a non-traditional student who came to the U.S. from a refugee camp on the Myanmar and Thailand border. She arrived in Marshall with her husband and young child, with a desire to earn a college degree. She immediately stood out as a hard-working, thoughtful and selfless individual who was willing to help new populations within the region acclimate to life in the U.S.


One professor has said of this year’s Outstanding Senior: “She would rank in the top 5 percent of the students we have taught over the years.”


The Karen people have a saying, “If others speak loudly, we whisper; if others whisper, we keep quiet.” Though not one to seek the limelight, she nonetheless finds it today as our 2018 Outstanding Senior.