Lone Star College-Tomball student Charles Kivlehen has been selected as one of only six students across the country named to the Achieving the Dream Student Perspective Team. Members of the team were chosen from institutions nationally which participate in Achieving the Dream (ATD), a program dedicated to eliminating barriers to college student success. As a member of the Student Perspective Team, Kivlehen will engage significantly with the ATD efforts both at LSC-Tomball as well as efforts nationwide and his experience will culminate in his attendance at the ATD national conference, DREAM 2016, in Atlanta, February 23-26.
Dr. Rebecca Tate, English professor and advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges, said, “I nominated and mentored Charles in his application for the Dream Team because as Phi Theta Kappa chapter president, he inspires others to dream big, plan smart, and execute with excellence—all qualities that he could bring to the Dream Team.”
In addition to his Dream Team selection, Kivlehen’s Honors College project “A Law to End Lawlessness” was selected for presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research April 7-9 at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. His research covered the colorful culture and history of Galveston Island, from its founding by pirates to the hurricane of 1900. He even touches on the fact that Galveston hosted one of America’s most successful crime syndicates during Prohibition. “The idea was to show how communities can form distinct identities that set them apart from any conception of a national norm,” Kivlehen said. “I considered how those differences impact the results of political initiatives, like Prohibition, which are developed with a national focus.”
“Kivlehen's proposal, along with 7 other student proposals from the Honors College, was accepted out of 4000 submissions to the conference,” said Ava Veselis, English professor and director of the LSC-Tomball Honors College. “His project was ambitious, and I am proud that his hard work and scholarship are recognized on such a prestigious level.”
A student since the fall 2014 semester, Kivlehen is an active member of the LSC-Tomball student body. In addition to currently serving as Phi Theta Kappa president, he recently ended a term as the vice president of outreach for the Honors College Student Organization. Additionally, he holds a Lone Star College system-level position as one of the members of the Honors College Student Advisory Board. Last fall, he was a featured presenter at the TEDxLSCTomball event.
“[Kivlehen’s] leadership style is marked by skilled diplomacy, an easygoing affability, and the ability to empower others,” Dr Tate said. In his application for the Dream Team, he selected the theme tract of ‘Leadership and Vision’ which Dr. Tate said “made perfect sense because, for Charles, vision and leadership are the cornerstones of all worthy endeavors”
Kivlehen credits LSC-Tomball organizations for prompting him to achieve his recent successes. “Tomball’s Honors organizations, both Phi Theta Kappa and the Honors College, are genuinely outstanding,” he said. “I have been privileged to attend regional conferences for both organizations, and I am proud to say that the mentorship and the dedication to student success demonstrated at LSC-Tomball are exceptional, and were instrumental in helping me to refine and develop my ideas enough to be recognized on a national level.”
Ultimately, Kivlehen hopes to earn an MBA and start an incubator. “That’s a business that helps people transforms their ideas into businesses and charities by providing them the business, legal, and technological services that small organizations cannot easily afford when they are getting started,” Kivlehen explained.