U of A Graduate Student Selected as Outstanding Young American

Caitlin Ahrens
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Caitlin Ahrens

The United States' division of Junior Chamber International has named University of Arkansas graduate student Caitlin Ahrens one of its 2018 Ten Outstanding Young Americans. Ahrens will be honored at the organization's 80th annual black-tie awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Denver.

Each year, JCI USA recognizes the accomplishments of 10 individuals who are outstanding in the areas of business or entrepreneurial accomplishment, political achievement, humanitarian and voluntary leadership and more. Through an intense judging process, the ten individuals were selected from a field of nearly 50 nominations.

"The 2018 Ten Outstanding Young Americans are truly accomplished individuals in their fields, as well as in creating positive change within their communities," said Noelle Nachreiner, 2018 National President for JCI USA. "These ten individuals represent the best and the brightest of young people in America and we should strive to emulate them in our everyday actions. Each honoree has shown a commitment to that hope, reminding all Americans that no problem is too difficult when handled with grace, ingenuity, courage and determination."

Ahrens, a space and planetary sciences doctoral student, was named a 2018 Outstanding West Virginian by the West Virginia Junior Chamber earlier this year. She was selected for the award due to her promotion of science and advocacy for women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Ahrens leads a monthly space lecture at the Fayetteville Public Library, gives keynote speeches about space to multiple local organizations and hosts the space-centered radio show "Scratching the Surface" on KUAF. As a NASA Solar System Ambassador, Ahrens also regularly travels to schools in Northwest Arkansas to talk to students of all ages about NASA's space exploration missions and discoveries.

The Ten Outstanding Young Americans program is one of the oldest and most prestigious recognition programs in America. Annually since 1938, JCI USA has sought out young men and women (under the age of 40) who best exemplify the finest attributes of America's youthful achievers.

Previous honorees include Dick Cheney (1976), Bill Clinton (1979), John F. Kennedy (1946), Elvis Presley (1970), Gale Sayers (1969), Michele Tafoya (2001) and Kurt Warner (2010).

About JCI USA: JCI USA was founded in 1920 as the original member of the Junior Chamber Movement. The organization's mission is to develop opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. Since the organization's founding, millions of men and women have joined JCI USA's ranks and have gone on to become successful in business, community and many other walks of life. JCI USA currently operates in close to 500 communities with more than 12,000 members. JCI USA is part of JCI which is comprised of close to 200,000 members in nearly 120 countries across the globe. To learn more about the Junior Chamber movement, visit www.jci.cc.


Amanda Cantu, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-5809, amandcan@uark.edu


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