Kevin Gauthun, MCC Lake Havasu Campus student, is the recipient of the 2024 Kathy Hodel Most Outstanding Student Award where he received $10,000 to put towards anything he wants. From left to right: Kevin Gauthun and Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, MCC President.

MOHAVE COUNTY – Kevin Gauthun was checking his emails when the one that would impact his future came through his inbox. The email made him feel excited and overwhelmed with happiness. The email notified him that he is the 2024 Kathy Hodel Most Outstanding Student award recipient.

“It feels absolutely amazing to receive this award. The honor is surreal and something I never imagined possible,” he said. “It truly hasn’t sunk in yet and I can’t get over this feeling.”

Along with the honor of being this year’s recipient, Gauthun will also receive $10,000 cash to put toward anything he wants. He will use the funds to secure housing for when he starts Arizona State University in the fall.

Gauthun said his award provides him housing and has propelled him forward towards his dreams, and takes a huge burden off of his shoulders.

At ASU, he will work towards earning a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or computer science. His ultimate career goals are to gain hands-on experience in cybersecurity, concentrating in the areas of malware analysis and penetration testing. With the knowledge he acquires, he hopes to give back to the educational community and inspire the next generation of cybersecurity experts.

Gauthun has shown great leadership skills while attending MCC. He has participated in various student clubs and held many leadership roles, which is part of the criteria students who applied for the award had to meet.

“His light shines brightly in and outside of the classroom. I can’t think of any other student more deserving of the Kathy Hodel award than Kevin. Through his participation with the Student Activities Council, he has shown exemplary leadership skills and abilities,” said Dr. Maria Ayon, Lake Havasu Campus Dean of Student and Community Engagement. “Kevin sincerely cares about the MCC student experience. He is an advocate, and he speaks up appropriately and with genuine intent. Kevin is a true intellect, and I can’t wait to see how his future pans out. He will do great things for great causes and I’m extremely proud of him.”

As an MCC student, Gauthun served as Vice President of Scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa-Alpha Chi Chi, President of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) club, and Secretary for Student Activities Council. He was also a work study student at the Hodel Library on the Lake Havasu Campus.

Kathy Hodel was known for her community service efforts and that’s one of the criteria students who apply for the award need to meet. Community service to Gauthun means serving those in need and giving a voice to the voiceless.

As a student leader on his campus, he serviced his community through hosting educational workshops for the community, and spearheading the continued effort of providing a food pantry and clothing closet on campus for students.

“My own experiences with food insecurity and homelessness have deeply influenced these efforts, as I strive to support those who face similar challenges,” Gauthun said.

At the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year, Gauthun was recognized as a Coca-Cola Leader of Promise Scholar where he received a $1,000 scholarship. In 2024, he was named as an All-Arizona Academic Team member where he was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to any public university in Arizona.

About the Kathy Hodel Most Outstanding Student Award:

The Kathy Hodel Most Outstanding Student Award was established through an endowment gift to the MCC Foundation. It was provided by Dr. James H. Childe to honor the memory of his friend Kathy Hodel. She passed away in 2018, after a long battle with bone cancer.    

Dr. Childe, a retired attorney and MCC instructor, gave nearly a quarter-million dollars to establish the endowment. He chose to use this gift as a way to honor outstanding graduating MCC students, and Kathy for her countless hours and efforts working to help MCC and our local communities. Dr. Childe passed away in 2023.