2015 Awards Day Chapel commemorates academic excellence

Ashley Blair, 2015-2016 Carla D. Sanderson Faculty of the Year, and Scott Heit, 2015-2016 Gary L. Carter Staff of the Year, pose for a photo following Awards Day Chapel May 1, 2015. | Photo by MiKalla Cotton, staff photographer

Awards Day
Ashley Blair, 2015-2016 Carla D. Sanderson Faculty of the Year, and Scott Heit, 2015-2016 Gary L. Carter Staff of the Year, pose for a photo following Awards Day Chapel May 1, 2015. | Photo by MiKalla Cotton, staff photographer
The annual awards chapel, held May 1 in George M. Savage Memorial Chapel, commemorated seniors, students and professors that have shown academic excellence in their studies and teaching.

An academic excellence medal is given to one student from each academic discipline.

“The academic excellence medals are determined by each department,” said Susan Hopper, registrar at Union.

In order for a student to be eligible for the academic excellence award, the student must have at least a 3.5 GPA in their major courses and must have earned a minimum of 15 hours in their major here at Union, Hopper said.

The choosing is also based on other criteria established by their department of study.

Outstanding freshmen in some departments also receive awards, and two juniors who embody servant leadership receive the Barnabas award each year. Additionally, one professor is awarded faculty of the year, one staff member receives staff member of the year and at least one professor is recognized for innovative teaching.

Other awards include ones for intramurals, Greek scholarship and creative writing.

Hopper said she believes the chapel brings the Union community together.

One unique award that is given out is the Barnabas Leadership Award. This award is given out each year to two students of the junior class who exemplify servant leadership. It is named after Barnabas from the Bible, who helped aid the apostle Paul in his missionary journeys.

Katelyn Walls, junior Christian thought and tradition and English literature double major, was the female recipient of this award,

“I am honored and humbled to be one of the recipients of this year’s Barnabas award,” Walls said. “In my past three years here at Union, I have looked up to the recipients of this award.”

Walls earned this award because of her leadership skills and her willingness to help others, not only here at Union, but in her church and community as well. Walls has been a small group leader, camp counselor, ministry intern, volunteer at the Dream Center of Jackson and GO leadership team member.

“To have been nominated and chosen to receive it this year means a lot to me,” she said.

Hopper said she values the ceremony because it is a time of celebration for the Union community.

“I think the awards day ceremony is rather significant, since it is a great opportunity for Union to recognize students who have made contributions or achieved certain standards in areas of study and service,” said Hopper.

The awards are as follows:

Academic Excellence Awards:

College of Arts & Sciences

ART: Kristen Grace Witham

ART STUDIO: Megan Marie Kersey

BIOLOGY: Hannah Elizabeth Small

CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: Cara Elise Nance

BIOCHEMISTRY: Phillip Richard Kurtzweil

CHEMISTRY: Matthew Raymond Taw

DIGITAL MEDIA STUDIES: Elizabeth Katlyn Fletcher

ADVERTISING: Evan Joseph Estes

BROADCAST JOURNALISM: Paigh Anne Long

JOURNALISM: Katherine Sue Burgess

MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS: Kathryn Elizabeth Feathers

PUBLIC RELATIONS: Jenaye Lee White

THEATRE: Daniel Thomas Poore

COMPUTER SCIENCE: Stephen Andrew Clement

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Aaron Joseph Parke

ENGINEERING: Matthew James Bentley

ENGLISH: Kalee Marie Hall

HISTORY: Faith Ann Bagley

INTERCULTURAL STUDIES: Chelsea Wyn Meiss

FRENCH: Kayla Marie Carruthers

SPANISH: Amanda Katherine Johnson

TEACHING ENGLISH AS SECOND LANGUAGE: Lauren Nicole Wood

MATHEMATICS: Jamie Lee Fox

MUSIC BA: Vicki Anne Searl

MUSIC: Jacqueline Paige Tang

MUSIC EDUCATION: William Douglas May

PHYSICS: Michael Hunter Cochran

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Laura Breeann McCuin

PSYCHOLOGY: Emily Gilbert Russell

SOCIOLOGY: Ian Alexander Draper

FAMILY STUDIES: Rachel Elizabeth Wukasch

School of Business         

ACCOUNTING: Meagan Elizabeth Phipps

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Madeleine Grace Hemphill

ECONOMICS: William Richard Walker

College of Education and Human Studies

B.S. ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP: Van M. Jones

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Celia Mae Leatherwood

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES: Kensie Lloyd Zills

TEACHING & LEARNING: Amanda Jo Brasfield

ATHLETIC TRAINING: Paxton Kimber Sisson

EXERCISE SCIENCE/WELLNESS: Kyli Elizabeth Hoskins

SPORT MANAGEMENT: Kelly Michelle Robey

SOCIAL WORK: Rebecca Lynn Orosz

School of Nursing           

NURSING: Kendall Ruth Heyliger

School of Theology and Missions

BIBLICAL STUDIES-LANGUAGES:  Stephen Charles Wunrow

CHRISTIAN MINISTRY & MISSIONS:Lisa Renee Herod

CHRISTIAN STUDIES:Dylan S. Pelley

Other Awards:

BARNABAS LEADERSHIP: Daniel Todd Mathis

Anna Katelyn Walls

WHITEAKER FRESHMAN BIOLOGY: Jonathan Bowman

WHITEAKER FRESHMAN CHEMISTRY: Kathryn A. Baugher

BILL TRUEX AWARD IN COMP SCIENCE: Stephen Andrew Clement

BROADMAN AND HOLMAN: Caleb Eugene Valentine

BOUCHILLON PSY EXCELLENCE:  Hannah Kaitlyn McIntosh

KYLE HATHCOX MEMORIAL PHYSICS AWRD: Joshua Mark Edgren

CURTISS SCOTT BUS EXCELLENCE: Camila A. Simas

SERVICE THROUGH ENGINEERING: Joshua George Guthrie

FRED DELAY MEMORIAL : Amy Elizabeth Philamlee

KINA MALLARD COMM ARTS: Jenaye Lee White

GEORGIA WILSON MEMORIAL CLINICAL NURSING: Sarah Elizabeth Moore

GREEK SCHOLARSHIP CUPS Female: Chi Omega

Male: Lambda Chi Alpha

BLYTHE CREATIVE WRITING AWARD: Stephanie Elizabeth Traylor

BAGGETT HISTORY RESEARCH PAPER: Faith Ann Bagley

INTRAMURAL AWARDS

Female Athlete: Richauna Chantel Kidd

Male Athlete: Matthew Derek McSwain

BARKER ST TEACHER OF YEAR

Secondary:     Madelyn Carson (graduated in December)

DOROTHY WOODARD MYATT INTERN OF THE YEAR

Elementary:     Abigail Marie Orr

Special Education: Emily Caryline Sissom

WOLFRAM COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE: Amy Grace Murdaugh

NEWELL INNOVATIVE TEACHING: Mark Bolyard, James Huggins, Marc Lockett, Michael Schiebout

HONORABLE MENTION: Joshua Veltman and G. Jan Wilms

STAFF OF THE YEAR: Scott Heit

FACULTY OF THE YEAR: Ashley Fitch Blair

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Image courtesy of MiKalla Cotton|Cardinal & Cream
About Shelby Nicholas 21 Articles
Shelby Nicholas, Class of 2016, is a senior public relations major and marketing minor. She loves cats, coffee, and cozy sweaters.