Catawba College students, faculty and staff were recognized at the institution's annual Awards Convocation
held Thursday, April 17, 2008 in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on campus.
While this event is an opportunity for the entire campus community to recognize student achievements in a variety of academic and service areas, several faculty and staff members were also cited for their contributions to the institution. Catawba's Provost Dr. Jesse McCartney, who is retiring at the end of this academic year, was recognized for his 26 years of service to the college. College President Dr. Robert Knott, his longtime colleague and friend, said McCartney "had given a professional lifetime to this community."
Tom E. Smith, chairman of the Catawba College Board of Trustees, was on hand to pay tribute to Dr. Knott who will also retire at the end of this academic year after six years' as the institution's president. Smith said that the awards convocation represented the last time that members of the student body, faculty and staff would gather together before Dr. Knott's retirement. He said Dr. Knott "embodies the qualities on the college seal — scholarship, character, culture and service."
Two students, Richard Dunbar Greensboro and Cecilia Runge of Milford, N.J., were given a gavel traditionally awarded each year to the retiring president of the Student Government Association (SGA). Dunbar served as SGA president during the fall term and Runge served as SGA president during the spring term.
Senior Class President Laura Jollay of Lexington, N.C., spoke on behalf of her peers in the senior class. She said the Class of 2008's gift to the institution would be a spirit rock, along with a monetary gift to the Catawba Fund.
SGA officers for the 2008-2009 academic year were installed at the convocation. They include President Cecilia Runge of Milford, N.J.; Vice President Katie Hill of Fayetteville, N.C.; Secretary Stephanie Hill of China Grove, N.C.; and Treasurer Kevin Flebbe of Vineland, N.J.
Several students were the recipients of Paul Fisher Service Awards for the spring semester including Andrell Sheree Baxter of Evergreen, Ala.; Katherine Virginia Hill of Fayetteville, N.C.; Joshua William Reinsvold of Mocksville, N.C.; Amanda Michelle Nantz of Salisbury, N.C.; and Yolanda Kay McClure of Eden, N.C.
Emily Hoffman of Tampa, Fla., received the David Hoyle Award for Outstanding Service in the area of student activities. It is awarded annually to a student who has made exemplary contributions to all areas of student activities.
The new Mr. and Miss Catawba, elected to serve the College in the coming year, were announced at the convocation. They are Brittany Alicia Tyner of Cameron, N.C., and Daniel Philip Ryan of Westborough, Mass.
Lauren Alston Smith of Greensboro, N.C., received the Frances Decker Wentz Award. This award is given annually to the upper class student who has demonstrated, through distinguished performance of responsibilities, a real concern and aptitude for the theory and practice of library science and service. The library staff chooses the recipient.
Dr. Michael Bitzer, assistant professor of political science and dean of admissions, was the recipient of the Kenneth Clapp Tri-Delta Award. Established by the Class of 2000 in recognition of the work of Dr. Ken Clapp, College senior vice president and chaplain, it is presented annually to a member of the faculty or staff who demonstrates dedication, devotion, and dependability.
The recipient of the annual Paul Fisher Service Award was announced at the convocation. Kendra Diane Joyner of Rock Springs, Wyo., was selected from all of the monthly Paul Fisher Service Award winners and is the recipient of a scholarship provided by Farmers and Merchants Bank as well as an engraved plaque.
Fifteen students were announced as inductees into Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Nominated by members of the college community and selected by a committee of faculty and students, these students are active leaders and scholars on campus. They include the following students: Molly Elaine Harris of Mocksville; Mollie Rose Landers of Williamsport, Pa.; Tara Lyn Ketcham of Gastonia, N.C.; Jeremiah Shane Timmons of Denton, N.C.; Christine Jane Ofslager of Midlothian, Va.; Lauren Elizabeth Flynn of Salisbury, N.C.; Meagan Alexandra Kittle of Winchester, Ontario; Shannon Elizabeth Axtell of Charlotte, N.C.; Ryan Gregory Dayvault of Kannapolis; Daniel Scott Hines of Yorktown, Va.; Timothy Lewis Smith of Walnut Cove, N.C.; Alexander Shea Will of Milton, Mass.; Ross Michael Scallan of Greensboro, N.C.; Candace Leigh Neal of Waxhaw, N.C.; and Jessica Taige of Wauwatosa, Wis.
Jacqueline White of Mount Ulla, N.C., received the Sherrill & Smith Award in Business Administration. This award is given annually by the partners of Sherrill & Smith to the senior in the Ralph W. Ketner of Business who achieves the best scholastic average during the year.
The Millard F. Wilson Award for Excellence in Business was presented to Leslie Robertson of Salisbury, N.C., and Jared Temple of Durham, N.C. Given annually to a senior in recognition of outstanding service to the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business, it also recognizes excellence in academic achievement. The late Professor Millard F. Wilson, former chairman of the business department at Catawba from 1949-1979, established the award.
Molly Elaine Harris of Mocksville, N.C., received the Dr. Charles Turney Award. This award was established in 2005 from contributions made by family and friends of the late Dr. Charles Turney, former dean of the College and chair of the English Department. It is given annually to a rising senior English major who has at least a 3.5 GPA and a demonstrated aptitude for and an interest in the discipline of English studies.
Ashleigh Herndon of Conway, S.C., and Meagan Kittle of Winchester, Ontario, shared the Rebecca H. Frantz Essay Prize for their essays. The late Edwin Frantz Nance '30 of Altoona, Pa. made possible this annual award in memory of the mother of three former Catawba students. Ashleigh Herndon's winning essay is entitled "The Crucible: Politics, Parable, or Personal Struggle." Meagan Kittle's winning essay is entitled "A Young Woman in the Crowd: Experiencing New York City."
Sarah Cadence Hamm of Morehead City, N.C., was the recipient of the Calvin Koonts Poetry Award. They were judged by the English Department faculty to possess the most potential as writers of poetry. The award was made possible through a gift from the late Dr. J. Calvin Koonts '45 to stimulate interest in writing poetry. (Read Poem)
Lauren Alston Smith of Greensboro, N.C., was selected by the English Department faculty to receive the Martha H. Morehead Award. The award, given in honor of a late Catawba professor emerita of English, it is presented for the outstanding single work — poem, short story or graphic contribution to the Arrowhead, the college's annual literary publication. Smith was selected for her poem, "If Death Is a Form of Aviation."
Kathleen Ann Blake of Greensboro, N.C., was the recipient of the Rice, Andrews, Young Award. It is given in honor of the former chairpersons of the Catawba Department of Modern Foreign Languages to the foreign language major or minor who has made the highest grades in his/her foreign language studies.
Blair Eileen Elder of Seaford, Va., received the Elisabeth Scranton History Award. It is given in honor of a former professor of history to the student who has attained the highest academic average during his or her senior year and who represents the ideals of liberal scholarship in the area of history.
The Braun Award in Physics, given by 1934 Alumna Mrs. Anne Blodgett Bashore, was awarded to Max J. Vinograd of Bethesda, Md. It is given in recognition of the student showing the most meritorious work in the field of physics.
Mary H. Black of Lexington was awarded the Chemistry Prize, funded by donations from alumni who wish to encourage students pursuing a degree in chemistry. The recipient(s) is a member of the junior class by the chemistry faculty who best represents the qualities of good character, overall scholarship, and excellence in chemistry course work.
The CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award was won by Joseph S. Manser of Mooresville, N.C. It is awarded annually to a chemistry major in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement.
Paul C. Norris of Salisbury, N.C., is the recipient of The American Institute of Chemists Award which honors outstanding senior majoring in chemistry and is based on ability, character, scholastic achievement and potential advancement in one of the chemical professions.
The recipient of the Mathematics Award was Sarah C. Reeves of Pilot Mountain, N.C. This award is presented annually by the mathematics department faculty to a student who has demonstrated outstanding ability, scholarship and interest in the field of math.
Katie Bender of Salisbury, N.C., was the recipient of the Environmental Science Award. It is presented annually to a senior who has best demonstrated dedication, inspiration and academic achievement in the field of environmental science.
Matthew Hendricks of Salisbury, N.C., received the Leader in Environmental Stewardship Award. It is presented to the student(s) who best exhibits outstanding leadership ability and uncommon commitment to environmental stewardship through the facilitation of activities and initiatives that promote the wise use of the earth's resources.
Emily Ann Morgan of Norfolk, Va., was the recipient of the Outstanding Prospective Teacher Award. It is presented to a senior with a 3.0 grade point average or better who majors or minors in education and who has demonstrated outstanding potential as a teacher based on observation in classroom setting by faculty and cooperating teachers. The recipient is chosen by the Department of Teacher Education faculty.
Jennifer Elizabeth Layton of Bridgeton, N.J., received the Student Education Association/Cynthia Osterhus Award. It is given to the student who has made an outstanding contribution to the student education association and who has shown potential to become an excellent teacher. The award is named in honor of Cynthia Osterhus '73 of Salisbury, a former North Carolina Teacher of the Year, and now a faculty member in Catawba's Teacher Education Department and director of the College's Shirley Peeler Ritchie Academy for Teaching.
Catawba's Chairman's Award in Music went to Eric Finland of McLean, Va., for his significant contribution to the programs of the music department and for his promise of future success in the field of music.
Julia McKinzie of Lakeway, Texas, was the recipient of the Dean Grove Award, given annually to a student athlete majoring in mathematics or science who demonstrates leadership abilities in both areas. The late Dr. Rodger H. Lofland '61 established the Dean Grove Award in tribute to Dean N. Grove '40, Lofland's high school coach, biology teacher and mentor. McKinzie also was the recipient of the Daniel E. Kirk Biology Award, given in honor of Dr. Daniel E. Kirk, former professor and chair of the biology department at Catawba. It is presented annually to a senior who has exhibited outstanding service and achievement in the Department of Biology after a selection by the faculty.
Kathleen A. Blake of Greensboro, N.C., was the recipient of the Senior Psychology Award. It is given annually to a psychology major who has been judged by graduating psychology majors, through secret ballot, as having made an outstanding contribution to the various activities of the Psychology Department.
Carrie Wollaston of Landenberg, Pa., received the Patricia R. Whitley Award in recognition of academic excellence, loyalty, and dedication and for outstanding service to both the physical education department and the community. The award was established in 1999 by the Physical Education Department and the Student Majors Club in honor of Dr. Patricia Whitley.
The Religion Award is given by the ministers of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ to a student in the junior or senior class who has excelled in academic work in the religion and philosophy department and has contributed actively to the religious life of the campus community. It was awarded to Shannon Axtell of Charlotte, N.C.
Zachary Acree of Salisbury, N.C., was the recipient of The Bruce A. Wentz Philosophy Award. Given in memory of Dr. Bruce A. Wentz, long-time teacher of Philosophy at Catawba, the award recognizes a junior or senior who has shown excellence in the study of philosophy.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award was shared by Mollie Rose Landers of Williamsport, Pa., and Dr. Edith Bolick, professor of sociology and dean of the Catawba's School of Evening and Graduate Studies. A committee of students and faculty choose both a student and a staff member annually to receive this award. It is given in recognition of fine spiritual qualities practically applied to daily living and with the belief that these persons will uphold the spiritual standards of Catawba by their noble characteristics. The award was established by the New York Southern Society as a permanent reminder of the noblest human qualities expressed and followed in the life of its first president Algernon Sydney Sullivan.
Laura Jollay of Lexington, N.C., received an honorary membership to the Phi Epsilon Honor Society. She was recognized by Phi Epsilon as having been of significant value and worth to the campus community through outstanding character, leadership, and participation in extracurricular activities, and having shown a genuine interest in, and concern for, Catawba College as evidenced by her service.
Catawba College employee G. Ben Smith, assistant director of residence life and coordinator of the Lerner Wellness Center, received the Staff Member of the Year Award. It is presented annually and selection is made by a popular vote of the students.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Joyce Caddell was selected as Teacher of the Year. The recipient, who is chosen by a popular vote of the students, demonstrates the best in classroom rapport, evidence of concern for students, and intellectual stimulation.
Rodney Rymer, director of systems and networking, was honored as the recipient of the Louise Tucker Staff Council Award. The award is given to a staff member who demonstrates outstanding work ethic and performance in their area, with nominations made by member of the President's Council and the recipient selected by a vote of the Staff Council.
The President's Award for Staff Excellence was presented to Chip Hester, the College's head football coach. The award is given annually to a member of the college staff who has distinguished him or herself in achieving excellence in job performance and who has contributed to strengthening of community spirit on campus. The recipient is selected through nominations from the entire faculty and staff, with a final selection from the nominations being made by the Staff Council Committee.
The late Dr. Bruce F. Griffith, a longtime professor of history at the college, was the recipient of the Trustee Award for Outstanding Contribution to the College. The award was presented earlier in the year, several days before Dr. Griffith's death. It was presented on behalf of Catawba's Board of Trustees and given annually to the person or persons judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the institution. The recipient is selected by a vote of Catawba's faculty senate.
The Swink Prize for Outstanding Classroom Teacher was presented to Dr. Laurel Eason, professor of English. The selection was made by the Faculty Senate to a member of the faculty judged to be an outstanding classroom teacher. The award was created by a gift from the late Hearn Swink, former Rowan County resident, official with Cannon Mills Company, and friend of the College.
The recipients of the Whitener Medals were announced at the awards convocation but will actually receive their awards during Catawba's graduation
exercise. They are Meagan Kittle
of Winchester, Ontario, and Ryan Dayvault
of Kannapolis. Named in honor of the late Dr. Edgar Whitener of High Point who served as president of the Catawba Board of Trustees
from 1925-44, these awards are presented annually to the man and woman in the graduating class who combine in themselves, in the highest degree, the equalities of character, leadership and scholarship. Selection is made by the faculty from the three men and three women who have received the highest number of votes in an election in which only members of the junior and senior class may vote.
PHOTOS: Awards Convocation 2008
STUDENT POETRY & ESSAYS (Award-Winning Entries):