Catawba College President Joseph Oxendine encouraged those who received awards during the annual Awards Convocation to "show off, brag modestly, throw your chest out, and feel good." But more important than the awards received, he said, was a characteristic shared by all of the recipients.
"At some point, you decided you were going to excel and strive to be the very best," Oxendine told the award recipients. "You won these awards for the spirit of striving to be the very best."
The convocation was held at 11 a.m. April 14 in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel and was an opportunity for the campus community to celebrate the gifts and talents of students, and the strengths and abilities of a few faculty and staff members. Most of the awards distributed at the convocation were eco-friendly. They were made of Catawba blue, 100% recycled glass, a symbol of Catawba's commitment to environmental responsibility and another campus initiative to promote a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
Student Government Association Officers
Outgoing SGA president Kendra Joyner of Petersburg, Va., was presented with a gavel traditionally awarded to the retiring president of the Student Government Association (SGA). Joyner served as SGA president during '10-'11 academic year.
SGA officers for the 2011-2012 academic year were installed at the convocation. They include President Yakir Malul of Rishon Le-Zion, Israel; Vice President Sarah Moore of Mocksville; Secretary Jana Burkhardt of Willoughby, Ohio; and Treasurer Gail Murray of Shallotte.
Service to the Community & Leadership Awards
Erin Kidd of Ramseur and Brandon Coble of Yadkinville shared 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. Kidd and Coble also shared the Pioneer Award, for their hard work and leadership on the staff of the student newspaper, "The Pioneer."
Kaitlyn Benjes of Efland 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.
The new Mr. and Miss Catawba, elected to serve the College in the coming year, were announced at the convocation. They are Sarah Devlin of Candler and Yakir Malul of Rishon Le-Zion, Israel.
Jan Gillean, assistant dean for campus activities and programming, 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.
Student Sarah Moore of Mocksville and staff member David Najarian received the Leader in Environmental Stewardship Award. It is presented to the person(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.
The recipients of the annual Paul Fisher Service Awards for the spring semester were announced at the convocation. They were Anastasia L. Barkova of Huntersville and Kendra Joyner of Petersburg, Va. Jackie Hodgson of Pittsfield, Mass., was recognized as the annual recipient of the Paul Fisher Service Award and received 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: Lainey Erin Edwards of Asheboro; Susan Renee Fisher of Lititz, Pa.; Andrew Thomas McMillan of Salisbury; Laura Elaine Ritchie of Salisbury; Hannah Marie Thomas of Robbins; Brandon Lee Coble of Yadkinville; Elizabeth Nicole Sloop of Salisbury; Jacqueline Erin Kidd of Ramseur; Devin Michael Rodgers of Glen Burnie, Md.; Laura Whitney Sale of Yadkinville; Rebecca Lucille Scott of Mt. Pleasant; Nathaniel Ray Griffin of Boomer; Stephanie Michelle Hill of China Grove; Cynthia Mary Cook of Franklin, Pa.; and Joseph Stephen Manser of Mooresville.
The Phi Beta Lambda Award was presented to Anastasia Barkova of Huntersville. Phi Beta Lambda is the college division of Future Business Leader's of America, a nationwide business organization. This award is presented to the outgoing president in recognition for outstanding leadership and service to the organization.
Academic Achievement Awards
Will Honeycutt of Richfield and Sarah Thorp of Advance were recipients of 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 School of Business who achieves the best scholastic average during the year.
The Millard F. Wilson Award for Excellence in Business was presented to Timothy Cook of Hickory. 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 chair of the business department at Catawba from 1949-1979, established the award.
Whitney Mullis of Kannapolis was the recipient of the Dr. Charles Turney Award. This award was established by family and friends in memory of Dr. Charles Turney, retired Chair of the English Department at Catawba. The recipient of the award is a rising senior English major with at least a 3.5 GPA and a demonstrated aptitude for and interest in the discipline of English studies.
Elizabeth G. "Lizzle" Davis of East Bend received the Rebecca H. Frantz Essay Prize this year. This prize is given by an alumnus, Edwin Nance, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, in memory of the mother of three former Catawba College students. It is awarded annually to the writer of an essay judged by faculty to be the most original. Lizzle Davis's winning essay was entitled, "Byron's Prometheus and Milton's Satan."
Elizabeth G. "Lizzle" Davis also was selected by the English Department faculty to receive the Martha H. Morehead Award. The award, given in honor of a late Catawba professor emeritus 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. Her winning poem was entitled "In this particular picture."
Jessica Everett of Winston-Salem was the recipient of the Bethany and Aidan Sinnott Poetry Award. This award was established by the English Department in honor of Dr. Bethany Sinnott and in memory of Dr. Aidan Sinnott. The award is given to the student who demonstrates the greatest potential as a poet, based on a portfolio of his or her work.
Susan Fisher of Lititz, Pa., 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(s) or minor(s) who has made the highest grades in his/her foreign language studies.
The Elisabeth Scranton History Award was presented to Philip Yarbrough of Lexington. It is given in honor of a former professor of history to the student(s) 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 Blake Rushing of Indian Trail. It is given in recognition of the student showing the most meritorious work in the field of physics.
Lori Beth Fraley of Cleveland and Jacob Hill of Salisbury were presented The Chemistry Prize, given annually to a student(s) selected by the chemistry faculty who, in their opinion, 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 Lindsay King of Kannapolis and Jacob Regensburger of Fayetteville. It is awarded annually to a chemistry major(s) in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement.
Joseph Manser of Mooresville was the recipient of the American Institute of Chemists Award. This award 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 Cynthia M. Cook of Franklin, Pa. 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 mathematics.
Jessica Gilmore of Indian Trail was the recipient of the Environmental Programs Award. It is presented annually to a senior who has best demonstrated dedication, inspiration and academic achievement in the field of environmental science.
Mark Ketterer of Hamilton, N.J., and Vickie Gammons of Mocksville were the co-recipients of the Shirley L. Haworth Prospective Teacher Award. It is presented to a senior(s) 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.
Julie Gilley of Dobson 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.
The College Chairman's Award in Music went to Kristopher Watson of Voorhees, N.J., for his significant contribution to the programs of the music department and for his promise of future success in the field of music.
Jessica Jordan of Meriden, Conn., 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.
Lainey Edwards of Asheboro 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.
Nathaniel Griffin of Boomer and Erin Witalison of Salisbury received the Daniel E. Kirk Biology Award. It is given in honor of Dr. Daniel E. Kirk, former professor and chair of Catawba's Department of Biology and former Dean of the College. It is presented to a senior(s) who has exhibited outstanding service and achievement in the Department of Biology.
Adam Ridenhour of Advance was the recipient of The Religion Award. This award is given by the ministers of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ to the 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. The recipient is selected by the faculty of the Religion and Philosophy Department.
Kendra Joyner of Petersburg, Va., was the recipient of The David E. Faust Award. This award is awarded annually by the faculty of the Religion and Philosophy Department in memory of Dr. David Earl Faust, a former Professor of Religion at Catawba, to a student who demonstrates outstanding ability in religious studies (especially in the field of biblical studies), and who holds exceptional promise for the Christian ministries.
The Augustin Daly Award for Outstanding Student of the Year in Theatre Arts went to C.M. Garrison of Asheville. The award is named in memory of one of North Carolina's most historically important theatre figures and voted on by the Theatre Arts faculty.
Susan Fisher of Lititz, Pa., was the recipient of the Sociology Award. This new award is presented to the graduating senior who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement in the field of sociology and exemplifies the qualities of the sociological imagination.
Allison Justice of Bishopville, Md., and Jessica Gaskill of Salisbury were co-recipients of the Dr. Karl E. Hales Communication Award. This is a new award establish in honor of Dr. Karl Hales, who taught Communications and Speech at Catawba from 1966 until his retirement in 2005. Dr. Hales is also the well-known Voice of the Catawba Indians, announcing Catawba's home football games in the stadium for over 30 years.
Awards of Special Merit and Achievement
Carly M. Sabat of Warren, Ohio, received 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.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award was given to Dr. Julie Chamberlain, associate professor of music, and Adam Ridenhour of Advance. 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.
The 2010-2011 Staff Member of the Year is Sarah Rossini, Catawba's director of housing and residence life. This award is presented annually and selection is made by a popular vote of the students.
Dr. Kenneth Clapp, who teaches in the Religion and Philosophy Department and is the Senior Vice President and Chaplain at Catawba, 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.
Jane Young, who serves as coordinator of admissions records, 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 Jean Hall, administrative assistant to the Physical Education Department. 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.
Dr. J. Michael Bitzer, associate professor of political science, was the recipient of the Swink Prize for Outstanding Classroom Teacher. 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.
Dr. Sanford Silverburg, professor of political science, was the recipient of the Trustee Award for Outstanding Contribution to the College. The award is 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. Dr. Silverburg has served Catawba College for 40 years and will retire from the College in May of this year.
Whitener Medal Recipients
The recipients of the Whitener Medals were announced at the awards convocation but will actually receive their awards during Catawba's May 14th graduation exercise. They are Kendra Joyner of Petersburg, Va., and Mark Ketterer of Hamilton, N.J. 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 2011
VIDEO: 2011 Presentation of Awards