Catawba College President Brien Lewis had a chance to meet and learn about the achievements of some of the college's best and brightest students during his first week on the job. That opportunity came for Lewis at the college's annual Awards Convocation held April 19 in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel.
Lewis explained that the Awards Convocation allowed the campus community "to honor and celebrate people who are already demonstrating just how high their potential can be." Referring to the institution's mission statement, he said, "Catawba College prepares students to reach their highest potential. It is at the core of who we are and what we do. And we are confident in making this part of our mission because we can point to generations of alumni who stand up and say, 'Catawba prepared me — Catawba enabled me — to be the person I am today.' "
Most of the awards distributed during the convocation were eco-friendly, made of Catawba blue, 100% recycled glass. These symbolized the college's commitment to environmental responsibility and are an ongoing campus initiative to promote a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
Student Government Association Officers
Outgoing SGA president Yakir Malul of Rishon Le-Zion, Israel was presented with a gavel traditionally awarded to the retiring president of the Student Government Association (SGA). Malul served as SGA president during '11-'12 academic year.
SGA officers for the 2012-2013 academic year were installed at the convocation. They include President Jana Burkhardt of Willoughby, Ohio; Vice President Christian A. Crifasi of Ramseur; Justin M. Smith, of Greensboro, Secretary; and Treasurer Leah Constan-Tatos of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Service to the Community & Leadership Awards
Garrett McAuliffe of Kernersville and Brandi Cockerham of Mocksville 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.
Pioneer editor, Stephanie Cook of Alpharetta, Ga., received the Pioneer Award, for her hard work and leadership on the staff of the student newspaper, "The Pioneer."
Whitney Mullis of Kannapolis and Mackenzie Westbrook of Charlotte shared the Frances Decker Wentz Award. This award is given annually to the upper class student(s) 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 Ms. Catawba, elected to serve the College in the coming year, were announced at the convocation. They are Rayshaun Sandlin of Knightdale and Brandi Cockerham of Mocksville.
Dr. Janice M. Fuller, a professor of English and writer-in-residence at Catawba, 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 Robinson of Cartersville, Va., and faculty member, Dr. Mike Baranski, a professor of biology, 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.
Kelly M. Schumacher of Easton, Md., was the recipient of the annual Paul Fisher Service Award and Scholarship. It is presented to the member of the Catawba College community who has made the greatest contribution throughout the year in service to others and makes service an integral part of his or her life. The recipient of the annual scholarship award is chosen from those persons who have been designated as monthly Paul Fisher Service Award winners and receives a scholarship provided by F&M Bank and the recycled glass award.
Seventeen 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: Amanda L. Drake of Salisbury; Sarah A. Moore of Mocksville; Ana K. Cooke of Fairfax, Va.; W. Brett Underwood of Greensboro; Claire E. Robinson of Houston, Texas; Jennifer M. Goble of Salisbury; Jubilee A. Meehan of Kannapolis; Joshua A. Payne of Candler; Sarah C. Robinson of Cartersville, Va. ; Julie R. Gilley of of Dobson; Marissa E. DiMarco of Voorhees, N.J.; Joshua L. Owens of Mt. Pleasant; Sarah Y. Morse of Berwick, Maine; Stephanie W. Cook of Alpharetta, Ga.; Whitney P. Mullis of Kannapolis; Kyle D. Hendrick of Palatka, Fla.; and Robin E. Tynes of Black Mountain.
Academic Achievement Awards
Travis S. Cauble of Salisbury was the recipient 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 Sarah Matulis of Berlin, Conn., and Joshua Owens of Mt. Pleasant. Given annually to a senior in recognition of outstanding service to the Ralph W. Ketner School of Business, this award 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.
Elizabeth G. "Lizzle" Davis of East Bend 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.
Jubilee Meehan of Kannapolis 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. Jubilee's winning essay is entitled, "Uncle Tom's Cabin: Of "More Lofty Significance."
Elizabeth G. "Lizzle" Davis of East Bend 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 work was her poem, "5th Car, 3rd Wife, 2nd Attitude."
Jessica Everett of Winston-Salem and Elizabeth G. "Lizzle" Davis of East Bend shared 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(s) who demonstrates the greatest potential as a poet, based on a portfolio of his or her work.
Jacqueline Hodgson of Pittsfield, Mass., 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 Julie Gilley of Dobson. 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 shared by Frank Villa of Kannapolis and Jacob Regensburger of Fayetteville. It is given in recognition of the student showing the most meritorious work in the field of physics.
Blake Rushing of Indian Trail was presented the Chemistry Prize. This award is 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 shared by Luke Kooyman of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Lucas W. Riebe of Wellington, Fla. It is awarded annually to a chemistry major(s) during their freshman year in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement.
Rachel Cone of Lexington 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 Spencer K. Ashley of Yadkinville. 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.
Sarah C. Robinson of Cartersville, Va., 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.
Margaret Steele of Mocksville and Melanie Hudson of Greensboro 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.
Brittany Myers of Shelby 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 Melanie Hudson of Greensboro for her significant contribution to the programs of the music department and for her promise of future success in the field of music.
Katie Zink of Salisbury 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.
Marissa DiMarco of Voorhees, N.J., 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.
Amanda G. Williams of Indian Trail 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.
The Augustin Daly Award for Outstanding Student of the Year in Theatre Arts went to Robin Tynes of Black Mountain. 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.
Megan Kittel of Mooresville 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.
Brett Underwood of Greensboro and Stephanie Cook of Alpharetta, Ga., 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
Jacob Hill of Salisbury and Maggie McKee of Mount Airy received the Dean Grove Award, given annually to a student athlete(s) 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 Kyle D. Hendrick of Palatka, Fla., and Dr. James M. Beard, professor of chemistry. 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 2011-2012 Staff Member of the Year is Ms. Sandra Owen, a member of the Facilities Department. This award is presented annually and selection is made by a popular vote of the students.
Dr. Janice Fuller, a professor of English and Catawba's writer-in-residence, was selected as Professor of the Year for 2011-2012. 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.
Melanie McCulloh, who has served for many years as the Director of Financial Aid, 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 Jay Laurens, Coordinator of Outreach Programs for Catawba's Lilly Center for Vocation and Values. 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. Sharon Sullivan, associate professor of mathematics, 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 Hearne Swink, former Rowan County resident, official with Cannon Mills Company, and friend of the College.
Dr. Kenneth W. Clapp, college chaplain, director of Catawba's Lilly Center for Vocation and Values, assistant professor of religion and philosophy and senior vice president, 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.
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 12th graduation exercise. They are Claire Robinson of Houston, Texas, and Yakir Malul of Rishon Le-Zion, Israel. 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: 2012 Awards Convocation
VIDEO: Awards Convocation Highlights and Presentation of Awards