Members of the Catawba College community gathered in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on April 23 to celebrate achievement. The occasion was the annual Awards Convocation.
Scheduled the day after Earth Day, the awards distributed were eco-friendly, made of Catawba blue, 100% recycled glass. They symbolized the college's commitment to environmental responsibility and are a reminder to the recipients to promote a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
Student Government Association Officers
As is tradition at Catawba, the outgoing SGA president, Jana Burkhardt of Wake Forest was presented with a gavel, awarded to the retiring president of the Student Government Association (SGA) at the end of the academic year. Burkhardt served as SGA president during '12-'13 academic year.
SGA officers for the 2013-2014 academic year were installed at the convocation. They include President T.J. Olsen of Pineville; Vice-President Anne Mabry of China Grove; Secretary Ashley Everidge of Hamptonville; and Treasurer D.J. Colson of New London.
Service to the Community & Leadership Awards
Garrett McAuliffe of Kernersville, Brandi Cockerham of Mocksville and Jeremy Gardner of Harrisburg 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, Darby Reedy of Reading, Pa., received the Pioneer Award, for her hard work and leadership on the staff of the student newspaper, "The Pioneer."
Maggie Keeble of Mocksville and Katherine Carpenter of Salisbury 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 Brendan Lawson of Charlotte and Olivia Myers of Lexington.
Kelly Heinemann, area coordinator for Resident Assistant Programming and Assistant to the Director of Housing in the Student Affairs Department, 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.
Students Jonathan Cooley of Mooresville and Kyra Thurow of Holly Spring, and staff member, Carl Beaver of the Facilities Department, 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.
Rachel E. Gallup of Fredericksburg, Va., 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.
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: Ashley E. Acken of Marietta, Pa.; Brandi D. Cockerham of Mocksville; Leah Constan-Tatos of Johannesburg, S.A.; Christian A. Crifasi of Ramseur; Elizabeth G. Davis of East Bend; Andrew M. Laurens of Salisbury; Jaclyn M. Lawrence of Waxhaw; Garrett P. McAuliffe of Kernersville; Jubilee A. Meehan of Kannapolis; Maura L. Pantone of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Spencer D. Preston of Estero, Fla.; Collette L. Riddle of Roanoke, Va.; Chelsea M. Starr of Weston, Fla.; Kyra J. Thurow of Holly Springs; and Elizabeth J. White of Salisbury.
Academic Achievement Awards
Leah Constan-Tatos of Johannesburg, S.A., 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 Leah Constan-Tatos of Johannesburg, S.A., and Christian Crifasi of Ramseur. Given annually to a senior or seniors 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.
Megan Bean 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.
Blanche Schwarz of Statesville 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. Blanche's winning essay is entitled, "The Ordo Virtutum: A Brighter Vision for Humanity."
Megan Bean of Kannapolis 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, "Reins."
Rebecca Rider of Rockwell 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(s) who demonstrates the greatest potential as a poet, based on a portfolio of his or her work.
Chelsea Starr of Weston, Fla., 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 Christina Faircloth of Belmont. 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 given to Ekaterina "Katia" Kruglov of Karmiel, Israel. It is given in recognition of the student showing the most meritorious work in the field of physics.
Elizabeth J. White of Salisbury 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 Maria Gurski of Norristown, Pa., and Taylor Spillman of Boonville. It is awarded annually to a chemistry major(s) during their freshman year in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement.
Blake Rushing of Indian Trail 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 Maggie McKee of Mt. Airy. 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.
Kyra Thurow of Holly Springs 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.
Hannah Fisher of China Grove and Elizabeth Davis of East Bend 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.
Cristin Ritchie of Salisbury 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
The College Chairman's Award in Music went to Michelle Chaffee or Holly Springs and Dustin Shelton of Kannapolis for their significant contribution to the programs of the music department and for their promise of future success in the field of music.
David R. Bowling of Newburg, Md., 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.
Lindsay Smith of Salisbury 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.
Meredith Brown of Statesville 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.
Kevin Killough of Concord received 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.
Andrew Laurens of Salisbury 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.
The Augustin Daly Award for Outstanding Student of the Year in Theatre Arts went to Kara Procell of Bel Air, Md. 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.
Maura Pantone of Pittsburgh, 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.
Brandi Cockerham of Mocksville was the recipient of the Dr. Karl E. Hales Communication Award. This award was established 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
Olivia J. Myers of Lexington 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 Ashley Acken of Mariette, Pa., and Dr. Rhonda Truitt, chair and associate professor of teacher education. 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 2012-2013 Staff Member of the Year is Mrs. Ann Clifton, administrative assistant to Academic Affairs and to the Office of the Provost. This award is presented annually and selection is made by a popular vote of the students.
Dr. Julie Chamberlain, associate professor of music, was selected as Professor of the Year for 2012-2013. 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.
Associate Registrar, Marsha Safrit, 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 members of the faculty and staff and the recipient selected by a vote of the Staff Council.
The President's Award for Staff Excellence was presented to Tonia Black-Gold, communications officer for the college. 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 College President.
Dr. Maria Vandergriff-Avery, associate professor of sociology and director of the College Honors Program, 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. William Russell, professor of physical education and chair of the department of physical education and athletics, was the recipient of the Trustee Award for Outstanding Contribution to the College. Dr. Russell has served Catawba, his alma mater, for 22 years, since joining the faculty in 1991. 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 11th graduation
exercise. They are Chelsea Starr of Weston, Fla., and Blake Rushing of Indian Trail. 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: 2013 Awards Convocation
VIDEO: Students Reflect on Past Year, Awards, and Summer Plans