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Service, Leadership, Academic Achievements and Special Merit Are Focus of Awards Convocation


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 2017 Award Recipients

Student achievement in service, leadership and academics were the focus of Catawba College's annual Awards Convocation held April 20 in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel.

As is the tradition at Catawba, most awards distributed were eco-friendly, made of Catawba blue, 100% recycled glass to symbolize the college's commitment to sustainability.


Student Government Association Officers and College Representatives
The outgoing Student Government Association (SGA) president, Blake Brewer of Elfland was presented with a gavel, awarded to the retiring president at the end of the academic year. Brewer served as SGA president during '16-'17 academic year. Other outgoing SGA Executive officers thanked for their service included Vice President Gavin Wooten of Lexington and Treasurer Justin Potter of Seaford, Va.

SGA officers who will serve during the 2017-2018 academic year were recognized, including President Gavin Wooten, aforementioned; Vice President Payton Coleman of Charlotte; Treasurer Molly Sue Harmon of Mint Hill; and Secretary Adna Music of Salisbury. As one of his first acts as the incoming SGA President, Wooten assisted with the award presentations made during the convocation.

The new Ms. and Mr. Catawba, elected by the student to serve the College in the coming year, were announced at the convocation. They are Kristen Rocko of Johns Creek, Ga., and Duane Leatherberry of Egg Harbor Township, N.J.


Service to the Community & Leadership Awards
Jeremiah Moss of Culpeper, Va., received the David Hoyle Award for Outstanding Service in the area of student activities. It is awarded annually to a student(s) who has made exemplary contributions to all areas of student activities.

Kristen Rocko of Johns Creek, Ga., was the recipient of the Sara Cook Award for Student Involvement. This award was established by Student Affairs in recognition of the work of Board of Trustee Member Sara Cook and her role in alcohol education, policy and programs that have changed the campus culture of student life at Catawba. It is presented annually to the member of the student body who demonstrates a concern for the well-being of fellow students like Ms. Cook modeled for the college community in regards to making it a better place for students through student life programs outside the classroom. The Office of Student Affairs nominates candidates and makes final choices on the award winner.

Hannah Davis of Raleigh, the editor of "The Pioneer" student newspaper, received the Pioneer Award, for her hard work and leadership on the staff of this publication.

Two students, Angelica Crisafulli of Troutman and Cynthia Snipes of Winston-Salem, shared the Frances Decker Wentz Award. Established by the Corriher-Linn-Black Library staff in honor of the late Mrs. Frances Wentz, the award is presented annually to an upper class student(s) who has demonstrated a real concern and aptitude for theory and practice of library science and service.

Ricky Joines, a member of the Athletics Department staff, 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 Hannah Davis of Raleigh and William Spencer of Cary, along with Executive Vice President for Finance and Operations Nelson Murphy, were recognized as Leaders in Environmental Stewardship. This award 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.

Seventeen inductees into Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges were announced. 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 Taylor Lauren Adams of Smithfield; Blake Douglas Brewer of Elfland; Justin Michael Burroughs of Salisbury; Joshua Andrew Edwards of Mount Airy; Anna Sophia Fields of Fairview; McKenzie Jean Garrison of Newton; Lauren Elizabeth Gaskill of Salisbury; Audrey Christina Hoffman of Dacula, Ga.; Michael Wayne Jones of Salisbury; Kaetlyn Marie McNabb of Salisbury; Steven Edward Porter of Concord; Kristen Marie Rocko of Johns Creek, Ga.; Sara Kay Sellers of Salisbury; Michael Lawrence Sheehan of Wilmington; Madison Taylor Sides of Kannapolis; Santiago Israel Suarez of Lewisville; and Robert Jackson Thornton, III of Durham.

The President's Award for Community Service was presented to Dr. Darin Spencer, an Assistant Professor of Accounting. The award is given annually to a member of the campus community who has distinguished him or herself in significant service to the local Rowan-Salisbury community. The recipient is selected through nominations from the faculty and staff with final selection from the nominations being made by the college president.

Student Emily Hoffler of Palmyra, Pa., 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. The Chair of the Catawba College Board of Trustees Darlene Ball '62 was also recognized as a recipient of the Paul Fisher Service Award.

Members of Catawba's team who participated in the N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities annual Ethics Bowl this year were recognized with certificates of appreciation. They included Blake Brewer of Elfland; Sarah Bushey of Ontario, N.Y.; Taylor Cielo of Wake Forest; Brianna Gordon of Chapel Hill; and Jonathan Rife of Apex. Dr. Norris Feeney, an Assistant Professor of Politics, coached the Catawba team and also served as the coordinator for the team.


Academic Achievement Awards
Elizabeth Smith of Salisbury and Cole Middleton of Lexington were co-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 Jake LaFrancis of Conover. 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.

Mitchell Croot of Rockwell 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.

Sara Sellers of Salisbury was 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.

Heather Duncan of Salisbury was awarded the Martha H. Morehead Award for the outstanding single work – poem, short story, or graphic contribution to The Arrowhead during the year with the selection made by the English Department. The award is given annually to honor the late Dr. Martha Morehead, Professor of English, whose tireless nurturing of the arts at Catawba College was vital to The Arrowhead's success.

Thomas Goodwin of Concord and Michael Smethurst of Oakville, Canada, were co-recipients 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 Mitchell Croot of Rockwell. 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 Morgan Elder of Hazelwood, Mo. It is given in recognition of the student showing the most meritorious work in the field of physics.

Justin Burroughs 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 given to Elizabeth Nail of King.  It is awarded annually to a chemistry major(s) during their freshman year in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement.

The recipients of the Mathematics Award were Dominique Karriker of Salisbury and Alicia Richards of Narragansett, Rhode Island. This award is presented annually by the mathematics department faculty to a student(s) who has demonstrated outstanding ability, scholarship and interest in the field of mathematics.

Pamela Casdorph of Statesville 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.

Lauren Gaskill of Salisbury and Crystal Holcomb of Lexington were the 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.

Megan Hampton of Hamptonville 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 Anderson Collin Denton of Linwood for his significant contribution to the programs of the music department and for their promise of future success in the field of music.

Jennifer Beach of Manchester, Md., was the recipient of the Roberts Senior Psychology Award. Named in honor of long-time Psychology Department Chair, Dr. A. E. Roberts, it is given annually to a psychology major who has been judged presented to the psychology major who has been judged by graduating psychology majors as having made outstanding contributions to the various activities of the Psychology Department.

Angel Brown of Johns Island, S.C., was the recipient of the Sociology Award, presented annually to the graduating senior who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement in the field of sociology and exemplifies the qualities of the sociological imagination.

McKenzie Garrison of Newton received the 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.

Michael Sheehan of Wilmington received the William L. Russell Award. It will be presented annually to the student who best demonstrates the values of Catawba College – scholarship, character, culture and service and in recognition of academic excellence, leadership, loyalty and dedication. The award, for outstanding service to the Department of Sport and Health Sciences and the community, is given in memory of Dr. Bill Russell.

Katelyn DeZego of Lexington 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.

Sean Patrick McMahon of Hilton Head, S.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.

Collette Simkins of Baltimore, Md., received the Augustin Daly Award for Outstanding Student of the Year in Theatre Arts. This award is named in memory of one of North Carolina's most historically important theatre figures and voted on by the Theater Arts faculty.
Lilyanne Lee of Burlington 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
Audrey Hoffman of Dacula, Ga., 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 Thomas Goodwin of Concord and Dr. Darin Spencer, an Assistant Professor of Accounting.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.

Catawba's 2016-2017 Staff Member of the Year Award went to the Director of Career Services, Ms. Robin Perry. This award is presented annually and selection is made by a popular vote of the students.

Dr. Darin Spencer was selected as Professor of the Year for 2016-2017. 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.

Ms. Jane Snider, an Administrative Assistant in the Teacher Education Department, 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 Richard Darr, the Director of Process Improvement in the Information Technology Department at 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. Carmony Hartwig, Assistant Professor of Biology, 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. Janice Fuller, a Professor of English and Catawba's Writer-in-Residence, was the recipient of the Trustee Award for Outstanding Contribution to the College.  It was presented to her by Board of Trustees Chair Darlene Ball. The award is given annually to the person or persons judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the institution. The recipient is recommended by the Catawba College Faculty Senate and endorsed by the Board of Trustees' Governance Committee.


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 13th graduation exercise. They are Anna Fields of Fairview and Justin Burroughs of Salisbury. 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.

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