Members of the Catawba College community gathered at annual Awards Convocation on April 21 to recognize and celebrate student scholastic achievements. The event was held in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel to present awards recognizing excellence in specific academic disciplines and to honor award recipients who demonstrate the four qualities noted on the college seal: scholarship, character, culture and service.
As is the tradition at Catawba, 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
In another Catawba tradition, the outgoing Student Government Association (SGA) president, Justin Burroughs of Salisbury, was presented with a gavel, awarded to the retiring president at the end of the academic year. Burroughs served as SGA president during '15-'16 academic year. Other outgoing SGA Executive officers thanked for their service included Vice President Blake Brewer of Efland; Treasurer Caroline Graham of Salisbury; and Secretary David Stevenson, Jr. of Kernersville.
Several SGA officers for the 2016-2017 academic year took the oath of office, including President Blake Brewer of Efland and Treasurer Justin Potter of Seaford, Va. As one of his first acts as the incoming SGA President, Blake Brewer assisted with the award presentations made during the convocation.
The new Mr. and Ms. Catawba, elected by the student to serve the College in the coming year, were announced at the convocation. They are Anna Fields of Fairview and Israel Suarez of Lewisville.
Service to the Community & Leadership Awards
Raymond Giannuzzi of Rockwell and Uriah Futch of Salisbury shared 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.
Joel Schlaudt of Richmond, Va., 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, Anna Beth Carter of Mocksville and Forest Fugate of Asheville 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.
Dr. Charles McAllister, a professor of history, 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 Joel Schlaudt of Richmond, Va., Pamela Casdorph of Statesville, and Forest Fugate of Asheville 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.
Thirteen 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 Johnathon Christian Boles of Salisbury; Kathleen Marie Burris of Mt. Pleasant; Ashley Marie Everidge of Hamptonville; Rachel Elizabeth Gallup of Fredericksburg, Va.; Jevgenij Gamper of Vilinius, Lithuania; Kristina Juliette Hoff of Indian Trail; Alex Thomas Lee of Salisbury; Trevor Joseph Loudin of Salisbury; Shannon Leigh Morton of Millington, Md.; Taylor Elise Spillman of Boonville; Brinsley Morgan Stewart of Boonville; Carley Blake Tysinger of Lexington; and Elizabeth Jean White of Bluffton, S.C.
The President's Award for Community Service was presented to Dr. Cheryl Peevy, a professor of Modern Foreign Languages. 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.
Thomas Goodwin of Concord 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. Faculty/Staff member Dr. Pamela Thompson, a member of Ketner School of Business faculty, 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.; Brianna Gordon of Chapel Hill; Jonathan Rife of Apex; and Gavin Wooten of Lexington. The Catawba team was coached by Dr. Norris Feeney, an assistant professor of politics, who also served as the coordinator for the team.
Academic Achievement Awards
Elizabeth Renteria of Miramar, Fla., 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.
Joshua Hill of Fayetteville and Rafal Baran of Trzebinia, Poland, shared the Millard F. Wilson Award for Excellence in Business. 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.
Lauren Gaskill of Salisbury 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.
Shaun Cammack of Lake Toxaway 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.
The Martha H. Morehead Award, presented for the outstanding single work – poem, short story, or graphic contribution to "The Arrowhead" during the year with the recipient selected by the English Department, went to Maria Adkins of Salisbury.
Alanna Paget of Miami, 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 Sarah McNeill of Salisbury and Ethan Pethel of Kannapolis. 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 Alicia Richards of Narragansett, R.I., in recognition of her showing the most meritorious work in the field of Physics.
Brooke Baumgarten 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 Morgan Grubb of Veedersburg, Ind., and Devan Shell of Ferguson. It is awarded annually to a chemistry major(s) during their freshman year in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement.
The recipient of the Mathematics Award was Brinsley Morgan Stewart of Boonville. 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.
Forest Fugate of Asheville 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.
Sophia Waller of Watford, U.K., and Danielle Mauldin of Kannapolis were the recipients of the Shirley L. Haworth Prospective Teacher Award. It is presented to education majors or minors who have demonstrated outstanding potential as a teacher based on classroom observations. The recipient(s) is chosen by the Department of Teacher Education faculty.
Sarah Cranfill of Advance 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 a former faculty member in Catawba's Teacher Education Department and former director of the College's Shirley Peeler Ritchie Academy for Teaching.
The College Chairman's Award in Music went to Kristofer Ewaniuk of Coopersburg, Pa., for his significant contribution to the programs of the music department and for their promise of future success in the field of music.
Kathleen Burris of Mt. Pleasant was the recipient of the Roberts Senior Psychology Award. It is given annually to a psychology major who has been judged by graduating psychology majors as having made an outstanding contribution to the various activities of the Psychology Department.
Richard Lugo of Virginia Beach, Va., 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.
Kristina Hoff of Indian Trail received the Whitley Award in recognition of academic excellence, loyalty, and dedication and for outstanding service to both the Department of Sport and Health Sciences and the community. The award was established in 1999 in honor of Dr. Patricia Whitley to be given annually to a junior or senior female student who best exemplifies the standard of excellence Whitley established.
Kyle Mechling of Quinton, Va., received the William L. Russell Award. It is presented 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. This award for outstanding service to the Department of Sport and Health Sciences and the community is given in memory of Dr. Bill Russell.
Taylor Spillman of Boonville received the Daniel E. Kirk Biology Award. It is given in memory 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.
Melissa Paige Tarduno of Indian Trail 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.
Lauren Sledd of Roanoke, Va., 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
Jevgenij Gamper of Vilinius, Lithuania, was the recipient of 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 Johnathon Boles of Salisbury and Dr. Paul Baker, a professor of Mathematics. 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 2015-2016 Staff Member of the Year is Mrs. Sharon Newsome, administrative assistant to the Dean of Students. This award is presented annually and selection is made by a popular vote of the students.
Dr. Norris Feeney, an assistant professor of politics, was selected as Professor of the Year for 2015-2016. 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.
Chad Lewis, a systems administrator/developer in the Information Technology Department, was honored as the recipient of the Louise Tucker Staff Council Award. The award is given to a staff member who demonstrates an 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 award is given in memory of former employee and alumna Louise Tucker '44.
The President's Award for Staff Excellence was shared by Rodney Rymer, director of systems/networking in the Information Technology Department, and Steffanie West, assistant director for Admissions operations. The award is given annually to a member(s) 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. Jay Bolin, an 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. Sheila Brownlow, a professor of psychology, was the recipient of the Trustee Award for Outstanding Contribution to the College, presented to her by Mr. Bill Graham, vice chair of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Brownlow is the director of the First Year Experience and is involved in organizing Preview Days and coordinating First Year Seminar. She was also very active in the SACS-COC accreditation process, including writing important sections of the institution's report that dealt with student assessment and outcomes. In the past, she was the longtime Director of the College Honors Program and chaired the faculty's Academic Policies Committee.
The Trustee 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 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 14th graduation exercise. They are Joshua Hill of Fayetteville and Ashley Everidge of Hamptonville. 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.
Special Group Recognitions
Graduating seniors in Catawba's Class of 2016 were recognized less than a month before their May 14th graduation.
Students in the Day and Evening programs who made the Dean's List during spring or fall 2015 by earning a 3.5 or higher GPA on at least 15 semester hours (day) or at least 12 semester hours (evening) were also applauded.
The top men's and women's teams that had the highest academic grade point average in the fall 2015 semester were recognized. This included members of the Women's Cross Country team who had an overall 3.63 GPA for the fall semester, and members of the Men's Tennis team with an overall 3.54 GPA for the fall semester.
Employee of the College were recognized for their years of service to the institution. Those with 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service were asked to stand and be applauded for their dedication and longevity.