When members of the Catawba College community gathered for the annual Awards Convocation on April 24, it was a time to celebrate achievement and the exemplification of the four words on the Catawba College seal – scholarship, character, culture and service. The gathering was held in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel amidst much clapping and nods of approval and recognition.
Again this year, the 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
As is tradition at Catawba, the outgoing Student Government Association (SGA) president, T.J. Olsen of Pineville, was presented with a gavel, awarded to the retiring president at the end of the academic year. Olsen served as SGA president during '13-'14 academic year. Other outgoing SGA officers thanked for their service include Anne Mabry of China Grove; Secretary Ashley Everidge of Hamptonville; and Treasurer D.J. Colson of New London.
SGA officers for the 2014-2015 academic year were recognized during the Awards Convocation, but will be installed at this fall's Opening Convocation. They include re-elected President T.J. Olsen of Pineville; Vice-President Richard Shuping of Jamestown; Secretary Justin Burroughs of Salisbury; and Treasurer Finn Furstenwerth of Hamburg, Germany.
The new Mr. and Ms. Catawba, elected to serve the College in the coming year, were announced at the convocation. They are Katelyn Braswell of Hampstead and Gregory Alexander of Goldsboro.
Service to the Community & Leadership Awards
Timberley Motsinger of Winston-Salem was the recipient of 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.
For the second consecutive year, 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."
Dr. Carmony Hartwig, a visiting assistant professor of biology, 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 Buffkin of Chadbourn and Daniel Couchenour of Ft. Mill, S.C., Eric Nianouris 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.
Theo Shepard of Southport 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. Staff member Spencer Preston was also recognized as a recipient of the Paul Fisher Service Award.
The inaugural presentation of the President's Award for Community Service was made to Dr. Lyn Boulter, a professor of psychology. The award will be 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 form the faculty and staff with final selection from the nominations being made by the college president.
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 20 students are active leaders and scholars on campus. They include Allison Rae Andrews of Sherrills Ford; Cameron Michael Beard of Conover; Jonathan Matthew Buffkin of Chadbourn; Jana Marie Burkhardt of Wake Forest; Emily Renea Carlton of Winston-Salem; Dylan James Colson of New London; David James Crescenzo of Jamestown; James Morgan Everidge of Hamptonville; Kyle Frederick Griewisch of Banner Elk; Lindsay Catherine King of Kannapolis; Brendan Charles Lawson of Charlotte; Megan Irene Loveall of Salisbury; Allijah Gonzalez Motika of Asheville; Olivia Jordan Myers of Lexington; Jacob Robert Regensburger of Fayetteville; Cristin Andrea Ritchie of Salisbury; Cinthia Rodriguez of Salisbury; Leah Rose Ryan of Westborough, Mass.; Frank Villa Hernandez of Salisbury; and Elizabeth Jane White of Salisbury.
Academic Achievement Awards
Lauren Kennedy of Salisbury and Laurel Powell of Mooresville 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 shared by Kimberly Weemhoff of New London and Kayce Kimrey 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.
Jacquelyn Loy of Burlington 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. Jacquelyn's winning essay is entitled, "The Importance of Being Earnest and the Cult of True Womanhood."
Kristie Hill of Concord and Megan Bean of Kannapolis were co-recipients 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.
Anna Toole of Raleigh 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 Shakeisha Gray of Salisbury. 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 Taylor Spillman of Boonville. It is given in recognition of the student showing the most meritorious work in the field of physics.
Frank Villa Hernandez 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 Chelsie Miller of East Bend and Haley Allen of Winston-Salem. 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 Jordan Hunsaker of Charlotte. 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.
Kyle Griewisch of Banner Elk 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.
Jamie Gordon of Thomasville and Cristin Ritchie of Salisbury 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.
Kristi Leonard of Rockwell 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 Allijah Motika of Asheville for his significant contribution to the programs of the music department and for their promise of future success in the field of music.
Emily Carlton of Winston-Salem 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.
Alicia Patrick of Mooresville 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.
Kathryn Crawford of Concord 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.
Brendan Lawson of Charlotte received the inaugural 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.
Mary Podgorak-Lagro of Salisbury and Olivia Myers 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.
Athena Bless of Asheboro 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.
Matthew Sparks of Hyden, Ky., and Alicia Patrick of Mooresville were co-recipients 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.
Theo Shepard of Southport 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
Cameron Michael Beard of Conover and Martha Mallary Clay of Lansing shared 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 Jonathan Buffkin of Chadbourn and Julia Hayes, a professor of English. 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 2013-2014 Staff Member of the Year is Mrs. Sharon Newsome, administrative assistant in Student Affairs. 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 2013-2014. 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.
Director of Event Planning in Catawba Conferences, Bridgette Gibbs, 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 Rose Ann Pannell, senior administrative assistant in the department of music 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. Constance Rogers-Lowery, associate professor and chair 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. Lou Wilson Kasias, a professor of teacher education, was the recipient of the Trustee Award for Outstanding Contribution to the College. Dr. Kasias has served Catawba for 32 years, 15 of which were spent as director of Graduate Studies. 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 17th graduation exercise. They are Olivia Jordan Myers of Lexington and Frank Villa Hernandez 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.