UVa-Wise students receive academic awards
The following UVa-Wise students were honored this spring with academic awards.
Business & Economics
Napoleon Hill Achievement Award
Napoleon Hill, a native of Pound, Virginia, devoted his life to developing a philosophy of success that people of all walks of life could emulate. It was his goal to articulate the universal principles that, if applied correctly, would help every person achieve his or her major purpose in life. The Department of Business & Economics recognizes one graduating senior pursuing a major in accounting, business administration or economics who most embodies Mr. Hill’s principles. This year’s recipient is Megan Brooke Kilgore.
Outstanding Achievement Awards
The faculty of the Department of Business & Economics recognizes graduating seniors for outstanding work in the majors of accounting, business administration and economics. Each student receives an individual commemorative plaque and the names of all recipients are inscribed on a departmental plaque displayed in Smiddy Hall. This year’s award winners are:
Outstanding Achievement in Accounting
Stephanie Strouth Carter
Outstanding Achievement in Business Administration Megan Brooke Kilgore
Outstanding Achievement in Economics
Christine Desiree Nyrobe
David W. Roane Award in Business Ethics
The David Whitfield Roane Award in Business Ethics was created in memory of a businessman whose behavior throughout his life was aligned to a high degree with his commitment to ethical business practices and his personal honor. It is presented annually by the Department of Business & Economics to a senior who has practiced the highest level of integrity and honesty in his or her interactions with the department’s faculty with respect to coursework and extra-curricular activities, displayed the same level of behavior in his or her interactions with fellow students and the staff of the College, and exhibited to the department faculty a deep understanding of what it means to be ethical. This year’s recipient is Nathan Andrew Childress.
Ronald Heise Award for Excellence in Communication Studies
This award was established in honor of Associate Professor Emeritus Ronald Heise, who was responsible for establishing the concentration in communication that is now the Department of Communication Studies. Professor Heise was an innovator, teaching journalism, media studies, rhetorical analysis, business communication, and public speaking. The student selected for this award has distinguished him/herself by demonstrating excellence in the diverse areas of communication represented in the current department, including interpersonal communication, journalism, media studies and rhetorical studies. This year’s recipient is Jordan Shawn Childress.
Senior Capstone Award
This award recognizes students who have distinguished themselves in the senior capstone course. Majors who are enrolled in this course research, design, and execute an original project in media studies, rhetorical criticism, interpersonal communication or business communication. The research culminates in two public presentations of their work and a scholarly written report. This year’s award is presented to Jordan Shawn Childress.
Richard A. Davidson Education Award
The Richard A. Davidson Education Award honors Professor Davidson’s thirty-six years of service at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and recognizes his leadership, guidance, vision, support and care at the College and in the education community at large. The award is presented to the graduating senior who best exemplifies the potential to carry on those qualities demonstrated by Professor Davidson. This year’s recipient is Krystal Lynn Crockett.
Beulah M. Johnson Secondary Teaching Award
The Beulah M. Johnson Secondary Teaching Award was established in honor of Beulah M. Johnson of Lee County, Virginia, for her life-long commitment to teaching. Through Ms. Johnson’s unselfishness, positive attitude, courage and dedication, she has enriched the lives of many people, young and old alike. The recipient of this award must demonstrate academic excellence and show commitment to a life-long career in teaching. This year’s award is presented to John William Oliva IV.
Outstanding Woman Scholar in Education
The Virginia Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International honors a senior at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise as an Outstanding Woman Scholar in Education. Delta Kappa Gamma Society promotes quality education internationally. This year’s winner is Candace LeeAnn Short. Her name will be engraved on a plaque permanently displayed at the College.
Ray Spenilla Award in Health & Physical Education
This award is named for Ray Spenilla’s long-time contributions as teacher, coach and athletic director and his seminal work in developing and supporting the Health & Physical Education major here at the College. The award is given to the graduating senior who has demonstrated remarkable promise as a future Health & Physical Education teacher. This year’s recipient is Nicholas Haze Leftwich.
Gilmer Blackburn Award in Sport Management
This award is named in honor of former Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Gilmer Blackburn, who was instrumental in supporting Sport Management as a new field of study here at the College. The award is given to a graduating senior who shows outstanding promise in the field of Sport Management. This year’s recipient is Natasha LeAnne Dean.
History & Philosophy
Clinch Valley College History Fund Award
The Department of History and Philosophy recognizes history majors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. This year’s recipients are Ashlee Nicole Childress and Matthew James Donlevy.
William Elbert Fraley Awards
The William Elbert Fraley Awards in History and English are presented yearly in memory of William Elbert Fraley by his children. Mr. Fraley was born in Duffield, Virginia, in 1883, attended the College of William and Mary, and taught for several years in the public schools in Southwest Virginia. He later founded and operated hardware and furniture stores in Cleveland, Norton and Clintwood. He remained supportive of public education throughout his life.
The Fraley Award in History recognizes a student who has demonstrated unusual academic ability and promise in the field. This year’s awards are presented to Murphy Andrew Mullins and Jessilyn Morgan Strauss.
Language & Literature
William Elbert Fraley Award in English
The Fraley Award in English is given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in English studies and plans to attend graduate school. This year’s recipient is Jordan Keith Owens.
Language and Literature Senior Thesis Distinction
In honor of Professors M. John Mahony and Richard H. Peake, who designed the Department of Language & Literature’s senior thesis, the English faculty recognize students who have distinguished themselves in this capstone course. Majors who enroll in senior thesis conduct research in literature and write a scholarly essay. Students are also required to give two public presentations of their projects. This year’s recipient is Sarah Dannielle Roberts.
Outstanding Senior English Major
This award recognizes a student who has exhibited outstanding academic merit in the study of English literature. This year’s recipient is Sarah Dannielle Roberts.
Mathematics & Computer Science
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science recognizes graduates who have distinguished themselves in their majors. These awards are given at the discretion of faculty to graduating seniors especially deserving of recognition. This year’s award winners are:
Outstanding Senior in Computer Science
Brandon Durand Hines
Outstanding Senior in Mathematics
Kirk Wayne Jennings
Outstanding Senior in Software Engineering
Stephen Edward Showalter
American Institute of Chemists Award
The American Institute of Chemists Foundation annually honors seniors nominated by the chemistry faculty. The award is based on the student’s ability, character, scholastic achievement and potential for advancement in the field of chemistry. This year’s recipient is Jessica Ruby Shartouny. She will receive a certificate and membership in the Institute.
J. Rex Baird Outstanding Biologist Award
This award was created in recognition of J. Rex Baird for his outstanding contribution to the Department of Natural Sciences during thirty years of service. Professor Baird was a devoted and passionate teacher and, as a founding member of the department, he was instrumental in the design and implementation of the first undergraduate curriculum in biology. This award recognizes the accomplishments of a graduating senior in biology whose efforts express the exhilaration and rigor of investigative work that marked Professor Baird’s career. This year’s recipient is Meghan Marie Mullins.
Philip C. Shelton Outstanding Environmental Science Award
This award is given to a graduating senior in environmental science who has demonstrated outstanding environmental leadership and vision. The award is named in honor of Professor Emeritus of Biology Philip C. Shelton who, through his teachings and lifestyle, promotes a better balance between the advance of technology and preservation of the environment. The recipient of this award embodies Dr. Shelton’s lifelong commitment to stewardship of the land. This year’s recipient is Ryan Floyd O’Quinn.
Dr. Autumn and Dr. Christopher Starnes Medical Award
The Dr. Autumn and Dr. Christopher Starnes Medical Award is given annually to an outstanding senior in the natural sciences who is entering a professional program in medicine. Dr. Chris Starnes is an alumnus of the College and the Department of Natural Sciences. He serves southwestern Virginia as a physician. Established by Dr. Starnes, this award recognizes the accomplishments of a graduating senior and his/her potential to have a positive impact on the citizens of this region. This year’s award goes to Zachary Eugene Holcomb.
American Chemical Society Outstanding Chemist Award
The Northeast Tennessee section of the American Chemical Society annually recognizes senior chemistry majors in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia for their outstanding achievement in chemistry. This year’s recipient is Zachary Eugene Holcomb who receives a plaque and a Merck Index.
Joseph C. Smiddy Science Award
The Natural Science faculty presents an award to the most outstanding senior in natural sciences in honor of Joseph C. Smiddy, the College’s first biology professor and chancellor. The award was established by the department and members of Chancellor Smiddy’s inaugural biology class in recognition of his years of service and commitment to the academic integrity of the college and the department. This year’s recipients are Jesse Cameron Miles and Jessica Ruby Shartouny who will have their names engraved on a plaque permanently displayed in the Leonard W. Sandridge Science Center.
Betty M. Johnson Clinical Excellence Award
This award honors Professor Betty Johnson, the Department of Nursing’s founding Chair. Professor Johnson worked to bring a quality baccalaureate nursing program to Southwest Virginia, and continues to be an advocate for excellence in nursing education. She was a founding member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s accrediting body, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, of which the Department of Nursing has been a member since inception. This award is given to a student who exhibits the highest standard of are in clinical practice. This year’s recipient is Sharita Marie McCain.
Karen Denice Lane Nursing Challenge Award
This award was established by friends and family in memory and honor of Karen Denice Lane. The award will be made to a graduating senior who plans to attend graduate school and who, faced with the challenges of a non-traditional student, achieved a high level of academic performance while promoting and supporting his/her classmates and emulating excellence in nursing practice, and is committed to community service and life-long learning. This year’s recipient is Paige Leann Tiller.
Outstanding Graduate in Nursing
The Department of Nursing faculty established the Outstanding Graduate in Nursing Award in honor of the inaugural graduating class, which earned Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees in 1996. The award is presented annually in recognition of academic performance, College and community service, and commitment to the nursing profession. This year’s recipient is Chloe Celeste Meade.
Leon and Helen Lederer Memorial Award in Applied Psychology
The Leon and Helen Lederer Memorial Award is presented to a graduating senior who based on academic performance, College and community service, and commitment to the Psychology major and to Counseling in particular. The award was established to honor the most promising student who intends to pursue counseling as a profession. This year’s award is presented to Rachel Lauren Thompson who receives a plaque of recognition.
Outstanding Graduate in Administration of Justice Award
The Outstanding Graduate in Administration of Justice Award is presented to a graduating senior based on academic performance, College and community service, and commitment to the administration of justice profession. The award was established in honor of the first Administration of Justice graduates who completed degrees in 1999. This year’s awards are presented to Phillip Louis Blevins and Jacob Lynn Ingles who will each receive a plaque of recognition.
Outstanding Research Contribution in Psychology
During each academic year, psychology students have original research accepted in a competitive review process at a national conference. The department congratulates these students for their excellent work and recognizes this work with a plaque of recognition. This year’s recipients are Erin LeShea Beach and Andy Keith Edwards.
Scholar in Government Award
Each year, the Department of Social Sciences presents an award to a student or students who have excelled in the study of government. This year the department is pleased to recognize Dakota Wayne Thomas.
Scholar in Sociology Award
The Scholar in Sociology Award is presented to a graduating senior who has done work of the highest quality. The criteria for this award include outstanding scholarship and student leadership. Daniella Veronica Perla, and Stephanie Alejandra Perla are this year’s Scholars in Sociology.
Joseph M. Scolnick, Jr. Excellence in Government and Public Service Award
This award honors Joseph M. Scolnick, Jr., a longtime professor of political science at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Professor Scolnick valued service to the community and modeled this both in his writing and public addresses designed to promote understanding of political issues outside the classroom. The Excellence in Government and Public Service Award goes to a senior who has served the College community in a variety of posts, guarding the values of the institution and promoting the well-being of its student body. The recipient of this honor is Katelyn Danielle Wilmer.
Joseph M. Scolnick Sr. Memorial Pre-Law Award
This award is named for Joseph M. Scolnick who attended the University of Virginia and George Washington University and made his career as a lawyer in Norfolk and New York City. Mr. Scolnick valued education throughout his life, especially higher education. This award was created in his honor because of the great pleasure he would receive from knowing he had a hand in encouraging an outstanding undergraduate who will pursue a career in the field of law that he loved so much. This year’s awards go to Kristina Haileigh Johnson.
Visual and Performing Arts
The VERTU Award is presented to a graduating student of the arts who has demonstrated remarkable dedication to personal growth and expression through the arts, and who has publicly exhibited creative work resulting from his or her thoroughgoing inquiry, ingenuity and virtuosity. The VERTU Award is presented to Brynn Nicole Hurst.
Chancellor’s Medal for Undergraduate Research
The College recognizes and honors students who have attained a high level of scholarship as undergraduates.
o that end, the Chancellor’s Medal is awarded annually to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the pursuit of knowledge beyond the classroom. To be eligible for the Chancellor’s Medal, a student must have been nominated by a faculty mentor in response to an exceptional project, and members of the Undergraduate Research Council must have judged the student’s work to be particularly meritorious and deserving of public recognition. Matthew James Donlevy, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal. Last summer, Mr. Donlevy was accepted into ETSU’s highly competitive McNair Undergraduate Research program, which helps students hone their research skills and prepare for graduate study. He then returned to Wise, where, as an extension of that program, he embarked on a six-month research project that explored his burgeoning interest in English literature. Working with UVa-Wise faculty advisor Gretchen Martin, he examined representations of masculinity in Herman Melville’s novella “Beneto Cereno” and ultimately produced a paper entitled “What Do You Do With a Dandy Spaniard: Conceptualizations of Masculinity in Melville’s ‘Benito Cereno’.” Mr. Donlevy’s ground-breaking work has been well-received both in scholarly presentations and as a graduate school writing sample; this fall, he will enroll in the English M.A.-Ph.D. track program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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