On Friday, April 20, William Jewell College hosted Honors Convocation to present departmental awards and the Faculty Award. Each department recognized students who had exceptionally achieved in the field.
The night was a combination of celebration of student accomplishments and of music. In between professors announcing awards, students performed musical interludes. Dr. Ian Coleman, professor of music, described the music as an opportunity for reflection on the achievements and accomplishments of the students.
Besides departmental awards, the College recognized senior honors including members of Mortar Board, seniors graduating with honors and members of the Phi Epsilon honor society. Dr. Maggie Sherer, professor and chair of physics, presented members of Mortar Board, a national senior honor society “demonstrating the ideals of leadership, scholarship and service. Members are selected through an application process and must meet the ideals of the society and have a grade point average in the top 35 percent of their junior class.”
Members of Mortar Board from the class of 2018 are:
Kristen Agar, Johanna Alpert, Seki Anderson, Caris Boegl, Molly Carroll, Madlyn Cox-Guerra, Courtney Eddins, Mackenzie Giegling, Madison Giles, Lydia Hanman, Kelsey Jones, Jesse Lundervold, Grace Miller, Allison Mulnix, Hannah Nicolay, Crista Pinkston, Paige Shoemaker, Brianna Steiert, Erika Storvick, Blair Sundhausen, Elizabeth Tucker, Robert Warton, Grace Webber and Valerie Yeutter.
Dr. Anne Dema, provost, recognized members of the Phi Epsilon Honor Society. The society is composed of “students who will be graduated in the top 10 percent of the class based on institutional grade point average and a minimum of 60 credit hours at William Jewell College.”
Members of the class of 2018 in the Phi Epsilon Honor Society are:
Kristen Agar, George Barth, Caris Boegl, Sara Clarke, Madison Giles, Cassidy Hensen, Emma Jones, Katherine Jones, Aubrey Kent, Jesse Lundervold, Shea Marcinski, Nichole Marquis, Marco Lopez, Elizabeth McQueen, Erin Melton, Grace Miller, Kelly O’Hare-Baxley, Lauren Pope, Jason Rideout, Matthew Samsel, Madelyn Stantorf, Brianna Steiert, William Tupino and Megan Wilt.
Dr. Brendon Benz, assistant professor of religion, presented the seniors who will be graduating with honors. These seniors undertook an additional “challenge of academic excellence… by completing a project within the declared major.”
This year, nine seniors are graduating with honors: Seki Anderson, Rebecca Santiago, Jameson O’Connor, Matthew Samsel, Madelyn Cox-Guerra, Andrew Novak, Tiffany Eldridge, Grace Miller and Elizabeth Tucker.
Throughout the program, Dr. David McCune, assistant professor of mathematics and the 2018 Faculty Award Committee chair, presented the finalists for the Faculty Award. The Faculty Award is given to the senior who most exemplifies the ideals of a liberal arts education.
This year’s finalists for the awards were Seki Anderson, biochemistry and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry major; Caris Boegl, Oxbridge Institutions and Policy and international relations major; Jesse Lundervold, chemistry and studio art major; Erin Melton, Oxbridge Literature and Theory major; and Grace Miller, psychology and Spanish major.
As outlined in a previous Hilltop Monitor article about the finalists, Dr. McCune described the qualities the Committee considers when evaluating applicants.
“First, academic excellence … Past recipients have done things like present their work at conferences, receive significant scholarships based on academic achievement, be a co-author on a publication, etc. Second, as part of the application process an applicant must write an essay stating what she thinks the selection criteria for the Award should be and how she fulfills those criteria. Since the Award goes to the senior who ‘most exemplifies the ideals of a liberal arts education,’ we are interested in seeing an applicant think through what that means,” McCune said.
The winner of the 2018 Faculty Award is Erin Melton. In his presentation of Melton, McCune described Melton’s scholarship, dedication to service and awareness of social issues. Her balance of passion, responsibility and talent inspire both her peers and faculty member. Melton commented on receiving the Award.
“I was so impressed and humbled at Honors Convocation to learn about the great things all my peers have been doing. It was great to learn about the high performance going on in departments far from my own. Not least of this were the academic accomplishments, faculty recommendations and service activities of my fellow finalists. Those four women absolutely blow me away. These are people I’ve looked up to in different ways during my four years at Jewell, and I’m even lucky enough to call some of them my close friends. I am unbelievably humbled and honored to have won, and I’m so very grateful to all the faculty and fellow students who have helped pull me through college,” Melton said.
Photos by Cassie Hayes.