Minerva Awards Highlight Student Achievement
Each year, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma spotlights student achievement with the Honors Convocation and Minerva Awards ceremony. This spring, faculty, students and staff members presented departmental, athletic and creativity awards to dozens of students during the annual event, held April 6 in the USAO Student Center Ballroom.
After a welcome by USAO President Dr. John Feaver, guests were entertained by the USAO Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music.
Lori Underwood, director of student activities and leadership programs, served as emcee for the event and recognized members of the university’s five honor societies for the academic year.
Dr. Darryel Reigh, professor of chemistry, distributed this year’s Divisional Distinguished Graduate Awards. Lawton English major Sarah Powers received distinction from the Division of Arts and Humanities. Tuttle English major Melody Dobbins was named the outstanding graduate for the Division of Business and Social Science. Robin Bohot, a speech language major from Comanche, and Ellen Fitzwater, an early childhood education major from Ninnekah, were distinguished by the Division of Education and Speech Language Pathology. Cara Boruty, a chemistry major from Midwest City, and Gayle Ellen Eggleston, a physics major from Edmond, were named the outstanding graduates for the Division of Science and Physical Education.
The annual Bill Smith Scholar-Athlete Award was presented to Chickasha business major Caitlin Crotty and USAO graduate Paulo Kubis.
Additional scholar-athlete awards were given to Bahamas biology major Sasha Ferguson, Purcell biology major Leslie Beaty and Allen Harris, a sociology major from Gardena, Calif.
Dr. Jennifer Long, associate professor of economics and chair of interdisciplinary studies and curriculum, presented several Works of Distinction Awards to students for papers and special projects.
Works of Distinction Awards went to Lawton English major Sarah Powers for "Heroine Addict: The Heroic Women of Fantasy Literature," Tuttle English major Melody Dobbins for "A Study on the Immediate Effects of Poetry on Emotion," Shawnee fine arts major Ali Crouch for "The Artistic Unification," and Comanche speech language major Robin Bohot for "Caregiving for Dementia Patients: An American Indian Perspective."
Stuart Meltzer, emeriti professor of English and foreign language, presented the Stuart Meltzer English Scholarship to Jerry Weems, an English major from Chickasha. Emily McLennan, an art major from Oklahoma City, and Ali Crouch, a fine arts major from Shawnee, received the Derald Swineford Art Scholarship by Kent Lamar, professor of art.
The George Austin Award for Campus Leadership was presented to Cori Marsala-Quintero, a psychology major from Yukon. Tulsa music major Elizabeth Sellers received the Te Ata Award for Creative Expression. Andrea Jones, an English major from Covington, Ohio, received the Gladys Anderson Emerson Award for Undergraduate Research.
Three students received graduation cords for their involvement in the President’s Leadership Council. They include Sarah Chalfant, a speech language major from Mustang; Sarah Powers, an English major from Lawton, and Ashley Hyde, a psychology major from Altus.
Graduation cords also were given to seven students for their roles in the Student Government Association. These students included Ryan Romasz, an early childhood education major from Mustang; Melissa Losada, a communication major from Oklahoma City; Jillian Caldwell, a business major from Elmore City; Quentin Pongratz, an English major from Del City; Tiffany Hile, an early childhood education major from Shawnee; Trent Oakman, a business major from Healdton, and Cori Marsala-Quintero, a psychology major from Yukon.
Twenty-eight students across multiple studies and classifications were recognized for their inclusion in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities:
Altus -- Ashley Hyde
Blanchard -- Maegan Minton, Shannon Moon
Chickasha -- Connie Perez, Tierney Rasch
Dibble -- Tabitha Deskin
Elmore City -- Jillian Caldwell
Lexington -- Marissa Hoofard
Mustang -- Sarah Chalfant, Ryan Romasz
Ninnekah -- Ellen Fitzwater
Oklahoma City -- Melissa Losada, Emily McLennan, Thomas Parker, Helen Shafer, Jeremy Teel
Purcell -- Leslie Beaty
Shawnee -- Ali Crouch
Tulsa -- Kristi Stout
Watonga -- Josh Moore
Yukon -- Jacqueline Benda, Cassie Perkins
Out of State:
Borger, Texas -- Kim Alford
Covington, Ohio -- Andrea Jones
Gardena, Calif. -- Allen Harris
Melba, Indiana -- Sarah Jamison
Out of Country:
Barbados -- Terry Adamson
Brazil -- Amanda Caldeira