2018 Minerva Awards highlight student achievement

Minerva Awards

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma recently honored students for their achievements and service during the 11th annual Minerva Awards ceremony.

“The dedication these students show to USAO inside and outside of the classroom deserves the highest praise,” said Nancy Hughes, dean of students. “These awards are named after Minerva, the ancient Roman goddess of wisdom and science. Those recognized with Minerva Awards at USAO must be steadfast in their commitment not only to their academic achievements, but also in their service as leaders within our campus community."

The Minerva Awards publicly recognize outstanding students at USAO. Students are honored for excellence in academics, leadership, community service, campus involvement, diversity and many other areas. In addition to individual awards, the ceremony recognizes honor society members and seniors graduating with honors. 

The USAO Leadership Academy is a three-tiered program that enhances students’ leadership skills with various workshops, projects, and networking opportunities. In addition to being a great resume builder, graduates from the program will have a plethora of leadership experiences that will help them excel through life after college.

Emerging Leaders

Matthew Brooks Jr.

Cameron Capps

Trevor McAlister

Haddon McIntosh

Favour Oyebami

Evolving Leaders

Andro Denny

Ryan Haddon

Halley Ponder

Tristan Reagan

Caleb Townley

Andreanna Turner

Engaging Leaders

Bridget Byers

Alexia Robbins

Kylie Stevens

Leadership Awards honor outstanding students who have shown leadership qualities during their time at USAO. A Leadership Award recipient has demonstrated the willingness and ability to involve others and hold leadership roles on campus.

Freshman Leadership Award Winners

Jamilyn Alexander

Cameron Capps

Victoria James

Kaylee Jones

Stacey Phillips

Sophomore Leadership Award Winners

Katarina Boyles

Elliott Laurick

Halley Ponder

Cassandra Poole

Edgar Tafoya

Junior Leadership Award Winners

Brianna Caudill

Kaylee Davis

Alyson Hill

Brandi Hitchison

Bailey Johnson

Tristan Reagan

Lauren Triplitt

Andreanna Turner 

Senior Leadership Award Winners

Angelica Alcaraz

Alexis Avery

Christina Bevien-Guevarra

Brenna Burris

Bridget Byers

Max Corbin

Kaylee Davis

Destani Malicoat

Jordan McBride

Austin Schnell

McKenzie Schooley

Kylie Stevens

Noelle Thrasher

Carlie Triplitt

The Commitment to Service Award honors students who have demonstrated initiative and exceptional commitment to service at USAO as well as in the community. This award is intended to recognize students who have dedicated their time and efforts to promote social justice, community awareness and civic engagement on campus and in the community.

Commitment to Service Award Winner

Tristan Reagan

Commitment to Diversity Award honors a USAO student who has exhibited awareness and appreciation for diversity and inclusion in their activities and performance in and outside the classroom setting. 

Commitment to Diversity Award Winners

Austin Schnell

Noelle Thrasher

Drover Pride Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the campus community, embodying the Drover spirit through participation and achievement. 

Drover Pride Award Winner

Alyson Hill 

The Derald Swineford Art Award is named for the artist and educator who served as chairman of the university's art department for 30 years. Professor Swineford influenced the lives of countless students at the OCW, OCLA, and USAO. The award is presented to students majoring in art who have shown exceptional talent, hold a minimum of 3.0 GPA and demonstrate leadership or community service. .

Derald Swineford Art Award

Benjamin Blackstar 

George Austin Award for Campus Leadership is given to a junior or senior who has been on the forefront of campus life, including taking leadership roles in activities such as serving as an officer in student groups, organizing service projects, leading programs, and helping build the leadership skills of other students at USAO.

George Austin for Campus Leadership Award Winner

McKenzie Schooley 

The Gladys Anderson Emerson Award for Undergraduate Research is named for an OCW graduate who established herself as one of this country’s leading nutrition authorities.  While her most notable achievement in science may have been to isolate Vitamin E, she is better known at her alma mater as a global ambassador for the liberal arts. The Gladys Anderson Emerson Award honors a student who has best distinguished him/herself in the field of academic research as an undergraduate.

Gladys Emerson Award for Undergraduate Research Winner

Jaclyn McCasland 

Few Oklahomans have garnered as much attention around the world as Native American storyteller Te Ata, recognized for a lifetime of achievement in the Arts by governors, presidents, kings and her alma mater, the Oklahoma College for Women. The Te Ata Creative Expression award honors a USAO student who has best distinguished him/herself in the arts. This student must have produced substantial creative work in the area of music, art, drama, or creative writing. Preference is given to students who have publicly performed, exhibited, or published their work.

Te Ata Creative Expression Award Winner

Alex O'Dell