Minerva Awards at USAO highlight student achievement

Minerva Awards at USAO highlight student achievement


The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma recently honored students for their achievements and service during the ninth annual Minerva Awards ceremony April 14.

“We are proud to recognize these students for their dedication to USAO inside and outside of the classroom,” said Nancy Hughes, dean of students. “The 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 to not only their academic achievements, but also serve as leaders within the campus community."

The Minerva Awards provide public recognition for outstanding students at USAO. Students are honored for excellence in academics, community service, campus involvement and other areas. In addition to individual honors, the ceremony recognizes honor society members, recipients of Who’s Who, seniors graduating with honors and Presidential Leadership Council members.

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

Alyson Hill

Autumn Miller

Carlie Triplett

Denise Kimball

Devynn Denny

Juan Soto

Lauren Triplitt

Tristan Reagan

Zackery Swartz

Sophomore Leadership Award Winners

Brenna Burris

Christina Bevien-Guevarra

Jordan Rhodes

Karis Jones

Kaylee Davis

McKenzie Schooley

Sierra Stone

Junior Leadership Award Winners

Brenda Johnson

Chad Eggar

Aspen Burroughs

Manish Puri

Kaylee Jones

Michael Nunez

Erian Stone

Jessica Schachle

Lindsey Spencer

Susy Leonard

Rachel Farriester

Paige Gosney

Bailey Vinsant

Reed Bryant

Baylee Harrison

McKenna Eubank

McKenzie Adams

Senior Leadership Award Winners

Connor Cheek

Brittney DeWitt

Emily Felts

Brianne Humphreys

Sabrina Atkinson

Maïté Miller

Dao Thong Lim

Cody Coponiti

Bretlin Allen

Cynthia Cunningham

Kryste Turley

Laney Reason

Halie Cain

Sissel Brown

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

Maïté Miller

The Outstanding Student Organization Award recognizes official USAO student groups whose activities surpass the normal expectations of a club, not only in the level of activity, but also the quality of group events. Recipients are expected to have contributed to campus life as well as to the community. 

Outstanding Student Organization Award Winner

Art Club

The Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award recognizes a faculty or staff member who has voluntarily gone "beyond the call of duty" by providing extraordinary support for student organizations. 

Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award Winner

Dr. Jan Hanson

The 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 Winner

Courtney Cheesman

The 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

Cody Coponiti

The 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 Winners

Brianne Humphreys and Zev Stein

The Gladys 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 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 Winners

Cynthia Cunningham and Dao Thong Lim

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

Shelby Wayland