news-category: Awards

Gardner-Webb Faculty and Staff Present Awards for Academic Excellence and Service to the Campus and Community

Students Recognized by the University’s Four Colleges, the School of Divinity, Athletics, and Student Development

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University recently recognized students for academic excellence and community service. Winners of these awards exemplify the University’s core values of faith, service and leadership in their classrooms and communities.

In honor of the award, each student may choose one book for purchase by Gardner-Webb’s Dover Memorial Library. The book will be inscribed with the student’s name and the date of the award recognition.

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Communication, Art & Design

  • The Art History Research Award, Micah Zehnder, of Shelby, N.C.
  • The Communications Studies Award, Mary Elysabeth Thompson, of Shelby, N.C.
  • The Elizabeth Carlisle Jones Art Award, Sarah Bracken, of Mocksville, N.C. Given in honor of Jones—gifted artist, Bible teacher, wife and mother—by her daughter, Susan Carlisle Bell, professor of art emerita. The award is given to a student who exhibits exceptional creativity, productivity, craftmanship and presentation in the areas of painting, drawing and printmaking, or other two-dimensional work.
  • The Graphic Design Award, Taylor Robinson, of Culpepper, Va.
  • The Journalism Award, Allison Edwards, of Columbus, N.C.                                    
  • The Photography Award, Robin Jackson, of Matthews, N.C.
  • The Professor James Rash Award, Katie Canipe, of Shelby, N.C. This award is presented to a student who exhibits outstanding creativity, productivity, craftsmanship and presentation in the areas of ceramics, art appreciation, drawing and painting for GWU.
  • The Public Relations Award, Emma Hinson, of Norwood, N.C.

Department of English Language and Literature

  • Senior English Major Award, Sarah Elizabeth Goode of Lenoir, N.C.
  • Professional Writing Award, Claire Julia Allen of Salisbury, N.C.
  • English Education Award, Chloe Raye Leatherman of Catawba, N.C.
  • J. Calvin Koonts Poetry Award, Hannah Carolyn Ray of Kings Mountain, N.C.

Department of Health, Sport and Physical Education

  • Outstanding Senior Award, Joel E. Dahm, of Wingate, N.C.

Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences

  • Outstanding Computer Science Award, Louise Karin Schmidtgen, of Ettlingen, Germany

Department of Music

  • The David M. Schweppe Memorial Award for the Outstanding Senior Music Student, Christen Makayla Donnell of Jamestown, N.C. This award is presented by the Shelby Rotary Club to the graduating senior who has made the most significant contribution to the music program of the University, as well as significant academic and professional achievements.
  • The First Year Music Award, Hailey Rodden, of Belmont, N.C.
  • The Music Achievement Award, Chase Thornhill, of Madisonville, La.
  • The Orchestra Award, Jarin Watkins, of Concord, N.C.
  • The Symphonic Band Award, Logan Thomas, of Gastonia, N.C.
  • Donald “Sid” Haton Jr. Marching Band Spirit Award, Connor Settlemyre, of Rutherfordton, N.C. Established in the 2008 Marching Band season, students from the Gardner-Webb University Band have voted for a student to receive a spirit award named for Haton, the Director of Athletic Bands from 2006–2008. The recipient demonstrates Sid’s spirit by giving encouragement to others and bringing a joyful energy to rehearsals and performances. As Sid would say, the award winner “stood tall like a cheetah” and “helped others go to their happy place.”
Megan Fuller, left, received the Biology Service Award, presented by Stacie Smith, biology instructor.

Department of Natural Sciences

  • Biology Service Award, Megan Fuller, Walnut Cove, N.C.
  • Chemistry Service Award, Hanna Gilsdorf, of Spartanburg, S.C.
  • The Les Brown Environmental Science Award, Cullen Fields, of Marietta, Ga. This award was established in 2006 to honor Brown’s appreciation of nature, passion for teaching science, and involvement of students in research at GWU for nearly 40 years. The winner of this award exhibits commitment to academic excellence and research in the area of environmental sciences.
  • The M.A. Moseley Jr. Senior Chemistry Award, Hannah Mackenzie Canipe of Lincolnton, N.C. This award was established in 1980 in honor of Moseley, who taught chemistry at Gardner-Webb for 29 years. A plaque is on display in Withrow Hall, and each year the name of the winning senior is added to the plaque.
  • The Paul J. Stacy Award presented to a senior in the Department of Natural Sciences, Jonathan A. Frye of Columbia, S.C. Presented to a senior in honor of Stacy, whose devotion to the teaching of biology and love of the students at Gardner-Webb spanned beyond three decades. The recipient’s name will be placed with others who have received the honor and displayed on a permanent plaque in the Department of Natural Sciences.
  • The Stefka Eddins Undergraduate Research Award, Jordan Mitchell, of Hiddenite, N.C. This award recognizes a student in natural sciences who demonstrates a commitment to and excellence in undergraduate research by execution and completion of a collaborative student/faculty project.

Department of Public Service

  • Criminal Justice Administration Senior Award, Lakota Marie Comeau of Toneytown, Md., Anthony Schiess of Cary, N.C., and Calee Mykael Lance of Rosman, N.C.
  • Criminal Justice Administration Professional Readiness Award, Alan Elijah Bowers of Matthews, N.C., Kellan Kiley Culver of Charlotte, N.C., Austin Michael McKay of Aiken, S.C., Matthew Albert Robinson of Belmont.
  • The Human Services Leadership Senior Award, Lee Anthony Stiles of Morehead City, N.C.
  • The Criminal Justice Leadership Senior Award, Kenneth Paul Queen of Forest City, N.C.
  • Criminal Justice Administration Leadership Award, Colby Kirkland, of Bryson City, N.C.
  • Criminal Justice Administration Academic Leadership Award, Brittany Sherrod, of Simpsonville, Ky.
  • Criminal Justice Administration Academic Leadership Award, Marina Bradic, of Boiling Springs, N.C.

Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy

  • Religious Studies Association Service Award, Lydia Kay Williard, of Winston-Salem, N.C. Williard was also presented the Alice Cullinan Discipleship Studies Award, given each year to a graduating senior with a major or concentration in Discipleship Studies. This award honors long-time faculty member Dr. Alice Cullinan, who impacted a generation of religious educators during her 30-year tenure at Gardner-Webb. It is presented to the student who has demonstrated excellence in and overall commitment to the field of Discipleship.
  • The M. Vann Murrell Academic Award, Hudson Graham Myers of North Wilkesboro, N.C., and Emily Rhew of Mooresville, N.C. Given in honor of Dr. M. Vann Murrell for his 27 years of outstanding service as a Professor of New Testament Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies & Philosophy. The award is presented to seniors on the basis of grades in all major courses, overall GPA, and evidence of exceptional leadership in the future.
  • The Philosophy and Theology Award, Hudson Graham Myers of North Wilkesboro, N.C. This award is presented by to an exemplary graduating senior who has majored in Philosophy and Theology. In addition to excelling in their coursework, the student must model intellectual, ethical, and spiritual maturity.
  • The Biblical Studies Award, Payton McKenzie Farley of Indian Trail, N.C. This award recognizes a graduating senior who has excelled in their achievement in the Biblical Studies major or concentration.
Talen Francis, of Kennesaw, Ga., left, received the Global Studies Award for Humanitarian Service. The award is presented each year to a Global Studies Major, who has made an exceptional commitment to serving others. Dr. Elizabeth Amato, presents the award.

Department of Social Sciences

  • The Global Studies Award, Gelica Champion, of Cliffside, N.C.
  • Gil Blackburn Excellence in Western Civilization Award, Erin White, of Shelby, N.C. Named for Blackburn, who served as professor of history and vice president and dean of Academic Affairs from 1968–2004, this award is given to an outstanding freshman or sophomore student in the Western Civilization courses.
  • The Political Science Award, Michelle Lominac, of Conover, N.C. The award is named in honor of the late William H. Withrow Sr., graduate of the United States Naval Academy, who retired from the Navy with the rank of Commander. After graduate studies at the University of North Carolina, Commander Withrow taught Political Science at Gardner-Webb for 14 years and served a term in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
  • The Sociology Award, Ellisa Eckert, of Lynchburg, Va.
  • The Sociology Award, Micah Moulder, of Seneca, S.C.
  • Global Studies Award for Humanitarian Service, Talen Francis, of Kennesaw, Ga. Presented each year to a Global Studies Major, who has made an exceptional commitment to serving others.

Department of Theatre Arts

  • Excellence in Acting and Performance, Markus Byrd, of Kannapolis, N.C.
  • Excellence in Technical Theatre, Ely Thompson, of Shelby, N.C.

Department of World Languages, Literature and Cultures

  • The French Award, Eliza Louise Gunson of Matthews, N.C.
  • The German Award, Lydia Mount, of Statesville, N.C.
  • The Spanish Award, Chloe Elisabeth Townsend of Sherrills Ford, N.C.
  • The American Sign Language Award, Javonda Sherie Adams of Gastonia, N.C.

Student Development

  • Most School Spirited, Alex Weissinger, of Chesapeake, Va.
  • Outstanding Leadership Award, Johanna Quezada-Salazar, of Dallas, N.C.
  • Outstanding Leadership Award, Cyrus Richer, of Abbeville, N.C.
  • Residential Service & Leadership Awards, Faith Parandhamaia, of Accident, Md.
  • Residential Service & Leadership Awards, Brandon Richmond, of Salisbury, N.C.
From left, Outstanding Leadership Award, Johanna Quezada-Salazar, of Dallas, N.C.; Residential Service & Leadership Awards, Brandon Richmond, of Salisbury, N.C.; and Outstanding Leadership Award, Cyrus Richer, of Abbeville, N.C.

Christian Life and Service

  • Community Engagement Award-Degree Completion Program, Heather Foushee, of Cameron, N.C.
  • Community Engagement Award, Blake Elizalde, of Matthews, N.C.
  • Pamela Darnell Award, Meghan O’Brien, of Cornelius, N.C. This award is presented in memory of Darnell, who was known for her smile and was involved in campus ministries as a small group leader, mission trip participant, and participant in the Women’s Ministry. She died in June 2005 after courageously battling both Crohn’s disease and Lymphoma while still attending Gardner-Webb. The award is given to the graduating senior who has most exemplified a passionate devotion to the global mission of God.
  • Charles Shelton Award, Hannah Ray, of Kings Mountain, N.C., Sarah Goode, of Lenoir, N.C., and Mikey West, of Spartanburg, N.C. This award is presented in memory of Charles Shelton and in honor of his wife, Sybil. Following his retirement from BellSouth, Charles followed the call of God upon his life and became a leader in volunteer mission service. His life and witness impacted many GWU students as they traveled with him on various North American and international mission trips. The award is presented to both a male and female senior who have provided outstanding servant leadership through opportunities offered by the Office of Christian Life and Service.           

Other University Awards

  • Dover Memorial Library Service Award, Megan Fuller, of Walnut Cove, N.C.
  • Student Recruitment Ambassadors Scholarship Award, Samuel Ritner, of High Point, N.C.
  • Peer Leader Award, Lakota Comeau, of Taneytown, Md.
  • The Most Outstanding Female Graduate, Sarah Goode, of Lenoir, N.C., nominated and voted on by the GWU faculty.
  • The Most Outstanding Male Graduate, Thomas Manning, of Boiling Springs, nominated and voted on by the GWU faculty.
  • Senior Scholastic Awards, presented at commencement to students who complete their academic careers with a perfect 4.0 GPA:
    • Bien Gabrielle Rodriguez Gaddi, of Stanley, N.C.
    • Emily Rhew, of Mooresville, N.C.
    • Faith Evangeline Parandhamaia, of Accident, Md.
    • Holly Grace O’Brien, of Cornelius, N.C.
    • Jonathan A. Frye, of Columbia, S.C.
    • Louise Karin Schmidtgen, of Ettlingen, Germany. 

Athletic Service

  • Pam Scruggs Leadership Award, Anna Fish, of Lillington, N.C. This award is given in honor of Scruggs, who has set an unparalleled example of dedication, service and leadership for her co-workers, students, student-athletes and all those who have had the privilege of knowing her.
  • SAAC Member of the Year Award, Patrick Sastre, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. This award recognizes the member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) who has demonstrated a tremendous amount of dedication to the organization throughout the academic year.

School of Divinity

  • Donald E. Cook Academic Award is given in memory of Don Cook, who taught New Testament in the Gardner-Webb School of Divinity until his retirement in 2000. The award is presented annually to the graduating student with the highest-grade point average among all graduates. The winners are Jennifer H. Jennings, of Greenwood, S.C., Master of Divinity, and Nathaniel Moore, of Indian Trail, N.C., Master of Divinity.
  • Robert L. Lamb Ministry Award is an award conferred by the faculty for the School of Divinity upon the graduating senior who has excelled in his/her academic career and who shows promise as a minister of the gospel. The winner is Sarah E. Laurence, of Aiken, S.C., Master of Divinity
  • The Gerald and Sharon Keown Annual Hebrew Award is given to the student who demonstrates mastery of Hebrew at the level the student has taken in the form of a gift to encourage and assist the student in continued engagement with biblical Hebrew. The award is named in memory of Dr. Gerald Keown, Professor of Old Testament Interpretation from 1996 to his retirement in 2019, and his beloved wife Sharon. The recipient is Matthew Waller, of Shelby, N.C., Master of Divinity
  • Daniel E. Goodman Review & Expositor Awards are given in memory of Daniel Goodman, another former professor of New Testament here at the Gardner-Webb School of Divinity. Dr. Goodman tragically passed away in January 2009 while serving as professor of New Testament interpretation. The Goodman Review & Expositor Awards are presented to those students who have excelled academically in their studies at the School of Divinity. Award recipients receive a one-year subscription to the academic journal Review & Expositor. The recipients are:
    • Matthew Barger, of Boiling Springs, N.C., Master of Divinity
    • Jeffrey Castaneda, Master of Divinity
    • Christina Hampton, of Deep Gap, N.C., Master of Divinity
    • Mariah Case Hamby, of Shelby, N.C., Master of Divinity
    • Peyton Seay, of Charlotte, N.C., Master of Divinity
    • Alicia Webb, of Spartanburg, S.C., Master of Divinity

School of Education

  • TA to Teacher Program Academic Excellence Award, Allison Duncan, of Spruce Pine, N.C.
  • TA to Teacher Program Grit Award, Amanda McBrayer, of Mooresboro, N.C.
  • TA to Teacher Program Grit Award, Jackie Grace, of Salisbury, N.C.
  • Traditional Undergraduate Elementary Student Teaching Award, Stacie Warren, of Lincolnton, N.C.
  • Degree Completion Program Elementary Student Teaching Award, Jenna Sullivan, of Mooresville, N.C.

Godbold College of Business

  • The Accounting Award, Carlie Blackburn, of Vale, N.C. 
  • The Thomas Meaders Business Administration Award, Faith Parandhamaia, of Accident, Md.
  • The Finance Award, Maria R. Jardim, of Boiling Springs, N.C.
  • The Healthcare Award, Gabby Franklin, of Bessemer City, N.C.
  • The International Business Award, Louise Schmidtgen, of Ettlingen, Germany.
  • The Marketing Award, Holly O’Brien, of Cornelius, N.C.
  • The Wallace Carpenter Management Information Systems Award, Cassidy Clack, of North Wilkesboro, N.C.
  • The Sport Management Award, Jordan Fricault, of Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • The Broyhill Achievement Award, William Alspaugh, of Statesville, N.C.
  • The John and Linda Godbold Award is given to recognize a student for excellence in the classroom and for exemplifying faith and service. The faculty had a very hard time choosing one winner and decided to present the award to Holly O’Brien, of Cornelius, N.C., and Faith Parandhamaia, of Accident, Md. 
  • Dr. A Frank Bonner Master of Business Administration Academic Excellence Award, Elin Wera Linnea Hellberg, of Boiling Springs, N.C.
  • Dr. Frank R. Campbell, Master of Accountancy Academic Excellence Award, Courtney Mims, of Beaufort, S.C.

College of Health Sciences

Department of Exercise Science

  • The Exercise Science Service Award, Tanner Hendricks, of Lake Junaluska, N.C.

Department of Psychological Science and Counselor Education

  • The Psychology Award, Maggie O’Brien, of Cornelius, N.C. 

School of Nursing

Outstanding Student Awards

Given annually to a graduating student who, in the opinion of the faculty, demonstrates scholastic achievement, leadership ability, professionalism, and embodies the mission of the Hunt School of Nursing through service to God and Humanity.

  • Grace C. Lee Outstanding ASN Student Award, Kendall Wright, of Shelby, N.C.

Outstanding BSN Student Award, one student chosen from each program:

  • TBSN, Kimberly Cole, of Shelby, N.C.
  • ABSN, Jessi Sackett, of Richlands, N.C.
  • RN-BSN, Katie Badgerow, of Midlothian, Va.
  • Outstanding MSN Student Award, Charles “Chuck” Jennings
  • Outstanding DNP Student Award, Andriy Omelyash, of Indian Trail, N.C.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students Award

The DAISY Foundation, as part of its service to the nursing profession’s role in patient care, established this Student Award to provide colleges/schools of nursing a national recognition program that they may use to recognize and celebrate nursing students who demonstrate commitment to care and compassion and make the nurse-patient connection that makes such a difference in the healthcare experience. This is an undergraduate award only. Three awards were given, one for each program option:

  • ASN, Kendall Wright, of Shelby, N.C.
  • TBSN, Maelyn Cranford, of Hickory, N.C.
  • ABSN, Laken Patterson, of Mount Airy, N.C.

DNP Clinical Excellence Award

  • Lindsey Goldberg, of Raleigh, N.C. The award is given annually to a graduating nurse practitioner student who, in the opinion of the faculty, demonstrates excellence in clinical practice, leadership ability, professionalism, and embodies the mission of the Hunt School of Nursing through service to God and Humanity.

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