Union College recognizes outstanding students during Honors Day ceremony

(Barbourville, KY) — Union College recognized 31 students for outstanding academic achievement at its annual Honors Day Convocation ceremony on Thursday, April 23, at 9:30 a.m. in the Conway Boatman Chapel on the college’s campus.

The awards acknowledge high scholastic averages by class year and discipline, including literature, computer programming, business, accounting, history, psychology, the sciences and others. Special scholarships and other recognition will also be presented during the event.

Union President Marcia Hawkins will welcome students, parents and other guests, then will announce awards along with David Johns, Ph.D., Union College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College.

“Honors Day is such a great celebration to have with our campus joining together to recognize the achievement of our students,” said Dr. Johns. “These students excel in the classroom, but also exhibit a strong commitment to Union’s values of integrity, collaboration, honesty and having a strong spiritual center. They are among our best.”

The 2015 awards recipients are:

Alexandra Estes, Dr. Mahlon A. Miller President Emeritus Award for the senior with the highest cumulative average based on total hours earned at Union College. Miller served as President from 1959-1982.

Laurel C. Everett/Kendra Gray, Gov. James D. Black Senior Award. Given by the late Pitzer D. Black of Barbourville to the senior with the highest scholastic average for the year based on total hours earned at Union College. Gov. Black was one of Union College’s founding fathers and President from 1910-1912.

Alexandra Estes, President’s Award. Given to the senior who has the highest cumulative record in grades earned at Union College.

Tyler T. Carter, Dr. Cecil H. Wilson Junior Award. Given in memory of Dr. Cecil H. Wilson of Barbourville, an alumnus and trustee emeritus of Union College, to the junior with the highest scholastic average based on total hours earned at Union College. Wilson (’38) was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1954-2008.

Fred Slusher, John Henry Wilson Sophomore Award. Given by the late Mrs. Guy D. Atkisson, Jr., to the sophomore from the Fifth Congressional District of Kentucky who has the highest scholastic average for the year, based on total hours earned at Union College. Wilson was one of the founding fathers of Union College and a U.S. Congressman from 1889-1893.

Cody Kreuger, Arthur E. Spurlock Business Award. Given by Michael Spurlock in memory of his father, Arthur E. Spurlock, a former Union College Business Office manager, to a sophomore or junior business major showing promise for future success. Spurlock was the Business Manager and Treasurer for Union College from 1959-1967.

Katie Nusz (senior) and Kyle Bush (junior), Dr. L. A. Geiss Awards. Given by the late Dr. and Mrs. L. A. Geiss to the senior and junior business majors with the highest cumulative standing in that field. Geiss was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1948-1986.

Jacob Lockard, Dr. L. A. Geiss Computer Award. Given by the late Dr. and Mrs. L. A. Geiss to the student exemplifying excellence in computer information systems.

Lara Kaufman, Joe C. Hacker Award. Given in honor of the late Joe C. Hacker to a student showing interest and excellence in a computer programming course. Hacker was Assistant Professor of Business Education and Director of Data Processing for Union College for thirty years.

Leigh-Ella Williams, Rena Milliken Award. Given in memory of the late Rena Milliken, Professor Emeritus of Business, by the Union College Business Department, to the graduating senior who shows the greatest potential for professional achievement. Milliken served as a member of the Business faculty from 1946-1975.

Zachary Dillman, H.B. Jones Business Enterprise Award. Given in memory of Mr. H. B. Jones to the student who has shown initiative and enterprise in the field of business.

Michael Bueter, Evans Warriner and Company CPAs Scholarship Award. Given to the most promising freshman or sophomore accounting major.

Tasha Stewart, Beverly P. and Mossie B. Wilson Memorial Award. Given by Mrs. O. J. Wilson and the late Dr. Wilson in memory of his parents, to the English major with the highest cumulative grade point average, who has completed three full years of residence at Union College.

Kari Williamson, Connie Danner Book Award. The Department of English established a fund in honor of Dr. Connie Danner, the interest from which will pay for course textbooks for one deserving student for one year.

Tasha Stewart, Eastern Kentucky Essay Award. Given to the student writing the best essay on Eastern Kentucky history.

Margaret Watkins (poetry); and Fred Slusher (short fiction), William Faulkner Rushton Memorial Awards. Given to promote Appalachian literature and given in memory of William Faulkner Rushton. Award has been established by parents and friends in honor of Lura Faulkner Rose, (’14), a Union alumna, the late Rushton’s grandmother. Winning papers are selected by a committee of judges from entries submitted by teachers.

Elisabeth Weaver, Ronald and Mary Alice Marley Mass Communication Award. Given to the student with the highest grade point average who is majoring in mass communication at Union College.

Alexandra Estes, Katherine V. Sutphen Memorial Award. Given in memory of Katherine V. Sutphen, a former faculty member of Union College, to the student who has given exemplary service to the Union College Music Department.

Caitlyn Black (freshman) and Fred Slusher (sophomore), Iota Sigma Nu Awards.

Given by the Iota Sigma Nu Honor Society to the freshman and sophomore with the highest scholastic average for the year based on total hours earned at Union College.

Chandler Gray, Dr. Paul S. Moore Wellness, Human Performance, and Recreation Management Faculty Award. Given by the Union College Wellness, Human Performance and Recreation Department to the senior health, physical education, recreation management or sports management major with the highest cumulative academic standing. Moore (’59) served as Professor of Health and Physical Education, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Athletic Director and Vice President of Academic Affairs. He retired in 1997, after 38 years of service.

Katie Nusz, Steve Jones Memorial Award. Given in memory of Steve Jones, a former Union College student, by former athletes and friends, to the senior varsity athlete with the highest cumulative academic average.

Matthew Welch, Dr. Albert D. Graham, Jr. Social Studies Award. Given to the senior education major who shows the greatest teaching potential in social studies. Graham (’70) served on the Board of Trustees from 1992-2010.

Paul Haley, The Jones Foundation Award in Education. Given by The Jones Educational Foundation Inc., to the graduating senior who shows the greatest promise for a career in education.

Candice Tigue, Yetta Frank and Billie Lynch Non-Traditional Student Education Award. Given to a full-time, non-traditional senior female student with dependent children. The eligible student must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher based on total hours earned at Union College. Yetta Frank and Billie Lynch are the mothers of Carol Lynch (’08) and former Education faculty member Steven Lynch.
Kendra Gray, Theodore R. Davies M.D. Senior Biology Award. Given to the senior showing the highest academic excellence in the field of biology.

Alex Basil, Calculus Award. Student presently taking third semester Calculus with the highest cumulative average in all three calculus courses offered at Union College.

Simon Gregory Taylor, Outstanding Psychology Major Award. Given to the psychology major, in the top 35th percentile of his/her class, who shows outstanding dedication in the discipline of psychology.

Neysa Kelly, Excellence in Research Award. Given to the upper division psychology major who demonstrates the potential for high quality research in the discipline of psychology.

Heather Welch, Dr. Erwin S. Bradley History Award. Given in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Erwin S. Bradley to the upper-class history major who has the highest scholastic average in overall grades in history, earned at Union College.  Dr. Bradley served as Chair of the Division of Social Studies, and the Department of History & Political Science.

Zachariah Walker, H. H. Owens History Award. Given by the late Mrs. H. H. Owens to the student showing the greatest excellence in the field of history. Owens was the father of alumnae Jean Knuckles (’37) and Eleanor Clark (’36).

James Ed Harris, Law and Esten Parks Award. Given to the senior religion major with the highest cumulative academic standing.

James Ed Harris, Rev. Charles Hansel Annual Award for Religion & Philosophy. Given to a student who best demonstrates and understanding of one or more critical issues in the philosophy of religion.

Sam Anderson, Blackwell Political Science Award. Given to the senior with a major in history and/or a minor in political science, who shows the highest academic excellence in political science. Dr. Blackwell was a member of the Board of Trustees.

Kelsey Morgan, Outstanding Sociology Major Award. Given to the graduating sociology major with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Briana DeGennaro, Outstanding Student in Criminal Justice Award. Given to the upper division criminal justice major whose work embodies exemplary objective academic achievement in conjunction with substantial contributions to the conduct of inquiry in criminal justice classes, a clear commitment to both personal and intellectual development, and a greater understanding of the relationship between citizen and state.

Kelsey Morgan, Judge W. W. Tinsley Family Memorial Award. Given by the late Mrs. Mayo Tinsley Rathfon to the pre-law junior or senior showing the greatest promise for future success.

Roberta Ferrel and Courtney Heaton, Student Government Association (SGA) Study Abroad/Internship Scholarship. To encourage study outside the campus proper, this Student Government Association scholarship is awarded to students participating in either an internship or a study abroad opportunity. Selected students are proven academic leaders and positive ambassadors for Union College.

Anna Katherine Egging, Student Government Association (SGA) Distinguished Professor Award. Award given by students to a Union College faculty member who best exemplifies Union College’s commitment and dedication to student well-being. This faculty member sets the standard for enhancing student education and experiential experience in and out of the classroom.

Briana Patel, Student Government Association (SGA) – Passing of the Gavel.  This honor recognizes past and future Student Government Association officers. Patel is the newly elected SGA President and received the gavel.