For the latest news, events and announcements about UA, please visit

The new UA News Center features news channels specifically for students, faculty and staff, media and research. The UA News Center uses video, photography and narrative to tell the UA story to our various audiences. It also serves as a hub for finding information on campus resources and calendars. will remain in place temporarily as an archive, but will no longer be updated.

The University of Alabama

Top Scholars, Leaders Recognized on Campus at UA Honors Day

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama honored its top students for their academic achievements and leadership Friday, April 6, during the Honors Day Tapping on the Mound Ceremony, the highlight of UA’s annual Honors Week, April 1-6.

Outstanding Student Awards for each class were presented to:

Outstanding Freshmen – Sean Johnson-Sippial of Montgomery and Taylor Ashley Wood of Los Alamitos, Calif.

Outstanding Sophomore – John Brinkerhoff of Birmingham.

Outstanding Junior – Valerie Walters of Mill Creek, Wash.

Outstanding Senior – Christy Boardman of Homewood.

Recipients of UA’s 2012 Premier Awards were recognized. These top awards, given by the UA president, include the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the William P. Bloom Scholarship Award, the John Fraser Ramsey Award, the Morris Lehman Mayer Award and the Catherine Johnson Randall Award.

The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award recognizes excellence of character and service to humanity. The award honors one man and one woman of the graduating class and one non-student associated with UA. Winners of the Sullivan Award are Alexandra E. Tucci of Auburn, Xavier L. Neal-Burgin of Columbus, Miss., and Dr. James W. Thompson, executive director of Brewer Porch Children’s Center.

The William P. Bloom Scholarship Award honors a junior who has improved intergroup relations within the University community; this year’s winner is Emma S. Fick of Covington, La.

The John Fraser Ramsey Award recognizes in a junior the versatility of gifts and attainments, as well as the breadth of excellence in mind and character, that have traditionally been the goals of a liberal education. The recipient of the Ramsey Award is Hannah E. Hicks of Attalla.

The Morris Lehman Mayer Award recognizes one graduating senior and one member of the teaching faculty who exemplify integrity, selfless service and leadership at UA and in the community. Seema Kumar of Shreveport, La., and Dr. Kenneth B. Ozzello, director of UA’s Million Dollar Band, are recipients of the Mayer Award.

The Catherine Johnson Randall Award recognizes the most outstanding graduating senior based on GPA, rigor of course study and extraordinary scholarly or creative endeavor. Daniel John Preston of Allentown, Pa., is this year’s recipient of the Randall Award.

The Frances S. Summersell Award, sponsored by UA’s Iota Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, was given to Mary Allen Jolley of Tuscaloosa. This award recognizes an individual or individuals who have aided the educational mission of the University and improved the quality of life in the state.

Dr. Malcolm Portera of Tuscaloosa was named recipient of the ODK Living Legend Award in recognition of contributions to the goals and ideals of higher education.

The Walter R. Guyton Student Service Award was presented to Sherry Phillips of Tuscaloosa. The Guyton Award recognizes outstanding commitment to the service of UA students.

The National Alumni Association recognizes and honors one male and one female in the senior class to receive the Alumni Student Award. The recipients of the 2012 Alumni Student Awards are Elizabeth Ann Junkin of Duncanville and Alex McNair of Ijamsville, Md.

The NAA also recognizes and honors students in the senior class.  The students have excelled in academics and extracurricular activities, shown strength of character and maturity, and displayed exceptional hospitality toward guests and friends of the University.

The 2012 Alumni Outstanding Senior Award winners are: Steven Aryeh Allon of Birmingham, Nicole Bohannon of Muscle Shoals, Alexander Charles Cohen of Montgomery, Kelsey Dunn of Birmingham, Lisa Marie Calderón Elizondo of Burleson, Texas, Mary Elizabeth Halliday of Tuscaloosa, Abigail Cole Hardin of Clinton, Miss., Daniel John Hershman of Tuscaloosa, Mark David Kennedy of Knoxville, Tenn., Hallie Scott Paul of Hattiesburg, Miss., and John Stuart Tilley of Wetumpka.

The University’s Amanda Grace Taylor Watson Distinctive Image Award, given by the UA Capstone Men and Women organization, was presented to Dr. Tim Hebson, UA dean of students. The award, named in memory of former Capstone Woman Amanda Grace Taylor Watson, is given to persons who exemplify the essence of the University in all aspects of life.

UA Black Scholar Awards recognizing high academic achievement included:

Sandral Hullett Award: Anika M. Abiade, Delisa Elaine Baldwin, Kayla E. Bryant, Carneisha S. Cain, Andreshe’ A.D. Caldwell, Gabrielle M. Chandler, Antenetta B. Clark, Kelsie D. Frazier, Jessica D. Grimes, Averi Athena Hayes, Arielle J. Hurst, Chenelle M. Jones, James M. Kemp, Aysia C. Layton, Morgan Ashley Loggins, Kelcey E. McClatchie, Trenia L. Monroe, Whitney J. Northington, Obasohan Retin Ojomoh, LaQuoya Shanese Robinson, Jonas Roy Salna, Harriet S. Washington and Kiera Dionne Wynn.

Earnestine Tucker Award: Ayana Marie Ames, Nia Nefertiti Barnes, Gianna Nichole Ceophas, Alana L. Davis, Robin Ann Hall, Maryanne Michelle Mobley, Dynasty R. Moore, Kayla Janae Robinson, Alexandria K Taylor, Gabrielle E. Taylor and Charniece T. Wilcox.

Archie Wade Award: Taylor Charise Cravanas, Alexander J. Griskell, Wesley E. Ingram, Nicholas S. Kelly, Jamelia C. McCarthy and Charles Tyrone Thomason.

Cleo Thomas Award: Kelvin N. Williams.

Joffre and Zadie B. Whisenton Award – Chantae Calhoun, Linda Rose, Katrina Swain and Moses Tefe.

Vivian Malone Jones Endowed Scholarship – Monica Blackmon.

John England Award – Johnjerica Hodge.

Autherine Lucy Foster Endowed Scholarship – Miya Moore.

African-American Alumni Network Scholarship – Breanna York, Shannon Warren-Honorable Mention.

James Hood Endowed Scholarship– Montaurius Abner.

Three faculty committees select the seven most Outstanding Graduate School Students each year and the honorees included:

Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation: Dr. Sally A. Zengaro, College of Education, educational studies in psychology, research methodology and counseling.

Outstanding Master’s Thesis: Miguel Sequera, College of Engineering, mechanical engineering.

Excellence in Teaching by a Master’s Student: Adam J. Sharples, College of Communication and Information Sciences, communication studies.

Excellence in Teaching by a Doctoral Student: Ashley J. George, College of Communication and Information Sciences, collegewide doctoral program in communication and information sciences.

Excellence in Research by a Master’s Student: Brock M. Huntsman, College of Arts and Sciences, biological sciences.

Excellence in Research by a Doctoral Student: Meisam Salahshoor, College of Engineering, mechanical engineering.

Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student: Krystal Anne Hedge, College of Arts and Sciences, psychology.

UA students were also inducted into these campuswide honoraries:

Omicron Delta Kappa -The purpose of ODK is to recognize students who have attained high standards in collegiate activities, to inspire others to strive for similar attainments, and to bring together students in all areas of college life: scholarship, athletics, campus or community service, social and religious activities, campus government, journalism, speech and mass media, and creative and performing arts.

Omicron Delta Kappa inductees include: Sarah Adams, Morgan Akins, James Barter, Clara Bass, Matthew Beidleman, Carolyn Bero, Lisa Bochey, Karson Brooks, Katherine Brown, Abby Grace Brown, Meagan Bryant, Kaitlyn Burgin, Elisabeth Burns, Caroline Campbell, Anna Centeno, Christopher Clark, Blair Clark, Mary Cleveland, A.J. Collins, Charlotte Collins, Lauren Crain, Catherine Cranfield, Adrienne Curry, Elizabeth Davis, Claire Davis, Blaine Davis, Allison Dean, Jennifer Edwards, Louanne Elliott, Carly Evans, Ryan Flamerich, Eleanor Friedman, Brett Gaddis, Georgia Gamble, Alexandria Giannini, Gaines Gibson, William Givhan, Matt Graffeo, Diedre Graham, Maggie Gray, Carmen Groom, Lindsey Hake, Olivia Hanceri, Madaline Hargrove, Chelsea Harris, Matt Harris, Chelsea Henderson, Robert Henry, Darby Hess, Thomas Hiltz, Hunter Holt, Rachel Hunkler, Olivia Hunnicutt, Allison Inclan, Anne Irwin, Sarah Johnson, Brantley Judah, Mark Lail, Mary Lauren Lassiter, Anne Legrand, Katherine Limperis, Libby Loveless, Zachary Lovoy, Joseph Mahoney, Sarah Malaier, Katharine Martin, Olivia McDonald, Laura Monroe, Susan Moore, Aeriel Murphy, Caroline Murray, Anthony Osbourne, Hallie Majure Phillips, Melissa Powell, Alexander Pratt, Tyler Rigdon, Amanda Roberts, Bentley Rodrigue, Casey Rogers, Victoria Rutledge, Drew Smyth, Susan Speaker, Casey Sperrazza, Sarah Stewart, Madeline Stivender, Elizabeth Terry, Savannah Thomas, Anne Collins Todd, Brooke Totty, Lissa Handley Tyson, Tara Ward, Andrew Watson, Mallory White, Megan Widmer and James Wilhite.

Blue Key Honor Society – Blue Key was one of the first honor societies at the University. Blue Key members are selected during the spring semester of their junior year and must represent high scholastic ideals, leadership and diversity of background. Selection is one of the highest honors bestowed on rising seniors.

New Blue Key members include: Sarah Adams, Stewart Alvis, Clara Bass, Carolyn Bero, Abby Grace Brown, Meagan Bryant, Paige Bussanich, Caroline Campbell, Blair Clark, Austin J. Collins, Blaine Davis, Rachel Drumright, Jennifer Edwards, Carly Evans, Ryan Flamerich, Miari Gaddis, Albert Gaines Gibson, Maggie Gray, Lindsey Hake, Darby Hess, Rachel Hunkler, Sarah Johnson, Katherine Kelley, Joseph Mahoney, Christina Malmat, Chaslee Marshall, Katharine Martin, Olivia McDonald, Caroline Murray, Caroline Philips, Hallie Phillips, Larissa Rainey, Bentley Rodrigue, Victoria Rutledge, Amanda Sams, Andrew Smyth, Susan Speaker, Madeline Stivender, Brooke Totty, Chelsea Turgeon, Elissa Handley Tyson, Tiffany Underwood, Katherine Werner, Emma Whitaker, Mallory White and Kristi Wisniewski.

Anderson Society – Anderson Society is a senior honorary comprised of 24 members who are chosen in recognition of their significant contributions to the University. The society seeks to promote high academic standards as well as excellence in student leadership and service.

Anderson Society inductees include: Carolyn Bero, Charles Bice, Elisabeth Burns, Alejandro Carrasquilla, Christopher Clark, Blaine Davis, Carly Evans, Ryan Flamerich, Mallory Flowers, Brett “Austin” Gaddis, Maggie Gray, Darby Hess, Hannah Hicks, Sarah Hughes, Rachel Hunkler, Sarah Johnson, Joseph Mahoney, Caroline Philips, Tyler Rigdon, Bentley Rodrigue, Susan Speaker, Erika Wade, Valerie Walters and Katherine Werner.

Anderson Society Honorary Members – Jonathan Brayman, Nathan Cordle and Lisa Elizondo.

Anderson Society Faculty/Advisors – Chip Cooper, Anthony Grant and Tracy Sims.

Mortar Board – Election to Mortar Board, a national honor society, is based on leadership, scholarship and service. It is one of the highest honors that can be granted to seniors. Members must display outstanding dedication to service and leadership.

Mortar Board inductees include: Sarah Adams, Clara Bass, Danielle Bator, Matthew Beidleman, Carolyn Bero, Charlie Bice, Karson Brooks, Abby Grace Brown, Elisabeth Burns, Caroline Campbell, Alejandro Carrasquilla, Blair Clark, Christopher Clark, Mary Cleveland, Margaret Coats, A.J. Collins, Lauren Crain, Claire Davis, Ria Domier, Rachel Drumright, Christopher Duke, Jennifer Edwards, Carly Evans, Ryan Flamerich, Mallory Flowers, Eleanor Friedman, Brett “Austin” Gaddis, Gaines Gibson, Diedre Graham, Maggie Gray, Morgan Hall, Charles Harrison, Chelsea Henderson, Darby Hess, Hannah Hicks, Hunter Holt, Sarah Hughes, Rachel Hunkler, Allison Inclan, Anne Irwin, Kayla James, Sarah Johnson, Brantley Judah, Joseph Mahoney, Sarah Malaier, Katharine Martin, Olivia McDonald, Andrew Mills, Aeriel Murphy, Robert Norwood, Alexis Paine, Caroline Philips, Hallie Majure Phillips, Maya Posey, Margaret Priester, Kathryn Rabstejnek, Tyler Rigdon, Bentley Rodrigue, Amanda Sams, Alex Sims, Andrew Smyth, Susan Speaker, Chelsea Turgeon, Mariah Turman, Lissa Handley Tyson, Valerie Walters, Tara Ward, Andrew Watson and Katherine Werner.

Mortar Board Faculty Honorees – Dr. Joyce Stallworth, Dr. Jacqueline Morgan.

Mortar Board Community Service Honoree – Terry Saban.


The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.