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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 5, during the Honors Day Tapping on the Mound Ceremony, the highlight of UA’s annual Honors Week, April 1-9.

Outstanding Student Awards for each class were presented to:

Outstanding Freshmen – Joseph Weed and Lauren Wethern

Outstanding Sophomore – Connor Fox

Outstanding Junior – Je-Young Oh

Outstanding Senior – Nicholas Kelly 

Outstanding Transfer Students –– Eric McVay and Matous L.C. Steele

Outstanding Graduate Students  Doctoral: Ernest Wayde; Masters/Professional: Jessica D. Jacob

Recipients of UA’s 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 Joshua White of Trussville, Christine Evans of Madison and Dr. Mark Nelson, vice president for student affairs and vice provost.

The William P. Bloom Scholarship Award honors a junior who has improved intergroup relations within the University community; this year’s winner is Koushik Kasanagottu of Birmingham.

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 Samuel Hand of Bessemer.

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. Michael Forst of Prattville and Dr. Debra Nelson-Gardell, associate professor of social work, are the 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 endeavorSarah Johnson of Mesquite, Texas, 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 Autherine Juanita Lucy Foster,  Vivian Malone Jones (posthumously) and Dr. James Alexander Hood (posthumously). 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. Richard A. Thigpen 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 W. Michael George. 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 2013 Alumni Student Awards are Hannah Hicks of Attalla and Andrew Smyth of Dothan.

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: Rachel Drumright of Brentwood, Tenn., Jordan Easter of Cropwell, Austin Gaddis of Scottsboro, Hayley Ginn of Clarkesville, Ga., Will Guin of Winfield, Robert Hofto of Mobile, Brett Horsley of Centreville, Sarah Johnson of Mesquite, Texas, Tyler Mathews of St. Johns, Fla., Rachel Mitchell of Tuscaloosa and Susan Speaker of Birmingham.

The purpose of the Distinguished Alumni Awards is to honor alumni of the University of Alabama for their loyalty and service to the university and to the NAA. Recipient selection is also based on character, professional achievements and community service at the local, state, or national levels. The Distinguished Alumna Award recipient is Emily L. Baker of Tuscaloosa. Richard E. Coffee Jr. of Birmingham received the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

UA Black Scholar Awards recognizing high academic achievement included:

Sandral Hullett Award: Kyera Vasha’e Actkins, Christian Tremayne Brewton, Jasmine D. Davis, Charla E. Davis, Tyler Oliver Dempsey, Lacey Khadijah Dent, Andrea J. Hawkins, Malana A. Hudson, Brooke Moncheire Jackson, Nakia D. Jones, Velmatsu R. Lewis, Kenneth Coleman McCall, Jasmine N. Moorem, Matthew C. Morris, Justin R. Pendleton, Tanika M. Powers, Geryl Barnett Smith, Jason Christopher Speare, Charisse A. Taylor, Sylvia D. Turner, Morgan Elaine Watkins and Iris M. Wood.

Earnestine Tucker Award: Gabrielle A. Agnew, Delisa Elaine Baldwin, Jessika Karin Banks, Amanda K. Bennett, Spencer Thomas Cornelius, Sarah G. Cox, Georgia H. Floyd, Kelsie D. Frazier, Lacie Gwendolyn Garrett, Anthony J. James, Jasmine A. Jordan, James M. Kemp, Bobby L. Lewis, Derion Bernard Lipford, Morgan Ashley Loggins, Mason A. Mariney, Whitney J. Northington, Johanna Nathanielle Obenda, Mersadies Berlynn Orr, Khortlan Dean Patterson, Krystal D. Rivers, Aisha Seymone Rogers, Jonas Roy Salna, Dakota Christopher Slaughter, Jadyn D. Spencer and Alexis K.Williams.

Archie Wade Award: Anika M. Abiade, Ayana Marie Ames, Nia Nefertiti Barnes, Gianna Nichole Ceophas, Napoleon Folks, Alexandria M. Gilbert, Gregory S. Hacker, Averi Athena Hayes, Arielle J. Hurst, Meche’ Elante’ Hych, Kendra S. Jackson, Aysia C. Layton, Angely Milagros Martinez, Maryanne Michelle Mobley, Dynasty R. Moore, Pamela Muthoni Muchiri, Darius K. Taylor, Alexandria K. Taylor, Akeisha Danielle Young, and Liena Zaidan Abdu Zaidan.

Cleo Thomas Award: Hisham K. Ali, Taylor Charise Cravanas, Alexander J. Griskell, Wesley E. Ingram, Nicholas S. Kelly, Maya M. Posey, Charles TyroneThomason, Naomi A. Thompson, Chelsea J. Tucker and Charniece T. Wilcox.

Joffre and Zadie B. Whisenton Award – Lana Avis, Stephanie Blackmon, Frances Dumkwu, Kedra James and Oscar Holmes IV.

Vivian Malone Jones Endowed Scholarship – Dynasty Moore.

John England Award – Johnjerica Hodges.

Autherine Lucy Foster Endowed Scholarship –  Whitney J. Northington.

African-American Alumni Network Scholarship – Rachel Turner.

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

Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation: Dr. John C. Mitcham, College of Arts and Sciences, department of history, and Dr. Yanping Zhang, College of Engineering, department of computer science.

Outstanding Master’s Thesis: K. Lance Wilson, College of Arts and Sciences, department of geological sciences.

Excellence in Teaching by a Master’s Student: Allison Hiss, College of Arts and Sciences, department of modern languages and classics.

Excellence in Teaching by a Doctoral Student: Jefferson Walker, College of Communication and Information Sciences, doctoral program in communication and information sciences.

Excellence in Research by a Master’s Student: Zachary Wahl-Alexander, College of Education, department of kinesiology.

Excellence in Research by a Doctoral Student: Matthew Shannon, College of Engineering, department of chemical and biological engineering.

Outstanding Service by a Graduate Student: Dr. Rosemary Clement, College of Nursing, DNP Program.

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: Robert Alexander, Alexandra Arnold, Kirkland Back, Christopher Bacon, Elliott Bell, Stephanie Bevans, Kristen Blair, Kate Bonner, Emily Broman, Kelsey Cameron, Jordan Carpenter, Lindsey Cobb, Rachel Crutchfield, Charlie Deer, Michelle Dunajcik, Candice Dunn, Sophia Eldred, Kenyanita Ellis, Elizabeth Ernstberger, Samantha Gaffney, Lindsee Gentry, Kelsey Gibson, Marlan Golden, Alex Graham, Phillip Grant, Lillian Hall, Sarah Reid Harris, Thomas “Alex” Harrison, Hannah Hicks, Davis Hill, Amanda Hoeffner, Jeffrey Nathaniel Holmes, Catherine Humphrey, Katherine Jackson, Margaret Johnson, Harrison Jones, Sophia Jones, Lindsey Kahn, Elizabeth Kiernan, Katie Lamberth, Nicholas Laskay, Nancy McEnerney, Stephanie Meadow, Elizabeth Munn, Dylan Nichols, Joseph Norman, Anna Price Olson, Cindy Ouellet, Douglas Packard, Chelsea Primm, Will Pylant, Jeremy Reid, Katherine Sanders, Mary Sellers Shaw, Caroline Shook, Genie Smith, Elizabeth Sparrow, Katlyn Stricklend, Katie Summers, Mary Katherine Sweeney, Abigail Tankersley, Darius Taylor, John Trippe, Lane Tucker, Tiffany Underwood, Hannah Grace VanCleave, Madalyn Vaughn, Davis Vaughn, Catherine (C.J.) Watson, Mary Morgan Weed, Isabella Wesley, Chandler Wright, John Wyatt and Kyle Zimmerman.

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: Katherine M. Andrews, Elizabeth Kirkland Back, Kristen P. Blair, Sara K. Bonner, Hannah E. Brewer, Emily C. Broman, Florrye McKay Cleveland, Lindsey N. Cobb, Charlie A. Deer, Elissa M. Dowden, Candice N. Dunn, Elizabeth G. Ernstberger, Samantha A. Gaffney, Lindsee B. Gentry, Kelsey B. Gibson, Marlan J. Golden, Alex A. Graham, Livia A. Guadagnoli, Lillian L. Hall, Thomas Alex Harrison, Davis M. Hill, Amanda H. Hoeffner, Jeffrey Nathaniel Holmes, Catherine C. Humphrey, Margaret P. Johnson, Mary Sophia Jones, Kathryn A. Lamberth, Nicholas M. Laskay, Elizabeth S. Munn, Dylan J. Nichols, Anna Price Olson, Alfred T. Powell, Emily K. Presmanes, Will S. Pylant, Katherine L. Sanders, Mary Sellers Shaw, Caroline F. Shook, Genie G. Smith, Katlyn M. Stricklend, Katie E. Summers, Mary Katherine Sweeney, John C. Trippe, Jason J. Wang, Catherine J. Watson, Isabella P. Wesley and John M. Wyatt.

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: Saahil Agrawal, Jessica Ashton, Kirkland Back, Jonathan Belanich, Emily Broman, Connor Fox, Marlan Golden, Natalie Goodwin, Lauren Hardison, Davis Hill, Davis Jackson, Ryan Jones, Katie Lamberth, Molly Lisenby, Zack Morris, Lena Oshinskie, Sydney Page, David Phelps, Mary Sellers Shaw, Genie Smith, Darius Taylor, Fifi Wang, Jason Wang, Chandler Wright and Kyle Zimmerman.

Anderson Society Honorary Members – Alex Clark, Juliana Harless and Ralph Leslie “Tray” Smith.

Anderson Society Faculty Inductees – Dr. Mark Nelson and Dr. Liza Wilson

Anderson Society Advisers – Betty Florey, Michael Harding 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: Saahil R. Agrawal, Robert C. Anderson, Alexandra Holloway Arnold, Jessica L. Ashton, Elizabeth Kirkland Back, Christopher N. Bacon, Jonathan R. Belanich, Stephanie L. Bevans, Brent R. Bielefeldt, Michael F. Bolus, Sara Katherine Bonner, Hannah Elizabeth Brewer, Emily Catherine Broman, Bret Michael Buckler, Kelsey J. Cameron, Florrye McKay Cleveland, Lindsey Nicole Cobb, Rachel J. Crutchfield, Charles Alan Deer, Candice N. Dunn, Sophia W. Eldred, Elizabeth Gwen Ernstberger, Ayanna Denee’ Freeman, Samantha Ann Gaffney, Lindsee B. Gentry, Kelsey B. Gibson, Marlan James Golden, Alexandria Austin Graham, Swinton A. Griffith, IV, Lillian L. Hall, Lauren Nicole Hardison, Sarah Reid Harris, Thomas A. Harrison, John Stewart Herndon, Thomas L. Hiltz, II, Brian C. Hoff, Jeffrey Nathaniel Holmes, Catherine Coleman Humphrey, Margaret Pringle Johnson, Elizabeth Ashley Kiernan, Kathryn A. Lamberth, Nicholas M. Laskay, Luke H. Lewis, Molly D. Lisenby, Nancy M. McEnerney, Katherine L. McLarney, Caroline McNeal Morris, Zackery B. Morris, Elizabeth S. Munn, Dylan J. Nichols, Je-Young Oh, Lena Teresa Oshinskie, Alfred T. Powell III, Dylan Sandy, Mary Sellers Shaw, Caroline Faith Shook, Gloria Gene Smith, Jerry M. Smith, Mary Katherine Sweeney, Darius K. Taylor, Sarah Elizabeth Tooker, Frances Lane Tucker, Madalyn Grace Vaughn, Fifi Wang, Jason Jiying Wang, Mary Virginia Ward, Catherine Jane Watson, Mary Morgan Weed, John McFadden Wyatt and Kyle R. Zimmerman.

Mortar Board Faculty Honorees – Dr. Judy L. Bonner, Dr. Hank Lazer, John Maxwell, Dr. Shane Sharpe

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.