Oklahoma Baptist University

Outstanding Students Recognized at Awards Convocation

Oklahoma Baptist University recognized its outstanding seniors during the 2009 Awards Convocation on Wednesday, May 13, in Raley Chapel. Rachel Piontak, an applied communication major from Catoosa, Okla., received the University's highest award, the Rosalee Mills Appleby Award. Piontak will graduate with the scholastic designation magna cum laude with honors in applied communication. The award was presented by OBU President David Wesley Whitlock.

The Rosalee Mills Appleby Award is named for the donor, a member of the class of 1929 who served as a missionary, writer and teacher in Brazil for many years. This award was established in 1936 as OBU's first award and has been given annually since that time. The selection is made by a committee named by the University president. It recognizes the woman of the graduating class who most nearly exemplifies the qualities which characterize the ideal OBU woman, including personal character, scholarship, leadership, concern for others and Christian commitment.



Dr. Pam Robinson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, recognized the outstanding seniors in arts and sciences studies. Jessica Hill, an English major from Colorado Springs, Colo., received the award in the Division of Language and Literature. She will graduate with the designation summa cum laude. Andrew O'Gwynn, a history major from Shawnee, received the award in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences. He will graduate with the designation magna cum laude. Brian Friesen, a physics major from Wichita, Kan., received the award in the Division of Science and Mathematics. He will graduate with the designation summa cum laude with college honors. Rachel Wambolt, an exercise and sports science: pre-applied health major from Frederick, Okla., received the award in the Division of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies. She will graduate with the designation magna cum laude. Kelly Koonce, an elementary education major from Bartlesville, Okla., received the award in the Division of Teacher Education. She will graduate with the designation summa cum laude with college honors.

Dr. Kyle Tresch, dean of the Paul Dickinson School of Business, recognized Peter Wilson as the Outstanding Senior in the School of Business. Wilson, a marketing/finance major from Bethany, Okla., will graduate with the scholastic designation magna cum laude.

Dr. Mark McClellan, dean of the School of Christian Service, recognized the outstanding seniors in Christian service studies. Orrey McFarland, a religion: biblical languages major from Ardmore, Okla., received the Outstanding Senior in Religion Award, presented to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the fields of theology, Christian history and biblical studies. McFarland will graduate with the designation summa cum laude with honors in religion: biblical languages. Courtney Ingram, a children's ministry major from Norman, Okla., received the Outstanding Senior in Applied Ministry Award, given to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the field of applied ministry. Ingram will graduate with the designation magna cum laude. Adam Goggins, a philosophy/history major from Justin, Texas, received the Outstanding Senior in Philosophy Award, given to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the field of philosophy.

Dr. Paul Hammond, dean of the College of Fine Arts, recognized the outstanding seniors in fine arts. Morgan Zabriski, a studio art major from Plano, Texas, received the art award. The honor recognizes a student who has exhibited not only a talent in art, but also an initiative in the development of that talent and has maintained a responsible awareness of his or her talent through overall good scholarship. Zabriski will graduate with the designation cum laude. Christi Mitchell, an electronic media production major from Blair, Okla., received the communication arts award. The honor recognizes the most exemplary graduating senior majoring in communication studies, telecommunication or theatre arts. The student exhibits scholastic excellence, leadership, moral ideals, breadth of involvement and promise of success in the field of communications. Mitchell will graduate with the designation magna cum laude. Aaron Foshee, a voice performance major from Jones, Okla., received the music award. The honor recognizes the student who has excelled as a performer, who has consistently exhibited the highest standards of scholarship and who best represents the ideals of the University. Foshee will graduate with the designation magna cum laude.

Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of the School of Nursing, named Laura Cooprider as the Outstanding Senior in the School of Nursing. Cooprider, a nursing major from Edmond, Okla., will graduate with the designation magna cum laude. The award honors the student demonstrates competence in the knowledge and skills required for beginning practice as a professional nurse. The student incorporates caring behaviors in interactions with clients and colleagues, affirms commitment to the ethical values of the Judeo-Christian beliefs, demonstrates a commitment to continuing personal and professional development grounded in liberal arts philosophy and assumes moral and legal responsibility for his or her own professional nursing practice.

D.H. Dilbeck, a junior from Edmond, received the Gaskin Baptist History Award, given annually to encourage research in the history of Baptist life and thought. The award is made possible through a fund established by Dr. J.M. Gaskin, pastor, educator, historian and friend of the University. The winning research papers submitted for the award are included in the Baptist Historical Collection housed in Oklahoma City.

Andrew Hoyt, a senior pastoral ministry major from Sand Springs, Okla., received the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Presidential Scholarship. Awarded by the seminary, the honor recognizes an outstanding ministry student who has been called to serve in a Southern Baptist context.

Morgan Gordon, a junior music education/vocal certification major from Lexington, Okla., received the Evans T. Moseley Leadership Award. The award was established by the senior class of OBU in 1966 to honor the man who served as interim president of the University during that year. It is given to a rising senior who demonstrates the greatest leadership potential.

Stephanie Robbins, a senior secondary English education major from Farmington, Ark., received the John Wesley Raley Scholarship. The John Wesley Raley Scholar receives a scholarship from funds provided by the Fay Taylor Pierson Trust, part of which was designated to establish a memorial to Dr. John Wesley Raley, who served as University president from 1934 to 1961 and as University chancellor from 1961 to 1965. The Scholarship is awarded annually to a rising senior with a grade point average of at least 3.00 who plans to continue at OBU. Additional criteria which guide the selection committee's nomination to the University president include leadership, moral courage, self-determination and communicative skills.

The assembly also recognized the Junior Class Marshalls and Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Junior Class Marshals are the top-ranking junior men and women, based on overall grade point average, who serve as marshals for the senior class graduation. They include: Amanda Christine Abernathy from Cheyenne, Wyo.; Spring Brook Butler, Grapevine, Texas; Taylor Michael Byrum, Bentonville, Ark.; Kaleen Marie Connell, Mustang, Okla.; Caitlin Rebekah Dacus, Overland Park, Kan.; Sarah Elaine Griffin, Bartlesville; Morgan Annastasia Gordon, Lexington; Laura Beth Griffin, Bartlesville; Lauren Katherine Kamp, Edmond; Jennifer Lynn Keogh, Arvada, Colo.; Amanda Jane Layman, Florissant, Mo.; Karissa Marie Manning, Southwest City, Mo.; Andrew O. Melton, Oklahoma City; Joshua C. Mugler, St. Peters, Mo.; Cody Lee Oldacre, Talala, Okla.; April Renee Peters, Oklahoma City; Anne Marlene Risch, Topeka, Kan.; Stephanie Nette Robbins, Farmington, Ark.; Da-Nell Anne Rogers, Casa Grande, Ariz.; Brent Alan Schmidt, Bartlesville; John David Stephens, Tulsa, Okla.; April Janelle Wallace, Sparks, Okla.; Jeanette Marie Walters, Copan, Okla.; Melody Rose Wheeler, Oklahoma City; Hannah Christine Wood, Allen, Texas; and Elisabeth Esther Wright, Wichita, Kan.

Who's Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges is an annual honors program honoring our nation's leading college students. The program recognizes academic excellence, outstanding accomplishments and contributions to community and school. Students honored include: Ryann Matthew Aaron, Hutchinson, Kan.; Lacy Nicole Abbott, Tecumseh, Okla.; Kristin Marie Anderson, Piedmont, Okla.; Mallory LaRae Argo, Gallup, N.M.; Billy Earl Benson, McLoud, Okla.; Jayme Lynn Boyer, Shawnee; Katie Allison Bradshaw, Stillwater, Okla.; Rhiannon Kelsey Brunsteter, Stillwater; Whitni Dawn Butler, Sapulpa, Okla.; Bonnie Christine Cassidy, Oklahoma City; Evan Dean Chambers, Oklahoma City; Bryan Charles Christie, Carmel, Ind.; Lara Alyssa Cobb, Seminole, Okla.; Laura Ann Cooprider, Edmond; Sarah Ann Corley, Oklahoma City; Rebekah Ann Dillinger, Buffalo, Wyo.; Brooke Adelle Dockery, McLoud; Lindsey Lea Faught, Oklahoma City; Aaron James Foshee, Jones; Sarah Chloe Freeman, Stillwater; Brian Christopher Friesen, Wichita; Jessica Marie Hill, Colorado Springs; Julie Ann Hixon, Bartlesville; Mackenzie Alyce Hufty, New London, Mo.; Laura Elaine Ingram, Lenexa, Kan.; Brian Kelsey James, Ponca City, Okla.; Joya Johnson, Bartlesville; Laura Elizabeth Mangrum Kee, Bentonville, Ark.; Kelly Allyn Koonce, Bartlesville; William Graham Korver, Broken Arrow, Okla.; Sarah Marie Krueger, Piedmont, Okla.; Hannah Rachelle Lapo, Tulsa; Richard Brian Levings, Perry, Okla.; Kelly Carlynn Liggett, Lebanon, Ill.; Rachel Dawn Mann, Shawnee; Peter Lynn McCorkle, Tulsa; Jill Ann McDonald, Newcastle, Okla.; Orrey Wayne McFarland, Ardmore; Kenneth Cade Meadors, Claremore, Okla.; Melinda Sue Merriman, Smithville, Mo.; Christi A. Mitchell, Blair; Natalie Brooke Mowery, Owasso, Okla.; Rebecca Ann Murdock, Clarksville, Ark.; Andrew Davis O'Gwynn, Shawnee; Kathryne Rose Overturf, Fort Smith, Ark.; Caroline Elizabeth Patterson, Galveston, Texas; Krystal Summer Perkins, Cooper, Texas; Rachel Renee Piontak, Catoosa; Scott Allan Ramsay, Fredericksburg, Texas; Daniel John Reeves, Edmond; Whitney Alliece Ritchie, Pryor, Okla.; Dayla Lynae Rowland, Claremore; Courtney Lennis Seigler, Fayetteville, Ark.; Andrew Emerson Sharp, Tulsa; Shauna Afton Shelton, Del City, Okla.; Bethany Grace Simmons, Grapevine; Chad Christopher Taylor, Holdenville, Okla.; Kelsey Dawn Thompson, Pittsburg, Kan.; Jenni Marie Tilson, West Plains, Mo.; Rachel Louise Ukens, Tulsa; Sarah Suzanne Underwood, Edmond; Lisa Haywood Vernon, Shawnee; Rachel Dee Wambolt, Frederick, Okla.; Megan Elizabeth Warren, Shawnee; Ellisabeth Susanne Weaver, Stillwater; and
Peter G. Wilson, Bethany.

The graduates will participate in Spring Commencement Saturday, May 23, at 10 a.m. in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium. Students graduate with the scholastic predicate summa cum laude for maintaining at least a 3.95 grade point average. Students who maintained at least at 3.70 GPA will be designated magna cum laude. Students who maintained at least a 3.40 GP will be designated cum laude.

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