Oklahoma Baptist University

Outstanding Students Recognized at Awards Convocation

OBU recognized its outstanding students during the annual Awards Convocation on Wednesday, May 2, in Raley Chapel, with seniors Amity Walker and Jered Bell receiving the highest awards given to students by OBU.

Walker, a history major from Shawnee, Okla., received the University’s highest award given to a female student, the Rosalee Mills Appleby Award. Walker will graduate May 11 with the scholastic designation summa cum laude with college honors. 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. The 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.

OBU senior Amity Walker receives the university’s highest award given to a female student, the Rosalee Mills Appleby Award, presented by OBU President David W. Whitlock.

Bell, a religion: Bible major from Magnolia, Texas, was the second recipient of the University’s highest award given to a male student, the W.P. Blake Award. Bell will graduate with the scholastic designation magna cum laude. The award was presented by Dr. Whitlock.

The W.P. Blake Award is named for the chairman of OBU’s first board of trustees. Blake was an Oklahoma Baptist pioneer from Okmulgee. The award was established in 2011 to recognize an outstanding man in the graduating class who embodies Blake’s written desire that OBU “perpetuate the heritage of Christian citizenship.” The selection is made by a committee named by the University president. It recognizes the man of the graduating class who most nearly exemplifies the qualities which characterize the ideal OBU man, including personal character, scholarship, leadership, concern for others and Christian commitment.

Robert Davenport, director of athletics, recognized the outstanding senior female and male athletes. The awards are given each year to student athletes who have had exceptional careers at OBU. Verone Chambers, a news and information major from Clarendon, Jamaica, was recognized as the outstanding female athlete for her role on the Lady Bison track team. Emmanuel Wilson, an interdisciplinary: kinesiology/leisure studies major from Norman, Okla., was recognized as the outstanding male athlete for his role on the Bison basketball team.

OBU senior Jered Bell receives the W.P. Blake Award, presented by OBU President David W. Whitlock.

The Presidential Scholar/Athlete Award is given each year to the senior male and female athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average. The 2012 recipients were Katy Palmer and Jared Huckabee. Palmer, a health, physical education and recreation major from Bowie, Texas, was a member of the Lady Bison track team. She will graduate with the scholastic predicate summa cum laude. Huckabee, a philosophy major from Rockwall, Texas, was a member of the Bison track team. He will graduate with the scholastic designation cum laude.

Dr. Pam Robinson, associate provost and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, recognized the outstanding seniors in arts and sciences studies. Jordan Gilbert, an English major from Chickasha, Okla., received the award in the Division of Language and Literature. He will graduate with the designation summa cum laude. Hannah Wright, a history/political science major from Wichita, Kan., received the award in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She will graduate with the designation summa cum laude with college honors. Abigail Basler, a pre-allied health and rehabilitation services major from Lawton, Okla., received the award in the Division of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies. She will graduate with the designation magna cum laude. Heather Goddard, an early childhood/elementary education major from Norman, Okla., received the award in the Division of Teacher Education. She will graduate with the designation summa cum laude.

Dr. Debbie Blue, dean of the Hurley College of Science and Mathematics, recognized Alexis Chen as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Science and Mathematics. Chen, a biochemistry major from Shawnee, will graduate during Winter Commencement in December.

Dr. David Houghton, dean of the Paul Dickinson College of Business, recognized Shane Haff as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Business. Haff, an interdisciplinary: computer science/biblical studies major from Pryor, Okla., will graduate with the scholastic designation summa cum laude.

Dr. Mark McClellan, dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, recognized the outstanding seniors in Christian service studies. Taylor Breen, a religion: Bible major from Phoenix, Ariz., 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. Breen will graduate with the designation summa cum laude. Jeremiah Custar, an applied ministry: youth emphasis major from Ardmore, Okla., received the Outstanding Senior in Applied Ministry Award, given to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the field of applied ministry. Eric Genheimer, a philosophy major from Mustang, Okla., received the Outstanding Senior in Philosophy Award, given to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the field of philosophy. He will graduate with the designation magna cum laude.

Dr. Ken Gabrielse, dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, recognized the outstanding seniors in fine arts. Lucas Simmons, an art major from Weleetka, Okla., 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. Simmons will graduate with the scholastic predicate cum laude. Laura Simma, an applied communication major from Perkins, 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. Simma will graduate with the designation magna cum laude with college honors. Sean Muzljakovich, a musical arts: worship arts major from Bartlesville, 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. Muzljakovich will graduate with the designation cum laude.

Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of the College of Nursing, named Shiloh Layn as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Nursing. Layn, a nursing major from Kingfisher, Okla., will graduate with the designation cum laude. The award honors the student who 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.

Kasey Chapman, a junior from Elmore City, Okla., 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 at OBU.

Neal Ellis, a junior from Midlothian, Texas, 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.

Leah Palmer, a junior from Oklahoma City, 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 Marshals 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: Everett Adams, a professional accountancy major from Oklahoma City; Sidni Boyer, an interdisciplinary major from Shawnee; Vanessa Brackett, a psychology: pre-counseling major from Tulsa, Okla.; Kasey Chapman, an applied ministry: pastoral major from Elmore City; Cara Cliburn, an English major from Ada, Okla.; Molly Denny, a biology major from Fort Worth, Texas; Jordan Golata, an elementary education major from Frisco, Texas; Paul Inman, a physics and mathematics major from Okarche, Okla.; Douglas Jones, a music composition major from Arlington, Texas; Taylor McDannel, a religion: Bible major from Denver, Colo.; Noelle McDowell, a graphic design major from Little Elm, Texas; Stephanie McFall, a graphic design major from Memphis, Tenn.; Bethany Miles, an English secondary education major from Stillwater, Okla.; Carson Misner, a psychology: pre-counseling major from Sapulpa, Okla.; Kayla Mugler, an English major from St. Peters, Mo.; Stephanie Penick, an early childhood education major from Katy, Texas; Caleb Stogner, a professional accountancy major from Gainesville, Texas; Samuel Whelan, a management major from Parachute, Colo.; and Carlie Wood, an English secondary education major from Weatherford, Okla.

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges is an annual honors program honoring the United States’ leading college students. The program recognizes academic excellence, outstanding accomplishments and contributions to community and school. Students honored include: Rachel Adamson, Stillwater; Ashlyn Basinger, Cushing, Okla.; Abigail Basler, Lawton; Jered Bell, Magnolia, Texas; Jill Betterton, Shawnee; Marissa Boswell, Loveland, Colo.; Cara Branson, Shawnee; Sara Branson, Shawnee; Taylor Breen, Phoenix, Ariz.; Rachelle Briscoe, Shawnee; Jordan Bruce, League City, Texas; Courtney Bryant, Moore, Okla.; Benjamin Buchanan, Shawnee; Bethany Burke, Dallas, Ore.; Janeth Carreon, Wynnewood, Okla.; Fernando Castro, Vila Velha, Brazil; Katie Chadwick, Shawnee; Alexis Chen, Shawnee; Ashley Clifton, Joshua, Texas; Kelsie Collins, Shawnee; Amy Courtney, Piedmont, Okla.; Ryan Cox, Sand Springs, Okla.; Jory Custar, Ardmore, Okla.; Laura Davis, Fayetteville, Ark.; Katharine Denny, Fort Worth, Texas; Aubrie Dolliver, Prairie Village, Kan.; Sarah Doretti, Santa Ana, Calif.; Constance Evans, Houston, Texas; Joy Fait, Arvada, Colo.; Lexi Faught, Edmond, Okla.; Leslie Fort, College Station, Texas; Caio Franca, Natal, Brazil; Dalton Funkhouser, Hobart, Okla.; Eric Genheimer, Mustang; Jordan Gilbert, Chickasha; Heather Goddard, Norman; Julie Griffin, Tulsa; Shane Haff, Pryor; Cylie Hall, Norman; JoBeth Hamon, Midland, Texas; Andrew Harper, Olympia, Wash.; Clay Henderson, Edmond; Brittany Hix, Jenks, Okla.; Jacob Hooten, Seminole, Okla.; and Jared Huckabee, Rockwall, Texas.

Who’s Who also includes Mary Jones, Fletcher, Okla.; Andrea Kellogg, Shawnee; Joshua Kelly, DeLeon, Texas; Kyle Kleeburg, Plano, Texas; Amanda Koszalka, Independence, Kan.; Brenden Laughlin, Albuquerque, N.M.; Ashley Leonard, Whittier, Calif.; Ethan Linscott, Atoka, Okla.; Molly Long, Jenks; Lauren Loughridge, Oklahoma City; Nadia Majed, Broken Arrow, Okla.; Zac Malthaner, Norman; Lauren McHaney, Mansfield, Texas; Zachary Melton, Oklahoma City; Aleksandra Miletic, Belegis, Serbia; Aaron Morvan, Shawnee; Sean Muzljakovich, Bartlesville; Katherine Norris, Bixby, Okla.; Kali Oldacre, Holdenville, Okla.; Katy Palmer, Bowie, Texas; Charles Porter, Owasso, Okla.; Daniel Ray, Chickasha; Matthew Regier, Andover, Kan.; Ellen Richard, Holdenville, Okla.; Bradley Schuessler, Valley Center, Kan.; Cory Schweitzer, Los Lunas, N.M.; Cassandra Sharp, Kansas City, Kan.; Laura Simma, Perkins; Lucas Simmons, Weleetka; Mallory Simpson, Ankeny, Iowa; Janna Smith, Seminole; Stephanie Smith, Shawnee; Courtney Stone, McKinney, Texas; Dustin Tenney, Claremont, N.H.; Jennifer Tiger, Shawnee; Casie Trotter, Owasso; Allison Tunnell, Oakhurst, Okla.; Amity Walker, Shawnee; Jacqueline Walter, Lawton; Cassandra Winker, Allen, Texas; and Hannah Wright, Wichita, Kan.

The seniors will participate in Spring Commencement Friday, May 11, 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 are designated magna cum laude. Students who maintained at least a 3.40 GPA are designated cum laude.

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