Oklahoma Baptist University

Outstanding Students Recognized at 2013 Awards Convocation

OBU recognized its outstanding students during the annual Awards Convocation on Wednesday, May 8, in Raley Chapel, with seniors Vanessa Brackett and Kasey Chapman receiving the highest awards given to students by OBU.

Brackett, a psychology: pre-counseling major from Tulsa, Okla., received the University’s highest award given to a female student, the Rosalee Mills Appleby Award. Brackett will graduate May 17 with the scholastic designation summa cum laude. The award was presented by OBU President David W. 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.

Chapman, an applied ministry: pastoral major from Elmore City, Okla., was the third recipient of the University’s highest award given to a male student, the W.P. Blake Award. Chapman will graduate with the scholastic designation summa 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. Sabra Clark, an exercise and sports science: pre-allied health major from Andover, Kan., was recognized as the outstanding female athlete for her role on the Lady Bison volleyball team. She will graduate with the scholastic predicate magna cum laude. Derik Douglas, an exercise and sports science: personal training, strength and conditioning major from Salida, Calif., was recognized as the outstanding male athlete for his role on the Bison track and field team.

The Presidential Scholar/Athlete Award is given each year to the senior male and female athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average. The 2013 recipients were Evan Shimanek and Cordell Baker. Shimanek, an exercise and sports science: pre-allied health major from Hennessey, Okla., was a member of the Lady Bison track team. She will graduate with the scholastic predicate summa cum laude. Baker, a biology major from Sapulpa, Okla., was a member of the Bison track and cross country teams. He will graduate with the scholastic designation summa 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. Kallie Engle, an English major from Durant, Okla., received the award in the Division of Language and Literature. She will graduate with the designation summa cum laude with college honors. Vanessa Brackett received the award in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Adrienne Williams, an exercise and sports science: pre-allied health major from Tulsa, Okla., received the award in the Division of Kinesiology and Leisure Studies. She will graduate with the designation summa cum laude. Mariah Miller, an elementary education major from Enid, 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 Shannon Griffith as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Science and Mathematics. Griffith, a secondary mathematics education major from Parker, Colo., will graduate with the scholastic predicate summa cum laude.

Dr. David Houghton, dean of the Paul Dickinson College of Business, recognized Austin Germiller as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Business. Germiller, an interdisciplinary: computer science/physics major from Parachute, Colo., will graduate with the scholastic designation magna cum laude.

Dr. Mark McClellan, dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, recognized the outstanding seniors in Christian service studies. Taylor McDannel, a Bible major with cross-cultural minor from Thornton, Colo., 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. McDannel will graduate in December 2013. Kasey Chapman received the Outstanding Senior in Applied Ministry Award, given to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the field of applied ministry. Marcus Crook, a religion: Bible/philosophy major from Earlsboro, 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 cum laude.

Dr. Ken Gabrielse, dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, recognized the outstanding seniors in fine arts. Mary Corley, a graphic design major from Oklahoma City, 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. Corley will graduate with the scholastic predicate magna cum laude. Neal Ellis, an applied communication major from Midlothian, Texas, 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. Ellis will graduate with the designation magna cum laude. Sarah Stephens, a vocal performance major from Tulsa, 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. Stephens will graduate with the designation summa cum laude.

Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of the College of Nursing, named Jonathan Phillips as the Outstanding Senior in the College of Nursing. Phillips, a nursing major from Exeter, Calif., 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. Bolhouse also received a standing ovation in honor of her service as the college’s dean. She will retire at the conclusion of the 2013 spring semester.

Brandon Melton, a junior from Oklahoma City, 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.

Melton also 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.

Jessa Manner, a junior from Topeka, Kan., 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: Allissa Harshberger, Rebecca Lewis, Jamie Adcock, Andrew Black, Taylor Boomer, Meagan Collins, Alyssa Deeds, Kaitlyn Giza, Christa Humphreys, Johanna Kleinsasser, Morgan Marshall, Kacee McKinney, Emily Schumacher, Audrey Southworth, Sarah Souza, Karrington Spann, Whitney Warfield, Cama Dooley, Elizabeth Ellis, Allie Preston, Andrew Black and Kaitlyn Giza.

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: Travis Alexander, Cordell Baker, Matthew Baker, Diana Barns, Brad Batchelor, Timothy Benham, Erin Black, Vanessa Brackett, Audrey Branscum, Courtney Buchanan, Emily Buller, Mollie Butner, Rebekah Byland, Joseph Chadwick, Jenna Chamberlain, Kasey Chapman, Christie Clark, Sabra Clark, Cara Cliburn, Blake Compton, Mary Corley, Leanne Craig, Neal Ellis, Kallie Engle, Naomi Fawcett, Joshua Ferguson, Aaron Foster, Natalea Foster, Abby Fuller, Andrew Gabbert, Elissa Garbiso, Austin Germiller, Parker Goforth, Jesse Grandstaff, Shannon Griffith, Robin Harjo, Brittani Harmon, Aaron Hayes, Elizabeth Hensley, Stephanie Hixon, Hannah Irwin and Tori Johnson.

Who’s Who also includes Amanda Lancaster, Stormy Loughner, Erin Lowry, Jessica Masterson, Jonathan Meadows, Mariah Miller, Carson Misner, Lindsay Mitchell, Brandy Moore, Whitney Moore, Whitney Moore, Samantha Olson, Leah Palmer, Stephanie Penick, Erin Pettyjohn, Jonathan Phillips, Rachel Piston, Weston Potts, Kelsey Proctor, Isaac Queen, Sara Quesenbury, Caroline Reel, Tristen Rizzo, Caleb Sanders, Evan Shimanek, Breanna Shuler, Elizabeth Sidler, Brooke Simmons, Lauren Smith, Kelsey Sorensen, Sarah Stephens, Caleb Stogner, Ashlynn Streck, Sydney Sutton, Kirsten Thompson, Zachary Thompson, Laura Voth, Mitch Warne, Alexandra Whelan, Adrienne Williams, Adrienne Williams, Emily Yates and Caitlyn Yount.

The seniors will participate in Spring Commencement Friday, May 17, 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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