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Honors Program Students Recognized with Scholarship Awards

May 22, 2020

Four students in the Honors Program at OBU have been recognized with special scholarship awards. The awards are selected by the Honors Program committee based on criteria specific to each scholarship.

The Deaton Memorial Scholarship is awarded to both a rising junior and a rising senior with outstanding academic records. Katie Onkst, business management major and biblical studies minor, is the rising junior recipient. Christin Muller, an interdisciplinary major in graphic design and computer science, is the rising senior recipient.

Dr. Lindsey Panxhi, director of the Honors Program and assistant professor of English, is proud of both students.

“Katie and Christin are both excellent, diligent students who have consistently demonstrated their pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful throughout their time in the Honors Program,” she said.

Jonathan Soder, a philosophy major with English and biblical studies minors, is the recipient of the Michael E. Travers Memorial Scholarship. Dr. Travers served the university as associate provost, associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, chair of the Division of Language and Literature, and professor of English.

The criteria for the Travers Scholarship, awarded to a rising senior, include the student having a love for the world of literature, demonstrating academic excellence, having a strong evangelical faith, and exhibiting integration of faith with academic discipline. Soder is currently in the process of writing an honors thesis on John Keats and Søren Kierkegaard.

Dannie Deason, a political science major and history minor, is the recipient of the Dr. Thomas E. Dowdy Memorial Award, which is given to the student with the top honors thesis. Dowdy served on faculty at OBU for nearly two decades as professor of sociology.

The criteria for determining the merits of the thesis include an evaluation of thesis content, style, originality and extensive research. Deason’s thesis, “Evaluating Presidential Power in the Proper Context of the Constitutional Separation of Powers,” excelled in all of these areas. Deason is a graduating senior and will be attending Emory Law School in Atlanta, Georgia, in the fall.

“The Honors Committee commends all of these students for their outstanding academic work, and is delighted to celebrate their academic achievements,” Panxhi said.

These awards are announced annually during an Honors Program luncheon for graduating seniors held the day of Spring Commencement. However, with the move to online learning and postponement of commencement until Aug. 1, the announcement was made online instead.