Park University Recognizes Academic Achievements At Honors Convocation

Thursday, April 25, 2013

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Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 2012-13 school year at the University's annual Honors Convocation on April 24 in the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the Parkville Campus. In addition to a number of departmental academic honors, the University acknowledged outstanding students and faculty with a variety of special awards.

Nadejda Bucsan and Cody Croan
Nadejda Bucsan and Cody Croan
The most prestigious honor bestowed on any student at Park University -- the Outstanding Parkite Award -- went to seniors Nadejda Bucsan and Cody Croan. The Outstanding Parkite Awardis given to one senior female and one senior male student on the University's Parkville Campus who best exemplify the ideals of the University in their character, conduct, scholarship and student activity participation. The awards are endowed by Dr. Elliot F. Parker in memory of his parents, Albert George and Jessie Bewley Parker.

Bucsan, a senior business administration/management major from Chisinau, Moldova, has excelled in the classroom with a 3.98 cumulative grade point average, and she has been active in student life on the Parkville Campus. A University Presidential Scholar and a member of Park's Honors Program, she is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. She was elected to three terms as the business manager for the Park Student Government Association and served one term as a senator. Bucsan also served as vice president of the University's Model United Nations club and Park's People to People International chapter. In addition, she has been a freshman mentor/student orientation leader, a student adviser for Park's Summer Business Academy and a student representative on a number of University committees.

Croan, a senior English writing major from Kansas City, Mo. (attended Park Hill South High School, Riverside, Mo.), has also excelled in the classroom with a 4.06 cumulative grade point average, as well as in a variety of student activities. A University Presidential Scholar and a member of Park's Honors Program, Croan was the recipient of a Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Award and the Outstanding Class Member Award in 2012. Croan served two years as a First-Year Experience mentor and was editor of Park's creative writing journal, The Scribe. He also served one year as public relations coordinator for the PSGA and was president of the Philosophy Club. In addition, Croan won the Nicholas Manchion Endowed English Scholarship in 2010.

Dr. Dennis Okerstrom
Dr. Dennis Okerstrom
Brian Shawver
Brian Shawver
The University also recognized its outstanding faculty with the presentation of theDistinguished Faculty Scholar Award to Brian Shawver, associate professor of English, and the Distinguished Humanities Faculty Award to Dennis Okerstrom, Ph.D., professor of English.

Manuchair Ebadi, Ph.D., a 1960 Park graduate, established the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award in honor of Delta W. Gier, Ph.D., former chair of the Department of Chemistry who served Park from 1948 to 1990. The award pays tribute to a faculty member who shows evidence of commitment to high standards of excellence in the area of scholarship: teaching, discovery, integration and/or service. The recipient also shows effective and innovative connections between teaching and research, especially by undergraduate student involvement and participation.

Shawver, a resident of Kansas City, Mo., has an impressive record of scholarship, and he sustains a synergistic relationship between writing, research and teaching, according to his nominators. One nomination letter noted that Shawver is an "exceptional scholar who has enhanced the Park student experience and the reputation of the University." Shawver's recently published book, The Language of Fiction: A Writer's Stylebook, has been adopted by major writing programs across the country.

Ebadi also established the Distinguished Humanities Faculty Award, to celebrate the work, life and thoughts of Woodbridge O. Johnson, Ph.D., professor emeritus and chair of religion and Biblical literature at Park from 1946 to 1966. The award is presented to a University faculty member who exhibits extraordinary accomplishments in research or creative scholarship through teaching, discovery, scholarly or creative work, and service.

According to one nominee, Okerstrom, a resident of Independence, Mo., is a pillar of liberal arts and humanities at Park. "He has provided significant academic and historical work related to events and people from World War II that has been recognized in the media," the nominee said. Okerstrom has been recognized previously by the University as a two-time recipient of the J.L. Zwingle Award, an award that pays tribute to outstanding faculty members as voted by students, as well as the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

Additional Presidential Awards and leadership awards presented by Park University President Michael Droge, Ph.D.:

Dr. Stephen Bell
Dr. Stephen Bell
Scott Hageman
Scott Hageman
Dusing-Proudfoot Award -- This award is given to honor an outstanding contribution by a Park University faculty or staff member. It is named in honor of two former Park University professors, Albert Dusing and Merrill Proudfoot, who worked at Park for more than 20 years each and are respected for their academic and teaching betterment of students.
--- Scott Hageman, associate professor of geology/geoscience and assistant dean of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Kansas City, Mo.

J.L. Zwingle Award -- This award pays tribute to outstanding faculty members as voted by the student body.
--- Stephen Bell, Ph.D., J.D., associate professor and program coordinator of economics, Napoleon, Mo.

Jon LaHue
Jon LaHue
Dawn Hyatt
Dawn Hyatt
Tarrah Bossert
Tarrah Bossert
Louisa Davidson Hinde/Carolyn Hinde Zarkaryan Memorial Award --This award is given to two students and one faculty/staff/alumni who best represent the spirit of Park University by promoting in others that quality of excellence that has always been associated with a Park education.
--- Tarrah Bossert, senior organizational communications major, Weatherby Lake, Mo. (attended Park Hill High School, Kansas City, Mo.)
--- Dawn Hyatt, program assistant in the Office of Global Education and Study Abroad, Kansas City, Mo.
--- Jon LaHue III, senior communication arts/broadcasting major, Kansas City, Kan.

Joe Butler
Joe Butler
Misty Burnett
Misty Burnett
Donna Bachmann
Donna Bachmann
Teaching Excellence Awards -- A trio of awards are given to recognize the full-time, face-to-face adjunct and online adjunct faculty members who exemplify excellence in teaching, as nominated by peers, students and staff.
--- President's Award for Teaching Excellence (for full-time faculty): Donna Bachmann, professor and program coordinator of art, Roeland Park, Kan.
--- Provost's Award for Teaching Excellence (for face-to-face adjunct faculty): Misty Burnett, Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) Campus Center adjunct instructor of economics, Warrensburg, Mo.
--- Provost's Award for Teaching Excellence (for online adjunct faculty): Joe Butler, adjunct instructor of psychology, Bemidji, Minn.

Tonya Frotz
Tonya Frotz
Dr. Greg Claycomb
Dr. Greg Claycomb
Excellence in Academic Advising Award -- This award is given to recognize faculty/staff who have achieved excellence in providing Park University students academic advising and mentoring. The award is intended to recognize outstanding contributions in helping students define and achieve their academic goals.
--- Gregory Claycomb, Ph.D., assistant professor and program coordinator of chemistry, Leavenworth, Kan.
--- Tonya Frotz, Malmstrom Air Force Base (Mont.) Campus Center assistant director, Great Falls, Mont.


Below is a list of additional awards presented during the Honors Convocation:


To qualify, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 or above, and be a full-time, degree-seeking student with 30 or more Park University hours.
David Abeyta, John Abney, Edem Assogba Jr., Robert Barnfield, Elizabeth Beatty, Callie Beaver, Bailie Berner, R. Larry Bishop, Autumn Blough, Luke Bossert, Nadejda Bucsan, Leslie Butcher, David Cable, Julie Carleton, Kelsey Clark, Brooke Clubine, Anja Collen, Brandy Collins, Alyssa Coop, Janae Cooper, Joseph Cowley, Jamie Craig, Cody Croan, Angela Cummins, Alyssa Davis, Lorisa DeWitt, Samantha Dickey, Emily Drake, Rachel Dryden, Patrick Elisha, Allison Enke, Andria Enns, Steven Ervay, Kelsey Faiferlick, Canaan Fairley, Katherine Fairley;
Nikol Fayzieva, Juliana Fisher, Sandra Flores, Emily Frame, Reisha Fregoe, Caleb Geno, Alicia Hanauer, Samuel Hansen, Brady Hanssen, Randi Hardy, Jean Hiuhu, Abigail Holloway, Cody Holt, Kari Hutton, Kelvin Igumbor, Ellen Jacobson, Marie Jean-Baptiste, Justin Kight, Ray Kincaid, Justin Kobolt, Jennifer Krupa, Jill Kujawa, Artem Kuznetsov, Brett Lesniak, Reed Liberty, Joseph Malone, Cortney Manning, Katie Martino, Ceanne Maxey, Joseph McLaughlin, Joshua McLaughlin, Jasmin Menez, Jennie Meyers, Leah Miller, Susan Mortezaei Far, Amanda Mynatt;
Kristen Norgard, Ronda O'Brien, Kristy O'Leary, Andrea Palmer, Haseung Park, Sasha Pearce, Erinn Pence, Daniel Pfeiffer, Mary Porter, Katie Powers, Rees Purdom, Rebekah Purvis, Mindy Reynolds, Timothy Reynolds, Amanda Riley, Nathaniel Roten, Kelsi Schieber, Melissa Schmohl, Judy Sexton, Nirendra Shakya, Sarah Shaw, Simon Sheckells, Katelyn Shoemaker, Brian Sieminski, Olessya Solovev, Ashley Stapleton, Wendy Stapleton, Hannah Stark, Renu Tamang, Michael Tounzen, Frances Venable, Megan Walker, Scott Warkentien, Minnie Washington, Amanda Westrem, Taylor Whipple.


Alpha Chi Membership
Alpha Chi is a national college honor society. Its purpose is to promote academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students, and to honor those who achieve such distinction. The following students are nominated for induction into Alpha Chi and Park's chapter of the society, Missouri Theta:
Sarah Anislag, Nadejda Bucsan, Jamie Craig, Kathleen Davis, Ashley Harbin, Angelica Hodgdon, Ellen Jacobson, Haley Knappen, Jennifer Krupa, Jennie Meyers, Kristen Norgard, Andrea Palmer, Richa Rizal, Frances Venable, Taylor Whipple, Emily Zabielski

John R. Sanders Memorial Scholarship
The scholarship is named in memory of Dr. John Sanders, former dean of undergraduate studies and associate professor of chemistry at Park University, known as a dedicated scholar and friend to students.
Alison Enke

Lora Margaret and Thomas Amherst Perry Scholarship
The full-time student who receives this scholarship has demonstrated self-reliance, self-discipline and good work habits, and is at least partially self-supporting.
Wendy Stapleton




Mary Barlow Writing Award for Outstanding Student Writing
Daniel Pfeiffer

Nicholas Manchion Endowed English Scholarship Award
Joshua Savage

William B. Markward Award in Early Modern, Language, Literature and Culture
Hannah Stark Callicotte

Sigma Tau Delta
Sigma Tau Delta is an international English honor society. Its purpose is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies. The Park University chapter of Sigma Tau Delta was chartered in 1998. The following students have achieved the requirements for membership and are invited into the company of those dedicated to promoting interest in literature and the English language.
Angelica Hodgdon, Cody Holt, Kelli Martin, Daniel Pfeiffer, Rees Purdom, Joshua Savage, Cory Stacer

Sigma Delta Pi
Sigma Delta Pi is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.
Rhonda Flores, Melanie Gonzalez, Kathleen Venable

Ronda O'Brien, senior; Matthew Rogers, junior

Brady Hanssen, senior; Cody Holt, junior

Fine Art
Elisha Bailey, senior; Jacqueline Grawe, junior

Graphic Design
Lindsey McDonald, senior; Austin Breed, junior

Interior Design
Susan Mortezaei Far, senior; Michelle Travers, junior

Liberal Studies
Mintao Huang, junior

Modern Language
Vanessa Van Bleisem, senior

Joshua Jackson, senior


Burton W. Scheib Pre-Medical Prize
This award is given to a student majoring in science -- preferably pre-medical -- for excellent work in this field.
Nikol Fayzieva

CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award
This award is presented in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement in chemistry during a student's freshman year at Park. The award includes a chemistry and physics handbook from the publisher.
Allison Davis

Dr. William C. Pivonka Award
Inaugurated by the Class of 1988, the award is given annually in recognition of the dedication that Dr. William Pivonka showed in teaching at Park University. It is given to an upperclassman who best represents the ideals of a chemistrymajor at Park University.
Michael Tounzen

The American Institute of Chemists
Award honors the outstanding senior in the field of chemistry.
Michelle Budd

Harold G. McDaniel Award
This award is presented in memory of Harold McDaniel, '58, professor of mathematics from 1961-78. It is given to honor outstanding students majoring in mathematics or >natural science.
Melissa Breedlove and Joe Bullock

J. Malcolm Good Award
Award is presented for the best paper in mathematics.
Jessica Brucker and Amanda Westrem

Professor L.A. Robbins Memorial Award
This award is given to a student who has distinguished himself/herself in the natural sciences and in athletics.
Art Vollbrecht

Outstanding Association for Computing Machinery Service Award
Nirendra Shakya

Outstanding Graduting Senior in Geography
Park University honors particular students who scholarship, leadership and citizenship exemplify the tradition of Park University within the academic department. The honor is bestowed by the Park University president, Board of Trustees and faculty.
Rachel Dryden

Gamma Theta Upsilon
Gamma Theta Upsilon is an international honor society in geography. Its purpose is to advance the status of geography as a cultural and practical discipline for study and investigation through the recognition of the discipline's next generation of leaders. Park University's chapter, Mu Theta, was chartered in 2011.
Elizabeth Allen, David Bell, Edith Escalera, Allissa Lewis, Kevin O'Kane, Andrew Reindl

Athletic Training
Angela Cummins, senior

Faith Stemmler and Michael Tounzen, seniors; Marie Jean-Baptiste, junior

Frances Venable, senior; Judith Bautista, junior

Tim Reynolds, senior; David Bell, junior

Information Computer Science
Jill Barnes and Long Nguyen, seniors

Reisha Fregoe and Kari Hutton, seniors


Phi Alpha Honor Society
Phi Alpha is the national honor socity in social work. The Park University chapter, Phi Alpha Rho Epsilon, was established in 2010. The mission is to promote scholarly pursuits in the advancement of humanitarian goals and ideals, with a motto of "Through knowledge -- the challenge to serve."
Tommie Brown, Nancy Crane, Jason Dye, Sandra Flores, Melanie Jones, Mary Malcolm, Shelly Ndifor, Katie Powers, Rebecca Ruble, Zach Sellers, Terracazeno Talbert

Psi Chi
Psi Chi is the national honor society in psychology. Its purpose is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in the scholarship of its member in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology. The Park University chapter of Psi Chi was chartered in 1996. The following students are welcomed to Psi Chi's fellowship of common interest, mutual assistance and high endeavor.
Gregory Hilliar, Jennifer Krupa, Janay Miller, Micki Swift

Criminal Justice
Cordell Eby, Allison Enke and Hannah Alpers, seniors; Judy Sexton and Jennie Meyers, juniors

Legal Studies
Sarah Dietz and Kevin Hill, seniors

Political Science
Kelvin Igumbor, senior; Samuel Peak, junior

Rebekah Purvis, senior; Taylor Whipple, junior

Social Psychology
Madalyn Buchanan, senior; Jean Hiuhu, junior

Social Work
Jason Dye, senior; Abbie Dearing, junior

Melanie Jones, senior


These awards are presented in the name of Dorothy Harper Watson, Ph.D., to undergraduate students showing exceptional promise in the field of literacy education.
Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Difficulties
Pamela Fox

Literacy for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers
Loree McKeefery

Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood
Jessica Watson

Literacy in the Middle School Classroom
Lauren Keller

Literacy in the Secondary Classroom
Miles Schasteen

Early Childhood Level
Emily Drake

Elementary Level
Ellen Jacobson

Middle School Level
Lauren Keller

Secondary Level
Zachary Smith

Kristen Norgard, senior; Joshua Savage, junior

Student Teaching Fellowship
The Student Teaching Fellowship was established by C. Ann Wentz, Ph.D., former associate professor of education, and R. David Wentz, to help support education students while they are student teaching so that some of the financial burden and worry could be eliminated and the recipient could focus on getting the most out of the student teaching experience.
Leslie Butcher and Hannah Myers


Park University Business Faculty Award
This award is given to the student(s) who demonstrated exceptional leadership in the classroom and exceptional potential in the field of business.
Robert Barnfield

Financial Executives Institute Awards
This award is given to an outstanding graduate of Park University in the field of finance for the current academic year.
Saruul Baatartsogt

Robert Barnfield, senior; Samantha Dickey, junior

David Cable, senior; Larry Bishop, junior

Mary Catherine Porter, senior; Lingfeng Mi, junior

International Business
Jambaldorj Ganbold, senior; Cheng Ran Zheng, junior

Joseph McLaughlin, senior; Kendra Kenney, junior

Alyssa Davis, senior; Joseph Malone, junior

Media Contact

Brad Biles
Director of Communications and Public Relations