Park University Recognizes Academic Achievements at Honors Convocation

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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April 17, 2014 — Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 2013-14 school year at the University’s annual Honors Convocation on April 16. The event was held in the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus. In addition to a number of departmental academic honors, the University acknowledged outstanding students and faculty with a variety of special awards.

Parkite AwardThe most prestigious honor bestowed on any student at Park University — the Outstanding Parkite Award — went to seniors Hayley Knappen (right) and Art Vollbrecht (left). The Outstanding Parkite Award is 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.

Knappen, an elementary education major from Overland Park, Kan. (attended Shawnee Mission North High School), has excelled in the classroom with a 3.85 cumulative grade point average. During her time at Park, Knappen won the University’s C.W. Bailey award in 2013 for those who have distinguished themselves and exhibited the spirit of Park University, as well as the School of Education’s academic honors in 2012 and a Dorothy Watson Literacy Award this year. She has served as president of Revive, a student club associated with Campus Crusade for Christ, and vice president of Park’s chapter of Alpha Chi national college honor society, an organization she was inducted into in 2013. Knappen has also served as a resident mentor and has participated in numerous community service and mission trips.

Vollbrecht, a biology major from Kansas City, Mo. (attended North Kansas City [Mo.] High School), has also excelled in the classroom with a 3.63 cumulative GPA. Vollbrecht was honored this year with a Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Award, given to students who distinguish themselves uniquely as leaders at Park University. In 2013, he won the Professor L.A. Robbins Memorial Award, given to a student who has distinguished himself/herself in the natural sciences and in athletics, and he was crowned king of the University’s Harvest Fest after being named prince in 2012. Also in 2012, Vollbrecht received the Outstanding Class Member Award, given to students who best represent their class in service to, and participation in, the University. A member of Park’s cross country and track teams, Vollbrecht was a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete in 2013 and 2014; Academic All-American Midwest Conference all four years (2011-14); and CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District in 2012. He has also served as a resident assistant and resident mentor, and was a president of the Park Student Activities Board.

Kay BoehrDr. Virginia BrackettThe University also recognized its outstanding faculty with the presentation of the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award to Virginia Brackett, Ph.D. (left), associate professor of English and director of the Honors Academy, and the Distinguished Humanities Faculty Award to Kay Boehr (right), associate professor and program coordinator of interior design.

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.

Brackett, a resident of Kansas City, Mo., who won the Distinguished Humanities Faculty Award in 2010, is an exceptional scholar who has enhanced the Park student experience and the reputation of the University. She has authored 15 books and more than 140 articles, and has received publication honors for her books from Booklist/Editor’s Choice, the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association, Pennsylvania School Library Association and the New York Public Library Catalog of Recommended Reading for Teens. In service to the University, Brackett has served on and chaired numerous committees and task forces, and serves as director of Park’s Honors Academy as well as the Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium. She has also served as chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, as associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Faculty Senate.

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.

Boehr, a resident of Kansas City, Mo., has an impressive range of activities to intersect her teaching and scholarship. In addition to being a registered architect and professional member of both the International Interior Design Association and Interior Design Educators Council, she has created a number of opportunities for Park interior design students to showcase their work in professional venues in the Kansas City area as well as through various organizations, and she organizes professional experiences for students to work directly for clients in Kansas City.

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

Dr. Ron BreckeMelissa GeierDusing-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.
     •  Melissa Geier Scheiterle (left), assistant registrar, Smithville, Mo.

J.L. Zwingle Award — This award pays tribute to outstanding faculty members as voted by the student body.
     •  Ron Brecke, Ph.D. (right), professor of political science, Pleasant Valley, Mo.

Hinde/ZarkaryanLouisa 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.
     •  Kirby Appollis (right), senior legal studies major from Overland Park, Kan. (attended Olathe [Kan.] East High School
     •  Jasey Huber (left), 2012 Bachelor of Arts in English writing graduate, Lee’s Summit, Mo. (attended Spring Hill [Kan.] High School)
     •  Janek Sunga (center), senior English writing major, Miwani, Kenya

Teaching Excellence Awards — These awards recognize the full-time and adjunct faculty members who exemplify excellence in teaching, as nominated by peers, students and staff.
Dr. Ron BreckeRusty Norris     •  President’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for full-time faculty): Ron Brecke, Ph.D. (right), professor of political science, Pleasant Valley, Mo.
     •  Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for adjunct faculty): Rusty Norris (left), adjunct instructor of communication arts, Independence, Mo.

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.
Dr. John HamiltonBailey Puckett     •  John Hamilton, Ph.D. (right), associate professor of criminal justice administration, Kansas City, Mo.

Newman Civic Fellows Award — This award from Campus Compact recognizes inspiring colleges student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing their communities throughout the country.
     •  Bailey Puckett (left), sophomore political science/international politics major, St. Joseph, Mo (attended Platte County High School, Platte City, Mo.)

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.
Michael Adams, Zahir Alshehri, Austan Bartelli, Callie Beaver, David Bell, Bailie Berner, Brittany Biondi, Larry Bishop, John Boyer, Laurel Bruening, Nadejda Bucsan, Julie Carleton, Kelsey Clark, Matthew Cleeton, Brandy Collins, Leah Conrad, Alyssa Coop, Joseph Cowley, Meghan Cowley, Johnathan Cox, Jamie Craig, Amanda Croan, Angela Cummins, Allison Davis, Abigail Dearing, Samantha Dickey, Nathan Docman, Ryan Dusing, Sharman Edwards, Gina English, Allison Enke, Kelsey Faiferlick, Canaan Fairley, Juliana Fisher, Mikayla Fisher, Emily Frame, Peter Franck, Andrew Geddes, Brian Geran, Erin Goertz, Alicia Hanauer, Katie Heidtbrink, Juliana Herr, Gregory Hilliar, Jean Hiuhu, Cody Holt, Jojo Howard, Kari Hutton, James Jarrard, Marie Jean-Baptiste, Cindy Kneale, Jill Kujawa, Artem Kuznetsov, Blake Lockmiller, Kara Lough, Joseph Malone, Cortney Manning, Emily Mapes, Sara McDonald, Joshua McLaughlin, Jasmin Menez, Anna Menninger, Jennie Meyers, Amanda Miller, Gerald Miller, Jasmin Mir, Natalie Motta, Shelby Murphy, Amanda Mynatt, Matthew Nance, Anthony Nicholas, Andrea Palmer, Ayla Parham, Paul Parker, Daniel Pfeiffer, Pauline Plantiveau, Rees Purdom, Kailey Rasmussen, Lori Reynolds, Amanda Riley, Shannon Russell, Michele Sa, Judy Sexton, Sarah Shaw, Brooke Sherrill, Katelyn Shoemaker, Joseph Simone, Ashley Stapleton, Lauren Stapleton, Tobias Styrstrom, Chanta Tinney, Ashley Volts, Minnie Washington, Taylor Whipple, Leann Williams, Jeanne Willis


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:
Tawanda Allen, Judith Bautista, Rachel Bender, Bailie Berner, Katherine Bowman, Matthew Cleeton, Leah Conrad, Alyssa Coop, Joseph Cowley, Meghan Cowley, Allison Davis, Samantha Dickey, Gina English, Allison Enke, Juliana Fisher, Ashleigh Gordon, Gregory Hilliar, Jojo Howard, Julianna Herr, Marie Jean-Baptiste, William LaBombard, Mika Mahyenga, Cortney Manning, Janel Manns, Sara McDonald, Amanda Miller, Amanda Mynatt, Shannon Powell, Kailey Rasmussen, Michele Sa, Katelyn Shoemaker, Brian Sieminski, Minnie Washington, Leann Williams

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.
Judith Bautista

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.
Amanda Riley



Mary Barlow Writing Award for Outstanding Student Writing
Rachel Correll

Nicholas Manchion Endowed English Scholarship Award
Rees Purdom

William B. Markward Award in Early Modern, Language, Literature and Culture
Cory Stacer

Cal Downs Award
Paula Mars

Friedman Interpersonal Communication Award
Rachel Bruning

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.
Cortney Manning and Vick Wellons

Matthew Rogers, senior; Kalli Cheffey, junior

Cody Holt, senior; Daniel Pfeiffer, junior

Fine Art
Elisha Bailey, senior

Graphic Design
Austin Breed, senior; Mikayla Fisher, junior

Interior Design
Myagmartseren Enkhamgalan, senior; Brandi Wooton, junior

Liberal Studies
Mintao Huang, senior

Modern Language
Cherish Betz-Enderle, senior; Ruth Marie Salas, junior

Karen Eckman, senior; Brandis Outlaw, junior


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.
J. Brooke Dedrick

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.
Jeremy Barnes

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.
Judith Bautista

The American Institute of Chemists
Award honors the outstanding senior in the field of chemistry.
Jantz Chappel

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.
Amanda Croan

J. Malcolm Good Award
Award is presented for the best paper in mathematics.
Canaan Fairley

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.
Elizabeth Grubbs

Outstanding Association for Computing Machinery Service Award
Joshua Hall

Gamma Theta Upsilon Excellence in Geography Award
Park University honors particular students whose 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.
Wendy Stapleton

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.
Ryan Beck, Ashley Carpenter, Emily Garrett, Brandon Hollinberger

Athletic Training
Angela Cummins, James Harris and Gerald Miller, seniors

Alexandria Erickson and Art Vollbrecht, seniors

Allison Davis, junior

David Bell, senior

Information Computer Science
James Claytor, Joshua McLaughlin and Paul Parker, seniors

Joe Bullock, Janel Manns and Nancy Shinyambala, seniors

Laura McFadden, senior


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."
Jessica Caudillo, Abigail Dearing, Emily Hanover, Adriana Mendoza, Melanie Mills, Lisa Picknick, Lori Reynolds, Afton Salas, Kathleen Venable

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.
Hannah Alpers, Ryan Adams, Katherine Bowman, Amanda Shaw, Brian Sieminski, Taylor Whipple, Leann Williams

Criminal Justice
Victoria Gaughan and Judy Sexton, seniors; Shaun Williams, junior

Joseph Cowley, senior; Jace Davis, junior

Legal Studies
Bailie Berner, senior; Kasey Skidmore, junior

Political Science
Samuel Peak, senior; Mizanjara Mahatohitrarivo, junior

Taylor Whipple, senior; Greg Hilliar, junior

Social Psychology
Jean Hiuhu, senior; Andy Basch, junior

Social Work
Ashley Allee-DeChane, DaLisha Marshall, Melanie Mills and Lori Reynolds, seniors

Adam Hix, 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
Hayley Knappen

Literacy for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers
Julie Carleton

Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood
Juliana Fisher

Literacy in the Middle School Classroom
Canaan Fairley

Literacy in the Secondary Classroom
Brooke Sherrill

Elementary Level
Andrew Hall

Middle School Level
Canaan Fairley

Secondary Level
Cody Holt

Rachel Stagg, senior; Ceanne Maxey, 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.
Amanda Mynatt


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.
Cortney Manning

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.
Leilei Fan

Katelyn Shoemaker, senior; Priscilla Pok, junior

Larry Bishop, senior; Mike Mahyenga, junior

Derrick Butler, senior

Human Resources
Kasey King, senior

International Business
Matheus Roham, senior; Nadege Hounkanrin, junior

Sara McDonald, senior

Ryan Dusing, senior; Wilson Park, junior