Park University Recognizes Academic Achievements at 2015 Honors Convocation

Thursday, April 16, 2015

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Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 2014-15 school year at the University’s annual Honors Convocation on April 15, held in 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 Ray Kincaid (left) and Pauline Plantiveau (right). 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.

Kincaid, an elementary education major from Gladstone, Mo. (attended Winnetonka High School, Kansas City, Mo.), has excelled in the classroom with a 4.00 cumulative grade point average. During his time at Park, Kincaid was honored with an Outstanding Class Member Award last year as a junior; was named a Presidential Scholar his junior and senior years (honor goes to full-time students with a 3.9 or higher GPA in an academic year); earned the elementary level Outstanding Student-Teacher Award this year and served as a resident assistant this past year.

Plantiveau, an interior design major from Neuville-de-Poitou, France, has also excelled in the classroom with a 3.92 cumulative GPA. Plantiveau served as secretary of the Park Student Government Association this year after having served as a PGSA senator in 2013-14. She was also inducted into Park’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success in 2014. In addition, she earned Presidential Scholar honors her junior and senior years, and earned interior design department honors this year.

Dr. Patty RybergThe University also recognized its outstanding faculty with the presentation of the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award to Patricia Ryberg, Ph.D., assistant professor and program coordinator of biology, Kansas City, Mo.

Manuchair Ebadi, Ph.D., a 1960 Park graduate who passed away on Jan. 19, 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.

Ryberg was awarded a $168,000 research grant in 2014 from the National Science Foundation for work on her “Antarctic Paleobotany: Permian Floral Characteristics in a Sedimentary Setting” project. The NSF grant, the first received by a Park faculty member since 1993, is being used to establish a paleobotanical research program at Park with a focus on Antarctic fossil plants, with students studying the critical role plants play in the Earth’s environment and changing ecosystem (see June 2014 news release). Ryberg also serves as adviser for the University’s Biology Club.

Additional Presidential Awards presented:

Hinde-Zarkaryan AwardLouisa 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.
          •  Yidan “Dani” Li (center), senior business administration/international business major, Qiqihaer, China
          •  Daniel Pfeiffer (left), senior English literature major, Beaver Crossing, Neb. (attended Seward [Neb.] High School)
          •  Rita Weighill (right), executive director of student marketing, Parkville, Mo.

Dr. Nicolas KoudouDr. Patricia MarshJ.L. Zwingle Award — This award pays tribute to outstanding faculty members as voted by the student body.
          •  Patricia Marsh, Ph.D. (right), associate professor of psychology, Parkville, Mo.

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.
          •  President’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for full-time faculty): Nicolas Koudou, Ph.D. (far right), professor of business administration and area coordinator of general concentrations in the Master of Business Administration program, Kansas City, Mo.
Dr. Robert KaoMarcy Goodfleisch          •  Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for adjunct faculty): Marcy Goodfleisch (right), adjunct instructor of liberal education, Austin, Texas

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.
          •  Robert Kao, Ph.D. (far right), assistant professor of finance, Parkville, 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.
Dalton Anstaett, Grant Baker, Zenab Bangoura, Jeremy Barnes, Bridget Barta, Judith Bautista, Callie Beaver, Klaranda Behrens, David Bell, Rachel Bender, Hannah Bertram, Luke Bossert, John Boyer, Christina Campos, Kalli Cheffey, Kelsey Clark, Sean Connelly, Alyssa Coop, Meghan Cowley, Johnathan Cox, Jamie Craig, Amanda Croan, Rachal Crouse, Allison Davis, Chelsea Davis, Selena Dunn, Ivanna Ellsworth, Gina English, Eric Ewbank, Kelsey Faiferlick, Juliana Fisher, Mikayla Fisher, Peter Franck, Serena Franklin, Jaime Fuenfhausen, Laurel Gagnon, Lilly Gall, Brian Geran, Kristin Graf, Emily Grinstead, Lindsey Grundyson, Megan Guthrie, Alexander Hahn, Steven Harness, Joshua Hedges, Jiliana Herr, Gregory Hilliar, Brandon Hollinberger, Jojo Howard, Kaitlyn Hudlemeyer, Sasha Hurst, Kevin Jamison, James Jarrard, Lydia Jensen, Kriti Kafle, Crystal Kimmet, Ray Kincaid, Cindy Kneale, Jessica Korb, Jill Kujawa, Brooke Kunkel, Airik Leon, Christina Lindsay, Kara Lough, Lauren Lucas, Teeka Mafnas, Laurie Mallett, Ceanne Maxey, Sara McDonald, Jasmin Menez, Anna Menniger, Gerald Miller, Micha Miller, Jasmin Mir, Jeffery Mixon, Matthew Moratz, Natlie Motta, Shelby Murphy, Ayla Parham, Meagan Parsons, Daniel Pfeiffer, Pauline Plantiveau, Moira Potter, Shannon Powell, Kailey Rasmussen, Amanda Riley, Megan Ritter, Sidney Robbins, Riann Rosenquist, Michele Sa, Kristina Sailor, Sarah Shaw, Leslie Sherk, Brooke Sherrill, Makenzie Shivers, Brian Sieminski, Kaycee Speiser, Shannon Stark, Savanah Stephens, Tobias Styrstrom, Johna Thatcher, Chanta Tinney, Kelli Van Natta, Austan Vance, Ashley Volts, Minnie Washington, Jordin Willett, Leann Williams, Cortney Young.


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:
Carlee Cornett, Lilly Gall, Lindsey Grundyson, Brandon Hollinberger, Katelyn Knoche, Emily Mapes, Natalie Motta, Shelby Murphy, Ayla Parham Caleb Pooker

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.
James Jarrard



Mary Barlow Writing Award for Outstanding Student Writing
Kelli Martin

Nicholas Manchion Endowed English Scholarship Award
Hannah Bertram

William B. Markward Award in Early Modern, Language, Literature and Culture
Kelli Van Natta

Cal Downs Award
Rachel Bruning

Friedman Interpersonal Communication Award
Luke Bossert

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.
Hannah Bertram, Lance Cole, Brittany Duke Lindsey Grundyson, Megan Guthrie, Rebecca Penrose, Elizabeth Shelton, Sarah Stout

Communication, Journalism and Public Relations
Alexandria Phillips, senior; Emily Grinstead, junior

Daniel Pfeiffer, senior; Lindsey Grundyson, junior

Fine Art
Rene Leighty, senior

Graphic Design
Jasmin Menez, senior; Christina Lindsay, junior

Interior Design
Pauline Plantiveau, senior; Jeffery Mixon, junior

Modern Language
Cherish Betz-Enderle, 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.
Brian Geran

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.
Jessica Pham

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.
Allison Davis

The American Institute of Chemists
Award honors the outstanding senior in the field of chemistry.
Judith Bautista

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

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.
Chrisena White

Outstanding Association for Computing Machinery Service Award
Ilgorbek Kuchkarov

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.
David Bell

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.
Jonathan Brock, Jace Davis, Heather Elwing-Dixon, Alexander Hahn, Teeka Mafnas

Athletic Training
Jacob Maday, senior

Alexandria Erickson, senior' Yazan Abdulateef, junior

Willie Washington, senior; Andrew Nicholson, junior

Brandon Hollinberger, senior; Jonathan Brock, junior

Information Computer Science
Ashley Volts, senior; Kriti Kafle, junior

Amanda Croan, senior

Jennifer Dolphino, senior; Brittany Durrer, junior


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."
Catherine Blanch, Nikulas Boudreaux, Ashley Boyer, Amy Jo Clark, Jennifer Clark, Rachel Fessenden, Sandra Flores, Stacy Mays, Adriana Mendoza, Danielle Nielson, Lisa Picknick, Lori Reynolds, Sheena Slack, Emily Smith, Shannon Swanson, Melissa Whitmore, Shayla Wilson

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.
Maleah Banker, Anna Jaehn

Criminal Justice
Chelsea Shockley, senior; Caleb Pooker, junior

Alexander Hahn, senior; Erik Smith, junior

Political Science
Joshua Hedges, senior; Jasmin Mir, junior

Greg Hilliar, senior

Social Psychology
Lilly Gall, senior; Katelyn Knoche, junior

Social Work
Gina English, 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
Haley Hill

Literacy for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers
Natalie Motta

Literacy in the Middle School Classroom
Concetta Scruggs

Literacy in the Secondary Classroom
Meghan Cowley

Early Childhood Level
Sarah Shaw

Elementary Level

Ray Kincaid

Secondary Level
Gene Griffith

Shannon Powell, senior; Jordin Willett, 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.
Chelsea Fullington-Egli


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.
Luke Bossert

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.
Cody Malloy

Juliana Herr, senior

Mika Mahyenga, senior

Fasli Amikishiyev, senior; Iprita Bhattarai, junior

Human Resources
Kailey Rasmussen, senior

International Business
Matthew Moratz, senior

Luke Bossert, senior; Caio de Souza, junior

Minnie Washington, senior; Bernard Antwi, junior