Park University Recognizes 2015-16 Academic Achievements at Honors Convocation

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 2015-16 academic year at the University’s annual Honors Convocation on April 20, 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.

Moira Potter and Zac JarrardThe most prestigious honor bestowed on any student at Park University — the Outstanding Parkite Award — went to seniors James “Zac” Jarrard (right) and Moira Potter (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.

Jarrard, an economics and political science/international politics double major from Kansas City, Mo. (attended Park Hill High School), has excelled in the classroom with a 3.93 cumulative grade point average. During his time at Park, he has been an active student leader. He founded the University’s Business and Investment Club and served the past year as the business manager for the Park Student Government Association. He has also worked as a tutor and peer mentor in Park’s Academic Support Center. In 2015, Jarrard was recognized with the Park Servant Leader of the Year Award, given to a student who exemplifies the characteristics of a strong servant leader and/or has a service-focused mindset, and has worked effectively with others in the University and/or surrounding community to be a positive change. In 2014, Jarrard received a Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Award, given to students who distinguish themselves uniquely as leaders regardless of position or title. Recipients represent the spirit of a Park University by: pursuing integrity in every endeavor; inclusiveness as a global citizen; are responsible and respectful in word, work and conduct; are aware of the implications and rewards of their education; truthful in every action; and excellence in modeling the Park University lifestyle.

Potter, a social psychology major in Park’s Honors Academy from St. Charles, Mo. (attended St. Charles High School), also excels in the classroom with a 4.02 cumulative GPA. While at Park, she has been active in Alpha Chi Honor Society, Psi Chi Honors Association and Psychology Club. She has served as a resident assistant for the Honors Academy floor in Copley Quad, and has participated in an alternative spring break trip to Guatemala (which was named Park’s Community Service Program of the Year in 2015) and a study abroad trip to Greece. In 2015, Potter received an Outstanding Class Member Award, given to students who best represent their class in service to, and participation in, Park University.

Dr. Stephen AtkinsonDr. Dennis KerkmanThe University also recognized its outstanding faculty with the presentation of the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award to Dennis Kerkman, Ph.D. (left), professor of psychology, Platte City, Mo., and the Distinguished Humanities Faculty Award to Stephen Atkinson, Ph.D. (right), associate professor of English, Kansas City, Mo.

Manuchair Ebadi, Ph.D., a 1960 Park graduate who passed away in January 2015, 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.

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.

Additional Presidential Awards presented:

Karie SchaeferSteven Crooke and Vy NguyenLouisa 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.
          •  Student: Steven Crooke (left, in left photo), senior social work major, Conroe, Texas (attended Shawnee Mission West High School, Overland Park, Kan.)
          •  Student: Vy Nguyen (right, in left photo), senior business administration/international business major, Kansas City, Mo. (attended Knob Noster [Mo.] High School; originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
          •  Staff: Karie Schaefer (far right), director of residence life, Parkville, Mo. (originally from New Bloomfield, Mo., Schaefer received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication arts/photojournalism in 2006 and a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership in 2012, both from Park)

Martha McClungDr. Debra ShefferWilliam VenableJ.L. Zwingle Award — This award pays tribute to outstanding faculty members as voted by the student body.
          •  William Venable (left), assistant professor of management, Kansas City, 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): Debra Sheffer, Ph.D. (center), professor of history, Parkville, Mo.
          •  Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for adjunct faculty): Martha McClung (right), adjunct instructor of Spanish, Kansas City, Mo.

Dr. Eugene MatthewsExcellence 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, and recognizes outstanding contributions in helping students define and achieve their academic goals.
          •  Eugene Matthews, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice administration, Kansas City, Mo.

Below is the list of additional awards presented at the 2016 Honors Convocation:


To qualify, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 or higher, and be a full-time, degree-seeking student with 30 or more Park University hours.
          Yazan Abdulateef, N'Guessan Akanza, Fares Alqahtani, Lisa Amsden, Dalton Anstaett, Grant Baker, Jeremy Barnes, Bridget Barta, Callie Beaver, Ryan Beck, Klaranda Behrens, James Berry, Hannah Bertram, Victor Bervian Neves, Mercedes Bosley, Maxwell Bowers, David Bowman, James Boyer, John Boyer, Derek Braun, Marie Brink, Jonathan Brock, Elaina Brown, Miriam Brown, Joseph Bush, Tiona Cain, Lindsey Carter, Elizabeth Casper, Gina Catalano, Kalli Cheffey, Jonathan Clark, Johnathan Cox, Rachal Crouse, Jessica Cureton, Matthew Daughtery, Allison Davis, Chelsea Davis, Nathan Docman, Phillip Donnelly, Arber Dumani, Korwyn Duncan;
          Selena Dunn,
Ivanna Ellsworth, Eric Ewbank, Adama Fehr, Rebecca Filla, Mikayla Fisher, Morgan Forbach, Serena Franklin, Kaitlyn Friesner, Jaime Fuenfhausen, Laurel Gagnon, Brian Geran, Emma Givens, Kristin Graf, Kelly Greenfield, Jamie Griggs, Alexander Hahn, John Hahn, William Henry, Alayna Howard, Kaitlyn Hudlemeyer, Peter Jackson, Rachel Jaeger, Anna Jaehn, James "Zac" Jarrard, Lydia Jensen, Hollis Joslin, Autumn Kastner, Brooke Kunkel, Airik Leon, Olivia Leung, Christina Lindsay, Kara Lough, Jason Marinaro, Emily Mayfield, Lauren McMinn, Lauren Meierarend, Courtney Mellema, Anna Menninger, Laura Milam-Erazo;
          Micha Miller, Sanket Mitha, Grace Morgan,
Natalie Motta, Shelby Murphy, Jenna Newsom, Cole Nichols, Ayla Parham, Meagan Parsons, Jason Pearl, Jessica Pham, Moria Potter, Rufat Rahmanov, Brooke Rhoads, Amanda Riley, Ashly Rooks, Riann Rosenquist, Kristina Sailor, Blake Sellers, Cherie Servello, Morgan Severson, Makenzie Shivers, Kaycee Speiser, Shannon Stark, Genevieve Stelmacovich, Maria Stevenson, Ronda Stoker, Tobias Styrstrom, Savanah Tannehill, Nichole Unsell, Kelli Van Natta, Eligah Vanderpol, Marcus Walker, Eva Watson, Haley Weatherford, Breanna Webster, Kaley Whitehead, Jordin Willett, Leann Williams, Cortney Young, Ryan Zitter


Alpha Chi is a national college honor society with a purpose 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:
          Yazan Abdulateef, Klaranda Behrens, Hannah Bertram, jonathan Brock, Kalli Cheffey, Cherie Cooper, Johnathan Cox, Chelsea Davis, Eric Ewbank, Serena Frankln, Alexis Fry, Brian Geran, Emma Givens, Kristin Graf, Rachel Jaeger, Anna Jaehn, Olivia Leung, Jenna Newsom, Gabriel Passos Alves, Moira Potter, Cecilia Quick Shannon Russell, Breanna Webster

college of liberal arts and sciences


          •  Mary Barlow Writing Award for Outstanding Student Writing -- Kalli Cheffey
          •  William B. Markward Award in Early Modern, Language, Literature and Culture -- Lance "Steve" Cole
          •  Friedman Interpersonal Communication Award -- Monica Baltz
          •  Sigma Tau Delta -- Jeff Belke, Kalli Cheffey, Kaci Flaugher, Morgan Forbach
                    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.

          •  Communication, Journalism and Public Relations -- Lauren Hamilton (senior); Taylor Miller (junior)
          •  English -- Lindsey Grundyson (senior); Hannah Bertram (junior)
          •  Fine Art -- Jocelyn Frazee (senior); Rachal Crouse (junior)
          •  Graphic Design -- Christina Lindsay (senior); Persis Grubbs (junior)
          •  Interdisciplinary Studies -- Afina Kong (junior)
          •  Interior Design -- Aimee Moore (senior); Mackenzie Shivers (junior)
          •  Modern Language -- Kaley Whitehead (senior); Adriana DeSantiago (junior)


          •  Burton W. Scheib Pre-Medical Prize -- Serena Franklin
                    This award is given to a student majoring in science -- preferably pre-medical -- for excellent work in this field.
          •  CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award -- Runbing Hua
                    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.
          •  Dr. William C. Pivonka Award -- Alexey Ermak
                    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.
          •  The American Institute of Chemists -- Allison Davis
                    Award honors the outstanding senior in the field of chemistry.
          •  Harold G. McDaniel Award -- David Lindow
                    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.
          •  Professor L.A. Robbins Memorial Award -- Akwy Gawg
                    This award is given to a student who has distinguished himself/herself in the natural sciences and in athletics.
          •  Outstanding Association for Computing Machinery Service Award -- Johnathan Cox
          •  Gamma Theta Upsilon Excellence in Geography Award -- Johnathan Brock
                    Honors students whose scholarship, leadership and citizenship exemplify the tradition of Park University within the geography department.
          •  Gamma Theta Upsilon -- Cassandra Mason
                    Gamma Theta Upsilon is an international honor society in geography with a purpose 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.
          •  J. Malcolm Good Award -- Allie Reynolds (for paper "Leonhard Euler" and Charles Williams for paper "Tycho Brahe, A Biography")

          •  Biology -- Yazan Abdulateef (senior); Nathan Stegemann (junior)
          •  Chemistry -- Andrew Nicholson (senior)
          •  Geography -- Ashley Carpenter, Emily Garrett (seniors); Ryan Beck (junior)
          •  Information Computer Science -- Olivia Leung (senior); Ruisdael "Dexter" Acsenvil (junior)
          •  Mathematics -- Samantha Gentry, David Lindow (juniors)


          •  Psi Chi -- Danielle Horvatic and Breanna Webster
                    Psi Chi is the national honor society in psychology with a purpose to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in the scholarship of its members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology. The Park University chapter of Psi Chi was chartered in 1996.
          •  Phi Alpha -- Wendy Belcourt, Paula Kaltenbach, Hailee Knight, Erin Lackner, Aubrey Off, Jason Pearl, Amanda Rley, Mika Tyhurst (undergraduates); Lacie Cirricione, Shannon Fleetwood, Jill Kujawa, Laurie Mallett, Anna McCune, Amanda Rodenberg, Jessica Smith, Abby Wiggins (graduate students)

          •  Nursing -- Misha Scott and Jessica Walker (juniors)
          •  Psychology -- Anna Jaehn (senior); Rory Tucker (junior)
          •  Social Psychology -- Erin Esry (senior)
          •  Social Work -- Jason Pearl and Mika Tyhurst (seniors); Paula Kaltenbach and Josie Scott (junior)


          •  Criminal Justice -- Anna Menninger and Caleb Pooker (seniors); Jacob White (junior)
          •  History -- Jonathan Clark (senior); Ryan Mason (junior)
          •  Political Science -- Bailey Puckett (senior); Blake Sellers (junior)

School for education

          •  Early Childhood Level -- Meagan Parsons
          •  Elementary Level -- Madeline Grosserode
          •  Middle School Level -- Autumn Kastner
          •  Seconary Level -- Cortney Young

          •  Athletic Training -- Kathryn Dykes (senior); James Berry (junior)
Educaton -- Rachel "Beth Jaeger (senior); Jamie Fuenfhausen (junior)

School Of Business

          •  Park University Business Faculty Award -- Dalton Anstaett
                    This award is given to the student(s) who demonstrated exceptional leadership in the classroom and exceptional potential in the field of business.
          •  Financial Executives Institute Awards -- Brooke Kunkel
                    This award is given to an outstanding graduate of Park University in the field of finance for the current academic year.
          •  Delta Mu Delta -- Shannon Russell, Micha Miller, Selna Dunn and Daniela Duarte
                    Delta Mu Delta is the international honor society for business programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Those School of Business students completing a sufficient number of courses, ranking in the top 20 percent of their class and having a current grade points average meeting the Society's minimum requirement are invited to join.

          •  Accounting -- Matthew Daugherty (senior)
          •  Economics -- Feycal Ouro-Bangna (senior)
          •  Finance -- Rufat Rahmanov (senior)
          •  International Business -- Vy Nguyen (senior); Daniela Duarte (junior)
          •  Management -- Kathryn Slaughter (senior)
          •  Marketing -- Selena Dunn (senior)