Park University Recognizes 2023-24 Academic Achievements at Annual Honors Convocation

April 18, 2024 — Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 2023-24 academic year as part of the University’s annual Honors Convocation held on April 17 on the flagship Parkville Campus. The University acknowledged outstanding students, faculty and staff with a variety of special awards, in addition to a number of departmental academic honors.

Skyler JensenAnnastasia BairThe most prestigious honor bestowed on any student at Park University — the Outstanding Parkite Award — went to seniors Annastasia Bair (left) and Skyler Jensen (right). The Outstanding Parkite Award is given to two students 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 and Jessie Parker.

Bair, a senior biology major from Omaha, Neb. (attended Millard North High School), has excelled in the classroom with a 4.01 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) and has been named a Park University Presidential Scholar the past three academic years (assuming 2023-24). In 2023, Bair received a Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Award and received biology department honors. In 2022, Bair was recognized with an Outstanding Class Member Award as a junior. In addition, Bair has served as president of the University’s Biology Club and as a resident assistant. Outside of Park, Bair has volunteered with the KC Pet Project and Main Street Parkville Association, and she has been a member of the Parkville Symphonic Band.

Jensen, a senior communications studies and multimedia journalism/public relations major from Earlham, Iowa (attended Earlham High School), has also excelled in the classroom with a 4.08 cumulative GPA and has been named a Park University Presidential Scholar the past three academic years (assuming 2023-24). In 2022, Jensen earned communication/journalism/public relations department honors, and in 2021, she received a Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Award. Outside of the classroom, Jensen has served as the editor-in-chief of The Stylus, Park’s student newspaper. In April, Jensen received a first place award in sports page writing and design at the Missouri College Media Association Conference, as well as eight additional individual or collaborative awards.

Additional Presidential Awards and Faculty/Staff Awards presented:
(Name, year in school, major, hometown and high school attended, if known, for students; name, work title and city of residence for faculty/staff):

Zoe FranzenBryce ButlerLouisa Davidson Hinde / Carolyn Hinde Zarkaryan Memorial Award — This award is given to students, faculty, staff and/or 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.
          •  Bryce Butler (left), senior multimedia journalism/public relations major, Kansas City, Mo. (attended Oak Park High School)
          •  Zoe Franzen (right), senior graphic design major, Lee’s Summit, Mo. (attended Lee’s Summit North High School)

J.L. Zwingle Award — This award pays tribute to an outstanding faculty member as voted by the student body.
Dr. Jeff KimmonsAndrea Lee          •  Andrea Lee, Ph.D. (left), associate professor of art and design, and director of the Campanella Gallery, Liberty, 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, and recognizes outstanding contributions in helping students define and achieve their academic goals.
          •  Jeff Kimmons (above right), Ph.D., associate professor of biology, Kansas City, Mo.

Amanda Norton-St. GeorgeDr. Brian HoffmanTeaching 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): Brian Hoffman, Ph.D., (left) professor of biology, Kansas City, Mo.
          •  Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for adjunct faculty): Amanda Norton-St. George (right), adjunct instructor of psychology, Gilbert, Ariz.

View a complete list of awards presented during the 2024 Honors Convocation.



Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.