April 15, 2023
On Campus

Honors Convocation 2023

Wittenberg Recognizes Academic Achievement During Annual Celebratory Event

Recognizing the many accomplishments of students and faculty members, the campus community came together to celebrate during Wittenberg’s annual Honors Convocation in historic Weaver Chapel, April 14.

During the ceremony, the 2023 Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching was presented to Professor of Biology, Department Chair, Pre-Health Advisor, and 1994 alumnus Matthew Collier. The award was established in 1960, and it is the highest recognition Wittenberg bestows on its faculty. Candidates must have taught at Wittenberg for more than five years and are nominated by students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Professor of Practice in Secondary and English Education Erin Hill was recognized for her work during the Honors Convocation with the Omicron Delta Kappa Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. The Academic Advisor of the Year Award was presented to Emily West, professor of practice, business & economics.

Additionally, Parker Hayes, Cincinnati, Ohio, was named Alma Mater, an honor bestowed upon a junior student on the basis of character and integrity, service to the community, concern for others, and high standards of scholarship. Branden Nicholas, Oak Park, Michigan, was named Alma Lux, an honor bestowed upon a junior student who possesses qualities of leadership, scholarship, and service.

Madalyn Marsengill, Sylvania, Ohio, received the Heimtraut Dietrich Award, which was established in 1981 to recognize the student who best emulates the spirit of the late associate dean of students' devotion to Wittenberg through faith and service. Daniel Bean, Fort Wayne, Indiana, earned Ohio Campus Compact’s Newman Civic Fellowship. Campus Compact is a statewide membership organization that serves to promote community service initiatives at colleges and universities.

The M. Alice Geiger Award was presented to Sydney Lamb, Medway, Ohio. The award, named for Wittenberg's first woman graduate, recognizes a senior woman for outstanding contributions to the campus in the areas of performing or literary arts, athletics, co-curricular leadership, new programming, special academic pursuit, or through special representation at any time during her college career.

The John F. Mitchell Award, honoring the senior man who best represents the liberal arts tradition at Wittenberg, was presented to Nicholas Bowman, Fort Thomas, Kentucky. The award goes to a top student who is a positive force in academic, cultural, and social aspects of the campus.

The Alpha Delta Pi Scholarship Award, created in 1990 by the Springfield Alumnae Association and Chi Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, recognizes two junior women, one Greek and one non-Greek, who best exemplify the characteristics consistent with the ideals and goals of the sorority. This year's recipients are Jasmin Gonzalez-Morgan, Springfield, Ohio, (non-Greek) and Trinity Dicks, Washington, D.C. (Greek).

The E. Charles Chatfield Global Awareness Award, instituted in 1992, recognizes seniors who contribute to greater global awareness within the Wittenberg University community. This year's recipients are Evie Chatfield, of Springfield, Ohio; and Madalyn Marsengill, Sylvania, Ohio.

The Charles J. Ping Student Community Service Award is presented in recognition of outstanding leadership and ability to meet the needs of the community by working in partnership with members of the community. It recognizes the student's effort to create an organization and to lead and to involve others. Ohio Campus Compact sponsors this award. This year's recipient is Amanda Kot, Mogadore, Ohio.

Azad Robinson, Cleveland, Ohio, and Maya Hagander, Stafford, Virginia, were the recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for positive examples to members of the African American community and to the University.

Jade Simpson, Edgewood, Kentucky, received the Broadwell Chinn Award, named for one of the first African American students to enroll at Wittenberg in the 1870s. The award honors the student holding the highest grade point average among African American juniors.

Five seniors were recognized for having a 4.0 grade point average: Abigail Gerstenzang, Buffalo, New York; Maya Hagander, Stafford, Virginia; Maci Runkle, Springfield, Ohio; Evan Wuertemberger, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Alexander Zysik, Perrysburg, Ohio.

Presidential Scholars, named for former presidents of Wittenberg, are the junior students having the top 14 grade point averages of their class. Those students are Daniel Bean, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Nicholas Brown, Fairborn, Ohio; Caroline Sedor, Newark, Ohio; Amanda Kot, Mogadore, Ohio; Olivia Norbut, Grove City, Ohio; Andrea Meeks, Springfield, Ohio; Alannah Browning, Kettering, Ohio; Paige Kaiser, New Philadelphia, Ohio; Racheal Vargo, Tiffin, Ohio; Troy Teepe II, Saint Paris, Ohio; Kaulana Smith, Springfield, Ohio; Emma Wilson, Mechanicsburg, Ohio; Emma Lindsey, Powell, Ohio; and Lily Bonar, Urbana, Ohio.

The Dominic E. and Alyce G. DeMarco Award is a scholarship given for academic excellence and distinguished service to those living on the margins of society. It is awarded to a student with a GPA of at least 3.5 who has demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate a commitment to serving the sick, the material poor, the displaced, the homeless, and the elderly. This year’s recipient is McKenna Boling, Port Clinton, Ohio.

Introduced in 2009, the Lillian C. Franklin Diversity Award is presented each year to honor a student and a faculty/staff member who have made outstanding contributions in promoting and furthering the goal of diversity in the Wittenberg community. Candidates must uphold the tradition of diversity embodied by the award's namesake, demonstrate high standards of personal integrity, commitment to the education of the whole person, global vision, and leadership. The 2023 student recipient is Leandra Blander, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and the faculty/staff recipient is Joi Garrett Scales, associate director, career operations and student employment.

 Additionally, the Lou Laux Environmental Sustainability Award was presented to Deza Frega, Brunswick, Ohio, and Doug Knisley, grounds supervisor.

The Champion Award for Community Impact recognizes an individual’s commitment to service, the quality of that service, and its positive impact on the City of Springfield and Clark County. It is not merely the hours of service, but the impact on the quality of life in the Springfield community that is most important. This year’s student recipients are Julianna Fisher, New Albany, Ohio, and Gabrielle Doty, Northfield, Ohio, along with faculty member, Kelly Dillon, associate professor of communication & digital media.

The Copeland Community Service and Social Justice Award, instituted in 2019, recognizes a rising senior who has demonstrated engaged citizenship in the City of Springfield. It is not only the student’s hours of service, but the ability to think critically about difficulty societal issues and the willingness to work to confront these issues with compassion and commitment that is most important. This year’s recipient is Abigail Gerstenzang, Buffalo, New York.

The Rose Award for Excellence in Community Partnership recognizes a member of the Greater Springfield community who serves as an exceptional co-educator for students. Recipients help students bloom into well-informed, engaged, and productive citizens, and they make a significant difference in the community. The recipient is selected based on their level of investment in the development of students as well as their sustained commitment and innovative approach of connecting with the University. This year’s award goes to Sue Rose, Children’s Rescue Center.

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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