April 5, 2019
On Campus

Honors Convocation 2019

Wittenberg Recognizes Academic Achievement During 2019 Honors Convocation

Following a procession of faculty and staff in full academic regalia, the Wittenberg campus community came together, April 5, to celebrate the achievements of students and faculty members alike during the University’s annual Honors Convocation in historic Weaver Chapel.

During the ceremony, the 2019 Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching was presented by to Professor of Physics and Department Chair Elizabeth George. The award was established in 1960, and it is the highest recognition Wittenberg bestows on its faculty. It is accompanied by a stipend of $2,000. Candidates must have taught at Wittenberg for more than five years and are nominated by students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Assistant Professor of Education Michael Daiga was recognized for his work during the Honors Convocation with the Omicron Delta Kappa Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.

Wittenberg was also proud to announce that Katherine M. Winner, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Thomas M.  Zabonik, Westerville, Ohio, are U.S. Fulbright recipients in the student program. Winner will be pursing biochemistry research in the Czech Republic and Zabonik will be an English teaching assistant in Germany. Heather Rucker, Chicago, Illinois, was accepted to the JET (Japanese and Exchange Teaching) Program. Rucker will be teaching English in Japan. Gabrielle K. Szydlowski, Twinsburg, Ohio, was given Campus Compact’s Newman Civic Fellowship.

Additionally, Allison F. Peebles, Mason, Ohio, was named Alma Mater, an honor bestowed upon a junior woman on the basis of character and integrity, service to the community, concern for others, and high standards of scholarship. Alexander J. O’Connor, Miamisburg, Ohio, was named Alma Lux, an honor bestowed upon a junior male student who possesses qualities of leadership, scholarship and service.

Megan M. Mong, Salina, Kansas, 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.

The M. Alice Geiger Award was presented to Angela M. Galbraith, Freedom, Pennsylvania. 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 Christian R. Randazzo, Dover, Ohio. 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 Lauren E. Geraci, Hamilton, Ohio, (non-Greek) and Payton E. Hurl, Pataskala, Ohio, (Greek).

The Charles E. Chatfield Global Awareness Award, instituted in 1992, recognizes seniors who contribute to greater global awareness within the Wittenberg University community. This year's recipient is Samantha D. Martens, Springfield, 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 to lead and to involve others. Ohio Campus Compact, a statewide membership organization that serves to promote community service initiatives at colleges and universities, sponsors this award. This year's recipient is Corina R. Cleveland, Hilliard, Ohio.

Gloria L. Craig, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Christopher F. Riviere, Orange, New Jersey, were the recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for positive examples to members of the African American community and to the university.

Noah W. Perry, Columbus, Ohio, 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.

Alpha Lambda Delta Senior Awards were presented to Kierstin G. Conaway, Logan, Ohio, and Karen A. Wildemann, Columbus, Indiana, and a Phi Eta Sigma Senior Award was presented to Shane M. Harris, Liberty Township, Ohio. These three seniors were recognized for having a 4.0 grade point average.

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 Rachael M. Fink, Wickliffe, Ohio; Clara C. DeHart, Pegram, Tennessee; Megan N. Winters, North Benton, Ohio; Allison F. Peebles, Mason, Ohio; Brooke M. Moore, Bellaire, Ohio; Samantha L. Reynolds, Holland, Ohio; John A. Hughes, Morrow, Ohio; Quintin E. Muhlenkamp, Greenville, Ohio; Katherine L. Vorpe, Cincinnati, Ohio; Alexander J. O’Connor, Miamisburg, Ohio; Chelby C. Dye, Springfield, Ohio; Lindsey N. King, Lancaster, Ohio; Theresa K. Harper, Columbia, South Carolina; and Bradley L. Barren, Cleveland, 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 the senior with a GPA of at least 3.5 who has demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate a commitment to serving those persons who live on the margins of society, the sick, the material poor, the displaced, the homeless, and the elderly. This year’s recipient is Tara E. Buchy, Columbus, Ohio.

Introduced in 2009, the Lillian C. Franklin Diversity Award is granted each year to honor a student and a faculty/staff member who have made outstanding contributions in promoting and furthering our goal of rich 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 2019 student recipient is Asharee B. Jones, Hamilton, Ohio, and the faculty/staff recipient is Assistant Professor of English Sha’Dawn Battle.

Additionally, the Lou Laux Environmental Sustainability Award was presented to Rachel M. Corsello, Parma, Ohio, and Rebekah Hart, assistant director of alumni and lifelong engagement.

The Community Service Champion Award 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 recipient is Samantha M. Watson, Newcomerstown, Ohio.

Brian Yontz, associate professor of education and chair of the education department, was presented with the Excellence in Community Service Award.

All members of the Wittenberg community were invited to the convocation and a reception immediately afterwards in the Geil Lounge of the Benham-Pence Student 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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