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Sarah Elizabeth Williams, a musical theatre major from Oxford, Ga., and John Gordon Thigpen, an English literature major from Gainesville, Ga., were named Students of the Year.

Reinhardt University’s “An Evening of Honors” ceremony was held on March 27 in Flint Hall at the Falany Performing Arts Center.

An annual event held each spring, the evening featured scholarship and service awards for juniors and seniors, and recognized faculty members’ exemplary work over the past year.

In his introductory remarks, Provost Dr. Mark A. Roberts said, “We are proud of you for representing Reinhardt University with honor. I encourage you to hold your honor in humility and to work diligently to use your knowledge, skill and talent to bring humanity into a local and universal fellowship so that your accomplishments may glorify God of Heaven and Earth.”

Among the award winners were Sarah Elizabeth Williams, a musical theatre major from Oxford, Ga., and John Gordon Thigpen, an English literature major from Gainesville, Ga., who were named Students of the Year. This high honor is awarded to only two students each year in recognition of “leadership, honesty, community service and service to the University,” and whose cumulative grade-point average exceeds 3.6.

Faculty awardees were selected by a vote of their peers for teaching, research and scholarship, artistic expression and service. Awardees included Dr. Cheryl Brown, Dr. Dana Hall, Mr. Brian Osborne, Dr. Karen Owen and Dr. Martha Shaw. The Student Government Association also awarded the Elizabeth Moss Bailey Faculty Mentor Award to Dr. Karen L. Owen, associate professor of political science, for “best exemplifying the University mission, who affects lives for the better, who integrates faith and learning and who educates the whole person.”

Student Awardees

Seniors recognized with the “Reinhardt University Academic Scholars” award in recognition of a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher numbered 28, while 14 juniors were awarded this same recognition. Hugh Peterson Jr. Academic Scholars, awarded to juniors and seniors achieving a GPA of 3.6 to 3.89, numbered 94.

An honoree from each of the University’s Schools was selected by the faculty as Student of the Year including:

  • School of Arts and Humanities – Brent Adam Blackwell of Canton, Ga
  • McCamish School of Business – Blake Adkin Marbut of Winder, Ga.
  • Price School of Education – Ashley Elizabeth See of Canton, Ga.
  • School of Mathematics and Sciences – John Michael Bowling of Canton, Ga.
  • School of Performing Arts – Natalie Haley Beaty of Canton, Ga.

Darrell “Juice “Arnold, a senior business major from Chattanooga, Tenn., was awarded the “No Greater Love” award in recognition of “selfless giving to others” as inspired by the writing of St. John, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

“Juice is a leader in the classroom, on the football field, in DREAMS, and in his various other campus involvement roles; his love for Reinhardt University shines through his active involvement and his enthusiastic ‘RU for Life’ attitude,” said President Mallard. “I can think of no better selection for the No Greater Love Award than Darrell ‘Juice’ Arnold.”

Each academic program awarded select seniors whose cumulative GPA was greater than 3.3 and whose work as a student has been exceptional. These include:

Art Katelyn Elaine Hale and Chelsea Dawn Schofield
Biology Amanda Lynn Bodine and Madeline Carol Gray
Business Nicolas Duarte, Katie Mae Goodrich, Zachary Graham McCown, Elisha Anne Roland, Taylor Lynn Braselton, Russell Anthony Goemaere, Allison Leigh Hale, Sydney Brianne Flowers, Phillip Darin Downey and Fabrice Michel Sainton
Communication Arts Dulce Danira Galindo and McKenna Rae Haag
Criminal Justice Robert William Bryan and Mathew Dean Dawkins
Education Shelby Lynn Pearl, Katie Anne Purcell, Michelle Whitney Lemons, Joseph Thomas Wheeler, Ashley Elizabeth See and Alexander Louis Arth
English John Gordon Thigpen and Kaylee Brooke Rinesmith
Healthcare Administration Jessa Hawthorne Brookshire and Cierra Branee’ Edmonson
History Kyle Jacob Walker and Cole Storey Gregory
Interdisciplinary Studies Ivonne Lizbeth Ramirez-Perez and Thomas Grant Patrick
Math Stephanie Catherine Grove and Ansley Michael Avera
Performing Arts Brittany Nicole Gaddy, Joshua Adam Vavases, Courtney Ann Boggs, Marianella Victoria Lopez, Stephanie Morgan Kinney, Jonathan Cristopher See, Anna Helene Johnson, Joshua Reed Baldwin and Sara Elizabeth Williams
Psychology Cassie Clarissa Strickland
Religion Brent Adam Blackwell
Sociology Aleah Jeanett Cooper

Faculty Awardees

As voted by their colleagues, winners of faculty awards include:

  • Vulcan Outstanding Teaching Award – Dr. Dana L. Hall, associate professor of business
    The Vulcan Outstanding Teaching Award goes to a Reinhardt University faculty member who has consistently reflected excellence in their teaching and work with students through: Use of creative and innovative instructional material; availability to students inside/outside the classroom; willingness to revise their courses periodically; commitment to educating the whole person; sensitivity to the diverse needs of students; encouraging students toward multi-cultural experiences and willingness to mentor and encourage other faculty.
  • United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award – Dr. Martha P. Shaw, professor of music
    The United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award goes to a Reinhardt University faculty member who exemplifies excellence in teaching; civility and concern for students and colleagues; commitment to values-centered education; and service to students, the institution, and the community.
  • Jane England Teaching Excellence Award – Dr. Cheryl L. Brown, professor of sociology
    The Jane England Faculty Award is dedicated to the identification of a full-time Reinhardt University faculty member who has completed a meritorious service activity to the University in an area of Teaching and Advising, Service to the University and Community, or Professional Development.
  • Faculty Research & Scholarship Award – Dr. Karen L. Owen, associate professor of political science
    Each academic year, the School Deans identify a Reinhardt faculty member who has contributed significantly to their academic discipline. The contribution is usually scholarship published by a peer-reviewed journal or an academic publishing house. Such work distinguishes the faculty members in his or her field and brings a strong academic reputation to Reinhardt University.
  • Faculty Artistic Award – Mr. Brian S. Osborne, associate professor of music
    Reinhardt University’s community of performing and fine artists contributes to the enrichment of our campus culture through musical performances, theatrical productions, literary readings, and art exhibitions. The Faculty Artistic Award is given each year to a deserving faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in artistic performance or production both on campus and in his or her field of expertise.