Student achievements recognized at Union College’s Honors Convocation

Published on
April 23, 2019
Dr. Kathleen Flynn receiving the SGA Distinguished Professor award
Dr. Kathleen Flynn receiving the SGA Distinguished Professor award

Union College recognized students for outstanding academic achievement at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony on Thursday, April 18, at 9:30 a.m. in the Conway Boatman Chapel on the college’s campus.

The awards acknowledge high scholastic averages by class year and discipline, including literature, business, accounting, history, psychology, fine, performing and communication arts and others.

To view and download photos from the event, visit www.unionky.edu/HonorsConvocation19

The 2019 awards recipients are:

Mackenzie House, Dr. Mahlon A. Miller President Emeritus Award. Given by the late Dr. and Mrs. Mahlon A. Miller to the senior with the highest cumulative average based on total hours earned at Union College. Dr. Miller served as President from 1959-1982. 

Mackenzie House, Governor James D. Black Senior Award. Given by the late Mr. Pitzer D. Black of Barbourville to the senior with the highest scholastic average for the year based on total hours earned at Union College. Governor Black was one of Union College’s founding fathers and President from 1910-1912.

Mackenzie House, President’s Award. Given to the senior who has the highest cumulative record in grades earned at Union College.

Trey Carter, Dr. Cecil H. Wilson Junior Award. Given in memory of Dr. Cecil H. Wilson of Barbourville, an alumnus and trustee emeritus of Union College, to the junior with the highest scholastic average based on total hours earned at Union College. Dr. Wilson (’38) was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1954-2008. 

Matthew Hammons, John Henry Wilson Sophomore Award. Given by the late Mrs. Guy D. Atkisson, Jr., to the sophomore from the Fifth Congressional District of Kentucky who has the highest scholastic average for the year, based on total hours earned at Union College. Mr. Wilson was one of the founding fathers of Union College and a U.S. Congressman from 1889-1893.

Emilee Deaton, Arthur E. Spurlock Business Award. Given by Mr. Michael Spurlock in memory of his father, Arthur E. Spurlock, a former Union College Business Office manager, to a sophomore or junior business major showing promise for future success. Mr. Spurlock was the Business Manager and Treasurer for Union College from 1959-1967.

Derek Hickman, Dr. L. A. Geiss Senior Award. Given by the late Dr. and Mrs. L. A. Geiss to the senior business major with the highest cumulative standing in that field. Dr. Geiss was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1948-1986. 

Autumn Hamilton, Dr. L. A. Geiss Junior Award. Given by the late Dr. and Mrs. L. A. Geiss to the junior business major with the highest cumulative standing in that field.

Violeta Konculic, Rena Milliken Award. Given in memory of the late Ms. Rena Milliken, Professor Emeritus of Business, by the Union College Business Department, to the graduating senior who shows the greatest potential for professional achievement. Ms. Milliken served as a member of the Business faculty from 1946-1975.

Henrique Saraceni, H. B. Jones Business Enterprise Award. Given in memory of Mr. H. B. Jones to the student who has shown initiative and enterprise in the field of business.

Zachary Hunt, Accounting Award. Given to the most promising freshman or sophomore accounting major.  The award is sponsored this year by Carolyn Payne CPA.

Ezra Jefferson-Cope, Bjornstad Freshman Composition Award. Given by Mrs. William B. Bjornstad and the late Dr. Bjornstad to the student achieving the highest writing excellence in freshman composition courses as determined by the English Department.

Chloe McMurray, Beverly P. and Mossie B. Wilson Memorial Award. Given by Mrs. O. J. Wilson and the late Dr. Wilson in memory of Dr. Wilson’s parents, to the English major with the highest cumulative grade point average, who has completed three full years of residence at Union College. 

Samantha Woodward, Connie Danner Book Award. In 2003, the Department of English established a fund in honor of Dr. Constance S. Danner, Professor Emeritus of English, the interest from which will pay for course textbooks for one deserving student for one year.

Noah Garland, Eastern Kentucky Essay Award. Given to the Union College student writing the best essay on Eastern Kentucky history.

Chloe McMurray and Rachel Williams, William Faulkner Rushton Memorial Awards. Given to promote Appalachian literature and given in memory of William Faulkner Rushton. The award has been established by parents and friends in honor of Mrs. Lura Faulkner Rose, (1914), a Union alumna, the late Mr. Rushton’s grandmother. Winning papers are selected by a committee of judges from entries submitted by teachers.

Jessica Boggs, The Literature Award. Given by the Barbourville Tuesday Club to the English Major who shows the greatest excellence in the field of literature.

Channah Pool, Ronald and Mary Alice Marley Mass Communication Award. Given to the student with the highest grade point average who is majoring in mass communication at Union College.

Jessica Boggs, Katherine V. Sutphen Memorial Award. Given in memory of Katherine V. Sutphen, a former faculty member of Union College, to the student who has given exemplary service to the Union College Music Department.

Brandi Ellis, Jane Minton Blair Endowed Award for the Arts. Given by Jane Minton Blair (’69) to the Union College student who has made outstanding contributions to the area of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts during his/her years at Union. Mrs. Blair, and her late husband Doug, have long been supporters of Union College and its students. Mrs. Blair is the 2006 recipient of the Union College Distinguished Service Award and the 2015 Blair Award for Outstanding Philanthropy.

Haley King, Iota Sigma Nu Freshman Award. Given by the Iota Sigma Nu Honor Society to the freshman with the highest scholastic average for the year based on total hours earned at Union College.

Matthew Hammons, Iota Sigma Nu Sophomore Award. Given by the Iota Sigma Nu Honor Society to the sophomore with the highest scholastic average for the year, based on total hours earned at Union College.

Zachary Booth, Dr. Paul S. Moore Wellness, Human Performance, and Recreation Management Faculty Award. Given by the Union College Wellness, Human Performance and Recreation Department to the senior health, physical education, recreation management or sports management major with the highest cumulative academic standing. Dr. Moore (’59) served as Professor of Health and Physical Education, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Athletic Director and Vice President of Academic Affairs. He retired in 1997, after 38 years of service.

Rachel Gawdun, Steve Jones Memorial Award. Given in memory of Steve Jones, a former Union College student, by former athletes and friends, to the senior varsity athlete with the highest cumulative academic average. 

Women’s Golf and Softball, Athletic Team Academic Awards. Awarded to the Union College Athletic Teams with the highest cumulative GPA, to recognize outstanding academic achievement among student athletes. 

Reanna Elswick, Dr. Albert D. Graham, Jr. Social Studies Award. Given to the senior education major who shows the greatest teaching potential in social studies. Dr. Graham (’70) served on the Board of Trustees from 1992-2010. 

Alexis Gibson, The Jones Foundation Award in Education. Given by The Jones Educational Foundation, Inc., to the graduating senior who shows the greatest promise for a career in education.

Vanessa Ross, Yetta Frank and Billie Lynch Non-Traditional Student Education Award
This award is given to a full-time, non-traditional, female student with dependent children. The eligible student must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher based on total hours earned at Union College. Yetta Frank and Billie Lynch are the mothers of the late Carol Lynch (’08) and former Education faculty member, Steven Lynch.

Trey Carter, Wimmer Chemistry Award. Given to the student showing the greatest promise in the field of chemistry. Dr. Wimmer served as head of the Chemistry Department from 1932-1946.

Paulina Hileman, Leadership in Nursing Award. Given to the senior BSN student who is a leader among peers in the School of Nursing, the College, the Community, and the profession, exhibiting leadership, advocacy, and mentoring accomplishments. This student lives out the philosophy of nursing and exhibits leadership, advocacy, and a commitment to mentoring. 

Daniel Brooks, Clinical Excellence in Nursing Award. Given to the senior BSN student who best exemplifies caring in nursing situations, demonstrated through competence and in-depth knowledge of the science and art of nursing. This student puts critical thinking into practice, while remaining competent with technical skills and caring behaviors.

Mackenzie House and Anna Issacs, Outstanding Psychology Major Award. Given to the psychology major, in the top 35th percentile of his/her class, who shows outstanding dedication in the discipline of psychology. 

Mackenzie House and Anna Issacs, Excellence in Research Award. Given to the upper division psychology major who demonstrates the potential for high quality research in the discipline of psychology.

Melton Middleton, Dr. Erwin S. Bradley History Award. Given in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Erwin S. Bradley to the upper-class history major who has the highest scholastic average in overall grades in history, earned at Union College. Dr. Bradley served as Chair of the Division of Social Studies, and the Department of History & Political Science.

Melton Middleton, H. H. Owens History Award. Given by the late Mrs. H. H. Owens to the student showing the greatest excellence in the field of history. Mr. Owens was the father of alumnae Jean Knuckles (’37) and Eleanor Clark (’36).

Acha-Gisela Achenjang, Rev. Charles Hansel Annual Award for Religion and Philosophy
Given to a student who best demonstrates an understanding of one or more critical issues in the philosophy of religion.

Kaitlyn Gray, Sampson Political Science Award
Given to the junior showing the highest academic excellence in the field of political science. 

Chloe McMurray, Outstanding Sociology Major Award. Given to the graduating sociology major with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Sinjin Shoop, Outstanding Student in Criminal Justice Award. Given to the upper division criminal justice major whose work embodies exemplary objective academic achievement in conjunction with substantial contributions to the conduct of inquiry in criminal justice classes, as well as clear commitment to both personal and intellectual development, and a greater understanding of the relationship between citizen and state.

Ollis Burnett, Judge W. W. Tinsley Family Memorial Award. Given by the late Mrs. Mayo Tinsley Rathfon to the pre-law junior or senior showing the greatest promise for future success.

Dr. Kathleen Flynn, Student Government Association (SGA) Distinguished Professor Award. Award given by students to a Union College faculty member who best exemplifies Union College’s commitment and dedication to student well-being. This faculty member sets the standard for enhancing student education and experiential experience in and out of the classroom.