Millikin scholars celebrated at time-honored tradition

Honors Convocation recognizes pursuit of academic excellence

Honors Convocation recognizes pursuit of academic excellence

The end of each academic year is a celebratory time to reflect on the accomplishments students and faculty have collected through their efforts inside and outside the classroom. The Millikin University campus community annually connects to honor these achievements during the Honors Convocation and Distinguished Faculty Lecture.

For the first time in two years, students, faculty and guests were able to come together in person at Kirkland Fine Arts Center for the 2022 Honors Convocation program to recognize outstanding work from the 2021-22 academic year.

“We’re very delighted to have everyone here to be part of one of the most significant programs at Millikin. The importance of recognizing the many academic, scholarly and professional achievements of our faculty, staff and students is central to our mission at Millikin University,” said Millikin President Dr. Jim Reynolds.

Over 90 awards were presented to Millikin students and faculty. Many of the awards have been created to honor the people of Millikin's past as well as recognize the achievements of the present, and to look forward to even more accomplishments in the years ahead.

Among the prestigious awards is the Scovill Prize, the most coveted recognition of Honors Convocation. Scovill Prize winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, service and scholarship. This year, eight students were named Scovill Prize recipients.

Nancy at Commencement

Dr. Nancy Curtin

Additionally, several Millikin faculty were honored for their service to the university, including Dr. Nancy Curtin, professor of communication and chair of the Communication Department, who received the Dr. Ralph A. Czerwinski and Dr. Deborah L. Slayton Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award.

“Each individual being recognized tonight has given much of themselves in the pursuit of academic and professional excellence,” President Reynolds said. “We take time tonight to offer not just our congratulations but our deep respect for their work. They have left an indelible mark on our university and our work here is more purposeful because of their commitment to our mission.”

Each year, the Millikin faculty vote to select one of their own as the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. This honored faculty member delivers the keynote address at Honors Convocation. This year's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer was Professor Mary Garrison, professor of social work.

Professor Mary Garrison

An educator, clinical supervisor and consultant, Mary Garrison has had extensive practice experience in the social work field, with 30 years of public and private practice in mental health services, policy and advocacy. Garrison is an advisor to the Millikin University student organization Human Service Connection and Big Blue Backpacks, and serves as a clinical supervisor, a consultant to multiple community entities, a Macon County Continuum of Care Governing Board Member and serves as the PIT Homeless Count Coordinator for Macon County. She is a past recipient of the NASW Illinois Social Worker of the Year Award, the Cesar Chavez Social Justice Award and the first ever recipient of the Macon County Continuum of Care Advocate of the Year Award. She is the co-author of the book: “Your Playbook for Beating Depression: Essential Strategies for Managing and Living with Depression.”

As she addressed the Kirkland Fine Arts Center audience, Garrison focused on the impact of connections. “Our accomplishments are intertwined because of the connections we make with others,” Garrison said. “Connections are vital to our existence. We need connections in order to survive. When we think about connections … is there a difference between an interaction and a connection? A connection begins with an interaction and moves to creating a relationship with someone.”

Garrison concluded by saying, “I believe that we can change the world with connection. Our lives and world could be better if we would only connect. Take the time to stop, acknowledge, look someone in the eye and get to know them as a human being.”

Congratulations to all the honorees from Millikin University’s 2022 Honors Convocation program.

College of Arts & Sciences

Behavioral Science Award: Madelynn Wood

Henry F. Gromoll Service Award: Kaitlyn Yelaska

Biology Honors Award: Kathryn Curtis, Olivia Marquardt, Cassondra Mundy and Jenna Thelen                                                            

Dr. Neil Baird Biology Lab Assistant Award: India Guerrero and Kaytlyn Hinton

Clyde Dennis Award: Hannah Warfel

George/Rick Glasscock Memorial Biology: Elexis Richardson

John/Ula Leighty Research Award: Jazmin Brown, Sydney Kehrmann, Morgan Rockwell and Hailey Wimberly

American Chemical Society Award: Madeeha Salik

American Institute of Chemists Award: Sami Mitchell

Ed & Lucy Acheson Award for Chemistry: Natalie Baumgardner, Ethan Current, Aleyda McPherson, Kade Nylen, Daniel Pintard, Jordan Reeter, Adam Walker and Jenna Wiltjer

Dr. & Mrs. William F. Henderson Prizes: Maddy Bochantine, Sydney Griggs and Madeeha Salik

Carl & Lucile Weatherbee Chemistry Award: Danica Brezovar, Micka Diella Iteka, Greta Jacobson, Garrett Jones, Victoria Mineo and Jessica Morgeson

Carl & Lucile Weatherbee Graduate Studies: Danica Brezovar, Greta Jacobson, Binny Tamang and Max Phillips

Dr. Clarence and Carol Josefson Award for Excellence in Chemistry: Micka Diella Iteka and Christopher Montgomery

Dr. Everett J. Brown Prize: Faith Fitzsimmons

Dr. & Mrs. W. J. Darby Prize: Brigid Duesterhaus and Emily Haag

Dr. Nancy J. Curtin Communication Award: Nathaniel Moore III

Dr. Grace Patten Conant Writing Award-Creation: Sydney Sinks

Dr. Grace Patten Conant Writing Award-Interpretation: Claire Reynolds

Contant English Department Award: Jeana Pierson

Contant Society Achievement Award: Kaitlin Hathaway, Gwen Klinkey, Ben Kuxmann, Sophie Nicholson, Linnea Nordstrom, Jeana Pierson and Claire Reynolds

Marybeth Drechsler Sharp Outstanding Journalism Award: Carin Houser and Sydney Sinks

J. Graham Provan History Award: Madison Roberson

Albert T. Mills Prize: Gillian Genardo

John Vrooman Prize: Chris Bruno

Sigrid A. Stottrup History Award: Wyatt Henschen

Mathematics & Computer Science Award: Greta Jacobson

Lavern J. Meyer, Ph.D. Math Ed. Award: Megan Trusky

Linda Weatherbee Mathematics Award: Bushra Ibrahim

Dept. of Modern Languages Linguistic Excellence: Madison Roberson

Dept. of Modern Languages Literary Criticism: Reagan Crouse

Margaret Burkhardt Johnson Award: Ashley Estrada

Outstanding Political Science Major Award: Aimable Ngabo

Alice Ambrose Lazerowitz Philosophy Award: Hannah Prochnow

Thomas W. & Mary R. Adney Memorial Award: Gillian Beginski and Olivia Swords

T. W. Samuels Award: Collin Budd, Hannah Prochnow and Isabella Voss

Rev. Robert S. & Doris Stewart-Religion: Sofia D'Alessio, Linnea Nordstrom, Mackenzie Parsons, Leana Temple and Maggie Strubhar

Outstanding Physics Award: Ethan Current

College of Fine Arts

Pi Kappa Lambda Outstanding Senior: Max DiPasquale

Presser Award: Stefani Graff

Alice Herren Ayars Award: Madeline Woodcock

Mary B. Merris Award: Cecilia Antonelle and Kathryn Nobbe

Winifred St. Clair Minturn Award: Hannah Markun

Thomas. A. Johnson Memorial Achievement: Trevor Schaefer

Dr. Russell Tiede Award: Hannah Markun

Percussion Achievement Award: Hayden Marshall

Dr. Maria Klott Memorial Award: Kevin Kuska

Handler Award for Excellence, Bachelor of Arts in Music: Hannah Warfel

Joan & Melvin Grabowski Memorial: Stark Winter

Dr. L.C. McNabb Memorial Award: Steven Klenk, Kat Macri and Joel Ochoa

Michelle Chartier Memorial Award: Madeline Curtin and Gillian Genardo

Kathryn Paige Torp Theatre Award: Jeremy Banzon and Nick Dunk

Ron Smith Award in Musical Theatre: Emily Bacino Althaus, Kelsey Crotz, Amanda Handegan and Justin Nelson

J. Ben Wand Prize: Taylor-Ekart Brooks, Brigid Buckley, Julia Budd and Jamie Gamonez

Andrew Strand Memorial Theatre Award: Micky McNaughton, Andrew Tufano and Brigham Williams

Marvin Klaven Art Award: Taylor Linville and Lindsay Thompson

David S. Monroe Art Award: Maggie Strubhar and Syd Wilson

Dorothy Sellers Art Award: Skylyr Choe, Lacey Edwards, Rosina Fascetti, Jack Harmon, Jupiter Holcomb, Julia Lakin, Emma McManus, Erica   Pamson and Courtney Schudel

College of Professional Studies

Robert and Barbara Byrkit Award in Education: Maegan Carter and Lauren Wyatt

Dr. Jerald Hunt/Dr. Darlene Hoffman Award for Excellence: Allison Banks

Jola Kuntz Education Award: Kathryn Cully

Ray Boehmer Memorial Award for Excellence in Science Education: Emma Lewis

The Smith/Orlandini Award: Sophie Darden and Quinton Miller

Walter Witt Award: Simen Nodland, Jensen Cearlock, Kale Crawford and Salat Al-Nurridin

Alpha Tau Delta Honorarium Award: Sierra Barnette

Decatur Memorial Hospital R.H. Cleland R.N. Award: Chloe Scharfenberg

James Millikin Theory & Practice of Nursing: Blake Breyman

Dorotha F. Dean Nursing Award: Nicole Billadeau

Dr. Mary D. Shanks & Dr. Linda K. Niedringhaus Excellence in Nursing Leadership Award: Rachael Croy

Dr. Mary Jane Linton Nursing Excellence Award: Taylor Orr

Millikin University ADM-Scovill Hall

Tabor School of Business

Glen R. Smith Award: Angela Arnold

Margaret Sparks Award: Kentina Ishimwe

Judy Lederbrand Day Accounting Award: Megan Lockhart and Amanda Noser

Linda Weatherbee Human Resource Management Award: Bailey Coffman

Paul R. Winn Memorial Achievement Award: Alyssa Hennessy and Daniel Laverde

Podeschi-Landacre Management Information Systems Award: Lan Dao, Rolande Umuhoza and Isabella Voss

Excellence in Management Information Systems Award: Sean Miller

University Awards

Maria Leonard Senior Book Award: Greta Jacobson and Madison Roberson

The JoAnne Trow Award: Joshua Martinez, Reagan Minnette, Sophia Nicholson, Page Shields and Charly Warlow

Millikin University Greek Five Star Chapter Award: Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority, Inc., Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

C.W. Barnes Memorial Award: Kaitlin Dickey

Major Thomas G. Storey Citizenship Award: Reena Riley

Dr. Jere C. Mickel Human Relations Award: Jarius Ingram

Daniel J. & Elinor Gage Student Activities Award: Aubrey Staton

Helen Moffett Russell Community Service Award: Kaitlin Yelaska and Dejuan Sparkman

Eshelman Family Award: Brandon Lockhart and Megan Lockhart

The Dr. Jan Devore Award for Excellence in Contributions to Campus Life: Erica Reyes

Dr. J. Roger Miller Leadership Award: Angela Arnold

Outstanding Adjunct Instructor Award: Dr. Chung-Ha Kim, adjunct professor of music

Alpha Lambda Delta Outstanding Teaching Award: Dr. Robert Money, professor of philosophy and chair of the Philosophy Department

Teaching Excellence Award: Dr. Julie Bates, assistant professor of English

Research & Artistic Achievement Award: Dr. Mark Tonelli, assistant professor of applied guitar and coordinator of the Guitar Studies Program

Faculty Service Award: Rachel Bicicchi, associate professor, educational technology coordinator, research/instruction librarian and director of online learning

Dr. Ralph A. Czerwinski and Dr. Deborah L. Slayton Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award: Dr. Nancy Curtin, professor of communication and chair of the Communication Department

Scovill Prize


Jarius Ingram

Sean Miller

 Sean Miller

Erin Leone

Erin Leone

Emily Kemp

Emily Kemp

Bryce Shumaker

 Bryce Shumaker

Victoria Stuart

Victoria Stuart

Jacob Vietti

Jacob Vietti

Hannah Magy

Hannah Magy