April 23, 2021 at 11:15am
Dane Lisser

"Each individual being recognized has given much of themselves in the pursuit of academic excellence."

Each year, Millikin University's campus community gathers together at the end of the academic year to honor faculty, staff and student accomplishments during the University's annual Honors Convocation and Distinguished Faculty Lecture. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's events were both presented virtually, recognizing the outstanding work of students and faculty from the 2020-21 academic year.

"The importance of recognizing the many academic, scholarly and professional achievements of our faculty, staff and students is central to our mission as a university," said Millikin President Dr. Jim Reynolds. "Because of this devotion to honoring those among us who have strived for excellence, we choose to continue a long and proud tradition of Honors Convocations, even though we can't be together in person."

Over 90 awards were presented to Millikin students and faculty who were honored for their commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence. Many of the awards have been created to honor men and women of Millikin's past.

Among the 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, seven students were named Scovill Prize recipients.

"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 Dr. Michael Hartsock, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Honors Program. Dr. Hartsock's lecture, presented April 21 (see below), was titled "Nothing Matters."

In addition to announcing the Scovill Award winners, Millikin Provost Dr. Jeff Aper had the honor of announcing the prestigious faculty awards.

"The faculty and students named here represent so much of what is best about Millikin — a community of thinkers and doers who reflect courage, caring and commitment in everything we do," Dr. Aper said. "I hope that this recognition reminds everyone of the extraordinary community we share as part of Millikin University."

Congratulations to all the honorees.

Millikin Honors Convocation

College of Arts & Sciences

Behavioral Science Award: Merrick Eddington

Henry F. Gromoll Service Award: Joycelyn VanAntwerp

Biology Honors Award: Niah Bevolo and Kyle Kane                                                                    

Dr. Neil Baird Biology Lab Assistant Award: Erika Castanon, Jared Chapman and Jerome Wheeler

Clyde Dennis Award: Kimberly Christnacht

George/Rick Glasscock Memorial Biology Award: Claire Weers

John/Ula Leighty Research Award: Alyssa Vignos

Alpha Epsilon Delta Award: Madalyn Bochantine, Emily Reeves and Claire Weers

American Chemical Society Award: Victoria Ade

American Institute of Chemists Award: Zephaniah Greenwell

Ed & Lucy Acheson Award for Chemistry: Quincy Collings, Sophie Dorgan, Micka Iteka, Madeline Klinger, Jensen Mast, Nikol Obradovic, Jessel Prabhu, Aidan Schlichting, Ashlyn Sturdy and Hannah Warfel

Dr. & Mrs. William F. Henderson Prizes: Victoria Ade, Greta Jacobson and Chloe Herbert

Carl & Lucile Weatherbee Chemistry Award: Zephaniah Greenwell, Chloe Herbert, Miranda Rueff, Saamia Salik, Binny Tamang, Joey Davies, Zephaniah Greenwell and Saamia Salik

Dr. Clarence and Carol Josefson Award for Excellence in Chemistry: Sydney Griggs and Sarah Ingabire

Dr. Everett J. Brown Prize: Caleb Kelch

Dr. & Mrs. W. J. Darby Prize: Jordan Diver

Dr. Grace Patten Conant Writing Award (Creation): Kendra Steele

Dr. Grace Patten Conant Writing Award (Interpretation): Sophia Nicholson

Contant English Department Award: Kionah Flowers

Contant Society Achievement Award: Johannah Comish, Kionah Flowers, Linnea Nordstrom, Sydney Sinks and Maria Hernandez

Marybeth Drechsler Sharp Outstanding Journalism Award: Athena Pajer and Sydney Sinks

J. Graham Provan History Award: Shelby Jones

Albert T. Mills Prize: Savanna Prasun

John Vrooman Prize: Madison Roberson

Sigrid A. Stottrup History Award: Beau Kallanbach

Mathematics & Computer Science Award: Sydney Rudny

Lavern J. Meyer, Ph.D. Math Ed. Award: Morgan Wendt

Linda Weatherbee Mathematics Award: Greta Jacobson

Department of Modern Languages Linguistic Excellence Award: Astrid Calixto

Department of Modern Languages Literary Criticism Award: Nichole Binder

Margaret Burkhardt Johnson Award: Valeria Chavez Roncal

Thomas W. & Mary R. Adney Memorial Award: Goeffrey Diver and Oluwafunke Odufuwa

Dr. Robert McIntire Political Science Award: Aimable Ngabo

T. W. Samuels Award: Christina Hoving, Hannah Prochnow and Reena Riley

Outstanding Political Science Major Award: Nash Oldenettel

Alice Ambrose Lazerowitz Philosophy Award: Alexander Bergland

Rev. Robert S. & Doris Stewart-Religion Award: Valeria Chavez Roncal, Eliana Simon, Kiley Stevenson and Kawai’ola Wong

Outstanding Physics Award: Marshall Youngblood

Millikin Honors Convocation

College of Fine Arts

Pi Kappa Lambda Outstanding Senior Award: Valeria Chavez Roncal

Presser Award: Max DiPasquale

Alice Herren Ayars Award: Austin Shaw

Wilna Moffett Award: Austin Shaw

Mary B. Merris Award: Paula Mustea and Nicholas Orth

Winifred St. Clair Minturn Award: Nicholas Orth

Thomas. A. Johnson Memorial Achievement Award: Bradley Perry

Dr. Russell Tiede Award: Jenny Tullis

Percussion Achievement Award: Megan Devine

Dr. Maria Klott Memorial Award: Austin Shaw

Handler Award for Excellence, Bachelor of Arts in Music: Caleb Kelch      

Joan & Melvin Grabowski Memorial Award: Zachary Cary and Nicholas Dunk

Dr. L.C. McNabb Memorial Award: Sophie Kibiger, Louisa Nickel and Eliana Simon

Michelle Chartier Memorial Award: Thomas Ferro and Cori Lang   

Kathryn Paige Torp Theatre Award: Amanda Pohrte and Katelynn Watkins

Ron Smith Award in Musical Theatre: William Koski and Sarah Obert

J. Ben Wand Prize: Courtney Klein, Anais Morgan and Michael Santos

Andrew Strand Memorial Theatre Award: Collin Bradley and Ethan Lupp

Marvin Klaven Art Award: Kaitlynn Haskell and Tessa Laslo

David S. Monroe Art Award: Nelideisy Fernandez, Taylor Linville, Leah Paxton and Magdalyn Strubhar

Dorothy Sellers Art Award: Casey Bolt, Shannon Cook, Lacey Edwards, Stephanie Oliver, Courtney Schudel, Lindsay Thompson and Sydney Wilson

Millikin Honors Convocation

College of Professional Studies

Robert and Barbara Byrkit Award in Education: Kelle Knopp and Abby Smith

Dr. Jerald Hunt/Dr. Darlene Hoffman Award for Excellence: Maggie Baltz 

Jola Kuntz Education Award: Mackenzie Ruot

The Smith/Orlandini Award: Justin Gionet and Brandt Williamson 

Walter Witt Award: Alexus Coleman, Peyton Jackson, Nicholas Nemeth and Alexander Vogt

Alpha Tau Delta Honorarium Award: Allison Horton

Decatur Memorial Hospital Cleland Award: Sarah Weller

James Millikin Theory & Practice of Nursing Award: Jordan Brandt

Dorotha F. Dean Nursing Award: Rebecca Wellman

The Dr. Mary D. Shanks & Dr. Linda K. Niedringhaus Award: Rachel Fox

Tabor School of Business

Glen R. Smith Award: Skielyr Trenkle

Margaret Sparks Award: Lan Dao

Judy Lederbrand Day Accounting Award: Jessica Green and Madeline Holland

Linda Weatherbee Human Resource Management Award: Morgan Greene

Paul R. Winn Memorial Award: Brittany Bourne and Danielle Williams

Podeschi-Landacre Management Information Systems Award: Sydney Rudny and Clarence Velasco

Excellence in Information Systems Award: Isabella Voss

University Awards

Maria Leonard Senior Book Award: Morgan Wendt 

The JoAnne Trow Award: Sydney Finch, Miranda Fox, Sean Griffin, Jarius Ingram, Emily Kemp and Bryn Sentnor        

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Illinois Delta Chapter Award of Excellence: Connor Foley, Erik Labroo, Andrew Tufano and Jacob Ziman

C.W. Barnes Memorial Award: Shae Giovanni

Major Thomas G. Storey Citizenship Award: Claire Weers

Jere C. Mickel Human Relations Award: Eva Anthony

Daniel J. & Elinor Gage Student Activities: Adam Hayes

Helen Moffett Russell Community Service: Kei'Von Evans and Madeline Wilson   

Eshelman Family Award: Johannah Comish and Nicholas Orth

The Dr. Jan Devore Award for Excellence: Jada Miller

The Dr. J. Roger Miller Leadership Award: Sophie Kibiger

Alpha Lambda Delta Outstanding Teaching Award: Dr. Anne Matthews, professor of English

Teaching Excellence Award: Alex Miller, professor of theatre & dance

Faculty Research & Artistic Achievement Award: Dr. Laura Dean, professor of political science

Dr. Ralph A. Czerwinski and Dr. Deborah L. Slayton Teaching Excellence & Campus Leadership Award: Rachel Bicicchi, Staley Library associate professor and director of Online Learning

Outstanding Adjunct Award: Dr. Bob Sampson, history professor

Millikin Honors Convocation

Scovill Prize

Baylee BaxterBaylee Baxter

Class of 2021

Elementary Education - Special Education Endorsement

Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society


Ashley GallowayAshley Galloway

Class of 2021

Organizational Leadership


Greta JacobsonGreta Jacobson

Class of 2022

Chemistry and Mathematics


Shelby JonesShelby Jones

Class of 2022

Social Science Secondary Education


Sydney SinksSydney Sinks

Class of 2022

English – Writing


Aubrey StatonAubrey Staton

Class of 2022

Entrepreneurship with minors in Criminal Justice & Political Science


Isabella VossIsabella Voss

Class of 2023

Management Information Systems with a minor in Pre-Law