Seniors honored with academic, activity and leadership awards

Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
May 19, 2018

Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.

Kristen A. Upton, a Chemistry-Kinesiology and Chemistry major with a minor in Biology, was awarded the Mary Ward Lewis Prize and Communication major William James Giles was awarded the Bates Prize for the most outstanding female and male graduating seniors respectively. Both were also recipients of The Dr. H. Samuel Case ’63 Senior Scholar Athlete Award.

Seniors honored with academic, activity and leadership awards Kristen A. Upton of Chalfont, Pa., graduates summa cum laude and a College Scholar with departmental honors in Chemistry-Kinesiology.

A star athlete and a captain on the women’s soccer team, she was named a Scholar All-American and was the Centennial Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women’s soccer as both a junior and senior. She has also been recognized as a first-team selection by the Centennial Conference and had the highest grade point average (GPA) on the all-conference soccer team. She was selected by the United Soccer Coaches as a first team all-region honoree.

Upton, who plans to attend medical school, co-founded and served as president of the pre-health club on campus, vice president of the Kinesiology club, and was a member of the Honors program and Heroes Helping Hopkins. She has been involved in honor societies, including as president of Gamma Sigma Epsilon (Chemistry), secretary of Beta Beta Beta (Biology) and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Lambda Delta (First Year) and Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership). In addition, she has worked as an admissions ambassador and as a peer tutor for McDaniel’s Student Academic Support Services Office.

She has volunteered at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and has spent time observing the cardiology department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the cardiothoracic department at the University of Kentucky and Lexington Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. She has also completed undergraduate research and presented at American Chemical Society conferences.

Seniors honored with academic, activity and leadership awards William James Giles of LaVale, Md., is graduating summa cum laude with departmental honors in Communication. He plans to attend Frostburg State University to pursue an M.B.A.

Giles has served as a member of the Student Alumni Council and as a student visitor on the College’s Board of Trustees. He has also been active with the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity as recruitment director, treasurer and vice president, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society, as well as Omicron Delta Kappa and Trumpeters leadership honor societies.

A member of the Green Terror men’s tennis team all four years, he was captain during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He also taught private tennis lessons to children and young adults.

After traveling to 14 countries while spending the fall semester of his junior year at McDaniel’s European campus in Budapest, Hungary, he worked as a study abroad ambassador for the College’s Center for Experience and Opportunity. He also held an internship in management with Enterprise Holdings.

Seniors honored with academic, activity and leadership awards Also presented was the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award to Katie Lynn Staab, assistant professor of Biology. Read more »

The Ira G. Zepp Teaching Enhancement Grant was presented to two recipients, Jason Scullion, assistant professor of Environmental Studies, and Brad Stoddard, assistant professor of Religious Studies.

With funding from the Zepp Teaching Enhancement Grant, Scullion will organize the development and construction of permanent educational signs for the College’s Singleton-Mathews property. Collaborating with students in classes as well as campus organizations, Scullion will focus the major educational themes of the signs on various aspects of science and policy related to the natural resources of water, food and forests. The signs, placed along established trails on the property, will explain best practices for sustainable natural resource management and examine the global water cycle and the property's hydrologic connections to the Chesapeake Bay.

Visitors will have improved access to the property through the signs directing both drivers and walkers. Students will benefit by participating in development of the signs and through the learning opportunities in the natural sciences the signs provide, ultimately gaining a greater understanding of the complexity and interconnectedness of people and the environment.

Stoddard will establish educational programs in Maryland’s prisons with funding from his Zepp Teaching Enhancement Grant. Beginning in the fall of 2018, McDaniel will offer “Theories of Religion” for three hours once a week at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women. The mutually beneficial class will enroll equal numbers of incarcerated students and McDaniel students, who will be transported to the prison for class.

In addition to the expected educational outcomes, McDaniel students will be exposed to students from diverse backgrounds who typically, in Stoddard’s experience, are enthusiastic, engaged and embrace educational opportunity as a means to escape generations of poverty. Having access to and successfully completing college-level courses may inspire incarcerated students to take advantage of other educational opportunities, helping them develop critical analytical thinking skills and other positive social behaviors.

Seniors honored with academic, activity and leadership awards Surprise faculty speaker Linda Semu took the stage to the cheers of an enthusiastic audience who applaud the popular Sociology professor for opening their eyes to the world around them and helping them to think in more complex ways about many aspects of society. In Semu’s classes, students find themselves discussing global trade, human rights, democracy and foreign policy. They might also tackle migration, immigration and new mega-cities in Asia and Africa or environmental challenges of uncontrolled urban growth in Latin American.

Her research, publication and teaching in comparative international sociology focuses on the intersection of gender, international development, global social change and community studies, land rights and food security, race and immigration, qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Semu, who was born and raised in the African nation of Malawi, has taught Introduction to Sociology, Love and Marriage: A Cross-Cultural Comparison, Global Social Change, Food, Culture and Society and Urban Sociology. Her most recent first-year seminar is “What Race Are We Now?” and prior to that, she taught a first-year seminar on “The Marriage Squeeze: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.”

Her scholarship intersects social justice and advocacy — over the years, she has conducted research, training and consultancy work on Malawi for the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, Oxfam, GTZ and various government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Her research has afforded her numerous opportunities to present her findings at conferences that range from the Eastern Sociological Society Annual Conference to the International Association for Feminist Economics in Barcelona, Spain. A frequent invited guest at the Malawian Embassy in D.C., Semu is a prolific writer who has published many book chapters and has had numerous articles published in journals and international publications.

Although she has always been a role model by default, she has now, while continuing with her work, consciously taken on the role of mentoring others and giving back. In 2009, she and other Malawian women in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area formed a non-profit organization called the Malawi Washington Foundation (MWF), which Semu now chairs. Semu earned her bachelor’s in Sociology and Public Administration at the University of Malawi in 1987, a post-graduate diploma from World University Service in Vienna, her Masters in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1991, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University in 2005.

Semu explained to the graduates that when she was recruited to McDaniel in 2005, at a time when the College was internationalizing the curriculum, the fit was perfect for her as a comparative international sociologist.

“Indeed, the world has become more deeply interconnected such that the most pressing issues of our time will only be addressed through a global perspective that is cognizant of the demographic changes and diversity occurring within and outside the United States,” Semu said. “It is my belief that the McDaniel College liberal arts education has equipped you with relevant competencies to: navigate the world you are going into, to appreciate its complexity, understand its challenges, and to care enough to want to contribute solutions that will address some of those challenges.”

She offered the graduates advice for the future.

“As you move into this ever-evolving world, don’t be afraid to make mistakes — it is a sign that you are doing something. Embrace change, don’t regret the mistakes you have made but rather the chances you didn’t take,” Semu said. “I took a chance and accepted a job offer 8,000 miles away from my place of birth. And yet, because of the convenience of modern technology, I am attuned to what is going on in Malawi and I continue to do research and publish about the place of my birth.”

Other student award recipients included:

The Alton Dennis Law Award for Excellence in Economics

  • Thomas John Davis, Jr, Accounting Economics, Business Administration-Economics and Economics triple major from Broomall, Pa.

The Dr. Mary Ellen Elwell Distinguished Social Work Award

  • Mark David Gales, Social Work major from Lancaster, Pa.

The Vox Magna Clara (A Strong Clear Voice) Award

  • Ashley Nicole Raver, Psychology and Sociology major from Westminster, Md.

The Maria Leonard Senior Book Award

  • Rebecca Ann Debinski, Spanish major, with an Elementary Education minor, from Sykesville, Md.
  • Christina Grace DeJoseph, Kinesiology major from Palmyra, N.J.
  • Joshua Martin Irvin, History major from Littlestown, Pa.
  • Jason Lee Swartz, Environmental Studies major from Dillsburg, Pa.

The McLuhan Award for Excellence in Communication

  • Devyn Louise Voorheis, Communication and Spanish major from Cary, N.C.

The Richard A. Clower Award for Excellence in Kinesiology

  • Christina Grace DeJoseph, Kinesiology major from Palmyra, N.J.
  • Teryn Lynne Rath, Kinesiology major from Grass Valley, Calif.

The Richard H. Smith, Jr. Award for Excellence in Chemistry or Biochemistry

  • Jacob Joseph Holechek, Chemistry major from Union Bridge, Md.

The Robert Joseph Weber Award for Excellence in Political Science and International Studies

  • Trevor N. Kline, Political Science major from Dillsburg, Pa.

The Class of 1938 Award for Excellence in Music

  • Jacqueline Emily Sherwin, Psychology and Music major from Westminster, Md.

The Dr. Reuben Holthaus Award in Philosophy

  • Tyler James Van Dyke, English and Philosophy major from Aspers, Pa.

The Frank and Margaret Malone Award for Excellence in a Foreign Language

  • Rebecca Ann Debinski, Spanish major, with an Elementary Education minor, from Sykesville, Md.
  • Devyn Louise Voorheis, Communication and Spanish major from Cary, N.C.

The Malcolm L. Meltzer Psychology Award

  • Ashley Nicole Raver, Psychology and Sociology major from Westminster, Md.

The Michael and Polly Beaver Award for Excellence in Education

  • Rebecca Ann Debinski, Spanish major, with an Elementary Education minor, from Sykesville, Md.

The Makosky Award for Excellence in English

  • Tusannah Marie Krauss, English major from Manchester, Md.
  • Camden Powers Ostrander, English major, with a Secondary Education minor, from Rockville, Md.

The Philip and Azalea Myers Award for Creativity in English

  • Tyler James Van Dyke, English and Philosophy major from Aspers, Pa.

The Eloise B. and Lowell S. Ensor Award for Graduate or Professional Study

  • Chloe Elise Ouimette, Kinesiology major from Rockville, Md.

The Phi Delta Gamma Award

  • Mollie Ann Fisher, Social Work major from Westminster, Md.

The M. Louise Shipley Art Award of Excellence

  • Rachel Pavlina Wojnar, Art and Art History major from Cumberland, Md.

The H.P. Sturdivant Biology Award

  • Riley Michelle Palmer, Biology major from Pikesville, Md.

The Esther Smith Award

  • Laura May Hawk, Theatre Arts major from Monrovia, Md.

The Dr. Clyde A. Spicer Award

  • Samantha Nicole Smith, Mathematics major from Westminster, Md.

The Hugh Barnette Speir, Jr. Prize

  • Kyle Steven Parks, History major from Wilmington, Del.

The H. Peyton Gorsuch History Award

  • Joshua Martin Irvin, History major from Littlestown, Pa.

The Greek Man of the Year

  • Wade Trevor Bishop, Communication major from Greensboro, Md.

The Greek Woman of the Year

  • Alexandra Elizabeth Tolle, Communication and Theatre Arts major from Woodstock, Md.

The Michael J. Marks ’13 Memorial Award

  • Joshua Carleton Hefta, Kinesiology major from Blacksburg, Va.

The Elizabeth Lintz Burkhardt Memorial Service Award

  • Kylah Sade Chadwick, Social Work major from New London, Conn.

The Steve Robert Wilson Memorial Awards

  • Shantaé Joey-Ann Byro, Kinesiology major from Baltimore
  • Alexander James Panagakos, Biology major from Hampstead, Md.

The Western Maryland Norman E. Sartorius Gift and Citation

  • Kyle Steven Parks, History major from Wilmington, Del.

The Charles W. Havens Award

  • Abby Holland Keen, Chemistry-Kinesiology major from Salisbury, Md.

The John D. Nawrocki Memorial Award

  • Nicholas Joseph Over III, Kinesiology major from Westminster, Md.

The Michael L. Waghelstein Memorial Award

  • Kyle Franklin Shaffer, Communication major from New Freedom, Pa.

The Alumni Citizenship Awards

  • Mark David Gales, Social Work major from Lancaster, Pa.
  • Dori Leigh Nance, Psychology major from Hagerstown, Md.

The Lynn F. Gruber Medal

  • Mable Kay Windsor-Buchanan, English major from Westminster, Md.

The Dr. H. Samuel Case ’63 Senior Scholar Athlete Award

  • William James Giles, Communication major from LaVale, Md.
  • Samantha Nicole Smith, Mathematics major from Westminster, Md.
  • Kristen A. Upton, Chemistry-Kinesiology and Chemistry major from Chalfont, Pa.

The Faith Millard/Dr. Carol Fritz Medal

  • Sarah Margaret McDonald, Accounting Economics and Business Administration major from Yardley, Pa.

The John A. Alexander Medal

  • Bamasa C. Bailor, Accounting Economics and Business Administration major from Carlisle, Pa.
  • Antonio Giovanni Rosanova, Accounting Economics and Business Administration major from Laurel, Md.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 were honored May 18 on the eve of their graduation from the College with academic, activity and leadership awards at the Senior Investiture and Honors Convocation.
Members of the Class of 2018 show off their creative mortarboards.
Members of the Class of 2018 show off their creative mortarboards.
Members of the Class of 2018 show off their creative mortarboards.
Members of the Class of 2018 show off their creative mortarboards.
Members of the Class of 2018 show off their creative mortarboards.
Members of the Class of 2018 show off their creative mortarboards.
Members of the Class of 2018 show off their creative mortarboards.
Members of the Class of 2018 show off their creative mortarboards.