37th Annual Dewald Honors Celebration and Dinner Honors Students

September 15, 2017

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The 37th annual Dewald Honors Celebration and Dinner was held Tuesday, September 12 at the University of Mount Union. The event recognizes high academic achievement among Mount Union students, honoring those who have held Dean’s List status during one or more semesters last year.

Class leader prizes, based on high grade point average and letters of recommendation, were selected by a committee of seven faculty members, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dean Dr. Jeff Breese and Vice President for Student Affairs John Frazier.

The A.P. Rickard and Alice W. and Stanley T. Evans Freshman Prize, given to a freshman who has the highest GPA at the close of the academic year, was awarded to history major Megan Yankulov of Mogadore, Ohio. Yankulov is a biochemistry major. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Young Adults Bible Study.

In her nomination, Dr. Sheryl Mason, assistant professor of biochemistry and chemistry, said Yankulov, “is an exceptionally mature and bright young individual with a motivation to excel. Her work ethic is outstanding and humble nature is refreshing. I witnessed this student’s growth in knowledge, skills, and confidence in their first year of college, and know unquestionably that this student will experience much success in any future endeavor.” 

Other finalists for the freshman prize included Cassie Mead, a sociology major of Columbiana, Ohio and William Luca, a triple major in computer science, French, and national security and foreign intelligence analysis from Tallahassee, Florida.

The Ralph K. and Elizabeth B. Ramsayer Sophomore Prize, established to honor scholarship, development of personality and leadership and achievement in extracurricular subjects, was awarded to communications studies major Graycen Wood of Auburn Township, Ohio. Wood is a member of the Mount Union Dance Team, Alpha Phi Omega, Pre-Law Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Alpha Mu Gamma Honor Society and the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society.   

In her recommendation, professor of communication Dr. Jamie Capuzza described Wood as, “respected by her peers. I’ve watched her work with classmates on several class group projects and she always manage the group dynamics with aplomb and diplomacy.” 

The McMaster/Drushal Junior Prize, recognizing scholarship and deportment, was presented to biochemistry and spanish major Thomas Mason of Alliance, Ohio. Mason is captain of the Men’s Varsity Basketball team, a Raider Guide, member of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of Cru.

Dr. Keith Miller, assistant professor of biochemistry and chemistry, wrote that Mason, “is one of the best I have ever had and will have a promising future. I rank him in the top one percent of students I have taught. His name is always mentioned in departmental meetings for awards and constantly associated with the highest level of academic achievement.” 

The other finalist for the McMaster/Drushal Junior Prize was Brianna Whittaker, a senior national security and foreign intelligence analysis major from Twinsburg, Ohio.

The Faculty/Staff Prize was established by Mount Union’s faculty to honor an academically talented student in the junior class who has shown extraordinary achievement in his or her academic program. This year, the award went to communication studies major Kerstin Vaughn of Norton, Ohio. Vaughn is involved in Mount Union Players, Lambda Pi Eta, the Black Student Union and the Honors Program. She has also held leadership positions as the Honor’s Program Council Social Chair, Honor’s Program Council Co-President and Stage Manager. 

“Her work on stage is equaled by her work in class, which has been of the highest caliber,” said Dr. Kevin Kern, associate professor and chair of the Department of Theatre. “Her maturity impressed the faculty, and was quickly given many positions of responsibility, some of which were generally not given to younger students.”

During the event, English literature and writing double major Abbey Schlanz, of Shadyside, Ohio, presented “Working with Braided Way: More than Just an Internship.” 

Presidential Scholars and recipients of the Investment Alliance Award were also recognized. 

Breese ended the night by challenging students do one simple thing to enrich their intellectual environment.   

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