Annual Dewald Honors Celebration and Dinner Held

October 10, 2014

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The 34th annual Dewald Honors Celebration and Dinner was held Tuesday, September 16 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 Dr. Patricia Draves 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 Amy Achenbach of Butler, Pennsylvania. Achenbach is a member of Raider Programming Board, Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Student Senate, Alpha Lambda Delta freshman academic honorary, Alpha Psi Omega theatre honorary/Mount Union Players and History Society.

In his nomination, professor of chemistry Dr. Scott Mason said Achenbach “is gregarious and never at a loss to participate in discussions in class. She is polished in her oral presentations and discussion of leadership roles. Her experience in theatre has no doubt paid off.”

Other finalists for the freshman prize included Ellis Beardsley, a biochemistry major of Warren, Pennsylvania; Jacqueline Jepsen, a biochemistry major of Poland, Ohio and Kelsey Knutty, a marketing and art major of Tallmadge, Ohio.

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 Japanese major Jessica Biltz of North Olmsted, Ohio. Biltz is a member of the Honors Program, Exploration Club, Association of International Students and the Edge and studied abroad in Japan last year. She serves as an assistant in the Chinese-English class, part-time teacher at the English Conversation School and tutor for English courses.

In her recommendation, Professor of Japanese Dr. Hamako Furuhata-Turner described Biltz as “an outstanding student. She has strong intellectual independence, talent, creativity and dynamics.”

Other finalists for the sophomore prize included Sarah Briggs Dreger, an early childhood education major of Kent, Ohio; Alison Feucht, an exercise science major of Maineville, Ohio; Rebecca Kritschil, a neuroscience major of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania and Abigail Riffee, a psychology major of Mineral Ridge, Ohio.

The McMaster/Drushal Junior Prize, recognizing scholarship and deportment, was presented to biochemistry major Amanda Myhal of Canfield, Ohio. Myhal is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta freshman academic honorary, Sophomore Service Honorary, Blue Key Honor Society, Gamma Beta Psi honorary, Student Senate, Pre-Health Professions Club and Concert Choir.

Dr. Scott Mason wrote that Myhal “is one of the top students that I have taught in my 20 year career. She is, in many ways, a true renaissance woman – passionate about both the arts and science.”

Additional finalists for the McMaster/Drushal Junior Prize included Eva Laino, a biochemistry major of Canfield, Ohio and Miranda Stockton, a chemistry major of Cuyahoga Falls, 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 to English major Gabriella Pishotti of Warren, Ohio. Pishotti is a member of the Honors Program, Delta Sigma Tau, Japanese Club, Relay for Life, English Society, Sigma Tau Delta English honorary, Association of Women Students, Alpha Lambda Delta freshman academic honorary and FLOCK. She has served as president of the Calliope literary magazine and a consultant for the Center for Writing and Oral Communication.

“Overall, my nominee is a proven leader and a thoughtful, sophisticated and polished writer,” said Dr. Rodney Dick, associate professor and Chair of the Department of English, of Pishotti. “In my 12 years of teaching at Mount Union, I find my nominee to be one of the best students I’ve ever had in class. We’re lucky to have a young woman of her talents.”

Other nominees for the Faculty/Staff Prize included Jessica Biltz, a Japanese major of North Olmsted, Ohio; Rebecca Kritschil, a neuroscience major of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania; Brennan Mashchak, an early childhood education and psychology major of Massillon, Ohio; Abigail Riffee, a psychology major of Mineral Ridge, Ohio; Andrew Rojek, a communication studies major of North Canton, Ohio and Erin Simmons, a sport business major of Suffield, Ohio.

During the event, communication studies major Andrew Rojek of North Canton, Ohio presented “The Washington Center Experience.” Human resource management, marketing and Spanish major Ashley Sams of Alliance, Ohio followed with her presentation of “Perspectives from a Semester in Spain.”

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

Draves ended the night by challenging students to increase the intellectual environment outside of class in one simple way each week.

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