Hiram College

2020 Celebration of Excellence Award Recipients

2020 Honorees

Celebration of Excellence awards recipients are posted as they are made available from the bestowing department or organization. This section will be updated frequently during the months of April and May as winners are announced.

President’s Achievement Award

Essynce Mitchell and Jeffrey Robb

The President’s Achievement Award is given annually to a woman and man in the junior class whose academic records, campus leadership and devotion to the ideals and objectives of Hiram College distinguish their performances as outstanding. Students selected for this award have demonstrated, during their years at Hiram College, marked growth in academic achievement and in personal development. They have displayed sensitivity to the needs of their fellow students, to those in the College community and of society in general, and they have made constructive contributions to the solutions of these problems. In sum, the President’s Achievement Award goes to those whose records best symbolize the educational goals of Hiram College.

Distinguished Student Leadership Award – Dively

Alexia Kemerling

The Distinguished Student Leadership Award is given annually by Hiram College in recognition of an outstanding senior student whose contributions to campus life have earned peer respect and admiration. The award recipient receives a gift of $1,000. Michael Dively, a former Hiram College Trustee, founder of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service, three-term member of the Michigan House of Representatives and former faculty member at Albion College, is the founder of the award.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award

Yidiayah Box

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award is given annually by Hiram College to a student or students who, through the quality of his or her leadership and overall character, exemplifies a spirit of inclusiveness and an appreciation for multiculturalism and diversity. The value of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award is based on investment returns and typically exceeds $500.

Yuksel Ismail Scholarship in Humanities

Alexia Kemerling

Established in 1986 by the Ismail family, colleagues, friends and former students, the Yuksel Ismail Scholarship honors the senior in humanities (humanities shall include classical studies, English, foreign languages, history, philosophy and religious studies) who best exemplifies the love of learning and high standards lived out at Hiram College by Yuksel Ismail, professor of languages and literature, until his death in 1986.

Phi Beta Kappa

Brian Corbin

Phi Beta Kappa membership has long been recognized as the highest distinction an individual can receive for scholarly excellence in undergraduate studies in the liberal arts and sciences. Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest undergraduate honors society. The official induction ceremony into Phi Beta Kappa takes place during the week of commencement.

Hal Reichle Memorial Award

Rashell Anderson

The Hal Reichle Memorial Award is presented annually to an individual student who has demonstrated significant acts of kindness, generosity and compassion toward other human beings. The award recipient is chosen on the basis of humanitarian efforts, community involvement and volunteerism. The value of the Hal Reichle Memorial Award is based on investment returns and typically exceeds $5,000.

Nancy Moeller Award

Michelle Kennedy

Established in the memory of Nancy Moeller, this award is given to the Center for Adult studies student who has maintained high standards while achieving the goal of a college education and in doing so, earned the respect of faculty members and fellow students.

Alpha Society

Alpha Society is one of Hiram’s highest academic honors. Membership is limited to students who have completed 12 or more hours of graded coursework at Hiram College and whose cumulative grade point average is 3.75 or better.

Alpha Society Graduating Seniors

Jilyann Atkinson Victor Becerra
Devin Brooks Brian Corbin
Kerry Dombroski Rebecca Guggenbiller
Matthew Hecker Alexia Kemerling
Emma Kovach Nicholas Krasnoschlik
Valerie Lauderback Callie Levan
Erica Lohan Breanna Louis
Jessica Maurer Kelly Miller
Paula Mocanu Jenna Nelson
Madison Paden Jessica Schrodt
Ana Strauss Lori Vaught
Valori Vaught Danielle Vincent
Hannah Waldman Abigail Wirfel
Yajing Zhang  

Alpha Society Underclassmen

Laura Alspaugh Abbey Anderson Lauren Ashton
Giselle Bahena Logan Bailey Brett Bentkowski
Austin Blatt Marisa Bolton Mackenzie Brannon
Matthew Bruyere Madison Burns Amaya Butler
Emma Chinn Lisha Ciani Stephanie Cipa
Sarah Clarke Payton Cody Alainna Conroy
Katelyn Crosby Emily Daugherty Riley Dearth
Olivia Detweiler Michael Dietzen Amber Downes
James Elliot Wendy Fennell Sydney Finley-Houston
Zachary Fox Julia Frank Gina Gale
Meghan Griffin Amelia Guevara Emily Harris
Denise Hart Anna Harvey Ashley Hennen
Samuel Hitchcock Leah Iannini Elizabeth Jaber
Kiara Jeffrey Jamie Jelenic Rachel Jerkins
Lindsey Johns Brett Johnson Ian Johnson
Amanda Jordan Laura Kahn Rosalina Kalvitz
Carlene Kopp Trenton Lair Hannah Lane
Matthew Lee Katelyn Lenahan Sophia Leuma
Grace Lutat Anthony Lyon Alyssa Maraia
Sophia McCurdy Abagail McGuire Ashley Meier
Stacey Menzies Daphney Miller Irene Miller
Natalie Mockensturm Jacob Moncher Miranda Mordue
Benjamin Moseley Ryan Mount William Muirhead
Rachna Narasimha Prasad Chelsey Orlando Maya Pappas
Mit Patel Joshua Peaco Andrew Pemberton
Vincent Pernotto Jacob Plisko Keegan Rankin  
Kelly Ratliff Thomas Rink Adam Risko
Kellie Ristau Jeffrey Robb Jasmine Rosiak
Angela Ross Gerald Saunders Zachary Scalf
Nikkia Schady Bailey Scheck Adam Schlaker
Matthew Schmidt Jacob Seiple Karen Slates
Allison Slutz Emilee Smith Katherine Starr
Margaret Stehno Jonathan Sturtz Taryn Swick
Thomas Swope Journey Toole Quinn Tucker
Victoria Valetta Hannah Ward Ryleigh Webb
Chloe Welch Katie Whisler Michael Williams
Riley Williams Brianna Woodworth Maggie Yarcusko
David Yost    

Academic Program Awards 

These awards were presented, or will be presented, at individual departmental celebrations and ceremonies. They are listed here so all may partake in the celebration and recognition of excellence.

Art & Design Program Awards

Alex and Tamara Brady Pendleton Best in Show Award:

Natalie Quarry, Body of Work

Paul A. Rochford Award for Excellence:

Kathryn Slates, Body of Work

Juror’s Mention:

Charlie Wirfel, Painting

Biology Program Awards

James H. Barrow Scholarship in Biology:

Keegan Rankin

Established by the friends and students of James H. Barrow, professor of biology at Hiram College from 1957 until 1987 and founder of the James H. Barrow Biology Field Station. Awarded annually to a deserving student majoring in field biology.

Dwight H. and Trudy Berg Award:

Danielle Vincent

Established and endowed by Dwight H. Berg, professor emeritus in biology, and his wife Trudy. To be awarded to a deserving junior or senior biology major who has emphasis in botany and who is planning to attend graduate school in botany.

Eastman Kodak Company Awards:

Zoe Ceballos, Olivia Hoffman, Rachel Jerkins, Madyson Morris, Allison Slutz and Timothy Stucky

Established by the Eastman Kodak Company to honor employees who are graduates of Hiram College. Awarded on the basis of merit to students majoring in biology.

Paul Smey Award in Biology:

Nick Kranoschlik

Awarded to an outstanding biology major with an interest in medicine, the Paul Smey Award in biology was established by family and friends in memory of Paul Smey ’69, a distinguished pediatric urologist.

Thomas E. Lingafelter Memorial Award:

Carah Katzendorn

Established and endowed by Constance Rullestad Lingafelter ’59, and friends, in memory of her husband, Thomas E. Lingafelter ’60, a devoted alumnus. Awarded to the student who makes the most significant contribution to the work at the field station.

The Kyna Barber Endowed Scholarship:

Kerry Dombroski

Established with gifts provided by Tom and Ling Barber along with gifts from family and friends of Kyna Barber.  The scholarship shall be awarded to a senior student who has been admitted to a graduate program at an accredited college or university in a medical related field.  The medical related field shall be any graduate study, including but not limited to medical school, dental school, graduate nursing programs, medical research, or medical related microbiology, biotechnology, or biology/chemistry.

Grace Pickford Scholarship:

Alexus Acton

Kelton Scott McMurray Memorial Scholarship:

Kiara Jeffrey

Biomedical Humanities Program Awards

Outstanding Achievement in Senior Seminar:

Hannah Mann

Outstanding Achievement in Senior Seminar by a Minor:

Kerry Dombroski

Carol Donley Scholarship Award Winners:

Emily Harris

Chemistry Program Awards

Outstanding General Chemistry Student:

Sophia Leuma

Outstanding Organic Student:

Allison Slutz

Outstanding Inorganic Student:

Kelsey Morgan

Outstanding Analytical Student:

Brent Bentkowski

Outstanding PChem Student:

Kayla Cole

Outstanding Biochemistry Student:

Kiara Jeffrey

Outstanding Senior Biochemistry Student:

Matthew Hecker

Lubrizol Chemistry Scholarship:

Jake Lininger

Jody Modarelli Scholarship: 

Alexus Acton

Paul Fall Scholarship:

Brianna Bays

American Chemical Society – Akron Section Outstanding Junior Chemistry Major:

Kelsey Morgan

American Chemical Society – Akron Section Outstanding Chemistry Major:

Jake Lininger

Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship Awards

Fall ideablitz! Idea Competition: 

  • 1st Place: Michael Dietzen, “The Buckeye Bureau”
  • 2nd Place: Loretta Brazeal, Mo Hinkle, David Schilling and Matt Zilla, “Warm Buddies”
  • 3rd Place: Matt Bodrock, Roberto Diaz, Nassiem Salem and Iyana Smith, “Know Hit”

Spring ideabuild! Idea Competition: CANCELLED

  • 1st Place: TBD
  • 2nd Place: TBD
  • 3rd Place: TBD

Ronald W. and Thomas E. Lingafelter Memorial Endowed Scholarship:

Vincent Suso

This scholarship is given in honor of Ronald W. and Thomas E Lingfelter, graduates of Hiram College.  The award shall be given to an outstanding student demonstrating participation in entrepreneurship studies, expressing interest in entrepreneurship, and demonstrating high achievement in scholarship, leadership and citizenship.

Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award:

Michael Eversole

This award is given to students, chosen by the faculty, for outstanding achievements in the field of Entrepreneurship.

Communication Program Awards

Program Honors:

Gillian McMaster

Computer Science Program Awards

Irina Lomonosov Award:

Alexander Bowser

Presented to an outstanding senior computer science major.

Angela Guercio Award:

Matthew Lee

Presented to a senior computer science or applied computer science major who has shown outstanding dedication to computer science and service to the department.

Economics, Management & Accounting Program Awards

Claude Henry Crafts Achievement Award: 

Dominick Medina

This monetary award is given in honor of Claude Henry Crafts, a graduate of Hiram College. The award shall be given to an outstanding male with a B or better GPA at the end of his junior year. He should be majoring in the field of business or a related business field. He should be athletic, outgoing, friendly, and helpful. The recipient should be of upstanding good moral character and returning to finish his senior year at Hiram.

Ohio Society of CPAs’ Ambassador Award:

Dawn Condeza

An accounting student is chosen by the faculty to serve a one-year term as the Ohio Society of CPA’s ambassador. This student is expected to communicate to high school and college-age students the advantages and exciting opportunities available in the accounting profession.

Outstanding CAS Accounting Student:

Matthew Schmidt

This monetary award is given to a student, chosen by the faculty in the department, who is majoring in Accounting & Financial Management through the Professional & Graduate Studies program. The student should exhibit enthusiasm for the accounting profession and excellence in the classroom.

IMA President Award:

Sarah Spehn

This monetary award is given to a student who has diligently served as the President of the Student Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants. The student must prove to be reliable, organized and enthusiastic about the accounting profession and the student chapter of the IMA.

Outstanding Financial Accounting Student: 

Tanner Allison

This monetary award is given to a student, chosen by the faculty, who has taken the financial accounting course during the current academic year. The student exhibits excellence in the classroom and a potential for further study in Accounting.

Allyn A. Young Memorial Prize: 

Thomas Rink

This monetary award is given to an Economics major chosen by the department who has demonstrated worthiness in his or her performance in Economics coursework.  It is awarded to students studying economics who show the most promise in handling analytical or quantitative techniques in economic analysis.

Ferguson Award:

Andrew Lang

This scholarship is given to a Management major chosen by the department who has demonstrated worthiness in his or her performance in Management coursework.

English Program Awards

Grace J. Chamberlain Prize in Creative Writing:

Rhonesha Robinson and Katherine Starr

Established in 2007 by Joyce, Robert and Dylan Chamberlain, the parents and brother of Grace J. Chamberlain, who died tragically in an automobile accident in 2006, this prize is awarded annually by the English department to a student who shows great promise in creative writing. This prize is funded annually by a Cleveland Foundation Donor Advised Fund.

English Department Book Award:

Yidiayah Box, Helen Frazier, Rashid Jackson, Amber Kenney, Ari Mosquera, Jill Schmidt and Cas Watson

Awarded to a student who contributes to the intellectual life of the English department in creative and often unrecognized ways.

Hiram College Writing Center Award:

Haley Adams, Sarah Mellinger and Lani Pace

This award goes to the seniors who have made the greatest contributions to the Writing Center and the writing program at Hiram College. Both exceptional service to the institution and an extraordinary personal commitment to the study of writing are required.

John S. Kenyon Memorial Award in English:

Matt Mitchell

Awarded to honor the graduating senior student in English who best exemplifies the creative and scholarly spirit associated with John Samuel Kenyon, class of 1898, professor of English, 1916-1944 and emeritus professor of English, 1944-1959.

The Richard C. and Jo Ann Murphy Underwood Endowed Memorial Scholarship:

Quinn Tucker

Student who, in the judgment of the English Department, is a promising candidate for a career in journalism.

Howard Seymour Bissell Scholarship:

Maya Pappas

A scholarship to be awarded each year to an outstanding Hiram student of English in recognition of excellence, based on merit, talent, achievement, and promise.

Carl Brown Memorial Scholarship:

Megan Bockelman

For the purpose of establishing an endowed scholarship awarded on the basis of good character, scholastic ability, and literary achievement with first preference given to an English major who gives evidence of a distinguished career in this field.

The Lee and Irma Cannon Memorial Scholarship:

Amanda Jordan (Foreign Language)

The Lee and Irma Cannon Memorial Scholarship was established and endowed by Mrs. Charity Cannon Willard, friends and faculties of the English and Foreign Language Departments, in memory of Lee and Irma Cannon, longtime and devoted members of the faculty who taught at Hiram from 1916 until their retirements in 1956 and 1954 respectively.  It is awarded to an outstanding junior, alternating each year between a student from the English Department and the Foreign Language Department, nominated by faculty members of these respective departments.

Environmental Studies Program Awards

Lubrizol Foundation Awardees:

Rashid Jackson, Henry Schwendler and Elijah Skaggs

These awards are made possible through the generous support of the Lubrizol Foundation to selected academic programs at Hiram College. Awardees in the Environmental Studies major are students who have demonstrated academic achievement, academic potential, or active engagement in the environmental field.

The David A. Cornicelli Memorial Scholarship:

Zachary Fox

This scholarship was established to celebrate the life of David A. Cornicelli, a graduate from Hiram College who was very active in the environmental field. The scholarship is awarded annually to a junior student(s) majoring in Environmental Studies. Preference is given to students from Trumbull County, Ohio; however, if there is no eligible student from Trumbull County in any year, the scholarship may be awarded to an otherwise eligible student.

History Program Awards

The Dorothy Garrett Martin Award in History:

Emma Chinn

Established and endowed by Frederick W. Martin ’64 and James K. Martin ’65 in honor of their mother. Awarded annually to a junior woman majoring in history as chosen by the History Department faculty.

The Thomas Mark Pytel Memorial Award:

Katie Whisler

Established and endowed by friends and his wife, Gail Meyer Pytel ’66, in memory of Thomas Mark Pytel ’66. Awarded to an outstanding junior, alternating each year between a student from the Political Science Department and the History Department, nominated by the faculty members of these respective departments.

Phi Alpha Theta:

Emma Chinn, Olivia Hoffman, Callie Levan, Kimberly Morrison, William Oswald, Isabel Petkiewicz and Bailey Scheck

Phi Alpha Theta is the National History Honor Society “whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians.”  Inductees are invited to join based on their academic achievements in history.

Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature Awards

Gillmer Kroehle Contest in Creative Nonfiction:

  • 1st Place: “Is it for the daughter to say?” by Kelly Miller
  • 2nd Place: “The Ones Who Believe in the LotterySaid Great-GrandadHid His Money Somewhere” by Amir Riddle
  • 3rd Place: “Mamik” by Klara Keuroghlian-Eaton
  • Honorable Mention: “Facing Tides” by Alexia Kemerling and “Penjama” by Nancy Maduena

Vachel Lindsay Poetry Prize:

  • 1st Place: “Speech Therapy” by Alexia Kemerling
  • 2nd Place: “city of light / city of magic” by Matt Mitchell
  • 3rd Place: “I Will Tell You in Plain Terms, if I Couldn’t Romanticize This I Wouldn’t Be Here” by Kathryn Slates
  • Honorable Mention: “11” by Amir Riddle

Barbara Thompson Award for Short Fiction:

  • 1st Place: “Dusty Books and Lace Dresses” by Lani Pace
  • 2nd Place: “When the Mangos Fall” by Klara Keuroghlian-Eaton
  • 3rd Place: “Wyoming Reznikoff’s Search for the Perfect Man” by Matt Mitchell
  • Honorable Mention: “Unleashing” by Melika King and “Aren’t Born Right” by Emma Chinn

ECHO Student Literary Regional Competition: 


  • 1st Place: Nativa O’Brien, Bethany College, for “Sundrown,” “Divorce is the New-Age Solomon,” and “Mother (of Human) Nature”
  • 2nd Place: Alexia Kemmerling, Hiram College, for “Speech Therapy,” “Ann Hodges,'” and “Diagnosis as an Introduction”
  • 3rd Place: Matt Mitchell, Hiram College, for “Paper Cranes,” “Throat of Stars,” and “Elegy For David Berman From a Chicago Bathtub”

Creative Nonfiction

  • 1st place: Matthew Mitchell, Hiram College, for “You Memorize the Way Your Hand Lets Go”
  • 2nd place: Katherine Starr, Hiram College, for “Anniversary In May”
  • 3rd place: Nora Vinson, Hiram College, for “Arebithia”


  • 1st place: Nora Vinson, Hiram College, for “Grandpa’s Secret”
  • 2nd place: Katie Whisler, Hiram College, for “Songs of Divinity”
  • 3rd place: Sierra (Cas) Watson, Hiram College, for “A Deadly Thing Called Hope”
  • Honorable Mention: Yidiayah S. Box, Hiram College, for “She Lives in My Lap”
  • Honorable Mention: Callie Levan, Hiram College, for “Hocking Hills”

The annual Echo Contest is open to undergraduate students currently enrolled at Bethany College, Heidelberg University, Hiram College, Marietta College, University of Mount Union and Muskingum University.  A panel of faculty from the partner schools judges the entries. Judges do not know the identity of the entrants, and judges do not read or evaluate the entries of students from the colleges or universities where they teach.

Nursing Program Awards

Department Honors:


Academic Excellence in Nursing Award:


Given to a graduating senior who has achieved the highest overall and nursing GPA.

Service & Leadership in Nursing Award: 


Given to a graduating senior who has made outstanding leadership and service contributions during his or her time at Hiram College.

Summit/Portage District Ohio Nurses Association Award: 


Given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated organizational leadership and service.

Hiram College Nursing Nightingale Nobel: 


Performing Arts Program Awards

Casey Award for Outstanding Senior Theater Student:

Erica Lohan

Mary A. Crawford Award:

Nicholas Krasnoschlik and Agnes Mullett

Alice Seymour Bissell/Hiram Women’s Council Award:

Jacob Moncher

Andrew Hopkins Prize – Outstanding Instrumentalist Award:

Megan Bockelman

John M. Watson Senior Prize in Music :

Sarah Mellinger

Danielle Fink Music Lesson Award: 

Erica Lohan and Emily Petit

Philosophy Program Awards

Eugene H. Peters Prize in Philosophy: 

Grace Lutat

The Eugene H. Peters Prize in Philosophy was established in 1983 to honor the memory of Professor Eugene H. Peters, who taught philosophy at Hiram College from 1962 until his untimely death in May of 1983. The prize rewards students who have done exceptional work in the field of philosophy.

Physics Program Awards

Arthur Wright Erskine Memorial Prize in Physics:

Norah Ali

The Arthur Wright Erskine Memorial Prize in Physics was established and endowed by a bequest of Betsy Smith Erskine in memory of her husband Arthur Wright Erskine, class of 1907.  First given in 1958, the prize goes to the senior student who shows the greatest promise in the science of physics.

Political Science Program Awards

Pi Sigma Alpha:

Norah Ali, Hunter Jenkins and Jenna Nelson

Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for Political Science.

Psychology Program Awards

Psi Chi, International Honor Society Inductees: 

Livia Proctor, Hayley Scherer, Abigail Semick and Kathryn Slates

Psi Chi gives national recognition for academic excellence and offers opportunities for networking, scholarships and leadership development in the field.

Psychology and Philosophy Program Awards

The Thomas Wayne Grant Prize: 

Olivia L. Detweiler

Annual award given to an outstanding psychology and/or philosophy student.

Athletic Department Awards

Athletic are announced at the Student Athlete Appreciation event. The athletic department presents several named awards each year to individual student-athletes in recognition of their athletic accomplishments.

The Pam Smith/North Coast Athletic Conference Woman of the Year Award (Hiram NOMINEE to the NCAC):

Ally Green

Awarded annually to the outstanding graduating female student-athlete in the NCAC. The award recognizes a student-athlete who has distinguished herself throughout her collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership.

The Don Hunsinger/North Coast Athletic Conference Man of the Year Award (Hiram NOMINEE to the NCAC:

Hunter Jenkins

Awarded annually to the outstanding graduating male student-athlete in the NCAC.  The award recognizes a student-athlete who has distinguished himself throughout his collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership.

Donald M. Campbell Memorial Award: 

Horace Johnson

Awarded each year to the College’s outstanding male student-athlete. It was established in 1961, as suggested by the then editor of the school newspaper, as an award to honor the outstanding male athlete of the year. Named after the newspaper, it was originally called the Terrier Award. In 1970, it was changed to the Donald M. Campbell, Jr. Award to honor one of our former athletes who lost his life in a house fire while attempting to save his parents’ lives.

Helen M. Petrosky Award: 

Tashauna Wright

Established by the Department of Physical Education in honor of a former faculty member and chair for 29 years, “Miss Pete.” Awarded each year to the College’s outstanding female student-athlete.

Herbert C. Matthew Award: 

Tayler Hall

Awarded to a student-athlete for extraordinary athletic achievement and overcoming significant obstacles to excel in intercollegiate competition during their career at Hiram College.

Charles A. Henry Award (Outstanding Junior Scholar Athlete):

Alainna Conroy

Myrtis E. Herndon Award (Female Scholar Athlete):

Jenna Nelson

Bill Hollinger Award (Male Scholar Athlete):

Hunter Jenkins