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Students receive top academic awards

Last updated April 8, 2019

By Tina Underwood

It’s that time of year again when Furman  students are recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. On April 1, more than 80 awards were conferred on over 100 students representing disciplines from mathematics and natural sciences to the social sciences and the arts.

Students convened in the Melvin and Dollie Yount Conference Center, where they were welcomed by Dean of Faculty Ken Peterson. Presenting the awards were Associate Academic Dean Jeremy Cass; Associate Dean for Mentoring and Advising Michelle Horhota; Associate Provost for Engaged Learning Beth Pontari; and Associate Provost for Integrative Science John Wheeler.

The 2019 recipients of Furman academic awards and honors are:

Mathematics and Natural Sciences


Beta Beta Beta General Excellence Award
Jalisa Nicole Decker

Distinguished Research in Biology Award (2000)
Jennifer Reed Funsten
Kenny Nguyen

C. Leland Rodgers Biology Award (2000)
Caitlin E. Hay

Elizabeth Thackston Taylor Botany Medal (1942)
Scott Milling Finney


American Chemical Society Outstanding Senior Chemistry Major Award (1954)
Rachel Emily Cooke

American Institute of Chemists Award in Biochemistry (1984)
Kirtan D. Kumar

American Institute of Chemists Award in Chemistry (1984)
Carter Emmett Edmunds

John Albert Southern Chemistry Award (1973)
Graciela Elizabeth Garcia Ponte
Richard Evans Wetherill

John Sampey Award in Chemistry (1968)
Mariana Fuenmayor Llanos
Peyton William Roth
Noah Christopher Vieira

Computer Science

Computing in Community Award (2017)
Kathryn Stallworth McGowin
Catherine Elizabeth Schwab

Kenneth C. Abernethy Award for Excellence in Computer Science (1996)
Mitchell Brock Dennison
Sara Vanovac

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Earth and Environmental Sciences Scholar Award (2007)
Amelia Grace Miles

Earth and Environmental Sciences Research Award (2007)
Jessica Ann Wheeler

Sustainability Science Research Award (2013)
Elena Diane Oertel

Wallace C. Fallaw Outstanding Senior Award (1996)
Chambers Johnson English


DeLany Medal in Mathematics (1945)
William James Fravel III

Mathematics Faculty Award for Excellence (2005)
Alexandra Grace Doxey
Yingxuan Guo
Thomas Otto Trankle


William Blaker Award for Excellence in Neuroscience (2015)
Caroline Maria Daly

Health Careers – Pre-Health

Robert Emmett Allen Pre-medical Prize (1927)
Caroline Maria Daly

Alpha Epsilon Delta Scholarship Award (1982)
Rachel Emily Cooke



Award for Excellence in Anthropology (2016)
Johanna Kathryn Arata
Carris Delaney Campbell
Gretchen Petty Mahoney

Asian Studies

Faculty Award in Chinese (1991)
Morgan Elizabeth Fretwell

Faculty Award in Japanese (1991)
Yunhui Yang

James B. Leavell Outstanding Work in Asian Studies (2005)
Nicholas Bright Haight

Outstanding Work in Chinese Studies (2004)
Jessica Ann Wheeler

Outstanding Work in Japanese Studies (2004)
Megan Bryant Collins


John Scott Murray Greek Prize (1928)
Emmett Baumgarten

John Scott Murray Latin Prize (1928)
Carris Delaney Campbell

Communication Studies

Charles A. Batson Award (2004)
Isabella Quiros

Communication Studies Award for Excellence in Public Speaking & Debate (1937)
Samantha Tetlow Fowler

Endel Award for Excellence in Communication Studies (1926)
Andrew Tettey Teye

Endel Medal for Excellence in Mass Communication (1937)
Caroline Francis Tucker

Endel Medal for Excellence in Rhetoric and Oratory (1926)
Aleah Imani-Grace King


J. Decherd Guess Scholarship (1989)
Paul Stephen Bryant
Mary Randell Jones
Courtney Marie Kratz
Faith Cassidy Kressner
Campbell Carrilee Sullivan

Roger C. Peace / L.D. Johnson Award (1982)
Olivia Ann Corso

Pipkin English Award (1968)
Abigail Blake Harwell


Alumni Award for Academic Excellence in History (2003)
Benjamin Thomas Gamble
Andrew James Powers
Yunhui Yang

Daughters of the American Revolution Prize in American History (1937)
Charles Noah Morgan

Endel Memorial History Prize (1937)
Quincy Daniel Mix

Gilpatrick History Prize (1937)
Jeanetta Helen Mistler

Modern Languages and Literatures

Cervantes Award in Spanish (1969)
Julia Claire Castanet

David Wells Morgan Award in French (1969)
Catherine Agnes McLaughlin

Goethe Award in German (1969)
Yasmin Ashleigh Harrington


Award in Applied Philosophy (2019)
Chambers Johnson English

Excellence in Philosophy Award (1998)
Courtney Marie Kratz
Benjamin Hollingsworth Lang
Hannah Nicole Wilder


Baggott Excellence Award (1978)
Laura Grace Per-Lee
Virginia Grace Poe

Baggott Ministerial Award (1978)
Ian Edward Allen Bardwell
Savannah Rose Wright

John C. Shelley Award for Excellence in Fields of Theology and Ethics (2013)
Lauren Joyce Hood
Dalton Craig Yount

David Anthony Smith Award in Religion (2006)
Johanna Kathryn Arata
Bonnie Rose Williams

Scholarly Achievement Award in Religion (1970)
James Jefferson Bergman
Caroline Maria Daly

Social Sciences

Business and Accounting

Fred and June Current Accounting Award (2003)
Rebecca Jane Graham
Madison Amelia Kulik

Lawrence Kessler Award for Excellence in Accounting (2006)
Eric Allen Faidley
Nino Kodua

Sandy Roberson Outstanding Senior in Accounting Award (2017)
Patrick MacKenzie McNamara

General Excellence in Business Award (2003)
Gabrielle Marie Haddad
Julia Claire Castanet
Rachel Anne Simon


J. Carlyle Ellett Economics Prize (1990)
Nino Kodua
Ju Sun Yoon

Mathematics Economics Award for Excellence (2007)
Nino Kodua


Outstanding Scholar and Leader in Education Award (2005)
Madeline Marie Gonzalez
Tatiana Maria Oliveira
Gregory Robert Peterson

Health Sciences

Public Health Senior Award (2019)
Brittany Nicole Wright

Ruth Reid Award (2005)
Lauren Elizabeth Duggar

Jerry R. Thomas Award in Health Sciences (1996)
Rachel Lea Goding

Politics and International Affairs

Henry P. Jones Political Science Medal (1986)
Eric Allen Faidley
Jack Harrison Ligon

Political Science Chair’s Award (2003)
Peyton William Roth

Political Science Faculty Award (1997)
Katherine Elizabeth West

S. Sidney Ulmer Political Science Medal (1955)
Sabrina Skye Roof


Allport Scholar in Psychology (1968)
Piper Nicole Powell
Kathryn Marie Vanek

Brewer Scholar in Psychology (2008)
William Von Harten Sanders

Burts Scholar in Psychology (1973)
Molly Elizabeth Pruitt
Hannah Nicole Wilder

Marshall Prevost Medal in Psychology (1961)
Juhee Bhatt
Jenna Christina Tuccio


Johnson-Webb Sociology Award (1984)
Laurin Elizabeth Bixby

Interdisciplinary Minors

African-American and African Diaspora Cultures

Award for Excellence in African-American and African Diaspora Cultures (2017)
Kassidy Suzanne Hadley
Ethan L. Jedziniak
Noah A. Trotter

Ancient Greek and Roman Studies

Award for Excellence in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies (2001)
Ian Edward Allen Bardwell
James Jefferson Bergman

Environmental Studies

Award for Excellence in Environmental Studies (2001)
Scott Milling Finney

Film Studies

Award for Excellence in Film Studies (2014)
Johanna Kathryn Arata
Claudia Lauren Leslie
Noah A. Trotter


Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Humanities Studies (2017)
Akanksha Kaushik

Latin American Studies

Award for Excellence in Latin American Studies (2001)
William George Tracy

Medicine, Health, and Culture

Award for Excellence in Medicine, Health, and Culture Studies (2019)
Jeanetta Helen Mistler

Poverty Studies

Award for Excellence in Poverty Studies (2010)
Rachel Lea Goding
Abigail Blake Harwell

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Award for Excellence in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2001)
Sarah Margaret Bourlakas

The Arts


Mattie Hipp Cunningham Scholarship (1972)
Joshua Jay Berthume

Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award (2007)
Leonardo Andres De La Cruz

Theatre Arts

Furman Theatre Guild Award (1971)
Derek Tyler Leonard

Furman Theatre Most Valuable Player (1999)
Elizabeth Hernandez
Chelsea Lynn Helton

Undergraduate Evening Studies

Frances W. Selby “Gig” Meredith Award (1999)
Doris M. Childress

For more information, contact Emily Sweezey at 864-294-2029, and

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