Students awarded for academic excellence at Union College’s Honors Convocation

Barbourville, Kentucky – April 28, 2023

Union College celebrated its annual Honors Convocation ceremony Thursday in Conway Boatman Chapel. Thirty-three students, two athletic teams, and one professor won 46 awards.

“We the faculty, staff and administrators of Union College salute all of you who receive awards today,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Marisa Greer, “and we look forward to sharing in your future success.”

The yearly awards ceremony acknowledges outstanding academic performance in various disciplines, including business, mass communications, psychology, education, composition, literature, fine arts, history, political science, natural science, athletics, nursing, and more. Several students won multiple awards, with senior Makynzie Miller receiving four, and seniors David Coty Saylor and Curtis Miracle each receiving three.

This year, the Madison Taylor Triple ‘A’ Award was newly added in memory of Union student Maddie Taylor, who died in a tragic accident last year. The three ‘A’s represent Taylor’s excellence in athletics, academics, and positive attitude. Taylor’s family traveled from Tennessee to present the inaugural award to sophomore Raigan King.

“We lost a bright, shining star last summer,” said Greer. “This award will be given out each spring during our Honors Convocation to help keep Maddie's spirit alive and recognize the loving person that she was to her teammates, to her fellow students, and to just our campus in general.”

In addition to awards given to individuals, the Athletic Team Academic Awards recognized the archery team and the swim team as the sports teams with the highest cumulative GPA.

The final award – the Student Government Association (SGA) Distinguished Professor Award – went to Dr. Larry Inkster, who received a standing ovation. In just a few days, Inkster will retire from his 50-year career with Union College, making this his final Honors Convocation as Union faculty.

SGA student leaders for the 2023-2024 school year were also announced, with Carlos Barroso Sainz reelected as President and Ethan Whyte as VP of Academic Affairs. New leaders are as follows: Allie Williams, VP for Student Development; Kassidy Koogler, VP for Academic Affairs; Jessica Rodrigues, VP for Communications; and Jack Brodie, VP for Business Affairs.

College Minister Rev. David Miller concluded the ceremony with a benediction. Speaking of the students honored, he said, “We have been blessed by their presence in the classroom, blessed by their presence on our campus, blessed by their presence in our lives.”

Live choral music for the program was performed by Union Harmony, conducted by Associate Professor of Music Dr. Virginia Gay Gandy. Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Yukiko Fujimura performed live piano accompaniment.

2023 Honors Convocation Awards Recipients:

Megan Baker

  • Outstanding Student in Criminal Justice Award

Isaac Bargo

  • Rena Milliken Award
  • Dr. Erwin S. Bradley History Award

Monica Bingham

  • Leadership in Nursing Award

Griffen Brown

  • Arthur E. Spurlock Business Award

Paige Catoe

  • Connie Danner Book Award

Sidney V. Chrisman

  • Dr. Paul S. Moore Wellness, Human Performance, and Recreation Management Faculty Award

Tia Cobb

  • Bjornstad Freshman Composition Award

Beverly Cook

  • Clinical Excellence in Nursing Award

Emily Davis

  • Educational Studies Award for Middle Grades Education
  • Dr. Mary Alice Lay Service Award

Josh (Jay) Falls

  • Jane Minton Blair Endowed Award for the Arts

Nicholas Garrison

  • Dr. L. A. Geiss Senior Award

Nora Taya Howard

  • Iota Sigma Nu Freshman

Madison Jennings

  • Educational Studies Award for Elementary Education

Raigan King

  • The Madison Taylor Triple ‘A’ Award

Hope Elizabeth McKeehan

  • John Henry Wilson Sophomore Award

Whitney Messer

  • Dr. Paul Muncy Memorial Award

Makynzie Miller

  • Dr. Mahlon A. Miller President Emeritus Award
  • Governor James D. Black Senior Award
  • President’s Award
  • Katherine V. Sutphen Memorial Award

Taryn Mills

  • Sampson Political Science Award

Curtis Miracle

  • Dr. Albert D. Graham, Jr. Social Studies Award
  • Educational Studies Award for Secondary Education
  • H. H. Owens History Award

Tyler Napier

  • Outstanding Psychology Major Award
  • Eastern Kentucky Essay Award

Jacob Newby

  • H. B. Jones Business Enterprise Award

Rita Pereira

  • Steve Jones Memorial Award
  • Wimmer Chemistry Award

MiKayla Phillips

  • The Jones Foundation Award in Education

Kayla Breanne Richardson

  • Iota Sigma Nu Sophomore

David (Cody) Saylor

  • Ronald and Mary Alice Marley Mass Communication Award
  • Beverly P. and Mossie B. Wilson Memorial Award
  • The Literature Award

John Schneider

  • Rev. Charles Hansel Award for Philosophy and Religion

Jalyn Sharp

  • H. B. Jones Business Enterprise Award

Alicia Sikora

  • Excellence in Research Award

Caleb Teague

  • Blackwell Political Science Award

Haden Uhrig

  • William Faulkner Rushton Memorial Awards - Poetry

Virginia Wagers

  • Dr. L. A. Geiss Junior Award
  • Accounting Award

Morgan Warren

  • Theodore R. Davies M.D. Senior Biology Award

Macy Love Yother

  • Dr. Cecil H. Wilson Junior Award
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