Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jim Schelberg and Stephan Jordan Earn Double Honors As College Bestows Annual Awards


Gold Pentagon Award winners Stephan Jordan and Jim Schelberg with
President Reiss. Each would soon return for another major award.
CHESTERTOWN, MD—Two graduating seniors were doubly honored for their achievements and service as Washington College awarded its most important medals and prizes during 2012 Commencement on May 20. Stephan Anthony Jordan and James Hoitsma Schelberg shared the Gold Pentagon Award, which recognizes meritorious service to the College, and each also received solo recognition.

Schelberg, who graduated summa cum laude, took home the prestigious George Washington Medal as “the senior who shows the greatest promise of understanding and realizing in life and work the ideals of a liberal education.” Washington himself (as portrayed by actor Dean Malissa) strode to the podium to present the Medal, then briefly addressed the crowd, continuing a Commencement tradition.

To the delight of visitors, General George Washington strides to the
 podium to personally award his namesake Medal to Jim Schelberg.
A double major in philosophy and humanities, Jim Schelberg came to Washington College on a Hodson Trust Star Scholarship after serving with the U.S. Marines in Iraq. He interrupted his studies to serve a second tour of duty with the Marines, this time in Afghanistan. While on campus, the Towson native has been a member of the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows; conducted research at the University of Oxford as part of the College’s summer Oxford Research Seminar on Religion, Politics and Culture; taught boxing as founder of the Washington College Mixed Martial Arts Club; and conducted important archival research for the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Maryland State Archives. At the Senior Awards Luncheon held the Friday before Commencement, Schelberg received the Norman James Humanities Award for Excellence and the Department of Philosophy and Religion Award.

 Washington salutes Schelberg.
Last summer he launched a prison outreach program called Partners in Philosophy, which offers courses in philosophy, logic and ethics to inmates of Maryland’s Jessup Correctional Institution. Washington College professors joined him to lead several of the classes, which ranged from ethical choices in Art History to the teachings of Plato, Buddha and Frederick Douglass. He will continue the program this summer. Schelberg earned national recognition as one of only 20 students nationwide to be selected for the 2011 USA Today All-USA College Academic Team.

Stephan Jordan was the faculty’s choice for the Henry W. Catlin 1894 Medal, awarded to “a senior man voted by the faculty to be outstanding in the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership and campus citizenship.” A political science major and drama minor from Frederick, Md., who graduated cum laude, Jordan served as a Peer Mentor, sang with WACappella and served on both the Student Government Association and the Honor Board. As a Hansard Scholar, he spent a semester in London, studying parliamentary government and British public policy at the London School of Economics and Politics and interning in the House of Commons. Last fall, Governor Martin O’Malley appointed him to be the student representative on the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Virginia Long was awarded for her science
achievements and her appreciation of the arts.
Virginia Agnes Long of Silver Spring, Md., received the Jane Huston Goodfellow Memorial Prize, which recognizes an especially well- rounded science major “who has an abiding appreciation of the arts and humanities and has shown scholastic excellence.” She graduated magna cum laude and also earned a Department of Biology Research Award. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows, she was active in drama and dance productions during her four years on campus.  

Jesse James Schaefer won the Eugene B. Casey Medal, as “a senior woman voted by the faculty to be outstanding in the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership and campus citizenship.” A summa cum laude graduate who majored in sociology and human development, Schaefer was active in numerous organizations, including the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows, the Peer Mentors, Equestrian Club, the Pi Lambda Theta education honor society and the Service Council. Schaefer, who hails from Bridgeton, N.J., also was awarded the Education Department Award, the Margaret Horsley Award (for “the clearest understanding of human social behavior”), the Sociology Service Award, the Karen Kaitz Emerick Award (recognizing strong character, leadership and service), and an Outstanding Community Service Recognition.

Jesse Schaefer steps forward for the Eugene B. Casey Medal.
Clark-Porter winner Antonio 
The Clark-Porter Medal went to student-government leader Andrew Francis John Antonio, who led the SGA for three years. The Medal recognizes “the student whose character and personal integrity, in the opinion of the faculty, have most clearly enhanced the quality of campus life.” Antonio, who grew up in Middletown, Del., also received the Schottland Business Leadership Award and the W. Dennis Berry ’87 Leadership Award. 
Goldstein winner Kimberly Pittman
Kimberly Nicole Pittman of Bel Air, Md., received the Louis L. Goldstein ’35 Award as the senior who “has demonstrated unusual interest, enthusiasm and potential in the field of public affairs.”  The International Studies major concentrated her studies on issues of peace and conflict and was the first Washington College student to take part in an exclusive internship program with NATO’s U.S. Mission in Brussels. She also was a member of the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows and studied abroad in South Africa. A summa cum laude graduate, Pittman also took home Gender Studies and International Studies awards.

Medal winners Schaefer and Schelberg were among the four 2012 graduates who shared First Honors distinction for boasting the highest cumulative grade point average in the class. The other two top scholars were Michael Ryan Vanaskie, who also took home the Economics Department Award, and Courtney Rebecca Burton, who received the Psychology Department Outstanding Achievement Award and an Outstanding Community Service Recognition.

The 2012 Sophie Kerr Prize for literary promise was officially awarded to Kathryn J. Manion in the form of a check for $58,274. She had been announced as the winner May 15 at a special program in New York City where she and four other Prize finalists—Natalie L. Butz, Douglas S. Carter, Maria N. Queen and Erica A. Walburg—read from their portfolios.

Professor Christine Wade reacts to being named this year's recipient of
the Alumni Association's Distinguished Teaching Award.
Two professors were singled out for recognition during the Commencement. The Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award, based on input from both faculty and students, went to Christine J. Wade, associate professor of political science and international studies. A specialist in Latin American politics who joined the Washington College faculty in 2003, she is faculty advisor for students concentrating on Peace and Conflict Studies or Latin American Studies.

President Reiss congratulates the faculty recipient of
the Gold Pentagon Award, Mindy Reynolds-Walsh.
And Omicron Delta Kappa chose biology professor Mindy Reynolds-Walsh to receive a Gold Pentagon Award. Each year, the leadership honor society selects both a student winner or winners (this year, Schelberg and Jordan), and an alumnus, faculty member or friend of the College to recognize for their service to Washington College. A cell biologist who joined the faculty in 2008, Reynolds-Walsh researches the effects of chronic exposure to metal compounds.

Below is a full listing of the awards announced at the Senior Luncheon. For photos, visit the Campus Gallery page about the event.


Class of 2012 Senior Awards
 Given at the Senior Luncheon, May 18, 2012.

The American Studies Program Senior Capstone Experience Award, awarded to a graduating American studies major with the most outstanding senior research project: Amanda Lyn Whitaker

The Lynette Nielsen Art Award,  to acknowledge excellence in art: Alexandra Allerton Harlow Woodworth

The Art History Award,  to acknowledge excellence in the field of art history: Sean Michael Meade and Douglas Stewart Carter, Jr.

The Department of Biology Allied Health Professional Award, to the graduating biology major who has demonstrated academic excellence, who is pursuing an allied health degree, and who has a strong potential for success in an allied health field: Bethany Jordan Ackerman and Brittany Nicole Palasik

The Department of Biology Medical Professional Award, to the graduating biology major who has demonstrated academic excellence, who is pursuing a medical or veterinary degree, and who has a strong potential for success in the medical or veterinary fields: Katelyn Rose Laury and Benjamin David Longwell

The Department of Biology Research Award, to the graduating biology major who has demonstrated excellence in academics and undergraduate biological research: Virginia Agnes Long and Benjamin David Longwell

The Department of Biology Award of Special Recognition, awarded on special occasion to the graduating biology major who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and an exceptional depth of understanding in the field of biology: John Matthews Eglseder II

The Department of Biology Teaching Award, awarded on special occasion to the graduating biology major who has demonstrated academic excellence and exceptional dedication to science education: Alyssa Jacqueline Forget and Hannah Elizabeth O’Malley

The Department of Business Management Award, given to a graduating business major who has demonstrated outstanding qualities of scholarship, character and leadership: Allyson Leigh Yawman 

The Department of Business Management Senior Capstone Experience Award,  to a graduating business major with the most outstanding senior research project demonstrating high scholarship and analytical skills: Chelsea Caitlin Simpson


Schottland Business Leadership Award, awarded to the graduating business major who shows outstanding academic ability and leadership potential: Andrew Francis John Antonio

The Joseph H. McLain ’37 Prize, awarded to the graduating senior who, in the opinion of the Department of Chemistry, shows the greatest promise for making a future contribution to human understanding of chemistry. Endowed in 1982 by members of the American Pyrotechnics Association: Sean Andrew Harrison

The James R. Miller ’51 Award for Excellence in Chemistry, to an outstanding senior majoring in chemistry or a premedical student who has demonstrated special interest and high academic achievement in chemistry: Kelsie Elizabeth Jensen

The Stewart Drama Award, to a senior who has made outstanding contributions to the College through
dramatic and speaking ability. Endowed by Pearl Griffin Stewart ’05: Margaret Anne Matthews

The Economics Department Award, awarded to a graduating senior for outstanding academic performance and the potential for high achievement in the field of economics: Michael Ryan Vanaskie and Meghan Elyse Lepley

The Dr. Davy H. McCall Prize in Economics, to a graduating senior majoring in economics who has demonstrated special interest and high academic achievement and superior oral and written abilities in international economics: Leah Rae Sbriscia

The Maureen Jacoby Prize, to the graduating senior who has demonstrated dedication to student publications at Washington College, and has a strong potential for a future in the field of publications: Olivia Hamilton Mott

The Emil J. C. Hildenbrand Memorial Medal, to the senior who attains the highest average in English during the four years of study. Given by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Alumni Association: Marta Lee Wesenberg

The Writers’ Union Award, for outstanding service to the Writers’ Union.  A gift of Robert L. Chamberlin, Jr. ’48 in memory of Mary Lou Chamberlin ’49: Kathryn Jeanne Manion


The Environmental Studies Award, to the graduating environmental studies major who, through academic accomplishment and extracurricular involvement, shows the greatest potential for making significant lifetime contributions to helping solve the world’s environmental problems: Amanda Anne-Marie Pruzinsky

The Gender Studies Award, to a graduating senior who has displayed unusual interest and/or scholarship
in the field of gender studies: Kimberly Nicole Pittman and Sarah Janney Hartge

The Arthur A. Knapp ’39 Memorial Prize in History, to the graduating history major who, in the opinion of the Department, has displayed unusual interest, enthusiasm and ability in the field of history: Alyssa Lynne Wagner and Charles August Weisenberger III

The Phi Alpha Theta Award, to a graduating history major for excellent historical scholarship: Alyssa Lynne Wagner

The Norman James Humanities Award for Excellence, given by the James family to the senior majoring in humanities who has shown academic distinction and represents the ideals of humanistic society: James Hoitsma Schelberg

The Daniel L. Premo Award, to the graduating senior in political science or international studies
who shows the most promise in the field of public diplomacy: Antoine Michael Jordan

The International Studies Award, to a graduating major who, in the opinion of the Department, demonstrates an exceptional understanding and interest in international affairs: Kimberly Nicole Pittman

The Tai Sung An Memorial Prize,  to the graduating international student who, in the opinion of the faculty of the international studies interdisciplinary major, has exemplified in an exceptional manner the benefits of inter-cultural education on our campus: Tokikake Ii

The Erika and Henry Salloch Prize, given by the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures in memory of Erika and Henry Salloch, to the student whose achievement and personal commitment have contributed to the understanding of other cultures: Morgan Lail Phillips

The German Studies Alumni Award, to the senior who, in the opinion of the faculty of Modern Languages, has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and a depth of understanding in the field of German studies: Melissa Gaye Erdman

The William Gover Duvall ’30 Prize, to a graduating senior who, in the judgment of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, has demonstrated outstanding achievement and shows great promise in the field of mathematics: Amanda Anne-Marie Pruzinsky

The Alpha Chi Omega Music Award, to a senior in recognition of excellence in music: Brian Patrick Bucher and Veronica Noël Spolarich

The Department of Philosophy and Religion Award, to a graduating senior or seniors majoring in philosophy, recognizing outstanding ability in, and engagement with, the field of philosophy and religion: James Hoitsma Schelberg and Patrick Thomas Cannon

The Political Science Award, to a graduating major who in the opinion of the Department, demonstrates a superior theoretical and practical understanding of political life: Lindsay Ann Dodd

The Psychology Department Award, to the senior psychology major who shows outstanding promise in the field of psychology: Isabel Diane Derera and Catherine Teves Petrick


The Virginia M. Conner ’85 Psychology Award, to the graduating senior or seniors majoring in psychology who, in the opinion of the Department, have demonstrated outstanding ability and achievement in the biobehavioral sciences: Melanie Lynn McCabe

The Psychology Department Outstanding Achievement Award, to senior psychology majors in recognition of exceptionally high levels of performance in the field of psychology: Courtney Rebecca Burton

Anthropology Award, to the graduating major or majors who, in the opinion of the faculty and students of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, have shown in his or her work exceptional understanding of anthropology and other cultures, past or present: Sarah Janney Hartge and Jamie Skylar Frees

Anthropology Service Award, to the graduating major who demonstrates the greatest dedication to public service in anthropology at Washington College: Alyssa Marie Velazquez

The Margaret Horsley Award, to the graduating major or majors who, in the opinion of the faculty and students of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, have shown in his or her work the clearest understanding of human social behavior: Jesse James Schaefer and Brittany Lyn McWilliams

Sociology Service Award, to the graduating senior who, in the opinion of the Department and its students, has made, through service, the greatest contribution to the sociology program and to Washington College: Jesse James Schaefer

The Holstein Prize for Ethics, to the graduating senior whose senior thesis, in the opinion of the selection committee, best demonstrates an interest in ethics and the application of ethics to his or her area of interest: Beverly Obenewaa Frimpong

The W. Dennis Berry ’87 Leadership Award, to the senior or seniors who most clearly exhibit those characteristics of charismatic leadership that distinguished Mr. Berry’s service to Washington College: Andrew Francis John Antonio

The Karen Kaitz Emerick Award, to one or more senior students, chosen by the Executive Committee of the Student Government Association, who have demonstrated strong character and good academic standing, and who have been leaders in community and volunteer service: Jesse James Schaefer

The Penny J. Fall Award, given annually by the Washington College Student Government Association to the female athlete who most successfully continues, through service to the College, the tradition and legacy set by Professor Fall. The recipient is chosen for her leadership on campus and her ability to conceive, organize and execute academic and extracurricular activities that have benefited the entire Washington College community: Sally Ann O’Donnell

The Jonathan A. Taylor, Jr. Leadership Award,  to the member of the Washington College Student Government Association who diligently and effectively incorporates progressive thought when addressing the needs and demands of the modern collegiate environment: Brittany Alexandra Marshall

The Outstanding Community Service Recognition, awarded to senior students who have committed themselves to community service: Courtney Rebecca Burton,  
Stephen Samuel Cook, Daniel James Danko, Jamie Skylar Frees, Sarah Janney Hartge, Laura Kebler Kennedy, Melanie Lynn McCabe, Priyanka Deepak Parikh, Leah Rae Sbriscia, Jesse James Schaefer,  Alyssa Marie Velazquez, Amanda Lyn Whitaker.




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