Academic awards


Bluffton students honored for academic excellence

Bluffton University recognized many of its top students for their academic achievements at the annual Academic Awards and Honors Forum on April 23.

Introduced as distinguished scholars in their respective academic areas were 31 seniors. In addition, Thomas Gingrich, a football player from Goshen, Ind., and Maryam Teka of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, were honored for having the highest scholastic records among senior athletes and international students, respectively.

Recognized for completion of the Honors Program were 13 seniors—the largest group of graduates in the program’s history. They are Christopher Arnold of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Katelyn Brewer of Sandusky, Ohio; Lauren Canaday of Northwood, Ohio; Jessica Deeter of Troy, Ohio; Kirsten Egts of Rawson, Ohio; R. Spencer Genson of Toledo, Ohio; Keisha Holtsberry of Dupont, Ohio; Jonathan Luginbill of Bluffton; Ashley Noe of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Kyle Schmidt of Berne, Ind.; Shelby Wade of Delaware, Ohio; Kathryn Wineland of Gibsonburg, Ohio; and Courtney Winger of Tiffin, Ohio.

Canaday, Luginbill and Wineland were also among five seniors who received departmental honors for independent-study projects. Canaday was cited for her project in English, titled “Teaching and Writing like Emily Dickinson: How High School Students and Poets Can Learn from a Nineteenth Century Recluse”; Luginbill, for his music project, “Experimentation and Application of Choral Recording Techniques”; and Wineland, for her project in religion, “The Kin(gs) of the Earth: Sovereignty, Structural Violence, and Universal Salvation in the Apocalypse of John.”

Also earning departmental honors were Brent Schroeder of Continental, Ohio, in religion, and Samantha Wildow of Piqua, Ohio, in English. Schroeder’s project was titled “Virtuality and Concrete Reality: Meaning-Making in a Technological World,” while Wildow’s English project was a novel, “The Bridge Between Us.”  

Wineland also received the Jim Satterwhite Award in Peace Scholarship and Activism, while Taylor Humphreys, a junior from Bluffton, claimed the Naomi Brenneman Prize—awarded for an outstanding research and/or interpretive essay on a literary topic—for her essay, “What Makes a Myth?—Factors in Hispanic Mythology.” Winning the John D. Unruh Award for the best research paper in the humanities and social sciences was senior Jared Horstman of Cloverdale, Ohio, for his paper, “Reprising St. Mary’s: Issues in Catholic Primary and Secondary Education.”

Other award recipients included:

  • Jacob Moran of Bellefontaine, Ohio, the Financial Executives International Award.
  • Ryan Johnson-Evers of Muskego, Wis., the CRC Press Chemistry Achievement Award.
  • Sara Yoder of New Paris, Ind., the Esta Lugibill Dye Award for Excellence in Chemical Science by a Woman.
  • Neil Macke of Ottawa, Ohio, the Russell A. Lantz Choral Award.
  • Lauren Faris of Elida, Ohio; Lydia Speicher of Marysville, Ohio; Luz Varela of Goshen, Ind.; Megan Moreo of Spencerville, Ohio; Charity Tripp of Delta, Ohio; and Victoria Watkins of Mansfield, Ohio, the Art Show Juror’s Awards of Distinction. Speicher also won the Boehr Award for Best of Juried Student Art Show.
  • Stephanie Kohls of Wauseon, Ohio, the Dr. Elizabeth Hostetler Outstanding Educator Award.
  • Allison Trent of Orrville, Ohio, the Association of Youth Ministry Educators Student Excellence Award
  • Abby Graber of Goshen, Ind., the Lion and Lamb Art Award.

Concluding the program was recognition of 17 graduating members of Pi Lambda Theta National Education Honor Society; two graduating members of Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society; 38 new members of Bluffton’s Pi Delta Society, an honorary for seniors with a grade point average of at least 3.75 during their college careers; and 26 C. Henry Smith Scholars—10 graduating, five continuing and 11 newly elected scholars.