Academic Awards

Bluffton students honored for academic excellence

BLUFFTON, Ohio—Bluffton University recognized many of its top students for their academic achievements at the annual Academic Awards and Honors Forum on April 22.

Introduced as distinguished scholars in their respective academic areas were 33 seniors. Shawn Frost of Edison, Ohio, was named distinguished scholar in two programs—exercise science and strength and conditioning—as was Holly Walter of Carey, Ohio, in English and writing.

In addition, Benjamin Roeschley, a baseball player from Graymont, Ill., and Shuvo Das of Dhaka, Bangladesh, were honored for having the highest scholastic records among senior athletes and international students, respectively. Roeschley was also recognized for receiving the Beaver-Falcon MAcc Scholarship, for the master of accountancy program at Bowling Green State University.

Introduced for completion of the Honors Program were 14 seniors—the largest group of graduates in the program’s history. In addition to Walter, they include Julie Court of Galion, Ohio; Hillary Crawford of Carey, Ohio; Sarah Dailey of Norwich, Ohio; Brandi Dominique of Wauseon, Ohio; Jonathan Fowler of Cincinnati, Ohio; Samuel Griffith of Greensburg, Pa.; Jared Horstman of Cloverdale, Ohio; Kara Marang of Norton, Ohio; Kayla Mullenhour of Delphos, Ohio; Natalie Nikitas of Jeffersonville, Ind.; Eliot Nofziger of Archbold, Ohio; Mackenzie Richards of Covington, Ohio; and Matthew Weisenborn of Bowling Green, Ohio.

Walter and Marang were also among four seniors who received departmental honors for independent-study projects. Walter was cited for her project in English, a work of fiction titled “Sleight of House,” and Marang, for her social sciences project, “The Testing Effect in a Classroom Setting.”

Also earning departmental honors were Tamara Al-Sammarraie of Baghdad, Iraq, in education, and Megan Moreo of Spencerville, Ohio, in art. Al-Sammarraie’s project was titled “Teaching Methods and Principles of Early Childhood Education in Iraqi Classrooms in Baghdad and a Comparison to the American Classrooms in Ohio,” while Moreo’s project was “Zero Dollar Art Department: Creating Something out of Nothing.” 

Other awards went to Dailey (the Dr. Elizabeth Hostetler Outstanding Educator Award); Dominique (the Financial Executive International Award); and to:

  • Mallory Eicher of Berne, Ind., the John D. Unruh Award for a research paper in the humanities or social sciences. Eicher's paper was "The New Woman: Testing the Boundaries of Class Expectations and Gender Roles."
  • Taylor Humphreys of Bluffton, the Naomi Brenneman Prize for an outstanding research and/or interpretive essay on a literary topic. Her essay was titled "From 'Dracula' to 'World War Z': The Transition from Individual to Societal Fear."
  • Caleb Halfhill of Millersburg, Ohio, the CRC Press Chemistry Achievement Award.
  • Dylan Mathews of Arlington, Ohio, the John Kraft Medical School Award.
  • Patricia Latimer of Troy, Ohio, the Esta Lugibill Dye Award for Excellence in Chemical Science by a Woman.
  • Ashley Musgrave of Ada, Ohio, the Russell A. Lantz Choral Award.
  • Brittney Ries of Freeman, S.D., the Instrumental Music Award.
  • Jill Bornhorst of Fort Loramie, Ohio; Abigail Graber of Goshen, Ind.; Erika Lauf of Lima, Ohio; and Greg Seymour of Orrville, Ohio, the Art Show Juror's Awards of Distinction. Bornhorst also won the Boehr Award for Best of Juried Student Art Show.
  • Luz Varela of Goshen, Ind., the Lion and Lamb Art Award.


Concluding the program was recognition of 41 graduating members of Pi Lambda Theta National Education Honor Society; three graduating members of Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society; 53 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 27 C. Henry Smith Scholars—seven graduating, nine continuing and 11 newly elected scholars.