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Ouachita Stories


OBU’s honors scholarship recipients announced

April 30, 2009 - Genevieve Horton

Ouachita Baptist University's Carl Goodson Honors Program recently announced the 2009 Honors Scholarship Awards.

Sophomore and junior honors students are eligible to apply for Honors Council Scholarships. Junior honors students can apply for the Carl Goodson and Elrod Scholarships, which are used toward travel and projects for their senior research through the honors program.

"None of these scholarships go toward an honors student's general tuition; instead, they afford opportunities for travel and off-campus projects, as well as some on-campus projects that cannot be completed through regular curriculum," explained Dr. Amy Sonheim, director of the Carl Goodson Honors Program.

"When a student turns in a scholarship proposal, the Honors Council, comprised of faculty representatives from the seven schools at Ouachita, judges it for explaining the project, compiling an appropriate bibliography, outlining a time line and including an itemized budget," Sonheim added. "The council usually studies the proposals in February and students know within a week if they qualify for funding and how much of their proposed budget will be awarded."

Phillip Williamson was named Ben Elrod Scholar, the most prestigious of the Honors Scholarship Awards. Williamson, son of Gus and Pearlette Williamson, is a Christian theology, political science, and philosophy triple major from Batesville, Ark. He completed a project titled "Core State and Caliphate: Turkey's Role in the Class of Civilizations." This project addresses the world's division among seven politico-cultural blocs with civilizations centering around one or more core states which gives an effect of order and peace. "My thesis will explore Turkey's potential to emerge as a core state for Islam, as well as possible obstacles to that end and the effects of a unified Muslim world," Williamson said.

Heather Dawn Baker, daughter of Robby and Jacque Camp and Johnny Baker, is a musical theater major from Cleburne, Texas. She received an Honors Council scholarship for "A Closer Look to an Interesting Approach to Acting." "I will travel to New York and study the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre for a six-week intensive workshop," Baker said. She will focus on Sanford Miesner's technique of acting to use later in her final thesis project.

Haley Barron, daughter of Alan and Christin Barron, is a Christian studies major from Flower Mound, Texas. She received an Honors Council scholarship for the project "Firsthand Look at Serving, Discipleship, Debriefing and Reentry on Short-Term Mission Trips." The scholarship will fund a short-term mission trip in which Barron will work within a program that includes reading biographies, journaling, memorizing Scripture, service and personal discipleship. "I look forward to the experiences and the information that I gain there to compile a curriculum or program that can be used to train others," Barron said.

Stephanie Beck, daughter of Steven and Carolyn Beck, is a French and Russian major from Sheridan, Ark. She was awarded an Honors Council scholarship for "The Connection Between Christianity and Cathedrals in Modern-Day Paris, France." Beck seeks, through the project, to clarify the relationship between religious environments in Paris and cathedrals in the city. "From my personal observations and interviews throughout the course of my research in Paris," Beck said, "I wish to compare, qualify and/or supplement previous research I have conducted concerning Christianity in France."

Megan Gentry, daughter of Raymon and Sheila Gentry, is an English major from Little Rock, Ark. She was awarded an Honors Council scholarship for her work on the project, "Medieval Women in Industry."

Kathryn Merrill, daughter of Randall and Mary Merrill, a communication science and disorders major from Keller, Texas, and J.L. West, son of Jeff and LeaAnn West, a mass communications major from Bolivar, Mo., were awarded an Honors Council scholarship for their collaborative work, "A Part of Society: A Documentary on Autism's Effects on Community." "A documentary will be created with the purpose of improving relationships between members of the autistic community and the community at large by informing the public about autism and encouraging increased interaction with this specific population," Merrill said.

Adam Wheat, son of Sam and Patti Wheat, is a mass communications major from Ruston, La. He received the Carl Goodson Scholarship for his work on "A Field Study of the Effects of an Etiquette and Entertaining Course on College Students." Wheat said he has always been interested in etiquette and came up with the idea after reading many books on the subject, "I became interested in the declining attitude of respect among my own generation," Wheat said. "I passionately believe in the importance of an etiquette and entertaining course to complete a fully liberal arts education. However, my topic has never been broached here before and has received criticism of not being academic, so I was elated to find that those awarding the Carl Goodson honors scholarship supported my vision and research."

By Genevieve Horton



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