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Ouachita Stories


Ouachita honors student achievements in 2020 Virtual Academic Awards

Cone-Bottoms HallMay 27, 2020 - Rachel Gaddis
Maggie Donnell

Maggie Donnell

Ouachita Baptist University recently recognized students for outstanding academic, leadership and civic achievements during the 2019-2020 academic year with its annual Academic Awards honors.

In lieu of its annual banquet held each spring, Ouachita recognized students online through social media posts and videos. Dr. Stan Poole, Ouachita’s vice president for academic affairs, as well as deans and department chairs from Ouachita’s academic schools prepared videos to personally recognize and congratulate students. The award videos can be viewed online at obu.edu/virtualacademicawards.

Maggie Donnell, a senior social justice studies and psychology double major from Rogers, Ark., was awarded Ouachita’s highest academic honors as the university’s Overall Academic Achiever. Donnell also earned top academic achiever in the Sutton School of Social Sciences and was recognized as a Carl Goodson Honors Program Blue Ribbon Finisher.

Ouachita’s Senior Outstanding Man is Caleb Byrd, a communications & media/integrated communications, political science and Spanish triple major from Little Rock, Ark. Ouachita’s Senior Outstanding Woman is Addy Goodman, a communications & media/communications studies and political science double major from Arkadelphia, Ark. The Senior Outstanding Man and Woman are selected by Ouachita’s faculty and staff. Goodman also was recognized as a Carl Goodson Honors Program Blue Ribbon Finisher.

Other top academic achievers in each school include:

Caleb Byrd

Caleb Byrd

  • Hickingbotham School of Business – Katie Camp, a senior accounting and finance double major from Plano, Texas 
  • Pruet School of Christian Studies – Seigen Nichols, a senior Christian studies/Christian ministry and business administration/entrepreneurship double major from Forest Hill, La.
  • Huckabee School of Education – Savannah Hart, a senior kinesiology & leisure studies/pre-professional studies major from Hartman, Ark.
  • School of Fine Arts – Lesley Howard, a senior studio art and psychology double major from Lavon, Texas
  • School of Humanities – Abby Morse, a senior English major from Georgetown, Texas
  • Patterson School of Natural Sciences – Sheldon McCown, a senior biology major from Nacogdoches, Texas

The Mrs. J.R. Grant Endowed Awards for freshman and senior female students were given to Vanessa Vives and Madison Burch. Vives is an elementary education major from Bogota, Colombia, and Burch is a Christian studies/Christian ministry major from Benton, La.

The Mrs. Betty Oliver Grant Endowed Awards for sophomore and junior female students went to Kristen Holeyfield and Stephany Quintero. Holeyfield is a biology major from Searcy, Ark., and Quintero is an accounting and finance double major from Arkadelphia, Ark.

The Rotary Club Service-Above-Self Award was presented to Johnathan Miles, a physics major from Arkadelphia, Ark.

Addy Goodman

Addy Goodman

Individuals honored by the Carl Goodson Honors Program and Ouachita’s seven academic schools include:


  • Ben Elrod Scholar: João Rodrigues
  • Carl Goodson Scholar: Kayla Churchwell
  • Honors Council Scholar: Hannah Perkins and Tray Armstrong
  • Blue Ribbon Finishers: Hayden Bowman, Shelby Bradley, Olivia Brown, Callie Anna Dunlap, Margaret Donnell, Tucker Douglass, Savannah Edwards, Hannah Gallagher, Addy Goodman, Megan Harris, Lesley Howard, Kathryn Knight, Abby Leal, Ruthie Lenards, Sheldon McCown, Emily McGee, Mattie Mae Motl, Abigail Morse, Sara Neumann, Emily Pankiewicz, Rylee Roberts, Brooke Sanderford, Claire Seale, Catherine Shirley, Rachel Smith, Savannah Stacks, Ashly Stracener, Allison Studdard, Selby Tucker, Meagan Woodard, Paige Wright and Cammie York.
  • Most Valuable Professors: Dr. Nancy Hardman, the Edna and Freda Linn Professor of Communication Sciences and Pre-Medical Studies; Dr. Blake Johnson, assistant professor of biology; and Dr. Amy Sonheim, professor of English.



  • Lera Kelly Outstanding Senior in Business Administration Award: Seigen Nichols, Jacob Shelton
  • Margaret Wright Outstanding Senior in Accounting Award: Thomas Worley
  • Eddie Ary Outstanding Senior in Finance Award: Michael Ward
  • Johnny Heflin Excellence in Leadership & Academics Award: Selby Tucker
  • Outstanding Business Scholar Athlete: Madison Brittain, Brandon Matros



  • Outstanding Student in Biblical Studies: Cody Cagle
  • Outstanding Student in Christian Ministries: Seigen Nichols
  • Outstanding Student in Christian Missions: Elise Nelson
  • Don Harbuck Award for Excellence in Philosophy: Tucker Douglass
  • Preben Vang Award for Christian Theological Studies: Taylor Fielder
  • Outstanding Student in Community and Family Services: Kara DeLaune
  • Elementary Hebrew Award: Felicity Johnson
  • Robert Stagg New Testament Greek Award: Kinnon Dodson



  • Alice Searcy Award: Hope Waid
  • Outstanding Current Education Sophomores: Vanessa Vives (Elementary), Erin Strautman (Secondary), Lexi Huse (K-12)
  • Sylvia Gates Webb Award: Breanna Parker
  • Maude Wright Memorial Award: Brittany Burr
  • Phi Delta Kappa Teachers in Training: Lexis Miller (Elementary), Caroline Sweet (Secondary), Emma Pitts (K-12)
  • Charles Chambliss Distinguished Educator Award: Natalie Jackson, Rachel Patterson 
  • Bob Gravett Outstanding Kinesiology & Leisure Studies Teaching Award: Hunter Groom
  • Tona Wright Outstanding Kinesiology & Leisure Studies Fitness Award: Allie Freeman
  • Outstanding Kinesiology & Leisure Studies Recreation and Sports Administration Award: Jackson Nichols
  • Outstanding Kinesiology & Leisure Studies Pre-Professional Studies Award: Garrett Pearson, Savannah Hart



  • Francie Phelan Outstanding Senior – Graphic Design: Abby Leal
  • Francie Phelan Outstanding Senior – Studio Art: Lesley Howard
  • Raybon-Berry Outstanding Freshman Art and Design Major: Saba Esho, Elizabeth Hill
  • Russell Shad Memorial Art Award for Outstanding Junior: Maddie Bayer, Jenna Whitlow
  • Theatre Arts Outstanding Student Award – Freshman: LilyKay Feimster
  • Theatre Arts Outstanding Student Award – Junior: Danielle Hall
  • Alpha Psi Omega Senior Award: Dylan Blackwood, Emily Johnson
  • Alpha Psi Omega Outstanding Service: Meagan Woodard
  • Sigma Alpha Iota College Honor Award: Paige Bagley
  • Sigma Alpha Iota Scholarship Award: Paige Bagley
  • The Presser Scholar: Holli Barger
  • Rachel Fuller Scholarship: Karlee Sanders
  • James Harrison Scholarship: Allan Schroeder
  • Friends of Fine Arts Scholar – Art: Tehya Hinkson
  • Friends of Fine Arts Scholar – Instrumental: Cross Brandon
  • Friends of Fine Arts Scholar – Piano: Anna Weyenberg
  • Friends of Fine Arts Scholar – Theatre: Kinsey Potts
  • Friends of Fine Arts Scholar – Voice: Karlee Sanders



  • Outstanding Senior English Major: Abby Morse, Daryn McMinn
  • Outstanding Junior Louise Searcy Bennett Scholarship Award: Emily Koonce
  • Outstanding Sophomore Herman Sandford Scholarship Award: Cora Saddler
  • Outstanding Freshman in English: Austin Crook
  • The Sharpest Speer Award: Paige Write
  • Outstanding Freshman Spanish Major: Hannah Rossell
  • Outstanding Sophomore Spanish Major: Cora Saddler
  • Outstanding Junior Spanish Major: Kara DeLaune
  • Outstanding Senior Spanish Major: Ashlynn Walton
  • El Tigre Award: Aubrey Rogers
  • Outstanding Student in Latin: Tucker Douglass
  • Outstanding Student in German: Anna Weyenberg
  • Bill & Vera Downs Outstanding Sophomore Mass Communications Student Award: Matthew Branch
  • Matt Turner Outstanding Junior Mass Communications Major Award: Madeline Martin
  • William D. Downs Outstanding Mass Communications Graduate Award: Ethan Dial, Josh Salim
  • Roy Buckelew Outstanding Speech Major Award: Stone Boshears
  • Publications Awards: Brooke Woessner (Ouachitonian), Ethan Dial (Signal), Justin Trostle and Danielle Sourber (Photo Lab), Ashton Spence (Video Production)



  • Outstanding Freshman Biology Award: Dylan Clayton
  • Richard H. Brown Biology Award: Cade Haynie
  • Outstanding Senior in Biology Award: Sheldon McCown, Michael Neathery
  • Outstanding Dietetics & Nutrition Award: Kimberly Reid
  • Freshman Chemistry Award: Marly Welborn, Jade Dorman
  • Ethel & Nell Mondy and E.A. Provine Scholar: Kayla Churchwell
  • Outstanding Graduate in Chemistry: Alex Podguzov
  • Harvey Research Award: Tiffany Koba
  • Rowland Memorial Award, Outstanding Senior – Mathematics Education: Ashlynn Walton
  • Rowland Memorial Award, Outstanding Senior – Physics: Jake Morris
  • Rowland Memorial Award, Outstanding Senior – Computer Science: Caleb Webb
  • Rowland Memorial Award, Academic Excellence – Mathematics and Computer Science: Caleb Harmon, Sarah Freeze
  • Rowland Memorial Award, Academic Excellence – Math Education: Katie Harmon
  • Rowland Memorial Award, Academic Excellence – Physics: Maddie Young
  • Mathematics Ambassador Award: Betsy Patterson
  • Compassionate Scientist Award: Brooke Sanderford



  • Everett Slavens Award to Outstanding Sophomore: Brianna Taylor
  • Lavell Cole Award to Outstanding Future Teacher: Hannah Bridge
  • Fran Coulter Award to Outstanding Junior: Tucker Douglass
  • C. Daily Award to Outstanding Senior: Zach Kelley
  • Phi Alpha Theta Award for Outstanding Research Paper: Nicholas Herrington
  • Bob Riley Outstanding Graduate in Political Science Award: Selby Tucker
  • Psychology Faculty Award: Josie Collins, Victoria Martin
  • Zeitgeist Award: Lila Buchanan, Stephanie McCown
  • Weldon Vogt Outstanding Psychology Senior Award: Justin McGee, Leslie Howard
  • Outstanding Junior Sociology Award: Holly Ritchie
  • Outstanding Graduating Senior Sociology Award: Naya Young
  • Justice Seeker: Jamie Bunting

For more information, contact Missy Lewis at [email protected] or (870) 245-5196. 



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