April 8, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped University of West Georgia students from engaging in innovative research, and the proof was on full display – albeit virtually – this Tuesday.

Group of students wearing masks checking in and picking up swag at UWG's Scholars' Day.

Scholars’ Day, which begins with the Undergraduate Research Conference and wraps with the Honors Convocation, is an annual event celebrating some of UWG’s brightest students. With topics ranging from “Preserving the Cherokee Heritage” to “Examination of Black Pre-Service Teacher Experiences” and “Fantasy Football Effects on NFL Popularity,” all majors from across all UWG colleges and schools were encouraged to present abstracts for presentation. 

“Scholars’ Day is such an important day here at UWG,” said Dr. Janet Donohoe, dean of the Honors College. “It gives us a chance as a community to not only recognize the wonderful work being done by students under the guidance of their dedicated faculty but also gives us the opportunity to celebrate the students and their accomplishments. I always come away from the day with an overwhelming sense of pride in our students who are doing amazing things.”

The conference consisted of concurrent poster sessions and oral/panel presentations that sometimes included more creative aspects such as visual arts or performance elements.

The Honors Convocation is a tradition going back more than 50 years that recognizes and celebrates students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. This year, a video honoring those scholars capped off Scholars’ Day with a video premiere on the UWG Honors College’s YouTube channel.

The following is a list of honors convocation award recipients:

Gordon Watson Awards
Art: Seanna White
English: Natalie King
Philosophy: Brant Entrekin
French: Angelica Carroll
German: Tegan Pendersen
Spanish: Jessica Sisson
Mass Communications: Brittany Shivers
Theatre Arts: Sabrina Robateau
Music: Rachel Breaux

Sally Pafford Memorial Scholarship Award
Benjamin Ryan Smith

H.O. Lovvorn Scholarship Award
Emily Tillman

Outstanding Student in
Communication Sciences and Disorders: Lauren Adams
Elementary Education: Kristina Kayden
Secondary Education: Kinley Stanford
Physical Education: Jealon Richey
Sport Management: Isabella Caricari
Health and Community Wellness: Ashley Kilgore

Health and Physical Education Excellence in Teaching
Kiesha Harper

Exemplary Leadership in Sport Management
Drew Swank

W. Malcolm Flanagan Award in Special Education
Michael Alcarez

Making a Difference - Outstanding Community Service Award
Timothy Vanjohnson Jr.

The James Emory Boyd Awards
Chemistry: James Harris
Geology: Leo Ouellette
Computer Science: John Chittam and Thomas Whaley
Physics: Daniel Byers

The Outstanding Senior in Biology
Jordan Mount

The American Institute of Chemists
Seth Bradley

The Carole E. Hill Award in Anthropology
Rebekah Rutledge

Award of Excellence in Physics/Astronomy Research
Mabel Stephenson

Waring Distinguished Scholar Award
Sarah Rogers

The Thomas Herndon Awards
Geography: Jessica Sinel
Criminology: Toluwani Olajide
Sociology: Hannah Peeler
Economics: Jake Layne Walbert, Nayanne Alves Medeiros and Lindsey Marie Dorson
History: Tinaye Gibbons
Political Science: Bryce Rawson
Psychology: Ally English

Marion Crider Awards
Alexander Kowalewski
April Lindon
Adrienne Gossett

Frank R. Hunsicker Award in Management
Taylor Yearta

College of Business Awards in Academic Excellence
Accounting: Hannah Williams
Finance: Jackie Colin
Marketing: Gina Tabone
Real Estate: Keisha Gilliam
Management Information Systems: Landon Bryant

Nursing Excellence Awards
BSN December 2020: Margaret Leptrone
BSN May 2021: Sydney Francis
RN to BSN: Ashly Moody

Outstanding Honors College Students
First-year: Nicholas Fisher
Sophomore: Courtney Vance
Junior: Andrew Smith
Senior: Danielle Gorman

Beheruz N. Sethna Undergraduate Research Award
Brant Entrekin

Outstanding Women's Studies Award
Cherith Moore

Academic Recognition Day Scholar
Sydney Francis

John J. Pershing Award (AAUP)
Sydney Francis


videography by Steven Broome, Miranda Daniel and Julia Mothersole