The third annual presentation of the Dean's Award took place today at Oklahoma Christian University as students were honored for their achievements in the arts and sciences. Started by Dean of Arts and Sciences David Lowry, the three-year tradition has become his way of giving to the school and honoring students.
The Dean's Award recognizes students who have been outstanding in their concentrated studies.
The selection of students comes from the faculty within the department which is then given to Lowry.
"Every year since 2005, the Dean's Award has been given for outstanding scholarship in a department and each department selects outstanding individuals which is voted on by the faculty and then nominated to me," Lowry said.
The Dean's Award recipients are given a small reception in the Art Gallery at Oklahoma Christian where parents, friends and faculty meet to congratulate students on their accomplishments. Sometimes, there is a tie between two students in a department like the recipients in the art and design department.
Each department is given money from Lowry to recognize the individual receiving the award.
This year, 10 students received this award. The Art and Design Department selected both Jacob Berken and Whitney Parker. Berken was selected for his strong leadership and insights, and Parker was selected for her talents and gifts as an artist.
She also played a role in the creation of the Wishing Well, a non-profit organization that raises money for clean water wells in Africa.
In the biology department at Oklahoma Christian, Cassandra Tyler was selected for her achievements in both academics and athletics.
The chemistry and physics department chose Amelia Enix for serving as a Teaching Assistant in General Chemistry and co-authoring a toxicology informational article with Dr. Luttrell that is soon to be published.
The nursing department selected Christy Hallock for earning her second degree at Oklahoma Christian and working at the Oklahoma University Medical Center at the Children's Hospital.
In the history and political science department, Elaine Ekpo won the award for her outstanding honors throughout her time at Oklahoma Christian.
Ekpo spent the fall of 2007 at Oxford University in England and earned excellent marks.
In the Language and Literature Department, Paul Mitchell was chosen for being published twice this year and serving as the Writing Center Director.
The Communications Department chose Dacia Dodson for her work at the Daily Oklahoman and for acting as an outstanding individual in the department.
In Psychology and Family Studies, Mikiko Imura was selected for her courageous move from Japan to the United States to study and achieve an education. Unfortunately, Imura could not attend the ceremony today because she was attending the Psychology Society's Spring Research Conference.
In the music department, Adam Bruce was selected for his service as the President of the Symphonic Band for the past two years and being a member of the Oklahoma Christian Jazz Ensemble, the Sweat Band and the Percussion Ensemble.
The selected students from each department are representatives of what an Oklahoma Christian education is like. Each of these students is recognized by their department heads for their achievements during their time at Oklahoma Christian.
"The giving of the Dean's Award is a small way of saying we want to recognize you," Lowry said. "I put my own money into this and to me it's just one thing that I can do for OC and the OC students in order to try and recognize them for their outstanding achievements."