Awards and honors for Sewanee students and faculty

phi beta kappa new members

The spring season brings announcements of awards, honors and scholarships for Sewanee students and faculty members. Check back for updates as additional awards are announced. 

Student awards and honors

Gabby Valentine, C’17, has been named a recipient of the 2016 Newman Civic Fellows Award. The award honors undergraduate and graduate students who have taken action in pursuit of long-term social change and who engage and inspire others in their communities. Valentine was nominated by Vice-Chancellor John McCardell. A Bonner Leader, Valentine works closely with two organizations, Otey Parish Community Action Committee (CAC) and the University’s Food with Friends program.

Two Sewanee students have received Fulbright awards. Maggie Bliss, C’16, has received a Fulbright Research Grant for study in Germany in 2016-17. Her research will focus on the field of animal personality. Kathryn Willgus, an English and Russian major, will have an English Teaching Assistantship at a university in Russia. This marks the seventh year in a row that Sewanee's Russian Department has sent one of its students to study or teach in Russia with a Fulbright Scholarship.  

Fulbright participants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential and are given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States. It operates in more than 155 countries worldwide, with alumni that include heads of state, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers.

Lauren Lyons, a history and philosophy double-major, has been awarded a Watson Fellowship for 2016-17. The Watson Fellowships offer college graduates a year of independent exploration and travel outside the United States. Lyons proposed a project to engage with the unique prison education systems in Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, imagining the ideal configuration of prison education programs and exploring the potential of philosophical education within them. 

Four Sewanee students have been awarded Beecken Scholarships for summer “bridge” programs at some of the nation’s premier business schools. This year’s recipients are:  

  • Sharron Bockman, C’18, international and global studies major
  • George Bukawyn, C’17, economics major
  • Huguette Ciza, C’17, economics major
  • Jan DeLozier, C’16, art history and women's and gender studies double-major

Seven members of the Class of 2018 have been named Carey Fellows. The Carey Fellows program is the honors track for business minors at Sewanee. The new Carey Fellows are: Simba Chakanyuka, Jackie Culver, Callie Holloway, Addison Jones, David Losson, Caroline Owens, and Hendricks Stowe.

Thirteen Sewanee seniors were initiated into Phi Beta Kappa earlier this semester, joining the 11 members of the class of 2016 who were initiated in the fall. Following the May 7 Baccalaureate service, 20 additional members of the Class of 2016 were initiatied into Phi Beta Kappa. Congratulations to Sewanee’s newest members: Laurel Elise Anderson, Laura Corwin Brock, Sally Louise Burgess, Ethan Fredrick Burns, Hailey Miranda Caldwell, Jack Matson Conrad, Zachary Culver Cope, Barton Burns Davies, Jan Stallings DeLozier, Alexander Emery Hill, Brooke Nicole Irvine, William Traill Jackson Jenkins, Taylor Norman Jetmundsen, Ansley Caroline McDurmon, Margaret Christine McGuire, Migien Mocke, Alysse McConnico Schultheis, Yujie Wang, Taylor Jo Yost, and Yiruo Zhang.

Among the many awards announced during Commencement were the Southern Athletic Association’s Man and Woman of the Year Awards, given to the male and female seniors from the conference who best exemplify traits of leadership, character, and both athletic and academic success. This year both awards went to Sewanee students, with Emily Javadi (biology major, golf) named SAA Woman of the Year, and Eric Roddy (English and Spanish major, tennis) named SAA Man of the Year. 

Faculty and staff awards and honors

Kevin Wilson honored as 2017 Hobson Prize recipient at Chowan University: Author Kevin Wilson, assistant professor of English, is the recipient of the 2017 Mary Frances Hobson Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Arts and Letters. The Hobson Prize Selection Committee cited Wilson’s Tunneling to the Center of the Earth and The Family Fang as accomplishments to be celebrated.

Among the awards and honors announced at Commencement were fellowships for two members of the faculty. Elise Kikis, assistant professor of biology, and Matthew Mitchell, assistant professor of history, were awarded the Kennedy Endowed Faculty Fellowship, intended to support research or professional development for talented early-career faculty.