CHBS stars shine at Dean's Scholars ceremony


President Kyle with Dean's Scholar for Media Studies and Foreign Languages & Literature Taylor Newman and Taylor's mother Debbie Newman.

This weekend, the most exemplary students from Radford University's College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) were honored as Dean's Scholars.

The students and their professors, families and friends gathered at the CHBS Dean's Scholars awards ceremony and reception on Saturday, April 11 in the Hurlburt Student Center.

Each year, the college honors the most outstanding senior student from each of its academic departments. These honorees – the Dean's Scholars - are selected based on their scholarly achievements as well as their contributions to the campus and local community.

In short biographies of each winner, several qualities emerged as defining the members of the group: academic excellence, dedicated service to the college, leadership and humility.

Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle spoke to the honored students and guests. "What occurs on this day and in this room each spring is one of the most incredible statements I have ever witnessed about our university and is one of the highlights for me being president," she said.


From left: President Kyle, Candace Rachel Saunders-Grewe, English; Taylor S. Newman, Foreign Languages and Literatures & Media Studies; Cory A. Stidham, History; Ashley Hobbs, Criminal Justice; Madeleine Reda, Sociology; Elaine Boone, Interdisciplinary Studies; Jason Drinkwater, Philosophy and Religious Studies; Kristina M. Contreras, Communications; Tyler Lester, Political Science; Valandrea Dillard, Psychology; Kaleb E. Newago, Social Science; Dean Kate Hawkins, Dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences & Tod Burke, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences.

This year's CHBS Dean's Scholars and their fields of study are:

  • Cory Alexander Stidham, social science
  • Kaleb Eller Newago, history
  • Elaine M. Boone, interdisciplinary studies
  • Madeleine Reda, sociology
  • Ashley Hobbs, criminal justice
  • Candace Rachel Saunders-Grewe, English
  • Jason William Drinkwater, philosophy and religious studies
  • Tyler W. Lester, political science
  • Valandrea Dillard, psychology
  • Kristina M. Contreras, communication
  • Taylor Newman, media studies
  • Taylor Newman, foreign languages and literatures

Kyle reminded attendees that students like the CHBS Dean's Scholars are some of the best representatives of their peers and their university with their accomplishments. "We have a large, busy campus," she said. "There is always somewhere to go and something to do. Despite my schedule, there are particular events that, for me, truly capture who we are and what we are at Radford University."

CHBS Dean Katherine Hawkins was on hand to welcome students and guests to the celebration. With pride, she praised the scholars and reminded them of the responsibilities and opportunities ahead for them.

"There are no limits to what you can achieve if you just apply yourself," Hawkins said. "You can be a force for positive change in the lives around you."

The College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences serves more than 2,000 students and has more than 125 faculty members. The mission of the college is to provide its students with the individualized attention of a liberal arts college coupled with the resources and opportunities of a comprehensive university.

To further that mission, RU will commence construction on a planned 143,600 square-foot academic facility that will serve as the new home to the college. The building will provide state-of-the-art academic space consisting of classrooms, offices, laboratories and student/faculty collaborative space. Among the departments of the college that will be accommodated in the new building are: the Office of the Dean, the School of Communication, criminal justice, psychology, sociology, political science, English, foreign languages and literatures, history, and philosophy and religious studies.

Apr 14, 2015