Ceremony honors outstanding achievement by CHBS students

President Hemphill address Dean's Scholars
President Hemphill address the 2017 Dean's Scholars and their family, friends and faculty at a ceremony on April 8.

Family, friends and faculty celebrated 12 outstanding seniors at the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) Dean’s Scholar award ceremony on April 8.

Every year, a single Dean’s Scholar is chosen from each CHBS program that best represents outstanding achievement in his or her discipline. Faculty members nominate students based not only on academic success, but also their commitment to the community and service to their field.

“The students we recognize and honor today are indeed shining examples of how we at Radford and the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences nurture success,” said President Brian O. Hemphill. “Every day, you immersed yourself in projects, research and scholarly activities. I am very proud of each of you.”

CHBS Dean Katherine Hawkins shared the same sentiment of the Dean’s Scholars.

“They’ve done so many amazing things – in the classroom and in the community,” Hawkins said. “They are an extraordinary representation of what it means to be a graduate from Radford University.”

The common themes of each Dean’s Scholar recipient included outstanding GPAs, involvement in professional and academic organizations, a commitment to research and a dedication to the community.

Dean's Scholar recipient Kaitlyn Julien is starting her career after graduation. She will be a consultant for the national sorority Zeta Tau Alpha. While at Radford, Julien found many ways to be involved in the community by working with Greek life and New Student Orientation.

“I love new students,” Julien said. “For me, being a senior, I get it - everything makes sense. I’ve been here for four years. Interacting with new students allowed me to pass on my knowledge as they joined the Radford family. They walk in so excited and ready to go. That was me. It reminds you and grounds you as to why you chose Radford.”

Photo of Dean’s Scholar recipients

Photo of the Dean’s Scholar recipients. Left to right: Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill, Andrew Cox, Heidi Warner, Colleen Howe, Saera Alley, Deborah Robinson, Rachel Downey, Kaitlyn Julien, Cara Myrtle, Kaleb Cahoon, Brice Mercer and CHBS Dean Katherine Hawkins. Not pictured: Alexis Goodwin and Joanna McGuirk.

For Carter Turner, chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and president of the Faculty Senate, the occasion is the pinnacle of the academic year.

“It honors the students for their hard work,” Turner said. “It is also important to us as faculty to see the development that has occurred over the years. It really does validate what we do and you start to realize the impact that you make on students’ lives is going to be long lasting. It is special for the parents to see their children honored – and rightfully so. They are the best of the best.”

Matthew Smith, director of the School of Communication, sees the Dean’s Scholar award as a mark of distinction earned for a devotion to the community and academics.

“This is what the university is about,” Smith said. “It is celebrating those who are committed to learning and the community. These students prioritize others over self.”  

During the ceremony, students were awarded a plaque and a medallion, which each student will wear as they lead the graduating seniors from their program during the commencement processional.

2017 Dean’s Scholar award recipients

  • Kaitlyn Julien, Communication
  • Alexis Goodwin, Media Studies
  • Colleen Howe, Criminal Justice
  • Rachel Downey, English
  • Saera Alley, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Brice Mercer, Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Deborah Robinson, Political Science
  • Heidi Warner, Psychology
  • Cara Myrtle, Sociology
  • Andrew Cox, Social Science
  • Kaleb Cahoon, History
  • Joanna McGuirk, Foreign Languages and Literatures

Apr 11, 2017
Max Esterhuizen