Students recognized for academic and student life achievements


The Newman University annual Academic Awards Banquet recognizes students for their hard work and accomplishments throughout the year.

It is typically a fancy night of award presentations, photos and speeches but due to social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic, students will be honored online. Newman University’s social media accounts will be highlighting awardees throughout the month of May and a full list of awardees along with descriptions can be found here.

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Rosemary Neidens said, “Even though there was no choice, I was truly disappointed that the Academic Awards banquet was not able to happen this year. Our students are great in so many different ways and it is inspiring to hear of the great things they are accomplishing. I look forward each year to seeing our students honored for their commitment and impact — they are truly transforming society.”

Students from schools and divisions across campus are recognized. Not only are the awards for academics but the Student Life office also presents awards to clubs, organizations and individuals who have done an outstanding job in their role throughout the year.

Campus Ministry Peer Ministers were honored with the 2020 University-Affiliated Organization of the Year award. Throughout the year, the group has grown more and more active on campus creating various activities and events to increase student engagement.

Campus Ministry Assistant Director Emily Simon was surprised and excited that her peer ministers had been chosen to receive the award.

“This award really is a testament to how hard our student ministers work,” she said. “From planning events to sharing their faith, these students have always made sure that the red couch in our office is the most popular spot on campus. We entrusted them with a lot this year and they made us proud. We couldn’t have been nearly as present on campus without their excitement, dedication and commitment to this organization.”

Newman University takes pride in honoring high-achieving students with awards they have worked hard to earn.

“I hope the students realize that we do honor them for their achievements regardless of whether we are at a banquet or not. That is what I hope they feel,” said Niedens.

The 2019-20 academic awardees are as follows:

  • Creative Achievement Award – Courtney Klaus
  • Fine Arts Achievement Award – Emily Larkin
  • Fine Arts Achievement Award – Murphy Obershaw
  • Humanities Achievement Award – Dakota Heard
  • Humanities Achievement Award – Marie O’Neal
  • Outstanding Accounting Student Award – Gabriella Dick
  • Outstanding Non-Traditional Student – Danette Caire
  • Outstanding BBA Student – Andreas Agrell
  • Outstanding IT/MIS Student Kristin Lau
  • Outstanding Intern Award –  Jacquelin Castillo
  • Outstanding Intern Award – Shannon Millar
  • Sr. Susan Reeves Award – Julieta Sandoval
  • Sr. Vivian Miller Elementary Award – Kaitlyn Stallard
  • Outstanding Master of Science in Education Award – Shelby Loganbill
  • Freshman History Prize – Presley Williams
  • Joyce Sullentrop Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in History – Michael VanDeest
  • Radiology Technology Janie Ward Clinical Excellence Award- Via Christi St. Joseph – Genesis Campos
  • Radiology Technology Janie Ward Clinical Excellence Award – Wesley Medical Center – Emily Harper
  • Radiology Technology Janie Ward Clinical Excellence Award – Via Christi St. Francis – Thomas Martin
  • Robbi and Larry Heck Outstanding Social Science Student – Abigail Riley
  • Excellence in Mastery of Social Work – Samantha Andrea Lott
  • Sister Margaret Knoeber Lower Division Chemistry Award – Madison Shay
  • Surendra P. Singh Outstanding Freshman in Biology Award – Presley Williams
  • Steve Palubicki Oustanding Sophomore or Junior in Biology Award – Diana Jumpa
  • Sister Claudine Axman Award in Biology – Claudius Ciecko
  • Outstanding Calculus Student Award – Elijah Klein
  • Outstanding Senior Chemistry Student – Koki Takemoto
  • Burbage Award – Lucas D. Farney
  • Distinguished BSN – Keelah Warden

Student Life Awards:

  • Student Employee of the Year – Karen Do
  • Student Organization Advisor of the Year – Sonja Bontrager
  • Student Leader of the Year – Stephania Lopez
  • Registered Student Organization of the Year – Newman University Medical Professions Club
  • University-Affiliated Student Organization of the Year – Campus Ministry Peer Ministers


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