Awards Convocation Highlights Student Achievements

Aug 26, 2011
Rudi Kiefer

Brenau University celebrated academic and personal achievements of its best and brightest Thursday, April 22, during the annual spring honors convocation at historic Pearce Auditorium on the Gainesville campus.

With faculty and administrators in full academic regalia and all the pomp and circumstance of a full-blown commencement exercise, honorees received everything from certificates of membership to Greek-lettered honor societies to cash awards to a “full ride” scholarship for next year and a unique piece of jewelry named in honor of an earlier Women’s College graduate.

Autumn Lamont, a junior biology major from Cartersville, Ga., was named the senior Baxter-Bryan Scholar for the 2010-11 academic year, the university’s top academic award. The recipient, selected from the top five students of the residential Women’s College in Gainesville after a rigorous application process involving faculty, staff, trustees and others, will receive full scholarship, including tuition, books, fees and room and board, for her senior year – about a $30,000 value. Lamont has a 3.96 grade point average for her three years at Brenau and, like prior Baxter-Bryan scholars, is engaged in campus activities and community service.

Farrah Nauz Rahimpour, a senior psychology major from Athens, Ga., received the Mildred Margaret Sullivan Award, which honors students for their service to the university and the community. The award is named for which was named for a 19th Century southern humanitarian who assisted prisoners during the Civil War and in its aftermath worked aggressively for reconciliation between the states. In addition to her membership in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Rahimpour has spent four years working as a volunteer with Gateway House, the shelter for battered women in Gainesville, and she has also worked as an intern in the Hall County district attorney’s program to support victims and witnesses in cases involving serious crimes Rahimpour also received the Outstanding Psychology Student award at the convocation.

Awards1 Awards2 Awards3
Crampton Lamont Rahimpour

The” jewelry” award, the Heather Mercer Ring, is regarded as the university’s highest non-academic honor for students. This year’s recipient is Bertinarea Elaine Crampton, a theater design and technology major from Kingsland, Ga. According to Scott Briell, Brenau senior vice president for student service, Crampton is highly regarded as “a role model who always finds time to help those who need help, no matter what.” The pearl-centered Shaw ring was created in 1997 and donated each year since the family of 1991 Women’s College graduate Heather Mercer Shaw, a Gainesville, Ga., native who now lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The recipient, a graduating senior selected in deliberations of faculty, staff and students, must embody honesty, courtesy, respectability and all other qualities reflected by “The Brenau Ideal,” the mantra written by an early 20th century president of Brenau and inscribed in a stone marker on the front lawn of the Gainesville campus.

Also the university gave one of its top English awards to a student who has not yet graduated from high school: Katie Dugan of Cumming, a Brenau Academy senior who is enrolled in the prep school’s “Early College” program. She is also a top student in the university-level biology classes that she has been taking. She will receive an Associate of Arts Degree when she gets her high school diploma on May 22.

Following is a list of all others who received awards and citations during the Brenau convocation:

  • Audra Cochran, a senior from Stockbridge, Ga., Baxter-Bryan nominee.
  • Whitney Cochran, a junior from Cumming, Ga., Baxter-Bryan nominee.
  • Elizabeth Wagner, a junior from Jefferson, Ga., Baxter-Bryan nominee.
  • Sarah Jane Hooks, a senior from Dublin, Ga., Baxter-Bryan nominee.
  • Samantha Jo Jones, a senior from Auburn, Ga., Business Administration Leadership Award.
  • Brigid Hook, a senior from Gainesville, Ga., Outstanding Business Administration Graduate.
  • Kristen Reed, a junior from Gainesville, Ga., Massey Journalism Scholarship.
  • Shanna Tatum, a junior from Fayetteville, Ga., Jacobs Scholarship.
  • Victoria Brisendine, a senior from Martinez, Ga., Outstanding Future Educator Award.
  • Lori Falcon, a senior from Marietta, Ga., Senior Award for Interior Design BFA Award.
  • Aubrey Silva Vinke, a senior from Dacula, Ga., Senior Award for Studio Art.
  • Amanda Jones, a senior from Gainesville, Ga., Senior Award for Graphic Design.
  • Toryn Dawkins, a senior from Lawrenceville, Ga., Senior Award for Arts Management.
  • Sophie West, a senior from LaGrange, Ga., Senior Award for Fashion Merchandising.
  • Yvonne Perry, a senior from Grovetown, Ga., Senior Award for Art Education.
  • Marie-Clare Willis, a senior from Lauderhill, Fla., Senior Award for Fashion Design.
  • Gabrielle Moss, a senior from Valrico, Fla., Senior Award for Fashion Design.
  • Kristie Carlson, a senior from Gainesville, Ga., Senior Award for Fashion Design.
  • Amanda Evans, a junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., Carol Smiarowski Memorial Dance Scholarship.
  • Nayhenne Rosa, a freshman from Lilburn, Ga., Outstanding Freshman in Dance.
  • Stefanie Lehmann, a freshman from St. Petersburg, Fla., Outstanding Freshman Theatre Major.
  • Will Illg, a senior from Cumming, Ga., Outstanding Senior Theatre Award.
  • Beth Tipton, a senior from Gainesville, Ga., Outstanding Graduate in Humanities.
  • Andrada Pop, a freshman from Buford, Ga., First-year Writing Award.
  • Caitlin Kelly, a senior from Gainesville, Ga., Outstanding Graduating Senior in English.
  • Mercy Changwesha, a senior from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Conflict Resolution and Legal Studies Award.
  • Leigha Olivia Roberts, a senior from Decatur, Ga., Health Science Award (Roberts, who is transitioning from the U.S. Army to graduate school in public health at Virginia State University, also received this week a $1,000 Wind Foundation for Women scholarship, presented in Atlanta at the 14th Annual “Possible Women” National Leadership Conference
  • Brittney Crews, a sophomore from Gainesville, Ga., Martha Hatcher Academic Achievement.
  • Suzanne Harris, a sophomore from Lawrenceville, Ga., Kitty Brothers Award.
  • Kelsey Aley, a junior from Tallahassee, Fla., Nelly Fruytier Environmental Science Award.
  • Samina Mirza, a junior from Atlanta, Ga., Margaret Whalen Warren Featherbone Foundation Scholarship.
  • Julie Singleton, a senior from Conyers, Ga., Robin Smith Dudley Scholarship.
  • Lilian Bonilla, a junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., Robin Smith Dudley Scholarship.
  • Hoang Le, a junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., Jane and Rafe Banks Scholarship.
  • Hoang Le, a junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., Steven W. Newell Award.
  • Catherine Norton, a junior from Gainesville, Ga., Carter Estes Award.
  • Amanda Cleghorne, a junior from Cumming, Ga., Mary Q. Bear Award.
  • Morgan Smith, a senior from Bogart, Ga., Taylor-Miller Occupational Therapy Award.
  • Jamie Irish, Atlanta, Outstanding Occupational Therapy Graduate Student.
  • Kyleigh Wright, a senior from Elkin, N.C., academic Excellence in Psychology.
  • Alison Sellers, a sophomore from Tallahassee, Fla., HGH Sally Ann Scott Scholarship.
  • Kennedy Washburn, a sophomore from Cumming, Ga., Sustainability Logo Design Award.
  • Norma Mondragon, a senior from Sugar Hill, Ga., Outstanding Undergrad Student of Year Award – Business Administration.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Don Cross, U.S. Navy, Kingsland, Ga., Outstanding Graduate Award – Business Administration.

The university also inducted members into various national honor societies, including Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, as well as various organizations connected with academic disciplines, including Pi Theta Epsilon (occupational therapy), Lambda Pi Eta (mass communication), Kappa Pi (art), Sigma Delta Chi (English), Sigma Tau Delta (journalism), Psi Chi (psychology), Sigma Theta Tau (nursing), Alpha Psi Omega (theater), Kappa Delta Pi (education) and Nu Delta Alpha (dance).

Originally published on 4/30/10