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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

72nd Honors Convocation Includes Taylor Medals, Outstanding Teacher Award


April 10, 2015

“The University of Mississippi provides for a range of opportunities for all our students, and the ones being honored today have taken full advantage of the university’s resources. Going forward, our charge to you is to take these experiences and use them to help shape a better state, nation and world.”—CHANCELLOR DANIEL W. JONES

Outstanding students from all academic disciplines and the campuswide top teacher were recognized Thursday, April 9 at the University of Mississippi 72nd annual Honors Day Convocation at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Seventy-two students were presented with Marcus Elvis Taylor Memorial Medals in recognition for “meritorious scholarship and deportment,” the university’s highest academic award, and faculty member Robert B. Brown, professor of political science, received the Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award.

Guest speaker for the event was the 2014 Hood Award recipient, Ann Fisher-Wirth, professor of English, director of the Environmental Studies minor.

The Taylor Medals, established in 1904, are the university’s highest academic award and recognize no more than 1 percent of the student body each year. The Hood Award was first given in 1966 and allows faculty, staff, students and alumni to nominate a deserving professor for superior classroom teaching.

Around 170 students were inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, the university’s highest academic honor across all disciplines. The speaker was David Rock, dean of the School of Education and professor of curriculum and instruction.

Sixty-eight students were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the university’s highest academic honor in the liberal arts. Ted Ownby, director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and professor of history, spoke at the ceremony.

Awards in the College of Liberal Arts


Outstanding Studio Art Student Award

Seth Michael Thibodaux

Outstanding Art History Student Award

Dason Sebastian Pettit

Student Art Association Award

Hunter Rose Johnson

Roy Frank Finger Memorial Award

Tiffany Lisa Lyn Priewe

Student Art Association David Rorie Award

Jennifer Brooke Langford

Student Art Association Lottie Morland Award

Bryan Scott Horn


Outstanding Graduating Chemistry Scholar

Ryan Franklin Sessums


Eta Sigma Phi Award for Excellence in Advanced Greek

Donald Ernest Hatcher

Eta Sigma Phi Award for Excellence in Advanced Latin

Jordan Alanie Bauer


Outstanding Liberal Arts Economics Student Award

Kathryn Elsa James
Kevin Gordon Scott


Auvergne Williams Award for Outstanding Senior History Major

Nathan Michael Runnels

Larry D. Givens Award for Outstanding Junior History Major

Michael Calhoun Wilkerson


Alfred Hume Award for Outstanding Senior

Neetish Ballabh Pradhan


Estella G. Hefley Award

Sydney Faith Baer

T.J. Ray Award in Linguistics

Sabrina Ann Kosloske

Arabic Language Award

Sailer Elizabeth Perkins

Chinese Language Award

Kevin Gordon Scott

French Language Award

Jillian Leah Cowart

German Language Award

Savannah Winn Coleman

Italian Language Award

Kristin Nicole Leaptrott

Japanese Language Award

Zhen Guo

Korean Language Award

Kylan Grace Toohey

Portuguese Language Award

Maia Cotelo

Russian Language Award

Annelise Kay Albert

Spanish Language Award

Mary Virginia Martin


Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Music

Benjamin Tate Bickley

Outstanding Graduate Student in Music

Katri Ann Gilbert


James and Cecelia Lawhead Philosophy Award

Haley Cherise Clark

Joel and Marion Blass Religious Studies Award

Hannah Leigh Switzer


Howerton-Fortenberry Award in the Study of Government

Michelle Lynn Wier

Senator’s Award for Excellence in the Study of Politics

Anna Lee Whisenant

Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Study of Politics

Katherine Kent Farese

Pi Sigma Alpha Award

Michelle Lynn Wier

Howard H. Stone Memorial Award

Joshua Quinn Tucker


John and Lillian Wolfe Graduate Award for Excellence

Kelly Reed Peck


Julien Tatum Award for Outstanding Senior in Sociology

Matthew Trent Fernandez
Joshua Shane Horton

Larry W. DeBord Award for Outstanding Sociology Graduate Student

Laura Elizabeth Renahe Bruster

Frances W. James Award for Outstanding Senior in Anthropology

Timothy Michael Harris


Outstanding Theatre Arts Student Award

Laura Kathryn Lindsay


Cynthia Krieser Award for Outstanding Freshman Writing

Kelsey Regan Lock

Awards in the Graduate School


Graduate Achievement Award in Art and Art History

Stacey Lynn Rathert

Graduate Achievement Award in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Thomas Lucious Ellington

Graduate Achievement Award in Mathematics

Janet Nakarmi

Graduate Achievement Award in Modern Languages

Kate Caroline Batson

Graduate Achievement Award in Psychology

Kelly Reed Peck

Graduate Achievement Award in Sociology and Anthropology

Laura Elizabeth Renahe Bruster