WCU presents awards at Honors Day Convocation

Published 4:21 pm Monday, May 10, 2021

William Carey University held its 2021 Honors Day Convocation on April 28. The annual event recognizes students for outstanding academic and leadership achievements. In deference to COVID-19 safety protocols, WCU hosted the ceremony online.

“We are so proud of the students recognized in the Honors Day Convocation. We are also proud of the many students who have worked hard against huge obstacles to complete their degrees. We wish all of these the best as they move on to the next stage of their lives,” said WCU President Dr. Tommy King.

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To watch Honors Day, visit www.wmcarey.edu/2021-honors-day-convocation

Jenkins-Chastain Citizenship Award


Honors Day Convocation’s highest recognition is the Jenkins-Chastain Citizenship Award. Established in 1957, the Jenkins-Chastain Award is presented to two students who exemplify outstanding citizenship, scholarship, leadership and Christian service.

The 2021 Jenkins-Chastain recipients are Elizabeth Stewart and Jacob Plocher.

A resident of Decatur, Stewart was nominated by Dr. Patti Permenter of the School of Education, who praised her strong Christian character.

“In addition to having a strong work ethic and friendly disposition, Elizabeth spreads sunshine and makes her character known through her actions and words. She serves at a local church as an assistant with children’s ministries, and we also saw her passion for children in classroom field experiences,” Permenter said.

“Elizabeth not only represented the School of Education on the Student Government Association – she also served as its president. Although COVID-19 put a damper on many of our campus activities, Elizabeth served with grace and perseverance.”

Elizabeth Stewart is the daughter of Dr. Billy and Stephanie Stewart. After earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, she plans to pursue a career as a second-grade school teacher.

Jacob Plocher was nominated by Blake Hegstrom, head coach for WCU’s track and field and cross-country teams. Plocher has excelled in both athletics and academics as a recipient of the 2020 Halbrook Scholar-Athlete Award and member of several All-Academic Southern States Athletic Conference teams.

“Jacob has modeled servant leadership during his four years at Carey. He leads quietly by example, yet knows when to step up and speak when needed. He puts others first and has found ways to shine Christ in the community. He enjoys getting to work with younger kids,” Hegstrom said.

“He has shown consistency in who he is and what he stands for. His honesty and dedication to his teammates, schoolwork and running have set an example for everyone around him.”

A resident of Highland, Ill., Plocher is the son of Dennis and Donna Plocher. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, he will pursue a master’s degree and plans a career as a high school counselor.

More Honors Day awards

Student Leadership:

Student Leadership Award – Hannah Harrison

Baptist Student Union:

BSU President – Noah Cox

BSU Outstanding LeadTEAM Member – Rachel Moore

BSU Outstanding Servant Leader – Sarah Wedgeworth

Campus Activities:

SGA President – Elizabeth Stewart

Mr. William Carey University – Andrew Pearce

Miss William Carey University – Kristen Fennell

Faculty Member of the Year – Dr. Brandon Knight

Staff Member of the Year – Adria Piazza

Administrator of the Year – Dr. Tommy King

Cafeteria Worker of the Year – Terri Bellipanni

Security Worker of the Year – Charles Rainer

Language and Literature:

Smith-Holliman Outstanding Freshman Writer Award – Caleb Horton, Kayla Starr

Rebecca M. Jordan Outstanding English Major Award – Tiffany Brumfield, Dailynn Davis

J.V. McCrory Creative Writing Award for Short Fiction – Ainsley Richardson

J.V. McCrory Creative Writing Award for Poetry – Dailynn Davis, Gabrielle Hulin

J.V. McCrory Creative Writing Award for Creative Non-fiction – Julia Berry

Outstanding Spanish Student – Bryson Rogers


Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics Award – Mallory Thompson


Freshman Chemistry Award – Grace Hester

Senior Chemistry Award – Campbell Putnam

Rose West Memorial Endowment – Tiffany Tisdale

Rose G. West Pre-Medical Award – Catherine Jackson

Biological Sciences:

Freshman Biology Award – Alexis Hyatt

Senior Biology Award – Will Windham

Psychology and Counseling:

Outstanding Psychology Student – Jacob White

Biomedical Science:

Outstanding Master of Biomedical Science Award – Warda Mohiuddin

Nursing, Class of February 2021:

Nurse Crusader Award (Hattiesburg) – Abigail Powell

Nurse Crusader Award (Baton Rouge) – Stephanie Mairena

Nightingale Scholar Award (Hattiesburg) – Sheldyn Turner

Nightingale Scholar Award (Baton Rouge) – Jessica Boothe


Nursing, Class of August 2021:

Nurse Crusader Award (Hattiesburg) – Princess Greer

Nurse Crusader Award (Baton Rouge) – Ty Nims

Nightingale Scholar Award (Hattiesburg) – Tyler Lewis

Nightingale Scholar Award (Baton Rouge) – Nicole Gollop


Outstanding Elementary Education Teacher Candidate – Keely Gates

Outstanding Secondary Education Teacher Candidate – Dailynn Davis

Business Administration:

Outstanding Finance Student – Charles Anthony Bullock

Outstanding Accounting Student – Kaitlyn Gory

Outstanding Cross-Cultural Business Management Student – Zoe Miller


James O. Allen Outstanding Music Major – Branson Blanton

Marilyn R. Swingle Outstanding Music Major – Megan Fordham, Kameren Batty

Mary Ann Johnston Griffith Undergraduate Elementary Music Award – Anna Grace Thomas

Anne Folsom Excellence in Middle School Choral Music Award – Branson Blanton

Phyllis J. Merritt Excellence in High School Choral Music Award – Kyra De Oliveira

Outstanding Student Teacher in Instrumental Music – Cody Hunter

Senior Pin for Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity – Derek Douglas

Music Therapy Commitment and Dedication Award – Makayla Brady


Joe Roberts Memorial Forensics Society Award – Lauren Hand

Distinguished Speaker Award – Julia “Galia” Mixon

Criminal Justice:

Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Award – Matthew Riascos

Church and Missions:

  1. E. Byrd Memorial Award – Bryson Rogers

The Ken Rhodes Award – Ainsley Richardson

Alumni Relations:

Alumni Association School Spirit Award – Ashley Smith