Morningside College students recognized at honors convocation

April 12, 2019, in Latest News

Awards for student achievement, Faculty Person of the Year, and other awards were presented recently during the annual Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Honors Convocation at Morningside College.

ODK is a national leadership honor society that recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character.

Dr. Brian McFarland, associate professor of chemistry and department head for natural and mathematical sciences, was selected by the students in ODK to receive the Dr. Bruce Forbes Faculty Person of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions to Morningside and its students. McFarland has been on the faculty at Morningside since 2013.

Jerry Meisner, assistant director of safety and security, received the Staff Member of the Year Award. He has worked at the college since 2016.

The Tommeraasen Award of Excellence for the outstanding campus organization went to Active Minds.

The Student Government Event of the Year was the Let’s Go to College Day for fifth graders that was organized by the Morningside College chapter of the Iowa State Education Association.

The ODK Freshman of the Year was awarded to Mackenzie Bennett of Ankeny, Iowa. This award is given annually to a freshman who has shown great leadership and participation in his or her first year on campus.

The ODK Sophomore Cup was awarded to Kali Hill of Hot Springs, S.D., and Mari Pizzini of Helena, Mont. This award is given annually to sophomores for outstanding leadership and campus participation.

ODK Students of the Month honored during convocation include Alejandra Castillo of Storm Lake, Iowa; Sydney Palmer of Raymore, Mo.; Trent Solsma of Dakota Dunes, S.D.; Mari Pizzini of Helena, Mont.; and Kayla Inlay of Houston, Texas.

The Alpha Lambda Delta freshman women’s honor society presented the Maria Leonard Senior Book Award for the graduating member with the highest grade point average to Merle Bublitz of Burgwedel, Germany; Paige Lansink of Manilla, Iowa; Shaina Le of Sioux City; and Chloe Wetzbarger of Sioux City.

The Phi Eta Sigma Senior Book Award for the graduating member of the national freshman honor society with the highest grade point average went to James Aschenbrenner of Westminster, Colo.

The Robert “Bob” Miller Academic Student-Athlete of the Year Awards, presented in Miller’s memory by his family to the senior male and female student athletes who have demonstrated outstanding academic and athletic performances during their Morningside careers, were presented to James Aschenbrenner of Westminster, Colo., and Chloe Wetzbarger of Sioux City. Aschenbrenner is on the men’s volleyball team, and Wetzbarger is on the women’s soccer team.

The Col. Bud Day Center for Civic Engagement’s Campus Engagement and Leadership Award was presented to Kalynn Manker of Moville, Iowa.

First-year writing awards went to Karoline Klingensmith of Lester, Iowa, and Sarah Finn of Port Richey, Fla.

Volunteer awards for participation in AmeriCorps were presented to Kalynn Manker of Moville, Iowa; Ashley Warntjes of Boyden, Iowa; Taylor Van Vliet of Lincoln, Neb.; and Rose Pelelo Ray of Merrill, Iowa.

The following departmental awards were presented:

Applied Agricultural and Food Studies

Outstanding Senior: Ryan Stoll of Orange City, Iowa.


Marion Shapiro Art Award, presented in Shapiro’s memory by her family and friends to the student who best represents her commitment to excellence in art and life: Abby Koch of Sioux City.

Outstanding Art Awards by class: junior Ben Hieb of Mitchell, S.D.; sophomore Anna Uehling of Nicollet, Minn.; and freshman Calissa Hanson of Sioux City.

Arts Administration

Outstanding Arts Administration Senior: Rae Clinkenbeard of Denison, Iowa.

Biology and Chemistry

Faculty Award in Biology: James Aschenbrenner of Westminster, Colo., and Sidney Hildahl of Sioux City.

Faculty Award in Chemistry: Jacob Sandoz of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.

Stephen Jay Gould Award, presented to a student who best exemplifies the spirit of the liberal arts college and has a record of excellence in biology and chemistry as well as the humanities: Merle Bublitz of Burgwedel, Germany, and Michael Yeradi of Wright, Wyo.

Biology and Chemistry Department Service Awards: Elvis Castro of Storm Lake, Iowa; Lucas Farrington of Rockwell City, Iowa; and Lynsey Matulka of Omaha, Neb.

Business Administration

Iowa Society of CPAs Outstanding Accounting Senior: Becky Hanson of Harlan, Iowa.

Institute of Management Accountants Outstanding Accounting Senior: Mikaela Livengood of Eagle Grove, Iowa.

Outstanding Business Seniors: Tim Erdmann of Hamburg, Germany, and Nic Madsen of Le Mars, Iowa.

Outstanding Advertising Senior: Tim Cohoon of Buffalo, Wyo.

Iowa CPA Education Foundation Scholarship: Gabrielle Roe of Sioux City.


Maxine Nelson Scholarship, awarded to elementary education majors who have displayed exceptional scholarship, leadership, and character: Chrissa Deeds of Correctionville, Iowa; Trey Kluender of Schleswig, Iowa; Sierra Mitchell of Pleasant Hill, Iowa; Logan Roberts of Shenandoah, Iowa; Hannah Sibbel of Manning, Iowa; and Anne Weber of Mapleton, Iowa.

Sharon Ocker Endowed Scholarship for secondary education, awarded to a student committed to teaching at the secondary level and who has demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, and character: Taylor Van Vliet of Lincoln, Neb.


Bill and Lorraine Knepper Award for an outstanding junior English student: Mari Pizzini of Helena, Mont.

Margaret Coleman Crary Scholarship in Literary Arts for the English student who is an outstanding writer: Kristen Brown of Denison, Iowa.

Mass Communication

Outstanding Senior: Jared Martin of Humphrey, Neb.

Mathematical Sciences

Elsie C. Muller Math Scholarship: Clare Kortlever of Orange City, Iowa.

The Terra International Scholarship for Computer Science: Jason Latta of Greeley, Colo.


Professional Development and Academic Achievement in Nursing Award: Nichole Oberfoell of Brighton, Colo.; Marissa Ferris of Mapleton, Iowa; and Kali Hill of Hot Springs, S.D.

Performing Arts

Acting Award: Madison Schueth of Fremont, Neb.

Technical Theatre Award: Engels Perez Boscan of Caracas, Venezuela.

Berdina Hospers Woodwind Award: Emily Stiernagle of Waterville, Minn.

Mildred Harrington Piano Scholarship: Tyler Nordstrom of South Sioux City, Neb.

Dorothy Paulson McLarnon Scholarship for Voice: Noah Rubida of Sioux City.

Marvin and Merry Klass Endowed Scholarship: Katelyn Stewart of Crofton, Neb.

Political and Social Science

James Miller Award in Political Science, for the political science student who exhibits extraordinary academic achievement in and out of the classroom: Kailyn Robert of Osage City, Kan.

Extraordinary Achievement in Political Science Award: Jessica Higgins of Brandon, S.D.; and Joschua Schanda of Villingen, Germany.

Religious Studies

Robert Jewett Senior Book Award for the outstanding graduating senior with a major or minor in religious studies: Krista Waite of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


Spanish Book Awards for academic achievement and contributions to the ideals of the Spanish program: Becky Hanson of Harlan, Iowa, and Michael Yeradi of Wright, Wyo.

Dr. John P. Doohen Awards for spirited contributions to the Spanish program: Tyler Haberman of Fairbank, Iowa, and Sarah Sadler of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.