The Faculty Senate chose 50 graduating seniors to carry the honor of being 2018 University Scholars, and they were presented the awards in a ceremony Thursday in Chapel on the Hill.
Dr. Denise Barnett, a Faculty Senate member who organized the event, said departments on campus nominate top students from their department. Members of the subcommittee of the Faculty Senate, the University Scholar subcommittee, then read through the nominations and selected the 50 most deserving students.
Usually, 27 departments each choose a designated scholar to automatically receive the award. Twenty-three spots still needed to be filled with “at-large positions.” There were fifty-two nominations left for those remaining spots. Twenty-three of them were picked to finish the 50 needed based on what the committee reads in the nominations.
The requirements to be an eligible University Scholar, Barnett said in an email, are earning a 3.5 or higher GPA, completing 90 hours of school and graduating in the current calendar year.
Students must also “excel in scholarly activity appropriate to their disciplines,” said Barnett, associate professor in communication sciences and disorders and graduate program coordinator.
Barnett said many of the students honored had conducted “some pretty extensive and impressive research.”
“And those really amaze us on the committee because we know that they’re very busy with their classes, too,”Barnett said. “But then to be able to perform such research and often go off and present it and then have it published really impresses us.”
Rachael Shudde, senior mathematics and computer science major from Abilene, said she is honored to be awarded alongside some “really amazing people.”
Nominated by Dr. David Hendricks, professor of mathematics, Shudde conducted statistics research on the correlation between GPA, major and starting salary after graduation and a research study with Dr. Katie Wick, assistant professor of management sciences, on cheating rates among students at ACU.
Shudde said she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in statistics at Texas A&M University in the fall.
This year’s University Scholars: