Of the graduating class of May and December, 54 University Scholars were nominated to be presented medals on Thursday.
As Teacher of the Year from 2018, Dr. Rodney Ashlock, chair of the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry, brought a charge to the scholars at the ceremony about servant leadership and caring about kindness more than knowledge.
To qualify as a University Scholar, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher. They are reviewed for the demonstration of knowledge and skill in the research of their appropriate field, acquiring at least 90 hours of academia while enrolled in an undergraduate program.
Provided the prerequisites, students are nominated by faculty across all 27 departments on campus then presented for selection to the Faculty Senate in the Provost’s Office for the final decision
Scholars were escorted by the faculty member who nominated them and were presented with a certificate and a medallion to wear at the commencement ceremonies in May and December.
Logan Church-Owens, senior double major in English and Biblical Text from Houston, said this ceremony was especially meaningful to him because he got to experience it with two English professors who’ve had strong impacts on him.
“The English department has always had a special place in my heart, especially their faculty, who have consistently cared for, encouraged and supported me my entire college career,” Church-Owens said.
Church-Owens said English professor Dr. Todd Womble, who placed the medal around his neck at the ceremony, was his inspiration to pursue his master’s in English. Dr. Mikee Delony, Church-Owens’ first English professor wrote the message said while he received the medal.
Julia Teel, a senior painting major from Abilene said her undergraduate research titled “When, Where and Why: Experimental Elements in the Work of Pierre Bonnard, Edward Hopper and Contemporary Relational Aesthetics” qualified her for the nomination.
“This opportunity has given me more experience doing art research, which will prepare me for, hopefully, a career in art museums,” Teel said.
After graduation, Teel said she plans to spend a couple of years working, doing internships and getting ready for graduate school in museum studies.
Erika Teilmann, business management and marketing double major from Sugarland, said she qualified with her Griggs Center involvement. She also served as president of Enactus for the past two years and is currently working as a business analyst at Deloitte Consulting.
“My involvement at ACU has given me hands-on experiences in my chosen field and cultivated skills in critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and communication,” Teilmann said. “All of which serve me well as a business consultant.”
Church-Owens said the ceremony was a fantastic experience and a great finale to his four years as an English major.
“It reminded me how grateful I am to be at ACU,” Church-Owens said.