Lander’s thriving academic community showed great promise Thursday when over 100 distinguished Lander students were honored at the Academic Awards Ceremony. The Lander faculty, robed in colorful regalia, attended, along with students, families, and friends of the recognized.
Dr. Richard Cosentino, President of Lander University, welcomed everyone and shook the hands of the winners. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Suzanne Ozment presided over the ceremony.
Dr. Diana Delach, Coordinator of the Alpha Chi Chapter, recognized over 40 graduating members of Alpha Chi, an academic honor society dedicated to promoting academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students, according to their website.
Department Awards and Special Awards were given to over 50 high-achieving students from all 6 colleges who exemplify the goals of their departments by their respective deans and chairs. Then Lt. Col. Cesar Rodriguez Ortiz presented two military awards to distinguished ROTC cadets.
Director of the Honors College Dr. Lillian Craton presented 20 awards to the winners of the Academic Symposium. The Academic Symposium is Lander’s annual forum for students to present their research to other students, faculty, and judges, held every April. Andy Benoit, Vice President of Enrollment, created the inaugural Symposium Scholar Award for excellence at the academic symposium, which was presented at the ceremony. Craton then bestowed Honors medals on 18 soon-to-be-graduates who have completed the academically rigorous Honors program, including several Honors electives and a Breakaway.
Finally, Ozment presented the faculty awards. The much-anticipated Distinguished Professor Award was presented to Associate Professor of English Dr. Sean Barnette after he was nominated by his students. He was the only award recipient met with shouts and screams. Then the Moore Award was granted to Lecturer of English Starlyn McGee-Anderson for excellence in general education teaching. “The Moore Award is the teaching award that the Honors College gives.” Dr. Craton explained. She went on to say that the award was named for Dr. John Moore, the former director of the Honors Program and current professor of philosophy. Four retiring faculty were also recognized: Dr. Deborah Acorn, Dr. Juan Santandreu, Bernice Daugherty, and Dr. Jill Riley.
Craton explained how the Academic Awards Ceremony fulfills the mission of the Honors College which was founded in 2013. “The Honors College was established in part to draw attention to academic excellence.” Craton said.