Spring Honors Convocation

Monday, April 20, 2009

During the 2009 Spring Honors Convocation dozens of Whittier College students were bestowed with various honors from departments and college heads for their dedication to academics and service.


Rhodes Scholarship Competition
Ashley Phipps, Nominee
Lara Hurlburt, Nominee

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation 
Nicole Greer, Nominee

Marshall Scholarship 
Jessica A. Cerda, Nominee

James R. Parks Fellowship
Abraham Solorzano

James R. Park Prizes
Juliana Baez 
Terees Dowd 
Melissa Campos 
Noretta Morales 
Steven Olvera 
Gabriel Papa 

2009 Newsom Awards in Fiction and Poetry 
1st Place (tie) 

Martina Miles — Everysmell
Lee Beltrand Chan — A Story to Be Submitted For the Newsom Award

1st Place 
Martina Miles —Yours
2nd Place 
Martina Miles — Last Moment
3rd Place 
Alexander L. Johnson — Trenton Boogie

Honorable Mention 
Martina Miles — In Order
Brandon Halcomb — On the Edge of Time With a Man Called Lonely

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship 
Ashley Barton
Eric Borja
Celia de Sa
Lea Jimenez
Veronica Moreno



Art and Art History 
Outstanding Students in Art And Art History

Desiree Stewart
Farrin Ochoa

English Language and Literature
Outstanding Graduates in English

Martina Miles
Andrea Orwoll

First-Year Student Writing Prize
First Place

Catherine Faris King — Muses of Poetry, Muses of Poison
Second Place
Carlyn Werderman — Is Electroconvulsive Therapy Ethical?
Third Place
Julia-Ellen Spruill-Smith — Utopia in Modern America

Modern Languages and Literatures
The Martin Ortiz Award for Academic Excellence In Spanish

Teresa Hidalgo
Annette Trujillo

The Tara Molloy Service and Leadership Award In Spanish 
Elizabeth Lutton
Ernesto Ríos-Oropeza

Outstanding Students in French
Haven Carey
Awndrea Lassiter
Abraham Rocha

Outstanding Research in French Language and Literature
Erica Travers

Outstanding Student in Chinese
Alexander Maupin

Outstanding Performance in Music

Ashley Delzell
Jessica Farrell
Janice Lopez
Jane Rasch

Outstanding Leadership and Service In Music
Adrian Perez
Whitney Cane

Outstanding Scholarship in Music
Josh Wood

Outstanding Creativity in Music
Will Dickerson

Outstanding Student in Philosophy

Callan Martinez

Religious Studies
C. Milo Connick Award In Recognition Of Outstanding Work in The Field Of Religion

Azaam Samad
Outstanding Student in Religious Studies
Corey Howell

Theatre and Communication Arts Outstanding Student in Theatre
Vanessa Gonzalez


Outstanding Student in Biology 

Brittany Kunz
Nicole Soliven

Outstanding Contribution to The Biology Department
Brittany Kunz
Nicole Soliven

Outstanding Contribution in Research
Brittany Kunz

The W. Roy Newsom Award in Chemistry

Gabriel Nazaroff
Ashley Phipps

Undergraduate Research Award in Chemistry
James Edwards
Nancy Pineda

Physics and Astronomy
Outstanding Student in Physics and Astronom
Christopher Marvin


Business Administration
Outstanding Graduate in Business Administration

Arturo Rubio

Outstanding Student in the Finance Concentration
Conner Schryver

Outstanding Student in Accounting Concentration
Arturo Rubio

Outstanding Student in The International Business Concentration
Benjamin Foden

Outstanding Student in The Management Concentration
Kimberly Fattorini

Outstanding Student in the Marketing Concentration
Blake Noriega

Murdy Writing Award
Conner Schryver

Richard T. Clawson Service And Leadership Award
Blake Noriega

Outstanding Student in Economics

Priya Punatar

Education and Child Development

Outstanding Service in Education
Alexandra Guevara
Teresa Hidalgo
Lauren Sierra
Matthew Vasquez

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Child Development
Michele Loewy
Jacqueline Ragusa

Outstanding Service in Child Development
Laura Naumann
Kelsey Raleigh
Danielle Boland

Outstanding Research in Child Development
Michele Loewy

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Secondary Education
Nicole Soliven

Kinesiology and Leisure Science
Outstanding Student in Kinesiology
And Leisure Science

Vanessa Cazas

Political Science
Ben G. Burnett/Pi Sigma Alpha Awards For Outstanding Academic and Leadership 
Contributions by Seniors

Steve Addezio
Caitlin Finley
Yuki Miyagiwa
Dan Strauss

Outstanding Student in Psychology: Academics 

Joselynn Cruz
Michele Loewy
Outstanding Student in Psychology: 
Research and Scholarship
Heather Toledo

Outstanding Student in Psychology: Service
Michele Loewy

Whittier Psi Chi Review Award For Exemplary Research and Writing In Psychology
Christina Barba
Joselynn Cruz
Michele Loewy
Katherine Ore
Jacqueline Ragusa

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Outstanding Sociologist in Political Praxis

Lynnzi Brianza

Outstanding Student In Anthropology
Jessica Hencier

Outstanding Leadership In Service To Anthropology
Nozomi Umenai

Academic Excellence in Social Work
Vanessa Iniguez
Aracely Iniguez
Outstanding Student
In Field Education in Social Work
Sasha Trejos

Outstanding Contribution to The Social Work Profession
Enrique Saldana
Yesica Sanchez


Global And Cultural Studies
Contribution To The Major

Alexander Maupin

Whittier Scholars
Outstanding Student In The Whittier Scholars Program

Amanda Settlage

Award for Service To The Writing Program
Jacqueline Ragusa
Calli Welsch


Student Life Leadership Awards
Steve Addezio
Martina Miles
Clarissa Schomer

Student Life Community Service Awards
Nadine Barragan
Michele Loewy

Student Life Diversity Awards
Gabriel Papa

Student Life Emerging Leader Award
Spencer Beck
Jennice Ontiveros
Maria Pizana

Broadoaks Service to Children And Families Award
Daniel Covarrubias
Madeleine Hass

Alianza De Los Amigos Leadership Award
Nadine Barragan 

Alianza De Los Amigos Academic Achievement Award 
Arturo Rubio

Patricia Van Oosbree, assistant professor of kinesiology and leisure science and the 2008 Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award recipient, delivered the keynote address, "If Not This?" 

Dean of Faculty Susan Gotsch presented the 2009 Nerhood Award to chemistry professor Devin Imoto. 


Presentation of 2009 Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award
by Dean of Faculty Susan Gotsch 

Before we recognize our students for their scholarship and service, we pause for a moment to consider our faculty. For in honoring our students, we also celebrate the work of our faculty. Each year, a committee of peers selects a winner of the Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award. Many faculty have been nominated over the years by students or other faculty for this award. The list of recipients still teaching at the college is impressive: McBride, Bergerson, Furman-Adams, Howard, Chabran, Woirol, Adams, O'Connor-Gomez, Decker, Lozano, Lagan, Marks, Swift, johnston, Geirola, pAddy, McEnaney, Morris, and Van Oosbree. So tonight, as we honor the new Nerhood winner, I feel that we also honor our entire faculty.

For you as students, we hope that your encounter with excellent teachers at Whittier College has contributed to your route to success. Excellent teaching translates into learning for students. Think back to your experiences with great teachers of all sorts—whether parents, a first-grade teacher, a piano teacher, or someone like Harry Nerhood.

For those of you who are new to the Whittier community, let me tell you a little bit about the award. The Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award is probably the most important recognition a faculty member at Whittier can receive. It is named after a Whittier history professor who became a legendary figure. It was said of Professor Nerhood that if you came to the College you needed to take at least one of his classes, regardless of the topic, as the experience was virtually guaranteed to be special—excellent in some way regardless of your own interests.

The Nerhood Award is given for many reasons and many kinds of accomplishment, to people at different stages of their career. Sometimes it recognizes a whole career. Sometimes it recognizes incredible new energy and accomplishment. Sometimes it recognizes innovation. There are many reasons to give it. All those who have received it are humbled by the experience and feel that there are others who deserve it. Its core meaning is that it acknowledges something special—the best of what we do here in many manifestations.

Now on to tonight's recipient. He embodies the essential aspects of teaching and encouraging student learning that are worthy of this prestigious award: 

The setting of high standards
The ability to stimulate both enthusiasm and creative thought
Fairness in the evaluation of student work
Creation of a quality environment for learning in and out of the classroom, and
Readily available for dialog and counseling with students.

Comments made by his students and colleagues include:

"[Devotion to students is found in the] online chats with students before exams as well as lots of student interaction in his office."

"Gives extremely difficult exams, but rather than expressing frustration, students are inspired to work hard and remain positive about the course and their learning experience."

"An active director of undergraduate research, mentoring 2-4 students each year, working hard to equip [the] lab."

"A leader in bringing a global focus to our curriculum."

"Relates course materials and experiments to [students'] lives and the world around them."

"Gives until it hurts [to students and the College]; and at the same time..."

"Enthusiasm is evident in his joyful laugh [that] permeates the halls; " and

From a student now in graduate school: "set up a learning environment with his students in which creativity was fostered. . . . Once we learned how to be creative, he taught us how to be practical. . . . [and] I found a way to combine my love for chemistry with my longing to do something to address [environmental energy issues]."

"His course on AIDS is a shining example of how science and society intersect—a course in which students can engage in service learning."

As I read these comments, it was clear to me that tonight's winner is such a great teacher because he himself loves learning.

Please join me in congratulating an extraordinary teacher among extraordinary teachers, Professor of Chemistry, Devin Iimoto, the 2009 recipient of the Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award.