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

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.

Greg Guelcher, professor of history, was selected by the students in ODK as the Faculty Person of the Year for his outstanding contributions to Morningside and its students. Guelcher has been on the faculty at Morningside since 1996.

The First-Year Teaching/Advising Award went to Geoff Harkness, assistant professor of sociology. The award, presented with assistance from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, is given to an exemplary teacher who has helped first-year students succeed in making the transition into college.

Kari Winklepleck, vice president for institutional advancement, received the Staff Member of the Year Award. She has worked at the college since 2003.

The Tommeraasen Award of Excellence for the outstanding campus organization went to the Ag Club.

The Student Government Event of the Year was a series of international-themed dinners organized by International Student Association.

The ODK Sophomore Cup was awarded to Karissa Heckens of Omaha, Neb. This award is given annually to a sophomore for outstanding leadership and campus participation.

The Alpha Lambda Delta Maria Leonard Senior Book Award for the graduating member of the freshman women’s honor society with the highest grade point average was presented to Natasha Hongsermeier of Phillips, Neb., and Katie Gubbels of Laurel, Neb.

Karissa Heckens of Omaha, Neb., was recognized for being this year’s nominee for Alpha Lambda Delta honor society’s Jo Anne J. Trow National Scholarship.

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 Joshua Doering of Hubbard, Iowa.

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 Chad Bertagni of Omaha, Neb., and Natasha Hongsermeier of Phillips, Neb. Bertagni is on the football team, and Hongsermeier is on the tennis team.

The Col. Bud Day Center for Civic Engagement’s Campus Engagement and Leadership Award was presented to Sheila Ruiz of Santa Ana, Calif.

The following departmental awards were presented:

Applied Agricultural and Food Studies

Senior Recognition Awards: Cody Cline of Lenox, Iowa; Blake Rogers of Reading, Minn.; and Chad Willer of Lawton, 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: Lauren Lehmkuhl of Wakefield, Neb.

Outstanding Art Awards by class: junior Shaina Le of Sioux City; sophomore Kaitlynn McShane of Bennington, Neb.; and freshman Tracie Tuttle of Cherokee, Iowa.

Arts Administration

Outstanding Arts Administration Senior: MacKenzie Albright of Sioux City.

Biology and Chemistry

Outstanding Biology Student of the Year Award: Natasha Hongsermeier of Phillips, Neb.

Outstanding Chemistry Student of the Year Award: Laura Austin of Grimes, 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: Tracy Gates of Escondido, Calif.

Outstanding Service Award: Kensly Schuelke of Greenwood, Neb.

Business Administration

Outstanding Accounting Senior: Eric Salmonson of Omaha, Neb.

Institute of Management Accountants Student of the Year: Chet Willer of Akron, Iowa.

Outstanding Business Senior: Joy Krei of Sioux City and Dominique Swanson of Fernley, Nev.

Outstanding Advertising Senior: Joelle Kruger of Woodward, Iowa.

Economics, Political Science and Sociology

James Miller Award in Political Science, for the political science student who exhibits extraordinary academic achievement in and out of the classroom: Allyssa Stevens of Omaha, Neb.


Maxine Nelson Award: Tracy Gonzalez of Sioux City; Jenna Heine of Hartington, Neb.; Molly McInnis of Le Mars, Iowa; Ethan Mikkelson of Jefferson, S.D.; Ashley Vande Stouwe of Rock Rapids, Iowa; and Chloe Wetzbarger of Sioux City.

Marcia McNee Elementary Education Award: Ashtyn Schubert of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.

Dr. Sharon Ocker Endowed Scholarship for Secondary Education: Madison Hoff of Walnut, Calif.


Margaret Coleman Crary Scholarship in Literary Arts, for the English student who is an outstanding writer: Madison Hoff of Walnut, Calif.

Bill and Lorraine Knepper Outstanding Junior English Student Award: Sara Locke of Sioux City.


Albert Sellen Award, for the senior history student who best exemplifies a sense of service to the department, to the college and to the field of history that marked Sellen’s career: Daniel Penaloza of Santa Ana, Calif.

James Miller Award in History, for the history student who exhibits extraordinary academic achievement in and out of the classroom: James Farnan of Bellevue, Neb.

Mathematical Sciences

Elsie Mueller Math Scholarship: Merle Bublitz of Burgwedel, Germany.

The Terra International Scholarship for Computer Science: Derek Delzell of Sioux City.

Robert Wood Green Pre-Engineering Scholarship: Derrick Johnson of Golden Valley, Minn.

Modern Languages

Department of Modern Languages Book Award: Michelle Garibay of Santa Ana, Calif.; Anna Garrett of Central City, Neb.; and Kaylin Petersen of Lake Park, Iowa.

Dr. John Doohen Award for Excellence in Modern Languages: Mariah Wills of Spirit Lake, Iowa.


Professional Development and Academic Achievement in Nursing Award: Justine Frahm of Omaha, Neb.; Torrie Michels of Mitchell, S.D.; and Megan Bush of Cleghorn, Iowa.

Performing Arts

Marvin and Merry Klass Endowed Scholarship: Gage Fenton of Keokuk, Iowa, and Grady Klein of Cambridge, Minn.

Dorothy Paulson McLarnon Music Scholarship, for a junior or senior vocal music student showing exceptional potential: Shaley McDermott of Anthon, Iowa.

Mildred Harrington Scholarship: Emily Widman of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.

Berdina Hospers Woodwind Award: Dylan Root of San Diego, Calif.

Music Department Award: Gage Fenton of Keokuk, Iowa.

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Robert Jewett Senior Book Award, for the outstanding graduating senior with a major or minor in religious studies: Catherine Boyle of Waterloo, Iowa.

Writing and Rhetoric

First-Year Studies Award for Narrative Writing: Elizabeth Roop of Marcus, Iowa.

First-Year Studies Award for Persuasive Writing: Rebekah Mayer of Albert City, Iowa.