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

Awards for student achievement, Faculty Person of the Year, and other awards were presented Wednesday 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.

Marty Knepper, professor and chair of English and modern languages, was selected by the students in ODK as the Faculty Person of the Year for her outstanding contributions to Morningside and its students. Knepper has been on the faculty at Morningside since 1984.

The First-Year Teaching/Advising Award went to Dave Madsen, assistant professor and chair of mass communication. 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.

Sheri Hineman, assistant director of residence life, received the Staff Member of the Year Award. She has worked at the college since 2004.

The Tommeraasen Award of Excellence for the outstanding campus organization went to the Entrepreneurship Group.

The Student Government Event of the Year was the Stand Against Sex Trafficking organized by students in the political science class Human Rights, Women’s Rights.

The ODK Sophomore Cup was awarded to Allyssa Stevens 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 Kara Bentz of Humboldt, Iowa; Mikala Cooper of Lincoln, Neb.; Hannah Roberg of Grand Island, Neb.; and Mallory Sea of Sioux City.

Madison Harpenau of Omaha, Neb., was recognized for being this year’s Alpha Lambda Delta nominee for the national honor society’s Jo Anne J. Trow national scholarship. 

Allie Van Houten of Kansas City, Mo., was the recipient of an Alpha Lambda Delta Stemler Study Abroad 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 Katsuhiro Ishii of Tokyo, Japan.

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 Austin Naylor of Wyoming, Mich., and Kara Bentz of Humboldt, Iowa. Naylor is on the bowling team, and Bentz is on the competitive dance team.

The following departmental awards were presented:

Applied Agriculture and Food Studies

Faculty Award in Agricultural Excellence: Jared Schramm of Moville, 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: Joelle Kruger of Woodward, Iowa.

Outstanding Art Awards by class: sophomore Emily Knapp of Sioux City and freshmen Evan Altenburg of Minnetonka, Minn., and Shaina Le of Sioux City.

Arts Administration

Outstanding Arts Administration Student Award: Shelby Blomberg of Marathon, Iowa; Kenna Lammers of Omaha, Neb.; and Madeline Trott of Urbandale, Iowa.

Biology and Chemistry

Outstanding Biology Student of the Year Award: Megan Carlson of Cherokee, Iowa; Amy Samuelson of Sioux City; and Kristina Neumann of Sioux City.

Outstanding Chemistry Student of the Year Award: Emily Muyskens of Mason City, 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: Mallory Sea of Sioux City.

Outstanding Service Award: Shelby Ewalt of Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Business Administration and Economics

Outstanding Accounting Student Award: Alex Dau of Spirit Lake, Iowa.

Outstanding Business Administration Student Award: Kara Bentz of Humboldt, Iowa; Garrett Thomas of Kansas City, Mo.; and Amy Widman of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.

Outstanding Advertising/Marketing Student Award: Ali Bachman of Fremont, Neb.


Maxine Nelson Award: Mara Amsberry of Bennington, Neb.; Jenna Bork of Sioux City; Miranda Marks of Lawton, Iowa; Courtney Seibold of Hinton, Iowa; and Mike Whitlock of Sioux City.

Marcia McNee Elementary Education Award: Allison Schreiner of Remsen, Iowa.

Dr. Sharon Ocker Endowed Scholarship for Secondary Education: Katie Gubbels of Laurel, Neb.

Cathy (Posey) Simons Scholarship in Special Education, presented to the special education major who exemplifies her spirit of teaching: Rachel Chamberlain of Hinton, Iowa.


Margaret Coleman Crary Scholarship in Literary Arts, for the English student who is an outstanding writer: Heather Eisele of Hastings, Neb.

Bill and Lorraine Knepper Outstanding Junior English Student Award: Brayton Hagge of Fordyce, Neb.


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: Nick Misukanis of Mendota Heights, Minn.

James Miller Award in History, for the history student who exhibits extraordinary academic achievement in and out of the classroom: Trevor Friedel of Paullina, Iowa.

Mass Communication

Outstanding Mass Communication Student: Jenni Theisen of Le Mars, Iowa.

Outstanding Media Contributor: Paul Johnson of Jalingo, Nigeria.

Mathematical Sciences

Elsie Mueller Math Scholarship: Monta Meirose of Hartington, Neb.

The Terra International Scholarship for Computer Science: Logan Buth of Danbury, Iowa.

Robert Wood Green Physics Scholarship: Jake Stauffer of Omaha, Neb.

Modern Languages

Department of Modern Languages Book Award: Elena Rojas of El Paso, Texas, and Humberto Tapia Espinoza of Dakota City, Neb.

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

Gahlon Family Study Abroad Scholarship: Braden Gebel of Ida Grove, Iowa.


Professional Development and Academic Achievement in Nursing Award: Katherine Grote of Omaha, Neb.; Cassandra Stanek of Sioux City; and Elena Rojas of El Paso, Texas.

Performing Arts

Marvin and Merry Klass Endowed Scholarship: Brandy Trucke of Bronson, Iowa, and Natasha Hongsermeier of Phillips, Neb.

Dorothy Paulson McLarnon Music Scholarship, for a junior or senior vocal music student showing exceptional potential: Kathryn Jones of Laramie, Wyo.

Mildred Harrington Scholarship: Tyler Nordstrom of South Sioux City, Neb.

Berdina Hospers Woodwind Award: Brandy Trucke of Bronson, Iowa.

Music Department Award: Shaley McDermott of Anthon, Iowa.

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Robert Jewett Senior Book Award, for the outstanding graduating senior with a major or minor in religious studies: Garrett Thomas of Kansas City, Mo.

Writing and Rhetoric

First-Year Studies Award for Narrative Writing: Amy Carothers of Sioux Falls, S.D.

First-Year Studies Award for Persuasive Writing: Kianna Kramper of Jackson, Neb.