W&J Recognizes Academic Achievements at Honors Convocation

WASHINGTON, Pa. (April 19, 2013)—Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) recognized more than100 students at its annual Honors Convocation ceremony April 17. The event was held at First Church in Washington, Pa., and featured a performance by the W&J Choir led by Susan Medley, associate professor of music, and the W&J Wind Ensemble led by Kyle Simpson, assistant professor of music.

The ceremony included the awarding of departmental book prizes, which are prizes given by academic departments to recognize the scholarly accomplishments and intellectual curiosity of students in their programs. The prizes are well-bound books selected jointly by the recipient and the chair of the department.

“The book prizes, in many cases, are very old and have been a part of the W&J Honors Convocation from the earliest days of the College,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty John Zimmerman, Ph.D. “Historically, books were very expensive to manufacture, and so to receive a book as a prize was seen as a great honor.”

Academic prizes and leadership and service awards, which are from endowed funds given to the College by private donors, also were presented to awardees at the ceremony. These awards are given based on criteria specified by the donors. Additionally, students who received awards on other occasions throughout the past academic year and students who won national awards were recognized.

National award recipients this year include Fulbright grant recipients Korey Morgan of Greenwood, Maine, and Jacob Reis of Canonsburg, Pa., Morris K. Udall scholar Lauren Horning of Bellefonte, Pa., and Teach for America recipients Charanya Kaushik of Canonsburg, Pa., and Heather Painter of South Park, Pa.

“This year’s honorees have risen to the challenges posed by the faculty and, more importantly, they have challenged themselves,” President Tori Haring-Smith, Ph.D., said in her address

A list of all students honored at the event can be found here.

Honors Convocation also recognizes the academic achievements of W&J faculty members with the announcement of the Kenneth M. Mason Sr. Summer Grant for Faculty Research and the distribution of an almanac of scholarly and professional achievements accomplished by the faculty throughout the year.