Park University Recognizes 2016-17 Academic Achievements at Honors Convocation

Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 2016-17 academic year at the University’s annual Honors Convocation on April 26, held in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus. In addition to a number of departmental academic honors, the University acknowledged outstanding students and faculty with a variety of special awards.

The most prestigious honor bestowed on any student at Park University — the Outstanding Parkite Award — went to seniors Jeremy Barnes and Hannah Bertram. The Outstanding Parkite Award is given to one senior female and one senior male student on the University’s Parkville Campus who best exemplify the ideals of the University in their character, conduct, scholarship and student activity participation. The awards are endowed by Dr. Elliot F. Parker in memory of his parents, Albert George and Jessie Bewley Parker.

Barnes, a senior accounting and business administration/management double major from Buckner, Mo. (attended Fort Osage High School, Independence, Mo.), has excelled in the classroom with a 3.99 cumulative grade point average. During his time at Park, Barnes has been an active student leader. He was elected president of the Park Student Government Association for 2014-15 after having served as a PSGA senator in 2013-14. He was also president of the University’s Accounting Club in 2015-16. He was a first-year mentor for Honors Academy freshmen in fall 2014. Barnes also served as the student representative on the University’s presidential search committee in 2015.

Among his awards and honors: Barnes was named a Presidential Scholar three times (2015-17); received the Outstanding Class Member Award (as a non-graduating senior) in 2016 as one who best represents his class in service to, and participation in, Park University; the PSGA/Cindy Anderson Senator of the Year Award, which recognizes the senator who made the greatest contribution to PSGA during the year, in 2015; and the C.W. Bailey Award, presented to students who have distinguished themselves and exhibited the spirit of the University, in 2014. In 2016, Barnes was awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and a $1,250 scholarship from the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants Educational Foundation.

Bertram, a senior English writing major from Cameron, Mo. (home schooled), also excelled in the classroom, compiling a 4.12 cumulative GPA. During her time at Park, served as editor-in-chief and assistant editor of The Scribe, the University’s student journal of original creative work, and served as a resident assistant during 2016-17. In addition, she served as vice president for three organizations: Revive, a student club associated with Campus Crusade for Christ; Park’s chapter of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society; and Park’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society.

Among her awards and honors: Bertram was named a Presidential Scholar three times (2015-17); was the recipient of a Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Award in 2016, given to students who distinguish themselves uniquely as leaders, regardless of position or title, and represent the spirit of Park University; earned Department of English honors in 2016 and 2017, and was the recipient of Park’s Nicholas Manchion Endowed English Scholarship Award in 2015.

Additional Presidential Awards presented:

Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award — This award pays tribute to a faculty member who shows evidence of commitment to high standards of excellence in the area of scholarship: teaching, discovery, integration and/or service. The recipient also shows effective and innovative connections between teaching and research, especially by undergraduate student involvement and participation. Manuchair Ebadi, Ph.D., a 1960 Park graduate who passed away in 2015, established the award in honor of Delta W. Gier, Ph.D., a former chair of the Department of Chemistry who served Park from 1948 to 1990. •Debra Sheffer, Ph.D., professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science, Parkville, Mo.

Louisa Davidson Hinde / Carolyn Hinde Zarkaryan Memorial Award — This award is given to two students and one faculty/staff/alumnus who best represent the spirit of Park University by promoting in others that quality of excellence that has always been associated with a Park education. •Student: Emma Kitelinger, senior elementary education/language arts major, Kansas City, Mo. (attended Oak Park High School) •Student: Tobias Styrstrom, senior business administration/international business major, Mariehamn, Finland •Staff: Ann Schultis, reference and instruction librarian, Parkville, Mo.

J.L. Zwingle Award — This award pays tribute to an outstanding faculty member as voted by the student body. •Patricia Ryberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, Kansas City, Mo.

Teaching Excellence Awards — These awards recognize the full-time and adjunct faculty members who exemplify excellence in teaching, as nominated by peers, students and staff. •President’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for full-time faculty): Kathy Jackson, assistant professor of nursing and assistant chair of the Associate Degree in Nursing program, Independence, Mo. •Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for adjunct faculty): Debra Stevenson, adjunct instructor of Spanish, Kansas City, Mo.

Excellence in Academic Advising Award — This award is given to recognize faculty/staff who have achieved excellence in providing Park University students academic advising and mentoring, and recognizes outstanding contributions in helping students define and achieve their academic goals. •April Haberyan, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing, St. Joseph, Mo.

To view a complete list of awards presented during the Honors Convocation, visit

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