News

College Honors Faculty and Students at Fall Convocation

by Bill Giduz
Cooper Karisch
Held on Family Weekend, Convocation gave relatives an opportunity to visit with their Davidson students. The parents of Cooper Karisch were on hand to see him receive the Alumni Award.

Davidson College honored several students and faculty members during the course of Fall Convocation last week.

Vice President for Student Life Tom Shandley presented the Goodwin-Exxon Award to four students. The annual award goes to students with high standards of character, good sportsmanship, friendliness and consideration for others.

The sophomore recipient was Xzavier Michael Killings '16 from Roebuck, S.C. Killings competes in track and field, and earned all-freshmen team honors in the Southern Conference. He holds a Bonner Community Service Scholarship, serves at the Free Clinic of Our Towns, and works on literacy with pre-school children at the Ada Jenkins Community Center.

The junior recipient, Rebecca Anne Surratt from Jacksonville, Fla., was honored in absentia because she is studying in Brazil this semester. Surratt has volunteered in Davidson at the Free Clinic as a translator and serves as the president of the Davidson International Justice Mission.

Two seniors received the award. Renae Elizabeth Cairns of Ballston Spa, N.Y. was cited as an outstanding Bonner Community Service Scholar and selfless player on the varsity women's soccer team. Hannah Kathryn Schorr of Midland, Tex., was honored for serving people on the margins of society. She has been a leader in the International Justice Mission for four years, and leads weekly college worship services on Thursday nights. She has been a Stapleton/Davidson intern in Charlotte, and has worked in New Mexico with women recovering from addiction.

Alumni Association Board President Alvin Atkinson '81 presented The Alumni Association Awards for highest grade point average in the first year to three sophomores who tied for the honor – Ryan Kozlowshi of Archdale, N.C., Cooper Karisch of Austin, Tex., and Emily Keator of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Wendy Raymond presented awards to three members of the faculty.

Doe Professor of Economics Peter Hess received the Thomas Jefferson Award "for putting his values into action." At Davidson since 1980, Hess has received most of the college's top honors for teaching and scholarship, including The Omicron Delta Kappa Teaching Award (1985), the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award (2001), and the Student Government Association Pre-Major Advising Award (2011). He was cited for his work with an orphanage in Nepal, for promoting rights for the disabled, and for rigorous dedication to scholarship that includes having written and coauthored five economic textbooks.

Professor of English Suzanne Churchill received the Boswell Family Faculty Fellowship, which provides salary, travel and research funding to extend the recipient's sabbatical to a full year. Churchill, who joined the faculty in 1996, conducts research with students in the area of modern periodicals, poetry and pedagogy. During her sabbatical, she will combine digital and traditional approaches to explore and express the artistic legacies of Mina Loy, a poet, artist, novelist and playwright.

New faculty member Diana Leyva was celebrated as the inaugural holder of the Nancy Akers & J. Mason Wallace Assistant Professorship. The professorship is aimed at attracting talented pre-tenured faculty members to the college. Leyva was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, moved to the United States, earned her doctorate in developmental psychology, and taught at Williams, Mount Holyoke and Harvard before joining the Davidson faculty. She was cited for publishing multiple research articles with student coauthors in her field of developmental psychology.