Students Recognized At Honors Day

Students Recognized At Honors Day

University of the Ozarks presented its top division and university academic awards on May 8 during the 62nd annual Honors Day ceremony, held in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Emilie “Weave” Williams, a senior religion and philosophy major from Keller, Texas, was presented the Hurie Award as the outstanding member of the Class of 2019 by University President Richard Dunsworth. Named for former Ozarks President Wiley Lin Hurie, the award is selected by the faculty and given to the outstanding member of the senior class. Emilie and President DunsworthWilliams has been named to the Dean’s or President’s List in each of her eight semesters and will graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors on May 18. She was a two-time selection as the outstanding student in philosophy and was a finalist in the Project Poet competition for two years. She served a semester abroad studying philosophy and Greek language at The American College of Greece and was an intern/student coach for Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago in 2018. Williams will enroll in Harvard Divinity School in the fall and pursue a master of theological studies degree. and she has one brother, Nicholas. Other Honors Day recipients for 2019 included, Mary Hoiland (Outstanding Student in Accounting), Falon Hanson (Outstanding Student in Business Administration), Roland Rodrigo (Outstanding Student in Economics), Brenda Sandoval (Outstanding Student in Management), Maria Corea (Outstanding Student in Marketing), Kaitlyn Ventress (Outstanding Service Award in Business), Brooklyn Keeling (Outstanding Student in Secondary Education), Carlton Shelby (Outstanding Student in Elementary Education), Aubree Sisson (Outstanding Student in Art Education), Makara Frazier (Outstanding Student in Physical Education), Stephanie Payton (Outstanding Student in Art), Aubree Sisson (Outstanding Student in Art), Angie Castro (Outstanding Student in Communication Studies) and Jacob Holland (Robert Berry Fulton Award in Communication). Also receiving awards were, Jake Sawyer (Outstanding Student in English), Haley Hanks (Outstanding Student in History), Cheyanna Miller (Outstanding Student in Music), Melle Van Duijn (Outstanding Student in Philosophy), Emily Autry (Outstanding Student in Religion), Melle Van Duijn (Outstanding Student in Spanish), Tiffany Quinton (Outstanding Student in Theatre), Julio Molina-Pineda (Outstanding Senior in Chemistry), Cristin Connor (Outstanding Student in Biology), Lamara Bazashvili (Outstanding Student in Health Science), Alec Mertin (Outstanding Student in Mathematics), Emily Autry (Outstanding Student in Political Science), Corey Wilhelm (Outstanding Student in Physics), Shanice Guzman (C. Wright Mills Award in Sociology), Bahar Yapal (Outstanding Student in Psychology) and Emily Dice (Outstanding Environmental Student Award). In addition, awards were presented from the recent A.R.C.H. Symposium. First place in oral presentation went to Alma Arredondo, Regan Puryear and Cristin Connor.  First place in poster presentation went to Gracie Miller and first place in visual arts went to Aubree Sisson. Also at the ceremony, Maria Corea was announced as the winner of the annual Earth Day Essay Contest.The University of the Ozarks’ Student Success Center and Student Support Services honored both graduating seniors and outstanding tutors during its 2019 Tutor Awards and Graduation Celebration on April 30, 2019. Tutor awards were given based on several factors, including evaluations from students receiving tutoring, GPAs, and staff members’ interactions and observations.  During the fall semester alone, over 1,500 tutoring hours were provided. Over the course of the academic year, 86 tutors were hired and trained.  During the celebration, Trio Student Support Services also honored 32 students slated to graduate.  These academic support programs are staffed by, Connie High, director; Kimberly Spicer, program specialist; Lauren Gentry, advisor and skills coach; Charmaine Hutchinson, administrative coordinator; Vanessa Hollowell, academic coordinator; and Ashley Bryant, office manager. Brenda Sandoval, a senior international business and history major from Guatemala City, Guatemala, was selected as overall tutor of the year. The tutors who were recognized included (pictured, front row, from left) Sandoval; Maria Corea, writing tutor of the year; Feri Hernandez, science tutor of the year in chemistry; Shelby Morales, psychology tutor of the year; (back row, from left) Ohany Roman, business tutor of the year in accounting; Anicka Wilcox, humanities tutor of the year; Petron Brown, science tutor of the year in natural science; Georgia Warren, business tutor of the year in accounting; and Isaac Julio, math tutor of the year. Those not pictured included, Brooklyn Keeling, political science tutor of the year; Yeimy Rodriguez, political science tutor of the year; Elodie Jabouin, psychology tutor of the year; and Laura Gochez, Spanish tutor of the year.University of the Ozarks officials have announced that Dr. David Daily (right) and Joel Rossmaier have been named academic deans in their respective divisions, effective July 1. Daily, professor of religion, will serve as the dean of the Humanities & Fine Arts Division, while Rossmaier, associate professor of practice of business and accounting, will be the dean of the University’s Division of Social Sciences. The appointments coincide with the July 1 reorganization of the academic divisions. Daily has taught at Ozarks since 2000 and received the University’s Bagwell Outstanding Faculty Award in both 2004 and 2009.  He will replace Dr. Steve Oatis, professor of history, who has served as dean since 2015. “It will be an honor to serve as dean of the Division of Humanities & Fine Arts,” Daily said. “Through his years in that role, Steve Oatis has put the division on a strong footing, and I look forward to building on his work.” Rossmaier, joined Ozarks in 2002 as an adjunct instructor and became a full-time professor in 2003. He served as interim dean of the Division of Business at Ozarks for the 2018-19 academic year. “I am honored to be named as the dean of the Division of Social Sciences,” Rossmaier said. “The University is going through some exciting changes right now, and I look forward to being able to contribute to the growth of the programs within the division.” University Provost Dr. Alyson Gill commended the two new deans, who have a combined 36 years of Ozarks teaching experience. “Dr. Daily is a deeply respected member of the Ozarks community, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to take on this new role,” said Gill. “Since I have known him, I have found his to be a voice of gentle reason, and he brings with him not only a love for the Ozarks community, but a commitment to leading in a time of unprecedented growth with pedagogical richness. As the new dean of Humanities & Fine Arts, I believe that he will play a critical role in providing strong, consistent and communicative leadership for the division.” “Last year, I asked Professor Rossmaier to serve as interim Dean of Business. I have seen him step more fully into that role, and have grown to rely on his sound advice and ability to view things from multiple perspectives. He is a skilled navigator of complex spreadsheets, and comes into this role as a respected and thoughtful leader.” Oatis will return to full-time teaching and will continue to chair the provost advisory group and serve as the division representative on the HLC strategic assessment team. “As a new provost, I appreciate Dr. Oatis’ tireless efforts in leading the division over the years,” Gill said. “This cannot be overstated, and I am deeply grateful for his service to the University—a place that he loves and is deeply invested in.” In a related note, beginning July 1 the four current academic divisions will be aligned to reflect the LENS curriculum and will be known as Humanities & Fine Arts, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences & Mathematics divisions. With this re-organization, the communication and sociology disciplines will move to Social Sciences. The reorganized divisions: Humanities & Fine Arts (Dr. David Daily, Dean) MAJORS: Art, English, History, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Spanish, Theatre MINORS:  American Studies, Art, Creative Writing & Thought, English, History, Interfaith Studies, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Spanish, Theatre Social Sciences (Joel Rossmaier, Dean) MAJORS: Accounting, Business Administration, Communication Studies, Elementary Education, Environmental Studies, Physical Education K-12, Political Science, Sociology MINORS: Accounting, Athletic Coaching, Business Administration, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Film Studies, Management, Marketing, Media Production, Military Science, Physical Education, Political Science, Sociology, Strategic Communication Natural Sciences & Mathematics (Dr. Sean Coleman, Dean) MAJORS:  Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Health Science, Mathematics, Psychology MINORS: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Health Science, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sustainable AgricultureDenise Duarte is on a mission to help as many entrepreneurs in her home country of Nicaragua as she possibly can. After graduating from University of the Ozarks in 2008 with a perfect 4.0 GPA and with a triple major in accounting, marketing, and management, Duarte returned to Nicaragua to work as a financial auditor for a major company, while earning an MBA. But Duarte knew she wanted to use her skills and knowledge to uplift women in her country, so she began looking for a position that would allow her to do just that.

Partnering passion and purpose

That’s when she found the non-profit agency Agora Partnerships in Nicaragua, an organization whose mission is to strengthen entrepreneurs’ business models and prepare them to access the impact investment market through custom business services, world-class consultants, and global network access. She started as a consultant and quickly worked her way up to development manager and then to country director for all of Nicaragua. The former U of O Walton Scholar works primarily to empower women entrepreneurs to succeed and thrive. “I feel like I’ve found where I’m supposed to be,” said Duarte. “We provide resources ranging from human capital and financing to networking for entrepreneurs who are committed to solving the most pressing social and environmental problems in Latin America. This position became the perfect way to put into practice what I had learned in business school while making an impact in my country.” Her role with Agora includes leading a team of consultants in helping prospective business owners secure the financing to follow their dreams. She finds its particularly fulfilling to work with women entrepreneurs on such things as soft skills. “We work with women in areas like communications and negotiation, which are traditionally not taught in countries such as Nicaragua,” she said. “These are types of skills that can empower women and make a difference on whether their business succeeds or fails.” Duarte, who is married and has a 2-year-old son, is excited about making a difference in her country. “I remember hearing numerous times that one of the purposes of becoming a Walton Scholar was understanding the importance of free enterprise and being able to apply what I learn in my country,” she said. “I actually earn a living doing just that. I work helping entrepreneurs, not only in Nicaragua but across Latin America, get investments and resources to grow their business and expand their impact. And, I don't support just any type of business; I work with those that have at its core the mission of creating better and more inclusive communities.”

Rebuilding process

Duarte said the recent political turmoil in Nicaragua makes work like hers even more important. “Especially now, I feel even more committed to supporting entrepreneurs since it will be them that will allow us to be reborn,” she said. “It is a challenging time and we are definitely having to reinvent ourselves, but we have done it in the past and I am convinced that we will do it in the future and that I will be able to contribute to that rebuilding process.”

Ozarks impact

Being a Walton Scholar at U of O made her a more “well-rounded and sensitive” person, Duarte said. “I was definitely challenged to exceed academically, but more so to be a better person not only to those that I had to engage with on a daily basis but also to those who I hadn't met and sooner or later would be impacted by my actions,” she said. “I still remember one of my professor’s words in one of his classes. He emphasized that we were not citizens of X or Y country, but that we are all citizens of the world. My experience at Ozarks shaped me at the personal and professional level and above all instilled in me values that I have been able to apply in all aspects of my life, including those of perseverance, hard work, teamwork, honesty, and fairness.”