2020 Award Recipients

Student Awards

University Honors


  • Noah D'Andrea
  • Katelynn Elliott
  • James (Ian) Fisher
  • Rachel Gentile
  • Kenna Jenkins
  • Samuel Michael (Distinguished)
  • Jacob Cope (Distinguished)
  • Emma Price
  • Arianna (Ana) Sanford
  • Bailey Schunk
  • Kimberly Smith

The University Honors Program enhances Miami University’s commitment to student success by creating curricular and co-curricular opportunities for deep and meaningful reflective learning. Honors is committed to graduating students prepared to excel in their fields and to be citizens and leaders with a proactive sense of responsibility to our global world.

International Student Recognition


  • Zongyao Hu
  • Zhuoqi Chen
  • Weitao Wang
  • Junlei Wu
  • Haoxing Wang
  • Jiashu He
  • Shanlin Li
  • Zhe Zhang
  • Sixu Yang
  • Ao Wang
  • Linyuan Zhang
  • Jiajun Luo
  • Zixi Li
  • Chenhao Fu
  • Canwen Shu
  • Hanwen Li

Band Name: Poker Face

Upon arrival this past fall, several talented, motivated students asked if they could form an international band made up of international students. Of course their request was met with resounding approval. They quickly purchased their instruments at a local music shop. After getting their instruments, they just as quickly recruited additional band members, including vocals. They showed great initiative, practicing several times a week including on the weekends. Their performances on campus brought great energy to our pop-up fests throughout the fall term. Plans were in the making for an even bigger concert on a big stage during the spring....but we all know what happened. The students remind us daily that they will be back up on stage performing when we return to campus! Until then, their message is to KEEP ON ROCKING ON!

Student Organization of the Year

MUH Pride

Charmaine Moore Kitsinis
Kenzie Bryant

President: Oliver Holstein
Vice-President: Joshua Sweet
Treasurer: Meredith Caldwell
Secretary: Taylor Parks
Social Media Coordinator: Liam Wise-Powell

We are proud to award PRIDE as the 2019-2020 Regional Student Organization.

PRIDE has worked diligently to uphold the Code of Love and Honor through partnering with a variety of other student organizations and departments. Not only have they experienced personal development at meetings, but they continue to grow exponentially as a group, and as well as offer resources for the general Miami community through Safe Zone trainings.

Robert H. Rusbosin Award (MUH Recipient)

The W. Lynn Darbyshire and Dr. Robert H. Rusbosin Leadership awards are presented annually to students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in a student organization, student advisory council, student employment, community service, or campus committee assignment.

Garrett Keller

Garrett Keller is receiving the Dr. Robert H. Rusbosin Leadership award for his contributions as a student worker and as an officer for the student organization ALAS (Association of Latin American Students). Laura Hicks, part of Miami University Regionals E-Campus team, notes: "He has exemplified leadership qualities and has a spirit of community in everything he does. He is a Student Lead with E-Campus serving to teach and guide the other student employees. Garrett also helps to make our courses accessible to all students through closed captioning and remediation of text documents. His quiet, peaceful leadership approach makes him easy to talk to and willing to step up when needed." Congratulations Garrett Keller!

W. Lynn Darbyshire

The W. Lynn Darbyshire and Dr. Robert H. Rusbosin Leadership awards are presented annually to students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in a student organization, student advisory council, student employment, community service, or campus committee assignment.

Mohammed Alkhafaji

Mohammed Alkhafaji is receiving the W. Lynn Darbyshire Leadership award for outstanding leadership in student employment. Aaron Renner, a member of the Regionals IT Department, states: “Mohammed is an absolute model employee that never hesitates to take the initiative to go above and beyond. Since being promoted to a student manager role, he has flourished. He provides basic training on his own volition for new student employees so they are able to immediately jump in. Mohammed provides input that streamlines our processes and is of immense help to the full-time staff in the department.” Congratulations Mohammed Alkhafaji!

Student Organization Diversity Appreciation Award

Association of Latin and American Students

Advisers: Guillermina (Pat) Camacho
President: Benjamin Powers
Treasurer: Garrett Keller
Secretary: Josue Romero 
Social Media Coordinator: Celia Sanchez

The Association of Latin and American Students (ALAS) has provided inclusive programming for the Hamilton campus. They have also reached across the aisle to ask other student organizations to co-sponsor events with them. This is a wonderful of how diversity and inclusion should work.

E-Campus Distinguished Student Award

Kelly Donathan

Kelly's nominator, Donna Evans, said "Kelly carefully reviews all materials ahead of time to organize all team work. She is a leader who sets the tempo for her group. Kelly has been willing to consider new ideas about culture and strategy in a thoughtful way. She has applied these theories and experiences towards her projects. Her positive and constructive feedback always moves the class forward. Kelly has done independent research to apply cultural theories to her course work, she always goes above and beyond."

Veteran Valiance

Jesse Kim

Jesse continually looks out for students that are struggling emotionally and academically. He provides support that can only come from a fellow student. He serves as a role model as a student, veteran’s representative, and currently serving Army reservist.

Women's History Month Writing Contest

No award given for 2020

Outstanding work+ Student Award

No award given for 2020

Departmental Awards

Biological Sciences

Benjamin Hoerter

Ben Hoerter is an excellent student majoring in Applied Biology - Human Biology Health Sciences Concentration and holds a high GPA. Ben has conducted independent research in Dr. Rypstra and Dr. Robinson labs and is currently conducting research at Cincinnati Children's Hospital with Dr. Privette Vinnedge. Ben also serves Miami students as a tutor in Biology. Biological Sciences is proud to recognize Ben for his efforts at Miami University

Savana Beckham Pate

Savana Beckham is an excellent student majoring in Applied Biology - Environmental Biology Concentration with a high GPA. Savana has been a productive student worker at the Conservatory on the Hamilton Campus. Biological Sciences is proud to recognize Savana for her efforts at Miami University.


Kate Broderick

Kate is an outstanding student whose g.p.a. is among the best in the Commerce program. This is in addition to working 30-40 hour per week and also doing volunteer work. She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities and intends to pursue law school after graduation.

Ronnie (J) Ravancho

His work was excellent, on assignments as well as tests. J. is a very strong writer, his papers were always among the best I received. He communicated exceptionally well and his work ethic and sense of responsibility were obvious…….papers and other assignments were longer than required and he was typically among the first students to turn work in…usually days before the deadline. J is a positive influence in the classroom and good teammate with his peers in the class. He will frequently help others with their work.

Computer and IT

Steven Metcalf

Student is the recipient of the Best Capstone Project Award. His project "The Night Stalker-A Game for People with Blindness and Low Vision," required extensive research and a highly technical implementation.

Frenchetta Burks

Student is the recipient of the CIT Student of the Year Award. As a student, Frenchetta always brings enthusiasm, engagement, and inclusivity into the classroom. She is a participative, active, and effective scholar. Inside and outside of the classroom, she supports other students and the community.

Education and Society

Justin Evans

Justin is one of those quiet, humble and hardworking students who consistently excels in his studies. He always goes above and beyond to demonstrate the ability to critically think on problems in ways that are unique. This ability will serve him well in his chosen major of Public Health.

Nicholas Dryden

Nicholas Dryden is always prepared for classes and presents himself professionally.With a 3.71 GPA, he has carefully planned his path to apply to graduate school. His long term goal is to be a hospital social worker and he is already a student member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Engineering Technology - Also known as the David W. Young Engineering Technology Award

John Whitt

John is one of the best performing students of all time in our program. He has a near perfect GPA. He is very engaging and on top of every detail.

Engineering Technology - Also known as the Outstanding Engineering Technology Student Award

Elias (Eli) Westbay

Eli is a distance student from Rhodes State College who lives in Wapakoneta, Ohio. He is a top performer in our program.

Humanities and Creative Arts

Zachary Cherry

Zachary Cherry: (Integrated Social Studies major) Zachary was a terrific student in the HST 206 course in Fall 2019. Zachary was a leader in the class especially in group settings when he offered suggestions to struggling students and provided a level of peer-to-peer mentoring that helped several students in the class. He was subsequently recommended for the Honors program (which he later joined).

Mary Donnel

Mary is curious and enjoys learning which makes her a stellar and even ideal student. Her commitment to being a student of integrity, seeking continual improvement and knowledge, exemplify best practices for a student. Mary's innovative and critical thinking were connected to her studio art practice. Her academic work was also impacted by her life experience and maturity in perspective.

Interdisciplinary and Communication Studies

Brittney Roaden

Brittney is consistently the leader in classes and writer of award-winning essays. Graduating this spring with a major in Communication Studies (and an above-average GPA).

Justice and Community Studies - Also known as the Beccaria Award

Sierra Bailey

Sierra is an outstanding student whose intellectual curiosity and work ethic make her a true role model for her peers. Outside of the classroom, Sierra has also played a vital leadership role in Miami's chapter of the Ohio Innocence Project. We are very proud of her -- Sierra is going to do great things in her future!

Dale Hall

Dale is a true pleasure to have in class. Beyond that, his leadership, life experience, congeniality, willingness to assist others, and his volunteerism -- especially for veterans needing assistance -- makes him an extraordinary asset to the university community and an inspiration for both his peers and others who know him.

Languages, Literatures, and Writing

Qiuqiu (Rachel) Zhao

Rachel is truly a classroom leader and role model to others on campus. She volunteered frequently in class when we discussed topics from the readings. During group activities, Rachel took the lead to guide her classmates while facilitating effective collaboration.This group work required consistent communication and collaboration with classmates, and Rachel’s leadership and professionalism with her classmates were key in making the projects successful. Rachel is an asset in the classroom.

Charlotte Waldron

Charlotte was always fully and impressively engaged, willing to try new techniques even when they may have been out of her comfort zone, and continually submitted work that not only exceeded the requirements of the course, but showed a passion for learning. She especially shines in working with her fellow writers, because she strives to support her peer’s writing, but also helps them to feel respected and included at all times. She isn’t just intelligent or talented, she is truly the kind of student we as faculty should be excited to have in class.

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Zachary Owens

Zach is an outstanding student. Zach has a natural curiosity and love for chemistry. Dr. Marshall recommended him for a part-time position at Archer Daniels Midland's Monroe plant where he works on esterification chemistry to synthesize flavorings. He plans to go to graduate school after graduation from Miami University.

Kimberly Smith

Kim is a top student. She was selected as an Undergraduate Summer Scholar last summer. With Dr. Marine, Kim developed a set of analyses using FTIR and microscopy to analyze cosmetic samples of forensic interest. Along with her studies, Kim works as an intern at the Miami Valley Crime Lab.

Nursing - Also known as the Ruth Ann Busald Award

Tristen Withrow

Tristen is an excellent student in the classroom and displays professional attitude in all her interactions. Previous clinical faculty have commented on her ability to understand the patients and to demonstrate to the patient a genuine confidence She communicates well, is professional, and works well with her peers.

Michelle Collopy

Shelley is an extremely insightful, reflective, and compassionate nursing student. Her ability to look at situations from a patient’s perspective is beyond a typical student. Shelley demonstrates a high level of leadership within her peer group and advocating for her community population. She treats EVERY patient with dignity and respect.

Social and Behavioral Science

Arianna (Ana) Sanford

Ana Sanford exemplifies the best of Miami Regionals. She has a near perfect GPA, has served as a peer tutor, and has been an active member of two research labs, resulting in co-authorship on presentations and two papers. Ana is highly deserving of our department's most prestigious award.

Madison Bridge

Madison Bridge is one of our best and brightest. She excelled in coursework on topics from regression analysis to GIS mapping and developed original research relating to her interests in community attachments. From contemplating college to a promising career with Proctor and Gamble, Madison exemplifies the success possible at Miami Regionals.

Faculty and Staff Awards

Faculty Achievement in Teaching, Professors and/or Assoc. Professors

Dr. Jeff Kuznekoff
Department of Interdisciplinary and Communication Studies

Dr. Jeff Kuznekoff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary and Communication Studies. His nomination was authored by one of his advisees, a first-generation college student who stresses that she “[doesn’t] know if [she] would survive college without him.” Dr. Kuznekoff's dedication to his field and to his students is also evidenced by the extensive time and devotion he brings to his 100+ advisees in his role as the primary advisor for Applied Communication degrees.

Faculty Achievement in Teaching, Asst. Professors and/or Lecturers

Dr. Andrea Hulshult
Department of Computer and Information Technology

Dr. Andrea Hulshult is an assistant professor of Computer and Information Technology. Due to the Agile curricula that she had helped develop, local businesses are now reaching out to hire our Agile-certified students. Dr. Hulshult continues to innovate her own curricula in real-time as she collaborates with students to make immediate changes in courses to best meet their learning goals.

Faculty Achievement in Teaching, Part-Time

Brad Egleston
Tutoring and Learning Center

Brad Egleston is the Math Specialist for the Miami University Regionals’ Middletown Campus. His pedagogy allows students to explore right now the applicability of math principles to their everyday lives as well as how these principles might intersect with their career aspirations. It is very telling of Mr. Egleston’s success that he received four nominations for this award from students.

Faculty Achievement in Advising

Dr. Barbara Oswald
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

We're proud to recognize Dr. Barbara Oswald for the Faculty Achievement in Advising Award. Barb is the degree coordinator for both Psychological Sciences and the Applied Social Research degrees, and she advises at least 80 students each semester in these majors. She is well-versed in advising practices at Miami and supports students through developing multi-year advising plans toward graduation. She encourages collaboration and experiential learning for students by also advising the Social Scientists Society (SSS) and the Regional Center for Social Science (CSS).

Because we had a strong pool of candidates for this award, we also want to recognize Honorable Mentions: Steve Bailey (JCS), Michelle Buchberger (ICS), and Marianne Cotugno (LLW). Thank you all for your commitment to advising at Miami Regionals!

Staff Campus Impact Award

Amy DePew
Diversity and Multicultural Services

Amy DePew has a strong hand in many campus programs that improve student life and staff morale, from programs with the Office of Regional Diversity and Student Support and community meals to Pop Up Fests. She has made it her mission to create a sense of community on the Regionals.

Maggie Simpson
Regional Enrollment Operations

Maggie Simpson has never uttered the words “not my job”. She tirelessly works behind the scenes scheduling classrooms and providing services for both students and staff. She always goes miles above what is expected of her and is one of our most consistently recognized staff members for her amazing work.

Amanda Stewart
Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Amanda Stewart is a major force behind disciplines in the department of Math and Physical Sciences. She is a champion for faculty and students always having the resources they need to be successful and has put in more hours than could be expected of anyone during our remote instructional period.

Dr. Jerry Martin
English Language Center

Jerry Martin is one of our most visible people on campus leading our English Language Center. He is a champion for all of our students, faculty, and staff. The work he, his team, and his students do for Miami and the larger Miami Community is truly the definition of above and beyond.

Faculty/Staff Diversity Appreciation Award

Regional E-Campus

The Regional E-Campus exhibits diversity in so many valuable ways. The staff is diverse. As a campus entity, they support diverse programming by showing up. They also make campus courses accessible to those with special needs. Finally, in this time of COVID-19, our E-Campus has allowed us to carry out a seemingly seamless transition from face-to-face learning to totally online remote learning. Kudos!

Faculty Achievement in Scholarship and/or Artistic Distinction

Dr. Ann Rypstra
Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Ann Rypstra has published over 100 articles in prestigious journals, including 40 that involve undergraduate students as co-authors. She is internationally recognized as an expert in her field, having had research appointments in England and New Zealand (among other places) on her sabbaticals. In 2019 alone, Dr. Rypstra reviewed 37 manuscripts for twelve different journals. Truly she is a remarkable scholar and a credit to the regionals!

Faculty Achievement in Service

Dr. Camilla McMahon
Department of Social and Behavioral Science

Dr. McMahon’s service accomplishments are numerous and significant. She chairs the Awards and Scholarships Committee in her department and is heavily involved in the Leadership Collaborative for the Regional Campuses. In the community, she works on projects to raise autism awareness. Her Psychology Job and Internship blog has generated national attention and is posted on the web pages of numerous university Psychology Departments around the country. Thank you, Camilla, for all that you do!

E-Campus Excellence in Online Teaching

Dr. Susan Baim
Department of Commerce

Dr. Baim's nominator said, "I can state with 100% certainty as a senior member of a global technology firm, she makes learning fun and incorporates her experience and knowledge into the classroom that is beneficial for a diverse audience of all backgrounds. I'm proud to be in the Miami Regionals program with her instruction and leadership. Please nominate Dr. Baim for her dedication and outstanding efforts to make me a better student and even better professional."

Regional Student Advisor of the Year

Dr. Jerry Martin
English Language Center

We are proud to award Dr. Jerry Martin as the 2019-2020 Regional Student Organization Advisor of the Year.

Dr. Martin was nominated by the Chinese Students Association (CSA). His nomination included many thanks from his students for not just serving as an advisor, but for being an active advisor who truly cared about their well-being. Dr. Martin is also commended for his creation of opportunities to help this group of students to be actively engaged in the community and for helping them to always feel supported.