2022 Award Recipients

Pictured from left to right: Chamina Curtis, Ted Light, Jonathon D. Godby, and Monticha Sompolvorachai

Through the Lens

On May 5, we had a fantastic evening celebrating the achievements and successes of over 60 of our students, faculty, and staff during the CLAAS Annual Awards Ceremony.

Photo Gallery

Student Awards

University Honors

Claire Barrington, Meredith Caldwell, Zachary Cherry, Isobella Dale, Daniel Diersing, Stephanie Furia, Maribel Gonzaga, Jina James, Hannah Janszen, Myrissa Kelly, Jessica Lawhorn, Kaylie Leight, Cianna Maiolini, Au'Lauren Million, Michael Logan O'Leary, Allison Roberts, and Alissa 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

Hussein Al Mafrachi

Hussein has been an outstanding student since joining us at the Regionals. He started with us in the intensive English language program. Since then, he participated in the first Alternative Spring Break at the Regionals helping rebuild homes lost in the fires in Tennessee. He also just returned from a semester in Luxembourg where he interned using his IT skills.

Weizhao Wang

Weizhao is a workhorse inside and outside the classroom. He is always willing to volunteer in the community. Last year, he volunteered at the Dayton Salvation Army Trunk or Treat. This year, he volunteered at Fairfield North Elementary School's multicultural night and the Robert Sonny Hill Jr Community Center Easter Egg Hunt event. He is also an excellent student worker in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on the Middletown Campus.

Student Organization of the Year

MUH Cheer

MUH Cheer squad positively represents Miami Regionals. They cheer for both Women’s and Men’s athletic teams, at both home and away games. They are dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion and promote belonging as an organization. The cheer squad is dedicated to the organization by putting in hundreds of hours through practices and games.

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.

Jaime Rand

Jaime, a member of the Regionals Social Work Organization (SWO), participated in Advocacy Day meeting with state legislators. She chaired the Hamilton Campus blood drive. Jamie is completing education and volunteering (100 hours) for the Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist Assistant credential and applied for Ohio Chemical Dependency Counseling Assistant, completing education to maintain CDCA.

W. Lynn Darbyshire Award

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.

Tristin Meece

Tristin is a Small Business Management major and was recognized for excellence by her Art and Classics professor. Her presentation on the ancient Roman goddess Pomona was creative and superb. She is a member of TRIO and is a student manager of Hawk Haven. Tristin is an excellent student and balances her academics, work, and volunteering.

Student Organization Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

International Club

The International Club has worked to create activities that are inclusive and diverse in nature. They created a platform for students (and staff) to participate in an activity that showcased the beauty in our differences.

E-Campus Distinguished Student Award

Autumn Griffie

Autumn is a model student; not only academically, but also as a caring classmate. She demonstrates careful and in-depth critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis of concepts, courses, and life experiences. The success of many of her classmates can, in part, be contributed to her encouragement, support, and weekly inspiration.

Veteran Valiance

Rich Krummen

Rich Krummen is a Marine Corps veteran and a retired police officer. He has been an active leader in the Student Veterans Association – Regionals, serving as Secretary of that group. He helped organize the annual Veterans’ Day Celebration and acquired thirteen donated items from community organizations for the raffle to raise money for the organization.

Miami University Newman Civic Fellow

Jacob Gainey

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions. Fellows are nominated by their president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership. Jacob Gainy is the first student from Miami Regionals to receive this prestigious honor.

Outstanding Work+ Student Award

Marissa Hembree

Marissa is an outstanding student and an exemplary Work+ employee completing her third year in Work+ at Great Miami Valley YMCA child care centers. Marissa has maintained a 4.0 GPA while balancing her school and work responsibilities, and she has been an extremely valued asset for her Work+ employer.

Departmental Awards

Biological Sciences

Alexis Kraemer

Alexis Kraemer is outstanding student majoring in Applied Biology - Human Biology and Health Sciences concentration. BSC faculty would like to congratulate Alexis for her hard work and look forward to her future accomplishments in biology.

Sarah Chaney

Sarah Chaney is outstanding student majoring in Applied Biology - Environmental Biology concentration. BSC faculty would like to congratulate Sarah for her hard work and look forward to her future accomplishments in biology.


Jonathon D. Godby

Jonathan is a senior who has a flawless GPA; as a military veteran, he has also brought interesting life experience into the classroom to the great benefit of his classmates.

Christopher Hetterich

Christopher is a senior with an extremely high GPA. His professors cite his initiative, his motivation, and his outstanding presentation skills as noteworthy among Commerce majors.

Computer and IT

Savanna Stoddard

Ms. Stoddard is receiving the CIT achievement award to the top senior student for her stellar academic achievements, curiosity, and desire to increase her skills in positive leadership. She spent last spring semester studying abroad in Glasgow, Scotland. She earned 10 credit hours in Digital Media & Info Studies and Data Analysis, Visualization. These credits were applied to her BS degree in Information Technology. She also has a concentration in Agile earning 3 agile certifications and a thematic sequence in organizational leadership. She will graduate in May and we are confident that she will positively impact the world.

Jessie Cox

Ms. Cox is receiving the CIT achievement award to the top junior student for her stellar academic achievements. She maintains a perfect GPA and has completed one of the more challenging concentrations (Software Development) in the BS Information Technology program. She started her college career while still in high school by earning 24 college credit hours. She is on track to graduate early.

Education and Society

Jaime Rand

Jaime Rand is a Social Work major, has an excellent GPA and demonstrates excellent critical thinking skills. As a member of the Regional Social Work Club, Jaime participated in Advocacy Day and is chair of the club blood drive. Jaime is also participating in some professional development by completing the needed volunteer hours for the Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist Assistant credential.

Ella Pohlen

Ella Pohlen is an Education major who demonstrates excellence and professionalism in all her work. She is a member of the Education Club, and the Regional Honors Program. She also volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club in Hamilton, Hands against Hunger and works at a local day care center. She has been accepted into the Reggio Emilia, Italy study abroad program.

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

Tyler Nicodemus

Tyler Nicodemus an outstanding student in ENT-MET program. He has completed numerous challenging Engineering Technology courses while maintaining an extremely high grade point average. He has shown an outstanding performance and professionalism in his courses.

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

Theodore Cox

Theodore (Theo) Cox an outstanding senior student in the ENT-Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology program, with an outstanding GPA. Just as importantly, he has motivated his classmates with his highly enthusiastic attitude in his courses.

Humanities and Creative Arts

Jesseca Crosen

Jesseca Crosen is an exemplary student. She exceeds classwork expectations and generously shares her knowledge, time, and resources by helping her classmates, instructors, and community members. Jess graduates summa cum laude in May 2022 with a B.A. in Community Arts, and a position as Education Coordinator at Middletown Art Center.

Yonathan Beyene

Yonathan Beyene has been diligent in improving his overall academic performance, making the Dean’s List in Fall 2021. He is conscientious in recognizing the often-neglected contributions of African Americans and women to US history and has developed a profound affinity for the humanities and for history in particular.

Interdisciplinary and Communication Studies

Cameron Goschinski

Cameron is a leader in integrative studies seminars and a strong student overall. He is taking full advantage of the opportunity to design an integrative studies degree that will help him meet his goals of pursuing a career in urban planning.

Sam Martino

Sam exemplifies the best of what we hope a communication studies major will be. Her class contributions are plentiful and substantive, and her written work stands out as well.

Justice and Community Studies - Also known as the Beccaria Award

Claire Barrington

Claire is an exceptional student who has impressed JCS faculty with her excellent work ethic, her engagement with criminal justice research and her obvious passion for learning.

Chandlyr Gatch

Chandlyr has compiled an exceptional record as a student in JCS. Even while carrying two majors, Chandlyr has consistently excelled in the classroom. She has also engaged in original research under faculty direction, demonstrating both a deep passion for learning and a curiosity that one sees in the best undergraduate students.

Languages, Literatures, and Writing

Jessica Hensley

Nominated by Dr. Kelli Johnson and Dr. Whitney Womack Smith, Jessica Hensley is an excellent writer and independent thinker who is not afraid to take risks. She produces smart, original work that exceeds expectations for the undergraduate level. Jessica has participated in co-curricular activities as a publishing intern and an Undergraduate Associate.

Lena Sears-Whitmire

Nominator Dr. Theresa Kulbaga describes Lena Sears-Whitmire as “one of the brightest, most personally committed English Studies majors I’ve had the pleasure of teaching.” Lena’s dedication, work quality, dynamic contributions to class discussion, and passion for English Studies have made her a stand out in her English classes.

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Madeline Murchland

Madeline Murchland is Geology and Political Science major who is a co-author on a paper in review at Mesoporous & Microporous Materials, a co-author on 3 proceedings paper, has presented 4 posters at 2021 Geological Society of America national meeting, and one poster at Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) meeting 2022. Madeline worked at the Middletown campus for her projects, and will start M.S at University of Idaho in Fall 2022. 

Nursing - Also known as the Ruth Ann Busald Award

Christina Unversaw

Christina Unversaw demonstrated excellence in multiple ways at Miami. First, she was an excellent student. Christina was attentive and engaged in class and clinical. Nurses on the floor and her classmates commented that she was always helpful and willing to work together. Through group activities in class, I would see Christina as the student who was keeping the group on task and ensuring all members felt valued and participated. Second, Christina is an excellent leader. As the President of the Miami University Nursing Student Association, Christina was always positive, smiling, and encouraging when the group may have felt defeated. The group was very small but Christina led them to continue taking on service projects, fundraising, and student activities that were manageable. She successfully led the group through COVID when student activities were restricted and suffered some. Lastly, Christina did all of this while having a family at home that she also continued to care for. I consider it an honor to have been her professor.

Marina Mendes Lemos De Oliveira

Maria Menendez demonstrated excellence at Miami through careful attention to her studies and willingness to collaborate with other students. Maria did very well in the peds course earning very high grades but she was also very engaged in class and asked thought-provoking questions that demonstrated she had a good grasp of the knowledge before ever coming to class. Maria consistently studied with other students and was often the encouragement for her peers. One student told me that they were successful in the end because Maria had encouraged them to never give up and helped them develop a study plan. Maria was very nervous in peds clinical at first but she pushed through that to find her place and ended up with a desire to be a pediatric nurse.

Social and Behavioral Science

Jina James

Jina is an exceptional student with a genuine enthusiasm for learning that enlivens the whole classroom! She served as a Teaching Assistant in PSY 293: Introduction to Psychological Statistics, supporting and encouraging peers in this challenging course. In 2021, she received the Excellence in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Award.

Olivia Yackman

Olivia Yackman is an outstanding upcoming graduate of the Miami Regionals with a remarkable story. She began taking classes at Miami in 2015, when she was 14 years old through the College Credit Plus Program, and is now set to graduate with an excellent GPA in PSS and ASO.

Faculty and Staff Awards

Faculty Achievement in Teaching Full Time

Dr. Deepak Dawar

Dr. Dawar treats our students with care and concern. He also mentors them, encouraging them to think about their careers and inspiring them to do more than they thought they could. His innovative and engaging approach to teaching introductory computer programming in CSE 174 literally cut the non-completion rate for the course in half. His combination of approachability and innovation makes him a great asset to Miami University Regionals Students.

Faculty Achievement in Advising

Dr. Monticha Sompolvorachai

Dr. Monticha Sompolvorachai (Commerce Department) consistently exhibits dedication to student success with her academic advising. She advises at least fifty Commerce majors each semester and is known for her caring approach and her attention to detail. She is proactive in reaching out to her advisees to ensure that they are on paths to graduation.

Staff Campus Impact Award

Debbie Boston

Debbie routinely goes above and beyond, making meaningful contributions to advance initiatives, not only through her position but also in volunteering to support other groups and organizations across the campus. Debbie brings a positive attitude, willingness to help, sage advice, and a smile everywhere she goes.

Pam Renner

Pam exemplifies “above and beyond” as an expert in her role, pitching in where needed, and ensuring students get the help they need. Beyond that, Pam is an MUR ambassador - active in campus affairs, engaging with peers, and promoting the good of the campus.

Crystal Walker

Crystal’s impact on admission, enrollment, and beyond, is unparalleled - encouraging all of us to put students first. Her impact as Interim Director of Admission increased applications, built relationships, removed barriers, and fueled morale. Above all, she is a positive influence, effective leader, and agent of change for MUR..

Jacob Robinson

Jake is an indispensable leader; elevating the impact of Regional Technology Services, solving every problem thrown at them, building an expert team, and promoting a culture of campus influencers. Jake’s impact on the campus is so prolific, that it’s doubtful there’s anyone whose life hasn’t been influenced by him.

Faculty/Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award

Chamina Curtis

Chamina Curtis has worked tirelessly to create diverse and equitable spaces within her classroom and in the Hamilton Community. She was the co-sponsor of Hamilton State of Reality where she invited community and Hamilton City Schools' Executives to talk about ways to make schools more equitable and meet the needs of diverse and underserves students. She volunteers to work with a group of young women at BTW to help them achieve success and co-founded the City of Hamilton Internship Program (CHIPs) to introduce marginalized individuals to wonderful employment opportunities in Hamilton.

Faculty Achievement in Scholarship and/or Artistic Distinction

Dr. D.J. Ferguson

Dr. D.J. Ferguson of Biological Sciences has a track record of publishing in top venues and securing funding. His publishing record includes two papers in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science; he has 32 presentations at scientific meetings and over $700K in external funding since coming to Miami.

Faculty Achievement in Service

Dr. Barb Oswald

Dr. Barb Oswald of Social and Behavioral Sciences has an amazing level of service within the university. Highlights include serving on the Senate Faculty Welfare Committee, the COVID-19 Faculty Support Committee, the CLAAS Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the Regional Honors Advisory Council – all done with a smile and an infectious can-do attitude.

E-Campus Excellence in Online Teaching

Dr. Elliott Jardin

From student nominee: “Dr. Jardin was always available to explain any confusing concepts no matter what time of the day. I have a far better understanding of research methods and statistics than in any of my other classes. I really appreciate his patience and kindness when helping me with his class.”

Regional Student Advisor of the Year

Julia Pond

Julia Pond serves as co-advisor of Regional Student Government. She helps RSG student leaders gain valuable experiences as they develop the organization. She guided RSG to do student listening sessions and helped create the VP and Dean’s Student Advisory Board ensuring diverse membership. As RSG Advisor, Julia is an advocate for students’ needs at Miami Regionals.