Graduate Student Spring Appreciation and Award Reception
April 20, 2007
The AAADS Graduate Student Appreciation and Award Reception, held on April 20, was a time of celebration as the semester closed and people felt the joy of camaraderie and appreciation for accomplishments. Professor Valerie Grim, Chair of the department, and Professor A.B. Assensoh, director of graduate studies, welcomed the attendees. Special guest Professor Emeritus William Wiggins congratulated the graduate students and spoke of the evolution of the department over nearly 40 years of existence. Wiggins asked the students to recall “what the department has been like and what it is now“ and to ask themselves what they “can do to help the AAADS vision come to pass.“
Grim introduced Professor Sylvester Johnson, of religious studies, as the newest adjunct faculty member in AAADS and welcomed Stephen Berrey, currently a visiting professor in the department, as having been appointed assistant professor of AAADS, beginning this fall. In addition, she praised the students who had recently published articles.
Various faculty members made the award presentations to students, staff, and other faculty who were honored during the celebration. The awards and their recipients:
- Damien Strecker and Phillip Wagner: William Wiggins Award for Outstanding Associate Instructor;
- Diane Perry and April Smith: Phyllis Klotman Outstanding Thesis/Creativity Award;
- Femina Ajayi and Sara Bagby: Winona Fletcher Outstanding Leadership Award;
- Garlia Jones: Community Outreach Award (for her AIDS-related work; this is the second year in a row for her to win this award!);
- David Amponsah, Alyssa Liles-Amponsah, Regina Barnett, and Katie Dieter: AAADS Medals of Honor (for their service to AAADS;
- Carol Edge: AAADS Chair’s Award for Outstanding Contributions (for work in media relations and communications);
- Claudia Drieling: Distinguished Service Award (for her five years of service in teaching, mentoring, programming, and outreach on behalf of AAADS);
- Professor A.B. Assensoh: AAADS Appreciation Award (for services rendered as director of graduate studies, with special distinction for contributions made to student publishing);
- Michelle Fleener, Yunika Jackson, and Hannah Wheatley: Gift Certificates (from the faculty, for their service and commitment to the work of AAADS); and
- Herman Hudson Symposium Best Conference Paper Awards: First prize—Evelyn Hamilton (education), second prize—Hassan Wahab (AAADS), and honorable mention—Damien Strecker (AAADS).
The chair urged the graduate students to “Let our professors know of your appreciation, and always be an ambassador for the department.” Following the presentation of awards, the crowd enjoyed refreshments and good fellowship in an atmosphere of mutual support and appreciation.