Student achievements recognized during awards ceremony

PLAINVIEW – Araceli Torres and Devin Davis each received Wayland Baptist University’s Citizenship Award during a recognition chapel service held Wednesday, May 10, in Harral Auditorium.

“Voted on by students and faculty, the Citizenship Award is the highest honor given to a senior man and woman each year. We congratulate you on this honor,” Dr. Bobby Hall, President, said in presenting the awards.

To see photos from Awards Chapel click here

The Citizenship Award presentations came at the conclusion of a ceremony in which 86 honors were presented to students. The awards included the presentation of Jazmin Ortega and Bret Willburn as the Rory Allgood Thomas Outstanding Freshman Girl and Outstanding Freshman Boy.

A senior from Odessa, Torres is the daughter of Dr. Rachel Torres, Director of Clinical Teaching, and Mike Torres. She is a Molecular Biology major with a minor in Chemistry. Torres is a member of the American Chemical Society, a Welch Foundation researcher, and volunteers at the local food bank. She has done work study in Biology, Chemistry and Tutorial Services. Torres was voted Miss Congeniality in the Miss Wayland Pageant and worked as a K-Parent for Koinonia, a freshman welcome event held annually. Upon graduating, Torres plans to enter the Texas Tech Molecular Pathology graduate program.

A senior History major from Opelousas. La., Davis is the son of Michelle and the late Scott Davis, who are WBU alumni. During his time at Wayland. He has been a part of the track, cross country, and eSports teams. He served as the president of the Gamers Guild and was involved in Student Alumni Council and Student Union Board. Davis has been a resident assistant at both Caprock Hall and Jimmy Dean Hall. Having recently successfully completed his thesis, he plans to earn a master’s degree in History at Houston Christian University after graduating from Wayland.

Jeffrey Vera, Director of Alumni and Career Services, presented the Rory Allgood Thomas Outstanding Freshman awards.

A native of Midland, Ortega is the daughter of Margarita and Humberto Ortega. She is a Choral Music Education major and is involved in Baptist Student Ministries, International Choir, Opera, and the Great Commission Team of the School of Christian Studies.

A native of Amarillo, Willburn is the son of Jennifer and Jeremey Cantrell, as well as the late James Lee Willburn. He is an Engineering Major. He is involved the Honors Program and Pioneer basketball. He works in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

 Dr. Claude Lusk, Senior Vice President of Operations, presented Spinning Wheel Awards to 11 junior or senior students who demonstrated campus leadership while maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.0. Those receiving the awards included: Sadie Argueta, Nia McGriff, Faith Castillo, Bruna Moureira, Clarissa Rejino, Hope Castillo, Rylee Biggs, Morgan Rutledge, Ashlyn Shelley, Chloe Marmitt and Taylor Ramage.

Shaney Brewer, Director of Undergraduate Admission, presented 14 Pioneer Scholars and 13 Centennial Award honorees.

Those who maintained their Pioneer academic scholarships throughout their undergraduate studies at Wayland included: Diego Cortez, Kaitlyn Edgemon, Carsen Miles, Jaxon Recer, Andres Villa, Kiria Weatherton, Ethen Byers, Abigail Epp, Jackson Kent, Dawson Mailey, Sarah Manchee, Alexander Spencer, Lindsey Sumner, and Jesse Bennett.

Centennial Awards were presented to Devin Davis, Ryan Davis, William Flowers, Chelsea Kelley, Matthew Perry, Olivia Ricci, Ashlyn Shelley, Hope Shatto, Brandon Chapin, Bailey Hair, Cole Rubac, Joshua Smedema, and Brody Williams.

Dr. Cindy McClenagan, Vice President of Academic Affairs, presented Outstanding Achievement Awards to students in various program areas of each of the university’s academic schools.

In the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, awards were presented to Jansen Stevens, History; Carsen Miles, Psychology; Sara Diaz, Sociology; William Flowers, Criminal Justice; and Ryan Davis, Social Studies Composite.

In the School of Business, awards were presented to Brody Williams, Accounting; Jesus Soto, Business Administration; William Bundy, Cyber Security; Angel Lucero, Digital Marketing; Bryan Alfaro, Economics; Gabriel Paglioni, Finance; Monet Parker, Health Care Administration; Laston Bigham, Management; Jeffrey Lucido, Marketing; and Vlastimil Miller, Sports Management.

In the Don A. Williams School of Education, awards were presented to Julia Franklin, Elementary Education; Lizette Garcia, Middle School Education; Casey Buck, Secondary Education; Kenan Phillips, All-Level Education; Joshua Smedema, Allied Health; and Mason Garrett, Exercise and Sport Science.

In the School of Creative Arts, awards were presented to Justin Porter, Media; Paten Denton, Two-Dimensional Art; Madeline Allison, Graphic Design; Joshua Tucker, Communication Studies; Deborah DiSalvo, Vocal Performance; and Lindsey Jo Sumner, Choral Music Education and Musicological Studies.

In the school of Languages and Literature, awards were presented to Jesus Soto, Spanish; Lily Jolly, Humanities; and Abigail Epp, English.

In the Kenneth L. Mattox School of Mathematics and Sciences, awards were presented to Rylee Biggs, Biology; Chelsea Kelley, Chemistry; Thad Udoh, Mathematics; Ricardo Flores, Molecular Biology; Morgan Rutledge, Environmental Science; and Ilan Joffe, Computer Science.

In the school of Christian Studies, awards were presented to Sara Diaz, Amelia Bishop Women’s Ministerial Award; Brandon Mailey, Arthur E. Boyd Award; Jesse Bennett, Timothy Award; Austin Peel, Servant Leadership Award; Chris Chadwick, Theological Studies; Taylor Ramage, Christian Ministry; and Cameron Bendfeld, Vocational Ministry.