Honors Day Recognizes Community of Scholars
William Allen Earns 2009 Barlow Trophy
Alma College senior William Allen of Unionville is the 2009 winner of the Barlow Trophy, Alma’s most prestigious award for a graduating senior.
Presented at Alma’s annual Honors Convocation on Thursday, April 2, the Barlow Trophy recognizes academic achievement for a graduating senior in the top 10 percent of the class as well as contributions to campus and community.
Established in 1949 by Dr. Joel Barlow, a 1929 honors graduate at Alma College, the award is determined by a vote of Alma’s Student Congress and faculty members.
President Saundra Tracy presents the Barlow Award to William Allen, accompanied by parents Rev. Michael and Lynda Allen.
Allen earned a 3.9 grade point average in his self-designed major of social policy. In the summer of 2007 he received a Posey Global Leadership scholarship to work with the Foundation for the Education of Young Women in El Paso, Texas, where he helped develop a school in Juarez, Mexico for high-risk, low-income girls.
He also completed a spring term in Ecuador and was a student representative for the Common Table project, which explores environmental issues related to the Tarahumaran farmers in Mexico.
“With Common Table, I learned that creating positive change requires more than just good intentions; it demands actively listening and responding to the needs and aspirations of others,” Allen says.
One of the ways Allen responded to the needs of Alma’s campus was to develop “Project Able,” which aimed to increase diversity awareness on campus. He worked to secure funding for accessibility initiatives, including reduced doorway thresholds, wheelchair ramps and power building entrances.
In addition, he has welcomed incoming freshmen to Alma College for three years as part of the Orientation Committee and co-chaired the committee in 2008. By developing activities and programming, mentoring and building relationships, he introduces new students to Alma’s culture.
Allen also is involved in a number of other campus groups, including the Center for Responsible Leadership, Sigma Chi fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, Alma choir, Student Congress and the Diversity Advisory Council. He is the student representative for the Board of Trustee’s Finance Committee.
“Life is about finding balance, losing it, then regaining it in unexpected ways,” he says. “The activities I have been involved in at Alma have moved me in directions I never could have imagined.”
A graduate of Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw, he is the son of Rev. Michael and Lynda Allen.
Jim Allen of Harbor Springs and William “Buddy” Scarborough of Washington were the other Barlow finalists.
Margaret Hewitt Named Outstanding Senior Leader
Margaret Hewitt of Bay City received the 2009 Outstanding Senior Leadership Award. The winner is chosen by a vote from the senior class.
Hewitt, a history major, is a graduate of Bay City Central High School. She is the daughter of Chuck and Sue Hewitt.
The Alma Leadership Alliance, a student organization committed to bridging the transition between student and alumni status, sponsors the Senior Leadership Awards. Nominated by campus organizations and selected by a committee of students, faculty and administrators, seniors receive Senior Leadership Awards for involvement in various areas of campus life leadership.
Outstanding Seniors Named
Adam Sypniewski of Petoskey and Abigail Zukausky of Cadillac received Outstanding Senior Awards, given annually to the graduating seniors with the highest grade point averages.
Outstanding Faculty, Junior Faculty Recognized
Alma College seniors recognized Mark Oemke, Catherine Fobes and Will Nichols with Outstanding Faculty Awards at the annual Honors Convocation on Thursday, April 2. In addition, Holly Liu was named Outstanding Junior Faculty.
The Outstanding Faculty Awards are chosen by a vote of the senior class members. The Outstanding Junior Faculty Award is chosen by the president with the advice of the faculty personnel committee and the provost.
Oemke, assistant professor of biology, was the recipient for the natural sciences division. Fobes, associate professor of sociology, was the recipient for the social sciences division. Nichols, Secrest Professor of Music, was the recipient for the humanities division. Liu is an assistant professor of German.
Posted: Tue, April 7th, 2009 at 3:48PM