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Honors Convocation recognizes outstanding students, faculty

April 12, 2016

During the annual Honors Convocation on April 11, Stephens students and faculty were recognized for their scholarship and achievements.

Numerous students were recognized with academic awards while Associate Professor Jeff Phillips, Ph.D., received the Distinguished Teacher Award, and Associate Professor Mimi Hedges received the Michael Bowling Distinguished Advising Award.

Phillips, who teaches Natural Sciences, specializes in ecology, and his research interests focus on the factors determining mate selection in largemouth bass, and the consequence that mate selection has on survival of the young. He earned a Ph.D. and an M.S. from North Carolina State University and a B.S. from the University of Central Florida.

“Advising is one of the most rewarding and sometimes challenging parts of my work at Stephens,” Hedges said. “There is nothing that makes me more proud than to see an advisee who may have struggled with her own challenges cross that stage at graduation, or to get an email announcing her first job after graduation.”

Hedges teaches lighting, scenic and properties design in the Stephens School of Performing Arts. She has served in a variety of administrative and teaching roles at Stephens, including interim dean of Performing Arts (2013-14), director of advising and Liberal Arts (2012-13), dean of Liberal Arts (2008-12) and interim chair of Psychology (2009-12). She was a resident scenic designer/scenic artist at Stephens from 2002-2006 and resident and guest designer for over 50 productions at Okoboji Summer Theatre. She earned an M.F.A. from Case Western Reserve University, a B.A. from The College of Wooster and an A.S. from Iowa Lakes Community College.

During the celebration, Alissa Pei Gorham, director of Residence Life and Education, received the Stephens Star Award for her contributions to student achievement; and Linda Pattie, interim director of Student Life and Engagement, received the Century Candle Award.

Stephens staff were also honored during a special recognition ceremony in April. Honors were as follows:

  • Community Service Award - Chris Rigby, Institutional Advancement and Initiatives
  • Customer Service Award - Bryan Corum, Admissions; Brenda Copeland, Facilities; Amy Langen, Institutional Advancement and Initiatives
  • Teamwork Award - Center for Career Professional Development (Amanda Wooden, Maureen Bernath, Jacob Wilhelm)
  • Diversity Award - Tina Parke-Sutherland, Ph.D., Humanities
  • Reaching for the Stars Award - Mandi Powell, Student Development
  • Distinguished Staff Service Award - Lita Pistono, Office of the President

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