Ohio State Lima Academic Celebration recognizes student scholars




LIMA – The Ohio State University at Lima annually recognizes the scholarly efforts of its graduating seniors and others at an Academic Celebration.

This year’s winners for scholarly work, overall achievement and service to the campus are listed below.

Department awards

Faculty members in each academic area on campus choose their most outstanding students from the academic year to recognize with a department award.

• Psychology: Victoria Bradford, of Paulding

Victoria Bradford graduates with honors. She has a stellar research record, presenting at local and national conferences, contributed to potential publications and completed an honors thesis this spring.

• History: Emily Preston, of Huntsville

Emily E. Preston is an outstanding scholar and writer. Her work shows sophistication and clarity of thought, and she demonstrates a confident grasp of historical processes as well as a deftness in analyzing and comparing sources.

• English: Alyssa Brown, of Lima

Alyssa Brown is outstanding at analyzing literary texts utilizing complex critical approaches such as deconstruction and is always an active and insightful contributor to class discussions. Brown is an outstanding creative writer, both in poetry and fiction. She received the Arbuckle Creative Writing Scholarship for a selection from her poetry chapbook “Post Script.” In the past year, she has served as a senior editor for Ohio State Lima’s international literary journal “Asterism,” leading the editorial meetings, corresponding with authors across the globe and editing accepted pieces. She also works as a writing center tutor and a Spanish tutor, is a mentor in the Each One Teaches One program and a leader in the Women’s Empowerment Club.

• Nan Arbuckle Creative Writing Scholarship: Victoria Sullivan, of Lima

A previous winner – in 2018 – for poetry, Victoria Sullivan stood out this year for her fiction. Her stories of family tension and marital convolutions impressed the judges with their strange and startling depictions of ordinary domestic woe. The work balances idiosyncratic perceptions with everyday reality, creating on the page characters who are simultaneously distinct and familiar.

• Music: Victoria Bradford, of Paulding

Victoria Bradford’s dedication to the music department during her time at Ohio State Lima has been extraordinary. She emerged as a leader, not only in the University Chorale but also in the formation of a student-led acapella group – REEDefined acapella – and served as their first president. She found unique ways to reach out to the community and share her love of music by arranging for performances at hospitals and local elementary, middle and high schools.

• Biology: Amanda Weller, of Lima, and Rachel Crites, of Delphos

Amanda Weller not only excels academically, but she also has immersed herself in Ohio State Lima’s biology community. Weller has taken advantage of undergraduate research opportunities by studying the evolutionary history and ecology of the brush-tailed mice, Calomyscus, in and around Pakistan. She presented at the American Society of Mammalogists conference in both 2018 and 2019, as well as local venues. The quality of her research was recognized with an Undergraduate Research Scholarship in 2018 from The Ohio State University. Additionally, she has recently completed the requirements for graduation with research distinction in biology, a designation on her transcript, which attests to the quality of the undergraduate research she conducted. Weller will start a PhD program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro this fall.

Rachel Crites also excels academically and conducts challenging research. Using both morphological and genetic traits, Crites examined the variability in the West African soft-furred mouse, Praomys rostratus, to determine how it differs based on habitat and if the species should be split into two. This work was conducted both in collaboration with Ryan Norris at Ohio State Lima and as part of a competitive Research Experience for Undergraduates funded by the National Science Foundation at the Field Museum in Chicago. She presented at the Field Museum, the American Society of Mammalogists conference in 2019, as well as local venues. The quality of the research also has been recognized with an Undergraduate Research Scholarship, a travel award from the American Society of Mammalogists and as part of the requirements for graduation with research distinction in biology. Crites will start a PhD program at Notre Dame this fall.

• Communication: Rylee Poeppelman, of Fort Loramie

Rylee Poeppelman has been an excellent and dedicated student in all of her communication classes in preparation for continuing her communication major at Ohio State.

• Theater: Sydney Hartford, of Ada

Sydney Hartford tackled her work on stage, in the classroom and behind the scenes with equal amounts of talent, hard work, humility, intelligence and dedication. While she has played a number of leading roles in Ohio State Lima productions, Hartford exemplifies the ensemble spirit in her acting, approaching the work with an open mind and heart and helping to create an environment where all her fellow actors feel valued and important. Aside from her production work on our campus, Hartford also has been actively involved with our campus choral groups, becoming one of the student leaders of REEDefined, a student-led acapella group. She also is one of the few theater students in the past years to develop a research project for the Lima Undergraduate Research Forum, combining her passion for acting with her interest in psychology.

• Physics: Nick Wallace, of Cincinnati

Nick Wallace has participated actively in class, asked questions and answered them and worked well with his groups on problems. He has demonstrated strong interest and knowledge in physics.

• Mathematics: Sharolyn Balbaugh, of Wapakoneta

Sharolyn Balbaugh is an exceptional student who works hard and strives to understand the concepts. She is quiet and observant, noting all details.

Honors awards

The 2020 winners of the honors awards are also being recognized.

The John T. Mount Award is given each academic year to the most outstanding student from each regional campus who has attained senior status by the beginning of autumn semester and who started their Ohio State education on a regional campus. This award was named for John. T. Mount, a former vice president for regional campuses and dean of the University College. This award was created to honor both Mount, for his outstanding service to the regional campuses, and the university’s most outstanding students. This year’s recipient is Olivia Green, of Bellevue.

The John W. Hevener Award is given each academic year to the most outstanding student at Ohio State Lima who has attained senior status by the beginning of autumn semester and who also completed the majority of his or her coursework on the Lima Campus. This award was named for John W. Hevener, who taught history on this campus from 1974 to 1991. During Hevener’s tenure on the faculty, he served as a regular member of the faculty Honors Committee. This award was created to honor both Hevener, for his outstanding service to the students of The Ohio State University at Lima, and also the university’s most outstanding students. This year’s recipient is Victoria Bradford, of Paulding.

The Violet I. Meek Student Leadership Award is an annual award given to the Ohio State Lima student who has demonstrated positive leadership and a vision for the future of the student body while enrolled on the Lima campus. The recipient will embody the land grant mission of Ohio State Lima, demonstrating a quest for a new knowledge combined with public service, one who can balance intellectual pursuits with extra-curricular activities and responsibilities. The award honors Violet I. Meek, retired dean and director of Ohio State Lima. This year’s recipient is Dalton Faulder, of Jackson Center.

The Ohio State Lima Honors Program awards the Honors Tuition Scholarship to Honors students who demonstrate exceptional performance in at least two Honors courses during the current academic year, have maintained a high grade point average over all course work, participated in Honors Program events and submitted an essay describing how the Honors Program has influenced his or her educational experience at Ohio State Lima. This year’s recipients are Kerri Ellerbrock, of Ottawa, Cameron Brittain, of Dayton, Jessica Mangas, of Deshler, Jenna Fields, of Sidney, and Danica Basinger, of Kalida.