During the 2009 Spring Honors Convocation dozens of Whittier College students were bestowed with various honors from departments and college heads for their dedication to academics and service.
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Rhodes Scholarship Competition
Ashley Phipps, Nominee
Lara Hurlburt, Nominee
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Nicole Greer, Nominee
Jessica A. Cerda, Nominee
James R. Parks Fellowship
James R. Park Prizes
2009 Newsom Awards in Fiction and Poetry
1st Place (tie)
Martina Miles — Everysmell
Lee Beltrand Chan — A Story to Be Submitted For the Newsom Award
Martina Miles —Yours
Martina Miles — Last Moment
Alexander L. Johnson — Trenton Boogie
Martina Miles — In Order
Brandon Halcomb — On the Edge of Time With a Man Called Lonely
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship
Celia de Sa
Art and Art History
Outstanding Students in Art And Art History
English Language and Literature
Outstanding Graduates in English
First-Year Student Writing Prize
Catherine Faris King — Muses of Poetry, Muses of Poison
Carlyn Werderman — Is Electroconvulsive Therapy Ethical?
Julia-Ellen Spruill-Smith — Utopia in Modern America
Modern Languages and Literatures
The Martin Ortiz Award for Academic Excellence In Spanish
The Tara Molloy Service and Leadership Award In Spanish
Outstanding Students in French
Outstanding Research in French Language and Literature
Outstanding Student in Chinese
Outstanding Performance in Music
Outstanding Leadership and Service In Music
Outstanding Scholarship in Music
Outstanding Creativity in Music
Outstanding Student in Philosophy
C. Milo Connick Award In Recognition Of Outstanding Work in The Field Of Religion
Outstanding Student in Religious Studies
Theatre and Communication Arts Outstanding Student in Theatre
NATURAL SCIENCES DIVISION
Outstanding Student in Biology
Outstanding Contribution to The Biology Department
Outstanding Contribution in Research
The W. Roy Newsom Award in Chemistry
Undergraduate Research Award in Chemistry
Physics and Astronomy
Outstanding Student in Physics and Astronomy
SOCIAL SCIENCES DIVISION
Outstanding Graduate in Business Administration
Outstanding Student in the Finance Concentration
Outstanding Student in Accounting Concentration
Outstanding Student in The International Business Concentration
Outstanding Student in The Management Concentration
Outstanding Student in the Marketing Concentration
Murdy Writing Award
Richard T. Clawson Service And Leadership Award
Outstanding Student in Economics
Education and Child Development
Outstanding Service in Education
Outstanding Academic Achievement in Child Development
Outstanding Service in Child Development
Outstanding Research in Child Development
Outstanding Academic Achievement in Secondary Education
Kinesiology and Leisure Science
Outstanding Student in Kinesiology
And Leisure Science
Ben G. Burnett/Pi Sigma Alpha Awards For Outstanding Academic and Leadership
Contributions by Seniors
Outstanding Student in Psychology: Academics
Outstanding Student in Psychology:
Research and Scholarship
Outstanding Student in Psychology: Service
Whittier Psi Chi Review Award For Exemplary Research and Writing In Psychology
Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Outstanding Sociologist in Political Praxis
Outstanding Student In Anthropology
Outstanding Leadership In Service To Anthropology
Academic Excellence in Social Work
In Field Education in Social Work
Outstanding Contribution to The Social Work Profession
Global And Cultural Studies
Contribution To The Major
Outstanding Student In The Whittier Scholars Program
Award for Service To The Writing Program
SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP AWARDS
Student Life Leadership Awards
Student Life Community Service Awards
Student Life Diversity Awards
Student Life Emerging Leader Award
Broadoaks Service to Children And Families Award
Alianza De Los Amigos Leadership Award
Alianza De Los Amigos Academic Achievement Award
Patricia Van Oosbree, assistant professor of kinesiology and leisure science and the 2008 Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award recipient, delivered the keynote address, "If Not This?"
Dean of Faculty Susan Gotsch presented the 2009 Nerhood Award to chemistry professor Devin Imoto.
Presentation of 2009 Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award
by Dean of Faculty Susan Gotsch
Before we recognize our students for their scholarship and service, we pause for a moment to consider our faculty. For in honoring our students, we also celebrate the work of our faculty. Each year, a committee of peers selects a winner of the Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award. Many faculty have been nominated over the years by students or other faculty for this award. The list of recipients still teaching at the college is impressive: McBride, Bergerson, Furman-Adams, Howard, Chabran, Woirol, Adams, O'Connor-Gomez, Decker, Lozano, Lagan, Marks, Swift, johnston, Geirola, pAddy, McEnaney, Morris, and Van Oosbree. So tonight, as we honor the new Nerhood winner, I feel that we also honor our entire faculty.
For you as students, we hope that your encounter with excellent teachers at Whittier College has contributed to your route to success. Excellent teaching translates into learning for students. Think back to your experiences with great teachers of all sortsâ€”whether parents, a first-grade teacher, a piano teacher, or someone like Harry Nerhood.
For those of you who are new to the Whittier community, let me tell you a little bit about the award. The Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award is probably the most important recognition a faculty member at Whittier can receive. It is named after a Whittier history professor who became a legendary figure. It was said of Professor Nerhood that if you came to the College you needed to take at least one of his classes, regardless of the topic, as the experience was virtually guaranteed to be specialâ€”excellent in some way regardless of your own interests.
The Nerhood Award is given for many reasons and many kinds of accomplishment, to people at different stages of their career. Sometimes it recognizes a whole career. Sometimes it recognizes incredible new energy and accomplishment. Sometimes it recognizes innovation. There are many reasons to give it. All those who have received it are humbled by the experience and feel that there are others who deserve it. Its core meaning is that it acknowledges something specialâ€”the best of what we do here in many manifestations.
Now on to tonight's recipient. He embodies the essential aspects of teaching and encouraging student learning that are worthy of this prestigious award:
The setting of high standards
The ability to stimulate both enthusiasm and creative thought
Fairness in the evaluation of student work
Creation of a quality environment for learning in and out of the classroom, and
Readily available for dialog and counseling with students.
Comments made by his students and colleagues include:
"[Devotion to students is found in the] online chats with students before exams as well as lots of student interaction in his office."
"Gives extremely difficult exams, but rather than expressing frustration, students are inspired to work hard and remain positive about the course and their learning experience."
"An active director of undergraduate research, mentoring 2-4 students each year, working hard to equip [the] lab."
"A leader in bringing a global focus to our curriculum."
"Relates course materials and experiments to [students'] lives and the world around them."
"Gives until it hurts [to students and the College]; and at the same time..."
"Enthusiasm is evident in his joyful laugh [that] permeates the halls; " and
From a student now in graduate school: "set up a learning environment with his students in which creativity was fostered. . . . Once we learned how to be creative, he taught us how to be practical. . . . [and] I found a way to combine my love for chemistry with my longing to do something to address [environmental energy issues]."
"His course on AIDS is a shining example of how science and society intersectâ€”a course in which students can engage in service learning."
As I read these comments, it was clear to me that tonight's winner is such a great teacher because he himself loves learning.
Please join me in congratulating an extraordinary teacher among extraordinary teachers, Professor of Chemistry, Devin Iimoto, the 2009 recipient of the Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award.