Doctoral students are among the honorees.
Doctoral students are among the honorees.

Seminary awards prizes to 39 students and professors.

May 2017 – Calling it “one of the hallmarks our community’s life,” Dean Javier Viera celebrated Drew Theological School’s outstanding students and professors for 2016-17.

Dean Javier Viera celebrates ‘how the mind inspires and informs a life of action, service and contemplation.’
Dean Javier Viera celebrates ‘how the mind inspires and informs a life of action, service and contemplation.’

“Today is a celebration of excellence and scholarship in our community, a celebration of how the mind inspires and informs a life of action, service and contemplation,” said Viera, during the seminary’s annual Honors Convocation at Craig Chapel.

Viera hugs retiring staffer Alma Tuitt as Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre cheers her on.
Viera hugs retiring staffer Alma Tuitt as Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre cheers her on.

Viera added that the celebration was made possible because of the “many alumni and friends of this school who have given sacrificially to honor excellence and inspire creativity and courage among our student body and acknowledge faculty who have dedicated themselves to the craft of teaching and research.”

The seminary honored 39 students, professors and staff with 38 awards, including two new ones: The Rev. Robert W. Edgar Prize for Social Justice, established by Robert W. Edgar T’68, and the Exemplary Teacher Award, from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

The seminary also recognized Administrative Assistant Alma Tuitt, who is retiring after providing steadfast support to generations of students, professors and staffers alike. Here’s the full list of honorees.

General Awards

Mead Hall Study Circle Prize – Olivia Cunningham
Awarded to a woman student who has achieved an excellent record in her first year.

Patricia Wickham Prize in Feminist Scholarship – Alexandra Rosado Roman
Endowed in 1992 by family and friends in memory of Patricia Wickham T’89. Awarded for overall academic excellence and creativity in feminist/womanist scholarship to a woman student who has completed two-thirds of the MDiv or three-quarters of MA curriculum.

Donald K. Baxter Prize for Drew Community Engagement – Natalie Marionneaux
Established in 2015 by Mrs. Christine J. Baxter in memory of her late husband, Donald K. Baxter, a deeply engaged Community Fellow at Drew Theological School. Awarded annually to a graduating Theological School student from any of the degree programs who has made the most of his or her entire Drew experience, by fully engaging in the richly diverse range of events and activities on campus.

Angel Abakah and Mark Miller
Angel Abakah and Mark Miller

Rev. William L.D. Lyght T’33 Prize – Gerard Jameson
Endowed in 2014 by Bishop Ernest S. Lyght T’68 in loving memory of his late father, The Rev. William L.D. Lyght T’33. Awarded to a Drew Theological School student for excellence in preaching who is in good academic standing, with a preference for African-American students from the United Methodist tradition, and a secondary preference for students from the Pan-Methodist tradition.

The Exemplary Teacher Award – Kevin Newburg
Award given by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church in recognition of the high caliber of student-centered teaching that takes place on the campuses of United Methodist-related schools, colleges and universities.

Masters Awards

Division I – Biblical Studies

Bernhard Anderson Prize – Seongsoo Kim
Endowed by the Theological School Class 1959 to honor the inspired leadership and teaching of the late Professor of Biblical Theology Bernhard W. Anderson, Dean of the Theological School from 1954 to 1963.

Clarence Tucker Craig Prize in Biblical Studies – Seongsoo Kim
Established by the Class of 1955 to honor the former dean and awarded to the graduating M.Div. candidate who has excelled in this field.

Newton Davies Greek New Testament Prize – Deborah Winston
Awarded to the first-year student who has excelled in New Testament studies. Established in honor of the late Professor of New Testament, J. Newton.

YoungKwang Jun and Miller
YoungKwang Jun and Miller

John Paterson Old Testament Studies Prize – Caelyn Adams
Endowed by family and friends in memory of John Paterson, Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament from 1931-1957. Awarded to the first-year student of greatest promise in Old Testament studies.

Lawrence E. Toombs Prize in Old Testament History – Rachael Phelps
For a student who has excelled in this area.

George R. Warren Memorial Prize – Edward Taylor
Endowed in 1985 by family in memory of George R. Warren T’28. Awarded for outstanding New Testament scholarship.

F.J. Yetter Prize – Marissa van der Valk
Awarded to a seminary student of the Old Testament.

Division II – Church History

Robert Jehu Bull Prize – Benjamin Lee
Endowed in 1996 by Dr. Henry O. Thompson T’58, G’64, a dedicated alumni leader, and other alumni and friends of Drew, in honor of Dr. Robert J. Bull, Professor of Church History and Archaeology Emeritus, who brought church history to life for more than three decades of students by leading the excavation at Caesarea Maritima. Awarded annually to the graduating student with the best record in church history.

Division III – Theology & Philosophy

Annin Memorial Prize in Theology – Benjamin Lee
Endowed in 2005 by Anne V. Annin T’00, in memory of William E. and David E. Annin. Awarded to graduating students in the MDiv program who have displayed both interest and excellence in theology.

Donna Matteis, Kate Ott and Ericka Dunbar
Donna Matteis, Kate Ott and Ericka Dunbar

Division IV – Church & Society
No awards this year

Division V – Christian Practices

Lester Berenbroick Award in Church Music – Rachael Phelps
Established in 2005 by Leary Anna Murphy in honor of Lester Berenbroick’s contributions, over many years, to the teaching of church music at Drew. Awarded to a student who has completed the second year of theological education.

George R. Crooks Prize – Peggy Holder Jones, Qujuana L. Ivory-Jeffress
Established in 1914 and awarded to a graduating MDiv candidate for excellence in hymn and scripture reading.

Franz Hildebrandt Prize – Micah Coleman Campbell
Established by the Class of 1956 for an outstanding student who has exemplified Dr. Hildebrandt’s qualities by combining deep faith and excellence in theological studies with effective ministry as an intern or pastor in a field education assignment leading to the MDiv degree.

Dorr Diefendorf Award – Angel Abakah, Dianna Stone
Established in honor of Dorr Diefendorf, Theological School graduate and Professor of Practical Theology and Applied Christianity. Awarded for excellence in homiletics.

Fellowship Seminarian Award – YoungKwang Jun
Awarded to a graduating seminary student who displays outstanding leadership in music and/or worship arts.

Alfred B. Haas Prize – Cathie Studwell
Established in 2006 by the Theological School Class of 1957, to honor the inspired teaching of Alfred B. Haas T’36, G’46, Associate Professor of Practical Theology from 1944 to 1968. Awarded to students in the MDiv program who have made a significant contribution to the worship life of the Theological School and pursued advanced coursework in the area of liturgics.

John Heston Willey Prize – Barbara Whitlow, Micah Coleman Campbell
Originated in 1920. Presented to the student who excels in pulpit oratory and manner.

The Daniel P. Kidder Prize – Seongsoo Kim, Crystal Newby-Reynolds
Awarded for the best academic record in practical theology.

Henry L. Lambdin Prize for Excellence in Pastoral Leadership – Reginald Charlestin, Melaine Rochford
Endowed in 1989 by friends and colleagues to honor former faculty member Henry Lambdin T’14, ’35. Awarded for excellence in pastoral leadership.

Matteis, Sharon Williams and Dunbar.
Matteis, Sharon Williams and Dunbar.

The Order of St. Luke-Hoyt Hickman Award – Constance Squire
Awarded for excellence in liturgical studies.

Alton Raynor Prize – Euntaik Lee
Established in 1998. Awarded annually to a second-year student who shows great promise for success in town and country ministry.

The Rev. Florence Spearing Randolph Prize – Jacqueline Carter
Awarded to a graduating African-American woman student who demonstrates powerful preaching skills and potential outstanding pastoral leadership.

Jasper and Ann Steele Prize – Sooah Na
Endowed by Jasper and Ann Steele in 1994. For a student who demonstrates potential for ministry in a multicultural community.

The Rev. Dr. Clayton Z. Miller T’59, T’75 Prize – Nova Vitug
Endowed in 2013 by the Rev. Dr. Clayton Z. Miller T’59, T’75. Awarded to a Theological School student who has excelled in supervised ministry and shows great promise for congregational clergy leadership.

Graduate Division of Religion Student Association Awards

Karen McCarthy Brown Award for Excellence in Teaching  Kate Ott
Awarded for excellence in teaching and exceptional commitment to the academic, professional and personal advancement of students.

Maxine Clarke Beach Excellence in Service Award  Sharon Williams
Awarded to a recipient who encourages and embodies a spirit of community interaction and support, showing sensitivity to the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical vitality of students.

Doctoral Awards

Maxine Clarke Beach Leadership Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Coursework – Rory McEntee, Scott Ostlund
Awarded for academic excellence by a PhD student in coursework.

Maxine Clarke Beach Leadership Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Comprehensive Exams – Peter McLellan
Awarded to a PhD student who has completed the comprehensive exams with exceptional academic distinction.

Susan Kendall and Leah Thomas
Susan Kendall and Leah Thomas

Maxine Clarke Beach Leadership Prize for the Outstanding Student-Teacher – Nikki (Nicole) Hoskins
Awarded to a PhD student who has demonstrated exceptional ability, dedication, and promise as a teacher.

Edwards-Mercer Prize – Amy Chase
Endowed in 1998 by Juanita Edwards-Mercer and her family to honor Mrs. Mercer’s mother, Alpha Duncan Edwards. Awarded to a PhD candidate for travel expenses associated with religion-related dissertation research.

The Priscilla Patten Benham Prize in Dissertation Research – Amy Chase
Established in 2011 by Leary Anna Murphy, in memory of Priscilla Patten Benham G’76. Awarded to PhD candidates of the Graduate Division of Religion for expenses associated with dissertation research.

Helen LePage and William Hale Chamberlain Prize – Shelley Dennis
Established by Joan Chamberlain Engelsman G’77, and endowed in 2001, in memory by her husband, Ralph G. Engelsman. Awarded annually for the PhD dissertation that is singularly distinguished by creative thought and excellent prose style.

Rabbi Dr. Sheldon J. Weltman Prize for Excellence in Biblical Studies – Sarah Emanuel, James Hoke
Endowed in 1992 by the estate of Rabbi Weltman G’80, ’90. Awarded for the best thesis or dissertation in Biblical Studies.

The Rev. Robert W. Edgar Prize for Social Justice – Leah Thomas
Established by Robert W. Edgar T’68 as an expression of his affection for Drew University and his deep concern for social justice. Awarded to students pursuing a doctor of Philosophy degree in the Graduate Division of Religion whose work connects the academy with the religious, cultural, and socio-political realities and challenges of the larger world, and whose dissertation is distinguished by outstanding transdisciplinary scholarship related to social justice issues.