News Release:

Apr. 20,  2012

Candler Honors Students' Vocational and Academic Excellence

honors-day-2012-showalter-ehst.jpgCandler School of Theology’s annual Honors Day was held on April 19 in Cannon Chapel. This year’s celebration was titled “A Celebration of Vocational and Academic Excellence.” In his homily, Steven Kraftchick, associate professor in the practice of New Testament interpretation, referenced the winner of the 2012 Masters Tournament, Bubba Watson. He noted that while the public saw those pivotal shots that won Watson the green jacket, they did not see the countless shots that led to that moment – the hours of practice and hard work that didn’t make the highlight reel. The students who received awards at Honors Day, according to Kraftchick, had expended similar effort behind the scenes that led to that moment on April 19.

The student honorees for vocational excellence and community service are: 

Leah Lyman Waldron received the Claude H. Thompson Award, which is presented to the student who demonstrates his or her concern that the gospel of Christ comes to complete expression in the lives of men and women through acts of justice and reconciliation. In her Contextual Education I placement at Metro State Women’s prison, Leah created a community for pregnant women who were incarcerated. Last summer, she worked in the Congo with Habitat for Humanity and is now doing clinical pastoral education at a children’s hospital.

Krista Showalter Ehst received the Berta and James T. Laney Award in Contextual Education, which is presented to a third-year MDiv student who has successfully completed both the first and second years of Contextual Education and whose engagement with the practices of ministry exemplifies H. Richard Niebuhr’s concern to do theology as simultaneous reflection and action carried out within the personal and social context of love of God and neighbor. Krista has been involved with Creation Keepers and initiatives related to sustainable foods while at Candler. She participated in the Candler Advantage program in a cross-racial church ministry that addressed practices of sustainability and land stewardship.

Charmaine Webster received the Charles Owen Smith Award, which is presented to a second-year student with exceptional promise for service in ministry in the Baptist tradition. A graduate of Duke University, Charmaine served as a Congressional Black Caucus Intern while a college student. At Candler she has served as a co-president of the Candler Baptist Community and Youth Pastor at First Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.

Dalan Vanterpool received the Fellowship Seminarian Award, which is administered by The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts and presented to the graduating student who displays outstanding leadership in worship arts. As a ministry intern at Second Mount Vernon Baptist Church and as an intern in Candler’s Office of Worship, Dalan has planned worship services with passion and creativity. He has been a volunteer accompanist for the Candler Singers and served as a member of the Worship Committee, as a Student Ambassador, and as president of the Black Student Caucus.

Adam Love received the Hoyt Hickman Award, which is presented to the senior who, in the opinion of the Emory Chapter of the Order of St. Luke, has most contributed to the worship life of Candler through liturgical leadership and pastoral care. Adam is a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan University. He served with distinction as an intern in the Office of Worship and is pastor of Albright and Clear Springs Chapel United Methodist Churches in Chuckley, TN.

The Community Service Award is presented to the graduating student who has given outstanding service to the Candler community. This year, two seniors were selected to receive this award: Timothy Moore and Patrick McLaughlin.

Tim Moore has served an unprecedented two consecutive terms as president of the Candler Coordinating Council (C3). In this role, he has overseen a $60,000 annual budget, served as a student representative to Candler’s Personnel and Academic Policy Committee, and represented the student body at events across the campus. Tim envisions for Candler the beloved community, and has directed his leadership to supporting individuals and organizations of differing make-up and outlook, for the betterment of our whole.

Patrick McLaughlin has served as a representative to C3. His passion for community and justice has led him to coordinate the assembly of health kits for Haiti, organize a Chili Cook-Off to support Refugee Family Services, host a shoe drive, and work with other graduate and professional schools to collect vitamins for Haiti. As President of the Social Concerns Network, he has arranged educational programs about immigration, sustainable food, the death penalty, and domestic violence.

Caitlin Hartley received the John Owen Smith Award, which is presented to the MDiv senior who is best able to communicate faithfully and imaginatively the gospel through preaching. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Caitlin’s sermons were noted for their well-written and lyrical sensibility. She is an accomplished musician who performs with the Candler Singers and a student assistant in the Development Office.

honors-day-2012-llw.jpgLeah Lyman Waldron received the John W. Rustin Award, which is presented to the student who, in the opinion of the preaching faculty, best exhibits the capacity for prophetic preaching.

Samantha Lewis received the Ruth Sewell Flowers Award, which is presented to the senior MDiv student who has shown the greatest improvement in ministerial qualifications during three years spent in the School of Theology. Sam completed Contextual Education at Gwinnett Medical Center and Georgia Tech Wesley Foundation. She has worked for two years at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion and has been Vice President of C3 and chaplain to Sacred Worth.

Peggy Jean Craig, Sarah Hedgis, and Whitney Pierce received recognition through Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges. This honor recognizes students who have made impressive contributions to the quality of life and education through service, leadership, scholarship and character.

As part of her theological education, Peggy Jean has studied in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Nairobi, and Laos, where she was as an intern with International Relief and Development. She had been a missionary and English teacher in Laos before enrolling at Candler. She participated in the Church on the Border course in 2011 and collaborated with the Haiti Christian Development Fund to provide housing for displaced families in 2010.

Sarah has served on the Development Committee and the Admissions, Scholarship, and Honors Committee at Candler. For two years she has served on the Leadership Candler Selection Committee. She was an Orientation Coordinator for first-year students and on the Worship Planning Team.

Whitney served as Secretary of the Candler Community Council. She has been a Colloquy Leader and Peer Advisor at Candler, served on the Contextual Education Committee, and been a student assistant in the Office of Emory’s President and in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. In the summer of 2010, she was an intern with Bread for the World.

The student honorees for academic excellence are:

United Methodist Foundation for Christian Higher Education Award is presented to a rising MDiv junior, middler, and senior for 2012-13. Recipients must have been active members of the UMC for at least one year and must demonstrate outstanding scholarship and leadership ability. The Admissions staff will select a recipient from the incoming class for the junior award. Lynn Miller and Joya Abrams are receiving the awards for a rising middler and senior.

A graduate of Emory College, Lynn has been a member of The United Methodist Church for over a decade. Her gifts for ministry include compassion and love for people, joy in serving, counseling, writing, and a willingness to be a servant.

At her home church and through her Contextual Education placements, Joya has worked to assist persons in dire need, provided leadership in worship, provided pastoral care in homes and hospitals, and taught Sunday School. Her gifts and graces for ministry are abundant, her academic performance distinctive, and she prioritizes family commitments in and through her other endeavors.

Caitlin Hartley received The United Methodist First Career Seminary Award, which is presented to a student for whom ministry will be the recipient’s first career. Recipients must be planning to enter parish ministry and must demonstrate outstanding scholarship and leadership ability.

United Methodist Scholarship Seminary Award recipients are chosen from the membership of the current first-year class who demonstrate outstanding scholarship and leadership ability and plan to enter parish ministry. Lynn Miller and Tyler Sit are the recipients of this award. Tyler Sit is a graduate of Boston University, where he was an intern at Marsh Chapel. Tyler is a member of the World Student Christian Federation Committee, where he is the LBGT Coordinator. He is participating in Emory University’s TEDx program, where he will speak on mindfulness practices and global climate change.

Amaryah Armstrong received the Myki Mobley Award, which is presented to the MTS student who demonstrates academic excellence and significant social concern. Amaryah is a graduate of Belmont University, where she lived in an intentional community, tutored elementary students, and participated in a community garden. While at Candler she has been chaplain to Sacred Worth, a member of the Senior Class Gift Campaign, and facilitator and organizer for the 10th Annual Jesus Radicals Conference.

Won Chul Shin received the Nolan B. Harmon Award, which is presented to the second-year MDiv student who has shown the most marked improvement during the two years spent in the School of Theology. Won Chul is known to many for the hospitality he provides as a student employee of the Admissions Office. He is the secretary of the Emory Graduate Korean Student Association at Candler and was selected to the Ethics and Servant Leadership Forum of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. With others, he has produced a film child sex-trafficking in Atlanta.

Jae Yong Song received the James and Alice Slay Award, which is presented to the second-year MDiv student who exhibits outstanding academic performance and promise for pastoral ministry. Jae Yong is president of the Candler International Students Association and Secretary of the Candler Society for Multiracial Congregations. Last summer, he served as a ministerial intern at a Methodist Church in The Bahamas. Currently, he is the Mission and Outreach Coordinator of Still Waters United Methodist Church and a member of the Committee on New Multiracial Church Development in the North Georgia Annual Conference.

Meredith Hollman received the Chad Davis Memorial Award, which was established by Dr. Sara Mandell in memory of The Rev. James Chadwick Davis, a 1959 graduate of the Candler School of Theology. This award is given to the student who has done well in Old or New Testament courses and is selected by the Bible faculty. In addition to working with Dr. Jacob Wright as a research assistant, Meredith reads classical Latin, Attic and Koine Greek, Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic, and French, and is a tournament Scrabble player.

Justin Walker received the Boone M. Bowen Award, which is presented to the student who, in the opinion of the biblical studies faculty, has the best record in biblical Hebrew. Justin has served as the college pastor, worship leader, and assistant director of discipleship at Mount Paran North Church of God while at Candler. He is also a volunteer with Feed My Lambs in Atlanta.

Will Conner received the Russell E. Richey Award, which is presented to the Candler student who has demonstrated excellence in Wesleyan studies. Last summer, Will completed a ministerial internship in the Holston Annual Conference through the Candler Advantage program.

Mary Page Wilson received the G. Ray Jordan Award, which is presented to the MDiv senior who shows unusual promise for usefulness in ministry and demonstrates excellence in integrating academic study with constructive leadership and service. Mary Page also received the Chalice Press Book Award. She works in the West End of Birmingham with her husband, where they run Community Church Without Walls, an intentional community ministry in a lower-income area. Mary Page has coordinated joint ventures between the Community Church and First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, bringing together youth from across socio-economic levels for dialogue.

The Academic Excellence Awards are presented to one MDiv senior and to one MTS senior who, in the opinion of the faculty, achieved the highest academic excellence. These award winners serve as student marshals during commencement. The MDiv recipient is Leah Lyman Waldron, and the MTS recipient is Amanda Davis. Amanda has been a research assistant to Dr. Carol Newsom and Dr. Carl Holladay and has attended the Society of Biblical Literature national meetings in 2010 and 2011. Last year, Amanda won the Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award at the SBL’s Southeast Region Conference. Last summer, Amanda studied at the University of Haifa, Israel, with a grant from the Tam Institute of Jewish Studies at Emory

In addition to these student awards, the student body presented members of the faculty and staff with awards:

Shelly Hart, director of academic administration and registrar, received the award for Staff Person of the Year.

P. Alice Rogers, associate professor in the practice of congregational leadership, director of Contextual Education II, and Director of the Teaching Parish Program, received the award for Faculty Person of the Year.

Brent Strawn, associate professor of Old Testament, received the On Eagle’s Wings Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is selected by the senior class in recognition of faithful and dedicated service.