Ohio University

Outstanding Student Awards 2019-2020

Outstanding Student Awards 2019-2020





Outstanding Student Award in Applied Management for 2019-2020

Nominators: Darci Wagner & Michael Schor

Samuel Lilly

Samuel is very deserving of the Outstanding Student award for the BSAM program.  Samuel is an exceptional student in each class he attends.  He is participative in class as well as on campus and is always willing to help other students in class or groups.  He was selected to be a part of the OUE Shark Challenge, a collegiate ‘business pitch competition’ the last two years where he and his team earned first place both years.  Samuel made an excellent impression on the judges for the challenge, his presentations were abundant with professionalism and collegiality.  He is a great reflection on the university.  Congratulations, Samuel!


Outstanding Student Award in Communication Studies for 2019-2020

Nominator: Rita Ng & Sheida Shirvani

Breanna Kinsey

Breanna Kinsey is the outstanding Communication Studies student of this year.  She is one of our graduating seniors, with 3.914 G.P.A.  Not only Breanna is an excellent writer and has excelled academically, she has also earned the respect from her peers as she is kind, well-rounded, and enjoys learning.  In regard to being a COMS major, Breanna noted, “I have fully enjoyed being a COMS major and know that my education has provided me with the knowledge and experiences that I can use throughout my life.  Already, I have used my COMS education in my work as a counselor at a summer camp over the past two years, where I have had to deal with conflict management, group work, diversity, and cross-cultural communication. My years at OUZ have been encouraging and I am going to miss all of the many amazing professors who have helped make my experience at OUZ so meaningful.  With my degree in COMS, I can confidently move forward in a variety of careers or entrepreneurship. I am honored to receive this recognition and I look forward to my future as a COMS graduate.”  Congratulations and well-deserved for the outstanding COMS student award, Breanna Kinsey!!


Outstanding Student Award in Early Childhood Education for 2019-2020

Nominators: Hannah Nissen & Teri Peasley

Audrey Thomas

It is an honor and a privilege to recognize Audrey Thomas as the Outstanding Early Childhood Education

Student of the Year!  Audrey has always known what she wanted and immediately showed that she was willing to work hard to achieve it. I have witnessed Audrey’s progress through our rigorous program and have always admired her tenacity and perseverance.

Audrey has completed field work across multiple grade levels, including internships in preschool and 1st grade and has consistently demonstrated the characteristics of an exceptional educator. She has used her time at OUZ wisely as she developed a deep knowledge of educational theory and practice and will graduate with honors. Although her internship was shortened by the current health crisis, I have no doubt that Audrey will be an exceptional early childhood educator.

She is highly respected by her peers and can often be found supporting them both personally, and professionally. She has a sense of self that is beyond reproach and continually seeks opportunities to continue her growth as an educator. In addition to her coursework, Audrey has engaged in professional development to gain knowledge of educational practices used within our area schools. Audrey is insightful and intuitive, and she has a wonderful sense of humor that will ensure there is never a dull moment in her future classroom.

As early childhood faculty, I am intensely proud of Audrey’s achievements. She has earned recognition as the Outstanding Early Childhood student and we have no doubt that she will continue to make our program and OUZ proud!

The Early Childhood Education faculty wish Audrey the best of luck as she joins the ranks of exceptional educators in our region!


Outstanding Student Award in Middle Childhood Education for 2019-2020

Nominator: Jon Carroll

Jacie Fondriest

It's my honor to announce Jacie Fondriest as this year's Outstanding Student in Middle Childhood Education. Some people are just born to be teachers, and Jacie is certainly one of them.  She is not only hard working and extremely intelligent, but also has many of the traits of an effective classroom teacher. She is creative and knows how to explain a concept many different ways.  Furthermore, she is calm and diligent and has an easy way of talking with students. If she doesn’t know an answer she works to find it. She will be the teacher who students know they can count on, who will always listen to them without judgment, and who has a sense of humor they can relate to. 

Jacie has an intense passion to teach and inspire students to become supportive and caring members of their community. She will work to create a safe environment where her students feel secure and desire to expand their knowledge of the content.  Perhaps most importantly, Jacie has the ability to create lessons that encourage students to become confident, successful, and life-long learners. Jacie Fondriest will be that “rock star” teacher!


Outstanding Student Award in History for 2019-2020

Nominator: Korcaighe Hale

Kaitlyn Shuman

Kaitlyn is graduating this year, and over the course of her time at OUZ she has maintained one of the highest GPAs in the history department. She has volunteered for the Region 10 History Day contest for the past several years, both as a student worker and as a judge. In 2018, she undertook a local history project on behalf of the local Red Cross chapter in honor of its 100th anniversary celebration.  Throughout her career at OUZ, she has gone above and beyond both in her own work and as a mentor to fellow students.


Outstanding Student Award in Nursing (ADN Program) 2019-2020

Nominators: Pam Sealover & Nursing Faculty

Alicia Anderson

For the associate degree nursing program we would like to nominate Alicia Anderson as our outstanding student. Alicia is a non-transitional student who is strong academically but also in clinical.  She is a student worker in the skills lab and has been willing to go above a beyond by assisting other students that were struggling in her free time.  Alicia also partnered with Teresa Pollen to create a great mother/baby/pediatric simulation space in the skills lab.  She has demonstrated both quality academics and dedication to the nursing program.

Outstanding Student Award in Nursing (BSN Program) 2019-2020

Nominators: Pam Sealover & Nursing Faculty

Jared Lumbatis

For the BSN program we would like to nominate Jared Lumbatis.  He is completing his sophomore year.  He is an excellent academic student and a Student Nurses Association of Zanesville (SNAZ) officer.  He also participated in Sheryl Houses’s international collaboration.  He has assisted with student tutoring in the Student Success Center and has functioned in the skills lab as a student worker.  He has been described as patient, understanding, non-intimidating by other students he has assisted.  When tasked with new challenges he is eager and completes them with enthusiasm and a positive attitude.


Outstanding Student Award in Psychology for 2019-2020

Nominators: Dev Poling & Frank LoSchiavo

Emily Untied 

Emily is a consistently high performing student, recognized by her instructors for both her skilled intellect and her willingness to assist fellow students. Her GPA in the top of her class demonstrates that she is one of the brightest and most promising students on campus. She has served as a friend and mentor to many students through her leadership roles on campus. These roles include mentoring students in our College Experience course and continuing as a mentor in the LINKS program. Emily was recruited to serve as a tutor on campus, where she has assisted students in multiple disciplines. Finally, Emily promotes the university through her role as a campus Student Ambassador. In 2019, Emily was awarded a prestigious summer placement with the Cincinnati Children’s Center for ADHD, allowing her to work with clinicians, honing her professional skills. Her positive attitude combined with leadership, hard work, and maturity make her a well rounded and productive person. Emily was offered graduate positions from multiple different schools in Ohio, forcing them to compete for her enrollment. Ultimately, she chose to begin the next chapter of her professional career in Cincinnati, and we couldn’t be more proud. Best of luck, Emily!


Outstanding Student Award in Sport & Lifestyle Studies for 2019-2020

Nominator: Kathy Normansell

Jordan Heiney

The criteria for this award is based on leadership qualities (both in the classroom and through volunteer/community engagement), academic integrity and excellence, and current and future contributions to the field. Additional consideration is given to growth over their academic career.

Jordan has matured from a shy freshman whose face would turn red when talking to an instructor, to a confident leader who brings ideas to his professors.  In the classroom he willingly contributes thoughtful ideas to discussions.  In small group work, he becomes a voice his classmates listen to and respect.  He strives to understand material and not merely pass a test.  Jordan was a founding member of the Sports and Recreation Club, serving as its first secretary and then as President.

Jordan has excelled in many areas for OUZ.  He has been the VA Rep, helping students navigate the VA system to ensure they receive the benefits they deserve.  He has served as a Student Ambassador, assisting Faculty and staff in various manners from providing tours to interested students and families to being a student representative on campus and community committees.  As a double major also in Applied Management, Jordan was an outstanding intern to the OUZ PR Department, starring in a local promotional commercial as well as assisting in other marketing campaigns.

Jordan's leadership has also grown through his work as a youth volleyball coach.  Starting as an assistant, he then developed into the head coach for a girls Select Club team.  It was so rewarding when Jordan came into my office after summer break to share his experiences as the coach.  His excitement was overflowing; his commitment to the players was that of a professional coach; his thirst to do his best was sincere.  And on top of this, was his desire to discuss his application of so many classroom concepts that were now real, not as a student seeking advice from his instructor, but as an emerging professional talking with a colleague.

Jordan's integrity, strive for improvement, his strong leadership skills coupled with his thoroughly enjoyable personality is going to be an asset to which ever direction his career leads him. I will look forward to following Jordan as he builds a successful career.  Congratulations and Best Wishes Jordan!


Outstanding Student Award in Social Work for 2019-2020

Nominator: Michel Coconis

Kassandra Settles

Kassandra Settles is a very engaged and engaging person. She is involved in the leadership of both Rotaract and Student Social Work Association, being President of the latter for the past two years, all while studying in both social work and psychology. She is a double major student studying both social work and psychology and is currently in her social work field placement experience in juvenile justice with another alum of OUZ, Sarah Lang, bringing interesting people and circumstances full circle. Kassie, as she is known to her friends, classmates, and faculty, has a wide range of talents and interests including working on campus in the campus library,volunteering with Hospice, taking many classes, field practicum, and the work of engaging students in the student organizations in which she is involved including BobCat Ambassador and LINK mentor program. Prior to coming to OUZ, she had completed Leadership Muskingum and it shows. She knows a lot about holding events, organizing people, engaging with them and so forth. As a student, she demonstrates excellence in all of her work. Her attention to detail creates accuracy and precision in her work; her intellectual curious mindset affords her the courage to go beyond the basics in her assignments, perhaps not realizing that she is even doing so. Kassie engaged her clients at her practicum to make holiday cards for persons in the hospice agency where she works LINKING the worth and value of both populations, along with her classmates, to achieving some good feelings and goodwill for all in this SSWA project. That kind of critical and compassionate thinking is what we strive to foster in social work students soon to turn professionals. Kassie is an excellent example of working our Code of Ethics and being a strong ambassador for her academic programs, her student/peer programs, and her community.


Gene Steeves Outstanding Veteran Award for 2019-2020

Nominator: Deb Dodson

Cole Ford

I would like to nominate Cole Ford for the Gene Steeves veteran's award. Cole was in my BIOS 1300 class fall term and is in BIOS 1310 this semester. Cole is an excellent student who consistently scores 100% on exams and also on extra credit questions. He does outside reading and research on topics we cover in class. He balances school with work and caring for his young daughter who has chronic health problems.He is polite and responsible young man and is well liked by his fellow students.  He acts as an unofficial tutor by helping other students with their study skills as well as the course material. I believe Cole is highly deserving of this award.


Michael Kline Spirit Award for 2019-2020

Nominator: Sheryl House

Robin Ribbans

I am writing to nominate Robin Ribbans for the Mike Kline Spirit Award. Robin is currently a 3rd semester nursing student in the Associate Degree nursing program.  I am nominating Robin because I feel she epitomizes the qualifications of this award.

Throughout 2018 Robin had vague health symptoms that had been diagnosed as other conditions.  On a Wednesday in September 2018, Robin became extremely ill and had to be taken to the Emergency Department where her husband was working as a registered nurse.  She had multiple tests conducted.  Robin’s husband changed her life that day when he entered her room and told her she had colon cancer.  Robin underwent additional testing and had surgery two days later for Stage II Colon Cancer.

Robin’s treatment protocol after surgery included six months of chemotherapy every two weeks for 46 hours.  She began her chemotherapy in November and continued her chemotherapy through the entire Spring semester.  Robin had class scheduled on Monday and Wednesdays.  Her clinicals/labs were scheduled on Tuesday.  This allowed Robin to schedule her chemotherapy to begin on Thursday every other week and gave her the weekend to recover.  

Not only did Robin have to endure her chemotherapy and the common side effects, like mouth infections, she also battled through a life-threatening complication.  In February, she became extremely short of breath with activity and was diagnosed with a blood clot in her right lower lung.  She had to be placed on blood thinners for six months. 

Robin dealt with her illness, side effects, complications, and nursing school while continuing to care for her two sons age 8 and 14 with no family support living nearby.  As Robin’s instructor for Foundations and Assessment in Nursing during the Spring semester, I had no idea what she was enduring.  She maintained a positive attitude and never used her cancer as an excuse.  At no time did she ask for extensions or discuss the health issues she was facing.  She was in class every Monday and Wednesday. She never missed a clinical or lab.  Robin worked hard in class and had all assignments completed on time.  She successfully completed the rigorous course with a high B. 

Robin is cancer free but has continued to face challenges as she has progressed through the program.  She had to have a hernia repaired over winter break as a result of her colon cancer surgery.  Robin has spent this Spring semester recovering from that surgery but has maintained that positive attitude and has not let it impact her success in the classroom or clinical. 

The fact that Robin was able to undergo intensive treatment for colon cancer and meet the course objectives of all her nursing courses is nothing less than extraordinary.  Nursing is a rigorous program.  Students without health issues or concerns often struggle to find the balance needed to be successful.  Robin not only found that balance while battling a cancer, she has done well in her nursing courses.

She is a phenomenal role model for her peers and faculty.  Her perseverance through this difficult time and situation is beyond commendable.  Robin is a true blessing to the Ohio University Zanesville community.  She is going to be an exceptional nurse and great asset to the profession of nursing.  Robin is a perfect candidate and possesses all the attributes for the Mike Kline Spirit Award. 


Ohio University Zanesville Special Achievement Award for 2019-2020

Nominator: Dev Poling

Kassandra Settles

I believe that Kassie Settles should receive this award because she has contributed to the campus and to her community above and beyond what might be expected of a student. Kassie has been on the Dean’s list several times. She has taken several classes with me and I also worked with her in the LINKS program. I would be happy to expand on any of the following of Kassie’s contributions: 

  • Kassie is a Student Ambassador and has served in this capacity for Bobcat Blitz and other campus events.
  • She has served as a UC1000 student mentor.
  • She has been an employee for IT (OULN).
  • She is President of the Social Work Club and in this capacity, she has coordinated visits from therapy dogs during final exams. She is currently organizing a Take Back The Night event with the Social Work Club as well.
  • She is involved in Rotaract as a student representative for this campus.
  • She is a graduate of Leadership Muskingum and conducted a feminine hygiene product drive for local shelters.
  • She has volunteered with Zanesville Civic League.
  • She completed a biography project in her fieldwork placement volunteering at Hospice, and she presented a poster about her experiences at our local student EXPO last year, even though the requirements of her fieldwork credit do not mandate this amount of work.
  • She was part of the inaugural team of LINKS Peer Mentors, successfully mentoring three first year students.
  • She is currently an employee at the campus library.
  • She was recently the recipient of a Leadership On and Off the Court award, through the OU Athens Women’s Center, and was recognized at half time during an OU women’s basketball game.

Linn Academic Improvement Award for 2019-2020 

Nominators: Cindy Linn & Ray Rotella

Reily Bennett

We nominate Reily Bennett for this annual monetary award to the most improved student at Ohio University Zanesville. She had a terrible spring semester last year. She withdrew from a class and received an FN in another class because she was ill and had to be hospitalized. She was determined to come back to pursue her studies and during the fall semester this year she showed great improvement with a 3.48 GPA. Reily is a great kid and very deserving of this award. Congratulations, Reily!