Midway University Recognizes Outstanding Students, Faculty at Honors Night Ceremony
(Midway, Ky.) – In its annual Joy Edwards Hembree Honors Program on April 27, Midway University recognized several students, faculty members and campus organizations for their outstanding achievements in the classroom and extra-curricular activities.
The event is named for the late Joy Edwards Hembree, a long-time Midway University Trustee who advocated for women and children.
“The annual Honors event is an important reminder of our purpose and a celebration of our students’ academic and social achievements,” said Dr. Mary Elizabeth Stivers, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Midway University.
Award recipients were:
- Keely Livings, Outstanding Teacher Award. This award celebrates a faculty member who embodies excellence in teaching by inspiring students to learn, challenging students to grow, and regularly demonstrating her or his commitment to students through teaching, advising, and mentoring. Livings is a faculty member in Midway’s nursing program and was described by a student who nominated her as, “a source of quiet reassurance and a mentor that brings out the best of my abilities both academically and as a student leader.”
- Amanda Cox (Willisburg, Ky.), Associate Degree Nursing Faculty Award for Academic Excellence. Cox has earned a place on the Dean’s List in each of her semesters at Midway and received numerous awards, including the Midway University Leadership Award and Outstanding Freshman Nursing Student. Outside of the classroom, she is a member of Midway’s golf team and regularly volunteers with the Lexington Health Department, Daisy Hill Senior Living and the Midway Association of Nursing Students (MANS).
- Lisa Lackey (Lexington, Ky.), BSN Professional Excellence Award. Lackey completed her ADN at Midway in 1999 and currently works as a Registered Nurse at an outpatient plastic surgery practice. While pursuing her BSN, she has maintained a consistently high grade point average. Following completion of her bachelor’s degree, Lackey plans to complete a graduate degree in nursing to pursue her goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
- Terry Adams (Whitesburg, Ky.), Health Care Administration Award. Adams spent 11 years working as an administrator in the mining business. In 2015, facing what he saw as the decline of the coal business, he decided it was time to make the transition to the healthcare industry. He will graduate from Midway in May before transitioning to the MBA program.
- Giupsy Lopez (Lexington, Ky.), Outstanding Biology Student Award. Lopez is a strong student who has maintained outstanding grades in her biology and chemistry coursework at Midway. In addition to performing in the classroom, she is a staple at academic conferences and regularly participates in activities with Beta Beta Beta, the national biology honor society. Following graduation from Midway, Lopez plans to apply to pharmacy school.
- Sarah Hoke (Louisville, Ky.), Outstanding Biology Student. Hoke arrived at Midway in 2013 determined to succeed in her studies, even guaranteeing a professor that she would receive an A from him, despite his reputation for difficult classes. Describing her, this professor said, “The glow of academic success in Sarah’s heart and brain was so evident.” Following completion of her degree, Hoke has been accepted to veterinary school.
- Courtney Pfister (Mt. Washington, Ky.), Criminal Justice Student Award. A junior student-athlete, Pfister is a strong student who excels in her coursework and actively contributes to classroom discussions. After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in law enforcement in Kentucky.
- Cait Smith (Frankfort, Ky.), Outstanding English Student Award. Described as a rare student whose contributions have redefined her major, Smith has made her presence felt on campus. During her time at Midway, she has served as a writing tutor and mentor. As a sophomore, she was chosen to present her study of Shakespeare to seasoned professionals at the Modern Language Association conference.
- Lauren Schuster (Boston, Ky.), Marketing Communication Award. Schuster made Midway history in December when she became the university’s first-ever graduate from its Marketing Communication program. During her years at Midway, she was a four-year soccer player and was selected for an internship with the Seattle Reign, a professional women’s soccer team.
- Amanda Pelfrey (Stanton, Ky.), Outstanding Teacher Education Award. Pelfrey is an outstanding student who has maintained a strong grade point average while working full-time and maintaining a family life as a wife and mother. Her professors describe her as someone who is organized, motivated, enthusiastic and loves her students.
- Gina Penny (Lawrenceburg, Ky.), Outstanding Business Student Award. Penny enrolled at Midway to enhance her earning potential and job prospects. Initially intending to get her associate degree in Business, she has gone on to complete the course requirements for a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Penny credits her tenacity and feedback from professors as keys to earning her degree. She hopes to take what she learned at Midway and apply it to her leadership roles.
- Sarah Hoke (Louisville, Ky.), Outstanding Student in Equine Science. As preparation for her planned veterinary career, Hoke has spent her four years at Midway immersing herself in hands-on opportunities. In addition to internships and study abroad opportunities, she has taken advantage of Midway’s working horse farm to hone her skills, caring for the herd by checking vital signs and administering medication. According to one staff member, “No other student has matched her passion and dedication for our wonderful horses. She can always be relied upon.”
- Lauren Horne (Lexington, Ky.), Outstanding Student in Equine Management. When she enrolled at Midway, Horne brought a fresh perspective to the Equine Studies program after several years spent working in the equine industry. Originally determined to finish her degree as quickly as possible, she slowed down and made the most of the opportunities Midway afforded. Horne completed several internships, including one on-campus that allowed her to develop rehabilitation protocols for the university’s herd.
- Eric Biggins (Lexington, Ky.), Outstanding Student in Master of Business Administration. Biggins is described as the type of student professors enjoy working with – open, teachable and engaging. A remarkable student, he earned outstanding grades and is set to graduate in the top ten percent of his class.
- Veronica and Priscila Manuel (Lexington, Ky.), PATH Mentors of the Year. As mentors with Midway’s PATH program, these students helped middle and high school girls strengthen their self-esteem and cultural identity while engaging them in the world that surrounds them. Both took on responsibilities on top of their school work and jobs to better the program and make it a worthwhile experience for mentees and mentors.
- Men’s Soccer, Athletic Team Impact Award. In its inaugural season, the men’s soccer team worked to assist with fence painting at local farms in the preseason and have been intentional about engaging with kids during training sessions and after games. Additionally, the group travels to visit youth soccer clubs and organizations to teach their sport. They have also assisted with serving in the St. Vincent de Paul community kitchen in Louisville.
- Hailey Snipes (Lawrenceburg, Ky.), Resident Assistant of the Year. In her first year as a resident assistant, Snipes displayed characteristics and qualities of a seasoned veteran, showing creativity in decorations and programming. Throughout the year, she put her residents first and created an appreciation week for her floor.
- Juna Mangar (Louisville, Ky.), Midway University Service Award. Mangar is an active member of the campus community, regularly participating as a PATH mentor. In addition, she has traveled to Tanzania to assist with medical procedures in a village clinic, assisting refugee transition in Central Kentucky, and serving as a translator for Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS).
- Hailey Snipes (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) and Katherine Morgan (Georgetown, Ky.), Eagle Prep Leaders of the Year. Eagle Prep Leaders, who are the primary student leaders of Midway’s orientation program, serve as role models and a student connection for the incoming first-year students. The pair has taken it upon themselves to remain in close contact with these students, responding to phone calls, text messages and social media notifications.
- Hailey Snipes (Lawrenceburg, Ky.), Student Government Association (SGA) Service Award. This award is presented to a member who goes above and beyond the requirements of his/her role to serve the university. In addition to her numerous other campus activities, Snipes assumed two leadership roles within SGA, filling one of them during a vacancy to ensure a smooth transition within the organization.
- Kaleidoscope, Student Organization Impact Award. In its first year of existence, Kaleidoscope quickly become one of Midway’s most active organizations. A club to promote diversity on campus, Kaleidoscope hosted film screenings and discussions, service events, and a Black History Month banquet.
- Diana Burkee (West Allis, Wis.), Ruth Slack Roach Junior Scholar. The Ruth Slack Roach Leadership program was created in honor of community servant-leader Ruth Slack Roach. The program aims to continue her legacy by providing women with leadership opportunities and financial assistance while they become actively involved in the community. Scholars are selected on the basis of their commitment to service, involvement on campus, demonstrated leadership, and ability to inspire and mentor other students.
- Gerry Milligan (Wellington, FL), Future Alumni Award. Following St. Catharine College’s closing, Milligan transferred to Midway and immediately made it his home. Known throughout campus for his bright smile and infectious personality, he enlisted as a resident assistant and was a member of the first-ever men’s basketball team. In addition to his extra-curricular involvement, Milligan is a strong student who has always put his academic success first.