William & Mary's 2014 Commencement awards
Several awards are presented annually to graduates, staff and faculty members during the William & Mary Commencement ceremony. Below is a list of the awards that were presented during this year's ceremony on May 11. - Ed.
Lord Botetourt Medal
James Frederic Carr Memorial Cup
Thatcher Prize for Excellence
Sullivan Awards -- students
Sullivan Award -- non-student
The James Frederic Carr Memorial Cup
Gabriel Manion '14 is described by one of his nominators as “the hardest working person I know.” It is an assertion that’s hard to argue.
The Carr Cup is awarded to a graduating senior on the basis of character, scholarship and leadership. The recipient should be a well-rounded student, having a good standing in all three of these respects, and carrying within the spirit of willingness to sacrifice and give oneself to a cause.
Manion fits the bill. At various times during his four years at William & Mary, Manion has served as a peer adviser for freshman orientation, a student ambassador at the Cohen Career Center for two years, vice president for member development for Sigma Phi Epsilon, a four-year member of the sexual-assault prevention and education group “Someone You Know” and an editorial board member for Pi Sigma Alpha government honor society.
All the while he has fashioned a GPA of 3.89 while also serving as project leader for the Social Networks and Political Psychology (SNaPP) Lab on campus.
“He … is the epitome of the well-rounded William & Mary student … an example of character, scholarship and leadership for those around him,” said one nominator.
Deloitte Consulting obviously thinks so. It has already offered him full-time employment following graduation.
The Thatcher Prize for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Study
The Thatcher Prize was created to honor the 21st Chancellor of William & Mary, Margaret, the Lady of Thatcher. It is given to an outstanding graduate student completing an advanced degree in Arts & Sciences, education, marine science, business administration or law, and is awarded on the basis of scholarship, character, leadership and service.
Andre Buchheister is the 2014 recipient, a man whose supporters say has distinguished himself as an exemplary student, a successful scientist, a dedicated teacher and an active member of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science and local communities.
During his years as a master’s and Ph.D. student at VIMS, Buchheister was the primary author of four peer-reviewed articles and co-author of four others published in major fisheries and marine ecology journals. His most recent work as primary author with other VIMS researchers provided the first quantitative evidence of a bay-wide scale that low-oxygen “dead zones” are impacting the distribution and abundance of “demersal” fish – those that live at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay.
In addition, at VIMS he served on the Academic Council, the Quantitative Skills Advisory Committee to the council and the Admissions Committee. Her also chaired the Graduate Association’s Grants Committee, mentored a Gloucester High School student’s senior project and spoke to various high school and college groups about careers in science.
As one nominator wrote, “Andre is an extraordinarily caring, genuine, honest and thoughtful individual who made a powerfully positive impact during his time at VIMS.”
The Lord Botetourt Medal
The Lord Botetourt medal was established in 1772 “for the honor and encouragement of literary merit.” In contemporary times, it has been given to the graduating senior who has attained the greatest distinction in scholarship.
The 2014 recipient is Stephen Cameron.
Cameron graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics and a minor in physics. As a sophomore, he co-authored a research paper with a W&M faculty member that was published in the Journal of Applied and Computational Mathematics. That same year he won an outstanding presentation award at the Joint Mathematics Meetings.
Cameron was invited to speak at a special session on “Quantum Walks, Quantum Computation, and Related Topics” at the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meeting. His honor’s thesis, which an adviser noted was “easily at the graduate level,” required a mix of analysis, number theory, abstract algebra and geometry.
“I can say Stephen is the most talented mathematics major that I have known in the eight years I have been teaching undergraduate mathematics,” wrote one of his faculty nominators. “He also demonstrates the most potential for future success as a mathematician of any student I’ve known in those eight years.”
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards (students)
Two graduating seniors are selected to receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards each year at Commencement for their “characteristics of heart, mind and helpfulness to others.” This year, the student recipients were Rachel Brooks ’14 and Chase Koontz ’14.
Brooks was a Sharpe Community Scholar during her freshman year and later served as a Sharpe Fellows coordinator, overseeing service-learning projects, acting as a liaison between fellows and faculty members and mentoring first-year fellows.
She was awarded an honors fellowship in 2013 to conduct research on the achievement gap in public schools and later completed an honors thesis on the same topic. Brooks also worked hands-on in education as a substitute teacher for Virginia Beach public schools and a counselor for the Camp Launch summer program for gifted students from low-income families.
Brooks was also an active member of the service organization Alpha Phi Omega, the Pi Kappa Delta forensics honor society and the Student Assembly. She was recognized this spring by the Office of Community Engagement with the Tradition of Service Award.
“She does more good deeds than anyone I know,” said one of her nominators.
The public policy major co-founded the William & Mary chapter of Virginia21, a nonpartisan organization that promotes student involvement in government, and interned for the Virginia General Assembly and a state senator. She also created political cartoons, which were published in The Flat Hat. Brooks plans on pursuing a career in public affairs following graduation.
Koontz was a career-long campus leader at William & Mary, most recently serving as president of the Student Assembly and as a student representative to the Board of Visitors.
A government major and business minor, Koontz is well known on campus not only for his leadership roles but his friendly demeanor and genuine care for others, said one nominator.
It is “impossible to know Chase and not recognize how genuinely he cares about the College of William & Mary and each member of the Tribe,” according to one nomination letter.
As the president of the Student Assembly, he was tasked with leading the organization as they tackled issues such as student organization funding requests. As a student representative to the Board of Visitors, he provided the group a student’s perspective as it made important decisions regarding the university.
“Chase has been an extraordinary leader for the College, while remaining humble and thoughtful,” wrote one nominator. “Chase’s work and dedication to the William & Mary community leaves an indelible mark at the alma mater of a nation.”
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (non-student)
Each year, one Sullivan Award is presented to a person with “a close working relationship with the College.” This year, Rev. John Maxwell Kerr, an Episcopal chaplain, was the honoree.
As a part of Campus Ministries United at William & Mary, Kerr has served people of all faiths (and no faith), providing counseling, leading service trips and creating a welcoming environment for the LGBT community on campus.
“It is the unique combination of his penchant for teaching, hands-on service, and accepting and loving spirit that has helped so many students on this campus thrive,” wrote one nominator.
Kerr is a native of Scotland and was ordained a deacon and priest in the Oxford Diocese of the Church of England in the late 1970s. He has lectured on not only theology, but physics and chemistry and received research fellowships at Merton College, Oxford and the University of California. At William & Mary, he has served as a member of EqualityWM and the Division of Student Affairs’ diversity committee.
“John Kerr has taught me the power of caring, the power of live, and has inspired me to give of myself,” wrote one nominator.
Thomas Ashley Graves, Jr. Awards for Sustained Excellence in Teaching
Two professors received the Thomas Ashley Graves, Jr. Awards for their sustained excellence in teaching: Elizabeth Canuel and John Noell Moore.
Canuel is a professor at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. According to her award citation, “she is known for the passion, knowledge and genuine concern for student success she brings to the classroom.”
As a teacher, researcher and mentor, she has been able to support 10 doctoral and five master’s degree students throughout her career at VIMS. They have gone on to earn success in their careers and recognition for their scholarly endeavors.
Canuel has published more than 70 papers – half co-authored by students – and recently co-authored a new book in biochemistry. She has twice served as chair of the School of Marine Science Academic Council and recently co-directed the undergraduate minor in marine science.
“She has been instrumental in ensuring the program’s growth and in providing expanded opportunities for undergraduates to engage in significant interdisciplinary, societally relevant experience,” the citation says.
Moore, a professor of education, has worked with students for more than 40 years, teaching classes at William & Mary on curriculum and instruction.
Throughout his career, he has advised undergraduate and graduate students and worked with pre-service middle and high school teachers, supervising them in their practicum placements and conducting internship seminars.
According to his citation, “students have praised Professor Moore’s passion for teaching, his depth of knowledge in the field and his mastery of facilitating class discussions.”
Moore was recognized for his teaching abilities with the Dorman Family Distinguished Term Professorship and the Alumni Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching.
“Dr. Moore makes his students want to be the very best,” wrote on nominator. “In my opinion, this is the true testament of a great teacher. He constantly reminded us to strive for excellence, and his mantra echoes through my mind on a daily basis as I try to impart the same life lessons to my students.”