Shepherd University's Division of Graduate Studies held its sixth annual awards banquet on Thursday, May 8 in the Storer Ballroom honoring five graduate students and one faculty member with distinguished graduate studies awards.
The honorees were Marisa Bruce, who received the distinguished graduate student of scholarship award; Shannon N. Holliday, who received the distinguished graduate student of professionalism award; Becky Edgar, Melinda Hillyard, and Tom Kramer, who received distinguished graduate student of professionalism case study award; and Dr. William "Chip" Zimmer, who received the Douglas C. Smith distinguished graduate faculty award.
Dr. Christopher Ames, vice president for academic affairs, gave opening remarks, and Dr. Scott Beard, dean of graduate studies and continuing education, presided over the awards banquet. The keynote speaker was Dr. Marcia Brand, of Martinsburg, the vice chair of Shepherd University Board of Governors and deputy administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration.
The distinguished graduate student of professionalism case study award was a new award in recognition of the importance of case studies in the business and education programs. Edgar, of Winchester, Virginia, Hillyard, of Winchester, Virginia, and Kramer, of Ranson, were selected from students of the Master of Business Administration Program.
Bruce, of Thurmont, Maryland, who earned a master of arts in master of music in music education, and Holliday, of Shepherdstown, who earned a master of arts in college student development and administration, were nominated and selected from more than 200 graduate degree-seeking students. The finalists for the distinguished graduate student of scholarship award were Bruce, Holliday, and Brayn Hott. The finalists for the distinguished graduate student of professionalism were Holliday, Hott and Rebecca Boyer.
Nominees were sought from each of the five degree programs including master of arts in teaching, college student development and administration, master of arts in curriculum and instruction, master of business administration, and master of music in music education. The awards were determined through an application process that was judged on predetermined criteria and was reviewed by a panel of faculty and staff members. Bruce and Holliday each received $300 awards, plaques, an award medallion to wear with commencement regalia, and their names placed on the perpetual award plaque in the Office of Graduate Studies.
Zimmer is an assistant professor of business administration. He has been a coordinator for the M.B.A. Program for the past three years. During his tenure as a program coordinator, Zimmer has overseen growth in enrollment, the establishment of new concentrations, and the development of Shepherd's Martinsburg Center. Additionally, he has enhanced graduate studies through the development of the M.B.A. Advisory Council, the Student Advisory Council, and special events, most notably the 2012 West Virginia senatorial debate hosted by Shepherd's M.B.A. Program. Zimmer received a personal plaque, medallion to wear with commencement regalia, his name placed on the perpetual award plaque, and a $500 professional development award.