Class of 2019 Top Five Earn Donald A. Morris Academic Excellence Award

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On May 18, the top five graduating seniors will be honored at a reception prior to Commencement. Each student will receive the Donald A. Morris Academic Excellence Award. Professors, chosen by the students as most influential, will also be honored.

The Class of 2019 top five graduates are:

Emily Dorn

Majors: Mathematics and History

Future Plans: I will be attending graduate school in the fall of 2019 to begin working toward my master’s degree in biostatistics. My end goal is to become a biostatistician with the hopes that I will use statistical methods and analytical tools to make sense of disease-related data.

What will you remember most about Olivet?

I will remember how much I have grown as a person here through the opportunities I have earned and the people I have met.

Most Influential Professor: Nikki Magie, Ph.D., assistant professor of social sciences and The University of Olivet archivist

Dr. Magie has been involved in many aspects of my undergraduate career. She has been my professor, my boss and my mentor, but most of all, she has been my friend. Despite her busy schedule, she is always willing to take time out of her day to meet with me whether it is about the OC Archives, graduate school or the independent study I am taking with her. She empathizes with me, encourages me and listens with a sincerity that is evident in everything she does. Throughout my time at Olivet, she has set an example through her leadership and treatment of others. I look up to her with the hope that someday I will be able to do the same.


Ann Fetzer

Major: Actuarial Science

Future Plans: I have accepted a job with Accident Fund Insurance Company of America as a statistical analyst in Lansing, Michigan.

What will you remember most about Olivet?

I will remember all of the personal relationships I made with my teammates, classmates, coaches and professors. Olivet has been a home away from home and I will miss my Olivet family.

Most Influential Professor: Marco Wiedenhoeft, associate professor of physics and mathematics

Professor Wiedenhoeft was by far the most demanding professor I have had at Olivet. His courses covered complex topics that challenged me, but his way of teaching asked even more of me as a student. He saw potential in me and knew I was capable of much more. I like to say that the first class I had with Professor Wiedenhoeft, Differential Equations, was the breakthrough in my education. He helped me push past the barrier I had created for myself and let me see the true potential of my academic success. He was always more than happy to provide extra help outside of class and has always shown a genuine interest in my career endeavors.


Jeff Humphrey

Major: Sociology/Anthropology

Future Plans: My future plans are to open my own shamanic healing practice and develop cultural educational resources to help bring humanity together.

What will you remember most about Olivet?

What I will remember most about Olivet is the wonderful accepting atmosphere that the students, staff and faculty engender.

Most Influential Professor: Cea Noyes, professor of sociology/anthropology and chair of Social Science Department

Professor Noyes has impacted my learning and my experiences at The University of Olivet in many ways. She taught me how to examine critical issues in entirely different ways in order to develop solutions to issues that were outside of the box. Professor Noyes also helped me get an internship at the Food Bank of South Central Michigan and that experience made me realize that I wanted to start my own nonprofit organization. She was always there to listen to my strange theories and answer any questions I had about any subject. I always learned something from Professor Noyes every time I talked with her.


Rachel Stoneburner

Major: Psychology

Future Plans: I am currently working as a foster care case manager at Family Service and Children’s Aid. I will pursue my master’s degree in social work at the University of Michigan this fall. I plan to continue to help people in every realm possible, but I plan on focusing on transition programs for young adults who are developmentally disabled.

What will you remember most about Olivet?

I will most remember the people at The University of Olivet that I have met and the relationships I have made. There isn’t anything more valuable than that. I would not be the person I am today if it was not for the people I met at Olivet.

Most Influential Professor: Will Hagerty, visiting assistant professor of psychology

The professor that I would like to honor, even though it is difficult not to say both of the psychology professors, is Will Hagerty. From giving me the opportunity to watch his pigs to helping me write the dreaded graduate application essays, he has helped broaden my experiences and continue to see things in a different light. The way that Professor Hagerty is able to integrate field experiences in the classroom has continued to be useful, even now in my career. I am forever thankful for the experiences that Professor Hagerty has offered.  He is such an important asset to this college. 


Hannah Mellino

Major: Graphic Design and Visual Arts With a Concentration in Biological Illustration

Future Plans: Pursuing a career in my field as a graphic designer

What will you remember most about Olivet?

I believe it is the people that make or break one’s experience, and for me, the people I have had around me during my four years have made my experience extraordinary. When I think back to my education and years at Olivet, I don’t just remember ramen, late nights and books. I remember the faces, actions and conversations of those around me. I will remember the life-changing atmosphere that those wise Olivetians around me created and inspired.

Most Influential Professor: Cynthia Eller, associate professor of art

Through the influence of Professor Eller, I have become an artist and a better person, and I have found a lifelong friend. She taught me the importance of learning for the love of learning and not just for the grade, which is an absolutely better and healthier way to grow into your education. By example, she showed me the importance of taking time to make every person feel like they counted and there was someone listening to them. Her concern about our world and our community also affected me, helping me think about how I can personally reach out to assist people in my community and in the world around us. I have been so blessed to have her as my adviser for four years and could not imagine my time at Olivet without her.

The Donald A. Morris Award was named after a former president of the college. Morris served Olivet from 1977-92.

To learn more about The University of Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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