2019 Hardin, Clark Scholars Named at Honors Banquet

2019 Hardin, Clark Scholars Named at Honors Banquet

The Hardin and Clark Scholars, the top academic honors at Midwestern State University, and other outstanding students were named at the annual Honors Recognition Banquet April 26 in D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

Salvatore Capotosto was named Hardin Scholar. Capotosto is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a minor in biology. The Hardin Scholar is the university's highest award for academic excellence and was begun in 1961 by the Hardin Foundation. It is presented each spring to a student during his or her senior year and a $3,000 scholarship award is given with the honor.

Capotosto serves as president of the MSU Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society and is a mentor in the McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering. He is a member of the Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honorary Society, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, the Golden Key International Honour Society, the MSU Redwine Honors Program, Biology Club and the American Chemistry Society. 

Capotosto recently presented his research "Understanding Cancer from a Non-Equilibrium Physics Point of View" at the 2019 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. This research is aimed at finding new approaches to the early cancer detection through the use of computational chemistry, physical chemistry, and physical quantum mechanics. His current research "Thermodynamic Analysis of Asymmetry Within the Ras Q61Moiety Via Non-Equilibrium Entropic Changes in GTP Hydrolysis" is studying a mutation on a proto-oncogenic protein whose mutated form is present in 60% of cancers.

In addition to his research endeavors, Capotosto is a registered behavioral technician at Rose Street Mental Health Care, and he has shadowed doctors at Olney Hamilton Hospital since 2016. He volunteers as a coach for the Olney soccer team and was recently selected as a member of Football Club Wichita Falls Professional Indoor Soccer Team.

Finalists for the Hardin Scholar were Lauren Mychael Lindgren, Rachel Leigh Morgan, and Don Menuwan Manujitha Wijesinghe.

Amanda Renee Threlkeld, who is pursuing a degree in accounting, was named Clark Scholar. The Clark award was established in 1976 to honor E.B. Clark, a former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the MSU Foundation, and carries with it a $1,500 scholarship award. It is presented each spring to a student in his or her junior year.

Threlkeld serves as the vice president for both the MSU Redwine Honors Program Student Committee and MSU Chapter Operations for Delta Sigma Pi Co-Ed Professional Business Fraternity. She is a member of the Student Advisory Board of the Dillard College, and the MSU Texas Model United Nations Team that recently completed at the National Assembly in New York.

Active in undergraduate research, Threlkeld studied abroad in St. Georges, Grenada, and conducted qualitative research study over public transportation effects on social lives that she presented at the EURECA forum last fall. She presented her research on Viola Liuzzo's impact on gender stereotypes last week at the university's annual Spring Celebration of Scholarship.

She has volunteered in the community as a youth leader with First Assembly of Wichita Falls, at the American Red Cross, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, River Bend Nature Center's ElectriCritters and the Wichita Falls Humane Society. In addition, she works 18.5 hours a week as a student assistant in the MSU Redwine Honors Program.

Threlkeld is pursuing her business administration degree in accounting in order to gain her Certified Public Accountant's License and become a forensic accountant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Finalists for the Clark Scholar were Baylie Jo Bradshaw, Arshia Clare, Jacey Danielle Grimes, Kaushik Sunil Shah and Sapphire Vasquez.

Leadership Awards

Leadership awards were presented to Man of the Year Salvatore Capotosto, Woman of the Year Hanna Gebel, Outstanding Graduate Man Matthew G. Schenk, Outstanding Graduate Woman Erica Bourland, Outstanding Senior Man Simon Ospina, Outstanding Senior Woman Federica Bove, Outstanding Junior Man Shady Boukhary, Outstanding Junior Woman Shelbi Stogdill, Outstanding Sophomore Man Kaushik Shah, Outstanding Sophomore Woman Amanda Threlkeld, Outstanding Freshman Man Montes Martinez, and Outstanding Freshman Woman Lillian Adams.

The Viola Grady Leadership Award was presented to Federica Bove; the James L. Stewart Service Award was presented to Sigma Lambda Alpha Sorority, Inc; and the Howard Farrell Community Excellence Award was presented to Dillon Pineda.

Academic Awards

Academic awards presented to students in the Dillard College of Business Administration were Outstanding Accounting Student Aldeen Angelica Joy Isaac, Outstanding Economics Student Simon Ospina, Outstanding Finance Student Caleb Nathaniel Sneath, Outstanding General Business Student Paul Wayne Stolle Jr., Outstanding Management Student Federica Bove, Outstanding Management Information Systems Student Michael Alan Bravenec, Outstanding Marketing Student Elizabeth Gabrielle Cathcart, and Outstanding Graduate Student In Business Administration Cary William Herndon III.

Students recognized from the Gordon T. and Ellen West College of Education were Outstanding Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Student James Anthony Miller, Outstanding Bilingual Education Student  Patricia Ramirez, Outstanding Elementary Education Student Mackenzie Peighton Barnard, Outstanding Kinesiology Student April Pena, Outstanding Secondary Education Student Allyson Frances Buchanan, Outstanding Special Education Student Katelyn Ashlee Parrish, Outstanding Sport and Leisure Studies Student Tiffany Jean Self, and Outstanding Graduate Student in Education Courtney Lyn Schrader.

Awards presented to students in the Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts were Outstanding Art Student Bry'Ton Rolle, Outstanding Mass Communication Student Christopher Craig Tidmore, Outstanding Music Student Garry Alexander Boyd-Ward, and Outstanding Theatre Student Addrian Shontai Gaut Jr. The Vinson Award for Journalism was presented to Sarah Catherine Graves and Brendan Lawrence Wynne.

Students recognized from the Robert D. & Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services were Outstanding Athletic Training Student Sara Nichole Smith, Outstanding Criminal Justice Student Clara Elise Merklin, Outstanding Dental Hygiene Student Kelsey Heather Carden, Outstanding Exercise Physiology Student Darian Alexis Wetzel, Outstanding Nursing Student Caitlin Nicole Ruck, Outstanding Radiologic Science Student Abigail Dianne Pagel, Outstanding Respiratory Care Student Madison Lynn Dodd, Outstanding Social Work Student Jennifer Marie Joss, and Outstanding Graduate Student in Health Sciences and Human Services Ashley Elizabeth Hay.

Students recognized from the Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences were Outstanding English Student Jessica Rosalie Odom, Outstanding World Languages and Cultures Student Frida Guadalupe Arredondo, Outstanding History Student Gabriel Bruce Simmons, Outstanding Humanities Student Charles Graham Grissom, Outstanding Global Studies Student Bryce Allen Lewis, Outstanding Political Science Student Larissa Lee McShan, Outstanding Psychology Student Kayla Marie Redder, Outstanding Sociology Student Andrew David Coyne, and Outstanding Graduate Student in Humanities and Social Sciences Herbert McCullough IV. The Vinson Award in Creative Writing was presented to Emma Claire Cranford.

Awards presented to students in the McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering were Outstanding Biology Student Hae Lee Han, Outstanding Chemistry Student Stefanie Michelle Blaine, Outstanding Computer Science Student Shady Nasser Boukhary, Outstanding Geosciences Student Sonasha Gehashi Perera, Outstanding Mathematics Student Alex Adrienne Morgan Jenny, Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Student Joshua Bruce Gillis, and Outstanding Graduate Student in Science, Mathematics & Engineering Amber Lee Quevy.