Bishop Robert Smith, The Ted Stern Cup and The Alexander Chambliss Connelley Awards
Bishop Robert Smith Award
This is the highest and most selective honor an undergraduate can achieve at the College of Charleston. These award winners are selected by a committee composed of the Provost, the Executive Vice President for Student Affairs and former award winners. The BRS was established by former President Theodore Stern to recognize seniors who demonstrate exceptional leadership and academic excellence. We have three award recipients this year from a very large pool of nominations. The award recipients receive a plaque, a monetary award and recognition during the graduation ceremony. Each nomination comes from a group of faculty and staff members.
Katherine Shidler – Nominated by Dr. Westerfelhaus and others of our Department of Communication
“I have worked with and/or observed Kat’s participation and leadership in the College of Charleston’s Board of Trustee’s Mentoring Program, the Department of Comm Mentor-Protégé Program and the Mindfire Program (a crowdsourcing program). Each of these programs requires a student to be performing at the highest levels academically, but to also demonstrate leadership potential, motivation, creativity and professionalism. She is a terrific representative for our department and she exemplifies leadership here at the College of Charleston.
Kat is an outstanding candidate for the aware not only because of her academic qualifications but also because of her passion for learning and eagerness to take advantage of a variety of academic experiences. Her motivation and interest in receiving diverse experiences provide evidence of her well-rounded approach to the collegiate adventure.
Kat has amassed an impressive list of awards and other honors. These accomplishments are even more remarkable when one takes into account the fact that she has worked demanding jobs during her entire time in college.
Katherine's remarks on the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Blog
Levi Vonk –Nominated by Dr. Sarah Owens and others of our Hispanic Studies Department
I have been a faculty member at the College of Charleston for over 20 years and can say with confidence that I have seen no other student as capable as Levi to turn vision into results. Since his freshman year, he has built a base of knowledge and experience that has culminated in several high impact projects, most notably the Hispanic Outreach and Language Assistance, the non-profit that he founded. Time and time again, Levi has demonstrated a cohesive vision for a strong commitment to addressing the needs of Hispanic immigrants in our community and beyond.
He demonstrates particular enthusiasm for learning about the rights of “others,” global responsibility and justice, and he is especially sensitive to how actions and choices we make here in the United States impact people the world over. Indeed, he is one of my students who rapidly makes theoretical-practical links in in our increasingly interconnected world, and who earnestly wants to work towards finding solutions for the global issues we study.
Levi possesses the tenacity that has produced measurable results in the Charleston community, for farmworkers in North Carolina and in many other locations.
…Let me say that Levi is not only the top student I have the pleasure of teaching in the Honors Program at the College, he is also the most socially aware and service-oriented student leader I have encountered in all my classes to date.
Beverley Elizabeth Wood (Liza) – Nominated by Trish Folds-Bennett, Dean of the Honors College of Charleston and others in Political Science and Biology
Choosing Liza for the Bishop Robert Smith award recognizes a student who epitomizes excellence as a CofC student. Liza has pursued every high impact learning experience available to her: she has studied abroad, she has received internal grants for student research and external grants for her work in Thailand; she is completing an internship this semester and she is a finalist for a Fulbright Grant.
Liza pursued a double major in Political Science and Biology to prepare for a career in sustainability policy. Having worked with Liza as both a course instructor and research mentor, I have observed in both contexts her dedication, critical thinking, attention to detail and intellectual independence.
She is in the William Aiken Fellows Society and serves as a host for prospective fellows. She is a lover of goats, tadpoles and rice and has created a research agenda which touches all three.
Perhaps Liza’s most distinctive asset as a student is the depth of her engagement across the broad range of her interests. She has gained a wealth of experiences in science and policy, at home and abroad, and from local to national in scope.
The Theodore S. Stern Cup Award
Dr. Ted Stern, President of the College from 1968-1978, passed away January, 2013 not long after his 100th birthday. As we have awarded The Theodore S. Stern Cup Award for many years, we continue to honor his legacy with the presentation of this award to the most deserving member of the senior class.
The Theodore S. Stern Cup Award was established in 1975 and presented anonymously on the occasion of his 25th wedding anniversary. When Dr. Stern retired, the cup was passed to honor a member of the Senior Class of the College of Charleston who has most faithfully served the interests and ideals of the College and who by character and influence has best exemplified the ideals and qualities of Theodore S. Stern, both in the College and the community.
The Theodore S. Stern Cup Award recipients receive a Silver Cup and a monetary award.
Brenna McNamara – Nominated by Mandi Bryson of our Student Life department
Brenna, a Theatre major, is an active volunteer in many campus activities – New Student Programs, LeaderShape, Resident Assistant, GeorgeStock Committee, Piccolo Spoleto productions just to name a few. She is the consummate Master of Ceremonies. She masterfully coordinates others and relishes in the hard work of such responsibilities.
Thomas Werner – Nominated by Maria Richardson Mansfield of our Honors College.
Tommy, a Communication major, is a leader and kind says his nominator. Tommy is a Charleston 40 tour guide, member of Leadership CofC, an executive of the Honors Student Association and volunteers at the MUSC Children’s hospital, Charleston Children’s Museum, Charleston Capitol Bookfest and the Young Adult Book Festival. “If President Benson asked me to select ONE Honors student to spend an afternoon updating Ted Stern on the College of Charleston, writes Ms. Richardson Mansfield, I would choose Tommy Werner.
Alexander Chambliss Connelley Award
This award winner is selected by the Faculty Committee on Student Affairs. The award is presented to the student of the senior class who has made the most unselfish contribution to the student body and the College of Charleston. The recipient receives a plaque and monetary award.
Jessica Amber Cantrell. Nominated by Alison Piepmeier of Women’s and Gender Studies.
Together with Dr. Piepmeier, Amber secured a grant to do research in feminist disability studies. Amber is completing a bachelor’s essay bridging the gaps between disability studies and fat studies. Amber has worked two years with the REACH program at the College of Charleston, our fully inclusive program for students with intellectual disabilities. This work and her scholarship have given me great respect for Amber’s work ethic, her dedication and her trustworthiness.