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ACU faculty honor 50 graduates as University Scholars

University Scholars from Abilene Christian University’s May and December 2020 graduating class were honored in departmental festivities. 

Fifty scholars are selected annually by the Faculty Senate based on nominations from the academic departments. Each department is invited to designate one scholar and nominate others for at-large consideration. 

Eligibility for the honor requires a 3.5 or higher GPA, demonstrated knowledge and skill in research appropriate to the field of the honoree, and at least 90 earned hours at the time of selection. 

The Faculty Senate’s University Scholars Committee this year was led by Dr. Jennifer Huddleston. Other members were Dr. Rodney Ashlock, Dr. Lauren Lemley, Catherine Northrup, Dawne Swearingen Meeks, Dr. Brad Rix, and Jenn Rogers.
University Scholars for 2020 are:

School of Nursing

Charity Nevius Nursing

College of Arts & Sciences

Kaitlyn Smith Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Elizabeth Wong Art and Design
Barbara Wright Art and Design
Destiny Brokaw Biology
Savanna Piersall Biology
Carolina Ramirez Biology
Slaton Souther Biology
Ashley Archambeau Chemistry and Biochemistry 
Tyler Cepica Chemistry and Biochemistry 
Halle Raine Chemistry and Biochemistry 
Alan Ritchie, III Chemistry and Biochemistry 
Claire Shudde Chemistry and Biochemistry 
Sahori Hernandez-Quinones Communication and Sociology
Kolby Kiesling Engineering and Physics
Roy Salinas Engineering and Physics
Olive Tuyishimire Engineering and Physics
Allayna Ford History and Global Studies
Mariah Bayne Journalism and Mass Communication
Allison Harrell Journalism and Mass Communication
Abigail Johnston Journalism and Mass Communication
Madison Condron Language and Literature
Cassandra Dale Language and Literature
Abigail Schultz Language and Literature
Bethany Witemeyer Mathematics
Jacob Murillo Music
Jonathan Ladd Political Science and Criminal Justice
McKenzie McPherson Political Science and Criminal Justice
Mariah Broadbent Psychology
Jacob Hanson Psychology
Katherine Himes Psychology
Caitlin Rhodes Psychology
Kayla Wright Psychology
Kasey Birchfield Theatre

College of Biblical Studies

Aaron Gasca Bible, Missions and Ministry
Nathan Kranz Bible, Missions and Ministry
Addison Arnold Marriage and Family Studies

College of Business Administration

Bryce Adams Accounting and Finance
Jessica Herrera Accounting and Finance
Allison Sorrells Accounting and Finance
Luke Stevens Management Sciences
John Marsden School of Information Technology and Computing
Matthew Middlebrook School of Information Technology and Computing

College of Education and Human Services

Maya Millar Communication Sciences and Disorders
Lucas Bennett Communication Sciences and Disorders
Cameron Martin Kinesiology and Nutrition
Erin Smith Kinesiology and Nutrition
Sara Chaney School of Social Work
Sara Broughton Teacher Education
Kristy Holcomb Teacher Education

Abilene Christian is the highest-ranking university in Texas in a 2020 U.S. News & World Report benchmark focused on student success. ACU achieved Top 20 status in three of eight high-impact categories among 1,500 universities evaluated for “A Focus on Student Success” and is the only Texas institution to be ranked in five of the categories. Learn more at

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