Honors Convocation Award Descriptions
Alpha Lambda Delta Maria Leonard Book Award
Alpha Lambda Delta, organized in 1983, is a freshman scholastic honor society. The Alpha Lambda Delta Maria Leonard Book Award is given to the graduating member of ALD who has the highest grade point average.
Alpha Psi Omega Outstanding Junior
This award is sponsored by the local chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theatre honorary fraternity. Voted on by the non-junior student members of APO, the award is based on such criteria as leadership and commitment to Alpha Psi Omega, commitment to the ideals and mission of the organization as well as Theatre Simpson and Simpson College, and consistent participation in Theatre Simpson productions and activities. The recipient has his/her name placed permanently on a plaque in the Blank Performing Arts Center and receives a gift from the Alpha Psi Omega chapter.
Alpha Sigma Lambda
Alpha Sigma Lambda is dedicated to the advancement of scholarship and recognizes high scholastic achievement in an adult student’s career. Membership eligibility requirements are that students must have completed a minimum of twenty-four college semester hours at Simpson of which twelve semester hours must be outside the student’s declared or intended major, and twelve hours must be in the liberal arts. A 3.2 cumulative grade point average is the minimum G.P.A. accepted. Members are elected from the highest ten percent of those students who meet the minimum standards.
The Barborka Award was a gift from Dr. Clifford Barborka and includes the recipient’s name inscribed on the prestigious Barborka Cup trophy. This award, of the highest honor for Simpson College senior athletes, is annually awarded to the senior athlete who has achieved outstanding accomplishments in scholarship and character, and has excelled in his/her chosen sport during his/her career or senior season.
Dean and Sandra Blinn Research Scholarship
The Dean and Sandra Blinn Research Scholarship is funded by a generous donation from
Dr. Dean Blinn ’65 and Mrs. Sandra Haarvig Blinn ’65. The Research Scholarship funds Biology, Environmental Science, Biochemistry, and Neuroscience majors to conduct semester-long research projects in collaboration with a Simpson College faculty member.
Frank Barrows Award
The Barrows Award is given to the music major(s) who have completed Music 101, 201, 202 and 203 with the highest grade point average. The award is named for Frank Barrows who was the head of the Music Conservatory during the early 20th century and also lent his name to the former Barrow’s Conservatory of Music building on the Simpson Campus.
Roger Betsworth Outstanding Senior in Religion
Dr. Roger Betsworth was professor of religion from 1973-1998 and this award is named in his honor. Two criteria are used to award this: excellence as an undergraduate in the discipline, as measured by grade point average and class performance; and a strong commitment and dedication to the discipline, as measured by performance both in class and outside of class.
E. G. Booth Award
The E. G. Booth Award is named after E.G. Booth who served at Simpson College for over 30 years as mentor, educator, coach, education department chair and athletic director. This award is given to a senior in education who is outstanding in athletics and has also shown excellence in teaching and scholarship.
This award is presented to an outstanding freshman or sophomore English major based on his or her accomplishments, potential and who demonstrates the character of a scholar.
Distinguished Research Award
In recognition of a faculty member who publishes, presents or displays an outstanding research project within the appropriate discipline.
Doft Science Honor Awards
Floyd S. Doft was a 1921 graduate of Simpson College who later earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University in organic chemistry. He taught chemistry at Yale and at Harvard and had a distinguished career in the field of nutrition. In his honor, the Doft scholarships recognize those students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the natural sciences.
Hiram Doty Research Award
This award, named in honor of former professor of Biology Dr. Hiram Doty goes to the graduating senior who has the most distinguished record of undergraduate research in the area of biology or environmental sciences.
Eberhart International Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a full-time junior from a foreign country who possesses at least a 3.0 grade point average in a minimum of two semesters at Simpson College. The recipient will receive an award certificate.
Epsilon Sigma is the honor society for graduates of Simpson College. It has a long-standing but relatively unfamiliar tradition at Simpson because most student members are not inducted until the second semester of their senior year. Students must have superior academic accomplishment within each graduating class, including the top 10 percent of the senior class as well as a few juniors with high GPAs, further academic achievement by members of the 15th reunion class, and members of the faculty after their 3rd year of full-time service at Simpson. (Members of Phi Beta Kappa may be inducted during their 1st year).
ETS Recognition of Excellence Awards for Praxis II Content Exams
Educational Testing Services recognizes exceptional individual performance on the Praxis II content exams which are required for teacher licensure in Iowa.
Robert W. Feyerharm Award for Outstanding Junior
This award is presented to the outstanding junior in the department of business administration and economics and is a memorial scholarship honoring the late Robert W. Feyerharm. He served as vice-president of finance at Simpson College from 1955-1969. This award is given to a junior based on grade point average.
Financial Executives International Award
This award is presented by a professional international organization of finance and accounting executives to two senior accounting students who show great promise in the profession. Each student will receive an award certificate and a cash stipend.
Heckert Award for Outstanding Senior in Economics
The recipient of this award will receive a personal award plaque from the department.
Carl Halgren Certificate of Excellence in Psychology
This certificate is awarded to a senior student who has fully achieved excellence in psychology, and who, in consistently attaining a high level of performance in other areas, embodies the ideals of a broad liberal education.
Dr. Donna J. Helble ’71 Outstanding Junior in Elementary Education Award
Named after Dr. Donna Jeanne Helble ’71, professor emeritus at Winona State University, this distinction rewards a junior majoring in elementary education, which is the field where Dr. Helble provided a life-time of impressive professional and very personal commitment. This award is presented to an outstanding junior level student in elementary education in recognition of their exemplary knowledge, skills, and disposition. Particular emphasis is given in the areas of motivating and connecting with students in a meaningful manner, dedication to the profession of elementary education, classroom teaching performance and level of involvement in extracurricular activities.
Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
This award is given by a professional organization for management accountants in recognition of a top graduating accounting student showing great interest and ability in management accounting. The recipient will receive an award certificate from the department and will be recognized at the IMA annual awards banquet.
Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants
This award is given by a professional organization for certified public accountants in Iowa. It recognizes a top graduating accounting student showing great promise and interest in public accounting. The recipient will receive an award certificate.
Fred Jones ’66 Outstanding Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Graduate Award
This award was created in 2016 to recognize an outstanding member of the MACJ graduating class, as evidenced by academic work and upon vote by the departmental faculty. This award was named to honor Dr. Fred Jones ’66, professor of sociology and criminal justice who taught at Simpson from 1970-2017.
Jordan Science Achievement Award
The Jordan Science Achievement Award is presented to a graduating senior who best combines achievement in the humanities, fine arts or social sciences with an outstanding record in a major in the division of natural sciences.
Everett Laning ’53 Award in Sociology
Formerly the Outstanding Sr. in Sociology award, this was renamed to honor Dr. Everett L. Laning ’53, professor of sociology and applied social science who taught at Simpson from 1964-1996.
Leadership in Education
An outstanding senior who exhibits the following characteristics: envisions a high quality education for all and collaborates with others to achieve this goal; thinks deeply and asks the hard questions; advocates for students and puts their development and learning before self; serves in roles of influence within and outside of the college classroom; takes the initiative and is self-directed; and works to improve the lives of others and the broader global community.
Sven and Mildred Lekberg Music Award
This award is named for Sven and Mildred Lekberg. Dr. Sven Lekberg was chair of the Music Department for 25 years beginning in 1940. Together with his wife, Mildred, who taught voice on the Simpson faculty, they created the foundation for Simpson’s superior music program. The two juniors who are chosen annually to receive this scholarship award embody the characteristics which the Lekberg’s engendered: dedication to their development as musicians and artists, a passion for music, participation in a wide variety of endeavors in the Music Department, and positive leadership as a musician and colleague among their peers.
Leopold Award in History
This award is presented to an outstanding sophomore or junior history student based on his or her academic achievement and contributions to the history program.
The Dr. Joe K. Moody Research Scholarship
This scholarship award provides $1,000 per project for students to conduct research projects in the area of biology or biochemistry. The scholarship is funded by the family of retired biology professor Dr. Joe Moody.
Music Performing Honors
Performing honors are determined by music faculty vote and are given to seniors who display exemplary mastery of technique and artistry of interpretation of the material presented on their senior hour recital program.
Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Emerging Leader Award
ODK is a 100-year old national leadership honor society. The Society recognizes not only academic achievement but also campus leadership across the five phases of campus life (Scholarship; Athletics; Campus or Community Service, Social or Religious Activities, and Campus Government; Journalism, Speech and the Mass Media; and Creative and Performing Arts). Members display: exemplary character; responsible leadership and service in campus and community life; superior scholarship; genuine fellowship; and consecration of democratic ideals.
The Dr. Alan and Karen Orr Biology Research Scholarship
This scholarship award provides $1,000 per project for students to conduct research projects in the area of biology. The scholarship is funded by the generous support of Simpson Alumnus Dr. Alan Orr ’61 and his wife, Karen, of Cedar Falls.
Outstanding Graduate Student in Secondary Education
The recipient is selected by the Teacher Education Department faculty and is based on academic achievement, student teaching performance, professional and ethical behavior, commitment to the profession of education and the ability to motivate and inspire their students.
Outstanding Senior in Actuarial Science
Recipients of this award demonstrate the strongest academic performance in actuarial science and supporting coursework from related disciplines, along with success in passing actuarial exams.
Outstanding Senior in Graphic Design
The award for Outstanding Senior in Graphic Design is given to the senior in graphic design who demonstrates an exceptionally strong commitment to graphic design through strong coursework, participation in graphic design activities outside of class and a fully realized senior portfolio.
Outstanding Senior in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Forensics
This award is presented to a graduating senior with a major in chemistry, biochemistry or forensic science/biochemistry who has excelled in both classroom and laboratory work.
Outstanding Senior in Computer Information Systems
This award is presented to the graduating senior in computer information systems who has excelled in upper-level coursework with special consideration given to research projects and internship participation.
Outstanding Senior in Computer Science
This award is presented to the graduating senior in computer science who has excelled in upper-level coursework with special consideration given to research projects and internship participation.
Outstanding Senior in Criminal Justice
This award is presented to a senior criminal justice major based on grade point average, community service, honors and other activities.
Outstanding Seniors in Elementary and Secondary Education
Two awards are given annually: One goes to the outstanding senior in elementary education and one goes to the outstanding senior in secondary education. The selection is made by the faculty in the Teacher Education Department based on academic achievement, student teaching performance, professional and ethical behavior, commitment to the profession of education and the ability to motivate and inspire their students.
Outstanding Senior in English
This award is presented to a senior English major who excels in scholarship in the discipline.
Outstanding Senior in Environmental Science
This award goes to the senior environmental science major who is best known for his or her outstanding accomplishments in biology both in the classroom and outside the classroom. Outside classroom activities may include undergraduate research, lab assistantships or tutoring students.
Outstanding Senior in Global Management
The recipient will receive a personal award plaque from the department.
Outstanding Senior in Health Services Leadership
The recipient will receive a personal award plaque from the department.
Outstanding Senior in Human Services
The Outstanding Senior in Human Services award is presented to a graduating major who has made significant contributions to the field of human services. The recipient must have exhibited respect, dedication and a demonstrated social justice commitment to the needs of a variety of diverse communities, groups or individuals in our society.
Outstanding Senior in Humanities
The Senior Humanities Award goes to a student selected by members of the division who has demonstrated both excellence in a major in English, World Languages, History, Philosophy or Religion as well as breadth of knowledge over several disciplines in the Humanities.
Outstanding Senior in Interactive Media
This award is presented to the graduating senior in interactive media who has excelled in upper-level coursework with special consideration given to research projects and internship participation.
Outstanding Senior in Management
This award was established in 1948 to recognize the nation’s top business students. This award goes to the top management senior based on grade point average, character and initiative. The department presents a personal award plaque to the student and an additional plaque listing each year’s recipient is displayed by the Department of Business Administration and Economics.
Outstanding Senior in Management Information Systems
This award is presented to the graduating senior in management information systems who has excelled in upper-level coursework with special consideration given to research projects and internship participation.
Outstanding Senior in Mathematics
Recipients of this award demonstrate the strongest academic performance in mathematics combined with a deep involvement in extracurricular mathematical experiences and supporting coursework from other disciplines.
Outstanding Seniors in Multimedia Journalism, Marketing Communication and
These awards go to those students who’ve demonstrated classroom excellence, leadership in student organizations and significant experience in professional development.
Outstanding Senior in Physics
This award is presented to the senior physics major with the best overall performance in classroom and laboratory work in physics.
Outstanding Senior in Political Science
Each year the members of the Political Science Department choose an outstanding student, or students, with a major in political science or international relations. In selecting the recipient, members of the department look at performance in political science courses as well as the overall quality and experience of the student.
Outstanding Senior in Sports Administration
This award honors a senior in Sports Administration who exhibits excellent academic engagement, engaged practical success, strong character and work ethic, professionalism in all areas of life and demonstrates high likelihood of future success in the industry.
Outstanding Senior in Sport Science
This award honors a senior in exercise science, clinical health science or athletic training. The student exhibits academic success in the discipline, strong personal character and initiative, outstanding professional demeanor and a high potential for success.
Outstanding Senior in Theatre Arts
This is a cumulative award, presented in honor of a student’s body of work over their time in the Simpson Productions Company. The award is voted on by the faculty and staff of the Theatre Department, using criteria such as: academic excellence, participation in all aspects of theatre production, demonstrated commitment to Simpson Productions’ mission and its scholarship program; and an overall commitment to the success of Simpson Productions and the life of the Simpson community. The recipient has their name placed permanently on a plaque in the Blank Performing Arts Center and receives a gift from the Theatre Arts Department.
Outstanding Student in World Language and Culture Studies Award
The award recognizes an outstanding student in World Language and Culture Studies who best displays a commitment to lifelong language learning and cultural awareness.
Phi Alpha Theta (Simpson Chapter Alpha Beta Psi)
This is the national history honor society. A member of the Association of College Honor Societies, it was founded in 1921 at the University of Arkansas. Phi Alpha Theta promotes the love of history and undergraduate and graduate excellence in historical research and scholarship.
Phi Epsilon Kappa
Phi Epsilon Kappa Fraternity is a national professional fraternity for persons engaged in or pursuing careers in physical education, health, recreation, dance, human performance, exercise science, sports medicine and sports management.
President’s Award in Human Relations
This award, initiated in 1982, is given to a student who has contributed the most to the improvement of human relations, intercultural or interracial understanding on the campus.
R. J. Samson CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization) Award
This award is given annually to the student deemed to be the most valuable to Simpson College’s CEO team. The recipient of this award receives a personal plaque and a certificate from the department. A plaque listing each year’s recipient is on display at the Department of Business Administration and Economics.
Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society)
Sigma Pi Sigma honors outstanding scholarship in physics.
Sigma Tau Delta (Simpson Chapter Kappa Alpha)
Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society. A member of the Association of College Honor Societies, it was founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University. The society confers distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional societies.
Dick Starr Award
Dick Starr was an integral part of the Physical Education Department for 30 years as a professor, department chair and head coach for numerous sports. In his name, this award honors a senior in physical education teacher education who exhibits academic success in the discipline, outstanding performance in their student teaching or internship experience and displays a high potential for success with outstanding professional demeanor.
Theta Alpha Kappa (National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology)
This is the National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology for the purpose of recognizing the academic achievements of religion and theology students. Theta Alpha Kappa has grown to more than 200 chapters nationally in four-year educational institutions ranging from small religiously affiliated colleges to large public research institutions. It is the only national honor society dedicated to recognizing academic excellence in baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate students and in scholars in the fields of Religious Studies and Theology. Students must have a 3.5 GPA in Religious Studies and/or Theology and a 3.0 GPA overall.
Norman Thomas Outstanding Senior in Philosophy
Dr. Norman Thomas was professor of philosophy from 1969-1991, and this award is named in his honor. Two criteria are used: excellence as an undergraduate in the discipline as measured by GPA in the discipline and class performance; and a strong commitment and dedication to the discipline, as measured by performance both in class and outside of class.
Volunteer of the Year
This award is presented by the chapel and includes a financial gift from Simpson Guild. The Guild, with members from the Simpson campus and community of Indianola, provides financial support for scholarships, equipment and capital improvements. This award is presented to the senior(s) who best demonstrates an on-going commitment to serving others in need.
Joe Walt Senior in History Award
Professor Emeritus Joe Walt was a member of the history department for 39 years before retiring in 1994. He was the Anna D. Hunt Senior Professor of History, and is an accomplished author. Among his works is a book about Simpson College’s history, Beneath the Whispering Maples. This award goes to the student the History Department faculty believes has shown outstanding accomplishments in the history major, particularly the senior capstone historiography course. Selection is based on academic excellence and the demonstration of intellectual growth and development.
Margaret L. Watson Awards in Biology
Margaret L. Watson, a long-time faculty member, established this award to honor students who have made a major contribution to the department, as selected by the faculty. The senior Watson award is a cash award given to the graduating senior with a high overall grade point average and the highest grade point average within the biology major. The junior Watson award is given to the junior from the department with the highest overall accumulated GPA.
L. Mildred Wilson Science Award
This scholarship is presented to a junior or rising senior who has established an outstanding record in a major within the Division of Natural Sciences. This is a companion award to the Business Department’s Lisle C. Wilson Award.
Lisle C. Wilson Outstanding Junior
This scholarship is awarded to the outstanding junior in the department of business administration and economics in terms of grade point average. This is a companion award to the science division’s
L. Mildred Wilson award.
Women’s and Gender Studies Program Activism Award
The Activism Award is given to the student who best exemplifies the Women’s and Gender Studies commitment to integrating theory and practice.
Women’s and Gender Studies Program Scholarship Award
The Scholarship Award is given to a student who shows outstanding academic ability in Women’s and Gender Studies.