ST. GEORGE – The winners of the 2011 Centennial Dixie Awards at Dixie State College were announced Thursday night at the annual Dixie Awards Ceremony, held in the Eccles Fine Arts Center Main Stage Theater on campus.
The annual year-end awards program recognizes students, faculty and staff who have excelled in various areas of achievement throughout the academic year. The Dixie Awards, formerly known as the Rebel Awards, have been a tradition at Dixie State College since the 1960s.
This year’s awards presentation recognized five finalists and the overall winners in over 20 award categories, ranging from academic excellence, campus spirit and service to the campus and community.
Fourteen students were presented “Student of the Year” awards in a number of academic emphases. The winners included Derek Schweitzer, who won two awards for English and secondary education; Justin Hansen in music; Craig Demke in psychology; Bracken Blake in theatre; Susan Cooper in nursing; Whitney Whatcott in dental hygiene; Jonathan Walker in computer & information technology; Marcus Stucki in biology; Hannah Lewis in mathematics; Spencer Potter in integrated studies; Christine Baresco in elementary education; Tad Tuttle in accounting; Mayne Mortensen in business/finance; and Jonathan Olgesby in communication.
Other student award winners included Amanda Jacobs with the “Heart of Dixie” award; Greg Noel the “Dixie Spirit” award; and Calvin Schumaker the “Outstanding Student Involvement” award. Potter, who won for integrated studies student of the year, was named DSC “Outstanding Male Student,” while Stefanie Higginson was tabbed as the “Outstanding Female Student” for the second-straight year.
DSC women’s basketball and softball player Johnna Brown was named DSC “Female Student-Athlete of the Year,” while men’s golfer Kyle Chappell took home “Male Student-Athlete of the Year” honors. Hansen, who took home the music student of the year hardware, was also selected as student “Entertainer of the Year,” and the DSC’s PBL club won the “Student Organization of the Year” award.
Retiring DSC associate professor of English Terre Burton was named “Teacher of the Year,” while DSC history faculty member Joel Lewis was presented with the inaugural “Teacher of the Year – Rising Star” award, which was created to honor faculty who have served at Dixie State for three years or less. In addition, DSC assistant professor of English Dr. AmiJo Comeford was named “Advisor of the Year.”
This year’s “Classified Staff Member of the Year” award was presented to DSC Custodial Supervisor Bob Reed, and the DSC “Exempt Staff Member of the Year” honor was awarded to Dixie’s Director of Student Activities Donna Stafford.
The ceremony also featured the formal introductions of the 2011 DSC Baccalaureate Valedictorians and Associate degree high honors graduates. Sabrina Hansen, a communication major from St. George, and Olgesby, a sophomore communication major from Logandale, Nev., were honored as this year’s Centennial Commencement valedictorian and associate degree student speakers, respectively.
In addition, the DSCSA Officers for the upcoming 2011-12 academic year were introduced and sworn in. Mike Sheffield, a sophomore business major from St. George, took the oath of office to become the new DSCSA student body president, while Nick Rhodes, a senior communication major from Bluffdale, Utah, will serve as vice president.
For more information about the 2011 Centennial Dixie Awards, visit www.dixie.edu/dixieawards.