Durecki, McMurtry, Wu and Battles Headline 84th-annual Honors Convocation

Honors Convocation 2021 recipients Brynn Durecki, Emma Kare McMurty, Mandy Jui-Man Wu and Dominique Battles smile with Dr. Lake Lambert
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Brynn Durecki ’21 and Emma Kate McMurtry ’21 received Hanover College’s top student awards, while Mandy Jui-Man Wu and Dominique Battles earned top faculty awards during the 84th-annual Honors Convocation. The event, celebrating the academic achievements of Hanover’s students and faculty, was held April 15 in Fitzgibbon Recital Hall, Lynn Center for Fine Arts.

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Durecki, a chemistry major with minors in biology and Spanish, earned the Henry C. Long Citation for Scholarship and General Excellence. She also received the Keith and Gwen White Award for Graduate Study in Chemistry.

A member of Gamma Sigma Pi and Mortar Board honor societies, Durecki has earned Dean’s List honors every semester and also received all-academic honors from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

On campus, she served as captain of Hanover’s volleyball team, was a student representative on the Institutional Review Board and Ethics Committee and has worked as a peer mentor, Gladish Center for Teaching and Learning tutor and information technology help-desk worker. She was also an officer for Chi Omega fraternity, Mortar Board, American Chemical Society, Panthers Making a Difference and Earth-wide Outreach by Students.

Honor Convo 2021 recipients Brynn Durecki, Emma Kare McMurty, Mandy Jui-Man Wu and Dominique Battles

In 2019, she was a summer undergraduate research fellow and recipient of a medical scholars externship. She served Hanover’s chemistry department as a teaching assistant, laboratory technician and chemical stockroom and safety manager.

This fall, Durecki will pursue graduate studies in biochemistry and molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University.

McMurtry, a history major with a minor in communication, received the John Finley Crowe Citation for Scholarship and General Excellence. She also earned the Robert E. Bowers History Award, A. Glenn Mower, Jr. Pre-Law Award and John B. Goodrich Prize in Oratory.

McMurtry has earned Dean’s List honors for seven consecutive terms. She competed four years as a member of Hanover’s golf team and, each season, earned all-academic honors from the Heartland Conference.

Active on campus, she has served as an officer for several organizations, including Chi Omega, Panhellenic Council, Mortar Board, Lilly Scholars Network and Student Athletic Advisory Board. She was also senior editor of the Hanover Historical Review and a student representative on the Faculty Evaluation Committee, as well as a member of the Catholic Student Organization and Hanover College Dance Marathon.

After graduation, McMurtry will attend Penn State Law, where she was selected a faculty scholar, earning a full-tuition scholarship, annual book stipend, research opportunities and a guaranteed externship.

Wu, associate professor of art and art history, earned the Arthur and Ilene Baynham Outstanding Teaching Award. Established by the College in 1969, the honoree is selected by a ballot of currently enrolled students and alumni from the past two graduating classes. To be eligible, a faculty member must be in at least the fourth year of teaching at the College. The winner receives a bronze medallion and a cash prize.

Wu specializes in Chinese art, Eastern art history and arts of the Silk Road. She joined Hanover’s faculty in 2013 and teaches such courses as “Arts and Cultures of China,” “Art for Death and Afterlife,” “Asian Art and Film” and “Art, Culture and Social Life in Taipei.”

An active conference participant and organizer, she has organized Asian-studies conferences in Colorado, Hawaii and Massachusetts. She has presented at more than 15 conferences from coast to coast in the U.S., Hawaii, Canada, Philippines and Russia.

Wu is currently on sabbatical leave while working on “Empowered Mortuary Art in the Tombs of the Northern Zhou China (557-581 CE): Materialization of Identity, Class, and Power.” The to-be-published monograph will explore social dynamics between distinct ethnic groups. Wu’s research uses newly excavated materials from sixth-century tombs in northern China to investigate cross-cultural interactions within a multiethnic and multicultural society.

Battles, professor of English, received the Daryl R. Karns Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity. The award, named for the biology professor who died in 2011, recognizes sustained scholarly or creative achievement. Faculty members nominate colleagues for the award, which are sent to three judges at liberal arts colleges similar to Hanover. The winner receives a bronze medallion and a cash prize.

Battles, who joined the College’s faculty in 2000, specializes in Middle English literature, Chaucer, Boccaccio, early literature, medieval romance, medieval tradition of Thebes, classical tradition in medieval literature and cultural identity in Middle English romance. She teaches such courses as “Mythography of the Monstrous,” “Beauty and the Beast in Literature,” “Love and Death: Star-Crossed Lovers” and “The Worlds of Middle English Romance.”

She is a frequent conference participant and has published numerous articles in her field. She was recently awarded the 2020 Wilson Prize for Article of the Year by “Studies in Philology.” The quarterly industry publication honored Battles’ two-part series, including “The Middle English Athelston and 1381: Part I: The Politics of Anglo-Saxon Identity” and “The Middle English Athelston and 1381: Part II: The Road to Rebellion,” which establish the first sustained literary engagement with the 14th-century peasants’ rebellion in Middle English literature.

84th-annual Honors DayRecipient
The John Finley Crowe Citation for Scholarship and General ExcellenceEmma Kate McMurtry
The Henry C. Long Citation for Scholarship and General ExcellenceBrynn Durecki
The Arthur and Ilene Baynham Outstanding Teaching AwardMandy Jui-Man Wu
The Daryl R. Karns Award for Scholarly and Creative ActivityDominique Battles
The Alpha Lambda Delta AwardSydney Amick
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan AwardLeo Carnicelli
Noah Joyce
The Dennis Kovener AwardTad Kaufman
The Distinguished Award in Cultural AnthropologyC.J. Zmudzinski
The Distinguished Award in Art & DesignMaya Zink
The Distinguished Award in Art HistoryC.J. Zmudzinski
The M.L. Greiner Art Purchase AwardAddy Zimpleman
Maya Zink
The Enos Pray Biology AwardKatie Perry
The Distinguished Award in BiochemistrySydney Amick
Gerald R. Johnson ’69 Business Scholars Program Academic Excellence AwardBrett Luker
Betsy Milligan Johnson ’70 Business Scholars Program Achievement AwardJordan McElroy
The Ned Guthrie Chemistry AwardAaron Peterson
The Keith and Gwen White Award for Graduate Study in ChemistryBrynn Durecki
The Distinguished Award in CommunicationMacey Franklin
The John B. Goodrich Prize in OratoryEmma Kate McMurtry
Bri Morkal
The Distinguished Award in Computer ScienceCeleste Hackmann
The Distinguished Award in EconomicsTyler Ralston
The Distinguished Award in Elementary EducationMadison Reynolds
The Distinguished Award in Secondary EducationAbigail Anderson
The Distinguished Award in Special EducationErin Browning
The Hilda M. Cordrey AwardsSheridan Moore (1st Place)
Hannah Ireland (2nd Place)
The Distinguished Award in EngineeringTy Allen
The Dorothy S. Bucks Award in EnglishAbigail Anderson
The John Livingston Lowes Award in EnglishAnnie Hermann
The Charles and Dorothy Lynn English PrizeDani Hodgen
The Aubra Jade Hiland Award for Creative WritingGabriel Ratcliffe
The Edward J. Hamilton Essay PrizeNoah Joyce (1st Place)
Abigail Satow (2nd Place)
The Philip R. Taylor Award for Student PublishingKatarina Rexing
The Distinguished Award in Environmental ScienceKimmy Birrer
The Distinguished Award in Gender StudiesSamantha Grunow
Noah Joyce
The Distinguished Award in GeologyWill Bedel
Holden Schaefer
The Distnguished Award in GermanConnor Trimborn
The Distinguished Award in Health and Movement StudiesAndrew Clegg
The Robert E. Bowers History AwardEmma Kate McMurtry
Katarina Rexing
The M. Anwarul Haq International Studies AwardAbigail Satow
The Distinguished Award in Kinesiology and Integrative PhysiologyAshley Swearingen
Savanna Wong
The Morse Mathematical AwardAaron Stocksdale
The Dr. John E. Yarnelle Mathematics PrizeBen Givens
Erica West
The Distinguished Award in Medieval Renaissance StudiesAddie Harris
Katarina Rexing
The Distinguished Award in PhilosophyRosemary Kent
Anya Polito
The Fleming Physics AwardTy Allen
Isaac Ball
The Distinguished Award in Political ScienceAshley Mull
The A. Glenn Mower, Jr. Pre-Law AwardEmma Kate McMurtry
The Distinguished Award in PsychologyMayavellie Bochas
Tyler Ralston
The George A. and Sara O. Zirkle Award in PsychologyAnya Polito
The Robert R. and Clara J. Beach Award in SociologyAlyssa Shippey
The Distinguished Award in SpanishSarah Graves
Savannah Pendleton
Distinguished Award in TheatreTess Smith
Distinguished Award in TheologyHannah Crail