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BVU Names 18 Clifford A Rae Academic Award Winners

January 12, 2022 5:31am

(story by Tim Gallagher)

Nine Buena Vista University students from the School of Science have joined nine students from the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business in earning Clifford A. Rae Academic Awards.

The annual awards, which range up to $5,000, were created 11 years ago by two separate $750,000 endowments from the foundation established by Dr. Harold Walter Siebens and named after the longtime advisor and counsel to the Siebens Foundation, Clifford A. Rae.

The endowments support annual awards for up to three pre-qualified, academically high-performing BVU business and science students in each of their second, third, and fourth years of school.

In many instances, the awards allow a student to help defray costs associated with living arrangements through the course of an internship. The awards may also assist with expenses related to travel and lodging in an experiential learning initiative. Both types of experiences advance the education of BVU students, often shaping students to be leaders in the organizations and communities they serve upon their graduation.

“The Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Award provides a generous reward to students for their outstanding academic achievement in the previous year,” says Dr. Thom Bonagura, Dean of BVU’s School of Science and Associate Professor of Biology. “The pursuit of long-term academic excellence is specifically encouraged by the award through the selection of the highest achieving students based on their first-, second-, and third-year GPA, encouraging students to strive for excellence across their academic career. The Rae Award’s message that academic achievement should be rewarded is a tremendous affirmation for these fantastic students.”

The competitive program, which rewards business and science students who excel in their academic pursuits, is open to students who live in Iowa or adjacent states and who meet certain financial need guidelines. Students may receive the award more than once during their years at BVU.

In addition to enhanced undergraduate learning experiences, fourth-year students may also use the funds for graduate school applications, entrance/exam costs, or professional certification. Upon graduation, students can apply remaining award funds to pay down student loans.

“The Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Award was created by a generous donor to encourage academic excellence and promote healthy competition among our students,” says Lisa Kesting Best, J.D., Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Business Law and Political Science. “The merit-based scholarship encourages students to excel by rewarding those who earn the top GPA among the applicants.” 

The Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Award is but one example of how the generosity of BVU benefactors allows students to achieve the highest outcomes within their academic experience—a key reason why national rankings, such as those compiled by U.S. News & World Report, consistently have BVU among the top universities and colleges in the Midwest when it comes to “Best Value.”

Here is a list of School of Science students who’ve earned the most recent Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Award:

Fourth-year winners: Tabitha Guyett, a biomedical sciences major from Omaha, Neb.; Jade Hays, a biomedical sciences major from Coon Rapids; and Jacob Hull, a computer science major from Alta.

Third-year winners: Brenden Schlader, a mathematics major from Huron, S. Dak.; Vanessa Hamlett, a mathematics and computer science double-major (math track) from Aurora; and Kimber Sprout, a biology major from Sioux Falls, S. Dak.

Second-year winners: Brock Jordan, a mathematics major from Newton; Thanh Phung, an environmental sciences major from Sioux City; and Peter Roland, a biomedical sciences major from Storm Lake.

 

Here is a list of winners from the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business:

Fourth-year winners: Weston Brazel, an accounting and business double-major from Laurens; Justin Sparks, a business major with concentrations in sport business, marketing, and management from Glidden; and Peyton Gross, a business major with concentrations in financial decision making, management, and accounting from Manilla.

Third-year winners: Emily Rice, a business major with a concentration in marketing from Lake Mills; Garret Bruce, a business major with concentrations in financial decision making and management from Sac City; and Caden Matthewson, an accounting and business double-major from LaVista, Neb.

Second-year winners: Lucas Berens, a business major with a concentration in management from Dunlap; Cayden Fischer, a business major with a concentration in management from Truman, Minn.; and Noah Fuhrman, an agricultural business major from Paullina.