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2019 CLC Research Award Recipients

God’s Bible School and College, Cincinnati, OH—Zachary Barkman

Degree: BA Integrative Studies
Nominated by Stephanie Owens, Director of Library Services

Zachary consistently submits work that exceeds good research expectation both in sources and methodology. He demonstrates an ability to evaluate sources critically and use them in service of his argument, rather than simply reporting a source’s perspective. His writing, speaking, and interaction in the classroom demonstrates excellent communication, critical thinking, and interpersonal abilities. Zachary’s commitment and integrity as a husband is a specific demonstration of his Christian character and leadership ability. Another example of his faith was leading a campus initiative to pray for the persecuted church. Overall, his commitment to excellence in his work demonstrates Christian character. Unanimously approved by the academic committee.


North Central University, Minneapolis, MN—Abbey Gitzel

Degree: Social Work
Nominated by Judy Pruitt, Directory of
Library Services

Abbey conducted an original phenomenological research study on the impact of the Enneagram on student leadership at North Central University. Throughout the process of conducting her research, Abbey was very reflective and showed great critical thinking in her approach to interviewing, analyzing data, identifying themes, articulating implications, and practicing reflexivity. NCU Library staff found Abbey's literature review to be excellently organized and executed. Abbey drew novel and substantive connections between the use of the Enneagram and Kouzes and Posner leadership literature. She also successfully designed and executed a research study, analyzed the data, and derived meaningful conclusions. Abbey is always engaged, asks intelligent and meaningful questions, and is very meticulous in her work. Abbey always comes to class prepared and exhibits an above-average understanding and appreciation of the course material, especially the research-based content we frequently cover. She always sets a good example for her peers.

Abbey has also received high praise and enthusiastic recommendation from NCU Social and Behavioral Sciences research professor, Jake Moen, for her work in both Research Methods and Senior Project.


Ohio Christian University, Circleville, OH—Amber Ginter

Degree: BS Education
Nominated by Paul Roberts, Director of Library Services

Amber Ginter has been involved in research both academically and professionally during her undergraduate education at Ohio Christian University. For her English senior capstone project, she researched and wrote on financial foreign aid for education in Africa. Her interest in this project grew from her involvement with Foothold International in Kenya, Africa. She has served on the board for this organization since 2014. Amber has worked for the OCU Writing Center as a writing tutor since Fall, 2015. During the last four years, she has been involved in researching best practices for tutors, use of different applications and technologies in the tutoring center, and she has been critically involved in the assessment process—reviewing and analyzing data from logs and surveys and presenting a report to the assessment team for annual review. She has also worked for the OCU Media team since Spring, 2016. During her time serving in this role, she has attended events, conducted interviews, and researched contexts in order to write more than 50 articles for the university website and magazine.

In addition to her impressive scholarship and research, Amber has a tremendous heart for service and has demonstrated strong leadership on our campus and community. She has volunteered in summer camps, prison ministries, food pantries, countless charity fundraisers, the humane society, and many school clubs, including starting up and leading our university dance team.


Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Bartlesville, OK—Paige Malorie Johnson

Degree: BS Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Thought / Minor Marketing
Nominated by Stephanie Leupp, AGS and Online Services Librarian

Paige has demonstrated outstanding research and writing for her senior level New Testament Exegesis paper on John 21:15-25. She made a clear presentation of the material and exhibits superior writing skills. Paige is considered by faculty and staff to be a young woman of integrity. Paige has developed a supplement to the OKWU Christian Service program by organizing a trip in both Fall and Spring semesters to serve with Texas Alliance RaceWay Ministries at NASCAR, Texas Motor Speedway.


Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, FL—Rachel Sakrisson

Degree: BA English
Nominated by Steven Baker,
Dean of the Warren Library

Rachel won three major awards for her literary research papers in 2018: Her paper “The Giving Trees: Elsa Beskow, Ecocriticism, and the Benevolent Forest” won the Carol Gay Award for the best undergraduate critical paper from the International Children’s Literature Association; her linguistic study of Shakespeare’s Othello won the overall best paper award at the Sigma Tau Delta (English honor society) International Convention; and her paper on the works of Elizabeth Gaskell won the outstanding essay award from the Best Semester study-abroad program that she was part of as a student at the University of Oxford in England in Fall 2017.

Rachel is currently a semi-finalist for a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in Belgium. She received a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant from the School of Arts and Sciences at Palm Beach Atlantic in 2018, during which time she worked with a member of the English faculty to research extensive annotations for a planned critical edition of the American writer Catharine Sedgwick’s 1824 novel, Redwood, A Tale. Rachel is also part of the Super Honors Program.


Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY—Paul Callens

Degree: BS Organizational Management
Nominated by
Matthew Ballard, Interim Directory of Library Services

Paul Callens understands and is able to complete the research process. Mr. Callens describes the problem being studied very clearly, completes a competent literature review, and competently describes the data collection methodology. He clearly states his results and leads the reader to acceptable conclusions and policy recommendations. Paul writes in a concise and readable manner. The project is well organized and documented per APA standards.

Paul listened to other students’ comments and questions and almost always added to the discussion. He assisted students who demonstrated stress in completing the project by talking with fellow student colleagues to help define the problem statement and offer encouragement. He performed as a facilitator for the professor in small group discussions. Paul’s research project was based on assisting Highland Hospital to achieve the Hospital’s Strategic Plan. His written project was exceptional. The verbal presentation was effective, well organized, and used a PowerPoint slide presentation to enhance the contents of the project.


San Diego Christian College, Santee, CA—Sophie Hoag

Degree: BA
Nominated by Ruth Martin, Director of Library Services

Sophie produces papers that are extensively researched, thoughtfully analyzed, and insightfully argued. Sophie serves as a writing tutor, as the student representative to the General Education Committee and Library Committee, and is involved in several other campus initiatives. She models Christian character through her positive outlook and the encouragement she offers to others.


Southern California Seminary, El Cajon, CA—Carl Culver

Degree: BABS
Nominated by Jennifer Ewing, Library Director

Carl has been the most consistent researcher/writer in the class. His command of Turabian is impressive while his ability for clear and concise expression through smooth sentence structure has remained unmatched. Regardless of the deep theological topics at hand to tackle, he has done so each time through skillful English, a knack for creative expression, and accurate biblical theology enhanced by a continual willingness to improve his craft. Moreover, Carl’s use of scholarly sources has remained varied and strong throughout the course, highlighting his ability to conduct a quality of research that is more customary at the graduate rather than undergraduate level, representing the highest caliber of academic writing we seek to produce at Southern California Seminary.     

Throughout the entire 28-week course, Carl has displayed a wonderful attitude amidst the overabundance of critical feedback he has received from me, his professor. He is quick to implement revisions when called for while remaining true to personal positions he felt are accurately reflected in Scripture—and has done so in a timely manner each time without ever violating due date requirements. Carl is not only a phenomenal student at SCS, he is also devoted husband and father of two daughters with plans to adopt a third child in the next year. Carl has worked as a substance abuse counselor at faith-based treatment centers and plans to open a Christian therapy practice to the community after finishing graduate studies at SCS as a way of reflecting the compassion of Christ.


Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN—Candace Grahl

Degree: MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Nominated by Beth Purtee and the
Waggoner Library Faculty

Multiple professors have commented on her excellence in writing. She has also been noted to have an interest in research in the field. Candace recently submitted a proposal for the Tennessee Counseling Association conference in November 2019. Most proposal submissions are by PhD students. She submitted on the topic of Millennials and Counseling.


Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN—Dylan Green

Degree: BS Mathematics and Physics
Nominated by Beth Purtee and the
Waggoner Library Faculty

The research Dylan has done in mathematics is new in the mathematical discipline called Graph Theory. He and his collaborators have proved several new theorems about the maximum proper diameter in a 2-colored graph. This work extends the classic idea of diameter and maximum path length to colored graphs. These results are in a paper being prepared for submission for publication and should be accepted for publication in a professional peer-reviewed graph theory journal. Dylan has been very active on campus at Trevecca Nazarene University. He has been an RA for three years and has been a mathematics and physics teaching assistant and tutor for three years. He is a committed Christian and a man of God. He loves the people he works with and strongly supports the men on his dorm floor. In addition, he has already been accepted and offered support by a number of graduate programs in Mathematics, including Dartmouth and University of North Carolina. Dylan is one of the best all-around students and he will be highly successful in whatever he chooses to pursue in the future.


Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL—David Engstrom

Degree: BA History
Nominated by
Evan Kuehn, Theological Librarian

David Engstrom has excelled in research during his time at Trinity. This past October, he presented a paper at the 31st annual conference on Faith and History, titled “For the Good of Res Publica: Civic Virtue in the Roman Republic.”

In March, he presented a version of his senior honors project on the eighteenth-century inroads of Protestantism in Ireland at the Chicagoland Regional CFH Student Conference.

In addition to his excellent work as a history major, David excelled in a course on Ancient and Medieval Philosophy taught by Evan Kuehn. His final paper, Ockhamist Contingency and Modern Apologetics, synthesized historical and philosophical concerns cogently and effectively.

In addition to his research, David is an involved student on campus and interested in the integration of faith and learning. It is clear to me that he will make an excellent pastor, and that his scholarly gifts are not the only gifts he has. There is a calm confidence about him that seems beyond his years. He will certainly excel at seminary and with the Lord’s blessing serve the church well in coming years.


Whitworth University, Spokane, WA—Jonathan Hammerstrom

Degree: BA History and Art History
Nominated by Dr. Amanda Clark, Library Director

Jonathan is passionate about how art impacts society and reflects culture. He is voracious in researching papers, using a variety of sources, even traveling to locales to dig deeper. A devout Christian, Jonathan attends weekly chapel on campus and serves in a number of campus clubs. Jonathan worked with campus librarians in his research on a number of academic and work-related projects.