Ashton Montgomery ’26 and Amanda Vick ’24 Take Top Honors in SEARCH – Asbury University
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Ashton Montgomery ’26 and Amanda Vick ’24 Take Top Honors in SEARCH

Annual symposium celebrates research and academic curiosity

April 17, 2024

The annual SEARCH Symposium, held April 8-9 on campus at Asbury, allowed students, faculty, staff and guests to share their research and academic passion with their peers. The SEARCH Symposium and competition showcased student research in the Walt and Rowena Shaw Collaborative Learning Center to celebrate innovative ideas in art and research through conversation across the liberal arts. The event invited students and faculty of every major and level of experience to come together for learning and discovery.

This year two students received the SEARCH Symposium Student Scholar of Excellence: Ashton Montgomery ’26 for her paper, “Political Polarization, the Israel-Hamas War, and Language” with faculty-sponsor Dr. Glenn Harden and Amanda Vick ’24 for her paper, “Thundering Voices: The Rise and Fall of Greek Rhetoric in the Roman World” with faculty-sponsor Dr. David Swartz. The prize included $1,000 cash, an award certificate, and an object of art.

Two students received the Student Scholar Excellence in the Humanities, which included a $500 cash prize: Erin Grauff ’24 for her paper, “Witnessing the Divine Glory: An Exegesis of Exodus 33:19-23” with faculty-sponsor Dr. Joy Vaughan and Grace Monsanto ’24 for her paper, “Echoes from the Holler: Nostalgia and Community at Rockhouse Brewing Old Time Jam” with faculty-sponsor Dr. Nathan Miller.

“Words cannot express how surprised I was when it was announced that I tied for first place!” Montgomery said. “I had never conducted this type of research before, and while it was a daunting task, I am so grateful for the opportunity to compete in SEARCH.”

Assistant Professor of Political Science & History Dr. Glenn Harden expressed his support for Montgomery.

“Last semester, Ashton was writing a paper as an honors upgrade for Dr. Clements’s course on American Foreign Policy. Her interest in the Israel-Hamas war led her to develop a research project around the rhetoric of U.S. political leaders toward the conflict. I helped Ashton develop her research design which she then implemented. Dr. Clements and I are delighted with Ashton’s achievement.”

Professor of History Dr. David Swartz also shared a comment about Vick.

“Amanda is a delightful, intellectually curious, and hard-working student. I’m very proud of her accomplishments.”

Learn more about this year’s SEARCH Symposium:


Students Receive Academic Honors

During Chapel on April 15, Asbury undergraduate seniors received academic honors for each department.

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Ancient Languages: Amanda C. Vick

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Spanish: Ashley L. Green

Senior Merit Art Award: John Golden

Art & Faith Award: David Walt

Marjorie King Smith Scholarship for Art & Design: Ashlyn Hamby and Kaitlyn Wilson

Dayton School of Business (DSB) Overall Outstanding Student: Holten Handel

Outstanding Student in Accounting: Emma Reid

Outstanding Student in Business Administration: Emily Poll and Maria Poll

Outstanding Student in Finance: Rex Nagel

Outstanding Student in Marketing: Caleb Willis

Outstanding Student in Sport Management: Austin Dunlap

DSB Professors’ Choice: Celia Pelfrey

Outstanding Achievement in Bible & Theology: Jackson Feeback and Shawn Hamilton

Society of Professors in Christian Education Scholastic Achievement Award: Rachel Call

Outstanding Achievement in Philosophy: Benjamin Meadows

Outstanding Achievement in Worship Arts: Rachel Ferguson

E. Stanley Jones Scholastic Award in Missions: Jenna Reed and Erin Grauff

Academic Excellence for Communication: Grace Statzer

Academic Excellence for Journalism: Anna Lowe

Academic Excellence for Media Communication: Katie Jornod

Academic Excellence for Theatre & Cinema Performance: Allyson Stathers

Outstanding Achievement in Traditional Elementary Education: Makenzie Anders

Outstanding Achievement in APS Elementary Education: Haylee Easterwood

Outstanding Achievement in Secondary & Middle School Education: Dietrich Ditzenberger

Outstanding Achievement in P-12 Education: Ashley Green

Outstanding Academic Achievement for a Senior Majoring in English: Addison Evers Tighe

Outstanding Academic Achievement for a Senior Majoring in English Education: Dietrich Ditzenberger

Outstanding Academic Achievement for a Senior Majoring in Creative Writing: Anna Fairbairn

2024 Putney Scholarship: Klara Kinman

Outstanding Senior in Mathematics: Willem Hanssen

Adelle A. Wood Mathematics Scholarship: Andrea Collett

Outstanding Achievement in Music – Vocal: Grace Monsanto

Outstanding Achievement in Music – Instrumental/Composition: Caleb Simmons

Psychology Moulton Scholars: Elizabeth Bower, Morgan Flannery, Aiden Gaither, Bryanne McDermott, Sophia Rajnic, and Marissa Yost

Psychology Highest Academic Achievement: Jezri Leong

Lee Fisher Psi Chi Award for Leadership, Service, Academic Excellence, & Personal Character: Rebekah Harry

Hammell P. Shipps Medical Science Award: Veronica Rojas

Judge J.W. & Wynelle Scott Deese Science Research Award: Sara Brewer

Kenyon Award: Rebekah Bogle

Honors Graduate in History: Samantha Dell Chumley

Honors Graduate in Political Science: Caleb Westfall

Honors Graduate in Sociology: Jezri Leong

Interdisciplinary Studies Award: Luke VanLaningham

Social Work Outstanding Academic Achievement: Savannah Hoover

Social Work Excellence in Service and Leadership: Taylor Enlow

2024 Roy L. Lauter Servant Leadership Award: Emma Bell, Elizabeth Bramer, Brenden Krebs, and Olivia Parsons

Scholar Athletes: Caroline Absher, Madelyne Boehnlein, Abigail Colton, Jenna Davis, Kaden Dugle, Taylor Enlow, Holten Handel, Madeline Heineman, Genevieve Hill, Andrew Nelson, Della Nevitt, Celia Pelfrey, Christian Phillips, Emily Poll, Maria Poll, Brynna Reynolds, Amber Schulte, Trinity Shearer, Katherine Stanley, Elisabeth Terpstra, Nathaniel Thallman, Yuri Tirado, Audrey Van Lieu, Caleb Wallis, Yun-Yen Wang, Luke Wheatley, and Clayton Winter