Home 9 Academic News 9 Honors Chapel

Honors Chapel

Apr 24, 2020 | Academic News, News

Honors Chapel – Spring 2020

At the end of each school year, Mid-Atlantic Christian University recognizes excellence in its students.  Due to circumstances caused by COVID-19, MACU was unable to hold its traditional “Honors Chapel” service on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.  Below is a list of awards and students being honored for excellence.


Discipleship Group Christian Leadership                                           

Witnessing students develop their spiritual life is an important part of what MACU is about. One tool that MACU utilizes to help contribute to spiritual development is having students participate in discipleship groups. The student life department wants to acknowledge two discipleship group leaders who have gone above and beyond in serving in this capacity.

First, Brealle Kay-Ann White. According to those in her group, Brealle is “genuinely interested in our everyday lives.” She is “kind, caring, relatable, loving, available, helpful, and encouraging.” Her heart and attitude mirrors that of Christ. She has even continued her D-group since the campus has been closed.

Second, Marcus Grant Simmons.  According to those in his group, Marcus is “nice, caring, and sociable.” He encourages fellowship and there is an evident sense of community on his hall. According to one student, “Marcus leads by example.” His leadership in the dorm and on campus is evident to everyone Marcus comes in contact with.

Residence Hall Recognitions

Each year the director of each residence hall chooses an individual who was an outstanding leader.

For PAP residence hall, Kaylin Shields wants to recognize Katie Brickhouse. “Katie exemplifies Christian character. She is always positive and helpful. Katie is open to interacting with everyone with a great attitude.” Kaylin Shields, RHD PAP

For HCT residence hall, Lisa Williams wants to recognize Will Hardin. “Will constantly demonstrated the spirit of Christ in the dorm and on campus. Every time I see Will, he is a “beacon of light.” He is always smiling and respectful. Will is one destined for leadership and will be a voice of sound thinking and integrity to his generation.” Lisa Williams, RHD HCT

Students of Distinction presented by President John W. Maurice

Since 1980, a committee made up of faculty, administration, staff, and students has met to nominate graduating seniors earning bachelor degrees to Who’s Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges. When the Who’s Who organization suspended its student recognition program, MACU continued selecting and honoring our notable students by awarding an honor entitled Student of Distinction.

The selection criteria have remained the same: we choose students “whose academic standing, participation in extracurricular activities, and community service are decidedly above average” and consider their “scholarship ability; participation and leadership in academic and extracurricular activities; citizenship and service to [our] school; and potential for future achievement,” as well as their Christian service.

This year the committee that met selected five graduating seniors as Students of Distinction.

Congratulations to this year’s Students of Distinction:

Mallary Faith Brogden

Ryan Allan Kelley

Marcus Grant Simmons

Alexander Lee Stanley

Brealle Kay-Ann White

Biology presented by Dr. Gerald R. Woodworth

A student excelling as a biology major will exemplify high goals and the commitment to achieve them. To do this requires a strong personal initiative, a positive, determined attitude, focus, and hard work that will prepare them for their future career field. A student that receives the annual biology award will have a strong GPA, both in their major courses as well as their overall GPA at MACU. They will display a commitment to completing their major while also showing ambition and intention for future academic or vocational success.  Conducting research is an imperative aspect in the sciences and students receiving this award will show aptitude and initiative in completing and communicating the relevance of their senior research projects.

The inaugural biology major award is presented to KaNesha Murray.  KaNesha embodies the drive and resilience needed to succeed in the biology program. She has shown strong, consistent achievement in her biology courses, taking great responsibility for her academic work. I have enjoyed watching her tackle her work with a positive attitude. Throughout her senior research project, KaNesha showed exceptional understanding of her research and I was impressed with her initiative and focus. Her character is evident in all she does and I know it will serve her well as she continues to pursue her dreams. Thank you for your hard work over the past few years. It is my prayer you will continue to strive for great things in fulfilling God’s purpose and will for your life.

Christian Ministry presented by Dr. Claudio D. Divino

The Christian Ministry Award is given to the student who exhibits dedication to Christ and His Church and has had an exemplary life among us while serving others in His name. This year the Christian Ministry Award is given to Benjamin Ashton. He is the preacher of the Fairview Christian Church, Chesapeake, VA. He loves Christ and the community. The congregation speaks highly of him and without a doubt he embodies the ministerial vision that MACU has for vocational ministry students.

Barbara A. Williams Award for Excellence in Teacher Education presented by Dr. Beth L. Strecker

I am delighted to present the 2020 Dr. Barbara A. Williams Award for Excellence in Teacher Education to Miss Grace Minter. She exhibits the qualities of an excellent teacher: strength of character, compassions for others, and a hard work ethic. She has a strong passion for reading and has a natural ability to connect with students. When teaching, she demonstrates enthusiasm, especially when explaining vocabulary. In addition, she is able to successfully integrate cross-curricular standards in her lessons. She was an inspiration to her students, as well as the school staff by showing them that no obstacle should keep you from doing what you love, or from accomplishing your dreams. The phrase that best describes Grace is, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” Even during the closing of schools, due to the coronavirus, she continued to develop teaching ideas for the students and provided them feedback, as well as kept parents informed. I am extremely proud of Grace and have been honored to have been her supervisor for her student teaching experience.

Melvin Styons Outstanding Counseling Student Award presented by  Dr. David S. King

The Melvin Styons award, named in honor of the first professor of counseling and psychology at MACU, is awarded annually to the outstanding counseling and psychology student. The criteria for the award includes overall GPA, GPA in counseling and psychology classes, and input from all full-time faculty regarding five critical characteristics of effective Christian counselors. Recipients of the award receive a certificate and their name engraved on a perpetual plaque which will be on display in the Counseling Center. Except for the current requirements of social distancing, Dr. Styons would be pleased to join me in presenting this year’s Melvin Styons award to Serena Willison.

Youth and Family Ministry presented by Dr. Ken S. Greene

Two students are recipients of this year’s Youth and Family Ministry award. They have distinguished themselves academically, in ministry, and in athletics. They are attentive in the classroom and to the needs of fellow students. Each has served as a Resident Assistant, leaders in their respective sports, and served in student government. Most importantly these two individuals exemplify Christ in all that they do. Ryan Kelley will be the new Student Minister at Boones Creek Christian Church in Johnson City, TN. Brealle White is the recipient of a full scholarship including book stipend at Emmanuel School of Religion.


Presentation of TAK Honor Chords presented by President of TAK Gabrielle Howlett 

In the fall of 2014 MACU was granted a charter in Theta Alpha Kappa (TAK), the National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology. With chapters in over 300 four-year schools, TAK is the only society honoring and recognizing academic excellence in religious and theological studies. TAK maintains a vigorous national program of scholarship awards and fellowship competitions. TAK grants both student membership and honorary membership. This year’s student inductees were announced in the fall.

This spring the AMA chapter of TAK at MACU inducted two honorary members:

  1. Dr. Ken Greene
  2. Dr. Claudio Divino

Student Inductees must be nominated by a local chapter and have …

  1. Completed at least 12 hours in biblical studies or theology field.
  2. A GPA of at least a 3.5 in Religious Studies and/or Theology.
  3. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  4. A class ranking of as least the top 35% of their respective classes.

The student members who are graduating will wear honor cords with their academic regalia. Class of 2020 TAK members are


Alyssa Anderson 

Tara Dawn Bird 

John Bonk 

Brandon Ryan Cabacar 

Sandra Horne Carter

Joy Corbett 

Lydia Frye 

Amber Goodyear 

Gabrielle Howlett 

Ryan Kelley 

Kendall Brooke Martin 

Grace Minter 

Jessica-Lynne Reaves 

Alexander L. Stanley 

Brealle Kay-Ann White 

Serenah Marie Willison 


Officers were selected for the coming school year. We honor both those who served this year and those who will serve the coming year:

Offices Served 2019-20 Serving 2020-21
President: Gabrielle Howlett Noah Jarman
Vice President: Kendall Martin Allie Hackett
Secretary/Treasurer: Tara Bird Cameron Cabe


Presentation of Academic Honor Chords presented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Kevin W. Larsen

Graduates of the Class of 2020 who are graduating with academic honors include the following:


Honors: Graduating with an Associate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and higher.

John Anthony Bonk

Cum Laude: Graduating with a Baccalaureate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 – 3.699

          Brandon Ryan Cabacar

          Sandra Horne Carter

          Lydia Ann Frye

          Lauren Elizabeth Knupp

          Kendall Brooke Martin

          Tammy Lynn Rhea

          Alexander Lee Stanley

Magna Cum Laude: Graduating with a Baccalaureate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 – 3.899

Tara Dawn Bird

          Gabrielle Nicole Howlett

          Ryan Allan Kelley

          Brealle Kay-Ann White

          Serenah Marie Willison

Summa Cum Laude: Graduating with a Baccalaureate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.9 – 4.000

          Alyssa Shay Anderson

          Joy Elizabeth Corbett – 4.000 GPA and co-valedictorian

          Grace Gibson Minter – 4.000 GPA and co-valedictorian