Sibberson Award recipients honored at graduation

Andrew Shermoen

Washburn University honored a number of graduates with the Sibberson Award at their commencement ceremony May 12.

The Sibberson award, a large monetary grant established by the trust of Erna and Gretchen Sibberson, is handed out at every commencement and honors the highest-ranking members of the senior graduating class at Washburn University. Seven students received the award at the recent commencement.

The School of Applied Studies honored graduate Lydia Gibson who earned her Bachelors of Health Science degree in Health Services Administration. While earning her Bachelors, Gibson worked as a Physical Therapy Assistant at a local clinic after earning an Associate of Science degree from Washburn. Gibson was a distinguished student at Washburn, serving as the President of the NoNoSo Honor Society, which is a premier organization that recognizes exceptional Washburn women.

Samantha Carson also received the Sibberson Award. Carson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology, and a minor in Coaching. Carson was recognized as an MIAA Scholar Athlete in 2014 and 2016 and she also earned the MIAA Academic Excellence Award. Carson completed a Washburn Transformational Experience by measuring and researching the health status of school aged American children with respect to nutrition and obesity. She plans to earn her accreditation through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Amber Coultis, who earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Electronic Arts, was another recipient of the award. Coultis is a Phi Kappa Phi member and one of the founders of Members of Electronic and Graphic Arts. Coultis was also recognized as an Artist of the Month, which allowed her senior exhibition to be displayed at Kaw River Rustics Gallery. Coultis hopes to travel the world as a freelance graphic artist after having a few years of employment in the Kansas City area.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology, Chantal Prester was the fourth graduate to earn the award. Prester is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Theta Kappa and has helped with service projects organized by the Topeka Rescue Mission. Prester also volunteers at the WU-Moves Wellness program which provides free health services for individuals in the Topeka community. Her research project found her examining the effects of yoga as a treatment option for chronic back pain. She will be attending graduate school in June 2017 at Wichita State University, pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Sarah Edelman, from the School of Business, received the award as well. Graduating with a Bachelor in Business Administration in Management and Marketing with a minor in leadership Studies, Edelman has a multitude of accomplishments. Edelman is a member of several honor societies including Alpha Lambda Delta, Beta Gamma Sigma, NoNoSo, and Phi Kappa Phi. She helped develop the popular welcome week event known as Traditions Night and she and fellow students created a collaborative book called “The Washburn Way.” She has accepted a position to be the Special Events and Administrative Manager of Junior Achievement.

Ryan Kelly, also from the School of Business, received the award. Kelly earned his Bachelor in Administration in International Business and Marketing. He also earned a minor in Communications and Leadership Studies. Kelly has continually been on the President’s Honor Roll and has been the Honors Program Outstanding Student for several years. Kelly was involved with the Washburn University Debate team, the Leadership Institute and the Washburn Finance Society. Kelly also landed a marketing internship for a company in Wuhan, China and was a student representative to award a Who’s Who Among Students award. He also has a Global Collaboration certificate. He plans to attend law school specializing in international law.

The final award was given to Virginia Umscheid of the School of Nursing. Umscheid graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. While at Washburn, she was a biology and pathophysiology tutor while being a School of Nursing mentor for the past year. Umscheid and three other students participated in a quality improvement project at Saint Francis Health Center where they reduced the risk of catheter related infection in mothers. She also participated in the development of a PSA about the harmful effects of third-hand smoke. Umscheid has received a nomination to become a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the premiere nursing honor society. Her Nursing Honors project studied evidence gathered about low blood potassium levels. Her project will be used as a learning module to teach Level II nursing students. She plans to return to graduate school to pursue a Doctorate of Nursing Practice.