Alumna Dr. Rebecca Stubbs and Impressive Awards Ceremony Open 15th Annual Undergraduate Scholars Forum

Westminster College’s 15th annual Undergraduate Scholars Forum on April 21 in Coulter Science Center was a celebratory anniversary event that took place in person for the first time since 2019.

Rebecca Stubbs, PhD, ’08 IND, opened the Forum with a keynote address that was livestreamed from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, where she is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany.

Stubbs earned her PhD in Biology in 2018 from the University of Florida in Gainesville after earning a master’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Systematic Biology from San Francisco State University in 2012.

Dr. Mary Majerus, Forum co-director and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, said the Undergraduate Scholars Forum is one of Westminster’s signature events, allowing students to learn from one another across disciplines.

“It was a true pleasure to welcome back Rebecca Stubbs this year as keynote speaker,” Majerus added. “I believe the students related  well to her story and were inspired by what is possible in their own futures.”

Learn more about Stubbs, whose family helped found the Forum, by accessing her presentation on Westminster’s YouTube page. And check out our Undergraduate Scholars Forum photo gallery.

Designed to promote undergraduate research and other scholarly work ― integral components of a Westminster College education – this year’s forum involved more than 100 students from 16 academic programs who presented original research through multimedia projects, papers, and posters.

A number of honors and awards were also presented at the event. Congratulations to each of the following students!

New Members of the Honors Program

Tatum Covey, ’25 ΚΚΓ
Joseph Martin, ’25 ΣΧ
Trey Mazzarese, ’25 ΦΔΘ
Joshua Morales, ’25 ΦΔΘ
Gabby Sharer, ’25 IND
John Stannard, ’21 ΦΔΘ

Cameron and Jessie Day Prize in Biology

Ashlynn LaFlamme, ’22 ΚΚΓ

Margaret McDonald Jaeger Psychology Award

Rebecca Bond, ’22 ΚΑΘ
Abby Nichols, ’19 IND
Marlee Richardson. ’23 ΑΓΔ

Harmon L. Remmell III Prize for the Outstanding Thesis in History

Brooke Thompson, ’22 ΚΑΘ
Stephen Rogers, ’23 ΦΔΘ

The Vernon W. and Marion K. Piper Scholarship

 The Vernon W. and Marion K. Piper Scholarship funds one semester of study in a European institution of higher education.

Benjamin Parks, ’24 IND, will study finance and business administration in Norwich, England, at the University of East Anglia.
Dulcie Rosales-Foster, ’20 ΑΓΔ , will study environmental science in Freiburg, Germany, through IES Abroad.
Kirstin Rushing, ’20 IND, will study history in Aberystwyth, Wales, at Aberystwyth University.
Ally Oglesby Watson, ’24 ΚΑΘ, will study Spanish language and culture in Oviedo, Spain, at the University of Oviedo.

Robert G. and Ruth H. Hoerber Scholarship for Classics, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

Lucille Vanek, ’24 IND

Outstanding First-Year Students 

Dannielle Rothermel, ’25 IND, Outstanding First-Year Academics|
Kirsten Schrader, ’25 ΚΚΓ, Outstanding First-Year Academics
Paige Brennecke, ’25 ΚΚΓ, Outstanding First-Year Campus Citizen
Michael Giles, ’25 ΦΔΘ, Outstanding First-Year Campus Citizen

Undergraduate Scholars Forum Best Paper

Lucille Vanek, ’24 IND: “Self-Reliance Through Gandhi and Deep Ecology”

 Undergraduate Scholars Forum Best Poster

Emily Nelson, ’23 ΑΓΔ, Marlee Richardson, ’23 ΑΓΔ, and Maya Westphal: “Stress, Covid, and Alcohol Use”

Along with Beth (Howard) MacLellan, Class of 2000, the Undergraduate Scholars Forum is generously funded by an endowment established by the Stubbs family, which includes a number of Westminster graduates: David Stubbs, Class of 1968; Thad Stubbs, Class of 1999; Courtney (Stubbs) Swan, Class of 2001; and Zach Stubbs, Class of 2007; as well as Rebecca Stubbs, Class of 2008.

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.