Dixie Awards ceremony creates laughter, memories

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The best of the best received the highest of honors Dixie State University offers Thursday night during the 2014 Dixie Awards Ceremony.

About 45 of DSU’s most renowned individuals stepped onto the Dolores Dore’ Eccles Fine Arts Center Mainstage before a crowd of roughly 500 to accept distinguished awards for academic excellence, campus spirit and community and campus service. 

“Dixie Awards is a tradition that has gone on for decades at Dixie State,” said Del Beatty, the Dean of Students and Dixie Awards master of ceremony. “It’s for the most prestigious awards that we offer at our institution.” 

Beatty said the nomination process for each award category was extremely meticulous. For each academic award, faculty members within each respective discipline nominated students based on how they excelled in department involvement and classwork. All community members, faculty, staff and students were also free to nominate students for the general awards like Male and Female Student of the Year, Teacher of the Year and so forth.

“To be one of the five finalists in any category is a phenomenal accomplishment because there are hundreds of people nominated, and it’s a really rigorous process to be selected as a finalist,” Beatty said. 

A selection committee appointed by President Stephen Nadauld then narrowed the nominees to five for each award, from which a separate panel of judges chose the winners.  

“It’s super emotional for [the winners], especially the ones who are graduating because this is the end,” Beatty said. “They’ve loved their time at Dixie. They’ve given all they have academically as well as being involved, being in clubs, leading, serving, doing all those things. And it is truly an honor for them.”

Beatty said while each award distinguishes its recipient in extraordinary light, the Male and Female Student of the Year awards are exceedingly esteemed.

Nadauld and his wife Margaret Nadauld addressed the Male and Female Students of the Year Award nominees before announcing the winners.

“The finalists in the student of the year categories have demonstrated consistent involvement and outstanding leadership on campus,” Margaret Nadauld said. “They have also distinguished themselves through service for Dixie State University, participation in the community, involvement in numerous clubs and organizations, and leadership that contributed to the success of this institution. These students know how to motivate themselves to serve others and they have had significant experience leading students.” 

Jordyn Hanevold, a senior communication major from Logandale, Nev., and Brandon Price, a senior communication major from Perry, were then announced as the Female and Male Students of the Year.

“It’s a huge honor,” Hanevold said after receiving her award. “It’s just there are so many students here, and I can’t believe out of all of them I was chosen to receive this award. I’m overwhelmed … I know a lot of the other candidates, and they are amazing, so I just feel extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to get up there and accept this award.”

Along with Hanevold, Price also thanked his peers, professors and advisers upon approaching the stage to receive his award. 

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it’s really humbling,” Price said. “There are some great people that have won this award in the past, and to have the award presented by President and Mrs. Nadauld is just really great. Dixie’s amazing, I’ve loved my time here, and I hope all students here have as great of an experience as I’ve had.”

Below is a full list of the award winners. For more information about each award, visit www.dixie.edu/dixieawards/index.php.


Club of the Year — Sigma Tau Delta

Club Adviser of the Year — Phillip Lee

Integrated Studies Student of the Year — Anita Wotkyns 

Elementary Education Student of the Year — Kristi Charlton

Secondary Education Student of the Year — Travis Read

Nursing Student of the Year — RaeJeanne Guizar    

Dental Hygiene Student of the Year — Summer Luke

Heart of Dixie — Maria Bonny

Stafford Student Involvement — Lacy Culpepper

Dixie Spirit Award — Jordan Bracken

CIT Student of the Year — Stacey Allen 

Biology Student of the Year — Cami McKellar

Math Student of the Year — Stephenie Van Den Eikhof  

Music Student of the Year — Elizabeth Peterson

Theatre Student of the Year — Ami Porter

Art Student of the Year — Marjorie Eno

Commitment to Diversity — Rae Matalolo

Dixie 11 Award — Marcia Bang, Bailey Bundy, Lacy Culpepper, Kendra Kaneversky, Emma Moreno, Katie Patterson-Hulett, Allison Stewart, Eric Swenson, Jamie Udell, Kristie Walker, Flori Wentzell

Entertainer of the Year — Sarah Ramaker

Classified Staff of the Year — Sylvia Bradshaw

Exempt Staff of the Year — Jon Gibb 

English Student of the Year — Katie Patterson-Hulet

Spanish Student of the Year — Colten Butler 

Psychology Student of the Year — Lahela Manning 

Criminal Justice Student of the Year — Travis Seih 

History Student of the Year — Bethany Thomas 

Accounting Student of the Year — Jeremy Stout 

Business Student of the Year — Leigh Cannon 

Finance Student of the Year — Jacob Heimberger 

Communication Student of the Year — Josh Wallis 

Teacher of the Year “Rising Star” — Rico Del Sesto 

Teacher of the Year — Del Smith 

Male Student of the Year — Brandon Price 

Female Student of the Year — Jordyn Hanevold