Central Creative Leadership Awards to Be Presented

Certificate of ExcellenceThe CENTRAL Seminary Award for Creative Leadership is a new annual award that Central is making available to select institutions. Central is joining with these schools to honor and motivate promising students in their academic journeys.   Awards will be given to students at William Jewell College, Ottawa University, Southeast Missouri State University, Bacone College in Oklahoma, and Belmont University in Tennessee.  (Others may be added at a later date) Accompanied by a monetary gift of $200, the awards will be presented later this academic year. 

Students who receive the award are to be juniors with a 3.0 GPA or higher who have been recommended by a faculty member and another student.  They must have displayed creative leadership; e.g., started a community or campus initiative that has made a significant impact, created a partnership between their school and a social service or non-profit agency, or been responsible for some other initiative that has been transformative.

The first Central Seminary Award for Creative Leadership was awarded to:


Recipient:                   Victoria Gordon         

School:                        Ottawa University, Ottawa, KS                  

Classification:             Junior

Academic Major:       Business Administration


Reason(s) Ms. Gordon was chosen for this award:

Chairman of the Dept. of Modern Languages,Dr. Dennis Tyner states, “we choseVictoria because of her exemplary creative leadership in assisting theorganization Hungry for Change.”

Victoria started theorganization “Hungry for Change” on the Ottawa University campus two years agoas a part of Universities Fighting World Hunger.  Her passion for wantingto make a difference for the hungry and homeless has helped her recruit OUstudents to help with food drives for local food pantries, packaging meals forthe starving and other events to create awareness of hunger, domestically andglobally.  She has been selected for this award because of her outstandingleadership in making Hungry for Changean exemplary organization in the fight against hunger not only on the OU campusbut for other colleges and universities around the United States.

The Second Central Seminary Award for Creative Leadership was awarded to:

Recipient:                   Nicole Brandt

School:                       Belmont University, Murfreesboro, TN

Classification:            Junior

AcademicMajor:         Religion

Reason(s)Ms. Brandt was chosen for this award:

Ms. Brandt is beingrecognized for organizing student service opportunities with Room in the Inn to assist the homelessin their creative endeavors.

The Third Central Seminary Award for Creative Leadership was awarded to:

Recipient:                    Danny McBee

School:                        Bacone College, Muskogee,OK

Classification:             Senior

AcademicMajor:          ChristianMinistry, concentration- Christian Counseling


Reason(s)Mr. McBee was chosen for this award:

Mr.McBee is a bright and very capable young man. He has proven himself as a leaderas evidenced by his campus wide selection to student government; and his 4 yr.participation with the traveling Bacone Praise Team. Currently he is completinga counseling internship with students, under direct supervision. His vision isto become a Pastor. He has great promise to become an American Baptist Pastor.

The Fourth Central Seminary Award for Creative Leadership was awarded to:


Recipient:                    Maria Rucker

School:                        William Jewell College, Liberty, MO       

Classification:             Junior

Academic Major:         Nursing and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry


Reason(s)Ms. Rucker was chosen for this award:

She has displayed creative leadership that is transformative. Maria is the epitome of a servant-leader: quiet, humble, hard working.  In all things, she puts others first.   She is a ‘towel and basin’ leader setting an example of dependability,conscientious work, and attentiveness. Maria does not choose leadership opportunities based on what will “pad”her resume.  In fact, she does the opposite.

In Christian Student Ministries, Maria has served on the Worship Leadership Team but she is never the one with the microphone.  She plans and develops the many creative aspects of the worship experience: video/graphics, contemplative prayer emphasis, and innovations in worship atmosphere and style.

Maria was part of the new Community Advocate program to bringcreative leadership to Residence Halls with programs for relationship building,campus spirit building, and student encouragement.  Maria was excellent at bringing first-year students to engage with the campus, to participate in campus events, and to feel welcomed and appreciated.

Marie continued her Community Advocate work as a Resident Hall Assistant.  In addition, Maria stressed the importance of service to others as she organizes and leads her hall to engage in service projects off-campus.

In the summer, Maria has a heart for the oppressed, serving youth through City Union Mission.


The Fifth Central Seminary Award for Creative Leadership was awarded to:


Recipient:                  Matthew Porter


School:                       Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO


Classification (year): Senior              


Academic Major:        Mass Communications

Reason(s) Matthew was chosen for this award:  Matt has served as an intern for the past year and has distinguished himself in increasing our ministry to international students, organizing weekly luncheons and event meals, and networking with others on and off campus.