Recipients of the Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Award from the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business (left) and the School of Science (right)

Recipients of the Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Award from the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business (left) and the School of Science (right)

Feb. 15, 2018

Nine Buena Vista University (BVU) business students and nine science students have been selected for the Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Award for the 2017 calendar year.

The awards, which range up to $5,000, were created by two separate $750,000 endowments from the foundations established by Dr. Harold Walter Siebens and named after the long-time advisor and counsel to Siebens and the foundations. The endowments support annual awards for up to three pre-qualified, academically high-performing BVU business and science students in each of the second, third and fourth years of school.

“The Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Award is designed for a very simple purpose: to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence by rewarding superior academic performance,” said Ben Donath, dean of BVU's School of Science and associate professor of mathematics. “Through these very substantial financial awards, BVU’s School of Science students are sent a very clear message consistent with Mr. Rae's and the Siebens Foundation’s values, that academic accomplishment should be honored and rewarded.”

The competitive program, which rewards business and science students who excel in their academic pursuits, is open to students who live in Iowa or adjacent states and who meet certain financial need guidelines. Students may receive the award more than once during their years at BVU.

“"The Clifford A. Ray Academic Achievement Award was created by a generous donor to encourage academic excellence and promote healthy competition among our students."”

Lisa Kesting Best

In addition to academic excellence, the program encourages quality learning experiences for students outside the classroom, such as internships, study abroad, international and domestic travel during BVU’s January Interim, and individual academic research. Fourth-year students can also use the funds for graduate school applications, entrance/exam costs or professional certification. Upon graduation, students can also use remaining Award funds to help pay down student loans.

 “The Clifford A. Ray Academic Achievement Award was created by a generous donor to encourage academic excellence and promote healthy competition among our students,” added Lisa Kesting Best, interim dean of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business. “The scholarship is based on merit and encourages students to excel by rewarding the students who receive the top GPA among the applicants. The scholarship can be used flexibly by the winners to cover academic expenses such as Interim travel, undergraduate research, internship and job search costs, certification or examination fees, and even student loan debt reduction. We commend each of our winners for their hard work and congratulate them on this well-deserved award.”  

Business Recipients

  • Fourth year recipients: Keely Bycroft, a business major from Bondurant; Josh Demers, a business major from Storm Lake; and Kolten Bader, a business major from La Porte City.
  • Third year recipients: Aaron Nicolaisen, a business and computer science double major Correctionville; Alan Maldonado, a business and Spanish double major from Lenexa, Kan.; and Austin Demers, an accounting, business, and psychology triple major from Bondurant.
  • Second year recipients: Alexis Keller, an accounting and business double major from Neola; Chelsea Hildenbrand, an accounting and business double major from Earlham; and Nikolas Brimeyer, a business major from Waukee.

 Science Recipients

  • Fourth year recipients: Emma Konkler, a chemistry education major from Audubon; Dong Wang, a chemistry major from Nemaha; and Devin Stane, a biology major from Council Bluffs.
  • Third year recipients: Meghan Bissen, a biology major from Harlan; Kimberly Hults, a biology major from Villisca; and Brittany Fisher, a biology major from Iowa Falls.
  • Second year recipients: Rebecca Peters, a biology major from Audubon; Tonia Henning, a biology major from New Ulm, Minn.; and Michaela Mason, a biology major from Omaha, Neb.