By Daegiona Wilson
Staff reporter

To be academically driven is a full-time commitment.

Ross Peterson-Veatch, dean of students, recognized two students as Scholars of the College. These students include, Erin Hall, philosophy and religion senior, and Nick Detter, stainability and environmental studies senior. They have achieved the highest grade point average among full-time students enrolled in campus-based programs and have earned 85 or more credit hours.

Erin Hall

Hall is from Norwich.

Over her time at Southwestern, she has participated in Discipleship, Chapel and Worship Outreach.

Upon graduation, Hall will be heading to Memphis for an internship. This is with a non-profit organization called Praying Pelican Mission. They lead domestic and international mission trips.

However, this type of servant leadership was something that Hall was drawn to long ago.

Wendy Mohler-Seib, director of faith formation for youth and young, said her first interaction with Hall was when she was working a church camp in Arkansas City, Camp Horizon.

“I remember this distinct moment where she experienced a call to ministry, and the whole community at the church camp affirmed this calling in her. It was really amazing and beautiful” said Mohler-Seib.

Since then, Mohler-Seib has had Hall as a student in multiple courses and independent studies, that have been more career focused.

Hall said her commitment to academics has taken a lot of time and dedication.

“In my major, it’s a lot of reading and a lot of writing, so I spend most of my time in the library reading and working on a lot of papers,” said Hall. “My days have always been class, events with discipleship and then nights of lots of studying.”

Hall said she has been grateful for the social science division who has helped and taught her the information that she needs to know to be successful past college.

Jackson Lashier, associate professor religion, met Hall on a college visit her junior year of high school.

Jackson said, the two of them has developed a personal connection through courses and discipleship.

“She is an excellence student. She is so diligent and such a good writer and thinker.”

Jackson said her ability to seek help academically has set her apart from many students.

“She’s willing to ask questions and get the help when she needs it. As professors, we love that. We want students to come in if they need help and I understand it can be intimidating for some students, but that was never Erin’s difficulty and I think that served her well.”

Hall said she would advise an incoming freshman to spend time in the class room and studying, however, make sure they take advantage of activities Southwestern offers. “Those are going to compliment your academics well.”

Nick Detter

Detter is from Andover.

While at Southwestern, he has been involved in Chapel, Discipleship and Citizen’s Climate Lobby, which is an organization that pushes laws to be passed on climate change.

Detter said academics became his sport. “I had an hour or two a day to practice my sport in high school, so in college I to set aside that time to work on my school.”

What has helped him is the individuals that he has been surrounded by, Detter said. “Pat Ross, Rick Cowlishaw, Jacob Goodson, Jackson Lashier, Molly Just and Dawn Pleas have all be impactful professors. They have supported me.”

Detter said that many individuals believe that being a scholar of the college means academics was easy, however, that’s not necessarily true.

“There was a time that I had to take an incomplete in a class, but it was because I communication with my professor that it didn’t have to hurt my grade.”

Rich Cowlishaw, professor of biology, said “He is a unique individual. He came in with an interest in a lot of things, but I think it was clear that he was concerned about environmental problems.”

“He pulled classes from the natural sciences and social sciences, and really crafted his own major.”

The two of them have been working closely together this past year, as Detter has been working on his College Thesis. Cowlishaw said Detter has found ways to challenge himself through this intensive time. “He has this seeking mentality so he doesn’t shy away from the challenge.”

Carly Redding, philosophy and religion junior, said “Nick holds himself to a pretty high standard and has high integrity. He also is very honest and asks a lot of good questions.”

“He is really creative in the ways he wants to reach out to the people on campus. It always seems like he wants to make the connections genuine and authentic.”

Detter said one thing that he has learned throughout his time in college is to not focus on what he doesn’t have but to focus on what he does have. He said he would advise other students to do so as well.

This June Detter will be relocating to Birmingham, Ala. After landing a job with Teach for America, he will be teaching middle school science this upcoming fall.

Cowlishaw said, “He’s been a really good student, advisee, that I would even consider a friend and colleague at this point. It’s like a collegial relationship now, which is pretty cool.”