Departments of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics

Outstanding Students

Each year the faculty in the Departments of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics select one graduating senior as that year’s outstanding students. The recipients of these awards have achieved during their time at Wright State a superior academic record, demonstrating a mastery of the arts of verbal communication and scholarly writing. Eager to learn and willing to work hard, these students represent the disciplines of religion, philosophy, and classics at their best.

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Religion: Magdalen E. Meyer

Magdalen E. Meyer is a perfect choice to represent the Departments of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics as its outstanding graduate for 2021. Maggie will graduate in May with a double major in both Comparative Religion and Philosophy and a minor in Classical Languages and Cultures. Prior to attending Wright State, Maggie served in the Army as a diesel mechanic for six years. Enlisting at 17, she earned a distinguished service record, which includes an Army Achievement Medal and Soldier of the Month, and in her unit she contributed to breaking down traditional boundaries relating to Army ranks, culture, and work. Maggie retired from the Army at the rank of Sargent. Maggie also distinguished herself during her time at Wright State. Her professors in all three programs regard her very highly, as a student and as a person, and enjoyed working with her in class. She also participated in activities sponsored by the Classics department, including oral readings of plays from antiquity. At the Ancient Science fair held in 2016, she and two of her classmates were recognized for their exceptional work in creating a replica of the Horologium of Augustus. Maggie's work in her Latin classes also earned her membership in the honors fraternity Eta Sigma Phi. Her broad interests in Religion, Philosophy, and Classics reflect her passion for learning and her curiosity about the world's diverse peoples, ideas, values, and practices, a passion she intends to pursue after graduation. "I don't see my graduation as an end to this sort of education" she observes. "I wake up every day and ask myself what I want to learn about and set out to do it." So following graduation, she will explore her options for pursuing graduate studies while eagerly awaiting a return to some degree of normalcy following the Covid19 pandemic.

Philosophy: Kelly Staver

Kelly Staver grew up in Centerville, Ohio, and graduated from Wright State with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Political Science. Kelly is one of the philosophy department's most dedicated, contentious, and talented students, earning a 4.0 GPA and Highest Honors on the Dean's List. Her work demonstrates exceptional attention to detail, careful interpretation of the most challenging texts, and sharp but productive critical insight. She has been an invaluable member of our department, working as a tutor in a wide range of classes, participating in the Philosophy Club, and going above and beyond in critical thinking courses by organizing group study sessions for tests. Her degree culminated in an impressive presentation and defense of her ambitious Senior Honors Project on the challenging works of Beauvoir, Camus, Sartre, and Hegel. After graduation, she will complete a second Bachelor's degree in Statistics in order to pursue a career as an actuary. She says she is very grateful for the opportunity to have earned a degree in a subject she loves, and plans to continue studying philosophy informally in the future. 

Classics: Mickayla Ann Hite

Mickayla Hite graduated in May 2021 with a double major in Classics and Anthropology. Growing up in Columbus, she attended Hilliard city schools. She was attracted to Wright State because she liked our campus, and she was interested in our Anthropology program. Once at Wright State, she discovered her love for Classics. She excelled in both classical Greek and Latin, but was particularly drawn to the literature and culture of ancient Greece. Through careful preparation and focused attention in class, she excelled in her coursework and earned membership in Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics Honors society. She participated actively and enthusiastically in Classics Club events such as play readings and Latin Day. In the fall, she will begin a Master of Letters program at St. Andrews University in St. Andrews, Scotland, where she will continue her study of Classics, with an emphasis on Greece more than Rome.


  • Religion: No award was given in 2020
  • Philosophy: Benjamin M. Asebrook
  • Classics: Lee Huntsberger


  • Religion: Ariel Berry
  • Philosophy: Christian Cooper
  • Classics: Lauren C. Reder


  • Religion: Anna Helmig and Antonia Rancurello
  • Philosophy: No award was given in 2018.
  • Classics: Abigail Hough


  • Religion: Aurylia D. Tracy
  • Philosophy: No award was given in 2017.
  • Classics: Christine Turner


  • Religion: John Klugh
  • Philosophy: Rachel Kay King
  • Classics: Jason Tarka


  • Religion: Jeremy P. Gambrell
  • Philosophy: Frederick V. Hockney
  • Classics: Brittany D. Blankenship


  • Religion: Jacquelyn M. Weaver
  • Philosophy: Alexander C. Thomas
  • Classics: Timothy B. Corcoran


  • Religion: Tina M. Porter
  • Philosophy: Hope Houston
  • Classics: No award was given in 2013.


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