Academic and Professional Achievements


HIGH POINT, N.C., April 3, 2019 – High Point University faculty, staff and students recently received the following academic and professional awards and recognitions.

HPU Senior Awarded Critical Language Scholarship

Kendal Karstens, a senior international relations major at HPU, is the recipient of a Critical Language Scholarship to study in the Russian country of Georgia during summer 2019. The Critical Language Scholarship program funds an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program and is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. Karstens is a Presidential Scholar and ROTC cadet who has studied Russian in language courses at HPU and while studying abroad in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in spring 2017.

“The Critical Language Scholarship serves as a well-deserved recognition of the hard work Kendal has completed at HPU through her coursework, her leadership, her ROTC commitment and her dedication to language learning,” says Dr. Meredith Malburne-Wade, director of the Office of Fellowships and Awards. “We are so proud of Kendal. We know she will do amazing work during this summer program and in her future career in the military and beyond.”

HPU Staff Member Selected as a Finalist for Pen/Faulkner Award

Ivelisse Rodriguez, a professional tutor in HPU’s Learning Excellence program, has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 Pen/Faulkner Award for her book, “Love War Stories.” Rodriguez is one of only five finalists selected by the judges after considering more than 400 novels and short story collections by American authors published in the U.S. during 2018. The Pen/Faulkner award is the largest peer-juried award for fiction in the U.S. A ceremony featuring readings by the winner and all finalists will be held on May 4 in Washington, D.C.

“Book award ceremonies are the equivalent of Cinderella moments for writers,” says Rodriguez. “We toil alone for years, not knowing whether our work will have any impact in the world. To be recognized by fellow writers and to read alongside fellow finalists, is a lovely moment of communion where we writers can stand together, bonded by this distinction conferred upon us.”

Member of HPU Security Receives Service Award

The Department of Security at HPU awarded Capt. David Kearns of the security team the Shield of Honor, Meritorious Service Award on March 5 for exemplary service during athletic and special events held on campus. With more than 300 special and athletic events having taken place this academic year, Kearns has participated in planning sessions and managing the security logistics for many of these events.

“To ensure HPU events, regardless of size, are successful by every measure, Capt. Kearns not only participates in every planning session but attends most every event, often when ‘off duty,’” says Jeff Karpovich, chief and director of security and transportation. “It is not uncommon for Capt. Kearns to be on campus all seven days in a given week. The university is blessed to have such a devoted and capable team member.”

HPU Senior Competes in Finals of Capital Connects Pitch Competition

Dylan Silber, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship and sales at HPU, competed in the finals of Launch Greensboro’s Capital Connects competition. Sixteen companies competed for cash prizes in front more than 200 attendees, including regional investors and community leaders. Silber pitched his new shoe company, Ace Footwear, in the two-minute pitch competition. His patent-pending shoe design transforms footwear into the ultimate shoe for any occasion by featuring interchangeable soles.

“Dylan pitched Ace Footwear in a field of companies ranging from medical devices to marketing to rental market software,” says Kathy Elliott, assistant professor and director of the Center of Entrepreneurship in HPU’s Phillips School of Business. “His concept was well received, and many investors and spectators alike took time to speak with Dylan and encourage him to stay with it. We are proud to see our students competing toe to toe with entrepreneurs in the community. Ace Footwear will be Dylan’s second company launch since he started at HPU.”

HPU Chief of Security Earns Sport Security Designation

Jeff Karpovich, chief and director of security and transportation at HPU, recently earned the certified sport security professional (CSSP) designation. The CSSP certification program establishes standardized competencies for individuals holding leadership positions in sport security venues. It is awarded to professionals who have demonstrated readiness in carrying out duties such as creating venue security policies, training others in security plans, and serving in a command capacity during events. Karpovich is also a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and a Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator (CHPA).

“At HPU, we are continually testing, evaluating and updating our security procedures, especially as new facilities have been added through the university’s remarkable growth,” says Karpovich. “I pursued this certification to help the university prepare and manage the security and safety of the new Nido and Mariana Qubein Arena, Conference Center and Hotel.”

HPU Professor Performs with North Carolina Symphony

Scott MacLeod, associate professor of music at HPU, was the featured singer for the North Carolina Symphony’s “From Classical to Broadway” concerts in Southern Pines and New Bern. He sang selections from classical and Broadway works including Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” Wagner’s “Tannhäuser,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “South Pacific” and “La Cage aux Folles.” MacLeod regularly performs with the symphony, which performs 175 concerts and events each year in more than 90 North Carolina counties.

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