CCCK Graduates Earn High Honors - Central Christian College of... Skip to content

CCCK Graduates Earn High Honors

McPherson, Kansas – Central Christian College of Kansas (CCCK) is pleased to announce that the following awards were presented during the 2021 Residential Commencement:

Alpha Kappa Sigma Award: Luke Ingram, Luke Koerperich, Breana Miller, Cheyann Sales, and Vanessa Warner

This award is the highest honor bestowed by educational institutions associated with the Free Methodist Church. Co-founded by Central Christian College in 1932, members of this society are chosen by the faculty and must be in the upper third of their class. The criteria for consideration include scholarship, Christian character and attitudes, leadership, and involvement on campus and in the surrounding community.

Bruce C. Johnson Outstanding Senior in Ministry Award: Chris Hall and Lance Hall (not pictured)

The recipient of this award will be a person who exemplifies a call to ministry, demonstrates servanthood, is being shaped by the Word of God, models who a ministry student should be, has a deep commitment to a ministry future, is an able scholar, has a passion for learning, has a teachable spirit, and has been involved in ministry while a student at CCCK.

“Chris Hall is a man committed to serving God. He is committed to engaging in local church ministry through his internship and beyond while also being in the classroom.” – Dr. Mindi Grieser Cromwell

“Lance Hall has demonstrated an ability to communicate the gospel in the classroom, the military, and his internships. We believe that his future ministry will demonstrate his ongoing commitment to the Lord and sharing His Word.” – Dr. Mindi Grieser Cromwell

Dramatist of the Year Award: Chris Hall and Luke Koerperich

The recipient of this award will have exhibited Christ-centered behavior, leadership qualities, will have actively participated in the drama department, and has Senior status.

“I have been proud to watch Chris’ growth on stage over the years. He first stepped on stage as the King and an extra Cardinal’s soldier in The Three Musketeers. I personally think he did a wonderful job. Chris played many roles at Central over the years, anyone from an elderly British woman to a baseball coach, and he put his heart into every role. Chris will be the first to admit memorizing lines isn’t the easiest for him, but he always makes up for the extra time it takes him with what he brings to the character. Chris is what I like to refer to as a brick of the theater. He is solid, dependable, and always there to help in whatever capacity is needed, and while I am happy for him to be finishing this chapter in his life, I will miss him next year.” – Professor Chris Gates

“Luke is a character and I don’t mean on stage. Having him around whether on stage or backstage always brought joy to the process. He was always up for whatever role was available, and if that involved him putting on a dress and wig so be it. He is a true delight to work with and humble through and through. I feel blessed to have been able to be a part of his time at CCCK and will miss our conversations and the spark he brought to every character.” – Professor Chris Gates

Jerry Malone Social Science Senior of the Year Award: Jessica Aldana

The recipient of this award will have a 3.5 minimum GPA, serve in various campus roles, and exhibit Christian character.

“It is with great pleasure to award Jessica Aldana with the Jerry Malone Social Science Senior of the Year Award. Jessica has met the criteria of this award by serving in various roles on campus as a resident advisor (RA) for three years, a softball player all four years, as a barista with Heartbeat Coffee (thus keeping me functioning over the past four years through her kindhearted gifts of coffee from time-to-time), and most importantly, exhibiting Christian character inside and outside of the classroom as well as on the field as a softball player. After graduation, Jessica is moving back to California and will be working towards a master’s in marriage and family therapy. It truly has been an honor and a blessing to get to know Jessica personally and have her as a student in the classroom. It is rare to have someone so committed, engaged, respectful, funny, kind, and giving in and outside of the classroom. Jessica has always been the first one to jump at the chance to help someone in need and is known, by all who know her, as someone with a listening ear, a kind servant-heart, a nonjudgmental attitude, and a strong faith that is seen demonstrated through her actions and words. It has been a pleasure and an honor to see you grow into such an amazing woman of God over these past four years, and I cannot wait to see what God has planned for you next!” – Professor Jamie Whitehouse

Musician of the Year Award: Luke Koerperich

The recipient of this award achieves a high level of academic achievement – a 3.3 GPA or higher, has Senior status, exhibits leadership qualities in an ensemble, exhibits a high level of proficiency in an instrument and promise of future achievement, has taken upper-level music credits, and is competent in music theory and aural skills.

“The music faculty of Central Christian College acknowledge Luke Koerperich’s excellence in music and are proud to present him with the Musician of the Year Award. He has excelled in music theory and history, piano, jazz, and he has developed leadership qualities within ensembles and music programs. His proficiency in music theory, piano, percussion, and music history conveys that he will be successful after graduation. The ensembles he has contributed to include Concert Choir, Jazz Band, and Performance Lab, which demonstrate his versatility. He has excelled in the classroom and has embraced a leadership role in the music program. The Music Department looks forward to how Luke will use his God-given gifts in the future.” – Dr. Brett Janssen

Outstanding International Student Award: Matias Nuñez Russo

The recipient of this award must have a high GPA, be involved in extra-curricular activities, exhibit a noticeable/positive presence on campus, and be a solid representative of our international students.

“It is my honor to present the Outstanding International Student Award to Matias Nuñez Russo. Coming to us from Argentina, Matias is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business. He has excelled both in and out of the classroom during his 4 years here at Central. He has been on the honor roll every semester and has been a member of the Men’s Soccer team for all 4 years. He represents himself and all of our international students well. Thank you, Matias, for all that you’ve done and what you’ve brought to our campus. We are so proud of you!” – Dr. John Walker

Science and Math Outstanding Student Award: Christin Vetter

The recipient of this award must have a major or concentration in Natural Science or Math, must be a graduating Senior, must have a 3.2 cumulative GPA, and it is expected that the recipient will exhibit Christian commitment and leadership.

“Christin has met all of the academic requirements of the award while completing a Natural Science major with an emphasis in Biology. Christin was also honored by being inducted as a lifetime member into the Iota Alpha Iota chapter of Beta Beta Beta – a national biological honor society founded in 1922. A wonderful demonstration of Christin’s character and servant leadership was her reaction to COVID-19 restrictions a year ago. She and her peers were in the midst of a semester-long project in genetics involving fruit flies. When her classmates could not return to campus following Spring Break, Christin, being a local resident, took the responsibility of collecting the remaining data for them. This involved coming into the lab nearly every day, counting hundreds of fruit flies, and reporting the numbers to the other students. Because of her work, students were able to complete their data analyses and project reports as planned. And she did it all with a smile! Not only was it a blessing to her peers but to me as well. To me and her classmates she was a living example of James 1:2. You are aptly named Christin JOY. Congratulations, and may the Lord bless you as you continue to serve Him in your nursing career.” – Professor Mike Craig

Student Government Leadership Award: Cheyann Sales

This award shall be given to a student leader who has made outstanding contributions to Student Government and has become a leader among the student body. It shall be chosen by the Director of Campus Life and awarded during the Baccalaureate and Honors Night during Spring Commencement Weekend.

The student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, must be a Junior or Senior, and must embody the philosophy of the student government as well as the college.

Teacher of Promise Award: Breana Miller and Marissa Waddel

Each year, Teacher Ed Programs can choose two students who show qualities of Teacher of Promise within their fields. Each recipient must be a Senior within the program, have a certain GPA, and submit a letter of recommendation as well as an essay on why they want to teach.

“Breana Miller is graduating with her degree in Elementary Education, K-6th grade, and a minor in Psychology. She has been an example for others choosing to pursue education as a major through her hard work, dedication, and attention to detail. Breana completed her student teaching in McPherson in 5th grade and her Cooperating Teacher had this to say about Breana. ‘Ms. Miller has a gift for teaching. She understands that her students deserve a fresh start every day and she provides a safe environment for every student! She will make everlasting positive impressions on her students making this world a much better place!’” – Professor Cathy Brown

“Marissa Waddel is graduating with her degree in pre-K-12th grade Physical Education. She is determined and committed to whatever she puts her mind to. Marissa completed her student teaching in both Salina and Nickerson and her Cooperating Teacher had this to say about her, ‘Marissa is a fast learner and has done a great job bonding with the kids. She has great potential to do great things in education and life.’” – Professor Cathy Brown

Wall Street Journal Senior Business Award: Vanessa Warner

To receive this award, a student must have a high GPA, be involved in the department’s business club and Honor Society, participate in campus/community leadership opportunities, and demonstrate potential for leadership/success in a business field.

“Vanessa is a Management major who has accomplished a lot, like her induction into Sigma Beta Delta and recipient of the Troon Golf Scholarship. She was a leader on PBL (Current Local President), running programs like the bi-yearly Finals Basket Fundraiser involving promotion, planning, and creation of baskets for over 40 students while being a library aid all four years. As a leader in her community, she was a Super Summer Bible Camp Leader, a Project Leader on a Hurricane Harvey Relief team, and a Volunteer Activities Coordinator at the Cedars. She also was a four-year letterer and team leader of the women’s golf team. We expect many great things for her in the future. Finally, Ms. Warner is a student who is driven, self-motivated, reliable, dependable, and capable of anything she puts her mind and heart into pursuing. She is passionate about Jesus and helping others. She will be missed in the department, but we are excited to unleash her onto the world. Vanessa’s name is engraved on the perpetual plaque that will hang in the Business Department honor hall and be awarded a personalized pen desk set. Our department wishes her the very best for a bright and prosperous future in the world of business and life.” – Professor Heath Whitehouse


Central Christian College of Kansas is a regionally accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Central strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person – heart, mind, soul, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central go to Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up.

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