Hodge earns biology award, athletic honor

Tue, 2012-07-24 11:19 -- univcomm

Audra L. Hodge, a senior majoring in Chemistry at Anderson University, is the recipient of the Stevenson Outstanding Student Award provided by longtime AU benefactors Dr. Jerry and Patricia Stevenson, residents of Estes Park, Colo. Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University, presented the $5,000 award to Hodge during a recent campus luncheon. The award is to be used for graduate studies in biology at an institution of her choice. Hodge was also recently named the Outstanding Female Senior Athlete by Anderson University.

Hodge was chosen for the Stevenson Outstanding Student Award in part for her work in a research experience for undergraduates, funded by the National Science Foundation, at Bowling Green State University this past summer. She worked on the construction of a strain of bacteria capable of emitting light in the presence of toxic levels of heavy metal ions in natural water samples. This experiment was done in the hope that it may be used as a quick, inexpensive screening test for natural waters. Hodge will continue her studies this fall through an earned fellowship at Boston University for next year where she will enter the doctoral program in Biochemistry

In addition to her academic award, Hodge, a native of Decatur, Ind., was recently recognized as the Outstanding Female Senior Athlete. Hodge is a 4-year letter winner in volleyball. The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference named her All Conference all four years of her college career. She was a two-time Most Valuable Player in volleyball; served three years as team captain; was named conference player of the week 5 times; and named to five different all tournament teams. Hodge holds 21 school records in volleyball including best hitting percentage. In her senior year, she ranked 6th in the nation in hitting percentage.

“I am getting married this summer and moving to Boston,” said Hodge. “I will be attending Boston University this fall to enter their Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry Ph.D. Program. My long-term plans are to teach biology at the university level.”

The Stevenson Outstanding Student Award, provided annually to Anderson University by Jerry and Pat Stevenson, was initiated two years ago to help a promising biology student further their studies at a graduate school of their choice.

“We are indeed blessed at this university to have friends like Dr. Jerry and Patricia Stevenson who are making such as lasting difference in the life of students and in the life of Anderson University, said Ron Moore, senior vice president of Anderson University.

Dr. Jerry Stevenson, served as Chair of the Biology Department at AU from 1965-1970, and was instrumental in building the current curriculum for the department and bringing distinction to the university’s pre-medical program. From approximately 1970-1997, Dr. Stevenson worked full-time in the Pathology Department of St. John’s Hospital in Anderson, Ind. In March 2000, the Stevensons and Anderson University announced the completion of a trust provision providing more than one million dollars for the support of an Endowed Chair of Biology—the first Endowed Chair in the history of the university. Dr. Stevenson and his wife, Patricia, currently reside in Estes Park, Colo.

Anderson University is a private, four-year, liberal arts institution of approximately 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in business, education and theology.