Lee News

Oechsle Receives Charles Paul Conn Award


Gabrielle Oechsle has been named Lee University’s 2018 recipient of the Charles Paul Conn Award and was recognized for this achievement during Honors Chapel earlier this month.

This award is given to a Lee senior who demonstrates the greatest promise of achievement in graduate or professional studies after graduating from Lee. Established in 1996, it is named after Lee’s 16th president. Each department may nominate one student for the award. From these nominees, a winner is selected by a faculty vote.

“Gabby is one of the most exceptional, intelligent, and motivated students I have had the privilege of working alongside in my many years of teaching and researching,” said Dr. Bryan Poole, assistant professor of psychology at Lee. “Her stellar academic background, her growing experience as a researcher, and her outstanding character are all unique qualities that I believe will afford her much success in the future.”

Charles Paul Conn Award Recipient Named
Gabrielle Oechsle receives the Charles Paul Conn Award.

During her time at Lee, Oechsle served as a floor leader for Storms Hall and as a teaching assistant for psychology courses. According to Oechsle, she spent a vast amount of her time outside of the classroom on research projects in psychology.

“Never have I worked with a student who was so gifted in both the classroom and the laboratory,” said Poole. “Her ability to think critically jumped from the pages of her well-written papers and numerous research posters. In her service as a teaching assistant and tutor, her Christ-like passion for others has been contagious. She embraces a challenge and excels, and she never quits.”

Oechsle has volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club, Prospect Elementary School, Y-CAP, and the Suba Environmental Education in Kenya. She has also held a website administrator position at SONA Systems.

She is a member of the Southeastern Psychological Association and the Midwestern Psychological Association and was the recipient of the fall 2016 Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant.

Oechsle is in the process of preparing a manuscript titled, “You Aren’t What You Eat: Impacts of Disordered Eating on Avatar Creation,” for future presentation.

“I could not have reached this point in my academic career without my family, friends, and professors who were willing to encourage me and pour into my life over these last four years,” said Oechsle. “I feel extremely honored to receive this award, and I look forward to attending graduate school in order to learn more about who God is and how I can better love Him and love others.”

Oechsle will graduate from Lee Summa Cum Laude this May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After being accepted into graduate programs at Fuller Theological Seminary and at Wheaton College, where she was awarded the highest level of grant aid given to students, she has decided to pursue a Doctor of Psychology in clinical psychology from Wheaton.

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