Sloan Crawford and Milner Awards Presented to Class of 2020 Graduates

Erin Olson ’20 and Dakota Mellish ’20 receive top honors.

September 29, 2020 Academics

On September 8, 2020, University President, Dr. John C. Bowling hosted a small ceremony in the President’s conference room in the Burke Administration building to recognize Erin Olson and Dakota Mellish, respective recipients of the Sloan Crawford and Milner Awards. Erin and Dakota celebrated the achievement with their families and members of the President’s Cabinet.

The Maggie Sloan Crawford and Robert A. Milner Awards are given annually to one woman and one man from the graduating senior class. These recipients are chosen by a vote of the faculty according to the following criteria:  

•    Their lives exemplify the highest Christian ideals.   
•    Their faith is evident in their commitment to service.
•    Their personal lives, scholastic achievements and extra-curricular activities reflect the best and highest standards of Olivet Nazarene University.

Erin Olson received the Maggie Sloan Crawford Award as the outstanding female graduate in the Class of 2020. Erin graduated in the tenth cohort of the University Honors Program with a 4.0 GPA and an B.S. degree in biology. 

During her time at Olivet, Erin was an active member of the Biophilic Council including participation as the treasurer for the 2018-29 academic year and the council’s president for the 2019-20 academic year. She also was a member of the Honors Council and served as the treasurer. Erin took volunteer missions trips with Orpheus Choir to Puerto Rico in 2017, and with Concert Singers to Paraguay in 2018 and Thailand in 2020.  

As the Kankakee Pregnancy Resource veteran benefit coordinator, Erin helped raise $2,000 to benefit the organization. Through late high school and throughout college, she served as the campus worship leader at Trinity Church Ashkum. Additionally, Erin volunteered as a middle school leader for Youth for Christ Momence; served as the Illini Girls State-Music Director; and worked as a medical scribe in one of the local hospital’s emergency rooms.

Erin is from Gilman, Illinois, and is the daughter of Lynne and Mark Olson. 

Dakota Mellish received the Robert A. Milner Award as the outstanding male graduate in the Class of 2020. Dakota graduated this spring with a 3.96 GPA and B.S. degrees in mathematics and data science.

While a student at Olivet, Dakota participated in and was a co-leader for the Chicago Federal Market Committee – Collegiate Challenge; he served as the secretary for Olivet’s Political Science Club; and participated in the ONU Investment Club. He also volunteered on mission trips to Costa Rica, Detroit and Chicago. 

Dakota also served as an Economic Development intern for the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County; Administration and Operations internship with Dot Foods; and as a data analyst for Economic Modeling Specialists International.

Dakota is from St. Anne, Illinois, and is the son of Jeanine and Kevin Mellish. 

For more information about Olivet’s more than 140 areas of academic study, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Published 9/29/2020

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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