Nine students were honored Tuesday as the outstanding graduates of their schools and 45 others received departmental awards and scholarships as part of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Honors Day ceremony. The outstanding graduates each receive special recognition during spring commencement on May 4.
In addition, one faculty member, Associate Professor of English Dr. Jenifer Elmore, received the Charles and Hazel Corts Award for Outstanding Teaching.
The outstanding graduates are:
♦ Kyle Walding of Punta Gorda, Fla., is the outstanding graduate in the School of Arts and Sciences. Walding is a biology major with a pre-health concentration who has served as president of the Pre-Health Club. He also has been a member of the Socratic Club and the Student Government Association. Walding is a presidential ambassador and Relay for Life committee member, and he has volunteered at St. Mary’s and Good Samaritan Medical Centers. He is a member of the President’s Lyceum and participated in the Cleveland Clinic Florida Summer Scholars Program. Walding is a member of the Frederick M. Supper Honors Program and has received a PBA leadership award and a science and math SMART grant. He is also a peer tutor for biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics students. After graduation, he plans to attend medical school.
|Ricky Timms receives the Outstanding Graduate award from Rinker School of Business Interim Dean Dr. Leslie Turner during Honors Chapel in the Rubin Arena on Tuesday.|
♦ Ricky Timms of South Africa is the outstanding graduate in the Rinker School of Business. Timms moved to the United States with his family in 2009. At the beginning of his sophomore year, he transferred to PBA as an accounting major. While at PBA he volunteered as an income tax assistant. He also has used his knowledge of accounting to tutor his fellow students. He is a member of the President’s Lyceum, and has worked diligently to complete the Supper Honors Program in three years. Timms interned last summer for Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services firm, in New York City. He will return to New York in June to begin working full time for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as an associate in the firm’s international tax practice. He plans to complete his certification for the New York CPA within the next year.
♦ Amberly Harman of Wernersville, Pa., is the outstanding graduate in the School of Communication and Media. Harman has shown consistent academic excellence as a member of the Supper Honors Program. She serves PBA as president of the theatre honor society, Alpha Psi Omega, and she is president of the Socratic Club. Harman is the recipient of the Clifford G. Christians Communication Ethics award as well as the Frank Wright Scholarship. Her outstanding work on the stage includes “A Doll’s House” and “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off,” as well as serving as stage manager for “Cabaret.” Harman plans to continue her work in theatre and possibly pursue graduate school.
♦ Michael Fritz of West Palm Beach is the outstanding graduate in the School of Education and Behavioral Studies. Fritz is a physical education K-12 major, and he is also co-founder, past president and current vice president of the Student Veterans of PBA and a student representative on the teacher education committee. Fritz is a trainer for the PBA Cancer-Related Fatigue program and is involved in other community services working with children in schools and in the community. Fritz was recognized as the student of the year by the Florida Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and as the outstanding future professional by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Fritz has served in the U.S. Army as an infantry team leader, and he received the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Ribbon with Campaign Star, the National Defense Service Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon. Upon graduation, Fritz plans to teach physical education in Palm Beach County.
|Dr. Jenifer Elmore, center, receives the Corts Award for Outstanding Teaching from Provost Dr. Joseph Kloba, left, and President William M.B. Fleming Jr., right.|
♦ Deidre Ann Burrs, a native of Jamaica, is the outstanding graduate in the MacArthur School of Leadership. In 2004 at the age of 24, Burrs arrived in the United States and taught school for one year. The next six years she describes as wilderness years for her, and in 2011 she began her studies in the organizational management program at PBA. Burrs said she knew right away that she had found God’s path. As for her future, she wants to pursue a master’s degree and advocacy work by providing holistic ministry to children and their families.
♦ Korey Schaffer of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is the outstanding graduate in the School of Ministry. Schaffer is majoring in ministry leadership studies, and he has been leading small groups in youth and college ministries since 2007. He has had opportunities to preach and has also done social media and other media-based communications for his church groups. Schaffer is interning at Memorial Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach.
♦ Rachel Vreugdenhil of Sioux Center, Iowa, is the outstanding graduate in the School of Music and Fine Arts. She has been an honors student while earning her bachelor’s degree in keyboard performance. She has distinguished herself academically and musically, performing with eight PBA music ensembles, presenting several piano recitals and completing outstanding research projects. Vreugdenhil has participated all four years in piano master classes and performances given by the international clinicians during the PBA Piano Festival. She plans to attend graduate school with the dream of becoming a recitalist and university piano teacher.
|Provost Dr. Joseph Kloba, right, congratulates Ryan Ruark, the Outstanding Graduate in the School of Nursing.|
♦ Ryan Ruark of Boynton Beach, Fla., is the outstanding graduate in the School of Nursing. Ruark is a fifth-year student who is completing a major in nursing with a minor in music. He came to PBA in 2008 as a double major in music and pre-med; in 2010, he changed his major to nursing while still pursuing his love for music as a music minor. His primary instrument is the euphonium with the trombone as a secondary. He has performed in several ensembles during his time at PBA, and he has guest performed in the New Gardens Band and the Wind Ensemble at Lynn Conservatory. Ruark recently began working as a nurse intern on the telemetry unit at Bethesda Memorial Hospital. He plans to pursue a career in nursing with a focus on cardiovascular nursing at Bethesda.
♦ Raquel Rodriguez of Davenport, Fla., is the outstanding graduate for the Orlando Campus. She has demonstrated leadership among her peers, both in class and at her workplace. Always eager to come alongside her classmates to help, she uses her natural leadership to make others better. Originally from San Francisco, Rodriguez has also led at Disney World for almost 15 years, currently as a consumer insights research field operations manager. After graduating, she plans to continue studying at PBA Orlando and pursue a master’s degree in counseling psychology, focusing on marriage and family counseling and mental health counseling.
Other award recipients on Honors Day included:
School of Arts and Sciences
Trinity Livingston and Amanda Long, PBA Science Club/Arthur R. Marshall Foundation Scholarship
Christina Baxter, Patricia Shiers Bailey Scholarship
Meagan Landis, Palm Beach County Fishing Foundation Scholarship in Marine Biology
Timothy Grasso, Society of Colonial Wars Scholarship
Peter Bowen, Sons of the American Revolution-Palm Beach Chapter
Austin Groh, Ben Starling III Excellence in Public Service Award
Ariel Goldsmith, Swick Mathematics Award
Stephen Rineer, Outstanding Graduate-Biology
Stephanie Sauder, Outstanding Graduate-Computer Science
Timothy Grasso, Outstanding Graduate-History
Alissa Cutforth, Outstanding Graduate-Mathematics
Leah Hart, Outstanding Graduate-Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
Scott Hampson, Outstanding Graduate-Philosophy
Matt Crumb, Outstanding Graduate-Political Science
Rinker School of Business
Caitlyn Hammarberg, Philip Billings Memorial Scholarship
Carolyn Spacht, Outstanding Graduate-Accounting
Chrisler Joseph, Outstanding Graduate-Finance
Jeni Chavez, Outstanding Graduate-International Business
Benjamin Katzaman, Outstanding Graduate-Management
School of Communication and Media
Faith Warren, Outstanding Graduate-Communication
Jennifer Manor, Outstanding Graduate-Theatre
School of Education and Behavioral Studies
Amanda Mills, Jennifer Criss Memorial Scholarship
Scott Cotto and Eileen Gonzalez, John W. and Almarene W. Outlaw Scholarship
Chanece Turner, Joanna Whitney Memorial scholarship
Michael Fritz, W.C. Woodring Award for Outstanding Physical Education Major
Victoria Coffey, ProTeen Award
Emily Pain, Dona Thornton Scholarship
Janeen McCormick, Outstanding Graduate-Athletic Training
Audrey Chausse, Outstanding Graduate-Physical Education
Katelynn Poulton, Outstanding Graduate-Psychology
School of Ministry
Andrew Frazier and Abigail Gazan, The Baptist Church of Palm Beach Scholarship
Andrew Frazier, Abigail Gazan, Samantha Samuelsen, Emily Wilkins and Paige Moeck, Lloyd and Iris Mahanes Scholarship
Felipe Ocampo, Outstanding Graduate-Biblical and Theological Studies
Korey Schaffer, Outstanding Graduate-Ministry Leadership Studies
Jessica De Melo, Outstanding Graduate-Christian Social Ministry
Johanna Copan, Outstanding Graduate-Cross-Cultural Studies
Robert Alexandre, Outstanding Graduate-Ministry
School of Music and Fine Arts
Carly Capko, Outstanding Graduate-Art
Andrea Preciado, Outstanding Graduate-Dance
Samantha Mosher, Outstanding Graduate-Music
Theresa Butler, PBA Freshman Honors Award
Natalia Trotter, Frederick M. Supper Honors Program
Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
William Donahue, Outstanding Freshman Writing Award
Interdisciplinary Research Conference Faculty Awards
Dr. Peggy VanArman, Outstanding Research Conference Poster
Dr. Mathew Dellavecchia, Outstanding Presentation, Science/Math Track
Dr. Michael O’Connor, Outstanding Presentation, Humanities/Religion Track