Eight students have been named the outstanding graduates of their schools and were recognized during Palm Beach Atlantic University’s fall 2016 Honors Day ceremony on Thursday.

Recognized at Honors Chapel on Thursday were the outstanding graduates for the 2016 fall semester. They are (back row, from left) Andrew Peterson, Jessica Harris, Michael McDonald, (front row, from left) Katrina Dawe, Denise Grant and Maegan Foxx. Not pictured are Saija Wilson and Porschia McCray.Recognized at Honors Chapel on Thursday were the outstanding graduates for the 2016 fall semester. They are (back row, from left) Andrew Peterson, Jessica Harris, Michael McDonald, (front row, from left) Katrina Dawe, Denise Grant and Maegan Foxx. Not pictured are Saija Wilson and Porschia McCray.

These students will receive special recognition during fall commencement at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach. Francois Vosloo, a leader with Operation Mobilisation who has spent 30+ years ministering based in South Africa, will be the featured speaker.

Saija Wilson of Boynton Beach is the outstanding graduate in the School of Arts and Sciences. She is majoring in history and spent the spring semester studying in London. Wilson has been a scholar in PBA’s Summer Undergraduate Academic Research program (SUGAR) for the past two summers as well as a valued tutor and mentor for new coaches in the Center for Writing Excellence. Her professors said that Wilson takes initiative on projects, asks appropriate questions and follows through with quality work. She also is creative and willing to try new techniques, they said.

Andrew Peterson of Andover, Minnesota, is the outstanding graduate of the Rinker School of Business. A transfer student, he is majoring in management and is a member of PBA’s golf team. He participates in the Justice Club and has participated in a PBA mission trip to the Bahamas. He is presently completing an internship with the State Attorney’s Office in West Palm Beach.

Katrina Dawe of Orlando, Florida, is the outstanding graduate of the School of Communication and Media. A student in the Frederick M. Supper Honors Program, she is majoring in public relations. She is president of PBA’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and she has been a participant in the President’s Lyceum. During her time at PBA, she has served as the event coordinator for the School of Ministry and has participated in University mission trips. After graduation, she will work with a public relations firm based in Delray Beach.

Jessica Harris of Belle Isle, Florida, is the outstanding graduate of the School of Education and Behavioral Studies. She is an exercise science major who has served as a lab assistant in the Health and Human Performance lab and works with PBA’s Cancer-Related Fatigue program. She is a co-recipient of a Quality Initiative grant from PBA, and the resulting research is expected to lead to two published research papers. Off campus, she is completing an internship and is involved in the children’s ministry at a local church, and in her spare time she is an accomplished artist. 

Antigua native Denise Grant is the outstanding graduate of the MacArthur School of Leadership. She is majoring in organizational management and recently began her studies toward a master’s degree in leadership at PBA. Grant, who now lives in suburban Lake Worth, has an extensive background in business. She is active with ministries at her church, and she has a calling to speak into the lives of women.

Michael McDonald of West Palm Beach is the outstanding graduate of the School of Ministry. He came to PBA from Virginia and brought with him a wealth of experience. He is majoring in ministry and plans to continue his studies in PBA’s M.Div. program. He demonstrates his love for others through his work at Place of Hope in Palm Beach Gardens, among other activities. 

Maegan Foxx of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, is the outstanding graduate in the School of Music and Fine Arts. She is majoring in dance and has completed three prestigious summer dance intensives. She plans to complete further apprenticeships in Florida before moving out of state to pursue her career. She has been involved in PBA’s Cancer-Related Fatigue program, participated in mission trips and is a member of Family Church.

Porschia McCray of Rockledge, Florida, is the outstanding graduate for the Orlando campus. She is majoring in organizational management, and she plans to work toward a graduate degree in public health administration. When she was 21, McCray became a nurse and started working with the elderly. Five years later, she began researching colleges and universities and ultimately enrolled at PBA’s Orlando campus. While attending school she found time to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and she attends the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Melbourne. She and her husband, Graham, are expecting their first child later this month.