The eight Palm Beach Atlantic University schools presenting undergraduate degrees will give special recognition to their Outstanding Graduates during Saturday’s spring commencement.
Talia Fradkin, from Wellington, Florida, is the outstanding graduate in the School of Arts and Sciences. She earned a 4.0 GPA as pre-health/biology major. She will go on to medical school, already having been accepted by medical programs at six universities. According to a professor who taught her in a number of honors courses, she just as easily may have enrolled in a graduate program in literature or philosophy. Last year, Fradkin volunteered in the Labor and Delivery Unit of Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach. She has collaborated with two faculty members on research projects and given presentations at the PBA Interdisciplinary Research Conference on three occasions.
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bria Parks is the outstanding graduate of the School of Ministry. She is an intercultural studies major and has led two of PBA’s Middle East mission trips. Faculty described her as conscientious and dependable, a person who brings unity and encouragement to a team, and who impacts other students’ faith journeys. In Palm Beach County, she has served a local Syrian refugee family, building relationships with them and teaching them English. In the future, Parks would like to move overseas to work with refugee communities.
Future teacher Rebekah Salowitz is the outstanding graduate of the School of Education and Behavioral Studies. She was president of Kappa Delta Epsilon, the education honor society. While serving as a Workship leader, she singlehandedly established an after-school tutoring program for students in a challenging section of the county. Every week for three years, she drove volunteers there to work with students. Salowitz did her second teaching residency in Madrid, Spain, where the program director said her calling to teach “is evident in her smile, her care for others and in the positive relationships she builds with those around her.” She is from Sycamore, Illinois.
Eva Bracciale is the outstanding graduate of the Rinker School of Business. A native of West Palm Beach, she has a double major in marketing and accounting, with a concentration in franchise marketing from the Titus Center for Franchising. Since her freshman year, she has been involved with PBA’s collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association, and she was chapter president in her junior and senior years. For 13 years, she served at the Royal Palm Beach campus of Christ Fellowship, teaching and leading worship in children’s ministry, managing social media accounts for children’s ministry and special events and participating in mission trips and leadership conferences.
From the Orlando Campus, Dorian M. Williams is the outstanding graduate of the MacArthur School of Leadership. He is regional program coordinator for a national non-profit organization that specializes in youth development programs in Orlando. He and his wife, Karen, have two children, ages 12 and 17. They live in Ocee, Florida. Feeling that God called him to be a leader not only in his home and workplace, but also in ministry, he serves as a minister at The Kingdom Church in Orlando, under the leadership of Pastor David S. Jacques. Williams’ degree is in organizational leadership.
Cayla Metzger is the outstanding graduate in the School of Music and Fine Arts. Hailing from North Carolina, she has a double major in music and public relations. Highlights of her time at PBA include being selected to the Florida All-State Intercollegiate Band for three consecutive years, winning the PBA Symphony Concerto Competition and participating in a variety of ensembles, including the PBA Symphony, Symphonic Band, Early Music Ensemble, Irish Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble and Pep Band. This fall, she will begin her Master of Music degree at Purchase College, State University of New York. There she will serve as the graduate assistant for the flute studio and the director of Classical Studies.
With a GPA of 4.0, Mireya Hinojosa is the outstanding graduate in the School of Nursing. Despite her rigorous course load and working part-time, she consistently volunteered to help others, including tutoring and mentoring other nursing students. She spent many summer and school break/holiday hours working as the patient care supervisor for Abode, a not-for profit organization in San Antonio, Texas, where she provided supportive and compassionate care for patients at the end of life. She is from McAllen, Texas. Hinojosa will take her nursing boards in June, and she has received a job offer as a critical care and trauma intern for the Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Texas.
Ashley Allen, the outstanding graduate of the School of Communication and Media, is from Tampa, Florida. She is a communication major with a journalism minor, and was editor-in-chief of the student publication The Beacon. She spent last summer writing for The New York Post as an editorial page intern, and hopes to go back to work in New York City. Her ultimate goal is to become a print-focused foreign or war correspondent. She has twice traveled to South America on PBA mission trips and written about those experiences.
Photo 1: Talia Fradkin is the outstanding graduate in the School of Arts and Sciences.
Photo 2: Bria Parks is the outstanding graduate from the School of Ministry.
Photo 3: Rebekah Salowitz is the outstanding graduate from the School of Education & Behavioral Studies.
Photo 4: Eva Bracciale is the outstanding graduate from the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. School of Business.
Photo 5: Dorian Williams is the outstanding graduate from the MacArthur School of Leadership.
Photo 6: Cayla Metzger is the outstanding graduate from the School of Music and Fine Arts.
Photo 7: Mireya Hinojosa is the outstanding graduate from the School of Nursing.
Photo 8: Ashley Allen is the outstanding graduate from the School of Communication & Media.