April 27, 2022

Outstanding Graduates and Faculty Honored for Achievements


The University celebrated eight students as Outstanding Graduates and named Professor David Athey the winner of the Corts Award for Outstanding Teaching during Honors Chapel Tuesday in the Rubin Arena.

Athey, an English professor, was selected Corts Award winner by a faculty and student committee. The students who nominated him cited his unconditional support inside and outside the classroom and his genuine interest, said Provost Dr. Randy Richards. Athey critiques his students’ work with the ultimate respect and “promotes the love of literature in an organic way,” his nominators said. He founded Living Waters, PBA’s literature and art review, and organizes PBA’s Book Club.

The Outstanding Graduates are:

  • College of the Arts: Jonathan Carleton
  • Marshall E. Rinker Sr. School of Business: Melina Willson
  • School of Education and Behavioral Studies: Morgan Hirchert
  • Catherine T. Catherine T. MacArthur School: Jonathan Kautz
  • School of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Alyssa Macaluso
  • School of Ministry: Aubrielle Kratz
  • School of Nursing: Casey Gustafson
  • Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy: Travis Miller.


Carleton’s professors praised him for his hard work, sense of humor and servant-leader mindset. They said Carleton, a communication major, has the critical thinking and enthusiastic work ethic required for success in the workplace or graduate school. Carleton, a Farish Scholar and Supper Honors student, competed on the debate and forensics team, served as a Career Peer offering career advice to fellow students. He volunteered with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization that delivers and assembles high-quality bunk beds to children and families in need.

Dr. Henry Webb, assistant dean of the Rinker School of Business, described Willson as “one of the finest students I’ve ever taught,” and said, “she’s everything we should be encouraging” because of her academic success and service to Christ. She is passionate about financial literacy education. From 2015 to 2019, Willson taught money management principles to more than 75 middle and high school students in underserved communities, obtaining a retention rate of 97.5 percent for regular attendance.

Hirchert, a Supper Honors student, has a perfect GPA and passed all sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations on the first try, said Dr. Chelly Templeton, dean of the School of Education and Behavioral Studies. Hirchert served as a peer tutor. She believes bridging the cultural divide is best done through individual relationships. To that end, she served as a curriculum development team leader for a school in East Asia.

Kautz, a detective sergeant with the Boynton Beach Police Department, was in the first cohort of the organizational leadership degree offered specifically to Boynton Beach employees. Kautz spent 20 years with the Boynton Beach Police Department after six years in the U.S. Air Force. He “embodies Christ-like servant leadership,” and he enjoys seeing the leadership potential of his classmates come alive, said Catherine T. MacArthur School Dean Dr. Nathan Lane.

Macaluso, a biology major in the pre-health professional preparation track, founded PBA’s Pre-Veterinary Club and interned with large animal veterinarians. She conducted research with Lecturer Greg Rummo and did a related Summer Undergraduate Research project studying whether an intestinal disease common to chickens can be prevented by supplementing chicken feed with a bacteria known to produce monensin as a “probiotic” and getting that probiotic to colonize in the chickens’ gut.

Kratz is known for her love for God and exuberance for serving His kingdom, said School of Ministry Dean Dr. Jonathan Grenz. Her professors commended her for “keen intellect, creativity and compassion.” She served as a youth intern, tech volunteer and worship team member at two churches. A dancer since age 7, she is part of the Many But ONE dance ministry, Grenz said.

Gustafson earned one of the highest possible GPAs, said School of Nursing Dean Dr. Phyllis King. He is a peer mentor in Sonshine, the nursing student Bible study, and a VALOR student with the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. VALOR is a year-long residency that increases participants’ clinical skills, clinical judgment and critical thinking while caring for veterans. Gustafson is the camera operator at Truth Point Church and an entrepreneur with three side businesses.

Miller made the Dean’s List each semester and is a member of the Rho Chi honor society. He served as chapter president in his third year of pharmacy school. He also served as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) liaison and treasurer and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI) charitable works liaison and treasurer. He participated in Legislative Days at the Florida State Capitol. He volunteered as a group leader with Youth for Christ.

Lane, the associate provost, also recognized the top presentations from the Interdisciplinary Research Conference, and Dr. Tom St. Antoine announced the Frederick M. Supper Honors program awards winners.

Interdisciplinary Research Conference award winners are:

  • Outstanding Poster Presentation: Recovery Study of Subtidal Macrofauna in Relation to Beach Nourishment Off the Shore of Palm BeachAshton Senti and Dr. Angela Witmer
  • Outstanding Research Presentation, Liberal Arts: Archaeological Investigations in Early Medieval Ireland: Observations from Excavating the First Anglo-Norman FortificationCaleb Bowman
  • Outstanding Research Presentation, Sciences: Targeting Ovarian Cancer Using Plant-Derived Bioactive Molecules: Thymol and CarvacrolAllison Cool, Amanda Calderon, Dr. Cidya Grant and Dr. Christopher Hickey.

Frederick M. Supper Honors Program award winners are:

  • Freshman Honors Award: Halle Kibben
  • Outstanding Graduate: Cambria Davis.

Photo 1: Professor David Athey poses for a photo with Provost Dr. Randy Richards after Richards announced him as winner of the Corts Award for Outstanding Teaching. College of the Arts Dean Dr. Jason Lester (left, foreground), School of Nursing Dean Dr. Phyllis King (left, background), School of Ministry Dean Dr. Jonathan Grenz and School of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean Dr. Robert Lloyd (right) stand and applaud.

Photo 2:  (Back) Jonathan Carleton, Casey Gustafson, Travis Miller and (Front) Aubrielle Kratz, Alyssa Macaluso, Jonathan Kautz and Melina Willson pose for a photo after being named Outstanding Graduates from their respective schools. Morgan Hirchert is not pictured because she is studying abroad.

Photo 3: Dr. Jonathan Grenz presents Aubrielle Kratz with the School of Ministry’s Outstanding Graduate award.

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