2020 Honors Convocation

Welcome to the 2020 Coastal Carolina University Honors Convocation I am David DeCenzo, President of Coastal Carolina University, and I want to thank you for joining us in this virtual celebration Honors convocation recognizes exceptional academic accomplishments and contributions to the Coastal Carolina community, and with the various obstacles we are all currently facing, it is especially important to recognize the hard work our students have put in, earning them various achievements that we proudly honor today I encourage everyone to join me in celebrating these students by emailing this video to family and friends, posting it on social media, or sharing it however you see fit to make sure these individuals receive the full recognition deserved Dan Ennis, University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, will now preside this virtual ceremony The students we recognize today have attained laudable records of academic achievement and have contributed to the quality of our academic community They have led and inspired their peers, enriched their academic programs, and served the community in ways consistent with Coastal Carolina University’s traditions of integrity and excellence The first students we recognize are those who have demonstrated exemplary performance in their chosen majors Annually, a single student is selected for each academic program This student has demonstrated academic excellence with integrity, and has contributed to the overall quality of the program Our outstanding student winners are… Michael Stearns, Accounting Billie Rogers, Anthropology and Geography Jeremiah Dunivin, Applied Mathematics Adam Goga, Applied Physics Melissa Hydock, Art History Ramsey Diven, Art Studio Cameron Carroll, BioChemistry Kyra Ricci, Biology Madeline Filling, Communication Zhiyong Yang, Computer Science Royson Lacle, Digital Culture and Design Kelsey O’Neill, Early Childhood Education Andrew Jones, Economics (B.S.B.A.) Caitlyn Hinnerschitz, Elementary Education Chloe Keller, Engineering Science Allison Mitchell, English Jenna Thompson, Exercise and Sport Science Sunneva Sigurvinsdóttir, Finance Nellie Grey Eckert, Graphic Design Dipal Parekh, Health Administration Bailey Gordon, History Lauren Clements, Hospitality, Resort, and Tourism Management Alexander Heiberg, Information Systems

Michael Herbst, Information Technology Eliecer Fernandez, Intelligence & National Security Studies Michelle Rashid, Interdisciplinary Studies Audrey Oien, Languages and Intercultural Studies Ja’Quan Beckett, Management Cori Carlston, Marine Science Stephanie Henning, Marketing Anna Howard, Master of Accountancy Rachel Abarbanell, Master of Arts in Communication Hattie Jordan, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Timothy Hardwick, Master of Arts in Music Technology Martin Dolly, Master of Arts in Teaching Madison Rahner, Master of Arts in Writing Ariana Savannah Campbell, Master of Business Administration Alicia Strickland, Master of Education in Educational Leadership Leah Poston, Master of Education in Instructional Technology Earth Wactor, Master of Education in Language, Literacy and Culture Kevin Rigopoulos, Master of Education in Special Education Madison Fink, Master of Science in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies Michael Bunker, Master of Science in Information Systems Technology Stratford Slater Jr., Master of Science in Sport Management Jillian Kucic, Middle Level Education Ian Mahaffey, Music Chloe Belongilot, Musical Theatre (B.F.A.) Christina Stanko, Nursing Lauren Palazuelos, Philosophy Andrew Lovell, Physical Education Isiuwa Oghagbon, Political Science Hannah Cherewko, Psychology Erica Richardson, Public Health Brenden Reeverts, Recreation and Sport Management Nickolis Winslow, Sociology Morgan Elliott, Special Education, Multi-Categorical James Jester, Theatre (B.A.) Lillian Shoji, Theatre Arts (B.F.A.) These students embody excellence in a variety of ways, from groundbreaking research, to student organization leadership, to professional internships in their fields I encourage you to learn more about these individuals by reading their biographies in the online program or the printed program mailed to each graduate At this time, I will recognize various groups of students

The individuals in each of these groups will be displayed on the screen • Students graduating with honors from the HTC Honors College The HTC Honors College congratulates its students graduating with University Honors Each student has completed a rigorous curriculum consisting of at least 24 credit hours of honors courses while maintaining at least a cumulative GPA of 3.5 Each honors student also completes a final honors thesis or project, which is presented in a public forum such as a conference or at the CCU Undergraduate Research Competition

Dyer Fellow graduates The Dyer Fellowship engages students in research to solve public policy problems in their fields of study and to prepare them for careers in public service and academia The Fellows are a multi-disciplinary cohort chosen from across all of the colleges on campus, and represent some of our brightest and most talented students Dyer Fellows work with faculty mentors and Washington-based practitioners to develop solutions to the problems that face our county, state, and nation They are leaving Coastal with the knowledge and skills to go into the world and find public solutions to public problems Jackson Scholar graduates Select students have been named Jackson Scholars by the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values Jackson Scholars cultivate and promote awareness of the importance of personal and professional

integrity The purpose of the Jackson Scholar program is to assist students to develop into future leaders who have a strong foundation in ethics and a clear awareness of their own values Swain Scholar graduates The Swain Scholars have been established through the generous donation of Mr. Kenneth Swain Students are selected to be Swain Scholars through a very competitive process These students have worked with Coastal Carolina University faculty and community agencies to research health-related issues and implement community health programs The Swain Scholar Program is both a scholarship and credit-bearing program Teaching Fellows graduates The South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program is a scholarship program funded by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement The program supports high achieving South Carolina high school students who wish to pursue a degree in education Following graduation, scholarship recipients must teach in a South Carolina public school for a minimum of three years The Coastal Carolina University Teaching Fellows Program welcomed its first cohort in Fall 2015 The program provides opportunities for Teaching Fellows to receive professional development as well as serve in leadership roles Coastal Carolina University is one of only 11 institutions in the state identified as a Teaching Fellows Institution and is highly competitive in receiving 20-25 students each year Wall Fellows graduates The Wall Fellows Program is uniquely designed to prepare top students across all colleges of Coastal Carolina University for high-level careers in major U.S. and international organizations These students are chosen from a rigorous application process in the second semester of their sophomore year Wall Fellows have developed a laudable tradition and commitment to developing leadership skills and providing service to the community The reputation of Coastal Carolina is also advanced by the presence of national honor societies on campus Students admitted to these societies have excelled in the classroom and displayed campus leadership The program lists all of the honor societies and the members that will be graduating this year, as well as their advisers The single Distinguished Student Award is the premier recognition Coastal Carolina faculty can bestow upon a student Each college has selected one outstanding student from the major awards that we have recognized this afternoon These individuals are: Stephanie Henning for the Wall College of Business, Caitlyn Hinnerschitz for the Spadoni College of Education, Audrey Oien for the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Michelle Rashid for the HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, and Kyra Ricci for the Gupta College of Science Each distinguished student will receive a gift, mailed to their home address, as recognition of their accomplishments A committee led by our Associate Provost, and made up of representatives from each college, had the impossible task of choosing one University Distinguished Undergraduate Student from these five outstanding students The 2020 University Distinguished Undergraduate Student of the year is Kyra Ricci, from the Gupta College of Science You can read about the many accomplishments Kyra has achieved by reading her bio in the program However, I want to tell you a little about what her faculty have said about her “Kyra quickly distinguished herself as best in the class and showed a particular aptitude toward genetics She was always engaged in the material and experiments at a high level and was very meticulous about her work Because of this, I asked her to join my research lab, which uses C. elegans, a small roundworm as a genetic model organism to study neurodegeneration Her work contributed to a publication in the Journal of Neurogenetics Kyra has broadened her work and made contributions to other labs Significantly, she spent the Spring of 2019 as a Research Exchange Student working in the lab of Dr. Steven Brown at the University of Zurich in Switzerland After returning to the United States, Krya has spent her final year at CCU working with Dr. Fang Ju Lin examining whether wild isolates of fungi have anti-cancer properties The breadth and depth of Kyra’s research experience is incredibly impressive for an undergraduate student and attest to her hard work and dedication.” Kyra, congratulations Thank you for your contributions to Coastal Carolina University We wish you the best in the future

The Distinguished Professor of the Year Award recognizes excellence in teaching Chosen by the students, this honor is awarded to the faculty member who treats students fairly, is dynamic in the classroom, helps students after class, and is always willing to help students learn The 2019-2020 Distinguished Professor of the Year Award winner is David Fink Professor Fink received his MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and his undergraduate degree in business from Radford University He joined Coastal Carolina University in 2013 as a Lecturer of Management and Executive in Residence for the Wall College of Business A student said of Professor Fink, “He gives remarkable attention to each and every student to assure they are fully engaged and learn a lesson and master the skills needed by providing various techniques in teaching that cater to every student’s need.” Thank you, Professor Fink, for your contributions to CCU Honored students, I offer congratulations to you and your families on behalf of the entire campus community As we recognize your honors and celebrate your accomplishments, we too share pride in your achievements I take a special pride in making these recognitions to you, a group of students that has overcome so much adversity In your four years, you have endured hurricanes, ice storms, a flood, and now a pandemic And yet you pushed on, remaining resolute in your commitment to academic success I am humbled by your dedication and drive I want to echo what Dr. DeCenzo said earlier and encourage you to share this video with your friends and family You have worked hard to accomplish the honors bestowed upon you today, and your hard work should not go unnoticed Please stay safe and healthy and know that we are so proud to have you as a part of Teal Nation