North East graduates earn top honors


Mercyhurst University – The North East Campus will honor its highest achieving students with special awards this graduation season.

Dylan Goodill will receive the Medal of Honor, the highest award presented by Mercyhurst North East to the graduating student who has had the most positive impact on the life of the college community. The recipient of the Medal of Honor has exhibited outstanding scholarship achievement, personal integrity and leadership skills. As the recipient, Goodill will deliver remarks at the commencement exercises.

A liberal arts major, Goodill is the son of James and Melissa Goodill and brother of Benjamin, 25, and Chelsea, 24. Goodill is an alumnus of Menchville High School in Newport News, Va., where he graduated in 2011 and competed in football, lacrosse and wrestling. He was also a referee for youth wrestling.   

While at Mercyhurst North East, Goodill accumulated a 3.68 GPA over the last two years. He is an active part of Mercyhurst athletics community, representing the university this year at the NJCAA National Swimming Championships and serving as a starting defenseman on the lacrosse team. Also, he is an inducted member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, a nationwide program designed to prepare our nation’s next generation of leaders. Goodill’s favorite subject is history. 

Next year, Goodill will continue his education at Tennessee Wesleyan College where he will major in exercise science and also compete as a member of their lacrosse program.

Other key award recipients include Juan Quevedo de la Riva, who will receive the Robert S. Miller Award, the highest award presented by Mercyhurst North East to an adult student. It is given in recognition of the dedication, perseverance and sacrifice necessary to achieve outstanding academic performance while managing responsibilities to family, work and the community. The recipient exemplifies to traditional-age students that learning is a lifelong process. This award is named for Robert S. Miller, friend and supporter of Mercyhurst North East.

Anissa Eliason will receive the Redemptorist Fathers Award, given to the graduate who has given unselfishly of his/her time, energy, talent and loyalty to Mercyhurst North East. The recipient of this award possesses a high degree of leadership skills.

The university also awards individual program awards to the graduates based on overall achievement, scholarship and the potential they demonstrate as future leaders of their professions. These awards are presented as follows: Anissa Marie Eliason, business administration; Juan Quevedo de la Riva, computer systems support; Benjamin R. Ament, criminal justice; Ryan McMahon, culinary arts and hospitality management; Kelsey Liane O’Neil, early childhood education; Michael Richard Walter, liberal arts; Michelle Elizabeth Double, associate degree in nursing; Bonnie L. Nye, Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Stacie L. Gerlach, occupational therapy assistant; Wayne H. Armstrong Jr., physical therapist assistant; Tiffany Anne Nazarian, respiratory therapy; and Andrea Burchard, medical laboratory technician.

Paula Harrison of the women’s basketball and volleyball teams is the women’s student athlete of the year, and Aaron Smith of the wrestling and cross country teams is the men’s student athlete of the year.

Saturday, May 18, marks commencement at Mercyhurst University – The North East Campus. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in Liguori Fieldhouse. Eligible graduates number 322 from associate degree programs and 10 from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The associate degree graduates also include two graduates from Mercyhurst West and two from Corry.

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