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McAuley grads earn top honors

Friday, April 25, 2014

The McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies at Mercyhurst University will honor its highest achieving students with special awards this graduation season.

Haley Schaef will receive the Medal of Honor, the highest award presented by the McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies 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, Schaef will deliver remarks at the commencement exercises.

Jaclyn Davis will receive the newest commencement award, the Letoinne Barnett Memorial Award, given to a graduate of the Booker T. Washington Campus who most exemplifies the "Carpe Diem Spirit" exhibited by Barnett, who strived to make a difference through the educational opportunities at the BTWC. The recipient of this award has attained a minimum 3.0 GPA while balancing the many needs of family, school and work. In addition, the recipient will possess a strong sense of self, family and community.

Thomas Prichard will receive the Robert S. Miller Award, the highest award presented by the McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies 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-aged students that learning is a lifelong process. This award is named for Robert S. Miller, friend and longtime benefactor of Mercyhurst North East.

Noldon Starks 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: Kylie Shafer, business administration; Charles E. Harris, computer systems support; Haley Anne Schaef, criminal justice; Alexandra Lynn Watkins, culinary arts and hospitality management; Russell Ryan Sutton, intelligence and security support; Austin Alonge, liberal arts; Alex Davidson, medical laboratory technician; Vanessa B. Lewis, medical office management; Amanda Salter, associate of science in nursing; Emily Ann Wurst, occupational therapy assistant; Misty J. Jones, physical therapist assistant; and Stephanie D. Larson, respiratory therapy.

Alayna Carlson of the softball team is the women’s student athlete of the year, and Austin Alonge of the baseball team is the men’s student athlete of the year.

Saturday, May 10, marks the commencement ceremony for students of the Mercyhurst University McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in the Liguori Fieldhouse on the North East Campus and will honor graduating students from the university’s North East, West and Booker T. Washington campuses.

FILE PHOTO: 2013 Graduation at North East