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MNE to honor five graduates with special awards

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Johneisha Williams

Five students will be recognized with special awards at the McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies commencement, set to take place Saturday, May 9, at Mercyhurst North East.

Johneisha Williams, who will receive her associate of science in nursing degree, will receive the Medal of Honor, the McAuley College’s highest award presented 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. Williams, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, has been an active member of the Mercyhurst North East community, serving as student government president, a resident assistant, a peer tutor and biology lab assistant. Williams received a bachelor’s degree in forensic sciences from Mercyhurst University in 2012 and plans to pursue a career as a critical care/emergency room nurse. As Medal of Honor recipient, she will deliver remarks at the commencement exercises.

Scott Lewandoski, a business accounting major, 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.

Mark DiBattiste 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. DiBattiste is a candidate for an associate of arts degree in liberal arts-science.

Victoria M. Gore, who will receive a degree in business-management, is the winner of the Letoinne Barnett Memorial Award, given to a graduate of the Booker T. Washington Center 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.

The winner of the Sister Catherine McAuley Award, which is based on grade point average and is the highest academic honor from the McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies, has not yet been determined.

The university also awards individual program awards to graduates based on overall achievement, scholarship and the potential they demonstrate as future leaders of their professions. These awards are presented as follows: Anna Bachuk, business administration; Lauren Nickerson, criminal justice; Carrie Gifford, culinary arts/hospitality management; Harley Boyd, liberal arts; Lisa Winschel, associate of science in nursing; Shane Hall, occupational therapy assistant; Julie Carter, physical therapist assistant; and Elissa Reynolds, respiratory therapist.

Harley Boyd, of the soccer team, is the women’s student athlete of the year, and cross-country runner Shawn Wiler is the men’s student athlete of the year.

The McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies commencement exercises are set for Saturday, May 9, beginning at 1 p.m. at Mercyhurst North East’s Liguori Fieldhouse. Graduates will be from the North East, Booker T. Washington, and Corry campuses.