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February 6, 2016   
Posted: May 8, 2009
Coastal Carolina University convocation honors students, faculty

  President Dave DeCenzo presents Jessica Hilton with the 2008-2009 Faculty‚Äôs Distinguished Student Excellence Award.  
Coastal Carolina University presented awards for faculty and student academic achievement and recognition at the annual Honors Convocation on Thursday, May 7 in Wheelwright Auditorium.

Jessica Hilton, a senior marine science major of Millersville, Md., received the 2008-2009 Faculty's Distinguished Student Excellence Award. Candidates for this award, selected by a faculty committee, must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least 3.75, the endorsement of a faculty adviser and a record of academic honors. Hilton, who has a 4.0 grade point average, has conducted undergraduate research on dolphin behavior and shark biology. She studied tree frogs during an internship at the Chesapeake Biology Laboratory in Solomons, Md., and she presented the results of her research at a national science conference. Active as a community volunteer, Hilton worked with foster children for the Department of Social Services, mentored area elementary school children through the University's mentoring program, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life and Project Lighthouse.

Todd Harwell, a marine science major from Canton, Ga., was presented with the 2008-2009 Ronald D. Lackey Service Award. Named in honor of the late University faculty member and chaplain, the award is given annually to a senior who has served the University through involvement and leadership in campus organizations. Harwell has served as event co-chair for Relay For Life, co-coordinator of Students Taking Active Responsibility (S.T.A.R.) and co-leader of Habitat for Humanity trips to Mobile, Ala., and Malawi, Africa. He was selected to serve as a member of the American Cancer Society South Atlantic Division Collegiate Summit committee. Harwell was also an SGA senator, an Orientation assistant and a peer leader for the First Year Experience program.

Varavut Limpasuvan, professor of applied physics, received the Distinguished Teacher Scholar Lecturer Award. Sponsored by HTC Inc., this award was initiated in 1996 to recognize faculty members who distinguish themselves as teachers, scholars and communicators. Limpasuvan's work focuses on various atmospheric processes that contribute to our understanding of the climate and our ability to assess climate changes. His collaborative work with researchers at institutions such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has brought international recognition to Coastal Carolina University. Limpasuvan has received many research awards including the Governor's Young Scientist Award for Excellence in Scientific Research in 2007. For his teaching, he received Coastal Carolina University's Teacher of the Year award in 2001 and the South Carolina Distinguished Professor award in 2001.

Michael Collins, assistant professor of management, was presented the Student Affairs Division Award, which honors faculty who make significant contributions to the quality of student life through participation and leadership in the co-curricular activities of the University. Since joining the Coastal Carolina University faculty in 2005, Collins has been active as a teacher, adviser, mentor and student advocate. He was instrumental in establishing the University's chapter of Eta Sigma Delta, the honor society for resort tourism majors, and he led campus initiatives to raise awareness about alcohol abuse.

Holley Tankersley, assistant professor of politics, was named Teacher of the Year, an annual honor presented by the Student Government Association. Tankersley joined the faculty in 2006. She is the faculty adviser for the University's South Carolina Student Legislature student delegations, and the adviser for the political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha. She received the 2008 Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching. In 2008 and 2009, Tankersley was selected by humanities and fine arts students for an "Apple Award" that recognizes outstanding teaching.

The Distinguished First Year Adviser award went to Agatha O'Brien Gayes, director of academic advising and the First Year Experience program. Also, Linda Kuykendall, senior instructor of communication, was named Distinguished Collegiate Adviser of the Year.

Departmental awards were presented to 35 students in recognition of outstanding academic accomplishments and contributions to the academic quality of their respective departments. The following awards were presented:

E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration:

- Accounting -- Tyler Courtright of Loris

- Economics -- Trevor Horrocks of Myrtle Beach

- Finance -- Daniel Potts of Irvington, N.J.

- Management -- Tim Bowie of North Myrtle Beach

- Marketing -- Madeleine Winstead of Charleston

- Master of Business Administration -- Brandon Charpied of Myrtle Beach

- Resort Tourism Management -- Lindsey Fertig of Arnold, Md.

Spadoni College of Education:

- Early Childhood Education -- Christine Hofmann of Myrtle Beach

- Elementary Education -- Brittney McMillan of Mullins

- Exercise and Sport Science -- Margaret Gise of Frederick, Md.

- Master of Education -- Gini Abee of Murrells Inlet

- Middle Level Education -- Erica Smith of Conway

- Health Promotion -- Ashlee Hendrix of Murrells Inlet

- Recreation and Sports Management -- Theresa Power of Shelter Island Heights, N.Y.

- Physical Education -- Amy Boulton of Litchfield, Ohio

- Master of Art in Teaching -- Secondary Education -- Robbie Morales of Irmo

- Special Education -- Cara Gallagher of Media, Pa.

Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts:

- Communication -- Ali Schmid of Manahawkin, N.J.

- Dramatic Arts -- Amelia Hammond of Gainesville, Ga.

- English -- Roger Johansen of Little River

- Foreign Language -- Liudmila Yasenka of N. Myrtle Bea


- History -- Meggan Farish of Conway - Interdisciplinary Studies -- Kirby Hood of Murrells Inlet

- Music -- Steve Martinez of Conway

- Musical Theatre -- Caroline Cuseo of Myrtle Beach

- Philosophy and Religious Studies -- Amanda Price of Conway

- Politics and Geography -- Michael McShane of South Bend, Ind.

- Visual Arts -- Taylor Hemple of Myrtle Beach

College of Natural and Applied Sciences:

- Biology -- Jade Guilbeau of Myrtle Beach

- Chemistry and Physics -- David Camp of Myrtle Beach

- Computer Science -- Ryan Rossi of Pawleys Island

- Marine Science -- Kelsey Fall of Wexford, Pa.

- Mathematics -- Timothy Doody of Myrtle Beach

- Psychology -- Joshua Steele of Cresaptown, Md.

- Sociology -- William Yagatich of Myrtle Beach

Medallions were presented to the following students who have successfully completed the requirements of the University's Honors Program:

- Tobias Banks of Galivants Ferry -- Biology

- Lauren Bohrer of Sayville, N.Y. -- Marine Science

- Shannon Bogart of Myrtle Beach -- Psychology

- Nikki Brawley of Myrtle Beach -- Education

- Heather Eurell of Myrtle Beach -- Communication

- Amelia Hammond of Gainesville, Ga. -- Dramatic Arts

- Brian Johns of Milford, N.J. -- Business

- Michael Marinaccio on Aynor -- Political Science

- Michael McShane of North Myrtle Beach -- Political Science

- Chelsey Mozingo of Myrtle Beach -- Biology

- Lindsay Stang of Bay Village, Ohio -- Marine Science

- Katie Thompson of Conway -- History

- Steven Thornton of Conway -- Marine Science

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