About the Students - Coastal Carolina University
In This Section

Departmental awards: About CCU students recognized by their academic areas

Locate a student by the first letter of his or her last name:

A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  J  |  K  |  L  |  M  |  N  |  O  |  P  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  V  |  W

Back to Honors Convocation Home »

Please note: All students below are "candidates" for their respective degrees until the Registrar's Office certifies their degree completions.


Originally from Los Fresnos, Texas, Lizeth Alcantar grew up in Georgetown, S.C. Alcantar is an honors public health major with a minor in communication. Since coming to CCU in 2015, she has been named to the Dean’s List several times and is a member of the public health honor society, Eta Sigma Gamma and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Alcantar traveled to Aruba to conduct her research on tanning behaviors and perceived susceptibility of skin cancer among adults living in tropical climates. While in Aruba, she completed her public health internship with the Aruba Autism Foundation, where she focused on community engagement and awareness for Autism Awareness Month and the “Light it up Blue” autism awareness event with the Aruba Government. She has used her public health experience to work and volunteer for the Coast (SHORE Peer Educators) as part of CCU’s Wellness Office. After graduation, Alcantar will continue work in the public health field and plans to apply to community health graduate degree programs.


Taylor Allman is completing her Master of Science in sport management. She graduated from Charleston Southern University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Allman has worked with CCU Athletics in the area of corporate sponsorship, where she has been instrumental in creating and cultivating relationship with corporate partners as well as creating multimedia platform promotions and advertising for the University. Upon completing her master’s degree, Allman is entertaining a position in event planning and marketing in Charleston, S.C.


Lucas Bialousow resides in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he graduated from Carolina Forest High School. He transferred from Horry-Georgetown Technical College to Coastal Carolina University in 2017 where he has been pursuing a B.S. in chemistry. He has been on the dean’s list each semester since he has been enrolled at Coastal Carolina. Bialousow has been involved in research for the chemistry department in multiple groups. He has worked with professor Bryan Wakefield to develop an alternative synthesis for phidianidine analogs. He has also been involved in professor John Goodwin’s research for determining vitamin B12 analogs’ reactivity with nitrite. He plans to attend medical school and hopes to do clinical research in the development of new pharmaceuticals.


Trevor Bigham is a native to the Myrtle Beach area and attended Socastee High School. After high school, he served a two-year mission where he became fluent in Spanish. From his volunteer experience, he continues to serve his community by helping youth in Myrtle Beach. Bigham is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society. He plans to continue his studies through the Master of Accountancy program at CCU and obtain his CPA license.


Brooke Elizabeth Bloomquist came to Coastal Carolina University from Riva, Md. She is a stellar student who is finishing her career here with a 4.0 GPA. However, it is her work in the studios and on stage where she shines. The theatre performance faculty praised her work ethic, attitude and abilities to transform in the studios. While at Coastal Carolina, Bloomquist has appeared on stage in everything from Julius Caesar to her star-turn as the hopeless, beleaguered Charlotte in A Little Night Music. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a career on the boards in the vibrant Washington, D.C., theatre scene.


A native of Pawleys Island, S.C., Dylan Boston began his career in accounting by pursuing an undergraduate degree at Coastal Carolina University. During his time at CCU, he was involved with several academic organizations. He was president of Beta Gamma Sigma business honors society, and was a dedicated member of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership and Beta Alpha Psi accounting honors society. Additionally, Boston is a founding brother for the Tau Psi chapter of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. In 2018, he was awarded Undergraduate Student of the Year for the Department of Accounting and was chosen as one of 10 finalists for the Ronald D. Lackey Community Service Award. Upon graduation, he is excited to move to New York City for an auditing position with one of the four largest multinational accounting firms, Ernst and Young.


Caroline E. Brown is a recreation and sport management major. She has been awarded the Women in Philanthropy and Leadership Scholarship, University Scholar Award, and deans’ excellence awards. She has also been on the president’s and dean’s list and the Sun Belt Conference Commissioners list. Brown has worked and volunteered in a variety of areas. She served as the event director for the annual Beach Birdie Classic, managed events including but not limited to the Nacho Average Golf Tournament and has worked on sponsorship for the annual CCU Triathlon. Additionally, she was a founding member of the Women in RSM program. Following graduation, she plans to enter the event management field.

back to top ↑


Ryan Case is a political science major and history minor from Surfside Beach, S.C. While at CCU, he worked as an Edwards Research Fellow and presented his work at numerous national academic conferences while earning president’s list honors six times. In January 2019, Case published his capstone thesis, “Democratic Tyranny and the Need for Elites in American Politics,” in the Voegelin View. He is also a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society, and served as vice president of the University’s chapter during the spring of 2019. He will be attending law school after graduation.


Allison Cotte has always had a passion for the hospitality industry. Since moving from New Jersey to attend CCU, she has been on the president’s list for one semester and the dean’s list for two semesters. She will graduate in August 2019, with degrees in hospitality, resort, and tourism management, and marketing. She is in the Wall Student Executive Leaders Program. She is also a recipient of the University Scholar Award and the Coastal Transfer Scholar Award. As her final internship, she is completing a management training program with Brittain Resort Management Company.


Elisabeth M. Cox is from Derry, N.H., and will graduate from CCU with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. She has worked as a lab assistant, tutor and research assistant for the chemistry department. Cox has researched phidianidine analogs and presented her research at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) in 2018 and South Carolina IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC-INBRE) during the summer of 2018. She also has served as the vice president of the biochemistry and chemistry student club. Cox is both a Women in STEM fellow and research fellow for the College of Science. She is also currently working as a pharmacy technician in hopes of pursuing a degree in pharmacy.


Emily Day hails from Easton, Pa. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Kappa Delta Pi education honor society, and served as a Dalton and Linda Floyd Mentor for three years. She was recognized as a member of the dean’s list her freshman year, and the president’s list for the last three years. She is a recipient of the Teal Scholar Award and the University Scholar Award. While working on her undergraduate degree, Day began her master’s degree in specific learning disabilities. She will teach in Pennsylvania while simultaneously completing her graduate program.


Stephanie Eliason will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in finance with a concentration in financial management. She is a member of the Student Executive Leaders and Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society. Since her arrival at CCU in 2016, she has achieved the president’s list and dean’s list for five semesters. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in financial management and achieve her CFA certification. She is from Myrtle Beach, S.C.


Hope H. Epton is originally from New York and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. She relocated to the Myrtle Beach area in 2004 with her son Joshua. She always had the goal of attaining a bachelor’s degree, and to that end, first attended Coastal Carolina University in the summer of 2008. During her bachelor’s program, she and husband Stephen got married in 2009 and had their daughter Gabriella in late 2010. Throughout the program, she maintained academic excellence while continuing to work full time as an application developer. She graduated magna cum laude in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science, minoring health promotion. In 2016, Epton returned to pursue her master’s degree in information systems technology in an effort to expand her knowledge in data analytics. Upon graduation, she plans to continue to work in the technology field, moving toward a more data analytics-centered role.

back to top ↑


Alexander Foster, from Little River, S.C., is a mathematics major and computer science minor. He has been named to the president’s list every semester since he started CCU in Fall 2016, and participated in a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro last summer. He has presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings and Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Section, including talks entitled “Generalizing Random Fibonacci Sequences” and “Modeling Protection Strategies Against Chikungunya Virus on Reunion Island” and a poster entitled “What’s a DRACKN?” After graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics.


Megan Hickman Fulp arrived at Coastal Carolina in 2015 from Summerville, S.C. While earning her Bachelor of Science in computer science with an applied mathematics minor, she was named to the president’s list and the dean’s list. She was accepted into the computer science honor society (Upsilon Pi Epsilon) and the Honors Fellowship. She helped start various new clubs and programs, including the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student chapter, the Coastal Carolina Women in STEM Fellowship and the Honors Fellowship. She held various on-campus jobs as a tutor, teaching assistant, and research assistant with affiliation to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). After graduation, she plans to further her research over the summer at LANL and pursue graduate studies in computer engineering at Clemson University.


Jason Gerner is a health administration major who currently resides in Conway, S.C. Gerner previously earned his Associate of Science in nursing from Berkshire Community College (1995) and completed his certification as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from Dartmouth University (2017). He is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, The Society of Collegiate Leadership and Achievement, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Gerner has maintained his status on the president’s list every semester while enrolled at the University. He is also currently employed as the director of quality at Conway Medical Center in Conway, S.C. After graduation, Gerner plans to remain in a leadership role in health care quality.


Kathryn Greiner-Ferris is currently working toward her master’s degree in coastal marine and wetland studies (CMWS). Before attending CCU in 2010 she earned a bachelor’s degree from Suffolk University (Boston, Mass.) in biology with a focus in marine science. She then went on to work as a medical oncology research assistant at Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, Mass.) where she led efforts to optimize a next generation sequencing panel. At CCU, Greiner-Ferris was appointed a 2018-2019 graduate student representative for the CMWS program and has received a grant from the M.K. Pentecost Ecology Fund in support of her research on environmental DNA. Greiner-Ferris’ thesis incorporates both her genetic and ecology research background to investigate the use of dolphin DNA from environmental water samples to track the distribution and abundance of bottlenose dolphins in coastal and estuarine waters. Greiner-Ferris’ future plans are to re-enter the workforce and continue to incorporate multiple branches of science into research.


Sara Hallstein is an artist from Rockford, Ill., currently based in South Carolina. Pulling from her strong theatre background, she uses elements of storytelling in various media to bring her work to life. She graduated from Guilford High School, where she concentrated in art and exhibited her AP Portfolio. She exhibited at the Young Women’s Christian Association and in Archarios. Hallstein is currently working on the production of the new statue with Artist-in-Residence Bryan Rapp.


Morgan Howder is from Huntersville, N.C. She has served in many different capacities such as Orientation Team, the Wall Fellows Program, Alpha Delta Pi, University Housing, the CINO series, the communication honors society Lambda Pi Eta, and Women in Philanthropy and Leadership. Howder has held leadership roles as an Orientation leader, resident adviser, a team leader, and a recruitment and marketing vice president. She has also received numerous honors such as being named the 2017 Homecoming Queen, 2017 Rising Leader of the Year, the 2018 Debbie Hardee Heart and Soul Award Recipient, and the 2018-2019 Women in Philanthropy and Leadership Endowed Scholar. She has worked passionately to better the Conway community by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, the Shepherd’s Table, Relay for Life, Dance Marathon, and the Dalton and Linda Floyd Mentoring Program. Howder is a first generation college student with a learning disability. However, she does not let these titles define her success. While serving, leading, and investing in so many areas, she still maintained a high GPA, spending several semesters on the dean’s and president’s lists.


Katrina Marie Hughes moved from Hopewell Junction, N.Y., to South Carolina with her family in 2015 to start her first semester at CCU. Her love of science shaped her academic path, and in her four years at the University, not only will she complete a Bachelor of Science in physics with minors in mathematics and computer science, but she will also become the first CCU student to earn a Bachelor of Science in engineering science. She is a learning assistant and tutor for the physics program. While at CCU, Hughes has earned dean’s list for two semesters and the University’s merit-based scholarship for all four years. Outside of the classroom, she served as secretary of the Society of Physics Students and is a member of Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success. In the future, Hughes is considering graduate school or work in the private sector.

back to top ↑


Sydney James, from Seaford, Del., has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in anthropology and geography, a minor in history, a certificate in cultural heritage studies, a certificate in applied archaeology, and a certificate in geospatial technologies. She has achieved president’s list every semester and serves as the president of the Anthropology and Geography Club and vice president of the Sprout Club. James has conducted independent research culminating in presentations at the Middle Atlantic Archaeology Conference, the Reconstructive and Experimental Archaeology Conference, and the Archaeological Society of South Carolina conference. She won first place in the Undergraduate Research Competition at Coastal Carolina in 2018. In summer of 2018, she received a National Science Foundation-funded fellowship to attend the prestigious Koobi Fora Field School in Kenya. She presented this research at the Society for American Archaeology conference in 2019. After graduation, James plans to continue to study for a Ph.D. in anthropology and conduct research in East Africa.


Gregory A. Johnson will graduate from CCU with an educational specialist degree in instructional technology. He also has received a Master of Education in instructional technology degree from CCU with a certificate in online learning, a Bachelor of Science in technology leadership from Fort Hays State University, and an Associate of Applied Science in digital arts from Horry-Georgetown Technical College. Johnson was a successful entrepreneur in Horry County for more than a decade. He has conducted research on digital integration, blended learning and closing the gap on the “digital divide.” Johnson will pursue a Ph.D. in education and aspires to become a professor within the field of education, graphic design and freshman year experience. Johnson is a native of Horry County.


Ragen Johnson is the outstanding student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program at Coastal Carolina University. Her bachelor’s degree was in history from CCU; she also earned a minor in African diaspora studies. Her master’s research brings these fields together to look at a gap in studies of fascism — African soldiers in World War II. She has presented her work at the first annual graduate conference on fascism and antifascism at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., this spring. Johnson has worked for several semesters as a graduate assistant for the Student Success Initiatives, helping to roll out new parts of the Academic Coaching Experience. She is applying for Ph.D. programs in history.


Troy Kinner is an art history major at Coastal Carolina University. With a strong interest in Japanese art history, Kinner was able to study abroad for six months in Osaka, Japan, in 2017. While there, he studied classical Japanese arts, such as fine arts and performing arts, and early Japanese painting. Kinner also studied intensive Japanese language and extensive Japanese religion with a focus on artistic representation. While abroad, he received valuable handson experience that became formative in his selection for his capstone thesis, a study of Hokusai’s “Manga” and its impact on Japanese art. Kinner hopes to continue his studies in graduate school with a continued focus on Japanese aesthetics and fine arts while pursuing art conservation or art crime prevention.


Kristina Knudtson has completed the multiple languages concentration of the languages and intercultural studies major, having studied German as her primary language and taken additional classes in Italian and Russian. She served as a volunteer for the first annual High School Language Day, is a member of the Alpha Mu Gamma National Collegiate Foreign Language honor society, and is a Culture and Language Experience Scholar. In addition to her LIS major, Kristina has completed a history major and a minor in linguistics. As part of a senior research project, she has been investigating how East Germans experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.


Katherine Banks LaMaster is a student in the Master of Education in language, literacy and culture program. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 2011 with a degree in early childhood education. She then taught English and physical education for a year in Honduras after joining the Peace Corps. LaMaster has taught both kindergarten and first grade, and was named Rookie Teacher of the Year for Charleston County School District in 2013. After graduating, LaMaster hopes to attain her National Board Certification.


Bailey Lewis is a distinguished teaching fellow from Rock Hill, S.C., and served as a research fellow for the Spadoni College of Education. She is also a peer mentor for the Teaching Fellows Program. She enjoyed leading business meetings, team-building exercises, seminar classes, and attending monthly professional development events with the program. The opportunities provided by the Teaching Fellows Program and her coursework have shaped her into the teacher she is today. In addition, Lewis has shown outstanding work in lesson planning and teaching observed by her professors and focuses highly on meeting the individual needs of her students. Going forward, she plans to return to Rock Hill to pursue teaching in an early childhood classroom.


Kenneth Brandon Lilly, a Conway, S.C., native, will be graduating from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in information systems. He has achieved dean’s list status every semester since his arrival at Coastal Carolina and has been an asset to the department of computing sciences, serving as a tutor and lab assistant for the past two years. Lilly has been a recipient of the Nancy and Cathcart Smith Scholarship as well as the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship. His primary areas of interest within the field are computational modeling and software engineering, and he plans to pursue a career as a software developer post-graduation.


Rebecca Lopes will graduate from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts in special education. While in the education program, she has been on the president’s list each semester. Lopes has completed graduate courses to receive her add-on certificate in severe disabilities. While at CCU, she was a member of the women’s softball team and was invited to join the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is a residential mentor for the LIFE program and is also a mentor for the CEaL and Bridge programs at Coastal Carolina University. After graduation, Lopes plans to complete her master’s and have her own moderate to severe disabilities classroom. She is originally from Watertown, Conn.

back to top ↑


Felicia Martin will be graduating from CCU with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in special education. A 2015 graduate of Coastal Carolina University, she earned her bachelor’s degree in special education. Martin currently teaches at Ocean Bay Elementary School and has been teaching there for three years. Born and raised in Conway, S.C., Martin has had a passion for teaching since a very young age. She has mentored high school students interested in working in the field of special education and spends her time after school providing homebound education services.


Daniel Miranda, from Lowell, Mass., enlisted in the United States Air Force directly after high school and served honorably for six years as an aircraft maintainer. Following his service, Miranda moved to Conway, S.C., in 2016 to pursue his information technology degree, with a business administration minor. As a student at Coastal Carolina, Miranda has distinguished himself, earning a spot on the dean’s list every semester. Additionally, as a volunteer with the American Red Cross, Miranda developed a marketing project that enabled the University to exceed their monthly quota of donations. In the near future, Miranda plans to seek a career as a server administrator.


Linda Morris is from Newark, Del. Morris is a middle level education major with the two content areas of English/language arts and math. She is the assistant recruitment information manager and vice president of finance for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, off campus coordinator for A Moment of Magic and a TEAL Trailblazer. Morris has been recognized on the dean’s list for Fall 2016 and 2017 and the president’s list for Spring 2018 and Fall 2018. This past February, she was the roundtable leader at the South Carolina Council for Teachers of English. Morris is a recipient of the President’s Merit Award and Coastal Carolina Alumni Endowment Scholarship. Following graduation, she plans on teaching and earning a master’s degree in literacy. She plans to follow her fiancé, who is currently active duty military, and teach where he is stationed.


Jessica Myers is a marine science major with a certificate in sustainability from West Grove, Pa. Her honors thesis focused on observing microplastic pollution within various waterways on the northern coast of South Carolina and the Bahamas under the guidance of professor George Boneillo of Coastal Carolina University’s marine science department. Myers also worked as a lab assistant for the marine science department and was recently promoted to senior lab aide. She is the secretary for the SCUBA diving club and enjoys singing in the University’s choir. She was granted the President’s Scholar Award and has earned placement on the president’s list or dean’s list every semester. After graduation, she plans to continue her research on plastic pollution in pursuit of a Master of Science in coastal and marine system science.


Sarah Navin is currently finishing the Master of Arts in Writing program, and her fiction and poetry have already appeared in The Apeiron Review, The Allegheny Review, and The Normal School, among other venues. Navin’s fiction piece titled “Chickenfoot” was named an Honorable Mention by Glimmer Train Press. She is a graduate assistant in the Writing Center at Coastal Carolina University and is a tutoring intern with the Horry County Literacy Council, a nonprofit that provides reading, writing, and reintegration support to locals. After graduation, Navin plans to continue her relationship with literacy initiatives and pursue a Master of Fine Arts.


Yaicha D. Ocampo is a double major in philosophy and English, with minors in linguistics and women’s and gender studies. She is from Moncks Corner, S.C. Ocampo has a wide variety of achievements while a student. She has been awarded multiple scholarships from CCU’s Women in Philanthropy and Leadership, including the WIPL Endowed Scholarship her junior year. She has been an Edwards College research fellow, a Jackson Scholar (in the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values), assistant director of civic engagement for the Coastal Activities Board, a resident adviser, and assistant editor of The Chanticleer. She has completed two local internships and has been a tutor for students in philosophy. Her long-term goal after graduation this May is to pursue graduate study in philosophy.


Kristyn Ortiz Originally from Nassau County, N.Y., Kristyn Ortiz entered the MBA program having completed her bachelor’s degree in business from The State University of New York at Stony Brook and graduating magna cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Technology with an associate’s degree in textile and surface design. Ortiz has held several positions in the fashion industry including design and production internships for fashion brand FUBU and the Wendy Williams television show. Ortiz has served as a graduate assistant on campus, and successfully led the student team producing the Coastal Carolina University Dress 4 Success Fashion Show held this past spring. Ortiz is a member of the American Marketing Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in the music industry developing and branding musical artists.

back to top ↑


Valarie Paterson joined the theatre program after starting her second major in graphic design. Her work has been seen on at least 15 productions at CCU. She has worked as a painter, properties coordinator, projection designer, carpenter, dramaturg and many other production roles; she has excelled at each. Paterson is a three-year member of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honorary society, and currently serves as its president. She plans to pursue a career as a scenic artist in theatre, film and television.


Nathan Paschal is a graphic design major at CCU. He is originally from Aiken, S.C., and enjoys being outdoors in his spare time. Starting his college career as a marketing major, Paschal quickly learned that he belonged on the creative side of things. Through being a student and holding a graphic design internship at the University, he has gained a passion for the many aspects of design. He is looking forward to pursuing a career after graduation.


Alyssa Risner is a Myrtle Beach, S.C., native. In addition to completing her biology major, Risner earned a minor in mathematics. She is a member of two national honor societies and earned five scholarships, including the President’s Scholar Award for four years. Risner has been active conducting research in multiple scientific fields. First, she constructed a three-dimensional device to test olfactory memory in fruit flies. Second, she analyzed global weather data from a NASA satellite as part of the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. Third, she studied how nutrients affect the growth of a species of toxic algae. Risner plans to earn a doctorate in biomedical engineering in order to help advance new biomedical technologies.


Camren Schildt, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., graduated cum laude from Coastal Carolina University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. During his undergraduate career, Schildt was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta honors fraternity and won an award for the best research paper on the World War II panel at a regional Phi Alpha Theta conference. He also made the dean’s list every semester of his junior and senior year at Coastal Carolina University. As a candidate in the MAT social studies program, Schildt has continued this pattern of excellence and hard work, impressing his professors with his professionalism and attention to detail. Schildt’s future plans are to pursue a teaching career at the secondary level and eventually to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of education.


Madison Scholar is from Marietta, Ga. She was actively involved in the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief at the executive level as the previous chief of operations. She was involved in the Rotaract Club and served on the Coastal Law Enforcement Analysis Report Team. As a Dyer Fellow, she and professor Joseph Fitsanakis worked on research regarding the effects of marijuana on U.S. national security. Scholar also traveled abroad to Norway with the ISFIT program, researching human trafficking and migration. Finally, she received a $50,000 scholarship through Rotary International to study for her master’s degree in Manchester, England.


Maria Christina Marguerite Sparacino, a native of Wind Lake, Wis., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in intelligence and national security studies. She is enrolled in the Honors College and has achieved the president’s list each semester since entering CCU. She also served as a tutor for the Department of Psychology. Maria is a member of the psychology honor society Psi Chi, the first-year student honor society Phi Eta Sigma, and is a Women in Philanthropy and Leadership Scholar. As a research assistant in the Department of Psychology, she worked in labs with three different professors and was co-author on a presentation at a professional psychology conference. Her senior thesis investigated the influence of Fitbit devices on healthy food choices. After graduation, Sparacino plans to attend graduate school in clinical psychology, eventually earning a Ph.D.


Vanessa Suggs will graduate with her BSN this semester. She is from Loris, S.C., and recently completed a five-month mission trip serving as a nurse at a mission hospital in the middle of a jungle on the northern coast of Honduras. She provided care in labor and delivery, emergency medicine, inpatient and outpatient clinics, and recovery. Suggs is currently employed as a registered nurse at Duke University Hospital, and also works at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. She spoke to a youth group in Loris, S.C., for her community health teaching project to focus on raising awareness of the increased prevalence of anxiety and depression in adolescents. She is currently completing work on human trafficking for her leadership project. Suggs’ future plans include attending nurse practitioner school in the fall, helping to combat human trafficking within the health care field through raising awareness and education, and working with sexual assault victims.


Emily Towne is an accounting major with a CPA concentration from Levittown, Pa. During her time at Coastal Carolina University, she held a variety of leadership positions, from housing roles as Chanticleer Hall’s community council treasurer and Low Country resident adviser, to the Student Government Association as a senator and chief justice, and finally as a Wall Fellow and Honors Fellow. As a student, Towne has been named to the president’s list every semester and has successfully completed the Degree-In-Three Program. Next year, she will finish the More-In-Four Program, earning her Master of Accountancy at Coastal Carolina University.

back to top ↑


Nicole Van Norman is the physical education honors student for 2019. She has presented at state conferences in both South Carolina and Georgia. Van Norman has been an active member of the Physical Education Teacher Education Club as secretary and treasurer. She is a participant on the Coastal Carolina field hockey team, where she also has a leadership role as vice president and chair of fundraising. Van Norman received an award for her extended service with the Dalton and Linda Floyd Mentoring Program. She has recently completed her internship at St. James Middle School where she was well received by the students and faculty. She plans to seek employment as a physical educator in New Jersey and pursue a master’s degree in the future.


Benzell Vereen was born and raised in Loris, S.C., where he was an accomplished student, athlete and peer counselor. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in multiple positions, including hand-tohand combatives instructor. During his 17-year tenure with the military, he served all over the world and in two theaters of conflict. Since arriving at CCU, Vereen has been on both the president’s and dean’s list. He has also maintained an active role within his local community, serving as the head wrestling coach for Loris High School and as a young adult representative for his church, St. Stephen A.M.E. After graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work.


Elizabeth Voigt, from Bowie, Md., is a double major in marketing and management with a concentration in international management. Voigt is the president of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society, a member of the American Marketing Association, student executive leader, and former senior vice president of Delta Sigma Pi. She has made the president’s list every semester at CCU, and her academic achievements have earned her multiple dean and department awarded scholarships. Voigt has volunteered her time to events and causes including the Women in Philanthropy Leadership Conference, Adopt-a-Highway, and Smart Snacks food packaging for Waccamaw Elementary School. After graduation, Voigt is looking to advance her career abroad while bettering her community through sustainable business practices.


Lori Whitaker, from Lancaster, S.C., is a veteran teacher of more than 15 years. She is happily enrolled in CCU’s Master of Education program in educational leadership. She teaches, serves as a department chairperson, and has led the Myrtle Beach Student Leadership Committee for more than ten years. Most recently, she was recognized within the Chick-fil-A leadership academy. Whitaker has research and publication interests linked to empowering students and positively impacting student achievement. She has been recognized for both her grades and her work ethic. Daily, Whitaker strives for equity, excellence, and engagement at various levels.


Amanda White, from Rutland, Mass., was selected as the outstanding student of the year in interdisciplinary studies based upon her personal initiative, intellect and impressive academic record. She tailored her degree to bring together challenging coursework in the scientific fields of chemistry, marine science and biology as well as those in political science, philosophy and religion. White is earning a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies and a minor in religious studies. She received the 2017-2018 Department of Religion Community Engagement Award and has been named to the president’s list for seven semesters. She will be receiving the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners certification for solar panel installation and has spent years working as a Coastal Carolina University Solar Ambassador. White plans to work in the solar energy sector or other related environmental work.


Brenna Wiinanen, a native of Fargo, N.D., is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in music performance, with an emphasis in flute. During her three years at CCU, she became a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and has been on the president’s list for outstanding academic achievement during Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Fall 2018 semesters. Wiinanen has been awarded several scholarships for both academic and musical success, and was a member of the Chanticleer Regiment, in the fall of 2016 and has served as the principal flutist in the Coastal Carolina Wind Ensemble, as well as for the University Flute Choir. She is a research fellow for the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts and has the distinguished opportunity to research a variety of topics pertaining to music. She was chosen as the University’s Outstanding Sophomore in the Department of Music in the spring of 2016, the Outstanding Student in Performance in the spring of 2017, and most recently, the Outstanding Senior in February 2019. Upon graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for a double master’s degree in musicology and flute performance.


It has been full speed ahead for Tytianna Williams since beginning her graduate coursework in Spring 2018 at CCU. Williams will graduate from the University with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in instructional technology. She earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in middle grades education from the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C., before returning to her hometown in Fort Mill, S.C., to teach science to middle school learners. This past summer, Williams had the incredible opportunity to work for her school district’s coordinator of educator effectiveness to develop and design a Student Learning Objective (SLO) website for use by teachers. The intent for the development of this website was to make the SLO process easily understandable for all new employees as well as existing teachers within the district. Following graduation, Williams plans to take her leave from the field of education and pursue a career as an instructional designer in the health care industry.


Hailey Wimmenauer is an exercise and sport science major and sport coaching minor from Harleysville, Pa. As a Swain Scholar and Honors College research fellow, Wimmenauer has been active in the study of topics ranging from depression and suicide to the effects of heavy resistance exercise and foam rolling on jump performance. This work was presented at the CCU Undergraduate Research Competition. Wimmenauer is a manager for the University women’s soccer team and has worked at various youth sports camps. She has made president’s list every semester at Coastal Carolina, and will start on her Master of Science in sport management at CCU in August. She is planning a career as a coach and sport-specific trainer.


Sierra Windham, originally from Georgetown, S.C., is majoring in English with a minor in creative writing. Windham is a talented fiction writer, whose work has been published in Archarios, Tempo, and SLAB Literary Magazine. Additionally, she has served as editor-in-chief of Archarios and has been an active member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. She is honored to have been named the English Department’s Student of the Year for an unprecedented three consecutive years. Upon graduation, she plans to enroll in Coastal Carolina University’s M.A. in Writing program, where she will hone her writing and editing skills.


Madison Wolf came to Coastal Carolina University in 2015 from Boulder, Colo., to pursue a Bachelor of Science in economics. Since her freshman year, she has been on the president’s list every semester. Wolf is a member of the Wall Fellows Program, and during her last year at Coastal Carolina she has served as the program’s chief of staff. Wolf also received the Honors Excellence Award in her sophomore year, which is awarded to students who place in the top 10 percent of the Honors College program academically. In addition to that scholarship, she has held the President’s Scholar Award and the University Scholar Award since her first semester on campus. Wolf is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society and CCU’s Student Executive Leader Program.


Katlin Wood is originally from Williamsburg, Va. She is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in history with an emphasis in Latin American studies. She was named an inaugural member of the Prince Fellows Program and has been working on a project that focuses on the impact of rural graded schools and integration in Horry County during the 1950s and 1960s. Wood is participating in the development and planning of a 3-D exhibit of Horry County history for the Horry County Museum that was presented at the South Carolina Federation of Museums Conference in March 2019. Her research on the Brookgreen Gardens Wood Charcoal Analysis Project was presented at the South Carolina Association of Historical Archaeologists in Columbia, S.C., this past February and will be presented at the 2019 American Association of Geographers Conference in Washington, D.C. and the Kennesaw State University Undergraduate Research Convention in Kennesaw, Ga., in April 2019. Her interests include traveling and visiting museums. In the future, she hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in history and to teach at the collegiate level.

back to top ↑