About the Students - Coastal Carolina University
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2020 Departmental Awards: About the Students

Students are listed according to their respective departmental award; undergraduate programs are followed by graduate programs. Please note: All students below are "candidates" for their respective degrees until the Registrar's Office certifies their degree completions.

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Undergraduate Programs

Michael Stearns is a senior accounting major from Elmira, N.Y. Before transferring to Coastal Carolina University, he attended Corning Community College in Corning, N.Y., for two years. Since transferring to CCU in Fall 2018, Stearns has become a member of Student Executive Leaders and was inducted into several organizations. These include Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, of which he served as president his senior year; Beta Alpha Psi Financial Information Honor Society; Tau Sigma Honor Society for transfer students; and Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity. His post-graduation plans include interning for Ernst & Young in its New York City office over the summer in its forensic accounting program. Upon completion of the internship, Stearns plans to attend graduate school to obtain his Master of Accountancy degree. In five to six years, he plans to have two sets of letters behind his name, CPA for Certified Public Accountant and CFE for Certified Fraud Examiner. Stearns plans to pursue a career on the audit side of accounting and eventually move his career into forensic accounting, a more concentrated area of audit.


Billie Rogers is from Rangeley, Maine, and is earning a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and geography, with a minor in geographic information systems. She is an Edwards College Research Fellow, conducting research on the effects of sea level rise on prehistoric archaeological shell middens at Hobcaw Barony. She has presented this research at the Undergraduate Research Competition, the Hobcaw Research Symposium, and the Reconstructive and Experimental Archaeology Conference. In addition, Rogers is president of the SPROUT Club and treasurer of the Anthropology and Geography Club. After graduation, Rogers plans to pursue a career that will integrate her wide range of interests in the environment and human cultures.


Jeremiah Dunivin is an applied mathematics major from Woodbridge, Va. Dunivin and his mentor, Professor Debendra Banjade, have conducted research on Nevanlinna-Pick Interpolation on Certain Subalgebras of H∞K(D). Their paper on this subject was accepted and will appear in “Involve: A Journal of Mathematics.” Additionally, Dunivin presented this research at the Mathematical Association of America Conference at Lee University and was awarded the Walt and Susan Patterson Prize for an outstanding presentation. He is a member of the Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society and works as a tutor in Coastal Carolina University’s Math Learning Center. After graduation, Dunivin plans to attend Clemson University and was accepted with funding into the Ph.D. program for mathematics.


Growing up in Rochester, N.Y., Adam Goga developed a love for teaching at an early age and was inspired to attend Coastal Carolina University. Goga is earning dual bachelor’s degrees in applied mathematics and physics. While at CCU, he was named to the President’s List every semester. Throughout his undergraduate career and in preparation for a life of teaching, Goga has tutored, graded, and assisted as an in-class learning assistant. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in order to become a professor.


Melissa Hydock has an impressive list of academic accolades, and her dedication to and talent in the discipline of art history prepared her well to serve as the department peer tutor in art history. During Summer 2019, she participated in a research seminar on the Hobcaw Barony art collection and presented her findings this past February at the fourth Biennial Symposium. For her senior capstone project, she conducted pioneering research into the Fakirs at the Art Student League of New York where she explored how their use of the readymade predated Dada, the movement generally credited with this concept. Hydock was an active participant in numerous workshops, department clubs, and events, and has contributed to the overall life and quality of the department. Following graduation, Hydock intends to explore graduate studies in library science and archival research.


Ramsey Diven is earning her bachelor’s degree in art studio with a double minor in art history and photography. Diven achieved President’s List every semester since she started Coastal Carolina University in 2016. She is the recipient of the Provost’s Scholarship, the Martha Baker Thomas Endowed Scholarship, and the Kathryn Bryan Metts Scholarship in Visual Arts. Having excelled in her research and creative projects, she was accepted as an Edwards College Research Fellow in 2017, a position she has since maintained in order to pursue her own expressive, artistic personality in paint. Diven is among the most dedicated undergraduate artists, and faculty note how she consistently goes above and beyond in all of her endeavors. Diven is a model student whose work ethic extends to the Department of Visual Arts itself, where proactive attitude and extensive knowledge of art materials and supplies made her integral to the success of the department.


Originally from Alton, Ill., Cameron Carroll moved to Murrells Inlet, S.C., during her freshman year of high school, where she attended St. James High School. She came to Coastal Carolina University to earn a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. Carroll was involved in Professor Brian Lee’s research on the characterization of RNA structural elements of group A Streptococcus. She has presented this project at various conferences, including the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) in both 2018 and 2019; South Carolina IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC-INBRE) in 2018 and 2019; Coastal Carolina University Undergraduate Research Competition in 2019 and 2020; and South Carolina Academy of Science (SCAS) in 2020. Carroll is also a Student Achievement Funding Research Fellow at the University, a recent graduate from the Jackson Scholar program, and an active member of the Coastal Learning Initiative in Molecular Biology (CLIMB). After graduation, Carroll plans to spend time working on research before attending medical school to become a physician.


Kyra Ricci came to Coastal Carolina from Montrose, Pa. In addition to completing her Bachelor of Science in biology, Ricci earned minors in chemistry and psychology. She is an HTC Honors College Research Fellow, a member of two national honor societies, and is the current president of the local chapter of the National Biological Honor Society. She has earned three scholarships, including the President’s Scholarship. Ricci has been very active conducting research. For her honors thesis, she is investigating the anti-cancer properties of a fungal compound with Professor Fang Ju Lin. She helped analyze and publish a paper on neurodegeneration in nematodes with Professor Daniel Williams. Additionally, as part of a student research exchange program, she characterized the binding sites of proteins affecting the biological clock in human cells with a biology professor at the University of Zurich. Ricci is currently applying for a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct microbiology research at James Cook University in Australia. Her long-term plan is to earn a doctorate and become a professor.


Madeline Filling is from Baltimore, Md., and is graduating with a major in communication and minors in Spanish and women’s and gender studies. Filling has presented her research on sexual assault in the fraternity and sorority life subculture and on social justice and gender at regional conferences in her field. She completed her capstone thesis research with Professor Deborah Breede in the Department of Communication, Media, and Culture, studying how ambiguous terminology contributes to rape culture in college atmospheres. Filling was chapter president of Alpha Delta Pi; student coordinator for programming and education in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life; intern for the Student Advocacy and Intervention Team in the Dean of Students office; and Orientation supervisor for the Office of New Student and Family Programs. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society; the National Society for Leadership and Success; Alpha Mu Gamma National Language Honor Society; Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Honor Society; and Triota National Women’s and Gender Studies Honor Society. Following graduation, Filling plans to pursue a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education. 


Zhiyong Yang came to Coastal Carolina University in 2018 from Ruijin, Jiangxi province, China, as a transfer student majoring in computer science. Yang not only earned high grades from Huaqiao University in Xiamen, China, but also was awarded the President’s List and Dean’s List during his two years of study at Coastal Carolina University. Although English is not Yang’s first language, he earned the Certificate of Promotion from ELS Language Centers which approved his English learning ability and communication skills. Following graduation from Coastal, Yang plans to earn a master’s degree in computer science.


Royson “Roy” Laclé was born and raised in Oranjestad, Aruba. He has worked on Athenaeum Press projects, utilizing his skills in writing, digital media, and design. He has excelled in the study of and critical making around connections between writing, media, and international experience and travel. In addition to his bachelor’s degree in digital culture and design, he has completed a minor in studio art. Laclé is a member of the International Club and the E-Sports Club. He plans to pursue a master’s degree after graduation.


Kelsey O’Neill, from Middletown, N.J., will graduate from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education. She is the vice president of the Rho Chi chapter of Kappa Delta Pi and a member of the Gamma Mu chapter of the Chi Omega Fraternity. O’Neill received the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program Scholarship and served as a mentor in the program for two years. She was recognized as a member of the Dean’s List or the President’s List every semester since arriving at Coastal Carolina University. O’Neill is a recipient of the University Scholar Award, the Coastal Scholar Award, and the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship. While working on her undergraduate degree, O’Neill began working toward a certificate in specific learning disabilities. She plans to complete that certificate during Summer 2020 and pursue a career teaching in an early childhood classroom.


Andrew Jones is originally from Lancaster, Pa., but now resides in Murrells Inlet, S.C. Jones is an economics major, and his hard work and determination allowed him to achieve Dean’s List for four semesters while attending Coastal Carolina University. He is currently working with a program called Python, a general-purpose programming language, which helps him gather statistics to observe trends around Division I collegiate athletics. Jones is a brother of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. He is pursuing his goal of working toward investments in real estate.


Caitlyn Hinnerschitz is from Myrtle Beach, S.C., and has achieved the President’s List each semester while enrolled at Coastal Carolina University. She is a recipient of the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) Teaching Fellows Scholarship; the Why I Love CCU Award; and Coastal Carolina University’s Honors Program of Excellence Award. Her honors program work includes a published manuscript in the National Science Teaching Association journal, “Science and Children,” as well as presentations at CCU’s Undergraduate Research Competition, South Carolina Association of Teacher Educators (SCATE) Annual Conference, and the National Association of Teacher Educators Annual Conference. Hinnerschitz has served as the president of the student branch of the South Carolina Education Association and as vice president of Coastal’s Teaching Fellows organization. Upon graduation, Hinnerschitz will be teaching at Waccamaw Elementary School in Conway plans to return to Coastal Carolina University to obtain a graduate degree in instructional technology.


Chloe Keller is an engineering science and marine science dual degree recipient who is originally from Indianapolis, Ind. While at Coastal Carolina University, she was active in the research of microfluidics and marsh fauna as well as research in coral reef ecology in Jamaica. Keller was a recipient of the Women in STEM Fellowship and a member of the Anthropology and Geography Club. In addition to achieving the Dean’s List every semester, she was a recipient of the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, President’s Scholar Award, University Scholar Award, and the Walter T. Berner Jr. Endowed Scholarship. After graduation, Keller plans to pursue a job in underwater engineering, potentially related to artificial reefs. 


Allison Mitchell of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., is an English major with a minor in new media and digital culture. She has won multiple awards, including the Women in Philanthropy and Leadership (WIPL) Scholarship, the Isaac Case Scholarship, and the Tidelands Health Scholarship. Furthermore, Mitchell was named a Wall Fellow, an Edwards College Research Fellow, and a Coastal Writes Fellow, and she is the editor-in-chief of Tempo Magazine. Upon graduation, she plans to move to New York City to pursue a career in fashion merchandising and marketing. 


Originally from Fairfax, Va., Jenna Thompson came to Coastal Carolina University to earn her bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science with a minor in biology. She achieved the President’s List every semester at Coastal Carolina. As an Honors Research Fellow, Thompson was active in the study of exercise intensity, energy expenditure, and enjoyment during high-intensity exercise in healthy adults. Her work has led to presentations at national and  regional annual meetings of the American College of Sports Medicine. Thompson was active in the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, and is a certified phlebotomy technician. Thompson plans to attend graduate school to become a physician assistant.


Sunneva “Sunny” Sigurvinsdóttir is from Reykjavík, Iceland. Her major is finance with a concentration in financial management. Sigurvinsdóttir is a member of the Coastal Carolina University women´s soccer team, Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society, and the Finance Club. Sigurvinsdóttir has excelled in both academics and athletics. She achieved the President’s or the Dean’s List for all of her semesters at Coastal Carolina, was on the 2019 All-Conference First Team in the Sun Belt, and was on the 2019 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Team. After graduation, Sigurvinsdóttir plans to pursue a master’s degree in business administration at CCU and finish her last season for the women’s soccer team.


Nellie Grey Eckert is a double major in graphic design and art studio and a double minor in photography and art history. Eckert was on the President’s List every semester since arriving at Coastal Carolina University in 2015. She has received numerous scholarships, including the Edwards College Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, the Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship, and the Women in Philanthropy and Leadership (WIPL) Annual Scholarship. She will attend graduate school this fall to continue her studies in art and design.


As a first-generation college student, Dipal Parekh arrived in the United States with limited English skills. A resident of Spartanburg, S.C., she earned her Associate of Science degree from Spartanburg Community College in 2018. Parekh is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. A mother of two, she works full-time as a patient access representative in a pediatrician’s office. After graduation, she will seek a leadership role in health care administration. 


Bailey Gordon, a dual major in history and politics, is from Savoy, Ill. While at Coastal Carolina University, she was named to the President’s List and the Dean’s List and was awarded the President’s Scholarship and the James Branham History Award. Gordon is the vice president of both the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity and the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, and is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. She is also a Future Forge Fellow, as well as a member of the Institute for Humane Studies Forum on Liberty and the American Founding. Her political science honors thesis is entitled “Anti- Semitism as a Political Tool for Tyrannical Governments.” After graduation, Gordon plans to pursue law school.


Lauren Clements is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran from Burlington, Iowa. She is a hospitality, resort, and tourism management major and is a member of the Student Veterans Association and the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. Clements is the recipient of the Coastal Transfer Scholar Award and the Carolina Trust FCU Annual Veterans Scholarship. Following graduation, she hopes to work in revenue management at the Hilton Revenue Management Consolidated Center in Dallas, Texas.


Alexander Heiberg, from Mountain Top, Pa., attends Coastal Carolina University majoring in information systems. Prior to enrolling at CCU, he earned an Associate of Arts degree from Horry-Georgetown Technical College. Heiberg’s commitment to academics is reflected in his grades and his achieving Dean’s List for several semesters. He has experience as a teen Bible quizzer and board member in 2016 for the Pennsylvania-Delaware Teen Bible Quiz organization. Heiberg also served as a mentor for a local organization’s Teen Club program for teens with autism, and he was involved in a wide variety of benefits including fundraisers and awareness events concerning autism.


Michael Herbst lives in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where he graduated from Carolina Forest High School. He will graduate from Coastal Carolina University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in information technology. During his time at Coastal Carolina University, he has achieved recognition on the President’s List every semester and will continue to maintain academic excellence until graduation. He is interested in continuing his education by enrolling in the Master of Science in information systems technology program with a concentration in cybersecurity and information security.


Eliecer “Eli” Fernandez is a senior intelligence and national security studies major from Atlanta, Ga. During his time at Coastal Carolina University, he was president of the National Security Club and the team lead for the Coastal Law Enforcement Analysis and Research (CLEAR) group that works with Myrtle Beach police. Fernandez’s work in the classroom is exemplary, and he was on the President’s or Dean’s List every semester. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue his love for aviation, having applied for a commission with the United States Navy as a naval pilot.


Michelle Rashid is from Williamsport, Pa., and is a member of the HTC Honors College and an Honors Research Fellow. She has achieved the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for two semesters. She served as vice president and marketing coordinator for Coastal Baptist Collegiate Ministries and is a member of the Arabic Club. Rashid’s scholarships include the President’s Scholar Award, the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship, and the Horry County Higher Education Commission Scholarship. While at Coastal Carolina, Rashid worked as a student videographer in Video Production.


Audrey Oien is a double major in languages and intercultural studies and intelligence and national security studies. She is from Beaver Dam, Wis. Oien is enrolled in the Degree in Three program and became the first student from Coastal Carolina University to study abroad in China through the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ China Government Scholarship, which fully funded her to complete an intensive immersive Mandarin Chinese program in Fall 2019 in Beijing. She is the vice president of the National Security Club and was awarded the Honors Academic Excellence Award and Scholarship for 2019-2020. Oien has contributed to LIS Department initiatives through her involvement in Russian Club, High School Language Day, and the Chinese Conversation Table. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in marketing.


Since arriving at Coastal Carolina University in 2016, Ja’Quan Beckett has achieved the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for three semesters. He began his freshman year with a desire to refine his leadership and interpersonal skills, and his successes in this endeavor have been highlighted in his academic achievements throughout his management curriculum. Beckett is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. After graduation, he plans to return home to work in banking while building the resources necessary to fulfill his entrepreneurial goal of opening his own shoe store. 


Cori Carlston arrived at Coastal Carolina University from Leesburg, Va., and in only three years, earned a Bachelor of Science in marine science with a minor in biology. Carlston achieved the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for one semester. In her freshman year, she immediately became involved in field-based research by assisting in the Phytoplankton Monitoring program. As a sophomore, Carlston was active in independent research with biology Professor Doug Van Hoewyk and marine science Professor Juliana Harding, and she continues to participate in research on marine invertebrates. She is a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. Carlston plans to earn a master’s degree and a doctorate and to continue to engage in research on the effects of climate change on marine plants.


Stephanie Henning moved from her hometown Åre, Sweden, in 2016 to pursue a  bachelor’s degree in marketing and represent the CCU women’s golf team. Since then, she has excelled both on and off the golf course. Some of her accolades include achieving President’s List every semester, being the Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar, and being on the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List for outstanding work in the classroom three years in a row. She also served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2016 to 2017. Henning is an active volunteer for the Grand Strand Miracle League program, a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, and part of the Student Executive Leaders program at Coastal. To complement her studies in the classroom, Henning has completed two internships in the Myrtle Beach area over the past year. In 2018, she also helped her team win the Sun Belt Conference Championship by 34 shots. This summer, she plans to pursue her dream of becoming a professional golfer and eventually play on the LPGA tour while also running her own business as a marketing consultant.


Jillian Kucic is from Clayton, N.C. Since transferring to Coastal Carolina University from a community college, she has been on the President’s List every semester. Kucic received the University Scholar Award and Coastal Transfer Scholar Award, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She is a middle level education major, and will become a licensed middle school teacher in the content areas of English and social studies for grades 5-8. This coming fall, Kucic has decided to stay in Horry County and accepted a middle school teaching position at North Myrtle Beach Middle School. She would like to become certified to teach gifted and talented students, and possibly in high school English/language arts so she could teach English I for high school credit to advanced students at the middle school level. Kucic also has plans to continue her professional growth by pursuing a master’s degree in the near future.


Ian Mahaffey is a native and a resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C. He is a senior music education major at Coastal Carolina University. Mahaffey currently performs with various musical ensembles on campus such as Percussion Ensemble, World Percussion, various jazz combos, Wind Ensemble, and the CCU Big Band. Mahaffey has also represented the University by performing at various conventions and conferences such as Percussive Arts Society International Convention, South Carolina Music Educators Association, and Percussive Arts Society South Carolina Chapter “Day of Percussion.” While at CCU, Mahaffey has performed with guest artists such as Jeff Coffin, Victor Provost, Steve Bailey, Liam Teague, Andy Harnsberger, Becca Stevens, and Scott Kettner. Outside of his responsibilities on campus, Mahaffey is a gigging musician and educator in the Myrtle Beach area specializing in drum set, orchestral percussion, and marching percussion. After graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in percussion performance.


Chloe Belongilot is originally from Atlanta, Ga., where she attended Alpha Omega Academy. She is graduating from Coastal Carolina University with a B.F.A. in musical theatre. Belongilot appeared on the President’s List four semesters, and the Dean’s List three semesters, and was accepted into the HTC Honors College. She has served the Department of Theatre as a student recruitment coordinator, and performed leading and supporting roles in over six mainstage plays and musicals at Coastal Carolina.


Christina “Cammi” Stanko is originally from the Cleveland, Ohio, area. She first attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. She has been living in South Carolina for more than 12 years, and attended Horry-Georgetown Technical College to earn her associate’s degree in nursing. Stanko came to Coastal Carolina University to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing. As a student, she completed a community health project on foot care for dialysis patients and is completing a leadership project at the Waccamaw Community Hospital obstetrics unit, where she is employed as a labor and delivery nurse. Stanko is active in the Grand Strand Junior League and is a volunteer with the Public Health Peace Corps. After graduation, Stanko intends to continue her education with master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing as either a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) or a nurse midwife.


Lauren Palazuelos is from Bellingham, Mass. She is a philosophy major with a minor in English, and she is a member of the HTC Honors College. Her honors thesis analyzes the ethics of oppression and privilege. While at Coastal, Palazuelos was a Jackson Scholar, served on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council in the Edwards College, and is currently the editor of Archarios magazine. After graduating this May, she plans to work with the Peace Corps in Morocco. She plans to pursue graduate work in philosophy.


Andrew Lovell, from Aynor, S.C., grew up with a heart condition that taught him perseverance, dedication, and the value of a healthy and physically active lifestyle. He is a volunteer motivational speaker for the American Heart Association and has presented at the state physical education conferences in both South Carolina and Georgia. Lovell was an active member of the Physical Education Teacher Education Club acting as vice president. He has also been involved with his profession and community as a junior varsity and varsity baseball coach at his alma mater, Aynor High School. He is currently completing an internship at South Conway Elementary School where he was recognized as a dedicated, hardworking teacher who cares for his students. He plans to live close to home and has accepted a position as a physical education teacher at Waccamaw Elementary School.


Isiuwa Oghagbon, from Haymarket, Va., is a senior political science major with a minor in international business. She has been active at Coastal Carolina University, participating in the political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha; the Forum of Liberty and the American Founding, a scholarly circle led by professors Kimberly Hale and Drew Kurlowski; and as a fellow at the Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy. Oghagbon has appeared on the President’s List four times, and has previously received awards from the Department of Politics for her outstanding academic profile. Outside of academics, she is a scholar-athlete, participating as a member of the women’s basketball team. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school.


A native of Bluffton, S.C., Hannah Cherewko earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in just three years. Every semester, she achieved either the President’s List or the Dean’s List. Cherewko is a member of the international psychology honor society Psi Chi, a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, and president of the women’s club lacrosse team. As a research assistant in the Department of Psychology, she has worked in labs with three different professors. Her senior thesis centered on the influence of cellphone attachment on mood. After graduation, Cherewko plans to attend graduate school for clinical psychology, eventually earning a Ph.D. Her goal is to work in underserved rural areas of the South to increase mental health awareness.


Since arriving at Coastal Carolina University from South Lyon, Mich., in 2017, Erica Richardson has been named to the President’s List for three semesters and the Dean’s List twice. Richardson has a knack for balancing academics with campus and community initiatives and activities. She is the co-founder of Birds and Bees, a sex-education club on campus, and has served in the capacity of president and vice president. During her time at Coastal Carolina, Richardson has collaborated with faculty on public health and psychology research, conducted sex education workshops on campus, and was awarded the Dyer Fellowship. Following graduation, Richardson plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work. 


Brenden Reeverts came to Coastal Carolina University from Byron, Ill., seeking a bachelor’s degree in recreation and sport management. Throughout his time at Coastal, he successfully balanced both academic and professional achievements ad was named to the President’s List and Dean’s List. While enrolled at CCU, Reeverts served as the director of sports development intern for the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. In addition, he has served as a recruiting intern for Coastal Carolina University football and worked and volunteered in a variety of other areas, including Special Olympics, CCU Athletics, and the Rockford Ice Hogs.


From Leesburg, Va., Nickolis Winslow attended Heritage High School, where he was inducted into the National Honor Society and received a presidential scholarship. Winslow came to Coastal Carolina University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He has been named to the Dean’s List and has been a member of the Anthropology Club. His senior thesis research is in the area of computer-mediated communication (including text messaging, social media, and the internet) and how it affects interpersonal relationships. Upon graduation, Winslow intends to utilize the sociological teachings in a career in business (marketing, economics, and finance) and information technology. 


Morgan Elliott is from Nichols, S.C. She will graduate from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts in multi-categorical special education. She is a recipient of the Merit Scholarship, as well as the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship. While in the education program, she has been on the President’s List in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In addition, Elliott is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children. After graduation, Elliott plans to teach special education in Horry County at Green Sea Floyds High School.


Jimmy Jester is originally from Rock Hill, S.C., where he attended South Pointe High School. He is a theatre arts major who has focused on stage management. Jester made the President’s List six semesters and the Dean’s List one semester, and was accepted into the HTC Honors College. Jester stage-managed and designed costumes for several productions in the Department of Theatre at CCU and engaged in professional summer theatre work at Opera Steamboat in Colorado. School.


Lillian Shoji is originally from the northern suburbs of Atlanta where she attended Blessed Trinity Catholic High School. She is a theatre arts B.F.A. student with a physical theatre concentration. While at Coastal Carolina University, Shoji appeared on the President’s List five semesters and the Dean’s List two semesters. She was accepted into the HTC Honors College and presented a research paper at the Southern Regional Honors Conference in 2017. Shoji has performed in numerous Department of Theatre productions and is a creator of the devised theatre piece “Putt Putt.” Shoji looks forward to traveling and continuing to create new devised pieces of theatre as her career moves forward.

Graduate Programs

Anna Howard is from Southern Maryland outside the Washington, D.C., area. After dancing throughout her youth, she continued her post-secondary education at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in dance, a Bachelor of Science in sports, arts, and entertainment management and a minor in business management. After graduation, Howard worked in the dance industry for a number of years, and in 2017, she decided to return to school to pursue her Master of Accountancy at Coastal Carolina University. While at Coastal, she was a member of Student Executive Leaders and Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, and had the honor of being the first recipient of the Dr. Karen Maguire Memorial Scholarship. Currently, Howard is working to complete the requirements to become a Certified Fraud Examiner as well as a Certified Public Accountant. In the future, she hopes to work as a forensic accountant. 


Rachel Abarbanell is originally from Chicago, Ill. She previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Coastal Carolina University, and prior to that attended Aynor High School. Abarbanell is graduating with a Master of Arts in communication with a concentration in communication leadership. She is the administrative coordinator for Auxiliary Enterprises at Coastal Carolina University. After graduation, Abarbanell plans to further her career in higher education.


Hattie Jordan earned her B.S.B.A. in economics from Coastal Carolina University, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she began to pursue advanced study in the Master of Arts in liberal studies (MALS) program in 2018, devoting herself to full-time graduate study while also working as the program assistant in the Grant Center for Real Estate and Economic Development in the Wall College of Business. Jordan has integrated her wide range of interests into a piece of original scholarship culminating in her capstone project, drawing on her skills working with the Athenaeum Press, research in communication activism, study of gender and economic theory, and documentation of local history. In this way, Jordan’s work represents the spirit of interdisciplinarity that is at the heart of the MALS program. She has presented her work at the Second Annual International Gullah Geechee and Afrtican Diaspora Conference held on the CCU campus in March 2020. She looks forward to applying her skills to a career in public history and film.


Timothy Hardwick, a native of Aynor, S.C., completed an undergraduate degree in guitar performance from Coastal Carolina University. He returned to Coastal Carolina to pursue a master’s degree in music technology. Hardwick’s thesis project showcases his work as a composer, recording engineer, and performer. He has worked as an engineer in the Wheelwright recording studio, producing recordings for the Athenaeum Press and Brookgreen Gardens. He has released numerous albums as a leader and sideman and is an active performer in the Southeast. He plans to teach music.


Martin Dolly is from Lanoka Harbor, N.J. In 2014 he completed his undergraduate degree at Coastal Carolina University. In 2019, he returned to Coastal Carolina University and enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program so he could pursue a career as a high school science teacher. He has accepted a teaching position at Carolina Forest High School where he will start his teaching career in Fall 2020.


Madison Rahner is a graduate student in the English department’s Master of Arts in Writing program. Originally from Conway, S.C., Rahner has recently published a poem in “The Threepenny Review.” Currently, Rahner is the managing editor of Coastal Carolina University’s literary journal, “Waccamaw,” the president of the Coastal Writers Society, and a mentor in the Coastal Writes Initiative. After graduation, Rahner will be moving to Duluth, Minn., to work on her second novel. 


Savannah Campbell, from Charleston, S.C., joined the CCU MBA program from the College of Charleston where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in biology. Since joining the Wall College, Campbell has pursued her MBA with a focus in health care administration. She is one of only seven students in the state to be selected to join the South Carolina Medical Device Alliance pilot program as a business student intern, where she works with engineering students from other universities to develop medical device products to bring to market. Campbell has also been the recipient of the Wall College of Business Board of Visitors Scholarship to pursue study abroad. This August, Campbell will begin her medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina and plans to practice in primary care.


Alicia Strickland is from Conway, S.C., where she completed her K-12 education. Her journey led her to join the Coastal Carolina University family when she completed her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and her master’s degree in educational leadership. Her dedication and commitment to the world of education, teaching, and leadership is reflected in her academic performance, and she is constantly striving to grow as an educator and a leader for her students and colleagues. Strickland was recently elected by her professors and her peers to be a representative on the Graduate Council for the educational leadership program. She recently designed a school improvement plan for a school in the community in an effort to achieve several goals the school had set and manage its discipline process. She strives to become a school administrator and continue to influence every student who walks into her school after graduation.


Leah Poston is a fifth-year teacher in Johnsonville, S.C. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English as well as a master’s degree in instructional accommodation from Francis Marion University. She decided to pursue a second master’s degree at Coastal Carolina University in instructional technology to improve her performance as an English language arts teacher. She has demonstrated academic excellence on every key program assessment and is recognized by her classmates as a highly organized critical thinker who contributes significantly to help build community in this completely online program. a school in the community in an effort to achieve several goals the school had set and manage its discipline process. She strives to become a school administrator and continue to influence every student who walks into her school after graduation.


Earth Wactor is a student in the Master of Education in language, literacy, and culture program. She graduated from Francis Marion University in 2016 with a degree in elementary education. As an undergraduate at Francis Marion University, she received an award for the student teacher who best embodied the six Teaching Children of Poverty Standards. She has taught both third and fifth grades, and currently is a fifth-grade English language arts teacher at Loris Elementary School. After graduating, Wactor plans to continue to inspire children to read and write. She hopes to serve as a school literacy coach in the future.


Kevin Rigopoulos will graduate with a master’s degree in special education with a focus on learning disabilities. From Athol, Mass., Rigopoulos completed a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Hofstra University in 2012, then relocated to Myrtle Beach. Rigopoulos has worked in the Horry County Schools system for seven years (two as a special education paraprofessional, and five as a physical education teacher at the Therapeutic Learning Center). During his time there, he won Support Staff of the Year in 2015, and was named Teacher of the Year at the Therapeutic Learning Center for academic year 2019-2020. After completing his master’s degree, Rigopoulos plans to move from teaching physical education to teaching special education at the elementary level.


Madison Fink is earning her master’s degree in Coastal Carolina University’s coastal marine and wetland studies program. Originally from Williamsport, Pa., Fink is a 2018 graduate of Bucknell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental geosciences. Her master’s thesis project seeks to reconstruct historic sea level in Winyah Bay, S.C., using sediment cores and historic tide gauge records. For her work, Fink was awarded an M. K. Pentecost Ecology Fund Grant as well as a Geological Society of America Research Grant. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in science policy.


After working in the geographic information systems (GIS) industry for 20 years, Michael Bunker decided to pursue a Master of Science in information systems technology degree at Coastal Carolina University. Bunker completed his master’s thesis in collaboration with Professor William Jones in the Department of Computing Sciences, Professor Susan Bergeron in the Department of Anthropology and Geography, and Professor Stephen Borders in the Department of Health Sciences studying demographic factors and the distribution of medical-use opioid analgesics in North Carolina and South Carolina. He plans to pursue a career combining his experience with GIS and data analytics.


Stratford “Ford” Slater completed his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Virginia,  and came to Coastal Carolina University to earn a master’s degree in sport management. During his time at Coastal Carolina, Slater served as a graduate assistant for intramural sports, including supervising more than 60 students and coordinating six athletic training facilities. In addition, Slater completed an internship as a coordinator for the City of Loris, S.C., Department of Parks and Recreation. He completed a special project with KingOne Realty and has led projects aimed at making neighborhoods more eco-friendly. Slater has accumulated many academic awards and honors throughout his academic career. Upon completing his master’s degree, Slater plans to work in the area of city recreation. 

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