About the Students

2024 Departmental Awards: About the Students

Students are listed according to their respective college and departmental award. Undergraduate programs are listed after graduate program award recipients.

Conway Medical Center College of Health and Human Performance

Trey Stepler, from Fayetteville, Pa., came to Coastal Carolina University after completing his bachelor’s degree at James Madison University. Stepler is working as a graduate assistant with the Coastal Carolina University Recreation Club Sports program. He has completed internships with the Lancaster (Penn) Barnstormers and the James Madison University Athletics Department. During Fall 2023, he worked as a liaison at the Myrtle Beach Invitational Basketball Tournament. After graduation, Stepler plans to pursue a position in facilities and operations within a college athletics department.



Riley Melton comes from Little Rock, Ark., and is an exercise and sport science major and coaching minor. Since her sophomore year, Melton has been consistently active in research, focusing on near-infrared spectroscopy measurements of muscle oxygenation during and after exercise. Her research has been presented multiple times at the Coastal Carolina Undergraduate Research Competition and regional and national conferences. Melton’s research titled “Measures of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Guiding Inter-Set Recovery Duration during Barbell Back Squats” is planned to be presented at the National Strength and Conditioning Association conference this summer. Additionally, she was a four-year member of the beach volleyball team, a member of the Exercise Science Club, and Pre-Health Professions Association. Melton plans to pursue a master’s degree in exercise science and then go to physical therapy school.



Originally from Florence, S.C., Nadine Delucia works as a radiology technician at McLeod Health Seacoast Hospital in Little River, S.C. With a keen interest in data visualization and analytics, she is channeling her enthusiasm into a groundbreaking project aimed at enhancing patient satisfaction and improving the quality of care. Leveraging her expertise in radiology and her burgeoning skills in data analysis, she spearheaded the development of an interactive dashboard for McLeod Health’s seven-hospital system to provide valuable insights into patient experiences and informed decisions to prioritize patient-centric care. Driven by her passion for healthcare innovation, she plans for a career in data-driven healthcare solutions after graduation.



Leanne Marie Burgos is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in May. She is originally from Arlington, Va., and is married to a military veteran. Burgos is a registered nurse employed in the Cardiology unit at McLeod Seacoast Hospital. She is part of the BSN Club. Burgos focused her community health project on healthy eating for college students and completed her leadership scholarly project on the importance of hourly rounding. Her plans include continuing to gain experience providing direct patient care as a nurse and potentially pursuing graduate school.



Clare Cuenya is from Naples, Fla., and is a public health major with a pre-health profession minor and a concentration in dietetics. Cuenya has achieved the President’s List for three semesters and the Dean’s List for three semesters. Since arriving at Coastal Carolina in 2020, Cuenya has volunteered over 150 hours at Conway Medical Center Hospital, was selected among thirty pre-medical focused students in South Carolina to attend the Finding Your Future Program at the University of South Carolina: School of Medicine, and returned from her 10-week public health internship abroad in Argentina. Cuenya assisted both clinically and through her public health preparedness in low-income areas in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Cordoba, Argentina. She is a current Swain Scholar recipient and will be attending two national conferences in 2024 to present her research on mental health disparities among the undergraduate population. Cuenya is co-president of Doctors of Coastal Pre-Medical Club and secretary of the Public Health Honors Society, Eta Sigma Gamma. She plans to work as a MedServe Fellow in a nonprofit clinic in the Charlotte area after graduation and will be applying to medical school to fulfill her dreams of becoming a physician.



Since Avery McIlwaine arrived at Coastal Carolina University from Alpharetta, Ga., she has been a very active student. During the last three years, McIlwaine has been a member of the Coastal Carolina women’s lacrosse team and was the 2023 Atlantic Sun Conference Midfielder of the Year. In addition to her on-field accomplishments, she was also the 2023 Atlantic Sun Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year. During her junior year, as a research assistant in the Dyer Fellowship for Leadership and Public Policy program, she researched the efficacy of Title IX verbiage in addressing today’s evolving sports world. She is currently completing a virtual internship with the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame and plans to explore job opportunities in the Atlanta area after graduation.


E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration

Lindsay Sollers is originally from the Washington D.C. area but is now a local residing in Conway, S.C. Sollers received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Coastal Carolina in 2005 and returned to the University in 2022 to complete her Master of Accountancy in pursuit of obtaining her Certified Public Accountant license. Sollers has worked in public accounting her entire career, with many years of experience in auditing and outsourced accounting, with further aspirations to reach partner. Post-graduation, she plans to sit for the CPA exam and obtain her certification.



Raleigh Cook is a Conway, S.C. local who began his higher education journey at Coastal Carolina University in 2019. During his years as an undergraduate student, Raleigh was the chief of staff and member of the Wall Fellows program, president of the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma, and member of both student executive leaders and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. In May of 2023, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelor of Science in business administration. In the fall of 2023, Raleigh began his Master of Business Administration studies. While being a full-time MBA student, Raleigh served as the graduate assistant for the Wall Center Career Services, where he helped with the monitoring of students’ internship progress as well as the scheduling and facilitating of the Wall College’s Professional Development Activities. In addition to being a graduate assistant, Raleigh was also an intern at First Citizens Bank. After graduation, he will finish his internship with First Citizens Bank and shift into a full-time role with the company.



Cooper Berry, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a driven and dedicated student graduating with a bachelor's degree in accounting. Throughout his academic career, Berry was a financial accounting tutor and served as the treasurer of the accounting honor society Beta Alpha Psi. Berry also appeared on the President’s List for eight semesters and was chosen by his professors to receive the 2022 Garth and Emma Jo Edwards Memorial Prize which recognized him as the top new accounting student. Looking ahead, Berry plans to continue his education by pursuing a Master of Accountancy at Coastal Carolina University and aspires to obtain a Certified Public Accountant license.



Logan Miller was born in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and graduated from Socastee High School. Since beginning his education at Coastal Carolina University, Miller has achieved the Dean’s List twice and the President’s List six times. He will be graduating with a degree in economics in May of 2024. Miller is a proud member of the Wall Fellows program, for which he serves as an alumni engagement officer. He is a member of the finance and economics clubs in addition to being a member of Student Executive Leaders, the American Marketing Association, and the economics honor society Omicron Delta Epsilon. He is also the founder of the Coastal Carolina University Chess Club. Miller has received scholarships from Mead & Hunt, The Reese & Sis Hart Foundation, the South Carolina Bankers Association, and the Clyde W. Port Endowed Scholarship. He has interned for two and a half years as a research assistant for “The Daily Dirtnap,” a market newsletter for investors. Following graduation, Logan will be working for Alliance Bernstein as a regional sales associate in their Nashville, Tenn. office.



Madelynn Lichty is a graduate of West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, N.C. Lichty transferred to Coastal Carolina University in January 2022. She chose Coastal Carolina specifically for its renowned business college. Her drive for excellence in the classroom has earned her a spot on the President’s List for four consecutive semesters. Lichty is also a member of the beach volleyball team where she earned Coastal Carolina Student Athlete of the Week and First Team Sun Belt All-Conference in Spring 2023. After graduation, Lichty plans to pursue a career in banking and attend graduate school.


Maj Tomac, hailing from Ljubljana, Slovenia, arrived at Coastal Carolina University with a fervent desire to pursue his dream profession. A committed hospitality and resort tourism management major, Tomac actively engaged in scholarly endeavours while simultaneously managing his responsibilities as a member of the men’s tennis team. His journey has been marked by exceptional achievements, having earned a place on the President's List three times. Tomac’s dedication to excellence has been recognized through both athletic and academic scholarships, a testament to his outstanding commitment to his studies and his sport. Following graduation, Tomac has set his sights on furthering his education by pursuing an executive master's program in hospitality in Switzerland.



Grayson Elliott is from Charleston, S.C., and attended James Island Charter High School. During her time at Coastal Carolina University, she pursued a Bachelor of Science in management with a minor in commercial and investment real estate. Elliott has earned a place on both the Dean’s and President’s Lists multiple times. She is also an active member of the Coastal Real Estate Society, the Koinonia Youth Club, and the Surf Club. In May of 2023, Elliott was awarded a scholarship to study abroad in England and Scotland. This opportunity allowed her to immerse herself in diverse cultures, broaden her global perspective, and gain valuable insights into international business practices. After graduation, Elliott plans to work as a residential appraiser in Myrtle Beach, S.C.



Jordan Henne, originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., is a third-year marketing major at Coastal Carolina University, completing a bachelor’s degree in marketing through the Degree in Three program. Henne is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. What she has found most valuable in her time at Coastal Carolina has been the experiences she has gained through the Community and Business Engagement (CoBE) Institute. Henne joined CoBE as a junior associate during the first semester of her freshman year and has ascended to the role of associate director, overseeing a team of 27 associates engaged in consulting projects spanning local, national, and international landscapes. In addition, Henne also serves as the marketing lead for CoBE’s social media platforms, including LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, which have experienced an impressive 13% increase in followers during her tenure as the lead. This summer, she will undertake a product marketing internship focusing on personal protective equipment with Mine Safety Appliances. Following graduation, Henne intends to continue her education at CCU through the MBA program and establish a professional marketing career in South Carolina.

Gupta College of Science

Mary Olsen is originally from Delta, Pa., but has called Conway, S.C. home since 2017. Olsen graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in marine science and an applied mathematics minor. She decided to continue her graduate studies with her advisor, Angelos Hannides, Ph.D., and entered the Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies program in the fall of 2021 to pursue her master’s degree. Olsen’s master’s thesis is titled “Characterizing Temporal Scales of Coastal Ocean and Estuarine Acidification in Long Bay, S.C.,” funded by S.C. Sea Grant. During her three years, she presented her work at numerous state, national, and international conferences including: the American Shore & Research Preservation National Coastal Conference, South Carolina Beach Advocates Annual Meetings, South Carolina Water Resources Conference, American Geophysical Union fall meeting, and Ocean Sciences Meeting. She received a Graduate Research Incentive Grant to fund her trip to Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla. to analyze her samples. During her time here, she worked as a math tutor, graduate assistant, and research assistant. In her final year of her master’s degree, Olsen started working full-time in CCU’s Environmental Quality Lab as the data-sonde technician performing water quality analyses. Olsen plans to continue to work in the laboratory setting after graduation.



Thomas Rice comes from Bethlehem, Pa., and attended St. James High School. In 2012, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Coastal Carolina University, specializing in economics. Rice is interested in data analytics and artificial intelligence and intends to apply the skills and knowledge he gained from the Santee Cooper Master of Science in Information Systems Technology program in his continued service to Horry County Schools. After graduation, Rice plans to attend Nova Southeastern University to pursue a doctoral degree in information systems.



Madison Marrs is a local to Conway, S.C., and graduated from Carolina Forest High School in 2020. She is graduating magna cum laude from Coastal Carolina University with a degree in applied mathematics and with minors in statistics and engineering. Marrs is a member of the national mathematics society, Pi Mu Epsilon, and has served as vice president of the society. She has been on the President’s List for three semesters and the Dean’s List for four semesters. Through her dedication to her coursework, she has earned South Carolina Palmetto Fellows and Presidents Scholar Scholarships. Marrs is currently a RISE United Nations Student Youth Corps intern. She works in the planning department at Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments located in Georgetown, S.C. Marrs is working on the creation of a database of United States Census data for Horry, Georgetown, and Williamsburg counties. After graduation, she plans to further her education in graduate school and work in the field of data analytics.


Paige Richardson, from Williamsburg, Va., graduated from Jamestown High School in 2021. Richardson will be earning a Bachelor of Science in applied physics with a concentration in engineering, and a minor in applied mathematics. She has achieved Dean’s List and President’s List every year she has attended Coastal Carolina University and obtained the Department of Physics and Engineering Science scholarship (Faculty Choice Scholarship). Richardson is involved in the Department of Physics and Engineering Science as a tutor and as a learning assistant. Outside of the classroom, she is involved in the women’s rugby team at Coastal Carolina University. After graduating, Richardson wants to pursue a master’s degree in aerospace engineering at a competitive university.


Shai Iredale is from Little River, S.C., and graduated from North Myrtle Beach High School in 2022. Iredale will be graduating from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in applied statistics. She is a member of the National Mathematics Honors Society, Pi Mu Epsilon, and the Statistics Club. Since attending Coastal Carolina University, she has received the President’s List once and the Dean’s List twice. Through her hard work, Iredale earned the STEM Enhancement, S.C. LIFE scholarships, and the President's Scholar Award. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in data science.



Ana Pettijohn is from Myrtle Beach, S.C. Pettijohn has conducted research with Professor Bryan Wakefield studying the synthesis of the antimalarial flinderoles. She has received the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows and Marie Curie Award in 2023 to support her research. She has presented her work at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society and the Southeast Regional IDeA conference. Pettijohn is an active participant in the Biochemistry and Chemistry Club and serves as the treasurer. She has also been a tutor and learning assistant for both lectures and laboratory sections in the chemistry department. After graduation, she will attend the Medical University of South Carolina to pursue Ph.D. graduate studies in biomedical sciences.s.


Kyla Thomas is a biology major from Myrtle Beach, S.C., and has been on the President’s and Dean’s Lists at Coastal Carolina every semester since graduating from the Scholars Academy. Thomas has also excelled in undergraduate research as a participant in the Summer Coastal Research Experience program in 2022 and as a Summer Research Fellow in 2023. Thomas’s research uses molecular biology approaches to determine bacteriophage gene function under the guidance of biology professor Daniel Williams. This research has led to five presentations at scientific conferences and being awarded the best poster presentation in molecular biology research at one. Thomas has been working as a pharmacy technician and is planning to enter pharmacy school.



Sadie Disselkoen came to Coastal Carolina from Mason, Mich., to major in chemistry with a minor in biology, where she has received President’s and Dean’s Lists each semester. While at the University, she pursued research in both analytical and organic chemistry. With Professor Budner, she analyzed the impact of water chemistry on kombucha fermentation, and with Professor Wakefield she synthesized the anti-malarial pharmaceutical compound flinderole C. She presented her work at the University’s Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Southeastern Regional American Chemical Society Meeting. Disselkoen is president of the Biochemistry and Chemistry Club. She has also been an integral part of the department as a laboratory and learning assistant. After graduation, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in analytical chemistry.



Grace McLewee is a computer science major and applied mathematics minor from Fort Mill, S.C. She was a member in the club rugby team where she held the positions of treasurer and president. McLewee was involved in research at New Mexico State University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Embry Riddle University where her work was published in MDPI Drones. She achieved President’s List for three semesters, Dean’s List for four semesters, and President’s Scholar Award for all four years. After graduation, Grace plans to pursue a master’s degree in computer science.



Brittany Whitehead is an engineering science student with a focus on electrical engineering. Before attending CCU, Brittany extensively traveled through Central and South America, where she immersed herself in various cultures, languages, and diverse landscapes. The experience cultivated her adaptability and global perspective while simultaneously fueling her passion for sustainable practices. Whitehead’s commitment to academic success has been recognized on the Dean’s and President’s Lists and her membership in Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society and Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society. As an aspiring electrical engineer, Brittany completed an internship with a local civil engineering firm, actively contributing to projects aligned with United Nations sustainable development goals and promoting awareness of sustainability and resilience within the community. Looking forward, Brittany aims to pursue a master’s in engineering management while working for an engineering firm dedicated to advancing renewable energy systems.



Brooke Poulton is from Indian Land, S.C., and has spent her time pursuing a B.S. in information systems with a minor in business administration. Since arriving at CCU, she has been on the Dean’s List for four semesters and the President’s List for one semester. Since 2023, she has been a member of international honor society Upsilon Pi Epsilon, and serves as the president of the honor society. Alongside this, she is also the vice president of the Association for Computing Machinery and works as a computer science department tutor. She is at CCU on the Provost’s Scholarship, the S.C. LIFE Scholarship, and the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in database administration.



Ashanti Pringle, from Orangeburg, S.C., is receiving a bachelor's degree in information technology with a minor in web application development. Throughout her three years in college, Pringle has earned the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for one semester. She is also a recipient of the Provost’s Scholarship and the S.C. LIFE Scholarship. Pringle is a current member of the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society and the Student Chanticleer Athletic Foundation. Upon graduation, Pringle plans to embark on a career in software development.



Lauren DeJong is from Oconomowoc, Wis. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marine science, with minors in biology, pre-health professions, and Spanish with a certificate in sustainability. While at Coastal Carolina University she has engaged in leadership roles such as Sailing Club president, housing resident advisor, and trip leader in outdoor recreation. Academically, she has earned placement on the President’s and Dean’s Lists and has been awarded a Women in Stem Fellowship. DeJong participated in the INBRE Summer Research program. This experience served as the foundation of her honors thesis titled “The Characterization of a Unique RNA Regulatory Element in the 5' Untranslated Region of rpoB mRNA from Lactobacillus,” which she continued to develop during the 2023–2024 academic year. DeJong ‘s research findings were presented at the INBRE Science Symposium, where her poster won first place in the bioinformatics category. Her work will be presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, the WE-STEM Symposium, the Spring Meeting of the South Carolina Branch of the American Society of Microbiology, and the Annual Meeting of South Carolina Academy of Science. After graduation, her plans are to pursue a doctoral degree in marine biology at Texas A&M Galveston studying plankton ecology.



Samantha Leo is from Pasadena, Md. Leo is majoring in psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology and a minor in statistics. During her studies, Leo has received the Presidential Merit Scholarship while attending Flagler College, the Misael Flores Memorial Scholarship, the University Scholar Award, and the Transfer Scholar Award. Leo received recognition on the President's List every semester of her undergraduate studies, and she was awarded the Gupta College of Science Research Fellows Grant for the 2023–2024 academic year. This award funded her research on eyewitness identification accuracy. Leo has presented her research at the Coastal Carolina University Undergraduate Research Competition and at the annual meetings of the Southeastern Psychological Association and the American Psychology-Law Society. Leo has been accepted to the legal psychology doctoral program at Florida International University. After completing her graduate studies at Florida International University, she plans to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

Jenna Monroe, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a sustainability and coastal resilience major with minors in environmental science and biology. While at Coastal Carolina University, she was named to the President’s and Dean’s Lists, was part of the HTC Honors program, and was named an Honors Fellow. Monroe completed her research on “Anthropogenic Impacts on Nest Composition,” the “Effects of Diet for Mercury Levels in Human Hair,” and the “Effects Zoning Laws have on Litter Volumes Along Beachfronts.” After graduation, she hopes to work in wildlife conservation.


Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences

Originally from New Jersey, Shauna Schubiger moved to the Grand Strand area over 10 years ago and specializes in educational leadership. Schubiger earned her bachelor's degree in graphic arts/technology education from the College of New Jersey, a master’s degree in educational technology from Kean University, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Ramapo College of New Jersey. She served as an elementary principal in New Jersey and is currently the principal of Socastee Elementary. Under her leadership, Socastee Elementary’s South Carolina State Report Card increased by eight points in one year and is currently the second highest in Horry County and in the top 5% of all Title I schools in the state. Her staff, students, and families are her passion, and she works tirelessly to support their needs, especially the growing population of Hispanic families enrolling in her school. In the spring of 2024, Shauna completed her dissertation research on identifying and providing support for Hispanic newcomer families enrolling their children in U.S. public schools for the first time under the guidance of her dissertation committee chair, Lee Hunter, Ph.D., of the Department of Educational Leadership.



Peyton Barrett is a graduate student at Coastal Carolina University where she is currently obtaining her Master of Arts in teaching degree. Barrett is studying to be a secondary English teacher. For her undergraduate studies, Peyton attended Coastal Carolina University where she majored in English and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in the spring of 2024. From here, Peyton plans to teach high school English in her local district and to continue her education in teaching along the way.


Chad Hamilton, a Charleston, S.C. native, is an accomplished educator dedicated to shaping young minds. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in middle level education from Coastal Carolina in 2014, he quickly earned recognition as the Middle Level Education Student of the Year 2014. Since embarking on his teaching journey with Horry County Schools in 2015, Chad has passionately devoted eight years to ensuring every student’s needs are met, establishing himself as a reflective practitioner. His commitment to excellence earned him the prestigious Extra Yard for Teachers award from the College Football Playoff Association in 2017. In 2024, Chad emerged as a Top 5 Finalist for the Horry County Schools Teacher of the Year, a testament to his unwavering dedication and impact. Fueling his passion for continuous improvement, Chad earned both a master's and an educational specialist degree in instructional technology from Coastal Carolina University. At St. James Middle School, Chad not only continues to mold the minds of young adolescents but also takes the lead in initiatives aimed at enhancing his leadership capabilities. With a rich history of accolades and an ongoing commitment to education, Chad Hamilton stands as an inspiring figure in the field.



Corinne Spisz, originally from North Olmsted, Ohio, but moved to Bluffton, S.C., in 2019. Spisz is an English and journalism teacher and the Debate and Model UN advisor at Hilton Head Island High School. She earned her bachelor’s in adolescent young adult education with a concentration in integrated language arts from Ashland University in December 2018. Spisz decided to pursue her master’s in instructional technology through Coastal Carolina to better understand technology integration and to help others be able to integrate technology more seamlessly into their classes. She also wanted to learn new skills such as programming, video production skills, and programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Through the instructional technology program, she also earned her online teaching certificate. After graduation, she plans to continue to work at Hilton Head Island High School as a journalism and English teacher and implement what she has learned from the program in her lessons to empower, inspire, and educate her students. Spisz also hopes to help with technology integration practices as the staff plans to move into a new 21st century school building around 2026.



Chanté Oliver, originally from Conway, S.C., currently resides in Germany with her husband who serves in the military. Oliver received her bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Coastal Carolina University in 2015. Within five years of teaching, she was nominated for Teacher of the Year twice, advancing to the Top Five Finalists one of those years. Oliver has taken a break from teaching to focus on obtaining her Master of Education in language, literacy, and culture. After graduation, she plans to teach at an off-base school for the duration of her time in Germany.


Ryan D’Amicantonio is originally from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and moved to South Carolina in 2018 to pursue a special education degree. During her undergraduate degree, D’Amicantonio served as a mentor in the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program. D’Amicantonio was also involved in the Coastal LIFE Program. She received her bachelor’s degree in special education in the spring of 2021 and began her first full-time teaching job later that fall at North Myrtle Beach High School. D’Amicantonio is finishing her third year at North Myrtle Beach High School and was the head coach for junior varsity cheerleading this past year. After graduation, she plans to continue designing lessons that engage and inform her students, prepare them for post-high school life, and hopefully further her education.



Nancy Alvarez, born and raised in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is an anthropology and geography major with a concentration in anthropology. Alvarez has also completed a minor in Spanish and the applied archaeology certificate. Prior to enrolling at Coastal Carolina University, Alvarez earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Horry-Georgetown Technical College. Alvarez has achieved the President's List for two semesters and the Dean’s List for one semester. She is the 2023 recipient of the Anthropology and Geography Field Study Scholarship. Alvarez is a member of Coastal Carolina University’s Beta Omega chapter of Tri-Alpha, a national honor society for first-generation college students. During Fall 2023, Alvarez had an internship at Brookgreen Gardens where she conducted research on the archaeological collections at the site and assisted with the creation of an exhibit of artifacts from these collections and other public interpretation content. Following graduation, Alvarez plans to earn a master's degree in anthropology.



Derek Rogers, a native of Central New York, has been a resident of the Carolina Forest area of Myrtle Beach, S.C., since 2018 and attended Carolina Forest High School. Since transferring to Coastal Carolina University, he consistently earned the S.C. LIFE Scholarship and a place on the Dean’s List all four semesters. Rogers is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in sociology. Complementing his studies at Coastal Carolina, he acquired hands-on experience through an internship with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, further illustrating his diverse skill set and readiness to take on challenges in various fields. Rogers’ true passion lies in making a meaningful impact on the lives of others through his future career in law enforcement.



Kayla Kyles, born in Red Bank, N.J., has grown up in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Kyles will graduate from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education. She is a member of the Tau Sigma Honor Society and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. Kyles is a Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellow and has received a Merit Award scholarship, the Coastal Transfer Scholar Award, the Harold and Lillian Wiseman Education Scholarship, and the Nancy and Cathcart Smith Scholarship. Kyles has also been recognized as a member of the President’s List. After graduation, Kyles will pursue her teaching career in a local school district.


Mollie Lomax resides in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and is graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. As a Degree in Three student, she has achieved the President’s List every semester. Lomax is a recipient of the President’s Scholar Award, Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, and the S.C. LIFE Scholarship. Following graduation, Lomax will pursue her career as an elementary educator.



Christina Evans is a senior from Duncan, S.C. Evans is studying middle level education with a concentration in English language arts and social studies. She is also a member of the Teaching Fellows Program, Chanticleer Regiment, a resident advisor for the TEACH Community, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Evans is very passionate about her work, aiming to give students college and career readiness skills to allow them success both inside and outside of the classroom. As a member of the Teaching Fellows Program, she has been able to work with a variety of students across Horry County in the form of observations, tutoring, and Teacher Cadet classroom visits, allowing her to give high school students insight into the realities of an education major.



Riana Hucks is from Conway, S.C., and is a LIFE scholar. Since she has been at Coastal Carolina, Hucks has been part of the Aynor High School varsity basketball coaching staff during the 2023–2024 season, Physical Education Teacher Education Club, and soccer coach/PE teacher for HappyFeet Grand Strand. Hucks has made the Dean’s List for one semester and the President’s List for three semesters. After graduation, Hucks will be teaching in Marion County School District at Creek Bridge STEM Academy. She will also continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree and coaching throughout her career as an educator, hoping to leave a meaningful, long-lasting impact on her students' lives.


Allison Bane is a political science major with a minor in psychology. Originally from Bromont, Quebec, but raised in Powdersville, S.C., Bane served as an orientation leader, was active in the CCU Honors College, and participated in internships at both a local law firm and a nonprofit that focused on assisting youth in crisis. Bane also served as director of new member experience and director of primary recruitment for Alpha Delta Pi. One of her most rewarding experiences was becoming a Spadoni Research Fellow. Bane graduated in December and is now preparing to move to Washington, D.C., to gain work experience before pursuing law school.



Sophia Bensch was born and raised in Pawleys Island, S.C. Bensch is double majoring in sociology and psychology. Within her five full semesters at Coastal Carolina University, she has achieved the President’s List three times as well as the Dean’s List twice. She has been awarded the President's Scholar Award and the S.C. LIFE Scholarship. Following graduation, Bensch may further her education with a master’s degree and plans to pursue full-time international mission work.



Megan Gollin is a special education major, originally from Brunswick, Ohio. Gollin will be graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in special education (multi-categorical). She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, where she served as president from 2023–2024, and recently presented her student research project at the annual state CEC Conference. Gollin is a member of Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Delta Pi, and a part of the Spadoni Advisory Board. She also has highly enjoyed her role as a social mentor for the LIFE Program. Gollin is finishing her degree In three years with recognition on the Dean’s List for three semesters and President’s List for two semesters. After graduation, Gollin plans to deepen her engagement in special education while pursuing a master’s degree in psychology.


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

Originally from Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada, Victoria Kyriakopoulos is a Master of Arts in Communication student at Coastal Carolina University, where she has consistently earned spots on the Dean’s and President’s Lists. Her graduate capstone project, advised by Professor James Ndone, examines the impact of corporate social responsibility on consumer-brand relationships after a crisis. A graduate teaching and research assistant, she is also a member of Coastal Carolina’s women’s soccer team. Upon graduation, Kyriakopoulos plans to pursue a doctoral degree.



Hailing from Myrtle Beach, S.C., Johann Thorne has focused his interdisciplinary research on the connections between philosophy, business ethics, and the environment. Thorne’s graduate thesis, “The Integration of Environmental Concerns and Philosophy into Business Strategies," offers real-world solutions for mitigating the negative environmental impacts caused by global business practices. Throughout his time in the M.A. in Liberal Studies program, Thorne has worked as the graduate assistant for the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values. After graduation, he hopes to continue working in a university setting.


Joseph Groenwoldt was born and raised in Southern Maryland, where he started playing guitar at the age of 11. After moving to South Carolina in 2018, he pursued studies in commercial music and jazz at Coastal Carolina University. Finding a passion for recording, he continued his education in the Master of Music Technology program, specializing in recording technology and electronic music. His debut album, “From a Far Away Friend," is set for release in March. Upon graduation, Groenwoldt will move to Nashville, Tenn., where he plans to work as a recording engineer.



Since joining Coastal Carolina University's Master of Arts in Writing program in 2022, Brittany Davis has taught several sections of first-year composition, represented her master’s program at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference, served as the creative nonfiction assistant editor for Waccamaw, and founded and served as editor for the Rage. Davis has published short fiction and poetry in respected journals and anthologies and was a finalist for the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction 2023. She plans to pursue further graduate studies in creative writing and is currently writing a collection of short stories that explores ideas of queer womanhood and monstrosity.



Kristen Hogue is an art history major from Oil City, Pa. Hogue has minors in psychology, anthropology, and religious studies, as well as a cultural heritage studies certificate. Her awards include a Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts Board of Visitors Study Abroad Annual Scholarship, as well as a Global Perspectives in the Humanities Study Abroad Scholarship. Hogue’s goal is to attend graduate school in art history to pursue her research interests in Ancient Greek art, Italian Renaissance art, how women are portrayed in art, mythology, and ultimately to become a professor of art history.



Mattie Flading is an interdisciplinary artist from Myrtle Beach, S.C. Relying primarily on performance art, printmaking, and soft sculpture processes, she leverages these various methodologies to explore topics pertaining to both womanhood and childhood. Her
work has been presented in the second and third Juried Student Exhibitions, on the cover of Charleston’s 45th
issue of Miscellany magazine, and will be on display at Art Fields 2024.


Emma Yacavone is a communication major with minors in women’s and gender studies and film and production studies. She is from Stratford, Ct., and has achieved the President’s List for five semesters. Yacavone is a member of the Triota and Lambda Pi Eta Honors Societies, and Phi Sigma Pi, where she has held positions such as historian and vice president. She also works as a Teal Trailblazer, presidential ambassador, and peer leader while also hosting shows with the WCCU Radio. After graduation, Yacavone plans to pursue a career in TV news.



Kaylee Conklin was born and raised in Sandyston, N.J., before joining Coastal Carolina University to pursue her bachelor's degree in digital culture and design. She has worked with Coastal Carolina faculty on significant projects, including data visualization of patterns in book banning with Professor Anna Mukamal and exploring locative media through digital circuitry design with Professor Gayas Eapen. Conklin will graduate with summa cum laude honors. She is investigating social media companies as a track after graduation.



Shiloh Bergman majors in English with a concentration in creative writing and is from Clayton, Wash. She served as editor-in-chief of Archarios magazine. In addition to her editorial work, Bergman has been published in external and internal magazines eight times. She is also the vice president of Sigma Tau Delta. Bergman will be graduating cum laude. She is exploring internship opportunities available after graduation.



Caroline Greene is seeking dual B.A. degrees in graphic design and Spanish. Greene is also a Jackson Scholar and worked on the multinational collaborative project "Multiversum: A Collection of What Ifs" for the Athenaeum Press. Upon graduation, Greene is planning to work as a designer.



Thomas Benson was raised in Loris, S.C., spending most of his school life dreaming of becoming a history teacher. His interests are the Columbian Exchange, early American history, and cultural history of modern conflicts. Benson’s hobbies include indulging in cinema, playing video games, and reading comics/manga.



Originally from Indian Land, S.C., Clay Penegar is an intelligence and security studies major with minors in peace and conflict studies, geographic information systems, and data analytics for intelligence and security. Penegar is the founding special security officer for the Intelligence Operations Command Center and a member of Coastal Law Enforcement Intelligence and Research, Women in Intelligence and National Security, and the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, where he won the Regional Expert Award (Europe), the Editor’s Choice Award, and served as deputy head of the Europe Desk. After graduation, he plans to seek employment in the intelligence community.



As an interdisciplinary studies major, Misa Baez has focused her coursework on mental health advocacy. Baez’s capstone project explores untreated trauma in minority communities. Since transferring to Coastal Carolina in 2022, Baez has appeared regularly on the President’s and the Dean’s Lists, and she has been inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. After graduation, she plans to apply to a graduate program in counseling and pursue a career as a mental health counselor.



As a transfer to Coastal Carolina University when her family moved to Myrtle Beach in 2022, Jordan Moore has found a perfect home for both her academic and career endeavors. As a double major in communication and journalism, with a double minor in English and social media, she has embraced and been embraced by the University community and works for both the Office of the Provost and the interdisciplinary studies department. Moore was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success, Tau Sigma, and is a board member of Sigma Tau Delta. Moore has launched her own creative content consulting firm that counts the Myrtle Beach mayor’s office and quite a few local businesses as her clients. Moore will begin working towards her master’s degree here in Fall 2024.



Tanja Warren was born in Toronto, Canada, to Slovene parents. In 2019, Warren began working at Coastal Carolina University in the Spadoni College of Education as a special programs coordinator. She has also worked in the Teaching Fellows program and is director of National Canadian Film Day. Warren is currently finishing her bachelor's and has already begun pursuing a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree at CCU.


Joseph Mooney is a trumpet player from Beaufort, S.C., earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in commercial music and jazz. He has participated in various University music ensembles such as marching band, wind ensemble, jazz combo, and jazz big band. Mooney has played at the Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival, Gullah Geechee Community Day, and at the Chapin Library as part of their live jazz series. He has also been featured with the jazz combo on local television programs like WMBF’s Grand Strand Today and WPDE’s Good Morning Carolinas. Mooney plans to further his musical career by performing, writing, and releasing new music after graduation.



Chandler Ticer, originally from Summerville, S.C., is pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a focus in percussion. During her time at CCU, she has held many different student leadership positions in the music department and has been involved in several collegiate and professional organizations. Ticer was named a Research Fellow for the Edwards Center for Inclusive Excellence, president of the National Association for Music Educators CCU Chapter, and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She has been an active performer in several different ensembles including the CCU Marching Band, Percussion Ensemble, World Percussion Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she intends to further both her pedagogical knowledge and musicianship as a public school music teacher.



Tyler Hancock is originally from Enola, Pa. Hancock is a philosophy major and an active member of the Philosophy Club and Phi Sigma Tau, the International Philosophy Honor Society. His outstanding academic record is highlighted by his inclusion on the Dean’s List once and the President’s List six times. Hancock’s hard work and dedication have also earned him the prestigious President’s Scholar Award. Looking to the future, Hancock is poised to continue his philosophical inquiries and contributions in graduate school where he will pursue a master's and doctorate in philosophy.



Noah Carter is from Myrtle Beach, S.C. Carter is a double major in philosophy and religious studies. He is also vice president of Sigma Pi, a member of Phi Sigma Tau, and a member of the Philosophy Club. After graduation, he plans to attend law school.



Teniia Micazia Brown hails from Walterboro, S.C., and is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and a minor in film and production studies. Brown serves many roles here on campus, including as a student representative on last year's Theatre Season Selection Committee, a presidential ambassador, an Honors College Scholar, a peer mentor, and a Center for Inclusive Excellence Fellowship ambassador. In addition to performing as Gladys in Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, Brown was featured in two Discovery Series productions, including How I Learned to Drive and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Brown also devised a theatre performance as part of the E.A.R.T.H. Festival in April 2024. She concentrates her research on diverse cultures reflected through multimedia and social change. Brown was honored to produce and direct two staged readings in the New Works Series last year, including Freedom Summer by Cynthia Grace Robinson and Mahala Island by A'ndrea Wilson. Upon graduation, Brown plans on continuing independent research across the country while pursuing a career with a theatre company that serves the mission she is after in diverse artistic expressionism.



Madi Daning is a senior at Coastal Carolina University graduating with a B.F.A. in theatre arts and a concentration in musical theatre. Daning played the role of Masha in Three Sisters, Grace Fryer in Radium Girls, Barbarina in The Green Bird, Betsy in Crazy for You, and served as the universal swing in Merrily We Roll Along. Behind the scenes, Daning has worked as the associate choreographer and assistant intimacy director for Cabaret, the assistant choreographer and dance captain for Cinderella, and the fight captain and intimacy captain for Merrily We Roll Along. Daning has also participated in several original and devised student works, such as portraying Her in Human, Quinn in If Cherries Could Talk, and Eldest Sister in Unquestioned. Daning was heavily involved in the Teal and Bronze Society for three years, where she helped coordinate events like Teal Tuesdays, Homecoming, and Finals Frenzy. She is looking forward to moving to New York City after graduation to pursue a career as a performer.



Cebastian Erin Thompson is graduating with a B.F.A. in art studio that focuses primarily on painting and performance art. Thompson is the president of the art and design club CHROMA. She has exhibited work in the first and second Annual Juried Student Exhibitions at the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery. Some of her accomplishments include receiving the Martha Baker Thomas Endowed Scholarship and Outstanding Art Studio Junior Award at Coastal Carolina University, receiving first prize for the exhibition print 2021 Archarios Literary Art Magazine, and second prize for the 2022 Archarios Literary Art Magazine. You can find Thompson's work on the cover of the 79th issue of Inspirational Art Magazine, including an interview in the issue. Thompson plans to continue her work as a mural and fine artist once she graduates.


Madison Elwell is a B.F.A. student in visual communication design with minors in women’s and gender studies and new media and digital culture. She is the art director for Tempo magazine and is a leader and ally for her peers inside and outside the classroom. Elwell is headed into the design field upon graduation.

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