About the Students - Coastal Carolina University
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2022 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.


E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration



Christian Hanna is from Conway, S.C., and attended Carolina Forest High School. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Coastal Carolina University in December 2020. Hanna will graduate with a Master of Accountancy in May 2022. She is a member of Beta Alpha Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma and was a resident adviser in University Housing in her junior and senior years. Hanna is a full-time staff accountant at Smith Sapp CPAs, a Myrtle Beach accounting firm.



Ecaterina Soltoian was born and raised in the Republic of Moldova, and, at the age of 14, she moved to Rome, Italy, with her family. After graduating high school, Soltoian decided to pursue her education in the United States. She first achieved an associate degree in business administration at Horry-Georgetown Technical College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Coastal Carolina University. While at Coastal Carolina, Soltoian achieved the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for one semester. She was awarded a Global Virtual Team Project Badge, issued by the Mainz University of Applied Science in Germany, and was also nominated for the Management and Decision Sciences Student of the Year award in 2021. Soltoian was awarded a merit scholarship for five semesters at Coastal Carolina University based on academic performance criteria. She now serves as vice president of events and fundraising for Beta Gamma Sigma and is employed as a graduate assistant by the Center for Global Engagement. After graduating, Soltoian is seeking employment in the U.S., preferably in the real estate industry.



Trenton Friedman from Surfside Beach, S.C., is an accounting major. During his last three years at Coastal Carolina University, Friedman has made the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for one semester. Upon graduation, Friedman will continue his education at CCU in the Master of Accountancy program. Once he completes his programs, he plans to move to Salt Lake City, Utah, and begin a career in public accounting.


Riley Harrell, from Pasadena, Md., has made the Dean’s List seven semesters since she arrived at Coastal Carolina University. She majored in economics and completed minors in environmental studies and pre-law. Harrell was a Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society member and a member of the women’s lacrosse team all four years of her collegiate career. After graduation, she plans to continue her education in the field of environmental law and policy.



Bailey Rue is an economics student with minors in statistics and applied arriving at CCU, Rue has been named to both the President’s List and the Dean’s List. Outside of class, she is the president of the Coastal Climbing Club and the CCU Economics Club, and a member
of the Beta Gamma Sigma international honors society. For the past two years, Rue has served as a senior associate of the CoBE Institute, a student-led consulting organization at the University, where she has worked on a multitude of projects for both local and international firms and has led projects of her own. Rue plans on eventually pursuing graduate studies in economics and computer science.  


Paris Miller, from Darlington, S.C., is a finance, marketing, and management triple major. Since arriving at CCU in 2018, Miller has made the President’s List for six semesters and the Dean’s List for two. He is an active member of multiple honor societies, including Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Phi Theta Kappa. Miller has mentored for the LIFE Program at the University since 2018 and is a member of the film club and Coastal Activities Board. Miller has received the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, Coastal Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship, Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship, the Bellamy Law Firm Endowed Scholarship, and the Hal Norton Endowed Scholarship. After graduation, Miller plans to continue investing in real estate by purchasing foreclosed homes and renting them to low-income families on Section 8. Miller plans on staying at CCU to pursue an MBA with a concentration in commercial and investment real estate.


Morgan Burdette is a hospitality major and marketing minor from Honea Path, S.C. She is a member of the HTC Honors College, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, and the Student Executive Leaders program. She has been on the President’s List every semester at CCU, and was awarded the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship and the Women in Philanthropy and Leadership Scholarship during her enrollment. Burdette has worked as a tutor for the past three years in the Wall College of Business. She has completed two hospitality and guest services internships in Myrtle Beach and plans to pursue hotel administration after graduation.



Christian Mitchell, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a management major with a minor in sports studies. He is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Gamma Sigma, Student Executive Leaders program, vice president of the Student Chanticleer Athletic Foundation, and student assistant coach for the CCU football team. Mitchell was on the President’s List for four semesters and Dean’s List for one semester. He competed in the Recreation and Sport Management Alliance case study competition and served as operations chair for the 11th annual Recreation Sport Management Golf Classic. He received the President’s Scholar Award, Coastal Carolina Palmetto Scholarship, S.C. Palmetto Fellows, HCHEC Why I Love Coastal Carolina Scholarship, United Bank Business Endowed Scholarship, George H. and Martha Sue Sanderson EndowedScholarship, and the Cummings Endowed Scholarship. Mitchell plans to pursue a career in athletic administration in a college athletics department.



Olivia Stringfield is a marketing major and French minor from Aiken, S.C. While at Coastal Carolina, she was named to the President’s List each semester. Stringfield is a member of professional and student organizations, including the Wall Fellows program, Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, the Panhellenic Executive Council, and the American Marketing Association. She served as the co-chief of staff of the Wall Fellows program and the vice president of the Panhellenic Executive Council during her senior year. Stringfield conducted market research and consulted for the Greenhouse Hotel in Hveragerði, Iceland, and researched, wrote, and published an article for Tempo Magazine regarding the science behind cyclical fashion trends. Upon graduation, Stringfield plans to pursue opportunities in international real estate and international marketing in France

Gupta College of Science

Sarah Wessinger, from Dunkirk, Md., joined the CMWS program after completing her undergraduate degree at CCU in marine science with an applied mathematics minor in the Accelerated Integrated Marine Science program. Her thesis research involves the development of an empirical model for predicting atmospheric refractivity based on bulk measurements of temperature and humidity just above and at the ocean surface. During her graduate studies, she has co-authored two peer-reviewed American Geophysical Union journal publications (Radio Science) and currently has a third, first-author manuscript in preparation. She presented her research at two national conferences: National Radio Science Meeting and the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting, and co-authored three additional conference presentations. She was awarded and completed a Naval Research Enterprise Internship for the Naval Research Laboratory in the Marine Meteorology Division, where she worked with numerical weather prediction simulations and analyzed numerical and in-situ data. Wessinger has been offered a job at the Naval Research Laboratory and was heavily recruited by all Ph.D. programs for which she applied. She has ultimately decided to complete her Ph.D. in atmospheric science at Texas A&M starting in Fall 2022.  


Mael Couteau came to CCU as an undergraduate soccer player from Guyancourt, France. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on sports sciences and psychology, he decided to continue his studies by working on a master’s degree in sport management. Couteau is a contributing member of the CCU soccer team and was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team. He is also currently working with the recreation and sport management department on a city-wide recreation needs assessment project with the city of Loris' recreation department. While Couteau has played for three professional French soccer teams, his dream is to play soccer professionally in the United States.


James Martin is from Rock Hill, S.C., where he resides with his wife and two daughters. He has been at Coastal Carolina University since 2016 and a graduate student
at the University since 2020, set to graduate with his master of science in information systems technology in 2022. His academic interests are primarily in artificial intelligence and deep learning. After graduating, he plans to work in artificial intelligence.


Riley Martin, from Edgewater, Md., is an applied mathematics and applied statistics major with a minor in business administration. During his time at CCU, he was named to the President’s List and Dean’s List. Martin conducted research with statistics associate professor Lindsey Bell on false negatives in COVID-19 testing. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in data analysis.


Brandon Holladay achieved Dean’s List honors each year he attended CCU. He was involved in the Department of Physics and Engineering Science as both a tutor and a learning assistant, and he pursued minors in applied mathematics and philosophy. 


Born in Pennsylvania and now residing in Charleston, S.C., Andrew Elgin attended Cathedral Academy. He is an applied statistics major at CCU, where he is also a Coastal Scholar Award Recipient. With four semesters each of President’s List and Dean’s List honors, he strives to maintain academic excellence. Upon graduation, Elgin plans to pursue a career in sports data analytics. 



Klea Hoxha moved from Albania six years ago and attended Myrtle Beach High School. In addition to a biochemistry B.S. degree, she has earned minors in physics and mathematics. Her honors thesis includes two research projects. One focused on Monte Carlo simulations of radiation therapy effects with Professor Wes Hitt, chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering Science, and the other focused on the structure of a small regulatory RNA in streptococcal bacteria with Professor Brian Lee, of the Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry. She has been named to the President’s List every semester. Hoxha was founder and president of the student chapter of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the president of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club, vice president of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, and secretary for the Women in STEM Club. She intends to pursue a doctoral degree in medical physics.   


Madison Gentilo came to CCU from Bethesda, Md. She has been on the Dean’s List multiple times and has been an active student in the Gupta College of Science. She prepares materials for genetics labs and exceeds expectations for assisting both students and faculty. Gentilo was selected to conduct biomedical research as part of the Summer Coastal Research Experience program and presented these findings at a state research conference. Gentilo was the student leader for a research team of CCU professors in three departments, investigating COVID-19 on campus and attitudes about the pandemic. This research led to one manuscript being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and Gentilo being honored for the best poster presentation at the 2021 CCU Undergraduate Research Competition. She plans to pursue graduate studies in microbiology or molecular biology.


Dustin Lowe came to CCU from Virginia after attending Liberty High School. He has been active in the chemistry department, serving as a learning assistant in laboratory courses, a member of the Biochemistry and Chemistry Club, and a founding member of the Coastal Carolina chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Lowe has conducted research with chemistry professor Bryan Wakefield on synthesizing natural product analogues to treat neurodegenerative diseases. He plans to attend graduate school and study organic chemistry. 


Kyler Febbroriello hails from Conway, S.C., and attended Carolina Forest High School. Since arriving at Coastal Carolina University in 2019 as a computer science major, he has been on the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s list for one semester. He is set to graduate with summa cum laude honors. Febbroriello has been working with computer science professor Michael Murphy on an academic project named TealVirt to streamline QEMU virtualization. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in software engineering and hopes to obtain a master’s degree. 



Carissa Church, from Hilton Head Island, S.C., graduated from Hilton Head Island High School in 2019. She is graduating from Coastal Carolina University in only three years and earned a spot on the Dean’s List each year of attendance. She worked as a grant research assistant for the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetlands Studies, and, during the summer of 2021, she participated in an REU funded by the National Science Foundation, studying smart structure technologies in collaboration with
the University of South Carolina and San Francisco State University. Church also participated in two study abroad programs: a cultural immersion program in Trinidad and Tobago and a virtual program with Reykjavik University in Iceland, focusing on renewable energy innovation and sustainability. 


James Brown is an exercise and sport science major from Charleston, S.C. For the majority of his time at Coastal Carolina University, Brown has been active in research studies involving the use of near-infrared spectroscopy to measure muscle oxidative capacity and physiological responses to aerobic exercise with blood flow restriction. He presented his research at Coastal Carolina University’s Undergraduate Research Competition and at national and regional annual meetings of the American College of Sports Medicine. Brown was also a member of the Coastal Carolina club hockey team. He will be pursuing a Master of Science degree in sports medicine with a concentration on human movement science at Georgia Southern University in Savannah, Ga. 


Hanna Deckert was born in Fort Bragg, N.C., into a military family with four brothers. Upon graduation, she attended North Carolina State University and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Deckert served as a medic in the 82nd Airborne Division. While at Coastal Carolina University, she completed a grant-funded project to create an interactive dashboard for the Food Bank Council of Michigan to assist with their efforts to reduce food insecurity throughout the state. She is on the President’s List and is stationed with her husband and 2-year-old daughter at Shaw Air Force Base.  


Originally from Greensboro, N.C., Michael Link has attended Coastal Carolina University on a Presidential Scholarship and is enrolled in the Degree in Three program for information systems. He has earned President’s List honors each semester and is a member of the international honor society, Upsilon Pi Epsilon. Link worked as a tutor and TA within the Department of Computing Sciences and completed internships for CACI International
and LabCorp. He works as a software developer for Archetype SC while finishing his degree. Upon graduation, Link will be returning to LabCorp as an IT project specialist and plans on attending graduate school to further his education in information technology.


Dawson Pickford hails from Atlanta, Ga., and attended Loris High School. While studying information technology and minoring in communication, his commitment and discipline led to five semesters on the President’s List and two semesters on the Dean’s List. He was actively involved in Coastal Carolina University’s chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, an honor society for the computer and information disciplines. In his senior capstone course, he built and configured an Ubuntu Server Cluster, and his research saved much time for the University’s system administrator. For his academic success in high school, he was awarded the Teal Scholar Award and LIFE Scholarship. He plans to pursue a career in cybersecurity.  



Dean Wrobel is a marine science major and coastal geology minor from Murrells Inlet, S.C. He is a member of the HTC Honors College and Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society. Wrobel is also a member of the CCU Bass Fishing Team and has served in numerous leadership positions, including president of the CCU Saltwater Anglers Club. He has completed undergraduate research in fisheries science during an internship with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which he presented during the 2022 Southern Division American Fisheries Society Conference. Wrobel’s research on coastal hydrology and groundwater interactions culminated in his undergraduate honors thesis project, which focused on investigating temporal groundwater interactions between barrier island and high marsh environments. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a master’s degree in coastal marine and wetland studies at CCU in the fall.  



Rita Tahan will graduate with her bachelor of science in nursing degree this semester. While she earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing from Horry-Georgetown Technical College in 2018, this is her second degree from CCU, having previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in health promotion. She is originally from Moncks Corner, S.C. Tahan worked for 16 years at the Waccamaw Center for Mental Health before becoming a nurse. She is employed at Lighthouse Behavioral Health Hospital. She completed her community health practicum project by teaching Cub Scouts about proper handwashing during the pandemic. Her most recent leadership project focused on developing an evaluation tool to determine the level of observation for patients who are potentially suicidal.  


Devi A. Spletzer, from Royersford, Pa., is a psychology major with a double minor in women’s and gender studies, and music. She is a member of CCU’s HTC Honors College and a Degree in Three student. Spletzer is involved in the Chi Omega Fraternity, String Chamber Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Teal Trailblazers, and Triota Honors Society. She completed her honors thesis, titled Defining Consensual Sex: Exploring the Mentality of College-Aged Men, under the independent direction of psychology professor Melissa Paiva-Salisbury. The results of the study were used to create a proposal to update CCU’s sexual assault prevention programming in hopes of reducing rates of sexual assault. Her honors thesis earned her a nomination as a Step-Up Champion. Spletzer was named to the President’s List or Dean’s List each semester. After graduation, she plans to work in human resources with Bank of America. Spletzer’s long-term goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, specializing in the research of human sexuality.  


Since arriving at CCU in 2018, Catherine McFadden has achieved President’s List or Dean’s List honors each semester. McFadden is a public health major
and a sociology minor. As a junior, she participated in the U.N. Peace Corps. McFadden is a member of the Eta Sigma Gamma National Health Promotion Honor Society. She plans to start a position in human resources at Conway Medical Center, specifically recruiting nursing and medical staff.  


Since Brian Port arrived at Coastal Carolina University, he has been a very productive student. During his first three years on campus, Port was a member of the CCU baseball team. While the Peach Tree, Ga., native was on the team, he was a consistent member of the President’s and Dean’s List. Port is a recreation and sport management major, and he has become an active member of the Recreation and Sport Management Alliance and a sports ambassador with the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation. He and three
of his peers will compete this month against other universities from across the nation in a case study competition at the College Sport Research Institute in Columbia.


HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

Callie Rogers, daughter of Jimmie Rea Rogers, currently resides in Kingstree, S.C. She is a dual major in both women’s and gender studies, and sociology, while also receiving a minor in psychology. She is graduating with magna cum laude honors. Rogers is a member of both Tau Sigma National Honor Society and the Society of Collegiate Leadership and Achievement. She plans on pursuing a master’s degree to work in counseling and advocacy.


Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences

Amanda Darden hails from Coeburn, Va., and specializes in higher education administration. She completed her dissertation research on the South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program under the guidance of her dissertation committee chair, Debbie Conner of the Department of Educational Sciences and Organizations. Darden’s plans after graduation include pursuing opportunities to expand her research agenda and opportunities to lead in higher education organizations. Her research agenda has a strong emphasis on the use of predictive analytics to address teacher education program retention and graduation.



Joseph Lopes, originally from Blythewood, S.C., completed his undergraduate degree in history at CCU in 2021. He was a member and leader of several clubs, including the Coastal Carolina Teaching Fellows (president), National Residence Hall Honorary (vice president), Resident Adviser Council member, and participant in a Moment of Magic, a charity club that visits children with medical vulnerabilities. Lopes was a recipient of the South Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarship and the LIFE Scholarship. As a MAT student, Lopes was selected for a paid internship at Georgetown High School, and after graduation, he plans to continue to work in the Georgetown County School District, teaching social studies at Georgetown High School.


A Horry County native and a first-generation college graduate, Billy R. Gainus earned his bachelor’s degree from CCU in 2006. That same year, he was selected as the Middle-Level Education Student of the Year, and he began his teaching career at Ocean Bay Middle School. In 2016, Gainus was awarded the South Carolina Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year for his work with National History Day. In 2017, he graduated from CCU with his master’s degree in instructional technology. He was promoted to the role of instructional coach at Ten Oaks Middle School, where he continues to serve in that position. During his 15 years of service with Horry County Schools, Gainus has mentored CCU students who have excelled in their careers, with one named Teacher of the Year and another selected as an instructional coach.



Caroline Rogers is a student in the Master of Education in language, literacy, and culture program and a member of the Coastal Carolina University’s Teaching Fellows Advisory Board. She was named Share the Magic Literacy Foundation’s Educator of the Year and Ocean Drive Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year 2021–2022. Along with these awards, she was the May 2020 WMBF News Classroom Champion and is a TEACH grant recipient. She hopes to move into a leadership role such
as a curriculum or literacy coach for elementary school teachers. She would also like to become a children’s book author one day.


Kara Knab from Little River, S.C., While at CCU, Knab has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the Master of Education in special education program with a concentration on emotional disabilities. After graduation, Knab plans to continue teaching sixth grade ELA. In a few years, she hopes to return to CCU and complete the additional licensure certification in learning disabilities and potentially switch to a special education position.  



Izzabel Champ is an anthropology and geography major from New Castle, Pa., and her hard work and academic success are reflected in her inclusion on the President’s List in Fall 2021. During her undergraduate career at CCU, Champ has been an active campus community member as a Teal Trailblazer for the Office of Admissions. Champ is a member of the Anthropology and Geography Club, the Social Justice Club, and the treasurer of the Coastal Muslim Association. Following graduation, she plans to pursue her graduate education in archaeology. 



Elizabeth Brown from Conway, S.C., will graduate from Coastal Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education. She is a member of the Coastal Carolina Teaching Fellows program and served as vice president of engagement, community outreach co-chair, freshman cohort representative, and senior cohort representative for the organization. Brown has been recognized as a member of the President’s List every semester since arriving at CCU and is a recipient of the Coastal Scholar Award. She has also served as a mentor in the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program. After graduation, Brown will pursue her teaching career in Horry County Schools. She is looking forward to the opportunity to give back to the school district that she attended and that has provided the foundation for the educator she has become. 


Grace Weatherston hails from Charlotte, N.C., and is a Degree in Three student. Not only did Weatherston complete the required coursework for the elementary education degree, but she also completed all required coursework for the add-on certification in early childhood education. She completed nearly 700 hours of field experience and internships through both programs and was recognized as a member of the President’s List every semester. She plans to teach in the Myrtle Beach area after graduation and pursue a graduate degree in language, literacy, and culture.  


Amanda Grace Wilmoth is a middle-level education major originally from Harlem, Ga. She transferred to CCU from Horry-Georgetown Technical College, having earned her Associate of Arts degree. Wilmoth is the recipient of the Will and Audrey Garland Alumni Board Scholarship, the Thomas D. and Janet L. Ward School of Education Scholarship, and the Coastal Transfer Scholar Award. She is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta. Wilmoth has been working as a student researcher on a project focusing on preservice teachers’ abilities to relate content to their students. In Fall 2022, she will start her first year as a social studies teacher in Horry County Schools. Wilmoth plans to continue her professional development through graduate education courses at CCU. In addition to the students that she teaches, Wilmoth’s major inspirations both as a new teacher and in life are her two loving children, Craig Jr., and Georgia.  


Since first arriving at Coastal Carolina from New Jersey in 2018, Myles Kowalski has explored the University’s many opportunities. His passion for art and athletics grew over the years as he was involved in Men’s Club Soccer and Surf Club. His curiosity and work ethic drove him to pursue physical education while simultaneously running a small business selling his artwork. Serving as the Physical Education Teacher Education Club president, Kowalski actively seeks new ways to improve his teaching and advocate for the importance of physical education in our schools. He plans to teach health and physical education in the Northeast following graduation, hoping to creatively spread awareness of the mental and physical benefits of an active lifestyle. 


Colin Keoghan came to CCU from Blairstown, N.J., to obtain a political science degree. He has been an active member and leader within the University’s student organizations, becoming the president of CCU’s Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Chapter and the delegation chair of Coastal Carolina’s delegation to the South Carolina Student Legislature. Keoghan was named Freshman Political Science Student of the Year, Junior Political Science Student of the Year, the Edgar Dyer Pre-Law Award winner, and he has made the President’s List seven consecutive semesters. After Keoghan graduates, he plans to go to law school with the hopes of one day becoming a judge.  


Brianna Martin hails from Hainesport, N.J., and moved to Mount Pleasant S.C., eight years ago. She is majoring in sociology with a concentration in social justice and a minor in pre-law. She has achieved the Dean’s List four out of five semesters and continues to excel in her sociological research. Martin presented research at the South Carolina Sociological Association conference, where she received a certificate and invaluable perspective as an undergraduate student. While at CCU, Martin has been involved
in various organizations, including the Sea Turtle Club, Phi Alpha Delta, Coastal Inspirational Ambassadors, Civic Engagement, the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children, the Women of Color initiative, and the Student Government Association. Martin is the Student Government Association president for the 2021–22 academic school year and is a board member of the nonprofit Grand Strand Action Together. After graduation, Martin plans to study for the LSAT and apply to Harvard Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Howard University Law School. In Fall 2023, Martin will be on her path to becoming a lawyer and then a federal judge.



Patricia Lindley Still is from Barnwell, S.C. Still is a South Carolina Teaching Fellow, HTC Honors Student, and Spadoni Research Fellow graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in special education (multi-categorical) and a certificate in instructional technology. She is vice president of engagement for CCU Teaching Fellows, president of the Rho Chi Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi-Honor Society in Education, and a member of the Council for Exceptional Children. Still has worked with the LIFE Program, volunteered with the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program, and is a former featured twirler with the Chanticleer Regiment. Still has been named to the President’s List and Dean’s List and was awarded the South Carolina Teaching Fellow Scholarship, Chanticleer Band Program Award, Teal Scholar Award, TEACH Grant, South Carolina LIFE Scholarship, Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, Coastal Carolina University Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship, and the Thomas D. and Janet L. Ward School of Education Endowed Scholarship. Still completed her honors thesis, Video Modeling v. Video Prompting with Task Analysis: Which one do students with Intellectual Disabilities respond better to, with special education professor Nicole Uphold. Her research was presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and CCU’s Honors Symposium. After graduation, Still will be teaching at Aynor High School and pursuing her Master of Science in speech-language pathology (MS-DE) at the University of South Carolina. 


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

Dahlia DeHaan, from Middletown, Conn., will begin the communication Ph.D. program this fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a teaching assistantship and the Weiss Urban Livability Fellowship. DeHaan graduates this May with her master’s degree in communication and a concentration in leadership. Her master’s thesis, advised by communication, media, and culture professor Linsay Cramer, analyzes representations of gender, race, and class in HBO’s Gossip Girl television series. DeHaan graduated from CCU in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in new media and digital culture. Her undergraduate thesis, advised by communication, media, and culture professor Deborah Breede, was a feminist critique of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.


Gina Ford graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and a minor in Latin and Caribbean studies. After graduation, she pursued a career in risk management and wanted to further her understanding of nonprofit management and business logistics. In entering the MALS program at CCU, Ford has had the opportunity to expand her concentrations in multiple fields, ranging from financial governance to women’s and gender studies. She has interned for the Athenaeum Press and has had two graduate assistantships. Her capstone focuses on the importance of LGBTQIA+ inclusion in public education infrastructures. Ford hopes to use her skills to further her career in business, with diversity and inclusion awareness in mind.


Melissa Martinez, from Buford, Ga., developed her passion for music technology while completing her undergraduate degree in percussion performance at CCU. Since joining the Master in Music Technology program, she has completed recording and mixing projects for students, professors, and private clients. Her capstone project focuses on producing, recording, mixing, and mastering original music by singer/songwriter Dani Gainey and will result in a three-song EP and music video. She will be a music editor for film and television after graduation.


Selena Mendoza, of Loris, S.C., is graduating with a master of Arts in writing. During her time at CCU, Mendoza has been a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society, and Triota, the women’s and gender studies honor society. With an interest in creative writing, she has co-organized and facilitated Tongues in Common, a local open mic and poetry event. Her interests in creative writing extend into her editorial positions with the Waccamaw Journal, where she has served as assistant poetry editor and poetry co-editor for the past two years. 



Allison Cahill is a double major in art history and marine science. She is culminating her CCU degrees with a study abroad program in Greece and Cyprus, where she is enrolled in a course on art crime. After graduation, Cahill is moving to Columbia, S.C., to work at an art conservation and restoration firm. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree.


Samantha Senig is a double major in both art studio and graphic design. She works in various mediums, but predominantly ceramics, sculpture, and design work. Her work is currently on display in the Florence County Museum, and she has won numerous awards at juried exhibitions, including a best-in-show scholarship award from the Seacoast Artists Guild during the Rebecca Randal Bryan Art Gallery juried show in 2021. Senig is active in several campus organizations and serves as president of Chroma, the art and design club, where she inspires and leads her peers. Senig is a graphic design intern with CCU’s Athenaeum Press. She was honored by Brookgreen Gardens with its Next Generation Award and scholarship. After graduation, she plans to work for a design firm and continue her studio practice to exhibit in museums, galleries, and juried exhibitions. 


Shelbi Ankiewicz is from Myrtle Beach, S.C. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in interactive journalism and a minor in languages and intercultural studies. Ankiewicz is a part of the Wall Fellows, a two-year leadership program at CCU. Along with holding positions in other clubs and organizations, she has served as editor-in-chief for The Chanticleer, the University’s student newspaper. Ankiewicz is currently studying abroad on scholarship in Germany and is using this experience as a step toward her future goal of becoming a travel writer.


Matthew Buck, from Little River, S.C., is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in digital culture and design. During his time at CCU, Buck has been on the President’s List and was awarded the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship. On campus, you can find Buck working in the new maker space in Kimbel Library, where he uses his expertise in digital making and design to help other students and faculty with their projects.  



Sage Short, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in creative writing and women’s and gender studies, was born in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and raised in Myrtle Beach, S.C. During her time at CCU, Short has been president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English national honors society, and a member of the Triota honors society. Reflecting her interests in writing and advocacy, she served as co-president of Students Advocating Gender Equality and the editor of Her Campus. She will be attending the English graduate program at Clemson in the fall.


Desirae Jones is a graphic design major with a minor in marketing. In addition to years of service as an assistant in the Department of Visual Arts in the Edwards College, she was also the art director of Tempo. She was selected as the department’s outstanding freshman and was on the President’s List each semester of her undergraduate career at CCU. Her skills and professionalism made her an ideal candidate to participate in CCU leadership retreats and a media conference in New York. After graduation, she plans to intern as a step toward her desired job as a professional graphic designer or illustrator. 



Originally from South Setauket, N.Y., Michaella Maddalena transferred to CCU in 2019 and has earned a place on the President’s List for five semesters. She is a double major in history and English and is a peace and conflict studies minor. She has been the recipient of multiple scholarships, including the Coastal Transfer Scholar Award, the William L. Lyles Jr. Leadership Endowed Scholarship, and the James Branham History Award. Additionally, she serves as president of the national history honor society Phi Alpha Theta, as secretary of CCU First, and is a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success.



Hannah Clegg is an intelligence and security studies major from Los Alamos, N.M. She is minoring in Russian and Eurasian studies and Middle Eastern studies, with publications related to both regions. In addition to serving on executive boards of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB) and Women in Intelligence and National Security (WINS), Clegg runs a student intelligence newspaper known as the Weekly Intelligence Brief. She has been on the President’s List three times and the Dean’s List twice and is part of the honors program. In Summer 2021, she interned with the U.S. Embassy in Oman. After graduation, Clegg plans to work in the intelligence community.


Ola Watson is from Pawleys Island, S.C., and arrived at CCU as a transfer student from Horry-Georgetown Technical College. Watson is majoring in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in political science and history, focusing on South Carolina history. She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, a Calhoun Scholar, and a President’s List honoree. Watson is completing a double internship with CCU’s Career Services, where she helps students write and update their resumes. After graduation, she wants to work with nonprofits in developing community relationships and fundraising.   



Madison Ketschek is a double major in LIS Hispanic studies and history. Ketschek is a major contributor to the life of the LIS department as a Spanish tutor, a leader of the Club Ñ Spanish Conversation Club, and a host of cultural sessions for beginning language learners. Ketschek will continue her studies in CCU’s Master of Education program next year.


Jordan Taylor is a vocal performance major and dramatic arts minor from Florence, S.C. While at CCU, she achieved President’s List for seven semesters and the Dean’s List for one semester. Her intellect is reflected in her grades and her work as an Edwards Research Fellow, where she aided in research on the Gullah Geechee communities of South Carolina with the Joyner Institute. Taylor is the president of both the Coastal Carolina Concert and 


Luciano Castro is from Bahia, Brazil. Castro completed the Jackson Scholars Program in the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values. He also served as a tutor in the Writing Center for four years, was the Floyd Family Mentor of the Year in 2021, served as president of the Pride Club, and serves on the Edwards College Dean’s Committee for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He will graduate in December with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in women’s and gender studies. Castro plans to pursue graduate work for a joint J.D. and Ph.D. with a focus on civil rights law.



Camryn Robinson is from Carlsbad, N.M. While at CCU, she was awarded the Reverend Alfred Wayne Howell Jr. Scholarship for 2022–23. She will graduate in December with a B.A. in religious studies with a concentration in religion in public life and minors in Asian studies and philosophy. After graduating, she plans to pursue graduate studies in Asian religions.



Adi Zacks, from Milltown, N.J., is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre arts with a concentration in acting. While at CCU on a Presidential Scholarship, she has achieved the President’s List each semester while performing in theatrical productions and working as a student photographer in University Marketing and Communication. Zacks is a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Upstage, the Inclusive Theatre Group, and the Intercultural Leadership Council. She is president of Shalom CCU, Coastal Carolina’s first and only Jewish student organization, which she co-founded in 2020. She plans to move to New York City after graduation to pursue a career in acting and teach mind-body and meditation practices.


Christopher Hoofnagle hails from Rock Hill, S.C., where he attended Northwestern High School. He majors in theatre with a minor in film and production studies. While at CCU, he has earned a place on the Dean’s List for five semesters. Hoofnagle plans to pursue a career as an actor/screenwriter.



Jennifer Bien is a B.F.A. visual communications design major and marketing minor from Lynbrook, N.Y. She is in the honors program and has been named on both the President’s List and the Dean’s List. Bien is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Her design was chosen as the official logo for the 20th anniversary of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. She has also designed several flyers and T-shirts for an annual fundraiser supporting the Nassau County Firefighters-Operation Wounded Warrior. After graduation, she plans to move back to New York and start a career in the graphic design field.

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