2021 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
MASTER OF ACCOUNTANCY
Michael Stearns is from Elmira, N.Y. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Coastal Carolina University in May 2020, he returned to pursue his Master of Accountancy degree. Stearns worked as a graduate assistant in the accounting department during the fall and spring semesters and assisted professors with their classes during the challenging COVID-19 environment. He was the recipient of the Dr. Karen Maguire Scholarship award. After graduation, Stearns will work in the forensic and integrity services department for Ernst & Young in New York City, one of the "Big Four" public accounting firms. He also plans to become a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner.
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Lieutenant Commander Nicholas Jackson is from Conway, S.C. He was accepted into the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in 2018, but deferred admission due to being recalled to active duty for the U.S. Navy. Upon returning to the U.S., Jackson began online studies but was once again recalled to active duty. He served as the Installation Comptroller for Camp Lemonnier Djibouti, East Africa, while continuing to complete his MBA coursework online. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement. Upon graduation, Jackson will return to the Veteran Health Administration, where he serves as a registered nurse with plans of completing his doctoral studies. He aspires to lead medical operations, incorporating diversity and inclusion, and addressing disparities and inequalities throughout the health care enterprise.
Danielle Spencer is from Aynor, S.C., and is majoring in accounting. While at Coastal Carolina University, Spencer made the President’s List for three semesters and the Dean’s List for four semesters. She is a recipient of the S.C. Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, the CCU President’s Scholar Award, the Horry County Higher Education Commission Academic Excellence Scholarship, the CCU Palmetto Scholarship, and the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration’s Dean’s Excellence Scholarship. She is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi. After graduation, Spencer plans to move back to her hometown of Manassas, Va., to be closer to family and start her accounting career.
Logan Miller is from Wapakoneta, Ohio. He is an economics major and is also enrolled in the PGA Golf Management program. Miller is in the Economics and PGM clubs. He earned the Presidential Scholarship. Miller is working full time as a certified personal coach with GOLFTEC. After graduation, he plans to pursue his MBA at CCU.
Somer Dalla-Bona is a finance major from Sunshine Coast, Australia. She made the President’s List every semester during her undergraduate career. While competing on the women's tennis team, she was awarded Player to Watch, First Team (singles), First Team (doubles), and Player of the Week multiple times in the Sun Belt Conference. After graduation, Dalla-Bona plans to pursue a graduate degree at Colorado State University, and then permanently relocate back to Australia.
HOSPITALITY, RESORT, AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT
Hayden Crumback is a hospitality, resort, and tourism management major from Elkridge, Md. He made the President’s List every semester since transferring to Coastal Carolina University as a junior in 2019. Crumback is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and the Student Executive Leaders program. After graduation, Crumback will work as a front desk agent at Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, S.C.; he aspires to own and operate a resort.
Anaiya Moore is from Columbia, S.C. She is majoring in management with a concentration in operations and supply chain management, and is minoring in hospitality, resort, and tourism management. She volunteers for the Rape Crisis Center, is president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Rho Pi Chapter, president of CCU’s NAACP chapter, a Wall Fellow, a Jackson Scholar, and was involved in several other campus organizations. Moore’s goal is to positively impact her community and provide a spark of leadership in others to make long-lasting solutions to some of society's most complex issues.
Mayleigh Flanigan is from Myrtle Beach, S.C., and is a marketing major with a minor in hospitality, resort, and tourism management. She is a Wall Fellow, and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the National Society of Leadership and Success, Student Executive Leaders, and the Floyd Family Mentoring Program. Flanigan also made the President’s List from 2017 to 2020. After graduation, she will move to Florida to pursue a real estate career and build her event management career working with an international consulting firm.
Gupta College of Science
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN COASTAL MARINE AND WETLAND STUDIES
Katie Maddox hails from St. Simon, Ga. In 2018, she earned a bachelor’s degree in ecology from the University of Georgia’s Odom School of Ecology. Maddox is the recipient of the Franklin H. and Virginia M. Spivey Graduate Student Scholarship and the Bill Terrell Graduate Research Grant from the Georgia Ornithological Society. Upon completion her master’s degree, under the direction of Professor Chris Hill, Maddox plans to pursue a career as an avian research biologist with a state or non-governmental agency, while placing a heavy emphasis on community outreach and education.
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN SPORT MANAGEMENT
Derrick Lessor is completing his master’s degree in sport management. He came to Coastal Carolina University after earning a bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University. While at CCU, Lessor served as a graduate assistant for club sports, which included supervising more than 1,200 students, 23 clubs, and coordinating six athletics training facilities. He recently completed a special project for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Lessor has consistently exceeded expectations, and there is no doubt he will continue to do so as he completes his master’s degree. He plans to work in university recreation settings in the future.
SANTEE COOPER MASTER OF SCIENCE IN INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY
Kenneth Rabon was born and raised in Conway, S.C. He will graduate with his master’s degree in information systems technology in 2021. He completed his bachelor’s degree in computer science at CCU in 2016. He made the Dean’s List and President’s List as an undergraduate student. Rabon also worked as a computer science tutor as an undergraduate and was a member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon honor society. Rabon has worked as a programmer analyst at Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority since earning his bachelor’s degree and throughout the master’s degree program. He plans to continue to work in the technology field post-graduation and explore other graduate programs.
Farruhjon Turgunov is from Angren, Uzbekistan, and immigrated into the United States in the first half of 2007. Not having a grasp of what was going on due to the language barrier, he steadily progressed with the help of the English to Speakers of Other Languages program. During his time at Myrtle Beach High School, Turgunov excelled in higher level courses. Upon graduating high school in 2017, he enrolled at CCU to pursue a bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and biology. He made the Dean’s List every semester and recently did research on the symmetries of modulo in Fibonacci numbers. Upon graduating, he plans to find a job related to mathematics and biology and pursue a master’s degree in mathematics.
Ben Pfingstler is from DuBois, Pa., and attended DuBois Area High School. He achieved President’s List or Dean’s List honors each year at CCU. He was involved in the Department of Physics and Engineering Science as both a tutor and a learning assistant in addition to completing a minor in applied mathematics. He conducted research on spinel vanadates with Professor Scott Carr in the interest of learning the magnetic, electric, and structural properties of AlV2O4 and ZnV2O4.
Sara Nibar has excelled in all aspects of her experience at CCU. She has repeatedly made both the Dean’s List and President’s List. The chemistry department has honored her as a freshman with Best in General Chemistry, as a sophomore with Undergraduate of the Year, and, upon her graduation, as the 2021 Student of the Year in biochemistry. She has led her peers as president of the Biochemistry and Chemistry Club, and vice president of the research-oriented Collaborative Learning Initiative in Molecular Biology. In her research, she has explored the structural aspects of small regulatory RNA molecules that play a role in streptococcal infections, leading to necrotizing fasciitis, and presented her findings at regional scientific conferences. She has received support from the NIH–funded INBRE summer research program and through a Women in STEM Fellowship. She plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in endocrinology.
Wesley Caudle came to CCU from Hartsville, S.C. In addition to completing his biology major, Caudle earned a minor in chemistry. He has been on the Dean’s List or President’s List each semester. Caudle has been a very active member of the Department of Biology, preparing materials for microbiology lab and participating in the local chapter of the national biological honor society. He also has been treasurer of CCU’s Bed-to-Bedside Club, which provides additional training for students interested in medicine. Caudle has conducted research with Professor Fang Ju Lin, investigating whether gut microbiota influence the effects of Alzheimer’s disease using a fruit-fly model. Outside of CCU, he has volunteered at Conway Medical Center and worked as a technician in the intensive care unit. Caudle plans to attend medical school to become a physician.
Maura Bramlitt hails from Landisville, Pa., and attended Hempfield High School. While at Coastal Carolina University, she has been named to the President’s List for two semesters and the Dean’s List for four semesters. Bramlitt completed her research with Professor Drew Budner, studying the presence of pesticides in wildflower honey using headspace solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. She is a dedicated member of the Chemistry Club. Her service has also been invaluable to the department as a laboratory assistant, tutor, and office assistant. She plans to explore career opportunities in chemistry.
Gavin Bailey had always known that he wanted to get into the computer science field. Being from Myrtle Beach, S.C., pursing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Coastal Carolina University was an obvious choice. His work ethic and dedication to knowledge is reflected in his spot on the President’s List after each of his eight semesters. For the last two years of his under-graduate career, Bailey has done research through the University for Los Alamos National Laboratory, researching cluster computing and machine learning. He plans to pursue his interest in machine learning by attending graduate school or working for a company such as Tesla or SpaceX.
Gage Campbell is from Conway, S.C., and graduated from Carolina Forest High School in 2010. He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps with a combat job; after four years, he left the military and transitioned to civilian status. He went through various jobs, such as security and construction, before attending college. He found learning was not only something he enjoyed but also helped him with transitioning from the military. He initially attended college in Florida, where he was on the President's List; he then transferred to CCU and has since been on both the Dean's List and the President's List three times each. Following graduation, Campbell will work at an engineering firm.
EXERCISE AND SPORT SCIENCE
Nathen Andrews is an exercise and sport science major from Uniontown, Pa. As a Coastal Carolina University Honors student, Andrews studied the effects of blood flow restriction on carbohydrate and fat usage during cycling exercise, as well as muscle activation and oxygenation during knee extension exercise. This work was accepted for presentation at the American College of Sports Medicine’s national conference in 2020 and the southeast regional conference in 2021. Andrews also worked for University Recreation and completed an internship at Performance and Rehabilitation Physical Therapy in Myrtle Beach. He has made President’s List or Dean’s List every semester at CCU. He will begin working on his doctorate in physical therapy at Ohio University this summer.
Ryan Grant is originally from Massillon, Ohio. After relocating to Myrtle Beach six years ago, he completed the physical therapy assistant program at Horry-Georgetown Technical College, where he also serves as a tutor. Grant works as a physical therapy assistant at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center and Progressive Physical Therapy in Myrtle Beach. He made the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for three semesters and has a perfect 4.0 GPA. After graduation, he plans to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.
Mason Beattie is from Seneca, S.C., and is an information systems major with a minor in languages and intercultural studies. While at CCU, he made the President’s List for six semesters and the Dean’s List for one semester. He was also awarded the 2021 Outstanding Student of the Year for the information systems major, and he was the 2018 Sophomore of the Year for the languages and intercultural studies department. He is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and he is also an information systems tutor for the computer science department. Beattie’s honors thesis is a translation application titled EZ-Translate and will be used as a translation service while within another desktop application. His thesis is being assisted by Professor Paul Cerkez. Beattie plans to work in the field of digital forensics as a malware analyst, with long-term goals of being an incident responder.
Colton Simms is from Florence, S.C., and attended West Florence High School. Simms made the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for one semester. Simms is also graduating magna cum laude. Simms is a member of Colleges Against Cancer, Young Life, and the international honor society Upsilon Pi Epsilon. Simms tutored other students in the Department of Computing Sciences and expresses that the ability to do so is what allowed him to thrive in the pursuit of knowledge in addition to intellect and good work ethic. Simms was a recipient of the SC LIFE Scholarship and Teal Scholar Award during his three years at CCU. Simms plans to enter the workforce immediately after graduation, using the knowledge he gained at CCU.
James Klein arrived at Coastal Carolina University in 2017 and has been named to the President’s List or Dean’s List every semester, while maintaining the President’s Scholarship throughout his undergraduate career. He was a laboratory assistant in the Environmental Quality Lab in 2018 and 2019. Klein studied tropical ecosystems at James Cook University in Australia in 2019. His thesis work involves assessing oyster growth to temperature and salinity conditions to determine a seasonal influence on growth. After graduation, Klein plans to pursue a master’s degree in coastal sciences as a research assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.
Susan Gordon will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing this semester. She is a strong student, a professional and kind-hearted individual, and leads by quiet example. She is originally from Ireland, then moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where she has resided for the last 20 years. She received her initial nursing degree from Horry-Georgetown Technical College and has worked in a variety of settings, including trauma intensive care, telemetry, and as a school nurse. Gordon is self-motivated and has a strong desire to learn. She was creative in completing her community health practicum project by teaching CCU students in an online course about lifestyle management during the pandemic. Her most recent leadership project focused on hospital-acquired pressure injury prevention. Gordon is married and has three children and a dog. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, going to the beach, and traveling. She is employed as a registered nurse at Conway Medical Center and works for Horry County Schools.
Jessie Mount, a native of Melbourne, Australia, has been named to the President’s List or Dean’s List every semester. She is a member of the women’s tennis team, and she served as an introductory psychology tutor for the department. Her senior thesis examined how the moralization of experiences and parent-child interactions related to life satisfaction. After graduation, Mount plans to attend graduate school at Nichols State University. She will continue to play tennis, but her long-term goal is to become a child psychologist and to work with underprivileged children in rural communities.
Caroline Durham hails from Myrtle Beach, S.C. Every semester since she arrived at CCU, she has been named to the President’s List, except for two semesters when she was named to the Dean’s List. She has also been the recipient of the Coastal Choice Award and the South Carolina Scholars Award. Durham easily balances academic responsibilities with community involvement and leadership. Durham is a Swain Scholar and is in the Honors program, completing her thesis on understanding gun violence. Durham is also a member of TEAL Goes Pink and is the president of Eta Sigma Gamma, the honor society for health education. After graduation, Durham has plans to work as a community health educator before attending graduate school.
RECREATION AND SPORT MANAGEMENT
Caroline Weiss came to Coastal Carolina University from Atlanta, Ga. She is a recreation and sport management major with a minor in marketing. While at CCU, she has managed to stay fully involved within the school’s academic and athletic programs. She has been a member of the women’s soccer team. The fact that Weiss has consistently maintained these accomplishments is a testament to her character and persistent effort. She has worked as a marketing assistant and recently completed her internship with the University’s athletic marketing department. Her future plans include moving to Atlanta to pursue a career with Major League Soccer and sport marketing.
Mikayla Adams was born in Utica, N.Y., and attended Whitesboro High School. She began attending Coastal Carolina University in Fall 2019, where she found her passion for sociology, specifically the ideas and issues surrounding social justice. Adams maintained a place on either the Dean’s List or the President’s List for all four of her semesters at CCU. Upon graduation, Adams plans on obtaining the proper certification to become a parole officer, with the hopes of giving convicted criminals a second chance at life. Adams hopes the knowledge she obtained at CCU can be spread to those who have made mistakes in our society so that they may live successful lives.
HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
Shelley Sasser is a native of Conway, S.C., and is an interdisciplinary studies major with a concentration in neuroscience and forensics and a minor in medical humanities. While at CCU, Sasser hosted shows on WCCU Radio and participated on the Student Conduct Board. She is also a member of the American Sign Language Club as well as the Sociology and Criminology clubs. Sasser is passionate about assisting victims of crime and has given numerous presentations designed to raise awareness of human trafficking throughout Horry, Georgetown, Marion, and Florence counties. She created a curriculum dedicated to assisting health professionals with identification of human trafficking victims in clinical settings and has also completed training seminars in crisis counseling, victimology, and ethics while volunteering with the Family Justice Center in Georgetown, S.C. Sasser recently began a graduate-level internship with a San Diego-based nonprofit that specializes in offering legal and support services to survivors of human trafficking.
Sasser’s scholarships and awards include the Butler Law Firm Book Scholarship, Coastal Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship, Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, Christopher A. Calhoun Scholarship, LIFE Scholarship, Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship, Coastal Transfer Scholar Award, and Women in Philanthropy and Leadership Endowed Scholarship. She also won first place in the 2019 SCTEA Student Community Involvement Competition and was named an All-State Academic Team member.
Upon graduation, Sasser will remain at CCU to pursue an MBA with a concentration in commercial and investment real estate. She hopes to obtain the knowledge to refurbish dilapidated living facilities, counteract neighborhood disadvantage, and create housing opportunities for struggling families. She plans to pursue a dual-M.D./Ph.D. program wherein she can study health policy and specialize in neurology, pediatrics, or emergency medicine. When not studying, Sasser enjoys performing live music across the Grand Strand and in other locations throughout the Southeast.
Spadoni College of Education
MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING
Kira Mackenzie Hamilton is from Conway, S.C., where she attended Conway High School. As a Coastal Carolina University undergraduate, she majored in history and minored in political science before joining the MAT program. Hamilton was awarded the Corey B. Prather Memorial Scholarship based on her senior research project Coming to Carolina: Community and Migration to Conway-Myrtle Beach, 1980-2000. She was also awarded a South Carolina Teaching Fellowship, and taught courses for the CCU’s LIFE Program as an MAT student. She plans on becoming a high school social studies teacher for either Horry or Georgetown County.
MASTER OF EDUCATION IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Sean McLoughlin is a Master of Educational Leadership student originally from Long Island, N.Y. A teacher at St. James Intermediate, McLoughlin serves as the president of the School Improvement Council, and on the Horry County Schools Influencers Team. He was selected as a finalist for Teacher of the Year, and named Sparks Toyota’s March 2020 Teacher of the Month. McLoughlin serves as a lead teacher, organizing professional development, and oversees an after-school tutoring program. He also is a volunteer firefighter/first responder for Horry County Fire Rescue in the Carolina Forest area. Prior to moving to Myrtle Beach, McLoughlin was a volunteer firefighter/EMT in New York. McLoughlin plans to pursue a career as an assistant principal or in a leadership role, and to continue to advance his learning experiences in education.
MASTER OF EDUCATION IN INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY
Originally from New York, Carl Clark is a National Board Certified middle school science teacher in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Hartwick College and decided to pursue a master’s degree in instructional technology at Coastal Carolina University to be on the cutting edge of education. His dedication to teaching and his leadership is reflected in his academic performance and his relentless commitment to growing as an educator and leader for his students, colleagues, and community. After graduation, he plans to continue inspiring K-12 students in science, advancing his instructional technology education, and pursuing freelance work in instructional design.
MASTER OF EDUCATION IN LANGUAGE, LITERACY, AND CULTURE
Jessica Vaughn is pursuing a Master of Education in language, literacy, and culture. Originally from Nashville, Tenn., she graduated from Lipscomb University in 2016 with a degree in elementary education and a minor in Spanish. At Lipscomb, she was honored as the Student Teacher of the Year. Vaughn has taught both third and fourth grade, and is now a fourth grade English language arts teacher and an English as a second language teacher at Butler Academy in Hartsville, S.C. She has also published a literature review in the National Journal for Middle Grades Reform. After graduating, Vaughn plans to continue teaching elementary English language arts, advocating for community literacy resources, and inspiring young readers.
MASTER OF EDUCATION IN SPECIAL EDUCATION
Amanda Scogin is from Georgetown, S.C., and earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the College of Charleston in 1993. After graduating, she returned to her hometown to teach and raise a family. She has been married for 26 years and is the proud mother of 22-year-old twin sons (both are graduating from college this year) and a 15-year-old daughter, who is in her first year of high school. Scogin has taught in several self-contained programs, including resource, mild to moderate, and preschool disabilities. She serves on numerous school committees and holds several leadership positions, including Special Education Team Lead, chair of the School Improvement Council, member of the Title I committee, CPI district instructor, and member of the Emergency Crisis Team. Scogin plans to use her master’s degree in special education with an emphasis in severe disabilities to better serve her students. She loves being a special education teacher in the elementary Autism program and hopes to continue teaching in this program until she retires.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Tessie Thomas is from Green Sea, S.C., and is majoring in early childhood education. She is president of CCU’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry, and is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. Thomas was a two-year member of the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program and was nominated as the mentor of the year. She has been a member of the President’s List every semester while at CCU. Thomas is a recipient of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program Scholarship, the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, the DeCenzo Family Second President’s Endowed Scholarship, and the CCU Palmetto Scholarship. She will be relocating to Chester, Va., following graduation and her wedding this May. Thomas has accepted a position to teach first grade in Chesterfield County Schools.
Michelle Andrus is from York, S.C. She completed her honors thesis research with Professor Catherine Scott on teaching students about the formation of sound, which resulted in accepted publication in Science and Children. In addition, she presented her research on classroom distractions and their impacts on student learning with Professor Richard Costner at the 2019 SCATE Conference and the 2021 Association for Teacher Education Conference. Andrus is a member of the South Carolina Teaching Fellows, the Coastal Carolina University HTC Honors College, and has been named to the President’s List for seven semesters. She is a recipient of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. While at CCU, she participated in the South Carolina Education Association and the Chanticleer Regiment, and mentored students through both the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program and the LIFE Program. She plans to teach in Georgetown or Horry County, and to attend graduate school.
MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATION
Kamryn K. Kirkpatrick is from Aldie, Va., and is a middle level education major, who will become a licensed middle school teacher in the content areas of social studies and science for fifth through eighth grades. She also is completing a minor in Spanish. Kirkpatrick is a Spanish tutor in the Foreign Language Instructional Center; academic mentor in the LIFE Program; and secretary of the Outdoor Adventure Club. Kirkpatrick has been named to the President’s List for three semesters and the Dean’s List for two semesters. Kirkpatrick plans to teach middle school students in Virginia for a few years before pursuing opportunities to teach abroad in a Department of Defense Education Activity or international school.
Erin Byrnes is a native of Charleston, S.C. She is a physical education major and a Spanish minor. Byrnes has been on the President’s List two semesters and the Dean’s List four semesters. She has received both the South Carolina LIFE and the Dean’s Excellence scholarships. Byrnes has been a member of the Chanticleer Dance team since May 2017, the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program, the student-athlete advisory committee, and other campus and community organizations. She has worked as a student assistant in the dean’s office in the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, as a camp counselor, and as a dance coach. She was a co-presenter last November in the first virtual conference of the South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Byrnes completed her internship at Pee Dee Elementary. She will begin her career teaching physical education and Spanish at Christ Our King-Stella Maris School in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
SPECIAL EDUCATION MULTI-CATEGORICAL
Tyler Gross is a native of Myrtle Beach, S.C. She has been named to both the President’s List and the Dean’s List. Gross is the recipient of a TEACH Grant, South Carolina’s LIFE Scholarship, CCU’s Teal Scholar Award, and the Horry County Higher Education Commission Why I Love CCU Scholarship. She was a 2019-2020 Dyer Fellow, LIFE Program residential mentor, and a member of the HTC Honors College. She participated in Kappa Delta Pi, the Council for Exceptional Children, the South Carolina Education Association, the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program, and the Peer 2 Peer Mentor Program. She also completed field experiences and an internship, amassing more than 250 hours in the field while completing her degree in special education and a minor in criminology
Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts
MASTER OF ARTS IN COMMUNICATION
Madison Dunn is originally from Yale, Va., and attended Southampton Academy for pre-kindergarten through high school. She completed her honors thesis at CCU in 2018 with Professor Deborah Breede in the Department of Communication, Media, and Culture, studying how the themes and topics discussed in the Netflix streaming show 13 Reasons Why could lead young adults to have anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. She then graduated with her bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in new media and digital culture from CCU. As an undergraduate at CCU, Dunn was a part of the social sorority Sigma Sigma Sigma, the honors fraternity Phi Sigma Pi, and is a member of Lambda Pi Eta communication honor society. She also made Dean’s List and President’s List throughout her undergraduate career. Dunn is working toward her master’s degree in communication with a concentration in communication leadership. She is conducting her final thesis on how cult films can provide a sense of identity in the audiences who regularly interact with those films. After graduation, Dunn plans to continue working in the Myrtle Beach area in her marketing job and later pursue a career in film marketing in Atlanta, Ga.
MASTER OF ARTS IN LIBERAL STUDIES
Lindsey Perritt graduated from CCU in Fall 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in women’s and gender studies. A local of Horry County, she chose the MALS program to continue working with CCU's history department and further her studies in history. Perritt's concentration in history is broad, including women in power in Ancient Egypt and studying women throughout numerous historical periods. In 2020, her biographical sketch of suffragist Laura Baker Schnarr was published in the Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists. Perritt's capstone project, Women's Voices, is a podcast focused on retelling historical women’s narratives from a historian’s perspective, with her mentor Professor Shari Orisich. She has also worked two semesters as a graduate assistant in the academic coaching department. Perritt plans to pursue a career in history following graduation.
MASTER OF ARTS IN MUSIC TECHNOLOGY
Mckinley Devilbiss earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance at CCU prior to returning to pursue a master’s degree in music technology. Devilbiss uses his experience in both the performance and technical aspects of music to help the local music community by performing with multiple artists and recording/producing local music. While attending CCU, Devilbiss has been working with the Athenaeum Press on the Gullah Geechee digitization project. His duties include editing hundreds of hours of oral histories, and creating music and sound effects for multiple online virtual tours of historic areas. After graduating, he plans on developing a career as a recording/mixing engineer.
MASTER OF ARTS IN WRITING
Molly Johnson is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Writing program. Originally from Myrtle Beach, S.C., Johnson is a member of both Sigma Tau Delta and Phi Sigma Tau. A nonfiction editor with Waccamaw: A Journal of Contemporary Literature, she is also working on her first book and plans to teach college English after graduating.
ANTHROPOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY
Samantha Balough hails from Lexington, S.C., and is earning a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and geography with a minor in human-environment geography, a certificate in sustainability, and a certificate in geospatial technologies. She is actively involved in sustainability efforts on campus, and works as a member of the Sustain Coastal Green Team. In addition, she is a two-time RISE Georgetown internship recipient and works as a resident adviser in the Woods community. After graduation, Balough plans to pursue a career in environmental advocacy and sustainability.
A double major in graphic design and art history with a certificate in cultural heritage studies, Caitlin Childers is an all-around stellar student who is honored for her excellence in art history. Childers has won numerous scholarships, awards, and accolades, but chief among them is acceptance to the prestigious Summer Seminar of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece, and to an international internship at the Archaeological Museum of Corinth, Greece, both sadly canceled due to COVID-19. Her work ethic and positive attitude benefit all with whom she engages — as an art history tutor for the Department of Visual Arts, an archaeological illustrator for CCU and Brookgreen Gardens, or as an interaction volunteer at the Spartanburg Opportunity Center to benefit the homeless community in Spartanburg.
After devoting six and a half years in the U.S. Air Force, Sarah Bouchard began her career at CCU in 2018 to pursue a double major in art studio and philosophy. Her focus and drive are clearly evident in her outstanding academic record and artistic production. She has been recognized on the President’s List every semester, and has been awarded the Martha Baker Thomas Scholarship and the Carter Aspiring Metalsmith Scholarship. These achievements are all the more impressive in light of her work in the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery and as a studio monitor. Her artwork has been exhibited in the East Carolina University Metals Symposium. After graduation, Bouchard intends to exhibit her series of metal vessels, Breaking Rank, and participate in artist-in-residencies before pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in visual art.
COMMUNICATION, MEDIA, AND CULTURE
Vilmarie Ocasio hails from Manatí, Puerto Rico, and attended Piaget Bilingual Academy. She completed her capstone project with Professor James Everett, studying the constant struggles and mental effects streamers face of frequent inappropriate comments or unsolicited sexually explicit pictures through an online platform. Ocasio is CEO and founder of her nonprofit organization, Community Organization of Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer Inc., and she worked as part of the leadership team in the 2019 Relay for Life. She is a part of the Emma Bowen Foundation, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and Association of Latino Professionals for America. Ocasio has won the Rising Young Latina Award, Sister Isolina Ferré Award for Excellence in Community Service, the 2020 Emma for Influencing, and The Daily Point of Light Award, among others. This spring, she will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in public health. Ocasio plans to continue her career in the communication field and serving others.
DIGITAL CULTURE AND DESIGN
Christopher Enzor, hailing from Garden City, S.C., has been a remarkable student in digital culture and design since his first semester on campus. Beyond his regularly strong work in his digital culture and design classes, Enzor made the Dean’s List or President’s List nearly every semester. In pursuing his digital culture and design major, Enzor showed a consistent interest and skillsets in designing interactive narratives, such as for video games. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in video game design and development.
Originally from Dillon, S.C., Lily Bryant is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and minors in marketing and in women’s and gender studies. She is a member of the Triota honor society and the Phi Eta Sigma honor society, and was named a research fellow by both the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the HTC Honors College. She is the recipient of several scholarships, including the President’s Scholar Award, the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, and the Women in Philanthropy and Leadership Endowed Scholarship, among many others. After graduation, she plans to work for a nonprofit with a focus on social justice while applying to graduate school.
Amber Ford is an award-winning student that is always setting the bar in her classes. She has been recognized by the American Advertising Federation for her outstanding designs. Ford is a recipient of several academic and leadership scholarships and has been on the Dean’s List every semester at CCU.
Emily Hoffman is the Department of History’s 2020-21 Outstanding Senior of the Year. She is from Conway, S.C., and is a history major and a social studies minor. She transferred to CCU in Fall 2019 and has been on the President’s List each semester. Hoffman is the recipient of the Provost’s Scholarship, the S.C. LIFE Scholarship, the Coley B. Prather Scholarship, and the James Branham History Award. She is a member of Women’s Club Soccer and Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society. Following graduation, she hopes to pursue a career either as a librarian or working in museums.
INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES
Morgan-McKay Hoppman is from Dalzell, S.C., and is the Intelligence and National Security Studies Senior of the Year. An Honors student in the intelligence and national security program with a minor in language and intercultural studies, Hoppmann has demonstrated excellence both inside and outside of the classroom. She has been a recipient of the CCU Presidential Scholarship, as well as regularly making the President’s List. Hoppmann has pursued additional educational opportunities outside the classroom as an Edwards College Fellow and as a participant in international academic conferences, such as the International Student Week in Pakistan. Beyond her exemplary pursuit of knowledge, Hoppmann has been a member of the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief, Women in Intelligence and National Security Studies, and the Coastal Board Gaming Club. After graduation, Hoppmann hopes to pursue a career in public service.
LANGUAGES AND INTERCULTURAL STUDIES
Susanna Hansel is a double major in languages and intercultural studies and BFA theatre arts from Snellville, Ga. While at CCU, she served as the social media chair for the German Club and was a member of both Upstage and Birds and Bees. She has been a member of Alpha Mu Gamma, the national language honor society, since 2019. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester while at CCU. Hansel has contributed to the LIS department through her involvement in High School Language Day and German Conversation Table, as well as being a German tutor in the ILRC. She has received the Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship every year while at CCU. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in German studies, then earn a doctorate and go into academia.
Since beginning his studies at Coastal Carolina University in 2017, Ethan Toavs has achieved the President’s List for four semesters and the Dean’s List for two semesters. Toavs comes from Manassas, Va., and has majored in music, with piano as his primary instrument and a focus on classical composition. With Professor Donald Sloan, he completed a senior degree project containing 23 original music compositions — the most significant of which is his Aurora, Op. 7, for symphony orchestra, double choir, Chinese chamber orchestra, and electronics. Toavs was a recipient of the Kleber Scholarship. After graduation, Toavs will be attending the Eastman School of Music to become a music composer for films and media.
Lucken J. Wilson is from Conway, S.C. Lucken will complete the Jackson Scholars program this semester, and he will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He plans to attend law school and focus on civil rights law and international human rights.
Lukas Little is a senior from Longs, S.C. He is a political science major with minors in pre-law and global studies. An exceptional student with quick wit and an excellent sense of humor, he has participated in numerous activities on campus, from being a fire safety inspector to a leader on the South Carolina Student Legislature team, and has studied abroad in both Norway and Ghana. Little plans on attending law school after graduation.
Richard G. Bertolone is from Michigan, and has previously earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Oakland University and an MBA from Eastern Michigan University. He has wide interests in religious studies, but especially in early Christianity, Judaism, biblical archaeology, and philosophy of religion. After completing the religious studies degree, he plans to pursue a role in religious education.
THEATRE ARTS (B.F.A.)
Originally from Denver, Colo., where she attended Denver School of the Arts, Aliza Saper is majoring in theatre arts with a concentration in physical theatre. Saper appeared on the President’s List for five consecutive semesters. She has performed in CCU’s Mainstage productions of She Kills Monsters and Puppapalooza, and devised original work as part of her internship at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. In 2018, Saper founded Tongues in Common, an inclusive poetry and spoken word literary event that occurs monthly at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach. After graduation, she plans to continue to devise new work and promote social justice.
Originally from Beaufort, S.C., where she attended Beaufort High School, Stacy Jackson is majoring in theatre with a minor in women’s and gender studies. Jackson appeared on the President’s List three semesters, and the Dean’s List three semesters, and was accepted into the HTC Honors College. She has been active in People Respecting Individual Diversity and Equality (PRIDE) as vice president, the African American Initiative for Men (AAIM), Concert Choir, and Upstage. Jackson plans to pursue a career as an actor/playwright.