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University Honors Program

The University Honors Program congratulates its class of 2017, its largest graduating class in program history.

About the 2017 graduates

  • The Honors Class of 2017 boasts 77 students earning a total of 82 degrees.
  • Each graduate has completed a rigorous curriculum composed of at  least 24 credit hours of honors work, including a final honors thesis/project achieving a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50.
  • The cumulative GPA of the spring and summer graduating class is 3.78.
  • Students presented their work in public forums more than 85 times at conferences or research competitions, and have earned numerous awards.
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Kathryn Albers is a theatre arts major from Mason, Ohio.

Brooke Anderson is a marine science major with a minor in mathematics. She received the Academic Honors Excellence Award in Fall 2013 and the Rebecca Thomas Jones Memorial Scholarship. Anderson has presented at the Celebration of Inquiry. Her honors thesis is “Was 2015 the Summer of the Shark? Evidence of the CCU Shark Project.” After graduating from Coastal, she plans to attend graduate school.

Cailin Aucoin is a music major in the teacher prep track. She has been awarded the Provost’s Scholarship and South Carolina Palmetto Fellows Scholarship. Aucoin has presented at the Celebration of Inquiry. Her honors recital is titled “A Golden Afternoon.”

Kaitlyn Benson is a biology major with a chemistry and psychology minor from Myrtle Beach, S.C. While at CCU, she has served as the president of Doctors of Coastal, CCU’s pre-medical club; president of the University Honors Program Activities Club; a resident adviser; a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success; and a CINO Ignite mentor. Benson has been named to the President’s List for seven semesters and received the President’s Scholar Award and Hal Orton Endowed Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school to become a practicing physician.

Olivia Campbell, a native of Fredericksburg, Va., is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She has served as secretary for the international honors society in psychology, Psi Chi. As a research assistant in the Department of Psychology, she has worked in research labs of three psychology faculty members and has co-authored two professional research conference presentations. Her senior thesis was designed to investigate heritability of the dark triad of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. She completed an internship during which she utilized applied behavioral analysis techniques with children diagnosed with autism and was offered a position as a therapist. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and study personality disorders and psychopathy.

Olivia Cannon is from Oak Ridge, Tenn. She is graduating with a major in marine science and minor in biology. While at CCU, she has served as secretary of CCU Pride. Cannon has been named to the Dean’s List every semester. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school in order to earn a Ph.D. and specialize in marine fungi to perform field research.

Ashley Canter is an English major with a minor in new media and digital culture and in women’s and gender studies. She has completed the Degree in Three program and will receive the Trustee Award. While at CCU, she has served as secretary of Sigma Tau Delta English honors society and as a peer leader and tutor in the Writing Center. She is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa honors society, Phi Eta Sigma national honors society, Sigm Tau Delta English honors society and Iota Iota Iota women’s studies honors society. She has been awarded the LIFE Scholarship and the Freshman Success Award scholarships. She has presented research in both the Celebration of Inquiry and the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree and Ph.D. in composition and rhetoric. Canter’s honors thesis is titled “Gendered Narratives Written on Digital Representations of the Body.”

Francesca Caravella is a hospitality, resort and tourism management major from Fitchburg, Mass.

Samyra Casterlow is an exercise and sport science major from Greensboro, N.C. While at CCU, she has served in a leadership role as a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and was a Jackson Scholar in addition to serving as captain of the cheerleading squad. After graduation, she plans to apply to physician assistant schools. Casterlow’s honors research is titled “Foam Rolling on Different Tissues.”

Allyson Clark is a recreation and sport management major from Wildwood, N.J.

Jesse Clark is a marine science major from Frederick, Md. While at CCU, he has been named to both the President’s List and the Dean’s List. He has complete the Degree in Three program and will receive the Trustee Award at graduation. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a graduate degree in physical oceanography. Clark’s honors thesis is titled “Tropical Cyclone Intensity within the Atlantic Ocean Basin and Carolina Region Boundary from 1995 to 2016.”

Marinda Cornett is a marine science major with a minor in biology from Burlington, Ky. While at CCU, she has been named to both the President’s List and the Dean’s List as well as being a recipient of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority Scholarship. Cornett’s honors thesis is titled “Use of Fin Rays to Estimate Age.”

Madison Crockett is a communication major with a concentration in journalism and a pre-law and new media and digital culture minor. She is from Myrtle Beach, S.C. While at CCU, she has held leadership roles as president of Upsilon Eta and vice president of Phi Beta Lambda. She has been named to both the President’s List and the Dean’s List and has been awarded the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship for the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a master’s degree in mass communication and a degree in law.

Madison Dahle is a marine science major from Ellicott City, Md. While at CCU, she was a member of the Phi Sigma Pi honor fraternity, Phi Eta Sigma national honor society and Sigma Alpha Pi, the national society for leadership and success. After graduation, Dahle will be attending Johns Hopkins University
to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching with a certification in chemistry. Her honors thesis is titled “Evaluation of Method Detection Limits for Potential Phosphate Protocols for Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring at Coastal Carolina University.”

Whitney Daniels is a vocal music performance major with a dramatic arts minor from Myrtle Beach, S.C. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Golden Key International Honour Society. She has been awarded the Horry County Higher Education Commission Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship, the Coastal Carolina University Opera Award, the Millus Award, and is the outstanding student in the Department of Music. After graduation, Daniels plans to attend graduate school to further her education in vocal performance.

Cassandra Davin is a marine science major with a Spanish minor from Lancaster, N.Y. She is a member of the Order of Omega and a recipient of the Provost’s Scholarship. While at CCU, she traveled to the University San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador for a study abroad opportunity. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in environmental science policy in Europe. Davin’s honors thesis is titled “Fishing for Solutions: Governance, Society, and Fish Stocks in the Galapagos Islands.”

Erika DeSalvio is a marine science major with a minor in biology from Adamstown, Md. While at Coastal Carolina University, she was named to the Dean’s List as well as the President’s List. After graduation, she plans to be a marine mammal training intern at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. DeSalvio’s honors thesis is titled “Estimating the Abundance and Range of the Northern South Carolina Estuarine System Stock of Bottlenose Dolphins.”

Kerry Dittmeier is a public health major from Tokyo, Japan. She is a Swain Scholar and a member of the Student Leader Council, Phi Eta Sigma national honor society and the National Society for Leadership and Success. While at CCU, she has achieved the President’s List and Dean’s List recognitions and is a Society for Public Health Education National Case Study Competition winner. She has been awarded the University Scholar Award, the President’s Scholar Award, the Honors Excellence Award and the Kenneth Swain Scholarship. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in public health with a focus on global health. Her honors thesis is titled “Generational Perceptions of Homelessness.”

Rachel Drummond is an intelligence and national security major with a criminology minor from La Plata, Md. While attending CCU, she served as the vice president of the Order of the Sword and Shield National Honor Society and records officer for the Women in Intelligence and National Security. She has achieved the Dean’s List over multiple semesters; been invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Fraternity and the National Society of Leadership and Success; and has been awarded the Rising Intelligence Analyst Award, the University Scholar Award, the Teal Scholar Award and the University Honors Program Global Enhancement Award. She has presented at several undergraduate research competitions.

Christopher Durand is an accounting major from Warwick, R.I. He has been named to the Dean’s List for several semesters. Durand plans to continue his education after graduation by entering graduate school, possibly at Coastal Carolina University.

Georgia Ford is a marine science major from Murrells Inlet, S.C. While at CCU, she has achieved Dean’s List recognition and has been awarded the Provost’s Scholarship. After graduation, Ford plans to continue her education by doing research on coral reef ecology and possibly pursuing graduate school. Her honors thesis is on the stomach contents of invasive lionfish located in Discovery Bay, Jamaica.

Kara Funk is a hospitality, resort and tourism management major from Guffey, Colo.

Nelda Glaze is an elementary education major from Surfside Beach, S.C. While at CCU, she participated in the Undergraduate Research Competition. She was awarded an Horry County Higher Education Commission Leadership Award, the President’s Scholar Award, the South Carolina Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, and the Nancy and Cathcart Smith Scholarship. After graduation, Glaze plans to continue her studies and work toward a master’s degree in education literacy at Coastal. Her honors thesis is titled “The Relationship between Assigned Homework and its Purposes."

Caitlyn Goodwin is an exercise and sport science major from Georgetown, S.C. While at CCU, she has presented her academic work at the Undergraduate Research Competition. After graduation, she plans to continue her education and work toward a doctorate in physical therapy. Her honors thesis is titled “Foam Rolling Duration for Greatest Improvements in Range of Motion.”

Marissa Green comes to CCU from Delran, N.J. She is a finance major who has earned President’s List honors every semester while at Coastal. Green’s  academic awards include completing the Degree in Three program, Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, the President’s Scholar Award, University Scholar Award and the Trustee Award. After graduation, she plans to earn the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority series 6 and 7 licenses as well as the North American Securities Administrators Association series 65 license. The title of her honors thesis is “Dallas Sales and Networking Conference: The first milestone in my path to becoming a successful financial advisor.”

Victoria Green is an English major with a creative writing minor. She comes to Coastal Carolina University from Liberty, S.C. While at CCU, she has served as president of Sigma Tau Delta English honors society, was the winner of the Paul Rice Poetry Broadside Series competition, and was awarded the Teal Scholarship and the LIFE Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to continue her education by attending a Master of Fine Arts program for poetry and creative nonfiction. Green’s honors thesis is titled “Collaborative Poetry and the Single-Subject Manuscript.”

Morgan Hammer comes to Coastal Carolina University from Round Hill, Va. She is a double major in accounting and management. Her academic accomplishments at CCU include the Beta Alpha Psi accounting honor society, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. Hammer has been offered a job working at Ernst & Young, which she will begin after graduation.

Britni Harsh is a special education major from Hagerstown, Md. While at CCU, she has served as president and secretary for the Council for Exceptional Children. She has been named to both the President’s List and the Dean’s List for academic achievement. Her scholarships include the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, the Teal Scholar Award and the University Scholar Award. After graduation, Harsh plans to either attend Vanderbilt University to pursue a master’s degree in deaf education or stay in Horry County to teach in special education. Her honors thesis is “A Literature Review of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Culture.”

Rachael Houston comes to Coastal Carolina University from Manassas, Va. She is a double major in political science and communication. While at CCU, she has served as president of Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society and is a Dyer Fellow in the Edgar Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy. Scholarships include the Teal Scholar Award, LIFE Scholarship, J.O. Baldwin Scholarship, the Nancy and Cathcart Smith Scholarship, and the Society of Satellite Professionals International Scholarship. After graduation, Houston plans to pursue a Ph.D. in American politics with a focus in political communication. Her honors thesis is “Elite Perceptions of Media Reporting and Citizen Engagement in Southern City Governments.”

Leandra Hurlbert is an exercise and sport science major from Ladson, S.C. She plans to continue to work as a competitive gymnastics coach until she receives certification to work as a clinical exercise physiologist. Hurlbert’s honors thesis is titled “Relationship of body composition to counter-movement vertical jump characteristics across loaded conditions.”

George Hyde is a political science major and business minor from Olney, Md. He is a member of the Phi Sigma Pi honor fraternity, as well as the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He has remained on the Dean’s List for all semesters at CCU except for one, which he achieved President’s List. He was awarded the Provost’s Scholarship and has maintained its requirements throughout his time at CCU. He plans to attend law school after graduation. Hyde’s honors research thesis examines the workings of presidential unilateral action.

Ashlyn Inman is a musical theatre major and communication minor from Turlock, Calif. She is a member of Alpha Psi Omega theater honor society and has made the President’s List every semester. Inman performed in the New York Showcase during spring break with her peers in the Department of Theatre as her capstone project.

Kelly Kapur is from Charlotte, N.C. She is a musical theatre major and has served as president of the Alpha Psi Omega theater honor society. She has achieved President’s List for the majority of her semesters spent at CCU. She has been awarded the President’s Scholar Award, the University Scholar Award and the Theatre Performance Award. Kapur performed at the New York Showcase during spring break with her class.

Tyler Keane is a mathematics major with a statistics minor from Myrtle Beach, S.C. He has been recognized on the Dean’s List for many of his semesters spent at CCU. Additionally, he has been on the Big South Conference Presidential Honor Roll and the Sun Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll. Keane received the Provost’s Scholarship and the South Carolina LIFE Enhancement Scholarship. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in data analytics for an NFL team. Keane’s honors thesis is titled “A Case Study with Massey’s Method.”

Thomas Kilbride is from Hackettstown, N.J. He is a health communication major with a public health minor. He has been recognized on both the President’s List and the Dean’s List during his time at CCU. After graduation, he would like to work toward a master’s or doctorate in health communication or hospital and marketing communication. Kilbride’s honor thesis is titled “The Media’s Impact on Eating Disorders in Young Males.”

Dillon King is from North Myrtle Beach, S.C. She is graduating with dual degrees in marine science and biochemistry. While at Coastal Carolina University, King has worked as a learning assistant for the Department of Chemistry. She has been recognized on the President’s List and Dean’s List. She waawarded the Coastal Scholar Award, the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship, the South Carolina Life Enhancement Scholarship, the Horry County Higher Education Commission Leadership Award, the Horry County Solid Waste Authority Environmental Scholarship and the Marc Chaplin Memorial Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in marine science. Her honors thesis is titled “Abundance and Distribution of Microplastic Particles in Winyah Bay, S.C.”

Bailey Kirkland is a psychology major with a Spanish minor from Columbia, S.C. She has participated in the Undergraduate Research Competition, presenting “Aromatherapy Effects on Anxiety Levels.”

David Klett is a marine science major with a biology minor from Knoxville, Tenn. While at CCU, he has achieved both President’s List and Dean’s List. He is a recipient of the President’s Scholarship. He has presented at the Undergraduate Research Competition. He plans to attend graduate school and study marine biology. Klett’s honors thesis is titled “Cardiac Morphology of Deep Sea Sharks.”

Emily Klouda is a marine science major from Ravenna, Ohio. While at CCU, she has achieved both the President’s List and the Dean’s List, as well as being awarded the Provost’s Scholarship, the Ben Dillon Scholarship, the CCU University Scholar Award and the U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete Award. After graduation, Klouda plans to find a job or internship in the area of marine chemistry or physical oceanography to gain more experience before applying to graduate school. Her honors thesis is titled “Evaluation of Phosphate Method Detection Limits for CCU’s Water Quality Monitoring Program.”

Madeleine Lee is from Fredericksburg, Va. She is a marine science major with a minor in applied mathematics. While at CCU, Lee was awarded the College of Science Study Abroad Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school. Lee’s honors thesis is titled “Nutrient Cycles: The flow of nitrogen through a storm water retention pond.”

Lauren Lettiere is an exercise and sport science major from Commack, N.Y. While at CCU, she served as secretary of the National Society of Leadership and Success as well as a mentor in the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program. She is the recipient of the Provost’s Scholarship and has been named to the Dean’s List. She plans to attend graduate school for a doctoral physical therapy program. Lettiere’s honors thesis is titled “The Effects of Externally Paced, Velocity Specific Resistance Training on Power and Performance.”

Tyler MacDonald is a psychology major from Churchville, Pa.

Kaileigh McCabe is an art studio major with an art history minor from Rock Hill, S.C. While at CCU, she has been the recipient of both the President’s List and the Dean’s List as well as receiving the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, the President’s Scholar Award, the Martha Baker Thomas Endowed Scholarship, the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts Board of Visitors Annual Scholarship and the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts. McCabe’s honors thesis was a senior show at the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery.

Jacqueline McMillen is a marine science major from Lagrange, Ky.

Eric Miller is a management major from Hawley, Pa.

Kailey Mixer is a musical theatre major from San Diego, Calif. While at CCU, she has been named to the President’s List and was awarded the Kleber Scholarship. After graduation, Mixer plans to move to New York City.

Kristin Mormelo is a management major from Barnegat, N.J.

Michael Muir is a marine science major from Frostburg, Md. While at Coastal Carolina University, he received theSenatorial Scholarship and the CCU
Honors Study Abroad Scholarship. Muir’s honors thesis is titled “Remote Sensing: Effects of Hurricane Matthew.”

Autumn Mulcahy is a psychology major from Bristol, Conn.

Malarie O’Brien is a marine science major with an applied mathematics minor from Lexington Park, Md. While at CCU, she has served as a member of the Student Conduct Board. She has been named to both the President’s List and Dean’s List and received the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship and the SMART
Scholarship. She plans to continue her education with a master’s degree in either hydrography or oceanography. O’Brien’s honors thesis is titled “A Multibeam Bathymetric Investigation of Changes in Bedform Morphology of the Little River Inlet as a Result of Hurricane Matthew.”

Ethan Olkovikas is a communication major from Goffstown, N.H.

Emily Otstott is a marine science major and biology minor from Plainfield, Ill.

Sirena Paiva is a special education major from Londonderry, N.H. While at CCU, she has been recognized on both the President’s List and Dean’s List and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in the field of education. She has presented at the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children conference. After graduation, she plans to pursue her master’s degree. Paiva’s honors thesis is titled “After School Matters.”

Avery Petschke is a psychology major from Mechanicsburg, Pa. While at CCU, she has been named to both the President’s List and the Dean’s List. After graduating, she plans to pursue a doctorate in forensic psychology. Petschke has presented her honors thesis at the South Eastern Psychological Conference on the relationship between personality and political preference.

Christopher Pierpont comes to CCU from Richmond, Va. He is a double major in biology and marine science. He is the president of Beta Beta Beta, the national biological honor society, and has placed in the Celebration of Inquiry oral science presentations and the biochemistry class presentations with “Biochemistry of Disease.” After graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in microbial evolution and ecology at the University of Montana. Pierpont’s honors thesis is titled “Functional Characterization of an Essential Chloroplast Protein.”

Daniel Pippert is a musical theatre major. He has served as the president of Alpha Psi Omega theatre honors society and is the recipient of the Provost’s Scholarship, the University Scholar Award and the Theatre Performance Award. Pippert plans to continue performing after graduation.

Amy Powers is a biochemistry major from Summerville, S.C.

Ashley Pribble is a biology major with a psychology minor from Pekin, Ill. She has been recognized on both the President’s List and the Dean’s List and is a recipient of the Provost’s Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school. Pribble’s honors thesis is titled “Characterizing galactosemia in C elegans.”

Caitlin Reveal comes to CCU from Middletown, Del. She is an exercise and sport science major. Reveal is a member of Phi Eta Sigma honor society. She has
presented her research at the Undergraduate Research Competition and in Bridges. After graduation, Reveal plans to apply to medical schools. Her honors thesis is titled “The Effects of Vaccinations on Public Health.”

Keelin Sanz is a musical theatre major from Hilton Head Island, S.C. While at CCU, she has been awarded the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, the Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship and the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship. Sanz has presented at the Theatre Senior Showcase in New York.

Megan Seier is a theatre major from Allentown, Pa., with minors in journalism and business administration. While at CCU, she has been recognized on both the President’s List and the Dean’s List and is a member of Alpha Psi Omega and Phi Eta Sigma. The title of Seier’s honors thesis is “How I Learned to Drive Costume Design.”

Jonah Skiles is a finance major from Hurricane, W.Va.

Elizabeth Slusher is a hospitality, resort and tourism management major from Irmo, S.C.

Alison Soles is a biology major from Loris, S.C. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma and has been awarded the President’s Scholar Award and the South Carolina Palmetto Fellows Scholarship while at CCU. After graduation, Soles plans to attend veterinary school. Her honors thesis is titled “Ethics of Declawing Felines.”

Heidi Stephens is a marine science major from Fredericksburg, Va.

Linsey Strunga is a special education major from Minooka, Ill. While at Coastal Carolina University, she has been recognized on both the President’s List and the Dean’s List and is the recipient of the Teal Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to teach for a few years then pursue a master’s in behavioral therapy. Strunga’s honors thesis is titled “Video Modeling Instruction to Teach Social Skills to Students with Intellectual Disabilities.”

Benjamin Taylor is an accounting major from Myrtle Beach, S.C. While at Coastal Carolina University, he has been recognized on both the President’s List and the Dean’s List. After graduation, he plans to remain at Coastal Carolina University and enter the Master of Accountancy program. Taylor’s honors thesis is titled “CBAD 478.”

William Taylor is a graphic design major from Lexington, S.C. Katherine Vanderpool is a marine science major with an environmental science minor from Seattle, Wash. While at CCU, she was a member of Phi Eta Sigma and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is the recipient of the Provost’s Scholarship. She has been accepted to a native trout conservation internship with the National Parks Service at Yellowstone National Park. Vanderpool’s honors thesis is titled “Diamondback Terrapin Thermal Biology.”

Courtney Weeks is an exercise and sport science major from Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Ashley Whitehead comes to CCU from Longs, S.C. She is a psychology major and has been recognized on recurring Dean’s Lists and is a recipient of the South Carolina Palmetto Fellows Award and the Provost’s Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology. Whitehead’s honors thesis is titled “Effects of Cellphone Interference on Task Performance and Task-related Frustration.”

Heather Williams is a marketing major with an economics minor from Nutley, N.J. While at CCU, she was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma honor society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She has been awarded the Provost’s Scholarship and the University Scholar Award. William’s honors thesis is titled “Creating Social Change over Social Media - A Case Study of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.”

Breana Wilson is a biochemistry major from Oliver Springs, Tenn. She is the president of the Biochemistry and Chemistry Club. She has been recognized on both the President’s and Dean’s lists while at CCU. She received the Chemistry and Physics Scholarship. After graduation, Wilson plans to attend graduate school. Her honors thesis is titled “Synthesis of Phidianidine Analogs.”