UMES students honored at convocation
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (April 7, 2011) - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore today recognized almost 700 undergraduates for academic excellence during the 58th annual Honors Convocation — among them students named to the fall and spring 2010’s dean’s list and an outstanding student from each of the university’s four schools and 18 departments.
Seniors Luke Lee of St. Catherine, Jamaica, Agriculture and Natural Sciences; Jessica Abrantes of Scotch Plains, N.J., Arts and Professions; Stephanie Begin of Piscataway, N.J., Business and Technology; and Nicole Ouzts of District Heights, Md., Pharmacy and Health Professions, were recognized as the top students in their respective schools.
Dr. Kelly Mack, keynote speaker, professor in the Department of Natural Sciences, senior program officer for the ADVANCE Program at the National Science Foundation, said it was 20 years ago that she had sat in the seats occupied by the honorees. She addressed them saying, “If you’ve ever wondered whether this ‘UMES thing’ would work out for you, then you are in good company.”
Mack continued, saying that receiving the letter from UMES to the Honors Program and its benefits were “an answered prayer for a mother who had sacrificed so much for so long.” She explained the doubt her high school educators had about her decision. Could anything good come out of this small Historically Black College and University?
Mack went on to list a few of UMES’ many notable alumni, including college professor Thomas LaVeist, surgeon Michael Holder and school superintendent Joe A. Hairston. She also offered some eye-opening statistics from a study conducted from 1997-2006 as to the viability of HBCUs. Although HBCUs account for only three percent of the institutions of higher education in the nation, they produce 25 percent of the baccalaureate degrees in science and engineering for African-Americans. She went on to list surprising percentages for other academic areas. HBCUs, she said, are also the top 10 producers of undergraduate degrees for African-Americans.
“How can anything good ‘not’ come out of UMES?” she emphasized, telling students seated before her that “people in your professional world will recognize your talents and training and will recognize the ‘Hawk” in you.”
To close her remarks, Mack presented a check for $1,000 to the Honors Program. “For the cost of fees, tuition, room and board, the hallowed blessings I received, and for an answered prayer—I am eternally grateful.”
Recipients of departmental honors for the “Most Outstanding Student” were:
- LaChelle Adams, Criminal Justice; Florham Park, N.J.
- Cherece Armwood, Natural Science; Largo, Md.
- Danika Barber, Business, Management and Accounting; Henderson, Nev.
- Stephanie Begin, Hotel and Restaurant Management; Piscataway, N.J.
- Richard Dailey, Professional Golf Management; Hebron, Md.
- Amber Grant, Human Ecology; Baltimore, Md.
- Melissa Gunther, Physician Assistant; Fruitland, Md.
- Lynsey Hayes, Health and Exercise Science; Takoma Park, Md.
- Jerry Johnson, Technology; Salisbury, Md.
- Amber Justice, Education; Salisbury, Md.
- Luke Lee, Agriculture, Food and Natural Sciences; St. Catherine, Jamaica
- Chelsa Logan, English and Modern Languages; Trenton, N.J.
- Michael Matthews, Mathematics and Computer Science; Temple Hills, Md.
- Christopher Perkins, Fine Arts; Washington, D.C.
- Martha Perez, Social Sciences, Bogota, Colombia
- Michael Tadesse, General Studies; Princess Anne, Md.
- Mandy Savage, Rehabilitation Services; Saxis, Va.
- John Windsor, Engineering and Aviation Science; East New Market, Md.
Senior Kristina Frahm of Oswego, Ill., an accounting major and captain of UMES’ NCAA Division I women’s bowling team, received UMES’ highest honor—the Richard Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence. The $5,000 award was named for and established by the local businessman credited with bringing the world of high technology to Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, email@example.com.