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Master’s hooding, honors convocation, celebrates student achievement

May 9, 2016
KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo celebrates the academic achievements of its students and faculty, with the annual master’s hooding ceremony and honors convocation Monday (May 9).

Thirty-two students in the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Master of Public Management (M.P.M.), and Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) programs received the cream and crimson lined hoods that denote their status as earning advanced degrees during the hooding ceremony, while undergraduates received honors for the dean’s list, completing the honors program, or as outstanding students in degree programs.

Honors convo

View photos from the Master's Hooding and Honors ceremony on Flickr.

Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke congratulated the students on their success, and challenged them to be leaders in their professional fields and communities.

“We’re going to look to you for your leadership,” she said. “You have chosen a vision of excellence. You are the crème de la crème of our student population.”

The evening also honored winners of the faculty Amicus awards, chosen by students. Jason VanAlstine, associate professor of economics, received the resident faculty award, while Garry Grice, instructor of music, received the adjunct award.

Christopher Springer, from Monticello, received his velvet-lined hood from Robert Dibie, professor of public policy, public management, and environmental studies. Each student designated a faculty member to assist in the ceremony.

Springer, a Marine Corps veteran, enrolled in the M.P.M. program to advance his post-military career.

“I’d like to potentially get a job in public services, such as working for Homeland Security or Emergency Management Services,” he said.

Gary Rogers Jr., who earned the outstanding student award in the M.B.A. award, returned to graduate school as an example for his 7-year-old daughter.

“It means a lot to me, because I’m the first one in my family to get a master’s degree,” he said. “I feel like I am a transitional person in my family, being a good example. It means you accomplished something, big time.”

Rogers, from Kokomo, completed his master’s while working at General Motors, and hopes to advance within that company or another in the area.

“It feels like there will be a lot of good opportunities in the future,” he said.

For Abigail Banan, an M.B.A. is the next step in her career path toward teaching at the college level.

“I’d like to be a professor,” she said. “I enjoy teaching, and I enjoy learning. Those two things together sound like the right career path.”

Weipan Le, Peru, received the outstanding student award in the M.P.M. program, while Lesley Connolly, Kokomo, was honored in the Master of Science in Nursing program.

During the honors convocation, students crossed the Havens Auditorium stage one by one, receiving accolades for accomplishments during the 2015-2016 school year.

Royal Center resident Kendra Wheeldon, outstanding student in medical imaging technology, said it was meaningful to her to be selected by her instructors.

“My professors have truly shown me the way to the point I am at now,” she said. “I gained valuable experience through clinicals and through my professors, and that led to the jobs I was offered.”

She accepted a full-time offer at Pulaski Memorial Hospital.

Matthew Spencer Sr. earned honors as the outstanding student and first graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Sciences program. He enrolled at IU Kokomo as the program was being planned, and completed classes towards it before it began. He persevered through difficult circumstances, including having his concession stand at the Mississenewa Reservoir completely underwater during flooding in 2015.

“I was going after the environmental track,” he said. “I enjoyed all the environmental classes. It really became a passion for me.”

Undergraduate honorees were:
• Radiography: Mendy Hadley
• Medical Imaging Technology: Kendra Wheeldon
• Allied Health Sciences: Alysa Caudill
• Applied Science: Matthew Spencer
• Biological and Physical Sciences: Benjamin Hufford
• Mathematics: Justin Murray
• Informatics: Jacob Morris
• CRC Chemistry Award: Ethan Dubbels
• General Studies: Kim Goodridge
• New Media, Art, and Technology: Libby Kimbrough
• Communication Arts: Kambren Stanley
• English: Jenny Zirkle
• Psychology: Reggie Henderson
• Sociology: Dawn Scifres
• History and Political Sciences: Tucker Million
• Criminal Justice: Caily Tanner
• Business: Emily Riddle
• Public Administration and Health Management: Jose Morales
• Education: Amanda Hedrick
• Nursing: Trisha Booth
• R.N. to B.S.N.: Brooke Anne Zerkel
• Honors program graduates: Lyndsay Christensen, Bekah Martin, Tucker Million, Ryan VanHaecke, Allison Wisler
• Outstanding student leader award: Alysa Caudill
• Student community service award: Rebecca Coath

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 05/10/2016