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Lander University College of Education Holds Annual Awards Ceremony

Dr. Judith Neufeld, dean of Lander University's College of Education, addresses students and their family members during the college's May 10 awards ceremony. Photo by Deb Nygro

Lander University's College of Education held its annual awards ceremony on Monday, May 10, concluding what Dean Judith Neufeld called "one of the toughest years of our lives."

Graduating seniors could have become embittered by the changes forced upon them by the pandemic, she said, but they chose a different course.

"Each of the people sitting here today have chosen to allow their circumstances to make them better. We're proud of them, and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with them," she said.

Academic awards were conferred upon ten graduating seniors. Recipients included Sarah Barr, of Spartanburg, winner of the Secondary Education Award; Samantha Fair, of Greenwood, winner of the Early Childhood Education Discipline Award; Emilee Fertick, of West Columbia, winner of the Special Education Discipline Award; Rebecca Irvine, of Central, winner of the Montessori Graduate Education Award; McKenzy Long, of Charlotte, N.C., winner of the Elementary Education Discipline Award; Kathryn McLaughlin-Rojas, of Simpsonville, winner of the Graduate Education Award; Hannah McKinney, of Rock Hill, winner of the Excellence in Exercise Science Award; and Lindsay Parker, of Lexington, winner of the Exercise Science Discipline Award. There were two winners of the Physical Education Discipline Award: Robert Gilbertson, of Waunakee, Wi., and Jimmy O'Dell, of Cayce.

Receiving pins from the College of Education were graduating seniors Hannah Elmore, of Simpsonville; Harrison Love, of Blythewood; Yessica Ramirez, of Gilbert; Kelsey Wise, of Piedmont; Marissa Peterson, of Anderson; Alora Arnold, of Iva; Courtney Brink, of Spartanburg; Addison Brown, of Calhoun Falls; Kaylee Gilmer, of Greenwood; Kelsey Gordon, of Columbia; Grace Green, of Moore; Haylee Harris, of Graniteville; Mary Hunton, of Columbia; Ja'Meria Jackson, of Clover; Carson Langston, of Greenville; Jana Shackelford, of Beaufort; Alyssa Whittle, of Lexington; Alicia Loggins, of Senoia, Ga.; Ariana O'Dell, of Batesburg-Leesville; Taylor Cooper, of Woodruff; Carly Davis, of Simpsonville; Marilyn Hilley, of Ninety Six; McKenzy Long, of Charlotte, N.C.; Jordyne Manzer, of Boiling Springs; Matalyn Mills, of Newberry; Katrina Santana, of Greenwood; Makensie Wilson, of Inman; Helena Burton, of Batesburg-Leesville; Julia Griffin, of Chapin; Cameron Meadows, of Taylors; Gemma Perez, of Simpsonville; Sarah Barr, of Spartanburg; Alyssa Ackerman, of Goose Creek; Robert Gilbertson, of Waunakee, Wi.; Cameron Nugent, of Spartanburg; Jimmy O'Dell, of Cayce; William Rooney, of Greenwood; Meredith Wertz, of Saluda; Stephanie Barnette, of Gaffney; Emilee Fertick, of West Columbia; Lauren Hindman, of Anderson; Devin Keefe, of Honea Path; Cassidy McKittrick, of Heath Springs; Kaitlyn Mixson, of Goose Creek; Clayton Scheller, of Cayce; Danielle Sharpe, of Lexington; Caleb Wilkins, of Boiling Springs; and Heidi Ziegler, of Laurens.

The ceremony concluded with the hooding of the college's 12 master's graduates. Honorees included Michelle Cochran, of Waxhaw, N.C.; Rebecca Irvine, of Central; Amy Martinek, of Greenville; Lindsey Rhodes-Purdy, of Clemson; Amanda Sisk, of Greenville; Angela Wilhite, of Fountain Inn; Andrea Mattress, of Irmo; Katherine Hinzman, of Greenwood; Michael Breann Steadman, of Greenwood; Bethany Minick, of Greenwood; Laney Dixon, of Greenwood; and Samantha Godfrey, of Woodruff.