Academic Divisions name Outstanding Graduates for fall 2019

Outstanding Graduates for Fall 2019
Left to right: Caitlyn Caudill, Eren Hall, Ashley Jameson and Zachary Schmidt

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s academic divisions handed out their Outstanding Graduate Awards for the fall 2019 term during the institution’s recent commencement ceremony.

Eren Hall, Oklahoma City, was the recipient for the division of arts and humanities. Caitlyn Caudill, Claremore, and Zachary Schmidt, Anchorage, jointly received the award for the division of science and physical education. Ashley Jameson, Oklahoma City, received the award for the division of education and speech-language pathology.

Hall graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art with an expanded media concentration. He plans pursue a graduate degree in some aspects of museum studies.

“Eren is incredibly rare in his vast abilities, determination and sophistication,” said Jordan Vinyard, associate professor of art. “He weaves technology, science, sociology and psychology throughout his artwork in unique and interesting ways, and he possesses an uncanny ability to synthesize information and generate extremely eloquent projects. He truly showcases not only what USAO is about.”

Caudill graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She was frequently praised as one of the most effective biology tutors in USAO’s Student Success Center.

“Catie has always consistently been a top student academically but really blossomed at USAO,” said Dr. Rachel Jones, associate professor of biology. “In addition to maintaining excellence in her coursework, she took on leadership roles in many clubs and organizations across campus. her dedication to excellence in all areas of her life set her up as a role model for many of our students.”

Schmidt graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education. He began volunteering as a firefighter as a student and has preparing to enter the fire academy soon to pursue it as a career.

“Zach was a very tenacious student who was driven to do well in his courses,” said Dr. Sean Kelley, professor of physical education. “­There were times that he was in my office arguing a point or concept—in a good way—that we as faculty appreciate because it mean the students are engaging in the class. He was a student who want to discover how the content could be meaningful.”

Jameson graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in deaf education. She plans to pursue a career as a full-time deaf education teacher.

“Ashley was one of those students who was involved from her freshman year,” said Dr. Matthew Reynolds, instructor of deaf education and deaf education coordinator. “She was a member of the ASL Club all four years, served as president and worked as the ASL tutor for several semesters Ashley was always positive when working with deaf or hard-of-hearing students and will make a committed teacher when serving the deaf community.”

During the fall and spring commencement ceremonies, the faculty of each of USAO’s four divisions picks one or two students who exemplify both the educational objectives of that particular field of study as well as the mission of the university as a whole. These criteria include a cumulative GPA over 3.5, interpersonal skills, involvement in campus and community activities, motivation and character.

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