By Joe Garvey

Kelly McCorkindale from the College of Arts & Letters won the 2020 Outstanding University Scholar Award, the highest honor awarded by the Alumni Association, at the Fall Student Honors and Awards virtual celebration on Dec. 17.

The award honors a "student who exemplifies academic excellence as well as overall achievement during his or her time here at the University."

McCorkindale, who finished with a 4.0 grade-point average, is an interdisciplinary studies major with a concentration in elementary education and plans to pursue a master's degree.

She cited Julia Morris as her most inspirational faculty member.

"She believed in me more than I believed in myself," McCorkindale said. "Thanks to her unrelenting support, I gained the confidence and skills I needed to help shape me into a great future teacher."

Each semester, the Alumni Association recognizes the graduating undergraduate student in each college with the highest academic average who will have completed at least 60 hours at the University.

"Out of the nearly 2,000 students who would have walked across the stage this coming weekend, you have set yourselves apart in both academic achievement and co-curricular involvement," President John R. Broderick said. "When you add in a pandemic and transition to virtual learning, this is truly a remarkable accomplishment."

Here are the other honorees:

Strome College of Business: Jonathan McManus
Grade-point average:
Major: Personal financial planning
Inspirational faculty member: Bruce Rubin. "Dr. Rubin was always ready to help, with both studies as well as outside of schoolwork," McManus said.

Darden College of Education and Professional Studies: Stori Carpenter
Grade-point average:
Major: Speech pathology and audiology with a minor in special education
Inspirational faculty member: Stacie Raymer. "She has encouraged me to work hard, along with holding a standard of excellence that I strive to reach in every class, and always encouraged me in all of my endeavors," Carpenter said.

Batten College of Engineering and Technology: Christopher Kelly
Grade-point average:
Major: Civil engineering with a minor in military leadership
Inspirational faculty member: Tony Dean. "Dr. Dean approaches adversity head on and during my most difficult semesters, his advice was simply to manage it, no excuses," Kelly said. "He also recognized when assistance was warranted, and he networked on my behalf."

College of Health Sciences: Holly Kim
Grade-point average:
Major: Medical Laboratory Science
Inpirational faculty member: Angela Wilson. "She always went above and beyond for me and my classmates, emphasizing the value of education and clinical experience," Kim said.

College of Sciences: Amy Zonts
Grade-point average:
Major: Biology
Inspirational faculty member: Douglas Mills. "He was very accommodating when I had military duty, and his classes inspired me to continue studying biology," Zonts said.

"Your achievements today are reflective of your commitment to success, and you will no doubt continue this in your future endeavors," Provost Augustine Agho said of the award winners. "I would also like to show my appreciation to the inspirational faculty members recognized today who create a rich learning environment with innovative instruction and support student success throughout the year. I could not be more grateful for your dedication and hard work assisting our students during this challenging time."

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