Meridian Star

Education

June 11, 2014

Excellence in education: Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MERIDIAN —     • OXFORD – Spencer Shields Van Zandt of Meridian has been recognized as a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda, National Leadership and Honors College at the University of Mississippi.

    Sigma Alpha Lambda is a national leadership and honors organization dedicated to promoting and rewarding academic achievement and providing members opportunities for community service, personal development and lifelong professional fulfillment.

    Van Zandt also became a member of Gamma Sigma Alpha, National Greek Academic Honor Society at Ole Miss. He is a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry.

    Van Zandt is the son of Mike and Susan Van Zandt.

    • Northeast High School student Griffen Gardner won the Mississippi State Reading Fair Competition in the high school fiction division held this spring. 

    This is the second year in a row a Northeast High School student has represented Lauderdale County at the state reading fair in the fiction division. 

    • DECATUR – East Central Community College students Mary Margaret Bailey of Philadelphia and Jacob Oliver of Little Rock were recently named on the 2014 All-Mississippi Community College Academic Teams.

    The All-Mississippi Community College Academic Team recognizes scholarly achievements and leadership accomplishments of students enrolled in the state’s two-year colleges.

    Bailey was one of 15 students named to the First Team and will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Recipients of the prestigious honor compete for placement on the national All-USA Community College Academic Team.

    Bailey, a President’s List Scholar with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, holds various leadership positions and is involved in numerous campus activities.

    She serves as president of Theta Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges; is co-president of the Warrior Corps, a select group of students selected to represent the college at recruiting endeavors and special events; and serves as sophomore class vice president.

    Bailey is also involved in the Baptist Student Union. She serves as Women’s Bible Study Leader, Council member and assists with publicity. She is also a member of the President’s Council and cheerleading squad. Bailey was selected Maid of Honor on the 2013 Homecoming Court and was recently named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges.

    She is also involved in numerous community service projects. She served as assistant art instructor for the Summer of Arts Program and was a camp counselor for the Centri-Kid Church Group. In addition, she also served as director of Christmas plays.

    Bailey is a 2012 honors graduate of Philadelphia High School. She plans to pursue a nursing degree at Mississippi University for Women.

    Her parents are David and Dee Dee Bailey of Philadephia.

    Oliver was named to the All-Mississippi Academic Second Team. He is also a President’s List Scholar with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

    Oliver serves as vice president of leadership for Theta Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and is vice president of the Astronomy Club. In addition, he serves as secretary/treasurer of Alpha Alpha Epsilon, “The Engineers.”

    He is also a member of the Baptist Student Union and Environmental Club. He was recently named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Community and Junior Colleges.

    Oliver is a 2012 honors graduate of Newton County High School. He plans to major in chemical engineering at Mississippi State University in Starkville.

    His parents are Amy and Brian Oliver of Little Rock.

    The All-Mississippi Academic Team program is coordinated by The Clarion-Ledger, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges and the Mississippi Community College Board.

    Students named to the All-Mississippi Academic Team compete for placement on the national All-USA Community College Academic Team, sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, presented by USA Today and additional support provided by the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa.

    This year, more than 1,800 nominations were received for the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition.

Mississippi ranks in the top six states in the nation having students named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team.

    • LIVINGSTON, Ala.— Several Meridian area residents were among honorees when the University of West Alabama recently recognized outstanding students for their academic achievements and leadership roles at the institution’s annual Honors Day.

    Alicia Ball of Meridian was inducted into Iota Tau Alpha honor society. The junior athletic training major is the daughter of Greg and Patti Ball.

    Katelynn Carlson of Meridian was recognized as a member of the Honors Program. The freshman mathematics and pre-engineering major is the daughter of Thomas and Angela Carlson.

    Dylan Cooper of Meridian was inducted into Blue Key and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies and named Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. The senior integrated marketing communications major is the son of Lisa West and Gary Cooper.

    Alyse Green of Meridian was inducted into Iota Tau Alpha honor society and recognized as a member of LEAD, Livingston Early Alumni Development. Green is a senior athletic training majoring and is the daughter of Fred and D’Lee Hutchison and Jay Green.

    Paige Ip of Meridian was inducted into Blue Key and Beta Beta Beta honor societies. The sophomore biology comprehensive major is the daughter of Kim and James Pearsell and Garrett Ip.

    Chicko Jones of Meridian was inducted into Beta Beta Beta and Alpha Epsilon Delta honor societies. The freshman biology comprehensive major is the son of Ranada Jones.

    Lilli Martin of Meridian was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma and Blue Key honor societies. The sophomore nursing major is the daughter of Tammy and Stacy Jenkins and Harley Martin.

    Sydney Matthews of Meridian was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, Blue Key, Alpha Epsilon Delta and Beta Beta Beta honor societies. The junior biology comprehensive major is the daughter of James and Machelle Matthews.

    Dee Miller of Meridian received a University Scholars Award from the Division of Nursing for nursing. The sophomore nursing major is married to Michal E. Miller.

    Lindsey Nicklas of Collinsville was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society and received the Alpha Chi Academic Achievement Award and Cardinal Key’s Virginia Irwin Award. The senior chemistry major is the daughter of Bobby and Debbi Fason and Chester and Gloria Nicklas.

    Bayleigh Roberts of Meridian was inducted into Beta Beta Beta honor society. The freshman biology comprehensive major is the daughter of Cleve and Laurie Roberts.

    Aisha Robertson of Meridian was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma honor society. The freshman exercise science major is the daughter of Ralph and Gina Robertson.

    Evelyn Watkins of Meridian received a University Scholars Award from the College of Education for physical education. The senior exercise science major is married to Wes Watkins.

    In addition to recognizing student honorees, the University inducted four graduates, Dr. Anita F. Austin of Choctaw County, Ala., Dr. R.T. Floyd of Livingston, Ala., and Dr. Bobby Hathcock of Pell City, Ala., and Truel Hicks of Livingston, Ala., into the Society of the Golden Key. Induction into the Society is the highest honor bestowed upon a UWA graduate or professor.    • OXFORD – University of Mississippi students Mary Paige Griffin of Meridian and Colton Jordan Herrington of Enterprise were among 127 students inducted into the UM chapter of Phi Kappa Phi in a campus ceremony at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Membership in Phi Kappa Phi is the university’s highest academic honor across all disciplines.

    Griffin is a junior secondary education major in the School of Education. She is the daughter of Matt and Diane Griffin.

    Herrington is a junior in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media majoring in integrated marketing communications. A student in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, he is a Luckyday Scholar. His parents are Timothy and Celisa Herrington of Enterprise.    • LIVINGSTON, Ala. – University of West Alabama students Tia Thompson of Newton, Miss., and Samantha McDougal of Gilbertown recently were initiated into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

    • OXFORD – Henry Ian Davis of Meridian and Samira Nadia Abunemeh of Philadelphia are among 70 University of Mississippi students to receive a 2014 Marcus Elvis Taylor Memorial Medal, the university's highest academic award. The students were recognized during UM’s 71st annual Honors Day Convocation, at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

    Davis is a senior history major, slated to graduate at UM Commencement May 10. He plans to attend graduate school at the University of Alabama to pursue a master’s degree in history. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Alpha Theta, Eta Sigma Phi and Sigma Tau Delta academic honor societies. He belongs to Gamma Beta Phi honor and service society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Listed on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, he was chosen Gamma Beta Phi’s 2012-13 Most Outstanding Member and he received the Larry D. Givens Award as the outstanding junior history major.

    A graduate of Clarksdale High School in Meridian, he is the son of Curt and Sharon Davis.

    Abunemeh is a recent graduate, majoring in international studies. She plans to further her studies on the Middle East by studying political science in graduate school. A student in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and Croft Institute, she has served on the Ole Miss Quiz Bowl team. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Beta Phi and Golden Key academic honor societies. She received a Luckyday Scholarship and Gilman Scholarship.

    A graduate of Neshoba Central High School, she is the daughter of Hisham and Tammy Abunemeh.

    The Taylor Medals were established at UM in 1904 by Dr. William A. Taylor of Booneville in memory of his son, an honored 1871 alumnus of the university. The award recognizes no more than 1 percent of the student body each year.

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