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Centennial Honors Scholar Andrey Mojica (Rock Island IL), who graduates with a B.S. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, is the Fall 2013 Academic Convocation Speaker.


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College of Arts and Sciences Scholar Jessica L. Toops (Aledo, IL) graduates with a B.A. degree in History with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. She is also the History Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar.


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College of Business and Technology Scholar Bradley Steven Mason (Macomb, IL) graduates with a B.S. degree in Agriculture and with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. He is also the Agriculture Departmental Scholar.


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College of Education and Human Services Scholar David M. Coupland (Bushnell, IL) graduates with a B.S.Ed. in Special Education with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. He is also the Special Education Departmental Scholar.


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College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar Brittany M. Vinson (Bolingbrook, IL) graduates with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. She is also the Bachelor of Music Departmental Scholar.


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School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach Scholar Paula Myers (New London, IA) graduates with a B.A. in General Studies.

Fall 2013 College, Departmental, Honors Scholars

December 6, 2013


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MACOMB, IL – Six students participating in Western Illinois University's 2013 Fall Commencement Ceremonies Friday-Saturday Dec.13-14 in Macomb have received the highest recognition from their colleges for their overall academic excellence by being named a College Scholar.

The 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 Academic Honors Convocation in Western Hall will honor College Scholars, Departmental Scholars and Honors Scholars who have earned academic distinction throughout their Western Illinois University careers. Students receive a medallion for each honor, which they wear at Commencement Ceremonies.

Faculty in each of Western Illinois University's four academic colleges; the School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach; and the Centennial Honors College select a graduating senior as the college's outstanding student. Students graduating as College Scholars have satisfied the criteria of excellence established by their individual academic college's faculty members. A Departmental Scholar is an outstanding degree candidate in an academic major as determined by the faculty in the major department. An Honors Scholar is a student in the Centennial Honors College who has completed a set of honors requirements and has achieved a grade point average of at least 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.

Approximately 10 percent of graduating seniors achieve academic distinction, which is designed as Summa Cum Laude, highest academic distinction, with a minimum grade point average of 3.90; Magna Cum Laude, high academic distinction, with a GPA of 3.75-3.89; and Cum Laude, academic distinction, with a GPA between 3.60-3.74.

Centennial Honors Scholar and Convocation Speaker
Andrey Mojica (Rock Island IL), who graduates with a B.S. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, is the Academic Convocation Speaker and the Centennial Honors College Scholar. Mojica is also an Honors Scholar and will speak to his classmates about "Obstacles." While a student at Western, Mojica served in an internship with the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department and as the attorney general for the WIU-QC Student Government Association. In his community, he received the Student of the Year Award by the Greater Quad-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at its 2013 Community Awards ceremony in February. Mojica is a member of the Golden Key Honor Society; Alpha Phi Sigma - The National Criminal Justice Honor Society; Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Society; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Blue Key Honor Society; and Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society.

College of Arts and Sciences Scholar
Jessica L. Toops (Aledo, IL) graduates with a B.A. degree in History with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. She is also the History Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar. During her time at Western, she has been actively involved in the Associated Students of History and Learning to Lead. She is the founding member, and served as the president, of the student organization Western Against Slavery. Toops also served as the president of Western's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National Honorary Society for History. During the summer of 2013, Toops worked as an intern for National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Since, 2011, she has worked as a student assistant for the Business Advising Center at Western.

College of Business and Technology Scholar
Bradley Steven Mason (Macomb, IL) graduates with a B.S. degree in Agriculture and with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. He is also the Agriculture Departmental Scholar. While at Western, Mason served in two internships for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, one in plant breeding and one in sales. He also served as an intern and a regional agronomist trainee for WinField Solutions and as the vice president of the WIU Agronomy Club from 2012-13. In 2012, he was recognized by the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC) for Best Oilseed Poster Presentation.

College of Education and Human Services Scholar
David M. Coupland (Bushnell, IL) graduates with a B.S.Ed. in Special Education with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. He is also the Special Education Departmental Scholar. In 2004, Coupland earned his B.S. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western and returned to study Special Education in 2009. He is a recipient of the Patricia A. Wood Memorial Scholarship in Special Education, as well as of the Dean's Non-Traditional Student Scholarship. He has served as a volunteer for Special Olympics; as a t-ball coach for the Bushnell Park District; and as a GED tutor at Spoon River College.

College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar
Brittany M. Vinson (Bolingbrook, IL) graduates with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. She is also the Bachelor of Music Departmental Scholar. During her time at Western, Vinson was actively involved in the National Association for Music Education, and she served as the vice president of Western's chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Kappa Phi and the University Choirs. She also worked as a student assistant in the dean's office of the College of Fine Arts and Communication and served as the youth choral director for the First Christian Church in Macomb.

School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach Scholar
Paula Myers (New London, IA) graduates with a B.A. in General Studies. Myers is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society for Adults Learners in Continuing Higher Education. In her community, she serves as a board member for the City of New London, Iowa Board of Adjustments. Myers is also a board member on the Southeastern Community College Alumni Board.

Departmental and Honors Scholars, Academic Distinction

By Illinois counties and out of state:


Adams County
Quincy (62305)
– Pamela Barrigar, Social Work Departmental Scholar

Ursa (62376) – Katharine Parker, Agriculture, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Bureau County
Mineral (61344)
– Richard Krafft, Engineering Technology Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Cass County
Beardstown (62618)
– Alejandra Ozuna, Bilingual/Bicultural Education Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Cook County
Burbank (60459)
– Valerie Oakey, Elementary Education Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Chicago
60620
– Jonathan McGee, General Studies, Honors Scholar

60649 – Victoria Alao, Chemistry, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

60652 – Katherine Hallmon, Fashion Merchandising, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Crestwood (60445) – Ann Supalla, English Departmental Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Elmwood Park (60707) – Elizabeth Ornelas, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Inverness (60010) – Charles Cohrs, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, Honors Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Dekalb County
Sycamore (60178)
– David Martin, Physical Education K-12, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Douglas County
Tuscola (61953)
– Michelle Ogden, Music Therapy, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

DuPage County
Bartlett (60103)
- Kevin Esmail, Emergency Management Departmental Scholar

Elk Grove Village (60007) – Kellie Cristofaro, Special Education, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Lombard (60148) – Steven Wilcer, Music, Honors Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Oakbrook Terrace (60181) – Dana Sarallo, Elementary Education, Honors Scholar

West Chicago (60185) – Matthew Hellman, History, Honors Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Winfield (60190) – Joseph Baginski, Special Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Fulton County
Canton (61520)
– Timothy Horr, Music, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude; Taylor Snowman, Art, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Grundy County
Minooka (60447)
– Kelsey McGuire, English, Honors Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Hancock County
Augusta (62311)
– Allison Clinton, Graphic Communication, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Hamilton (62341) – Anna Gibbs, Marketing Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude; Abbie Thompson, Psychology Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Nauvoo (62354) – David Bolen, Computer Science, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Plymouth (62367) – Alexis Slater, Accountancy Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Warsaw (62379) – Jacey Sargent, Psychology, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

West Point (62380) - Ross Tobias, Construction Management Departmental Scholar

Henry County
Geneseo (61254)
– Stephanie Martin, Broadcasting Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Kewanee (61443) – Abigail Stevenson, Elementary Education, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Robin Trigg, Communication Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Lynn Center (61262) - Janel Cross, Music Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Jo Daviess County
Elizabeth (61028)
– Laura Albrecht, Mathematics, Honors Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Kane County
Maple Park (60151)
– Sarah Goodrich, Special Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

West Dundee (60118) – Kyle Ryan, Accountancy, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Kankakee County
Kankakee (60901)
– Cody Collins, Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Departmental Scholar

Kendall County
Oswego (60543)
– Allison Hartkopp, Art Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Knox County
Galesburg (61401)
– Michael Kohler, Political Science Departmental Scholar; Randy Moore, Sociology Departmental Scholar; Nika Nyysti, Computer Science Departmental Scholar

Victoria (61485) – Miranda Malone, Agriculture, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Lake County
Waukegan (60087)
– Ayesha Montgomery, African American Studies Departmental Scholar

LaSalle County
Streator (61364)
– Thomas Emerson, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Macon County
Macon (62544)
– Kelsey Meyer, Marketing, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Madison County
Collinsville (62234)
– Kevin Bauer, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Troy (62294) - Lindsey Posmanick, Women's Studies Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar

McDonough County
Bushnell (61422)
– David M. Coupland, College of Education and Human Services Scholar, Special Education Departmental Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Macomb (61455) – Kelli Abell, Psychology, Honors Scholar; Christopher Dagle, Economics Departmental Scholar; Mary Hinman, Finance Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude; Bradley Steven Mason, College of Business and Technology Scholar, Agriculture Departmental Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Alexandra O'Donnell, Accountancy/Music, Honors Scholar; Jody Zscheck, Graphic Communication Departmental Scholar

McHenry County
Algonquin (60102)
– Domenic Perna, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, Honors Scholar

Lake in the Hills (60156) - Erin Seitz, Physical Education Departmental Scholar

Mercer County
Aledo (61231)
- Jessica L. Toops, College of Arts and Sciences Scholar, History Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Ogle County
Oregon (61061)
– Randi Bettner, Graphic Communication, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Peoria County
Dunlap (61525)
– Gwendolyn Merz, Network Technologies Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar

Pike County
Rockport (62370)
– John Webster, Agriculture, Honors Scholar

Rock Island County
East Moline (61244)
– Megan Hodges, Fashion Merchandising, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Milan (61264) – Janelle Fratzke, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Moline (61265) – Sean Byrd, Management Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude; Nicole Leyendecker, Human Resource Management Departmental Scholar

Rock Island (61201) – Andrey Mojica, Centennial Honors College Scholar, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, Honors Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Silvis (61282) – Kayla Castens, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Sangamon County
Pleasant Plains (62677)
– Erik Binder, Spanish Departmental Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Springfield (62712) - Victoria Arnish, Biological Sciences Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Schuyler County
Browning (62624)
– Jordan McCombs, Biological Sciences, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Littleton (61452) - Ciara Isley, Family and Consumer Sciences Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Stark County
Wyoming (61491)
– Christopher Baumann, Agriculture, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Tazewell County
East Peoria (61611)
– Jennifer Jones, Elementary Education, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Whiteside County
Fulton (61252)
– Aaron Foltz, Chemistry Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Morrison (61270) – Kendra Meurs, Mathematics, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Rock Falls (61071) – Aaron Walsh, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Will County
Bolingbrook (60440)
– James Anderson, Music, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude; Brittany Marie Vinson, College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar, Music Departmental Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Woodford County
Germantown Hills (61548)
– Rachel Schrader, Mathematics Departmental Scholar, will graduate with the highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Out of State
California
San Jose (95125)
– Gail Snyder, General Studies, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Iowa
Bettendorf (52722)
– Cassandra Clark, Supply Chain Management Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Burlington (52601) – Deborah Coyle, Art, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Davenport
52803
– Dustin Burnaugh, English, Honors Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude
52807 – Crystal Migiel, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

New London
52645 –
Paula Myers, General Studies, School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach Scholar

Kansas
Olathe (66062)
– Rochelle Stephenson, Liberal Arts and Sciences Departmental Scholar

Missouri
Canton (63435)
- Victoria Niemann, Journalism Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

St. Louis (63129) – Lauren Jacob, Music, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations