Check out the great accomplishments NSLS members made using their leadership skills in June!
Our mission is to Build Leaders Who Make a Better World. Our members participate in volunteer events and take part in a wide range of community service initiatives. Upon graduation, they apply the interpersonal skills they've acquired to start businesses, pursue promotions, and more.
Two GradS Recognized With School’s Top Awards
Mackenzie Carr and Susan Conner, graduating seniors from Austin Peay State University (APSU), were both honored with their school’s top awards.
Carr received the William McClure Drane Award, which is presented annually to an APSU graduating senior on the basis of outstanding character, academic achievement, leadership, and service to others. Carr graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a concentration in actuarial science. In addition to leadership roles in her NSLS chapter, Carr served as president of the APSU Student Organization Council, among other organizations.
As part of her application for the Drane Award, Carr wrote an essay describing her experiences working with a student-focused food pantry and the prevalence of food insecurity among the community and APSU students. She will join Aetna in Atlanta, GA as an actuarial analyst.
Conner was awarded the Harvill-Civitan Citizenship Award, which is annually given to a graduating senior with a proven commitment to good citizenship. In addition to her membership in the NSLS, she held a number of leadership positions at APSU, including serving as the senator representing the College of Education for the Student Government Association. She also helped APSU establish its Purpose First Scholars Program.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and is evaluating several options for her future career but says she intends to continue her commitment to serving her community and inspiring others to step up to positions of leadership.
Entrepreneur and Soon-to-Be MBA Student Profiled by School
Recent graduate and experienced entrepreneur Anna Almaraz was recently profiled by her alma mater in recognition of her many achievements while pursuing her undergraduate degree—specifically, her accomplishments in achieving academic excellence while simultaneously running her own business.
Almaraz recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). She plans to pursue her master’s in business administration this fall. She is a first-generation college student in her family, and has plans to grow her social media and digital marketing company, Social Sophie Marketing. Those plans include pursuing additional high-profile clients and adding employees to help her company expand.
In addition to her NSLS activities, Almaraz worked in the UTSA Alvarez College of Business Dean’s Office and was active in the Student Success Center, University Career Center, and Nahim Center for Innovation and Career Advancement.
Cybersecurity Grad Secures Competitive Summer Internship With NASA
Gabriel Horton, an Augusta University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, will work with NASA this summer after obtaining a highly competitive internship position with the space agency.
Most recently, Horton completed a seven-month internship with the United States Secret Service assisting with open-source intelligence projects, which is similar to the work he will be doing with NASA. At Augusta University, Horton has been an active member in several organizations, including the Spanish club and the Society for Collegiate Leadership.
Horton and six of his fellow students were previously selected to be part of the inaugural cohort for the U.S. CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program, aimed at recruiting future cybersecurity professionals by providing scholarship funds. After Horton completes his NASA internship, he plans to pursue his master’s degree in information security management, also at Augusta University.
Graduate Honored for Perseverance and Achievement
Seymoné Simmons, a recent graduate of the University of Lynchburg (UL) in Virginia, was recently profiled by the school in recognition of her achievements while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in criminology and music, with a minor in criminal forensics.
Earlier this year, Simmons accompanied UL professor Dr. Jimmy Roux with other students to New Orleans to participate in an annual service-learning trip during spring break. There, Roux presented Simmons with the “Baroness Pontalba Perseverance Award,” named after a 19th century New Orleans Creole woman who became a successful business owner, architect, and real estate developer despite severe challenges and obstacles. Simmons likewise overcame numerous obstacles to pursue her degree, including poverty and abuse.
Simmons participated in UL’s Wind Symphony and Orchestra, playing clarinet, as well as with the Clarinet Choir, Steel Drum Ensemble and Pep Band. She also undertook an internship at the local adult detention center and plans to pursue a career as a corrections officer. Simmons additionally plans to pursue graduate studies in music therapy and criminal law and forensics.
Graduating Business Student EARNS University’s Highest Student Honor
Valdosta State University (VSU) recently honored Anna-Kathryn Gardner with the Annie Powe Hopper Award during the school’s Academic Honors Program. The highest honor the school awards to students seeks to recognize outstanding academic achievement and standards.
This summer, Gardner anticipates graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in marketing, as well as minors in entrepreneurship and advertising and promotions. She worked with her school and fellow students to launch The Agency, an experiential learning-based nonprofit group that seeks to assist clients with digital marketing needs.
As part of that initiative, Gardner led a team that created a comprehensive branding and social media strategy for VSU’s Honors College. She has earned several Dean’s List honors, and received the Langdale College of Business’s Study Abroad Scholarship. Those funds will be used to further her studies in Turkey and Croatia this summer.
After she graduates, Gardner intends to pursue a master’s degree in international marketing from the Hult International Business School in London. Ultimately, her career goal is to become a digital marketing manager in a global marketing company.
Other NSLS Members Receiving Recognition IN JUNE:
Tahira Gatson, Pitt Community College, addressed her fellow graduates in their commencement ceremony as the president of the school’s Student Government Association. A former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Gatson graduated with an associate’s degree in information technology. Full Story >>
Anton Kalajian, Brookdale Community College, was honored by the college’s men’s tennis team as Student Athlete of the Month. He is pursuing his bachelor’s degree and plans to seek a career in finance. Full Story >>
Aja Zamundu, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, was recently profiled by the school in recognition of her achievements as a non-traditional, returning student. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and plans to pursue advanced degrees. Full Story >>
Oscar Madong, North Iowa Area Community College, was one of only 60 community college students in the nation to be awarded with the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Iowa State University. Full Story >>
Jared Collum, Valdosta State University, was honored as the recipient of the Outstanding Student Award from the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration during the university’s Academic Honors Program. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in finance and a minor in entrepreneurship. Full Story >>
Ke’Andre Chisom, St. Petersburg College - Clearwater Campus, was named the winner of the school’s 2023 Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor given to a prior bachelor’s degree recipient at the college. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in project management and architecture from the University of South Florida. Full Story >>
Joanna Longwe, Wartburg College, was one of two graduating students selected to deliver student messages at the college’s graduation ceremony. Longwe was chosen based on peer nominations with input from faculty and staff. She graduated with a bachelor’s in computer science and a minor in data analytics, and will be working as a software developer. Full Story >>