Outstanding students lead way at commencement
When University of Louisville graduates march into Freedom Hall May 8 for commencement ceremonies, they will follow students carrying colorful banners with each school or college name.
The banners are a handy way for family and friends to separate groups and find their graduate in the crowd. They also are a way to honor students who have been leaders in other ways: banner bearers are each school or college’s “outstanding graduate” for 2010. Each has a high record of scholarship, leadership and service.
Here they are and some of the reasons they were chosen:
Robert Works, College of Arts and Sciences
Robert Works graduates with a double major in political science and Spanish. A McConnell Scholar, he studied at Oxford University’s Exeter College. He also received the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, which will support a year of research and study at Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City.
On campus, Works was heavily involved with the Student Government Association and was president of Rotaract. His activities extended to the Louisville community where he gave hundreds of hours of his time to charitable organizations.
Anna Ramsay, College of Business
Ramsay also is a McConnell Scholar. She graduates with a major in finance and a minor in political science.
Her academic success is matched by a strong service record that includes being president of the College of Business Student Council, participating in the Finance Club, holding several posts in the Student Government Association and serving her sorority as community service chair and as treasurer.
Her nominators said she exemplifies the well-rounded business graduate who not only excels in the classroom, but also demonstrates her mastery of business skills to help the campus and outreach organizations with which she’s involved.
Marion Hambrick, College of Education and Human Development
Hambrick, a doctoral graduate in sport administration, has received honors for research, teaching and coaching. In 2008, the Sport and Recreation Law Association recognized his work as the best student research submission. He has published two journal articles and has presented at international conferences.
UofL Athletic Academic Services gave Hambrick the 2009 Faculty Guest Coach Award. He also received a 2009 Red and Black Award as an instructor whose teaching and advising inspires students to achieve academic excellence. This honor comes from student nominations.
Faculty who nominated Hambrick as the CEHD outstanding student noted that he was a model graduate student and did outstanding work in the classroom and on his dissertation.
Karen Etter, Speed School of Engineering
Etter is graduating with a Master of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering.
While at UofL, Etter was a teaching assistant in the engineering fundamentals department, a grader for Speed School’s calculus courses and a REACH supplemental instruction leader for engineering calculus. She is a Dean’s Scholar, a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and a member of Pi Tau Sigma mechanical engineering honor society.
Fran Ellers, Kent School of Social Work
Ellers graduates with a master’s degree in social work. A journalist who came to UofL for a new career, she started the Kent School’s Family Therapy newsletter. She then became editor of the Kentucky Association for Marriage and Family Therapy newsletter and volunteered significant time and effort outside of her academic responsibilities to serve as the volunteer coordinator for the 2010 KAMFT state conference.
She excelled in her studies and in the field. Her work benefitted the internal organization of agencies with which she worked, and as a therapist and social worker, she connected underserved clients and their families with a variety of resources and skills, her nominators said. She excelled, they added, in building therapeutic alliances and achieving successful outcomes with difficult clients with life circumstances very different from her own.
Stacy Deck , School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies
Deck graduates with a doctorate in social work. She has been published by respected journals within her field and is seeking funding to continue her research on urban poverty and housing policy. Other research and service interests include welfare reform, homelessness, aging, interdisciplinary health care and cancer.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Deck was so moved by the devastation of New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast that she developed an enriching life defining educational experience for UofL students, taking 32 students to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, Mississippi and Alabama. Due to Deck’s leadership, an advanced practicum experience is now offered to Kent School students in the Gulf Coast.
Barry Dunn, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
Dunn served as president of the Moot Court Board, a post of honor that also requires a lot of work. As president, he completed a project to review moot court competitions, evaluate them for the work required and credit hours awarded and draft a plan that equitably allocates credit hours to student competitors. The project normally would be one for a faculty curriculum committee.
Dunn also served as the “notes” editor for the University of Louisville Law Review.
Carter Smith Gerard, School of Medicine
Gerard is leaving UofL to begin a residency in neurological surgery at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He plans a career as a physician scientist.
Among his academic awards is induction to Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.
Gerard served his fellow students as academic officer, a liaison between faculty course directors and students. He also was a highly sought-after peer tutor.
Active in the local community and beyond, Gerard gave mental health screenings to refugees from Somalia, Burma and Cuba for Kentucky Refugee Ministries; frequently served as a Spanish interpreter in the free clinics that students gave in the community; and participated in a medical mission to Ecuador to establish mobile primary care clinics.
Molly Goforth, School of Music
A cellist, Goforth was an exceptional role model for other students of the cello studio in the School of Music. She is active in Delta Omicron professional music fraternity and has an exceptional academic record.
Two years ago, she started a service program called “Scrollworks” which sees UofL string students volunteer to teach music to underprivileged young students in the community.
Goforth’s nominators said she is “a person of great integrity, determination, diligence and industry…and one of our finest cello students.”
Whitney Barter, School of Nursing
Barter performed well scholastically and was involved in leadership and service activities for fellow students, the School of Nursing, the university and the community.
She held the posts of Student Government Association senator and Nursing Student Council president, among others.
Her contributions and activities include: voluntarily creating a video series for the School of Nursing that allowed students to save $50 each because they did not have to purchase videos from an outside company; co-creating a student-run mentoring program to help acclimate upper division nursing students to the Health Sciences Center and to the nursing program; participating in the Humana flu shot clinic and UofL H1N1 clinic; and volunteering for St. John Center for Homeless Men.
Tiffany Robinson, School of Public Health and Information Sciences
Robinson is a lieutenant colonel (select) in the United States Air Force Reserve. She has been a leader of the master of public health class of 2010, and her peers elected her to speak at the School of Public Health and Information Sciences convocation ceremony.
Robinson served as the treasurer for the SPHIS Student Government Association, was a member of the SPHIS Diversity Committee and mentored three first-year Master of Public Health students. She also led a number of elementary, middle school and community forums regarding public health issues and facilitated two, 12-week Cooper / Clayton Smoking Cessation classes.
Her service activities include volunteering for the Gray Street Farmers’ Market, the Mayor's Hike and Bike, the Louisville AIDS Walk, California Love Clean-up Project and the 2010 Louisville Disaster Preparedness Fair.
Caleb Bastian, the School of Dentistry's outstanding student, was named commencement speaker and will deliver an address during the university-wide ceremony. In his place, Jenna Schulten will carry the banner for the School of Dentistry. Schulten was a leader as an undergraduate at UofL and also as a dental student. She held the office of class president and of voting delegate on the UofL School of Dentistry Admissions Committee. She also served in student government at the university level and organized the annual dentistry student convention.
As the Central Regional Legislative Coordinator of the American Student Dental Association, Schulten helped 24 schools organize state lobby days, legislative events and American Dental Political Action Committee drives. She also lobbied Kentucky senators and representatives on the 2008-2009 National Lobby Day in Washington, D.C.