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Outstanding students honored at traditional Honors Day programs

Anniston, Ala. – Gadsden State Community College recently held its 55th annual Honors Day events at the Cheaha Center on the Ayers Campus in Anniston and at the Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center in Gadsden. The programs spanned two days of recognizing student achievements and scholarship presentations. Almost 300 awards and scholarships were given.

The President’s Cup, a designated award for students who demonstrate exceptional success in all phases of college life, is presented each year to students in both the academic and technical divisions. It is given by Dr. Kathy Murphy, president of Gadsden State.

The Academic Division recipient for the Ayers Campus is Natasha Breanna Lorine Burcham of Anniston. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society and TRiO for Success Club. The married mother of two serves as a tutor in Student Support Services as well. She has a 3.9 GPA and is on the President’s List and SSS Director’s List. Also at Honors Day, Burcham was recognized as a Student of Distinction. She studies Office Administration and will graduate following the summer semester. She plans to sit for her Certified Coding Specialist and Certified Professional Coder tests and pursue a career at a physician’s office or nursing home.

The Ayers Campus Technical Division recipient of the President’s Cup is Matthew Wright of Lincoln. He is a member of the senior cohort of the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education program at Gadsden State. The program allows him to work at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama while taking classes in Industrial Automation. His is a fill-in coordinator at HMA as well as a new model trainer. He will receive his associate degree at the May 7 commencement exercises. Wright, a married father of two, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the National Technical Honor Society. He has a 3.87 GPA and is on the President’s List. In addition to receiving the President’s Cup, Wright also was named a Student of Distinction and is a winner of the Outstanding FAME Student Award.

Two area students were presented awards for outstanding achievement. The Outstanding Achievement Awards recognize students who have succeeded in pursuit of higher education in spite of varying traumas, adversities, personal losses and difficulties.

The Outstanding Achievement Awards given at the Ayers Campus event went to Angela Anderson of Anniston and Indeya Mariah Thompson of Weaver.

Anderson is a single mother of three children. For 16 years, she worked up to 14 hours a day in a factory before deciding she wanted a new career path. She did not graduate from high school so she enrolled in Gadsden State’s Adult Education Program. She earned her GED and finished at the top of her class. She earned a scholarship to continue her education at Gadsden State and will receive her degree in Office Administration on May 7. Despite having to deal with complicated family matters as well as some medical issues, Anderson has maintained a 3.75 GPA and has been on the President’s List and Dean’s List. She was named a Student of Distinction at Honors Day as well.

Thompson’s journey into higher education took a detour when she enrolled at a college that didn’t meet her needs. She had no direction and was dealing with a learning disability, depression and anxiety. Enrolling at Gadsden State has helped alleviate her fears, and her instructors have boosted her confidence, she said. At Gadsden State, she is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and active in Student Support Services. She was named to the Student of Distinction list at Honors Day as well. Thompson has a 3.7 GPA and will graduate with an associate degree in general studies following the summer semester. She plans to transfer to the University of Alabama, where she received the Alabama’s Promise Scholarship, the Tutwiler Opportunity Scholarship, the Roll Tide Transfer Scholarship and the Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarship. She plans to major in journalism.

Other winners recognized at the Honors Day for students at the Ayers Campus include:

Outstanding Ambassador: Parker Molden of Munford

Outstanding Cardinal Tutoring Center Peer Tutor: Trent Mobley of Heflin

Outstanding Achievement in Accounting: Hayden Lindsey of Munford

Outstanding Student in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology: Josiah Boyd of Oxford

Outstanding Students in Auto Collision Repair Technology: Shelby Blanchard of Piedmont and Christopher Martinez of Oxford

Outstanding Student in Automotive Manufacturing Technology: Nathaniel Marcus King of Jacksonville

Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science: Dalton Cone of Gallant and Jadyn Headrick of Talladega

Outstanding Student in Diesel Technology: Jesse Hanners of Lineville

Outstanding Student in Electrical Technology: Brandon Terry of Piedmont

Outstanding Students in Electronic Engineering Technology: Jakson Cole Spurlin of Heflin, Alaisha Byers of Oxford and Tyler Gallahar of Munford

Outstanding Students in English: Robin Ann Hurst of Munford, Rachel Bresley of Oxford and Kayley Sparks of Jacksonville

Outstanding FAME Students: Blaise Adams of Oxford, Eric Anderson of Attalla and Matthew Wright of Lincoln

Outstanding Students in History: Todd Waldrop of White Plains, Jeffrey Haywood of Heflin and Nathaniel Marcus King of Jacksonville

Outstanding Student in Industrial Automation Technology: Jeffery Morgan of Gadsden

Outstanding Student in Mathematics: Rachel Dunkle of Jacksonville

Outstanding Achievement in Office Administration – Health Information Technology Management: Kellye Blanchard of Piedmont

Outstanding Student in Precision Machining Technology: Denham Johnson of Anniston

Outstanding Student in Salon and Spa Management: Emily Bryant of Ohatchee

Outstanding Students in Speech: Todd Waldrop of White Plains and Shelby Cain of Talladega

Outstanding Students in Welding Technology: Nathaniel Hill-Magoiurk of Ashland, Kyle Spears of Saks and Will Spurlin of Oxford

Rising Scholars are those students who have a 3.5 minimum GPA, have completed 30-53 credit hours by the end of the spring semester and exhibit service to Gadsden State, demonstrate leadership in academic and extracurricular activities, demonstrate leadership in the College by participating in at least one extracurricular activity. They are nominated and selected by faculty and staff members. Rising Scholars by hometown are:

Alexandria: Amy Kate Sutherland

Anniston: Donna Coley

Delta: Brent Barnwell

Lincoln: Autumn Williams

Buchanan, Ga.: Christopher Hord

The honor of Student of Distinction is bestowed on those who are nominated and selected by the faculty and staff at Gadsden State. They also must have a 3.5 minimum GPA, be eligible to graduate by the end of the summer semester, exhibit service to the College, demonstrate leadership in academic and extracurricular activities, demonstrate leadership at the College in community-related activities and have the potential for future achievement. Students of Distinction by hometown are:

Alexandria: Anna Marie Kennedy

Anniston: Angela Anderson, Natasha Burcham, Donna Coley, Dezaray Dean, Jordan Hinton, Mirian Ortiz-Rodriguez, Jordan Peters and Rachel Wise

Heflin: Trent Mobley and Jakson Spurlin

Jacksonville: Rachel Dunkle

Lincoln: Eddie Leonard and Matthew Wright

Ohatchee: Emily Bryant

Oxford: Blaise Adams

Piedmont: Savannah Rogers

Rainbow City: Joseph Green and Zachary Lockridge

Weaver: Indeya Thompson

See the livestream of Gadsden Honors Day here

See the livestream of Anniston Honors Day here