Students receive top honors
In a ceremony Thursday at the Cooper Alumni Center on the campus of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, the annual Student Honors were awarded. Distinguished Student Awards are presented annually to graduating seniors who, through their service to ASU and its student body, have demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership and citizenship. Nominations for these prestigious awards are submitted by faculty, staff, advisers to student organizations, and other members of the ASU community. A committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, and past Wilson Award recipients make the final selections.
The selection committee gives strongest consideration to leadership in organizations and activities of general campus significance. All six of this year's recipients provided countless hours of service to the community, their classmates, their departments and colleges, and to Arkansas State University. One member from the group of Distinguished Student Award winners was selected as the Wilson Award winner, the university’s highest honor for a graduating senior.
The Wilson Award is given to honor the memory of Mr. R. E. Lee Wilson of Wilson, Arkansas, a member of the ASU Board of Trustees from 1917 until his death in 1933. Wilson believed strongly in higher education and was instrumental in the growth and development of this campus. In 1932, Wilson Hall, the oldest building on campus, was completed with his help and remains a busy academic building.
This year, the recipient of the Wilson Award joined 125 others who received the award. The great-great-grandson of R. E. Lee Wilson, Mr. Perry Wilson, an attorney who lives in Little Rock, presented the award. Wilson said, "My family and I are honored our name is affiliated with one of Arkansas State University’s longest traditions, that of recognizing its outstanding graduates. I know my great-great-grandfather would be proud to see the type of students Arkansas State continues to educate after its first century."
The 126th R. E. Lee Wilson Award was presented to Candice Mey-Biggers of Jonesboro. She will graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree in communication disorders through the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Her advisor is Richard Neeley, who nominated her for the award. Her achievements include being named to the Chancellor's List and Dean's List, being a Global Student Leader and a being named Nedrow Scholarship recipient. She was Head Orientation Leader in 2011, participated in Shared Governance, and was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Included in her community service was Relay for Life and the Miracle Rodeo. She was a Diamond Doll, an organization which supports the baseball team as well as all ASU athletics. She served on the ASU Student Conduct Board and was elected Homecoming Queen in 2011. In letters recommending her for this award, it was said, "Candice is the model academic citizen … As a future healthcare provider, she is much more concerned about how her education will benefit the clients she will someday treat than she is about her grade point average … She fully embraces the concept of 'servant leadership.'" She is the daughter of Reggie Biggers and Cindy Mey of Jonesboro.
The other 2012 Distinguished Student Award recipients:
JoNece Carter of North Little Rock will graduate in May with a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies through the College of Communication. Her advisor is Brenda Atkins Randle, who nominated her for the award. JoNece's achievements include being named to Dean's List and Chancellor's List, and receiving scholarships including the Arkansas Challenge, the Arthur Ray Moore Memorial Scholarship, the Shirley W. Inghram Scholarship and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Scholarship. She has served as president of the Student Activities Board, was an ASU Orientation leader, served on the yearbook staff, acted as a resident assistant at NorthPark Quads, and was director of public relations for the Circle of Trust. In letters recommending her for the award, it was said, "JoNece is a joy to work with, goal-oriented, and has managed to overcome obstacles in her personal life with unprecedented perseverance and determination … She was one of the most intelligent and responsible students I have ever had … I am continually impressed with her positive attitude and her excitement about all that is ASU." She is the daughter of Joe and Melba Carter of North Little Rock.
Adrian Everett of McGehee graduated in August with a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies through University College. His advisor is Nikesha Nesbitt, and he was nominated for the award by Jerrod Lockhart. Adrian's achievements include being named to the Dean's List and receiving certification as a peer mentor. He has represented the student body in the Student Government Association since his freshman year, being extremely active in SGA and the Leadership Center, where he served as president along with serving as a student senator and being named Senator of the Month. He was a Global Student Leader, and was elected ASU Centennial Homecoming King. He has served as a New Student Orientation leader and was named Orientation Leader of the year. He served on the Student Union Advisory Council, as a Resident Hall Community Assistant, and the Campus Safety Task Force. Adrian was selected to speak at the August 2011 Commencement ceremony, received the ASU Dean's Scholarship, and was the first recipient of the 1909 Society Scholarship. In 2009, he was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. In letters recommending him for the award, it was said, "Adrian's unwavering devotion to his community, university and studies exemplifies strong moral fiber and character." Adrian is currently enrolled in the graduate program at ASU, pursuing a master of science degree in College Student Personnel Services. He is the son of Faye and Earley Everett Sr. of McGehee.
Morgan Fincher Trevathan of Jonesboro graduated in December Magna Cum Laude from the College of Mathematics and Sciences, was named a University Scholar (the highest academic honor for undergraduate students), and was the first student to earn a bachelor of science in math and bachelor of science in education in math and a minor in statistics. She was nominated for the award by Debra Ingram, and her advisors are Dr. Ingram and Dr. John Hall. Morgan's achievements include being named to the Chancellor's List each year from 2007 to the present, being the student speaker at the 2011 Honors College New Student Orientation, and being a National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Funding recipient. She served in the Student Government Association, where she was named Senator of the Month in 2010. She served as a Chancellor's Ambassador, was a member of the American Student Government Association, and was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. In letters recommending her for the award, it was said, "Morgan has deliberately pursued a course of study and experiences that prepare her for a successful career and a fulfilling adult life that provides an exemplary ASU success story." She currently teaches mathematics at Jonesboro High School. She is married to Ryan Trevathan, and is the daughter of Donna and Charles Fincher of Jonesboro.
Kohl McCone of Monticello will graduate in May with a bachelor of arts degree in history through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her advisor is LaQuita Saunders, who nominated her for the award. Her achievements include being named to the Chancellor's List and Dean's List, being a Global Student Leader, and winning a Miss Arkansas International Scholarship. She was an Admissions Ambassador, served as an Orientation Leader, and was elected Senator in the Student Government Association. As Special Events Director for the Student Activities Board, she planned events during Homecoming and SpringFest, also helping present Pride Day, Leadership Day, and the 'Do You Really Know Me?' Lecture series. In letters recommending her for the award, it was said, "Kohl is a highly motivated, organized and determined individual ... She is a dedicated person and a team player. She is an extremely friendly and outgoing person who quickly meets and engages in conversations with new people." She is the daughter of Rena and Randy Paul McCone of Monticello.
Neena Viel of Jonesboro will graduate in May with a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies through the College of Communication. Her advisor is Chris Harper, and she was nominated for the award by Brenda Randle. Her academic achievements include being named to the Honors Director's List and the Chancellor's List. She is a University Honors student, and will graduate In University Honors. Neena is a recipient of the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship, the Mahlon Martin Fellowship, and was awarded a Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship. She has mentored students in Upward Bound, tutored young people through City Youth Ministries, volunteers with foster children at the Children's Home of Paragould, and volunteered for the great Arkansas Clean-up. However, it is serving on ASU's Moot Court Team and Debate Team that has brought her widespread recognition. In Debate competition nationally and internationally, she is the reigning undefeated competitor, and has won both team and individual prizes for Moot Court. One of her letters of recommendation said, "Never in the course of my 38-year career in academia have I had so much confidence that a young person would make a very important mark on the world of the future. I see Neena in 20 years as a presidential advisor or the head of a large philanthropic organization."