CEHHS students shine with numerous university honors and awards

Melissa Powell

Standout students at the FSU College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) garnered a plethora of university-wide honors and awards to cap off a successful Spring 2024 semester. A list of highlights is included below in the order in which they were received.

Honors Medallions
Florida State University awarded honors medallions to 339 high-achieving graduates during the April 29 ceremony in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. More than a dozen CEHHS students were recognized. 

The FSU Honors Program supports the efforts and talents of some of the university’s most intellectually curious students who have the potential, dedication and drive for creating change. The ceremony included remarks by D. Craig Filar, associate dean of Honors, Scholars, and Fellows; Joe O’Shea, associate provost, dean of Undergraduate Studies; Neissa Philemon, dual honors graduate; and Julie Decker, president and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association.

CEHHS awardees include:

Linh Hoang, English Education, University Honors
Lauren Amparo, Social Science Education, University Honors
Clayton Powell, Athletic Training, University Honors
Ian Haas, English Education, University Honors
Ahna Peace, Human Development and Family Sciences, Honors in the Major
Katrin Frederickson, Human Development and Family Sciences, University Honors
Meredith Grimm, Sport Management, University Honors
Michelle Leibman, Exercise Physiology, University Honors
Alicia Southworth, English Education, University Honors
Julia Earnest, Exercise Physiology, University Honors
Julia Wallace, Marketing; Sport Management, University Honors
Samantha Santelices, Human Development and Family Sciences, University Honors
Diego Mendoza-Jacobo, Exercise Physiology, University Honors
McKenzie Miller, Exercise Physiology, University Honors
Leilanis Cancel-Lopez, Human Development and Family Science, University Honors

Honors Medallion large group

Humanitarian of the Year Recognition:
Julia Moffa, a senior majoring in elementary education and representing the School of Teacher Education at CEHHS, emerged as one of the esteemed nominees for FSU’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. Moffa has worked to increase the accessibility of education for all through tutoring students, organizing school supply drives and funding a summer camp experience for children impacted by a parent’s cancer. Her service experiences, she says, have taught her how socioeconomic status impacts literacy, and she prides education on its ability to make the world a better place. She plans to pursue her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

She was among 13 students nominated for the award by their colleges and honored at a celebratory brunch on March 22. Nadia Rassech, a senior in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, was named Florida State University’s overall 2024 Humanitarian of the Year for her commitment to serving refugee communities. Launched in 1988, the award emphasizes Florida State University’s mission to service on campus and beyond. Each academic college nominates one student each year in recognition of their service efforts.


Master’s in Four Competition Success:
Six Florida State University master’s students rose to the challenge of making intricate research ideas accessible and intriguing — in less than four minutes — at the fifth annual Master’s in Four competition on April 3. Joshua Burns, a master’s student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, placed second. Ta’lia Gordon, a master’s student in Higher Education, and Aravind Kumar Bingi from Health, Nutrition, & Food Sciences, tied for third place. Celia Tseyen Lee, a Human Development and Family Science student, received honorable mention.

Korrin Sheahan, a graduate student from FSU’s School of Communication Science & Disorders, won the top prize. The CEHHS honorees are listed below, along with the title of their research.

  • Joshua Burns: Caring More for Our First-Year, First-Generation, and Low-Income Students: Perceptions of Barriers and Transitional Success
  • Ta’Lia Gordon: Black Students, White Spaces: Perspectives of Black Student Leaders at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs)
  • Aravind Kumar Bingi: Is Golden (Sargassum) Tide a Real Golden Opportunity?
  • Celia Tseyen Lee: How Does Helicopter Parenting Impact College Students’ Social Media Addiction?

Torchbearer 100 Program Honorees:
The Division of Student Affairs at FSU proudly honored the 2024 inductee class for the Torchbearer 100 program during a celebration on April 15. The Torchbearer 100 program is a longstanding tradition that recognizes a diverse group of 100 undergraduate students who have shown exceptional leadership and achievement during their collegiate careers. A selection committee chose the students who best exemplified the university’s core values: inspired excellence, dynamic inclusiveness, transformative daring, responsible stewardship and engaged community. Each honoree received a special Torchbearer 100 medallion to wear at commencement and was celebrated for being a testament to Florida State’s legacy of leadership within the student body.

CEHHS students Edgardo Edmond, Adriana Melendez, Samantha Pulawski, and Ellison Wietecha were among the 100 recognized during the ceremony.

Torchbearer 100

Garnet & Gold Scholar Society Inductees:
Florida State University welcomed 93 new inductees into its prestigious Garnet & Gold Scholar Society during its 2024 induction ceremony on April 22. Established in 2010, the Garnet & Gold Scholar Society facilitates student involvement. It recognizes undergraduates who excel within and beyond the classroom in at least three of five areas: international experience, internship, leadership, research, and service. To become an inductee, students must meet the engagement criteria and submit a synthesis reflection project in their final semester before graduation. 

CEHHS students Ava Dobrydney, Alexis Garzon, Katherine Guzman, and Gabriella Mazzorana were inducted.

Garnet & Gold Scholar Society

Spring 2024 Commencement:
The college also celebrates its nearly 1,000 students who are set to graduate during a commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4, at 2 p.m. CEHHS is awarding approximately 540 undergraduate degrees and 429 graduate degrees. Overall, Florida State will award degrees to 7,813 graduates.

The college recently spotlighted a handful of graduating students.
•    Deidre Gilley (Special Education Ph.D.)
•    Elaine Mara (Visual Disabilities Education M.S.)
•    Gabriella Mazzorana (Exercise Physiology B.S.)
•    Chrystal McDowell (Marriage and Family Therapy Ph.D.)
•    Martin Saldana Jr. (Higher Education M.S.)
•    Heather Schultz (Educational Leadership Ed.D.)
•    Giovanna Tang (Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies Ed.D.)
•    Tessa Taylor (Athletic Coaching M.S.)
•    Bailey Wagoner (Sport Management M.S.)

For more information on Florida State’s commencement ceremonies and student awards, visit news.fsu.edu.