Main Content Start

Alumnus, Students, and Employees Recognized at 2019 College Awards Ceremony

Alumnus, Students, and Employees Recognized at 2019 College Awards Ceremony

April 4, 2019 Suzanne Seldes

Indian River State College (IRSC) today recognized student and employee special achievements at its 2019 College Awards Ceremony. Captain Malcolm Johns of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service was honored with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award and served as the event’s keynote speaker.


IRSC Distinguished Scholars: Awarded to 163 students, nominated by their instructors or College administrators or staff members, whose academic standing and participation in extracurricular activities are decidedly above average.

“Superlative” Distinguished Scholars: Conferred to an IRSC Distinguished Scholar who is the most outstanding in their particular Meta Major. Marie Grandguillotte of Doral for Arts, Humanities, Communications and Design; Jacqueline Zamora of Fellsmere for Business; Gabriella Lizarazu of Port St. Lucie for Public Safety; Flavia Rusterholz of Rapperswil, Switzerland, for Education; Carolina Cendejas of Fort Pierce for Health Sciences; Rachel Dowell of Fort Pierce for the Honors Program; Jeffrey Rodriguez of Palm City for STEM; Jesel Espinal of Port St. Lucie for Social and Behavioral Science and Human Services; and Kerri Levchuck of Stuart for Industry, Manufacturing, and Construction.

2019 All-Florida Academic Team: Selected for their outstanding academic achievement, leadership and service to their communities: Roman Romero and Saubrina Rondil of Fort Pierce; Katelyn Macias of Port St. Lucie; MacKenzie Abbott of Palm City; Jennifer Lombardino, Maria Roch, and Michele Vergho of Sebastian; Kenzy Green of Middletown, Delaware; and Flavia Rusterholz of Rapperswil, Switzerland.

Academic Award: Presented to Larry Rogers of Gahanna, Ohio, and Zachary Roy of Port St. Lucie for superior academic achievement plus outstanding qualifications in such areas as intellectual curiosity, responsiveness to the challenges of learning, interest in research, and the ability to use an association of ideas to stimulate personal thinking.

Community Service Award: Awarded to Devon Shpiruk of Stuart, who, while enrolled at IRSC, has successfully performed meaningful service in the off-campus community. In 2012, Devon and his siblings cofounded Elev8Hope, a local non-profit in which he currently serves as president. Since its inception, the social and human services provided through Elev8Hope has benefitted hundreds of Martin County families. The organization distributes resources and food collected from community donors to individuals, families, schools, youth organizations, and animal shelters. Elementary-, middle-, and high-school students help run the nonprofit. In 2018, Devon and the Elev8Hope board were able to raise enough money to rent a building that now serves as a community center (Hope Central Station) for low-income children, and provides an emergency food pantry as well as tools, resources, funds, and life skills for struggling families.

General Excellence Award: Presented to Parisa Erfani of Vero Beach, a part-time student who has done outstanding academic work, contributed meritorious service to the community, and set a fine personal example.

Leadership Award: Awarded to Sabby Hightower for her demonstration of exceptional leadership both in and out of college. Hightower serves as IRSC Campus Coalition Government (CCG) Vice President and is Chair of the Student Life Committee. She is a new student orientation team leader and a College Ambassador.  Additionally, Hightower is an active member of Collegiate DECA and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).

Special Achievement Award: Awarded to Michele Vergho of Sebastian who, through personal initiative, has achieved special recognition and commendation locally, or at the state or national level or has overcome odds to persevere through their education goals.


Instructional Innovation Award: Presented to Crystal Carlson-Meyer, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Tracy L. Stant, Assistant Professor of Accounting for expansion and development of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, which provides IRSC students with hands-on, service learning and engagement that cannot be duplicated in the classroom, while allowing community members to benefit from access to qualified tax preparers at no cost.

Pioneer Award: Awarded to the IRSC Campus Safety & Security Team for their vital role in maintaining a safe and secure learning environment where students can focus on academic success, and their innovative and customer-centric approach in addressing the ever-changing safety and security needs of the College. The award was accepted by Chief Alan Montgomery.

River Award: The River Award is an honor that traditionally goes to an individual or group that has personified excellence or has guided IRSC to an unprecedented accomplishment. This year, two awards were conferred. Recognized for their longstanding work in supporting student success at IRSC were Beverly “Ann” Sampson, Director of Curriculum Support and Mike Gibbons, Director of Network Technology.

New version available REFRESH  DISMISS