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The SEAL of Approval: 2021 Student Engagement and Leadership Awards Celebration Recognizes Student Accomplishments

The SEAL of Approval: 2021 Student Engagement and Leadership Awards Celebration Recognizes Student Accomplishments

April 14, 2021 Robert Lane

Indian River State College (IRSC) students and faculty were recognized for their leadership, community outreach, and contributions in developing a dynamic and engaging campus environment for students at the inaugural Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL) Awards Celebration held on the Massey Campus Lawn at the McAlpin Fine Arts Center Wednesday, April 14. The program celebrated the people behind the more than 70 student clubs, organizations, and athletic teams at IRSC and hard work and initiative of the outgoing CCG executive board throughout an unprecedented academic year.

2021 SEAL Awards Celebration

Matthew Gershkovich of Port St. Lucie was honored as recipient of the AFC Scholarship awarded to students for academic excellence, enthusiasm, initiative, and leadership abilities.

James Keenan of Vero Beach was recognized as the Dr. Herman Heise Scholarship, named for the former IRSC president, Dr. Heise. This scholarship is awarded to a student who has excelled in his or her studies while demonstrating superior dedication to reaching their academic goal. 

Billy Banks of Vero Beach, Terry Stover of Fort Pierce and Raisa Asim of Port St. Lucie were honored as new recipients of the Performing and Visual Arts Transfer Scholarship

IRSC Distinguished Scholars recognition was conferred to 85 students, nominated by their instructors or College administrators or staff members for their decidedly above average academic standing and participation in extracurricular activities.

Seyram Akahoho
Sarah Alderman
Ashlyn Amon
Audrey Anderson
Kathryn Bakinowski
Jordan Basset
Sarah Bell
Valentina Beltran
Katie Berger
Valentina Bortolotti
Madison Bridge
Tristen Cameron
Anthony Caprio
Natalie Carlton
Alyssa Carter
Amanda Clark
Trinity Clearwater
Jett Collins
Victoria Dearman
Lillian Demarais
Kelly Demedicis
Lucas De Oliveira
Julie Diaz
Alexandria Dority
Emily Duckworth
Emma Elliott
Sara Erhardt
Susan Etheridge

Monica Figueroa
Brett Freedman
Sean Gamble
Marcia Garcia
Marie Glykas
Kynda Green
Michael Grogan
Lucas Guaglardi
Heriberto Gutierrez
Liam Henry
Maria Hernandez Lopez
Emily Hicks
Jan Hobbs
Austin Hudgins
Joy Jarriel
Monica Kalina
Justin Lambert
Crystal Lecureux
Hailey Leonardo
Rianna Lepak
Saured Lopez
Nick Lynch
Jeremiah Mahuron
Zachary Mansell
Erifylli Maroutsou
Alexander Marshall
Jeff McCormick
Samuel McCreary
Hannah Millard

Kaitlyn Mulcahy
Olivia Nicholas
Jade Nunez
Emily Osborn
Jennifer Palmatier
Sarah Pamer
Taylor Piccoli
Joyce Rogolino
Mallory Roney
Catherine Royden-Turner
Alyssa Ruperti
Christian Salguero
Justin Sanchez
Jessica Scuderi
Isabella Shellbeck
Kevin Sirantoine
Aryana Smith
Connor Smith
Jackson Sparks
Eli Suranofsky
Hope Taylor
Edward Teran
Kayley Test
Kennedy Torrent
Mackenzie Troha
Jason Vetter
Kayla Williams
Jacqueline Zamora

Thirteen high-achieving IRSC students selected for the 2021 All-Florida Academic team for their academic achievements, leadership and service to the community were recognized: Alyssa Carter, Vero Beach; Christian Salguero, Palm City; Edward Teran, Port St. Lucie; Erifylli Maroutsou, International Student from Greece; Jan Hobbs, Hobe Sound; Jennifer Palmatier, Port St. Lucie; Joy Jarriel, Okeechobee; Justin Sanchez, Riviera Beach; Lillian Demaris, Port St. Lucie; Mallory Roney, Jacksonville; Maria Hernandez Lopez, Port St. Lucie resident from Venezuela; Natalie Carlton, Stuart and Sarah Pamer, Port St. Lucie resident.

Academic Award: Presented to Lucas De Olivieira of Port St. Lucie—Associate in Arts recipient—and presented to Maria Hernandez Lopez of Port St. Lucie, international student from Venezuela—Bachelor’s Degree recipient—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.

Lucas’s professors know him as an intelligent, hard-working, polite, considerate, and articulate student. In fact, he scored near perfect on every exam in molecular biology. Lucas is always willing to help his fellow students and has served as a peer tutor in past classes he has taken—even makes learning aids for his peers. He is the first ever student to tutor for molecular biology.

Maria is appreciative of her parents have given everything they could to ensure she would have an exceptional education with values that would matter in the world. “Without the endless support of my parents and siblings, I wouldn’t be here today, in America, doing my best to succeed in life to give back to them in any way that I can.,” shares Maria. “Coming to the United States has been the most difficult decision I have ever taken but opened doors for me to fulfill my dreams, aspirations, and goals.” Being an engineering student, Maria is drawn to research. Understanding personal interest for knowledge, Maria decided to unite it with her curiosity and passion for science and math choosing a path to become a biomedical engineer. Maria plans to transfer to Florida International University to earn both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering,

Community Service Award: Aryana Smith of Port St. Lucie— Aryana is a true student leader. A hard-worker, Aryana will complete her Associate in Arts Degree in Finance/Marketing with a 3.85 GPA (Highest Honors). As Treasurer for CCG, Aryana helped plan 2020-21 Academic year programming while also serving as Chair of the Student Life Committee. She is a member of numerous clubs and committees promoting student life, leadership, and service. She is a 2020 graduate of the Emerging Leaders program and is participating in the Legacy Leaders program this year. Aryana has volunteered at numerous service events as part of the Helping Hands Committee and Student Engagement. Among the many ways Aryana gives back to the community include: service with Graceway Village, preparing and packaging food for low-income families; work during Hibiscus Children Center Game Day, engaging the teens in the home with games and crafts; time with International Coastal Cleanup, beach cleanup and sorting recyclable trash; and volunteering with Walk to End Alzheimer's Treasure Coast, helping to setup and registration for the walk.

General Excellence Award: Linda Francis of Port St. Lucie—Working towards her Nursing Degree, Linda has not allowed adversity to stand in her way. Taking two buses each day to attend classes at IRSC and then two buses to get home, Linda never complains and remains determined to let nothing stand in her way. In addition to her coursework Linda also works full time at a Nursing home. Her instructors remark that Linda is always eager to learn and is a pure joy to teach. With so much on her plate Linda still finds time give back to her fellow students, serving as President of the International Club.

Leadership Award: Erifylli Maroutsou International student from Greece—Erifylli has a deep commitment to achieve success to reach her academic and personal goals. Erifylli continually displays enthusiasm, commitment, and expertise in her approach and performance of any given task. She not only excels academically, but in her extracurricular activities as well. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a student athlete on our national winning swim team, and serves in various leadership roles in our Campus Coalition Government (CCG). Erifylli stepped to become the CCG Parliamentarian in the Fall 2020—taking this role on virtually from half-way around the world in Greece, but her presence was always felt here at IRSC. In January, Ms. Maroutsou stepped up yet again, when the opportunity unveiled itself, as the CCG President. Erifylli has taken her leadership to new heights, completing the Emerging Leaders Program in one semester, becoming one of the first students to complete the New Splash Perks initiative, and participating in the Legacy Leaders Program.

Special Achievement Award: Jackie Geary of Stuart—Jackie’s instructors are overjoyed to see her approach the home stretch as she graduates from the Physical Therapy Assisting Program this May. Her accomplishment did not come easily. Previously, Jackie held two job to help get her children through school. Her challenges began with a divorce that left her with no home and not enough money from her jobs to pay rent and to buy food for herself and her family. Her instructors at IRSC knew of her struggles. Meeting with her privately they offered some possible solutions—providing her with resources and places to go for assistance. They even went so far as to get her a scholarship designated for students returning to college. Jackie often has said that she would not have made it through this program without assistance from her teachers and counselors at IRSC. In her final semester at IRSC Jackie shares her story proudly because she hopes future students who may also be struggling will find encouragment to keep on going no matter how many road blocks they encounter.

SEAL Award recipients for the 2020-2021 academic year include:

  • RiverLife Achievement Award: Caring through Crafting—the organization that puts “LIFE” into RiverLife.
  • IRSC Pride Award: Science Club—the organization that most effectively promoted their purpose.
  • Outstanding Community Service: Asiya Ali Krayee, InterFaith Club President & Legacy Leader—for always sharing time, talent, and/or resources with the community in an exceptional manner.
  • Pioneer Impact Award: Tomeu Mentors Club—the organization that did the most to promote the activities of CCG and to benefit IRSC.
  • Individual Impact Award: Aeyanna Lucero, HOSA Vice President & Legacy Leader—in recognition of her academic excellence and demonstrated ability as a leader and role model.
  • Hart Award: Pedro Sanchez, Legacy Leader—who consistently makes the time to listen and who possesses the knowledge and ability to guide and care for students of IRSC.
  • Unsung Pioneers: Amanda Bea, Rolande Darville, Ilse Rodriguez and Tyoni Stewart—who supported CCG because of their genuine desire to become personally involved.
  • CCG Representative of the Year: Katy Stalter, Best Buddies Club— the representative who most promoted the activities of CCG.
  • President’s Award: Linda Francis, International Club—the organization president who most effectively promoted his or her organization’s purpose and supported the overall success of CCG.
  • Club Advisor of the Year: Emlyn Anderson, HOSA—who went above and beyond for HOSA and for her support and encouragement of the success of CCG.
  • Club of the Year: HOSA—for earning the most CCG points due to participation in community service, school involvement, educational development, and other IRSC programs.
  • Faculty of the Year: Emlyn Anderson, Master Instructor, Health Sciences, and HOSA Faculty Advisor—presented with the Harriett Kirk Crago Faculty of the Year Award. This prestigious recognition is bestowed upon an instructor, nominated by students, who has exhibited expertise in the classroom and warmth and enthusiasm that has significantly enhanced the quality of life at IRSC.

IRSC 2020-2021 Faculty of the Month Recipients

  • September: Troy A. Shearer
  • October: Racquida E. Williams, Ed.D.
  • November: Emlyn U. Anderson, M.H.A.
  • December: Joan O. Rivera
  • January: Taylor A. Kilman, Ph.D.
  • February: Emily Renschler
  • March: Celucien Joseph, Ph.D.
  • April: Wendy L. Smith, D.P.T.

2020-2021 CCG Officers:

  • President: Erifylli Maroutsou
  • Vice President: Julie Diaz
  • Treasurer: Aryana Smith

Incoming 2021-2022 CCG Officers

  • President: Janelle Price
  • Vice President: Aeyanna Lucero
  • Treasurer: Christie Lyon
  • Parliamentarian: Emmanuela Tranquille



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