MSU-Meridian celebrates outstanding education students

MERIDIAN, Miss.— Recognizing outstanding educators and promoting positive educational programs in our area is the goal of the division of Education at MSU-Meridian. For the seventh year, the division hosted their Excellence in Education banquet as well Phi Delta Kappa and Chi Sigma Iota honor society initiation.  The program was held at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Sixteen new members were inducted into Phi Delta Kappa (PDK), the premier professional association for educators. Phi Delta Kappa inductees must have 3.0 overall GPA and registered and admitted for a degree program in the College of Education at Mississippi State.  Fourteen new members were also inducted into Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society of professional counselors. Chi Sigma Iota inductees must have an overall GPA of 3.5 and have completed a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours in a counseling program.    

Seven outstanding education students were also recognized at the banquet.  They include:  Adrian Cross of Meridian, Outstanding Graduate Student for the Community College Education.  Cross is employed with Meridian Community College as the non-traditional student recruiter and received MSU-Meridian’s 2015 Spirit of State Award; Leticia Seydel of Meridian, Outstanding Graduate Student for the Counselor Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  Seydel will graduate in May 2015 with a 3.88 GPA.  She completed her counseling internship at New Leaf at Alliance Health Center in Meridian; Josh Perkins of Enterprise, Outstanding Graduate Student for the Educational Leadership Program. Perkins will graduate in August 2015 with an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership and holds a 4.0 GPA; Amber Wood of Collinsville Outstanding Student for Elementary Education. Wood is a Riley Scholar and will graduate in May 2015 with Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with Magna Cum Laude honors. She completed her student teaching internship at Southeast Elementary School; Alex Weir of Philadelphia, Outstanding Student for Kinesiology. Weir, a junior kinesiology major with a 4.0 GPA will graduate in May 2016. Megan Oliver Everett of Lake, Outstanding Student for Secondary Education.  Everett is a Riley Scholar and will graduate in May 2015 with Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with Summa Cum Laude honors. She completed her student teaching internship at Sebastopol Attendance Center in Sebastopol, MS; Haley Pierce McFarland of Philadelphia, Outstanding Student for Special Education. McFarland also received the Mississippi Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Outstanding Internship Award for Mississippi State University. A Riley Scholar, McFarland will graduate in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education with Summa Cum Laude honors.

Three special awards were presented as well. The Gary Benton Undergraduate Award was given to Haley Pierce McFarland, and the George Thomas Graduate Student Award was given to Adrian Cross. The awards were named for Dr. Benton and Dr. Thomas for their leadership of the Division of Education at MSU-Meridian during the last 40 years.  They each served as head of the division and are responsible for the growth and development of the division.  They are also each active in their communities and give back in service to the community as well as to the university. A third award was also presented – the Outstanding Alumni Award which was presented to Richard McDonald, assistant principal at Southeast Middle School.

Phi Delta Kappa inductees:
Raquel N Brown, Preston; Rachel Courvelle, Meridian; Jerilynn Crosby, Lake;  Toni Dikes, Quitman; Ashley O Garrett, Meridian; Jessica Ann Jarman, Meridian; Emily Darby Kerstiens, Meridian; Donna Raeshel Landrum, Meridian; Jennifer Wentz Meador, Jachin, AL; Audrey Ann O’Neil, Quitman; Katie E Pittman, Bay Springs; Ashton Nichole Stewart, Meridian; Suzanne Porter Stokes, Meridian; Amber Dawn Wood, Collinsville; Duanika Emerson, Meridian; and Janiqua Merrell, Newton.

Chi Sigma Iota inductees:
Tracy Smith, Forest; Haley Alexander, Meridian; Dominque McKee, Meridian; Alisha Hudnell, Meridian; Leticia Seydel, Meridian; Jo Lyn McElhenney, Decatur; Susan White, Meridian; Heather Chamberlain, Meridian; Suzanne Stokes, Meridian; Marques Creer, DeKalb; Jennifer Meador, Jachin, AL; Kortney Green, Meridian; Nicole Miller, Meridian; and Latoya Roberts-Boler, Walnut Grove.

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