Contact: Lisa Sollie
MERIDIAN, Miss.—Five graduates at Mississippi State University-Meridian are being recognized as outstanding students for fall 2020. They are among 95 students who are receiving diplomas, including 10 honor graduates, one Riley Scholar and two Stephen D. Lee Scholars.
The honorees include:
—Matthew David Jackson of Newton, Outstanding Undergraduate Student for the Division of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the Dennis J. Mitchell Award of Excellence. A history major, Jackson is a Riley Scholar and completed his degree with highest honors (summa cum laude). He also is being recognized as a Stephen D. Lee Scholar for earning a 4.0 grade-point average throughout his college career. A Master Sergeant with the 238th Air Support Operations Squadron, the 37-year-old father of five has served in the military 18 years and is a recipient of the Bronze Star.
—Jason Frulla of Union, Outstanding Undergraduate Student for the Division of Business. A business administration major with a concentration in healthcare administration, Frulla began his college career at the age of 40 at East Central Community College and then transferred to MSU-Meridian originally to study accounting. After discussions with Carlton Young, professor of healthcare administration, Frulla changed his major and completed this degree with highest honors (summa cum laude).
—Steven Brown of Meridian, Outstanding Graduate Student for the Division of Business. A Professional MBA major, Brown is vice president of finance and chief financial officer for Anderson Regional Health Systems. After a brief foray into banking and then public accounting, Brown has spent the past 26 years in the healthcare field. He began MSU-Meridian’s Professional MBA program in the summer of 2018.
—Mariah Usry of Decatur, Outstanding Undergraduate Student for the Division of Education. Usry is an honor (cum laude) graduate and a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda, a national leadership and honors organization, as well as an officer in Kappa Delta Pi (Upsilon Phi Chapter), an international honor society in education. Through her classroom work and student internship, the special education major is confident she’s been given the tools she needs to be successful in her own classroom.
—Rudy Leffler of Hattiesburg, Outstanding Graduate Student for the Division of Education. Leffler spent 14 years serving in the Army National Guard and 24 years in manufacturing before starting college in his 50’s earning a fine arts degree. At the age of 61 he enrolled at MSU-Meridian to pursue his teacher’s license through the alternate route program and is in his third year of his new career and is currently teaching at Stone Middle School in Wiggins.
To learn more about MSU-Meridian, visit meridian.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.