MSU-Meridian recognizes outstanding graduates for spring semester

Contact: Lisa SollieFour women in graduation regalia standing

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Five graduates at Mississippi State University-Meridian are being recognized as outstanding students for the 2022 spring semester. They are among 153 students, including 35 honor graduates, six Riley Scholars and one Stephen D. Lee Scholar receiving diplomas Thursday [May 12] at 11 a.m. at the MSU Riley Center.

The honorees include:

—Caelan Martin of Philadelphia, Outstanding Undergraduate Student for the Division of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the Dennis J. Mitchell Award of Excellence. A psychology major, she is a highest honors graduate, Riley Scholar and recent inductee of Psi Chi National Honor Society. Martin, who aspires to become a behavior analyst, recently was accepted into the Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis degree program at MSU’s Starkville campus

—Tricia LaBiche of Meridian, Outstanding Undergraduate Student for the Division of Business. A highest honors graduate and Riley Scholar, LaBiche spent 18 years in the nursing field before she worked with the family’s jewelry business in downtown Meridian. After returning to her nursing roots, she later decided to return to school to study accounting, which had always been among her interests.

—Mariam Khmaladze of Meridian, Outstanding Graduate Student for the Division of Business. A professional MBA major and credit analyst II at Citizens National Bank, Khmaladze worked during the pandemic to become an American citizen and return to school. As an undergrad at MSU-Meridian she was recognized as the 2018 Outstanding Undergraduate Student, as well as the recipient of the university’s premier Spirit of State Award.

—Mari Williams of Hattiesburg, Outstanding Undergraduate Student for the Division of Education. A first-generation college graduate, she participated in the Professional Advancement Network for Teacher Assistants initiative at MSU-Meridian. PANTA helped Williams, a first-grade assistant at Purvis Elementary School, become a licensed teacher and complete her elementary education degree.

—Morgan Melton of Enterprise, Outstanding Graduate Student for the Division of Education. A counselor education major, Melton received her undergraduate degree in psychology from MSU and begins working as a therapist this month with The Crossings at Alliance Health Center, an adolescent residential treatment center in Meridian. She and her husband David are the proud parents of an 18-month-old daughter, Naomi.

Thursday’s commencement ceremony may be viewed on MSTV or at It also will be shown on the MSU-Meridian Facebook page.

To learn more about MSU-Meridian, visit

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