Outstanding Associate Graduate Award: Lidia O'Shields
Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate Award:Nancy White
Finalists Spring 2013
Christine Gambino, a Bradenton resident, was a Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar and named to the 2013 All-Florida Academic First Team. Ms. Gambino is a member of the Nu Zeta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and winner of the 2010-2011 Outstanding Chemistry Student Award. She served as president of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliate Club and as a peer tutor in mathematics and chemistry. Ms. Gambino is involved at Bradenton Seventh-day Adventist Church, teaching Sabbath school, planning and leading vacation Bible school and the Bradenton Pathfinder Club. After graduation, Ms. Gambino plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in chemical/biomedical engineering.
Nara Fernandez, a Sarasota resident and Cuban native, served as chief justice for SCF Venice Student Government Association, documentarian and vice president of advertisement for the Philosophy Club and student representative on the Student Activities Budget Review, Budget and Planning, and Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness committees. She was involved in the Sarasota Family Support Network’s Hispanic Support Group, “The Observer and the Observed” project by Sarasota Partnership for Children’s Mental Health and “The World’s Café.” She received the Valerie and Harold Joels Scholarship from the Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County and the SCF Excellence in Philosophical Analysis of Religion Certificate. After graduation, Ms. Fernandez plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy and earn an advanced degree to become a college professor.
Jeannean O’Connell, a Sarasota resident, participated in community service projects as a member of the SCF Bradenton Student Government Association and the Nu Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, raised funds for the United Nations Children’s Fund and tutored underprivileged children in English at The Salvation Army’s Cuernavaca Children’s Mission in Mexico. She received scholarships from The SCF Foundation Inc., the Beverly Beall and R. Kemp Riechmann Foundation, The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key and Palm- Aire Women’s Club. After graduation, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of South Florida to become a pediatric nurse specializing in special needs and cancer cases, provide medical relief in developing countries and create a nonprofit organization to support families with disabled or terminally ill children.
Lidia O’Shields, a Boca Grande resident and Russian native, served as president of the Alpha Mu Upsilon chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, PTK representative to the Student Activity Budget Review Committee, member of the History/Political Science Club, and officer for Phi Beta Lambda Business Club. She realized her dream of an American college education, excelled academically as a member of the 2013 All-Florida Academic First Team and served as a peer tutor in mathematics. Ms. O’Shields will study Chinese in the summer language program at Middlebury College in Vermont. She plans to major in Russian and French studies and minor in mathematics and Chinese at the University of Florida with the goal of becoming a U.S. Foreign Service officer.
Emre Özgener, a Parrish resident, served as vice president of communications for the Nu Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and president of the Math Club. His volunteer work includes serving as a science fair judge, taking photos for Mathematical Association of America meetings, editing video for the South Florida Museum and volunteering at The SCF Foundation Inc. Evening Under the Stars event. He was the recipient of the 2011-2012 Outstanding Student in Physics Award, Mu Alpha Theta Service Award, Mathematical Association of America Presentation Award and a Math Olympic Team competition award. He also worked as a student assistant for SCF information technology services. Mr. Özgener plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science to become a network administrator.
Jared Padgett, a Sarasota resident, served as the Florida 4-H program president, launched the Youth Against Poverty service project and promoted the local 4-H program by creating the “Inside County 4-H” television show. He started a family fun night for homeless at the Salvation Army and volunteered for Do the Right Thing Sarasota, “Stow It, Don’t Throw It” project, Mote Marine Laboratory and Habitat for Humanity. He serves on the State Farm Youth Advisory Board and the Youth Development Advisory Council. He was secretary/treasurer of the SCF Bradenton Student Government Association and member of Nu Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Model United Nations Club and Film Club. Mr. Padgett was one of only nine college students selected to work during the summer as a National 4-H Council assistant. He plans to double major in political science and communications at the University of Florida, earn a juris doctor and run for political office in Sarasota.
Arnold Bailey Jr., a Sarasota resident, has studied microbiology and served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years before discovering his love for teaching. After completing an internship for his Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education at SCF, Mr. Bailey got a job as a lead teacher at Children First in Sarasota, a nonprofit organization that serves underprivileged children (birth to age five) in Sarasota County. He also tutors fifth grade students in chemistry, microbiology and physics, and is pursuing a patent for an energy device to reduce carbon emissions. After graduation, Mr. Bailey plans to pursue a master’s degree in early childhood education with an emphasis on curriculum development at the University of South Florida. His goal is to earn a doctorate in child behavior to address the social and emotional growth and development of children.
Ketan Senjalia, a Lakewood Ranch resident, has found a new direction for his life attending SCF. After previously earning a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and working as a PC technician and network administrator, he enrolled in SCF’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy Technology Management degree program and became interested in reducing energy and improving efficiency through building automation. After graduation, Mr. Senjalia plans to combine his computer experience with his skills and education in energy technology management to pursue a new career in the alternative energy field.
Nancy White, a Sarasota native, has been active in the College and the community. She is master gardener volunteer through the Sarasota County Cooperative Extension and served on the board for the George Avenue Public Improvement District. While at SCF, Ms. White served as an SCF peer advising assistant, helping students with enrollment, registration and advising. In her role, she also became the liaison for SCF student veterans. After graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy Technology Management, she plans to continue working in the public sector.