Outstanding Graduate Award Finalists Spring 2011
The Outstanding Graduate Award was developed to recognize a graduating SCF student who has shown superior leadership, academic achievement and community service while attending SCF. Competitive applicants will have demonstrated success in the classroom and have shown a commitment to improve the College and the community at-large. The Outstanding Graduate Award finalists for Spring 2011 are:
Stephanie Burr, a Port Charlotte resident, has been actively involved as president of Psi Beta National Honor Society for psychology students, serving as co-chair of the guest speakers series on physiological concepts and representing SCF at the 43rd American Association of Suicidology Annual Conference. She was a recipient of the Psi Beta Leadership Award and Image Award at SCF’s 2010 Honors Convocation. She also was vice president of the History and Political Science Club. After graduation, Burr will pursue a bachelor’s degree in mental health sciences from University of South Florida with plans to become a psychologist.
Paul Cajka’s experience at SCF has given him the opportunity to participate in various clubs and organizations, serving as vice president of scholarship for Phi Theta Kappa, participating as head delegate for SCF’s first United Nations Model Team, and competing in state and national Brain Bowl tournaments. Cajka, a Sarasota resident, won the best position paper at the Southern Regional Model United Nations Conference and won first place for individuals at the 2011 FCCAA West Central Regional Brain Bowl Tournament. He also was named to the PTK All-Florida Academic Team. After graduation, Cajka plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree in political science.
Shirley Foor, a Bradenton resident, has been active in the College and community as member of Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society. As president of Manatee County Girls Club Board of Directors, she has helped improve education and opportunities for women and at-risk girls. She was a lead organizer and founding member of the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee County in the early 1990s. At SCF, she helped students as a peer-assisted learning tutor in English and writing. She plans to attend Eckerd College and study creative writing in the Program for Experienced Learners.
Jodi Johnson has developed her leadership skills as president of Phi Theta Kappa, hosting PTK events, organizing scholarship workshops and participating in service projects. She also was a member of the SCF Green Team and cofounder of the Awareness Initiative Program at SCF Venice designed to raise awareness about drug and alcohol dependence. A North Port resident, Johnson was one of just 50 college students nationwide to be named a Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar and her name appeared in the April 11 special edition of USA TODAY. She also was named to the PTK All-Florida Academic Team. After graduation, Johnson plans to attend New College of Florida and double major in anthropology and gender studies or international relations.
James Mohan has had the opportunity to explore his interest in engineering through unique experiences while at SCF. Mohan, a Venice resident, was one of 44 community and junior college students nationwide to be selected for the National Community College Aerospace Scholars program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. He also was instrumental in creating an SCF team to participate in the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program to conduct a reduced gravity experiment this summer. After graduation, he plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of South Florida and later attend graduate school with the goal to work in the field of robotics.
Derek Wallace has discovered new interests and gained confidence in his abilities since enrolling as an early admissions student at SCF. A Bradenton resident, Wallace performed a lead role in the SCF music department’s production of “Into the Woods” and was SCF’s Most Outstanding Student in Political Science in 2010. He also was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and volunteered at community events including Relay for Life and All Children’s Hospital Telethon. After graduation, Wallace will pursue a bachelor’s degree in government and world affairs and plans to earn a juris doctorate in criminal law.