Student Services

Outstanding Graduate Award - Spring 2022

 Ana Graciela GonzalezOutstanding Graduate Award Winners: Ana Graciela Gonzalez

Ana graduates with an Associate in Science in dental hygiene. She plans to work in a dental office and further her education by earning a Bachelor of Applied Science in health service administration at State College of Florida.

As a student, Ana has been involved in dental hygiene organizations, outreach and community service. She served as a student delegate for the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association and was a second-place award winner at the 2021 Florida Dental Hygiene Symposium Poster Research Session along with her classmate. She has visited an elementary school, residential home and a local church teaching students and adults how to brush, floss, and do other oral health preventative measures.

Ana and her family emigrated from Honduras 12 years ago. As an immigrant family, her parents worked hard to give Ana the opportunity to become the first generation to go to college. Her goal is to help her community by promoting and improving oral health by providing quality dental hygiene treatment and home care education. She also serves as the youth leader, musician, and board member for her local church. Ana has worked as a student ambassador at the Student Services desk for two years where she welcomes, assists and answers questions for potential students and campus visitors. She is grateful for her SCF experience. 

“SCF gave me hope and motivated me to believe in myself by accepting me into the college … and pursue my dream career by graduating this semester with my A.S. degree in dental hygiene.”

Ashley Nicole Zinna

Outstanding Graduate Award Winners: Kaitlyn Lorraine Shehorn

Kaitlyn is graduating simultaneously from SCF and Venice High School (VHS), having participated in SCF’s Accelerated Dual Enrollment program, which allows qualified high school students to enroll in the College full time and earn an Associate in Arts degree. She will attend the University of Florida to study public relations in the College of Journalism and Communications.

Kaitlyn has excelled academically and holds a 3.93 GPA. She is a lifetime member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. She also served as the band captain for the VHS Marching Indians, president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and secretary to the Student Government Association’s senior class.

Kaitlyn earned the Girl Scout Gold Award (awarded to fewer than six percent annually) for developing an educational campaign about healthy and unhealthy relationships called #whatislove. She also helped organize SCF’s Healthy Relationships Week. As part of service to her community, she created the first annual VHS Toy Drive to benefit Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice. Kaitlyn has been involved in several leadership summits, including recently being selected as a delegate for the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State from American Legion NO-VEL Post 159.

Kaitlyn says time management is crucial for success. “With the right schedule, you can accomplish everything on your list and more! Visit the Academic Resource Center and respect your professors. They are full of wisdom and knowledge.”

Brian Keith Edwards II

Finalist: Brian Keith Edwards II

Brian graduates with a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN). He maintained a 4.0 GPA while working full-time as a staff and charge nurse at Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) Respiratory Progressive Care Unit. He plans to pursue a degree in healthcare administration and a Master of Science in nursing.

Brian’s college plans were interrupted in 2013 when his father was laid off from his job and then diagnosed with cancer. He postponed college, worked to help support his family, and founded the SciGuy Tutoring program that is still active and has served more than 120 students. His interaction with his father’s nurses led him to pursue a degree in the field. His path involved many steps, including working up to 80 hours per week while earning his Associate in Science in nursing, and working full-time as a registered nurse while earning his BSN.

Brian’s experience in the SMH Respiratory Progressive Care Unit during COVID-19 contributed to his capstone paper titled “Breathing Under Pressure,” which addresses ways to prevent pressure injuries related to oxygenation devices. He has agreed to share his findings with future students enrolled in the course. Brian encourages students to stay ahead of the game by being organized and not procrastinating. He says SCF allowed him the opportunity to grow as a nurse throughout the pandemic and offered unrelenting support in trying times. 

Kaitlyn Lorraine Shehorn

Finalist: Ashley Nicole Zinna

Ashley graduates with an Associate in Science in occupational therapy. Her goal is to work with individuals involved with the justice system as an occupational therapy assistant and later study to become a certified occupational therapist. She has been on the SCF president’s and dean’s lists, was vice president of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Club and was a volunteer for the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine.

Before attending SCF, Ashley earned a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and says it took several years to find her passion. In her second semester at SCF, she listened to a podcast about the medical challenges facing inmates and decided to focus on this population. She hopes to spread occupational therapy awareness, facilitate support groups and improve the lives of those in the prison system.

Ashley encourages student success by getting to know your professors and taking advantage of SCF’s many resources.

“SCF is an incredibly unique community of faculty and staff willing to do whatever it takes to see their students succeed inside and outside the classroom. I genuinely feel the experiences and education I got from attending SCF are invaluable and have prepared me to graduate and pursue my career with confidence.”

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