Second class to go through program 'an amazing group,' Director Medema says
Twenty-three students were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the University of Colorado Denver at the University Honors and Leadership Program graduation ceremony on Friday.
Students gathered with family and friends in the Terrace Room as UHL celebrated the graduation of its second class. Each student received a medal for their participation in the university-wide undergraduate honors program, and several students won special awards. Within the program, students are divided into two tracks: Academic Honors or Leadership Studies.
Ashley Anderson, a biology major, won the award for Campus Leader of the Year as well as an Outstanding Graduate award for UHL Academic Honors. Other Outstanding Graduate awards were presented to Kevin Johnk, civil engineering, for the Leadership Studies track and Jennifer Mayo, English, for Academic Honors.
In introducing the entire class, program Director Steven Medema, Ph.D., said, “This is an amazing group of kids. The UHL Program is in many ways having a transformative effect on undergraduate education here at the university. It is bringing in better students than have ever come here before, and in much larger numbers.”
He noted that the program is also having the effect of “creating a school of research opportunities for students, which are very much a key for their life beyond the university — whether it be admission to graduate schools, medical schools, success in the job market, or whatever the case may be.”
Presenting the medals to each graduate, as well as mentioning their degrees and future plans, was chemistry Professor Douglas Dyckes, Ph.D. Professor Georg Gadow, Ph.D., associate director of UHL, introduced the Campus Leader of the Year Award.
Medema also thanked Phyllis Chaney, academic services professional in Undergraduate Experiences, for her services to the program, telling parents that “she has been an amazing guardian of your children, motivating and encouraging them.”
Here are the Class of 2013 UHL graduates, their major and UHL track: Kelsey Andersen, mathematics, Academic Honors; Ashley Anderson, biology, Academic Honors; Yashuan Chao, biology, Academic Honors; Angela Choi, public health, Leadership Studies; Kenneth Curry II, theatre, film and television, Leadership Studies; Katherine Dunlap, elementary education, Academic Honors; Ronson Fox, civil engineering, Leadership Studies; Russell Gotthoffer, 3D animation, Leadership Studies; Kevin Johnk, civil engineering, Leadership Studies; Jessica Ledingham, economics, Leadership Studies; Autumn Leon Guerrero, international business, Leadership Studies; Jennifer Mayo, English, Academic Honors; Kelly McNamara, recording arts, Academic Honors; Trevr Merchant, psychology, Academic Honors; Yumi Morii, biology, Academic Honors; Roshan Patel, biology, Leadership Studies; Shelby Shafto, anthropology, Leadership Studies; Natalie Ta, public health, Leadership Studies; Katrina Vargas Bakas, international studies, Leadership Studies; Samantha Whitehair, psychology, Academic Honors; Mandy Wong, philosophy, Academic Honors and Leadership Studies; Alina Yanovich, chemistry and biology, Leadership Studies; and Cindy Zavala, biology, Academic Honors.