Chancellor's Students of the Month for 2015 

The Chancellor’s Students of the Month recognizes outstanding students in the Florida College System who demonstrate leadership skills, academic success and/or commitment to community service. Students are recognized by the Florida College System Chancellor in monthly newsletters that are distributed to nearly 800 stakeholders across the state. Students selected also receive a Certificate of Recognition and letter from the Chancellor.

Nominations

In order to be considered for the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month award, students must be nominated by the Florida College System institution they attend. Nominators must complete and submit the Chancellor's Clark Maxwell Scholar Student of the Month Nomination Form (Word, 771KB) to ChancellorFCS@fldoe.org. Nominations may be submitted at any time by college staff, administrators or faculty members.

September 2015

  Kristen Binning

Kristen Binning

    Few people can make quasars and pulsars sound interesting when explaining them-Kristen Binning is one such student. She's a leader in STEM-related activities at Lake-Sumter State College, leading the charge for the establishment of the Student Government Association chartered STEM club on the Leesburg and South Lake campuses. She was unanimously elected as club president and worked tirelessly during the club's first semester to lay a strong foundation for the club to have a positive image at the college. In between trigonometry and physics classes, she also managed to write science-related reviews and articles for the student newspaper. She brought the same astounding leadership qualities from her time as STEM Club president to the newspaper, which landed her the position Editor-in-Chief.

   "Because of Kristen's leadership," says STEM Program Manager Sara Corvil, "students now have a centralized hub every month to meet other STEM students in a fun, highly engaging learning environment." Kristen plans to bring that same sort of quality of student activity when she transfers to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall of next year. She intends to major in Astrophysics with the ultimate goal of being on the edge of discovery and to serve as a role model for future generations.

  Jesse Pulliam

Jesse Pulliam

    Jesse Pulliam has demonstrated remarkable leadership at Palm Beach State College, taking time to understand students' concerns and articulate those issues and possible solutions to college leaders.

    Jesse completed his A.A. degree in August 2015 and is now taking prerequisite classes for transfer to a bachelor's degree in engineering program. He became a new student trustee at Palm Beach State College in August. Jesse is a staunch supporter of the Student Learning Center and serves as a Chemistry tutor and Supplemental Instruction leader at the Student Learning Center on the Palm Beach Gardens campus. As a Supplemental Instruction leader, he facilitates weekly study sessions for his peers.

   Jesse was a speaker at the New Student Convocation, inspiring hundreds of first-year students, and he has been actively involved in numerous other events. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

  Christian 'Collin' Ziegler

Christian "Collin" Ziegler

    Christian "Collin" Ziegler is a student at Northwest Florida (NWF) State College who is currently pursuing his Associate in Arts degree. Collin rises to any challenge placed in front of his and, more often than not, can be found stepping forward to lead his peers.

    In his leadership roles, Collin also challenges and encourages his fellow students to strive to be their best. He is a NWF State College RaiderRep and has also served as Pro Temp of NWF State College Student Government Association. Collin has also served as junior defense instructor for child self-defense; interned for Florida Representative Matt Gaetz; is a member of the Florida Messenger and Page Program and the Black Best Club of Kuk Sool Won and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House during its Christmas Connection program.

    Collin manages to accomplish all of his volunteer work and studies while maintaining a 3.68 GPA and working at a local pizzeria. Upon graduation, Collin plans to continue his education and pursue a career in International Relations.

August 2015

  Daniel Eaton

Daniel Eaton

    Daniel Eaton is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and is a non-traditional student at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ). Daniel worked many years as a manager for various restaurants before deciding to attend college. After two years of earning 3.68 cumulative GPA towards his Associate in Arts degree, Daniel was accepted into the Physical Therapy Assisting program in the summer of 2015.

    Daniel currently serves as a student ambassador leading campus tours at the FSCJ North Campus. Last year he was very involved in the Student Government Association. Under his leadership, the North Campus SGA successfully implemented several new initiatives such as International Education Day, Open Mic/ Karaoke, the Zombie Run and Student of the Week. He also participated in numerous volunteer events and was a founding member of the campus' Spanish Club.

   Daniel also advocates for his peers and has brought their concerns regarding textbook affordability and the availability of financial aid to the attention of administrators during Campus Governance and Student Leaders Meetings. Daniel was elected by his peers to serve as the Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA) District IV Assistant Jurisprudence in the fall of 2014 and assumed the duties during the spring of 2015.

  Christian 'Collin' Ziegler

Christian "Collin" Ziegler

    Christian "Collin" Ziegler is a student at Northwest Florida (NWF) State College who is currently pursuing his Associate in Arts degree. Collin rises to any challenge placed in front of his and, more often than not, can be found stepping forward to lead his peers.

    In his leadership roles, Collin also challenges and encourages his fellow students to strive to be their best. He is a NWF State College RaiderRep and has also served as Pro Temp of NWF State College Student Government Association. Collin has also served as junior defense instructor for child self-defense; interned for Florida Representative Matt Gaetz; is a member of the Florida Messenger and Page Program and the Black Best Club of Kuk Sool Won and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House during its Christmas Connection program.

    Collin manages to accomplish all of his volunteer work and studies while maintaining a 3.68 GPA and working at a local pizzeria. Upon graduation, Collin plans to continue his education and pursue a career in International Relations.

July 2015

 

Shay Clayton

    Shay Clayton has proven to be an exemplary student during her time at Florida Gateway College (FGC). She is currently seeking her Associate in Arts degree and plans on becoming an educator in the future. Her leadership can already be seen on a day-to-day basis at FGC.

    In addition to being a full-time student, Shay serves as a work-study assistant in the FGC Recruiter’s Office. Despite her busy schedule, she is very active in FGC activities.

   A talented artist and singer, she took it upon herself to create a large display - complete with photos and hand-drawn art - to honor FGC’s retiring president, Dr. Charles Hall, and had a starring role in FGC’s summer musical, “Footloose.”

   Most recently, Shay won FGC’s most recent talent competition and has been willing to help with college marketing as well.

 

Carol Rauen

    Carol Rauen is a single mother who has overcome challenges with the help of supportive professors. She earned her Associate in Science in Nursing degree from State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) and has worked as a registered nurse in intensive care for 13 years.

    As a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program student, Carol completed a prestigious summer internship with the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and has been invited to present at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s New Knowledge and Innovation Conference.

    Ms. Rauen is treasurer for the Suncoast Nursing Honor Society and chair of the society’s Research and Evidence-based Practice committee. She volunteers for the Manatee Medical Reserve Corps and serves as a basic life support instructor for the American Heart Association. She is also a member of the American Nurses Association and was the recipient of the Elton Louise Bunderman Nursing Scholarship through the SCF Foundation.

   After graduation, Ms. Rauen plans to continue serving the community and earn a master’s degree with the goal of pursuing a career that fosters her interests in research and quality improvement.

June 2015

  Picture of Madison Carter

Madison Carter

    Chipola College sophomore Madison Carter was selected as a member of the 2015 All-Florida Academic First Team for her outstanding record of scholarship and community service.

    Carter, the 2014 Valedictorian of Chipley High School, has served as a tutor in the college's Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and in a College Reading and Learning Association Level 1 Certified Tutor. She is also a member of the Chipola Honors program, Mu Alpha Theta Math Society, Science Club, Pre-Medical Society, and is an officer in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

   During her time at Chipola, Madison has worked on a variety of service projects. She coordinated a toy drive for area hospitals, volunteered at the Bay County Rescue Mission, visited the Shriners Hospital in Tampa and participated in a food drive.

   Madison graduated from Chipola in May and plans to transfer to the Bachelor of Health Science program at the University of Florida. She hopes to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

  Picture of James Arnold

James Arnold

    James Arnold is a student at Polk State College who is currently seeking his Bachelor of Science degree in Supervision in Management. He is known around campus for helping other students succeed and for serving as a role model for young African-American men.

    James is often found outside Polk State's Student Center, a location he has dubbed his "office". There, James spends hours counseling other students. The students listen intently because James is both a peer and also a well-suited - he is rarely without a coat and tie - and experienced professional. Countless students attribute their success to James' involvement and interest in their lives.

    Almost as often as he counsels students, James advises unenrolled youth who have chosen Polk State as a hangout spot. He strikes up conversations, inquires about their interests, shares with them the opportunities Polk State offers and, on many occasions, personally assists them through the application process.

   James is also vice president of public relations for Polk State's Student African-American Brotherhood organization and represents the college in the community. In addition, James serves as a mentor at a local opportunity school where he encourages troubled middle-school students to prioritize education.

May 2015

 

David Lewkowicz

    David Lewkowicz is not a typical high school senior. Originally from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, he moved to the United States with his family at the age of 5. A hardworking and driven student, he excelled academically and had the opportunity to take advanced math and science classes at Broward College through the College Academy.

    On May 5, he graduated with a high school diploma, a 4.0 GPA and an associate of arts degree from Broward College. Even before graduating, Lewkowicz has already been accepted into the United State Naval Academy.

    Despite his busy schedule, Lewkowicz also devotes his time to the community as a YMCA leader in training and volunteers at the Life-Net Soup Kitchen. He is also a member of the Civil Air Patrol, as well as a South Florida representative for Hugh O'Brian Youth.

   After the naval academy, Lewkowicz plans to serve his country for eight years before pursuing a career in naval aviation in the field of aerospace engineering.

 

Nicholas Stark

    Nicholas Stark is an ambitious student leader who has represented Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) in several capacities, from leadership roles on multiple student committee to key positions with the Florida College system Student Government Association.

    Nicholas sets a high standard of integrity and his work ethic and confidence have inspired other PHSC students while impressing administrators and staff. Naturally, introverted, he overcame shyness by accepting leadership positions and connecting with others. As a leader, he set ambitious goals to meet student objectives and recruited other leaders while creating a more dynamic campus community.

    As SGA president, Nicholas has attended every District Board of Trustees meeting and served as student representative on PHSC's Presidential Selection Committee while maintaining a 4.0 GPA in pre-med classes. Nicholas delivered a speech on behalf of his fellow classmates at a retirement event honoring PHSC President Dr. Katherine Johnson. Definitely no longer the shy student upon arrival at PHSC, Nicholas' future is bright.

April 2015

  Yanik Etan

Yanik Etan

    Yanik Etan is a student at the College of Central Florida (CF) and will graduate on May 8th with an Associate in Arts degree.

    Yanik, who is from the island of St. Lucia and moved to Ocala from the Caribbean with his parents in 2012, exemplifies the success of students in the Florida College System. This spring, he was selected as a member of the 2015 All-Florida Academic Team and was elected as International President of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society. Yanik also serves as the President of CF's Kappa Nu chapter of PTK and is an active leader for environmental and humanitarian service activities.

    Yanik plans to continue his education at CF and pursue an Associate in Science degree and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management.

   "CF not only gave me a foundation for higher education, but I believe it gave me something even more profound: a second home and a family," says Yanik.

 Galyna Tuz

Galyna Tuz

    Galyna Tuz graduated Magna Cum Laude in December 2014 from Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) with an Associate in Arts degree in Anthropology. Originally from Ukraine, Galyna has led by example through community service projects and through her job as a student assistant on campus. 

     During her time at GCSC, Galyna started the Anthropology Club where she has organized student service projects. Her interest in anthropology has also allowed her to obtain a volunteer position at the Publishing Museum and Visitor Center in the historic St. Andrews area of Panama City where she has logged in over 250 hours of volunteer service. In addition, Galyna has participated in GCSC’s Model United Nations on three separate occasions.

     Galyna is currently continuing her education at GCSC in anticipation of transferring to the University of Florida, where she can major in anthropology.
Manual Rubio

Manny Rubio

     Manual "Manny" Rubio is pursuing his Associate in Arts degree with a focus in social work at Indian River State College (IRSC).

     As an IRSC Ambassador, Model UN officer, member of the Campus Coalition Government and International Club and a mentor of the SAMS Club, Manny has gone above and beyond to help contribute to the success of IRSC students.

     For his respectable attributes he was awarded the Hart Award, which recognizes commitment to helping others. Manny also works full-time at the IRSC Call Center to further help others in the IRSC community. He plans to continue his degree in Human Services, with the goal of teaching sociology or serving as a guidance counselor.

Picture of Jana McDermott

Jana McDermott

      Jana McDermott is currently pursuing her Associate in Arts degree at St. Johns River State College. She is the president of SJR State's Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter on campus. As president, her work involves organizing charitable events such as the annual PTK Christmas party for the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.


      During her time at SJR State, Jana has displayed exemplary leadership through her involvement in community organizations such as the St. Augustine Wildlife Reserve, Blood Alliance events, and the Belk's Charity Relay for Life. In addition, she has received the Alpha Xi Eta Chapter Scholarship and the Dr. Applewhite Humanitarian Scholarship, while also being selected to the 2015 All-Florida Academic Team and nominated for the All-USA Community College Academic Team.

     Following graduation, Jana plans to transfer to the University of South Florida in hopes of pursuing an accelerated master's degree in Microbiology.

Zeinab Noureddine

Zeinab Noureddine


     My name is Zeinab Noureddine Vazquez and I am 20 years old. I am half-Cuban and half-Lebanese. I was born in Cuba but at the age of one I came to live in Miami. At a very young age, my parents divorced and my father left to live in Lebanon. Having a family with different cultures has been humbling and has taught me to not judge others. Living in a single-parent household has taught me the importance of being independent and strong. I have seen my mother struggle financially and I have seen her face many hardships. However, I have never seen my mother give up. Despite my mother's financial difficulties, she has always put an emphasis on my education.

     It is because of the values my mother has instilled in me that I am currently a dedicated student at Miami Dade College (MDC). At MDC, I am completing my Associate in Arts in Business Administration. My career objective is to become a Certified Public Accountant. I am passionate about becoming a CPA knowing that I will have the ability to work locally helping individuals. There is no limit to the number of people I can help.

     Aside from the time I spend on my studies and extracurricular activities, I also enjoy delving into great novels which stimulate my imagination and allow me to escape reality. In addition, I like to watch interesting documentaries; particularly about successful companies and their business strategies. These are some of the hobbies that keep me level-headed during chaotic times.

February 2015


Brian Brito

     Bryan Brito attends Miami Dade College (MDC) and has been a leader of civic service in the community. In his first semester at MDC, Bryan became the chair for the Community Service Committee, and was elected as a senator and chief justice for the Student Government Association.

     He has also been involved with partnerships between Wells Fargo and MDC's School of Business by helping present three non-course topics related to student-finance. Bryan was also selected by the MDC Student Life department to attend a conference in Washington to acquire firsthand experience and perspective into politics and the media through a combination of lectures from prominent guest speakers, panel discussions, site visits, and small group dialogues.

Deja McPhee

     Deja McPhee is currently seeking her A.A. degree in Exercise and Sports Science at Santa Fe College. She is the captain of the Santa Fe College women’s basketball team and leads the team in many statistical categories. Along with her accomplishments on the court, Deja has demonstrated leadership in the classroom by maintaining a GPA over 3.5.

     Deja has also been involved with many community service projects such as elementary school basketball clinics and seminars for local high school basketball teams. Santa Fe College has recognized Deja as one of the Women of Promise, which is an award that recognizes outstanding female service in Alachua and Bradford Counties.

January 2015

Picture of Melissa Diaz

Melissa Diaz

     Melissa Diaz is graduating this spring with an A.A. degree at Daytona State College. As President of the Mu Rho Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society, Melissa has conducted bowling and movie nights for the Conklin Center for the Blind. She has participated in the Heart Walk for the American Heart Association, and has also helped sponsor blood drives on campus.


     Under Melissa's leadership the chapter initiated an “Honors in Action Project”, which focuses on community health awareness, and she is also one of the few community college students ever to present a scholarly paper to the Florida Political Science Association. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and ultimately wants to gain a law degree.
Picture of Salwa Shamsi

Salwa Shamsi

     Salwa Shamsi graduated in December 2014 with an A.A. Microbiology Transfer degree at St. Petersburg College. Salwa was heavily involved in student clubs such as the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Undergraduate Science Research Society. Along with her colleagues she helped present research on the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA to the SPC's Honors Conference. 
     She also overcame English language difficulties and enrolled in SPC's English for Speakers of Other Languages program to help others with similar language barriers. Salwa dreams of utilizing her research skills to help discover some of the world's future diseases and how to treat them.

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