Award Winners

The Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute has many outstanding students. Below is a peek at the awards and recognition they have received for their academic accomplishments and community involvement.

Charles Bilyue Charles Bilyue

Charles was the only student from Central Florida to be named a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar in 2012 – Seminole State’s seventh consecutive honoree – and one of only 60 honorees nationwide. He graduated from Seminole State in April and plans to pursue a degree from either the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School or Stanford University, eventually working his way toward a doctorate in macroeconomics. “I want to do research and teach and be influential on macroeconomic policy,” he says. For more on Charles, check out Seminole State's YouTube page.
Mary Anderson Mary Anderson

In addition to being recognized with several honors students as part of the Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team, Mary was honored by the club in 2012 with a Distinguished Chapter Member Award. Mary, the executive vice president of Pi Lambda, was one of only 30 PTK members nationwide – and one of only three in Florida – to earn that honor. Mary plans a career in social statistics with a focus on LGBT issues.
Lauren Vinson Lauren Vinson

Honors student and softball pitcher Lauren Vinson’s career at Seminole State has been jam-packed with accolades. The two-time All-Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) and All-Mid-Florida Conference (MFC) pitcher went 45-13 as a starter in her two seasons with the Raiders, including 25-8 her sophomore season – making  her No. 2 in the state. Along the way, she also racked up two statewide Pitcher of the Week awards. And Lauren excelled off the field as well, representing the honors program at a global seminar in Salzburg, Austria, and being named to the FCSAA and MFC All-Academic teams and recognized as Seminole State’s Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Christopher Posey Christopher Posey

Pi Lambda’s vice president of scholarship and future novelist Christopher Posey was selected in 2011 as a Coca-Cola Leader of Promise Scholar by Phi Theta Kappa based on his stellar academic record and essay answers. Christopher, who maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his academic career at Seminole State, received a $1,000 award to be used for tuition, books and other educational expenses. He also won the College’s Stephen Caldwell Wright Poetry Competition.
Brandon Carpenter and Matthew Hopper Matthew Hopper and Brandon Carpenter

In 2011, Brandon (left) and Matthew (right) were selected by the National Community College Aerospace Scholars program to participate in a three-day event at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., where they helped to develop a fictitious company pursuing exploration of Mars. With a group of peers, they developed the hypothetical company’s infrastructure and designed a prototype Mars rover. The two were selected to be among the 48 participants based on completion of Web-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) assignments. Matthew was also selected by NASA as a National College Aerospace Scholar.
Edwin Perez Edwin Perez

In September 2011, Edwin received a $5,000 scholarship from the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando. The first-generation college student was the executive vice president of Pi Lambda, and he worked as a math tutor in the College’s Academic Success Center. One of only 18 winners in Central Florida, he was recognized at the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund’s “Gowns and Guayaberas” gala. He plans to study computer engineering at the University of Central Florida.
Isa Adney Isa Adney

Stetson graduate and 2007 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar Isa Adney published a book in March 2012, called “Community College Success: How to Finish with Friends, Scholarships, Internships, and the Career of Your Dreams," which offers tips for succeeding in community college. For her mentorship efforts, the White House named Isa a “Community College Superstar.”
Tatiana Viecco

Tatiana Viecco

Grindle Honors graduate and 2010 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar Tatiana Viecco has been selected for the 2012 Order of the Pegasus Award by the University of Central Florida. The award recognizes exemplary performance by UCF undergraduates in the areas of academic achievement, outstanding university involvement, leadership and community service. It is the most prestigious award a UCF student can receive. The Colombia native, who knew no English when she moved to the United States as a teenager, serves in the McNair Scholar program, helping minorities and underrepresented students gain acceptance in college. She will graduate from UCF in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a minor in engineering leadership.

Daniel Leon Daniel Leon

Daniel Leon has received several awards for his academic achievements. In 2011, the Venezuela native became Seminole State's sixth consecutive Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship recipient and was one of 20 students nationwide to earn a Guistwhite scholarship. In 2010, he was selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting, a three-day conference aimed at engaging and inspiring the next generation of student leaders. Leon graduated from Seminole State in April 2011 and is attending American University in Washington, D.C.
Sebastian Sanchez

Sebastian Sanchez

Sebastian Sanchez was one of only 35 students nationwide to be selected for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Summer 2011 Congressional Internship Program. The Colombia native spent eight weeks in Washington, D.C., where he worked in a congressional office, learned about the legislative process, engaged in policy discussions, and completed professional development and community service initiatives. Sanchez graduated from Seminole State in August 2011 and is studying international relations at Rollins College.

Ryan Genslinger and Juan Robayo Juan Robayo and Ryan Genslinger

Juan Robayo (right) and Ryan Genslinger (left) were among 109 students statewide to be named to the 2011 Phi Theta Kappa All-Florida Academic Team. They were selected for the team based on their academic success, leadership skills and community involvement. Robayo also received a Hispanic Heritage Scholarship in 2010 and was one of 50 students in the country to be named a 2011 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar. His scholarships and awards are helping him pursue degrees in biotechnology and molecular biology at the University of Central Florida.
Tatiana Viecco and Lani Milton

Tatiana Viecco and Lani Milton

Tatiana Viecco (left) and Lani Milton (right) were named to Phi Theta Kappa's 2010 All-Florida Academic Second Team based on their academic accomplishments, leadership skills and contributions to the community. The pair was recognized during the PTK Annual Convention, held April 8-10, 2010, at Walt Disney World's Swan and Dolphin Resort.

Trishelle Copeland Johnson Trishelle Copeland-Johnson

Trishelle Copeland-Johnson achieved two College firsts in 2009: She became Seminole State's first New Century Scholar, as well as the first student to be selected to USA Today's All-USA First Team. In 2008, Copeland-Johnson won second place in the Science and Energy Research Challenge, a national poster competition for undergraduate students who have conducted Department of Energy-related science research. Today, she is pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at the University of South Florida. Click here to learn more about her accomplishments.
Sally Rodriguez

Sally Rodriguez

In April 2009, Sally Rodriguez became the College's fourth consecutive winner of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The first-generation American and first-generation college student used the $30,000 per year to complete her bachelor's degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

All-Florida Academic Team

Katrina Shadix, Sally Rodriguez, Trishelle Copeland-Johnson and Matthew Palmeira

Four Honors Institute students were named to the All-Florida Academic Team in 2009. Trishelle Copeland-Johnson received First Team honors, while Katrina Shadix, Sally Rodriguez and Matthew Palmeira (not pictured) were named to the Second Team. To be selected to the All-Florida Academic Team, nominees must show academic excellence and rigor, leadership and service.

Sarah Holland

Sarah Holland

Sarah Holland, a 2008 Seminole State graduate, was the College's third consecutive Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship recipient. The Lake Mary resident competed against 700 applicants to become one of only five Florida students to win the prestigious award in 2008. With the scholarship, she was able to complete her bachelor's degree at Stetson University.

Sarah Holland and Jennifer Wolff

Sarah Holland and Jennifer Wolff were named to the All-Florida Academic Team in 2008. Nominees must show academic excellence and rigor, leadership and service. Holland was one of 20 students in Florida named to the First Team and Wolff was named to the Second Team.

Lalita Booth

Lalita Booth has received many awards for her academic achievements. In 2006, she became Seminole State's first Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship recipient and, in 2007, was selected as the Florida Association of Community College's Leroy Collins Distinguished Alumni in the "Against the Odds" category. In 2008, Booth was one of 65 students nationwide to win a prestigious Truman Scholarship, which recognizes students planning to pursue careers in government or public service. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2009 and graduated with double master's degrees from Harvard University in May 2012.
Justin Bagley

Justin Bagley

At the 2007 Phi Theta Kappa International Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Justin Bagley received the Distinguished Chapter Officer Award for his role as PTK Service Officer. Today, Bagley works for Johnson & Johnson as a member of the IT leadership development program.

Phi Theta Kappa

Seminole State's Pi Lambda Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society was awarded five-star status, the highest rating possible, in 2011. Pi Lambda also received a Distinguished Chapter award for being one of the top 10 chapters in Florida.

Want more info? Contact us.