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Grindle Honors students leave mark through academics, service

Every year, honors students at Seminole State go above and beyond in the classroom and community.

From the Spring Term into the summer, students enrolled in the Grindle Honors Institute at Seminole State College of Florida are making an impression around Florida and nationwide through service, academic excellence and high achievement.

Scholarships and honors

  • Ali Akbaritorkamani, of Apopka, has been named to the the 2014 All-Florida Academic Team. He received a medallion at the awards ceremony at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort on April 24. Students are chosen for the All-Florida Academic Team based on outstanding academic achievement, leadership and community service.
  • Gabriella Nicholas, of Longwood, has been named Seminole State’s eighth Jack Kent Cooke scholar. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, considered the top scholarship of its type in the nation, awards up to $90,000 over three years for transfer students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Read more about Nicholas here.

Conferences and internships

  • Eight honors students attended the Florida Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Tampa, where they presented on various topics and sat through a wide array of panel discussions. The theme for the 2014 conference was “Honors Education, Charting the Course: Scholarship, Leadership, Stewardship.” They presented on topics including foreign cultures, art, history and politics.
  • Richard Christel, of Winter Springs, is building his knowledge and experience in Washington, D.C., this summer, where he will participate in the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems internship program. He will attend classes at George Mason University’s Arlington campus, where he will study American political and economic history while interning at a governmental or political agency.
  • Mitchell Thomas, of Sanford, has received an internship to work in Dr. Timothy Osborne’s lab at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, where he will study molecular biology and biochemistry.
  • Bradley Prast, of Longwood, is interning this summer with Dr. Kiminobu Sugaya, a biology professor at the University of Central Florida who specializes in stem cell therapy as a treatment for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Melissa Cunningham, club representative of Seminole State’s Non-Traditional Student Club, of Sanford, gave a presentation at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) at the University of Maryland in June. One of the premier conferences in the nation for college women, the NCCWSL aims to prepare female students to become the next generation of leaders.

Community service

  • Students taking Professor Melissa Bork’s intro to honors classes raised more than $625 for the BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation and Harbor House of Central Florida. BASE Camp provides support to children and families living with cancer and other life-threatening hematological illnesses, and Harbor House provides support and counseling for survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Dr. Debra Socci’s honors biology class and the Environmental Club participated in two environmental projects during the Spring Term. In one activity, students and volunteers marked storm drains around Seminole County with signage advising against dumping waste that could pollute and contaminate water. The second outing was a trash pickup to help keep roads and parking lots clean and fresh.

The Grindle Honors Institute offers enrichment programs for academically talented students wishing to enhance their experience at Seminole State. For more information, visit the Honors Institute website, or call 407.708.2062.

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