PHOTO CAPTION: Lisa Wright, recipient of the Arts and Letters Outstanding Graduate Award, is pictured with Jeremy Nastoff of Burkhart, Lewandowski and Miller Law Offices, sponsor of this award.
Bay College is pleased to announce its 2015 Outstanding Graduate Award Winners, honored at an Awards Dinner held on April 28th
. The graduates were selected by their educators for their academic excellence, leadership and community service. Each was sponsored by a local business and the Bay College Foundation.
The 2015 Outstanding Graduates are as follows:
Outstanding Allied Health Graduate - Jena Stropich
Sponsored by OSF Healthcare
Jena graduated in August 2012 with her Licensed Practical Nursing certificate from Bay's West Campus in Iron Mountain, MI. Jena continued her education and graduated with her Registered Nursing Degree in December 2014. With her determination and hard work, she passed her RN boards in April 2015. Jena is currently working as a Registered Nurse in Iron Mountain MI. She is the daughter of Tony and the late Jean Stropich of Norway, MI.
Outstanding Arts and Letters Graduate - Lisa Wright
Sponsored by Burkhart, Lewandowski & Miller Law Offices
Lisa lives in Iron River, MI, with her husband Greg and two children. She works at Bigari Ace Hardware and is currently attending Central Michigan University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in counseling psychology. Her goal is to obtain a Master’s or Doctorate Degree so she can work with military sexual trauma (MST) victims at the VA. Lisa served in the Army National Guard from 2002 until 2008, and was deployed to Iraq in 2005. She volunteers her time with AMVETS and Buddy-to-Buddy peer support, and is currently running for Ms. Veteran America. Lisa is the daughter of Stacy Olson, Michael Nichols and Tracy Irish, all of Iron River.
Outstanding Business Graduate - Jerri DeMenter
Sponsored by Schneider, Larche, Haapala & Company
Jerri graduated in May with a 4.0 grade point average, receiving degrees in Business and Accounting. She plans to pursue her Bachelor’s degree in both Business and Accounting at Lake Superior State University. Jerri is the primary caregiver for her disabled husband who was injured while saving lives in Iraq. She is a peer mentor and math tutor at Bay’s TRiO Center, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and selected to the All-USA Academic Team. Jerri is currently the treasurer of the Escanaba Regional Center Chapter of Business Professionals of America (BPA). She recently placed third in the prepared speech competition at the BPA State Leadership Conference conducted in Grand Rapids.
Outstanding Math & Science Graduate - Aaron Krieg
Sponsored by Hoegh Industries, Inc.
Aaron graduated in May with an Associate in Science in Pre-Engineering. He plans on transferring to Michigan Technological University to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in chemical engineering. Aaron has spent the last two years at Bay College employed as a chemistry lab assistant, tutor, and study group facilitator in the Math-Science Center. He enjoys helping his peers achieve their educational goals while also pursuing his own. He has a four year old son and spends his free time studying and experimenting with chemistry at home for fun.
Outstanding Technology Graduate - Nicholas Nestle
Sponsored by Verso Corporation
Nicholas recently graduated from Bay College’s welding program with a 4.0 grade point average. He is married to his wife Sierra and has two children. Before attending Bay, Nick was a member of the U.S. Air Force and honorably discharged upon completion of two years of service. While at Bay, Nick did an extraordinary job as the welding department work study. His responsibilities included maintaining the welding lab and assisting other students. Nick is employed at Walmart and has aspirations to continue his education and become a Rig Welder.
Outstanding Social & Behavioral Sciences Graduate - Steve Lawnicki
Sponsored by Bink’s Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Steve graduated from Bay College in May with a degree in Human Services and holds a 3.9 GPA. He has been a soccer coach for the past eight years and organized a benefit to help one of his soccer assistants who was diagnosed with cancer. He is active in volunteerism by helping at the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and food pantries in Dickinson County. Steve is married with four children and is currently employed as a restaurant cook and gas station attendant.
The Presidential Honor Award program was established by the Bay de Noc Community College Foundation in July of 1997 in honor of Dr. Dwight E. Link, President Emeritus of Bay College, and his commitment to Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) students attending the college. Selection was limited to PTK members in good standing with at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA and demonstrated substantial involvement in PTK activities. Presidential honor recipients were recognized at an Awards Dinner held on April 28th
The 2015 Presidential Honor Students are as follows:
Brandon Graves is an Honors graduate who received his Practical Nursing Certificate. Brandon has emerged as a student leader and scholar at Bay West. He has worked to initiate student involvement in Phi Theta Kappa while holding down a job and pursuing a full-time Nursing degree. He is kind and supportive of other students, and works very hard to maintain a solid scholarly record while performing community service. He has served as the Phi Theta Kappa Vice President, and continues to be a leader in the nursing program. Brandon has been accepted into the RN Program at Bay College. Once he obtains his RN, he hopes to work overseas in developing nations and with medical organizations such as Doctors without Borders and the Red Cross.
Janey Hudson holds a 3.76 GPA and is an Honors graduate at the Escanaba campus. She received various degrees from Bay College since 2012. She has been a student employee in the Business Office and Human Resources Department. Janey assists with various events on campus, including SOAR, the Math-Science Center plant sale and with registration at a Phi Theta Kappa Conference. Janey is seeking employment in the community with a long-term goal of becoming an entrepreneur in the U.P. In her free time, she enjoys writing short stories, reading books, watching movies, and spending time with her family.
The 2015 winner of the Student Commencement Speech Contest is as follows:
Sarah Unger was born and raised in Cooks, MI and graduated from Big Bay High School in 2010. She was an Honors Program Graduate, earning her Associate in Arts degree from Bay College in May 2012. Upon completion of that degree, Sarah decided to pursue a career in Nursing and graduated this May with her Practical Nursing Certificate. Sarah is an active member of the Bay College Student Nurses Association and Phi Theta Kappa. She plans on continuing her education at Bay to complete the RN program.