LSSU's Escanaba/Iron Mountain Regional Center Announces Spring Graduates


Samantha Henderson holding her diploma

Spring 2021 Graduate, Samantha Henderson

Eleven area residents have successfully completed their requirements for a bachelor’s degree and graduated following the Spring (January) 2021 semester from Lake Superior State University (LSSU). Graduates were included in a virtual ceremony that can be viewed online at

Graduating with a bachelor’s of science in accounting are Elizabeth Irving (Gladstone), Laena Iishiba (Escanaba), and Brittany Kleiman (Wilson); Kleiman earned a CPA concentration and Irving also earned an associate degree in general studies with a business concentration.

Graduating with a bachelor’s of science in business administration are Megan Brown (Negaunee), Ashley Edwardsen (Gladstone), Brenden Gatien (Hermansville), Samantha Henderson (Escanaba), Haley Trudell (Rock); Gatien minored in marketing; Edwardsen and Trudell minored in accounting-finance; Brown minored in marketing and earned a management concentration; and Henderson minored in accounting-finance and earned an associate degree in general studies with a business concentration.

Graduating with a bachelor’s of science in criminal justice with a generalist concentration is Austin Gurgall (Hermansville).

Graduating with a bachelor’s of science in early childhood education are Alicia Boussum (Crystal Falls), Andrea Merki (Escanaba), and Katy Wery (Gladstone). All three also graduated with an associate degree in general studies with a behavioral science concentration.

Henderson and Wery graduated Summa Cum Laude, earning a 3.90-4.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4.00 scale. Merki graduate Magna Cum Laude, earning a 3.70-3.89 cumulative GPA. Brown, Gurgall, and Iishiba graduated Cum Laude, earning a 3.50-3.69 cumulative GPA.

Henderson said, “I enjoyed the regional center and the small class sizes. This made it much easier to interact with instructors and receive help when it was necessary.”

Kleiman stated, “Going through LSSU’s regional center made it possible for me to complete my degree while staying home with my family and working full time.”

Brown said, “What I love about my Bay College-LSSU experience is that while life throws us curve balls, the staff I've worked with at the regional center have never wavered from being extremely responsive, helpful, and motivating. I started off as a traditional college student and despite a break in my education between my Associate's Degree and Bachelor's Degree the staff was quick to help me set up my plan when I was ready to jump back in. It is never too late to get back to school and pick up where you left off and the consortium between Bay College and LSSU makes it possible! I can't say enough good things about the teachers that I have had or the support from my advisor, all of which inspired me to continue my education into a Master's Program this fall. I am truly thankful for the experience and recommend the opportunity to anyone!”

Students were taking classes at Bay College, which offers LSSU baccalaureate degree programs on Bay College’s campuses in Escanaba and Iron Mountain. For more information on degree programs available, please contact Heidi Rife at 906-217-4123 or


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