SJR State students honored at annual awards ceremony
Proud of their accomplishments over this past school year, students gathered at St. Johns River State College’s Orange Park campus, along with College administrators, faculty, staff, family members and friends, to be recognized for their academic achievements and participation in club activities.
Academic awards were presented for excellence in various courses and programs, including the Bachelor of Applied Science degree, accounting, computer science, emergency medical technician (EMT), nursing, biology, marine biology, environmental science, zoology, physics and humanities.
Each year during the annual awards ceremony, the Hall of Fame award is presented to a select number of students recommended by faculty for academic excellence and extracurricular involvement. Students inducted into the SJR State Hall of Fame this year were Shandette Ballesta, Jordan Heyn, Jeevaratnam, Dorothy Morgan and Ashley Richardson. As Vice President for Student Affairs Gilbert Evans, Jr. presented the Hall of Fame awards, he informed the recipients that their names will be added, “with perpetuity,” to the Hall of Fame wall located in the College’s breezeway.
Ballesta, who serves as president of the Student Government Association (SGA), also received the President’s Award for her dedication to the SGA. Ballesta is well-known on campus for her strong work ethic and tireless efforts on behalf of her peers, and as Student Activities Coordinator Jim Rogers presented the President’s Award to her, he stated that he will now be looking for a “new Shandette,” as she moves on to further her studies in hospitality management. For his own dedication to SJR students, Rogers was recognized at the ceremony, by Evans, for recently receiving the Florida College System’s Advisor of the Year Award.
Ballesta, SGA Assistant President Steven Richardson and other SGA students were recognized for active participation throughout the school year. Rayah Lealie and Ashley Richardson received the Outstanding Service Award. Andrea Harper was presented with the Member of the Year Award.
Vice President for Development and External Affairs Caroline Tingle presented the Dr. Gary B. Lott Memorial Scholarship to Suren Jeevaratnam. “Last year, I had the privilege of presenting this same scholarship to Suren’s sister,” Tingle said. Tingle explained that Lott served as an administrator at SJR State for 25 years.
Along with the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society Certificate of Appreciation, PTK faculty advisor Aaron Knowles presented a $250 scholarship check to Ashley Richardson.
Each year, Phi Theta Kappa recognizes the most outstanding students in the Florida College System based on academic achievement, leadership and service to the community by naming them to the All-Florida Academic Team. The two students from SJR State are Jordan Heyn and Suren Jeevaratnam.
Students in the Business, Nature, Psychology, Rotaract and Spanish clubs were also recognized. Through clubs and organizations, SJR State offers a variety of campus-life opportunities, including community service projects, allowing students to meet new people and make new friends while working as a dynamic team and learning leadership skills.
Jordan Heyn and Suren Jeevaratnam are presented with the All-Florida Academic Team Award by SJR State business professor Aaron Knowles.
Vice President for Development and External Affairs Caroline Tingle presents the Dr. Gary B. Lott Memorial Scholarship to Suren Jeevaratnam.
Student Activities Coordinator Jim Rogers presents the President’s Award to Shandette Ballesta for her dedication and service to the Student Government Association.
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