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Citadel News Service
4 May 2013

Outstanding students honored at CGC commencement

At The Citadel Graduate College commencement exercises Saturday, May 4, 2013, in McAlister Field House, more than 330 degrees were conferred and awards were presented.  State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais delivered the commencement address and was presented an honorary doctorate of public education.

“Commencement is a very special time for graduates and their families,” said Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa.  “Students have pursued advanced degrees while juggling the demands of family and career.  They are to be commended for their commitment to furthering their education and preparing themselves for leadership roles in the community. They make us proud.”

The Citadel Graduate College began offering graduate degrees in education in 1968. Sixteen people were in the first graduating class in 1970. Today its offerings include 27 graduate degree programs, four evening undergraduate degree programs and nine graduate certificates. The graduate school has more than 8,000 alumni.

During the ceremony students were honored for outstanding leadership and academic achievements. 

The 2013 Citadel Graduate College Commencement Awards

The Hirshey Award is named for Charles Hirshey who served as head of education from 1969 to 1979. Hirshey was a pioneer in graduate education for the Lowcountry and a founding member of the graduate college.

This year’s award recipients are Lindsay Bowman Hoffman who graduated with a master’s degree in counselor education, Whitney Anne Malone who earned a master’s degree in educational leadership, and Gregory Webster who completed a master of arts in teaching in social studies.

Hoffman completed her counselor education practicum ateact West Ashley High School and 600 hour internship at Fort Johnson Middle School.  She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Chi Sigma Iota honor societies.  She has excelled in the classroom throughout her graduate study as well as out of the classroom serving as student president of The Citadel Graduate Counseling Association for the past two years.  She has demonstrated her commitment to succeed professionally and academically by her perfect 4.0 grade point average and student membership with the American School Counselor Association. 

Malone’s excellence in teaching, modeling instruction and service to her school and her community made her an ideal candidate for the Hirshey Award.  Since she began teaching in 2008 Malone has touched the lives of many students in Dorchester County.  In 2009 she was selected Fort Dorchester High School Rookie Teacher of the Year.  She has a proven track record of commended performance in teaching and has a dedicated passion for education and a commitment to optimizing student and school success.

Webster has spent the past seven years impacting the lives of students around the world through teaching English and coaching soccer.  Webster, who served in the United States Peace Corps, has high intermediate level French certification.  He has been recognized for superior Spanish proficiency by the Ecuadorean Ministry of Education, and he has worked as an English teacher in Mali, China, Ecuador and the Republic of Korea.  In the Charleston area Webster has coached soccer at James Island Charter High School for the past two seasons and has recently completed his Student Teaching Internship at Garrett Academy of Technology in North Charleston. 

The Aline M. Mahan Award honors Aline Mahan, the college’s first full-time female professor, who taught at The Citadel from 1974 to 1991. Through her leadership as founder and coordinator of the school psychology program, the program first achieved official approval by the National Association of School Psychologists.

The award is presented annually to a graduate who has demonstrated an outstanding record of scholarship, technical skill, and community service in the School Psychology program.  This year’s recipient was Jennifer Meehan.

Meehan has consistently been lauded by faculty and peers for her level of conscientiousness, her work ethic, and her commitment to service in the classroom as well as within the school systems she has served while training to become a school psychologist.  As a student at The Citadel, Meehan has made an impact in the lives of children through her work at Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health and the Carolina Youth Development Center. 

The J. Patrick Leverett Award honors Professor Pat Leverett, a beloved faculty member and a devoted mentor whose 10-year service to the department of psychology ended abruptly when he died in a plane crash in Alaska. 

This year’s award was presented to Ashley Gruber for her outstanding graduate work in the clinical counseling program. Gruber brought a high level of maturity, motivation, and intellect to every project and assignment.  Her perfect 4.0 grade point average across her program of study exemplifies her dedication and commitment.  With a warm approach with a solid understanding of the principles and procedures of psychology and counseling, Gruber’s sensitivity, strong interpersonal skills, grasp of theory, and attention to her work made her most deserving of this award. 

The MBA Outstanding Student of the Year award was presented to Clay Scott Gaillard.  Selected each year by faculty, the award is presented to a graduate student who has demonstrated an exceptional record of academic achievement and principled leadership within the MBA program.

A 1994 graduate of Texas Christian University, where he served as opinion editor and an award-winning columnist for the TCU Daily Skiff newspaper, Gaillard was also an active member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.  He entered the MBA program in the summer of 2010 and has been active in The Citadel MBA Association. He was inducted into The Citadel chapters of both the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, which recognizes top students from all academic disciplines, and Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society for business students. Gaillard is a career marketing and communications professional, and currently works for diesel engine manufacturer Cummins Incorporated as North American Parts Marketing Manager.

Selected by students, this year’s MBA Professor of the Year is Timothy Keogh, an assistant professor in the School of Business Administration and an adjunct associate professor in Tulane University’s School of Medicine and Department of Health Systems Management where he directed the master of health administration program. 

Formerly, Keogh taught management communication at Tulane's A.B. Freeman School of Business and was director of the Freeman School's Language Orientation Program for International MBA students. He has been a linguist in Army Intelligence, receiving a diploma in Modern Standard Arabic from the Defense Language Institute. He was a writer and editor for the National Institute of Education in Washington, D.C, and received a Fulbright Grant for graduate study in the humanities at the University of Strasbourg, France. For six years he held the position of manager of corporate and development at a Fortune 500 energy services and engineering company, where he designed and taught a number of management development courses both in the U.S. and internationally.

This year’s recipient of the Business Evening Undergraduate Student of the Year is Michael McKanna. The award is presented to an undergraduate student who has demonstrated an exceptional record of academic achievement and principled leadership within the program.

McKanna, a native Rhode Islander and a 10-year veteran of the United States Navy, moved to Charleston in 2005 to begin employment with Scientific Research Corporation, a defense contracting firm where he continues to support military communications projects across the country and overseas for the Space and Naval Weapons System Center.  In 2009, McKanna enrolled in courses at Trident Technical College and quickly discovered the 2+2 partnership program with The Citadel.  Since then he has balanced a career, school, and family to achieve his goals through hard work and dedication to success.

Lancie Affonso was voted this year’s Business Evening Undergraduate Professor by students in the program.  Affonso, an enterprise technology consultant, has been teaching management information systems, international business, and entrepreneurship courses since 2009.  He is a Certified Entrepreneurship Teacher and an advocate for "net generation" technology entrepreneurs at the YesCarolina Entrepreneurship Biz Camps for middle and high school students.  His research interests include student engagement factors in online learning.

Jeremy P. Williams was presented with the Charles Lindbergh Award which is given annually to an undergraduate evening student in civil and environmental engineering for outstanding academic achievement, service to the engineering profession and to the community. The award honors Charles Lindbergh, Citadel class of 1958, who served as head of the civil engineering department from 1981 to 1993. 

Williams received the award for his hard work, academic success, his high degree of collegiality, dependability, and his positive influence upon others.  Williams is currently a project manager with S&ME in Charleston where he has worked since 2005.  He is a licensed asbestos consultant in South Carolina and an Indoor Air Quality Association Certified Indoor Environmentalist.  He has performed numerous Industrial hygiene projects for various public and private entities, including local, state, and federal governments, as well as large multinational corporations involving occupational safety and health, asbestos, lead, hazardous materials, indoor air quality, moisture intrusion, and infrared thermography.