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Citadel News Service

For Release
May 4, 2003

College of Graduate and Professional Studies
honors students and faculty at commencement

          During commencement today, The Citadel's College of Graduate and Professional Studies (CGPS) honored three students and a faculty member for excellence in academics and teaching.

          CGPS is celebrating its 35th year in 2003 and invited Thomas Mahan, former CGPS dean of graduate and continuing education, to deliver the commencement address. Mahan was instrumental in the growth and development of the evening undergraduate and graduate studies program.

          Mahan received an honorary doctor of humanities following his commencement address.

          During the awards presentation, Carrie L. Allen of North Charleston received the Charles E. Hirshey Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching Education. Allen, who works as a research and library technical assistant at The Citadel's Daniel Library, received her master of arts in teaching degree from CGPS. Allen wants to teach high school social studies. She completed her student teaching at West Ashley High School this spring.

          Melissa Beckham Askins of Kingstree received the Psychology Department's Aline M. Mahan award for outstanding scholarship, technical skill and community service. The award honors Mahan, faculty emerita, a driving force behind the creation of the college's psychology program. In 1974, Mahan was the first female professor at The Citadel.

          Askins received her master of arts is school psychology. Her thesis was entitled '''Depression and Parents' Perceptions of Depression in Children with Prader-Willi Syndrome." She also co-authored an article with Kerry Lassiter of The Citadel Psychology Department on hypothyroidism, which was published in "Childhood Disorders: Diagnostic Desk Reference" and completed her internship at the Florence County School District 3 Office of Exceptional Children.

          Amy Polk of Charleston received the master's in business administration award for Student of the Year. A native Charlestonian, Polk is a graduate of Wando High School and the College of Charleston. She works full-time at Ryan Scientific in Mount Pleasant as a sales associate.

          The MBA Professor of the Year is Sylvia Spearman, who joined The Citadel faculty in 2002. A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and California State University at Northridge, Spearman is director of the Oral Communications Lab at The Citadel and teaches professional communications in the undergraduate and graduate programs.

          Founded in 1966 as the co-educational Evening College, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies offers 20 graduate programs and three undergraduate programs, including the only nationally accredited masters in business administration program in the Lowcountry. Today, CGPS has more than 6,000 alumni and 1,100 students enrolled in its programs.


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