Eleven Graduates Earn Top Academic Honor at May 7 Commencement

May 09, 2022


  • The award is given to the students who have the highest GPA of their graduating class. 
  • The 11 graduates honored were Eden Crain, Shyanne Hamrick and Emily Pate in the morning ceremony and Angela Ashe, Andrew Blondo, Cristofer Natsis, Lauren Fitzkee, Olivia Mayer, Anna Rhyne, Lexis Spears and Bethany Tanner in the afternoon ceremony.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Winthrop University awarded 11 scholars the President’s Award for Academic Excellence during May 7 Commencement ceremonies. The award is given to the students who have the highest GPA of their graduating class. 

The following students were awarded the President’s Award for Academic Excellence:

* Eden Crain, a human nutrition major from Simpsonville, South Carolina. She was named in April as the Outstanding Didactic Program in Dietetics Student by the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While at Winthrop, she served as volunteer coordinator for the Student Nutrition and Dietetic Association, helped found the Winthrop Running Club and served as the student representative to the College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee. She will start a master’s degree/dietetic internship program in the fall at the University of Georgia.

* Shyanne Hamrick, an English major from Fort Lawn, South Carolina. Faculty members described her as a consummate writer whose elegance and attention to detail infused her creative, academic and professional writing. She plans to refine her skills in graduate school where she will study creative writing.

*  Emily Pate, a social work major from Lancaster, South Carolina. Known as a curious and passionate student, she was dedicated and determined in her studies. Her professors said she was especially aware of how her role as a social worker can set the tone for client success. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work.

* Angela Ashe, a business administration with an emphasis in accounting major and a minor in economics who is from Greenville, South Carolina. Passionate about art, she was involved in the Winthrop ceramics studio and played the cello her sophomore year with the Winthrop Symphony Orchestra. She served as a tutor for the College of Business Administration and interned with a local accounting firm, BNA CPA & Advisors. After graduation, she will begin a full-time job there as an accountant while working on the Certified Public Accountant Exam.

* Andrew Blondo, a computer science major from Fort Mill, South Carolina. Blondo was an excellent student who volunteered as the audio video technician for Doby’s Bridge Presbyterian Church.

* Cristofer Natsis, a double major in modern languages and business administration with concentrations in Spanish and international business who hails from Rock Hill, South Carolina. He also received a minor in economics. A leader in the Winthrop Baptist Collegiate Ministry, he worked part time as an assistant in the Language Learning Center. He plans to work as an insurance agent.

* Lauren Fitzkee, an early childhood education major from Florence, South Carolina. She served as a Winthrop Ambassador, Early Childhood Ambassador and was president of the Winthrop Chapter of the S.C. Association for the Education of Young Children and member of the S.C. Teaching Fellows program. She will work as a kindergarten teacher at Cotton Belt Elementary School in York, South Carolina.

* Olivia Mayer, a middle level education major from Fort Mill. She completed the ASPIRE program where she applied for a vacant teaching position in December of her senior year and completed her internship as the full-time teacher in that classroom. She will continue in that role as an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Oakridge Middle School in Clover, South Carolina.

* Anna Rhyne, an elementary education major from Clover. A Teaching Fellow, she also served as an Orientation Leader. She also participated in the ASPIRE program, working in the spring as a third-grade teacher at Crowders Creek Elementary School in Clover. This fall, she will continue to work in the Clover school district.

* Lexis Spears, an early childhood education major from Rock Hill. She was a Teaching Fellow who spent the spring completing an internship as a second-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in York. She will teach first grade in the same school district in the fall.

* Bethany Tanner, an early childhood education major from Summerville, South Carolina. She completed an internship in a kindergarten classroom at Indian Land Elementary School. She will teach first grade at Alston Bailey Elementary School in the Dorchester School District 2 in the fall.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

Button ArrowALL NEWS