Winthrop University: Three Seniors Honored with President’s Award for Academic Excellence
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Three Seniors Honored with President’s Award for Academic Excellence

June 01, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Honored as the academic leaders for their class are: Zak Butt, Aliza McMahon and Martha Grace Whiteman.

  • Normally an awards presentation would be made at Commencement, but this year’s May ceremonies were postponed due to the coronavirus.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Three Winthrop University seniors were notified this month that they are recipients of the President’s Award for Academic Excellence for having the highest GPA.

Normally an awards presentation would be made at Commencement, but this year’s May ceremonies were postponed due to the coronavirus.

Honored as the academic leaders for their class are: Zak Butt, Aliza McMahon and Martha Grace Whiteman.

Zac Butt, an exercise science major from Summerville, South Carolina, was the 2020 Big South Men’s Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A member of Winthrop’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council, the team captain was a Golf Coaches Association of America All-America Scholar in 2019. He was one of 12 student-athletes awarded the Big South Conference’s prestigious George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence for having the highest GPA during their undergraduate collegiate careers. 

He will attend Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in the fall to start a master’s degree in exercise and sport science with a specialization in sport and performance psychology. 

Aliza McMahon of Irmo, South Carolina, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. A standout education major who exhibited leadership skills, she taught English in China for four weeks last summer. 

A member of Delta Zeta, McMahon was a Teaching Fellow, a Winthrop Ambassador, Elementary Education Ambassador and Mentor, and a member of the Winthrop Spirit Squad. She will begin work in the fall teaching fourth grade at Mount Gallant Elementary School in Rock Hill.

Martha Whiteman of Anderson, South Carolina, worked two years as the undergraduate gallery assistant at the Winthrop University Galleries. The position sparked her interest in museum studies, prompting her to pursue several internships. She interned twice with the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C., and worked as an art counselor for the Smithsonian’s All Access Digital Arts Camp.

She received the Art History Award from the art department in 2019 and 2020. Whiteman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and will eventually attend graduate school to work on a master's degree in museum education or a Ph.D. in art theory and criticism.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 10/4/21