The Due West Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) recognized 39 young women from Erskine College and area high schools March 27 at the 58th Annual Student Recognition Dinner in the Bell Conference Room of Watkins Student Center on the Erskine campus.
Former Erskine administrator Genie McDill, a 1972 graduate of Erskine College who now teaches at Ware Shoals High School, was the featured speaker. She commended the honorees for their achievements, telling them, “None of you is here by accident.”
Praising the “compassionate, patient faculty” at Erskine for recognizing her struggles as a sophomore transfer student, she said, “This institution turned me around.”
Some recommendations she offered to the college and high school seniors were that they cultivate a strong work ethic, remain teachable, “make a friend of change,” “hold tightly to your faith,” and “make a commitment to the community you live in.”
McDill noted that a good leader “pushes others ahead,” and empowers them to lead. She suggested that as they prepare to move on to college, career, or graduate school, students need to develop a “very good sense of humor.” She called laughter “the purest expression of joy” and said it “brings people together,” adding, “It’s important not to take ourselves too seriously.”
Professor Emerita of Biology Dr. Janice Haldeman welcomed guests on behalf of Erskine College; Erskine alumna Sarah Kennerly offered a blessing before the meal; and Haldeman introduced the speaker.
Haldeman and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Physics Tiffany Hayden distributed award certificates to the honorees.
Erskine seniors honored and their subject areas were Amy Burton, accounting; Kristen Dodge, athletic training; Jordan Joseph, Bible and philosophy; Chance Fortenberry and Marissa Mayfield, biology; Susan Durden, business administration; Kaitlyn Kerley, chemistry; Katherine Snelling, early childhood education; Alanna Richmond, elementary education; Autumn Horne and Blake Little, English; Quaporsha Mason, history; Kasey E. McNair, mathematics; Taylor Hedger, music; Mollie Polk, physical education; Molly Graham, political science; Kristen Craft, psychology; Clarissa Stiving, special education; and Lydia Trexler, sport management.
Abbeville High School seniors recognized were Alyssa Cheyenne Crawford, English; Audrey Grace Eaves, foreign language; Kirsten Rose Scott, math; Lauren Elizabeth Mentis, science; and Kiasia Quashayla Bowie, social studies.
Calhoun Falls Charter School seniors honored were Alexis Calhoun, English; Addison Brown, foreign language; Kaytlin Robertson, math; Bailee Brown, science; and Taylor Parton, social studies.
Dixie High School seniors receiving awards were Marissa Nicole Hines, English; Delanis Laudenbacher, foreign language; Sommer Burton, math; Hope Peeler, science; and Ashleigh Burton, social studies.
Honorees from Ware Shoals High School were Kaitlyn Abby Pilgrim, English; Jazmin Aviles Gomez, foreign language; Savannah Neal, math; Alison Lee Rodriguez, science; and Jennifer Noelle Lowe, social studies.