TU honors outstanding students at reception | Events
THOMAS COUNTY, GA - News release from Thomas University
Thomas University students were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements during the annual Honors Reception held Friday evening, May 4, at the Best Western Rose City Conference Center in Thomasville.
Forty-five students were recognized for graduating with honors. Eighteen students were named departmental award winners.
The most prestigious award Thomas University presents to a student – the President’s Award – went to Claudine Burke, a student in the Master of Science in Nursing Degree program. Originally from Jamaica, she has been studying and working in the U.S. since 2006. Burke originally wanted to pursue a degree in medicine. When she was 13, her father died leaving her family without the resources to support that goal.
Instead, Burke worked at a bank in Jamaica to save for college, to pay for her sister’s college education and to help support her family. She eventually earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting/Management Studies at the University of West Indies in Jamaica. Claudine then moved to the U.S., where she earned a 4.0 GPA while pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Finance at Sam Houston State University in Texas.
While Burke enjoyed working in finance, she realized that she still had a desire to work in healthcare. She passed up a job offer to work on Wall Street and instead chose nursing school. Burke earned an Associate of Nursing Degree from Darton College in Albany, Ga., and then worked as a registered nurse for a year at Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee, Fla. With her sites set to become a nurse educator, Burke enrolled in Thomas University’s Master of Science in Nursing Degree program.
In nominating Burke for the President’s Award, Dr. Susan Otto, Chair of the Division of Nursing, wrote, “Claudine Burke is an outstanding student whose life represents the values of scholarship and service reflected in Thomas University’s mission.”
During her time at TU, Burke was elected to serve as the first president of the recently chartered Phi Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She was selected to receive the Graduate Assistantship for the Division of Nursing and helped in preparing for accreditation site visits, webpage development and assisting nurse educators.
After graduating from TU on May 5, Burke plans to pursue a Ph.D. in nursing and obtain the Certified Nurse Educator credential while continuing to practice as a registered nursing.
Other students recognized as departmental award winners at the Honors Reception are listed below.
- Associate of Science in Law Enforcement – Thomas Gramiak of Lyons, Ga.
- Bachelor of Arts in Humanities – Sarah P. Manwaring of Thomasville, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Accounting – Charlie Ray Monroe Weaver of Ochlocknee, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Management – Michael D. Corbitt of Ochlocknee, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Marketing – Daniel Robert Difrancesco of Thomasville, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Timothy Jon Cramer of Citrus Springs, Fla.
- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education – Samantha Brooke Eason of Meigs, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies – Laura Creazzo of Moultrie, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science – Xiuhua Ji of Lilburn, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education – Lynlee Gainous Barrett of Cairo, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Roger Griffin of Thomasville, Ga.
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Nicholas D. Gilpin of Tallahassee, Fla.
- Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education – Amanda Wood of Thomasville, Ga.
- Bachelor of Social Work – Jacqueline Page Merkison of Tallahassee, Fla.
- Master of Business Administration – William J. Watson of Tallahasse, Fla.
- Master of Education – April Suzanne Palmer of Thomasville, Ga.
- Master of Science in Nursing – Amy Cason of Arlington, Ga.
- Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling – Elijah Lee Carter of Appling, Ga.