ASU Top 2013 Graduates
April 25, 2013
A San Angelo native, McCracken will be recognized at ASU’s May 11 commencement exercises along with the five Distinguished Student Award honorees. The Distinguished Student Award recipients are: Sara Criner Terral and Grant Wilde, College of Arts and Sciences; Krista Czarnecki, College of Business; Jill Cummings, College of Education; and Aeriel Elliott, College of Health and Human Services. Other nominees were Candace Frerich, Ashley Hampton, Meghan Harp, Amanda Hill and Ashley Jones from the College of Arts and Sciences, and Anna Melby from the College of Health and Human Services.
ASU’s Academic Excellence Committee will host a public awards ceremony and reception at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 29, in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center inside the Houston Harte University Center to honor the nominees and award recipients. Each will be presented a plaque by ASU President Brian J. May.
A physics major with mathematics minor, McCracken was nominated by the Department of Physics and Geosciences. He will graduate with Highest University Honors after completing the Honors Program curriculum. He received numerous prestigious scholarships, including a Carr Academic Scholarship, Special Academic Scholarship in Physics, Honors Program Scholarship, Alvin and Patricia New Honors Enhancement Scholarship and the Society of Physics Students National Outstanding Leadership Scholarship. His academic accomplishments merited induction into the Alpha Chi national honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma national physics honor society and Pi Mu Epsilon national mathematics honor society.
Also a leader on campus, McCracken served as president of the ASU Society of Physics Students (SPS) and as a leader in science outreach through the SPS “West Texas Road Trip” physics tours and the Alta Loma Peers Helping the Advancement of Science (ALPHAS) program.
Also excelling in undergraduate research, McCracken earned an ASU Undergraduate Research Fellowship, acceptance into a Rice University Research Experience for Undergraduates program, and three summer internships at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center in California. He has presented his research findings at the Rice Quantum Institute Colloquium, professional meetings of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society and American Association of Physics Teachers, the Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Congress, and the Great Plains Honors Council Conference. Blake’s research into terahertz radiation resulted in a publication in Optics Letters and his work with physics outreach was published in the SPS Observer.
McCracken’scombination of academic success, extracurricular leadership and community outreach merited selection to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He plans to pursue a doctorate in physics at the Naval Postgraduate School and begin a career as a research scientist working in weapons system development.
A Mertzon native, Terral was nominated by the Department of Communication and Mass Media. She is majoring in communication with dual minors in art and history. Her academic performance merited induction into the Alpha Chi national honor society, Lambda Pi Eta communication honor society and Phi Alpha Theta international history honor society. She is a member of the Advertising Club, served as advertising manager for the Ram Page and worked as part of a team to develop an advertising campaign for a local nonprofit agency. She volunteers at House of Faith Ministries, teaches classes for the San Angelo Civic Ballet and works for a local media company. After graduation, she plans to work for the San Angelo Civil Ballet as an instructor and as the integrated marketing and communication director.
A mathematics and computer science major from San Angelo, Wilde was nominated by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. He received a Carr Academic Scholarship, Special Academic Scholarship in Mathematics and Chase Sciences Scholarship. His academic performance merited induction into the Alpha Chi national honor society and Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society. He is a member of the ASU chapter of the Mathematical Association of America, tutors computer science students and works for ASU’s Information Technology (IT) Office. His record of academic success and campus and community service earned him inclusion in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He will pursue a doctorate in computer science at Texas A&M University in preparation for a career in university teaching.
A native of El Paso, Czarnecki is majoring in integrated professional accountancy. She was nominated by the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance. She completed the five-year B.B.A/M.P.Ac. program in only four years while also competing on the Rambelles golf team. She received a Carr Academic Scholarship, Athletic Scholarship for Golf and Accounting Education Foundation Scholarship from the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. She earned membership in the Alpha Chi national honor society and selection to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She served as co-captain of the golf team, tutored accounting through the ASU Tutor Center, and will travel to Europe on a study abroad trip this summer. She excelled as a student-athlete, earning an ASU Holland’s Award and being named to the Lone Star Conference All-Academic first team and the National Coaches Association Division II All-Scholar Team. She has accepted a position as a staff accountant with the auditing branch of the McGladrey Accounting Firm, and is preparing to take the Certified Public Accountants exam.
A San Angelo native, Cummings is an interdisciplinary studies major with teacher certification in early childhood through grade 6. She was nominated by the Department of Teacher Education. She earned induction into the Kappa Delta Pi international education honor society, which she served as president, and selection to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She is a member of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, participated in intramural sports, and tutored math through the STAAR program. She volunteers for a variety of children’s causes in the San Angelo community and plans to pursue a teaching career at the elementary school level.
A psychology major with Spanish minor from Austin, Elliott was nominated by the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work. She graduates with Highest University Honors after completing the Honors Program curriculum. She received a Carr Academic Scholarship, Honors Program Scholarship, Alvin and Patricia New Honors Scholarship and F.M. Connaly Scholarship. She earned induction into the Alpha Chi national honor society and selection to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She served as an emissary for the Honors Program, secretary of the Honors Student Association and as a student member of the San Angelo Day Nursery Board of Directors. She presented research at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference and the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in human development and early childhood disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas in preparation for a career as an intervention specialist working with children with autism and autism spectrum disorders.
Frerich was nominated by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. A biochemistry major with biology minor from Devine, she will join the Biomedical Sciences graduate program at the University of New Mexico.
A biology major with chemistry minor from San Angelo, Hampton was nominated by the Department of Biology. She will pursue a master’s degree in physician assistant studies at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
Nominated by the Department of History, Harp is a history major with composite social studies certification from Big Spring. She is beginning a career in secondary teaching.
A Grape Creek native, Hill was nominated by the Department of English and Modern Languages. An English major with specialization in creative writing and a minor in communication, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in performance studies.
A dual major in political science and psychology from San Angelo, Jones was nominated by the Department of Political Science and Philosophy. She plans to attend law school.
Nominated by the Department of Nursing and Rehabilitation Sciences, Melby is a nursing major from League City. She will begin her nursing career immediately upon graduation, and also plans to pursue nursing graduate work.