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USCA inducts students into Veteran’s Honors Society

April 24, 2018

USC Aiken recognized Wednesday the scholarship and academic achievements of veterans and military students and spouses during the induction ceremony for Pi Alpha Sigma, the Veteran’s Honors Society.

The 25 honorees, with GPAs of 3.0 or higher, represent about 10 percent of USCA’s veteran and military students, including veterans, military members, active reservists and military spouses and family members, said Robert Murphy, the director of USCA’s Office of Veteran and Military Student Services and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. About 9 percent of all USCA’s May graduates are veteran or military students, he said.

“One of our mantras is that we continue to celebrate - we continue to celebrate victories - and that’s exactly what we’ve done tonight,” Murphy said. “Pi Alpha Sigma represents the warriors of wisdom. This year, the U.S. Army takes the honors for having the highest GPA of all inductees. It’s the university that allows these students to be successful.”

USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan said one of her proudest achievements was the creation of the Office of Veteran and Military Student Success.

’It has exceeded all of my expectations,” she said. “I think primarily because of the leadership of that office with Rob Murphy and others who are contributing to turning our veteran students into cool civilians.”

Jordan said about 59 percent of USCA’s veterans and military students who are graduating in May are graduating with honors.

“We’re thrilled with their success,” she said. “We know that they’ll go on and continue what they did when they were in the military or as families of military, and that is continue to serve with distinctions now as civilians.”

Guest speaker Jake Torres, the maintenance supervisor for Aiken Off Road Tire Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, shared his experiences as both a U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force veteran. He told the inductees to take what they have earned through the military and their degrees into civilian life.

“You decided to sacrifice yourself and do something greater than yourself,” he said. “Continue to do that in the civilian sector. Remember who you are. I represent my family, my services, my university and my employer. You will do the same.”

The inductees are Brenna Abdullah, military family member, early childhood education; Jennifer Braddy, U.S. Army veteran, business administration; Brigette Cuonzo, military family member, applied clinical psychology; Aubrey Dakin, U.S. Army veteran, English; Kenneth Edwards, U.S. Navy veteran, business administration; Atiya Fields, military family member, communication; James Glass, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, business administration; Brianna Hancock, military family member, fine arts; Katrina Hazel, U.S. Navy Reservist, business administration; Samantha Kyzer, military family member, special education; Trevor Laird, military family member, nursing; and Sherill Leake, U.S. Army veteran, nursing.

Also, Travis Leischner, U.S. Army Reservist, industrial process engineering; Paris McDonald, U.S. Army Reservist, applied clinical psychology; Heather Nall, military spouse, psychology; Alicia Parks, military family member, middle level education; Anniebelle Quattlebaum, military family member, English; Casey Rhodes, U.S. Army Reservist, exercise and sports science; Janet Rodriguez-Wood, military spouse, psychology; Joshua Schutzenhofer, military family member, history; Joshlyn Shells, U.S. Army veteran, nursing; Emily Siebach, military spouse, applied clinical psychology; James Thayer, U.S. Air Force veteran, English; Terence Willoner, U.S. Army veteran, biology; Chamarra Wooten, military family member, business administration.

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