May 7, 2020

FMU recognizes top students with annual academic awards

FMU recognizes top students with annual academic awards

FMU recognizes top students with annual academic awards

FLORENCE — Francis Marion University announced the winners of its annual academic awards.

The awards, a tradition at FMU, recognize the very best students in various academic areas. The awards are selected by appointed committees and the faculty of each academic department, as appropriate. Many awards recognize graduating seniors but some recipients are underclassmen.

The awards are typically presented at special ceremony during the final week of classes, but because the campus is closed by the governor’s executive ordered related to the coronavirus outbreak, no ceremony was held this year.

FMU presented five awards recognizing overall academic performance across all disciplines. Payton Russo, won the Pee Dee Electric Cooperative Scholar’s Award for overall excellence. Emma Driggers won the Duane P. Myers Award, given to the top student in FMU’s prestigious honors program. Carlie Fusco won the Honors Student Advisory Council Award. Jimmy Patel received the Phi Kappa Phi Award. And Jonathan Britt and Latia Harvin were co-recipients of the Scholastic Achievement Award.

The winners of FMU’s academic department awards are categorized below.

College of Liberal Arts


Biology Research Award — Markel McFadden, Kingstree, S.C.; Luke Fennell, Olanta, S.C.

Biology Senior Award — Deannah Neupert, Florence, S.C.

Outstanding Sophomore Biology Award — Landon Hardee, Johnsonville, S.C.


General Chemistry Award — Jaleesa Perry, Sumter, S.C.

Organic Chemistry Award — Anthony Ibrahim, Latta, S.C.

Analytical Chemistry Award — Darian Sansbury, Hartsville, S.C.

S.C. Section American Chemical Society, Outstanding Chemistry Major — Rachel Kerr, Hartsville, S.C. W.H. Brezeale Chemistry Major Award — Phillip Mickel, Beaufort, S.C.; Deannah Neupert, Florence, S.C.


English Award — Brianna Coker, Turbeville, S.C.; Adara Cox, Charleston, S.C.

McCrimmon Writing Award — Ethan Wasche, Florencer, S.C.

Playwriting/Screenwriting Award — Sha’Angel Chandler, Kingstree, S.C.

Katherine S. Boling Memorial Award in Fiction — Cassidy Johnson, Columbia, S.C.

Richard B. Larsen Memorial Award — Felisha Norton, Spartanburg, S.C.

Robert R. Parham Poetry Award — Adeleigh Harrington, Florence, S.C.

Modern Language Award — Emma Driggers, Mauldin, S.C.; Jessica Haines, Lake City, S.C.

Fine Arts

Peggy Love McLaughlin Art Award — Patricia Witherington, Florence, S.C.

Jack W. Baker Memorial Award — Andrew Pellegri, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Theatre Arts Award — Lorna Young, Florence, S.C.

Music Industry Award — Philip Sowell, Hartsville, S.C.


History Award — Emma Driggers, Mauldin, S.C.

Mass Communication

Mass Communication Award — Kaitlyn Luna, Lake City, S.C.


Mathematics Award — Sierra Cartano, Raleigh, N.C.

Engineering & Physics

Engineering Technology Award — James Griggs, Florence, S.C.

Health Physics Award — Dylan Hall, Hartsville, S.C.

Computational Physics Award — Thomas Dixon, Florence, S.C.

Industrial Engineering Award — McCrae Jones, Hartsville, S.C.

Political Science

Eileen Kirley-Tallon Political Science Award — Austin Moody, Dillon, S.C.

Neal D. Thigpen Award in S.C. Politics and Government — Mark Buyck, Florence, S.C.

Dr. Jesse A. Coles Jr. Public Service Award — Hailey D. Reed, Holly Hill, S.C.


Douglas A. Mandra Memorial Award in Applied Psychology — Blake Yoder

L.A. Hoff Psychology Research Award — Kaitlyn Harndon, Conway, S.C.

Mike Jordan Psychology Award — Joshua Smith, Hartsville, S.C.


Linda M. Summer Social Work Award — Kaitlyn Harndon, Conway, S.C.

Sociology Award — Rhyli Burke, Florence, S.C.

School of Education

Thomas W. Sills Memorial Award in Early Childhood Education — Loni Picariello, Florence, S.C.

James E. Potterfield Award in Elementary Education — Emily Blackburn, Florence, S.C.

School of Business

Accounting Award — Milam Chandler, Florence, S.C.; Jessica Cassidy, Darlington, S.C.

Computer Science Award — Aaron Fulmer, Marion, S.C.

Economics Award — William Mitchum, Florence, S.C.

Management Award — James Parra, Scranton, S.C.

Management Information Systems Award — Ashton Kirby, Timmonsville, S.C.

Marketing Award — James Parra, Scranton, S.C.

Finance Award — Sierra Cartano, Raleigh, N.C.

School of Health Science

Healthcare Administration Award — Margerita Abuaita, Lake City, S.C.

Undergraduate Nursing Award — Savannah Wright, Bennettsville, S.C.

Graduate Nursing Award — Ryan Wilson, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Physician Assistant Award — Heather Sanders, Florence, S.C.

Speech-Language Pathology Award — Alexis Coe, Florence, S.C.