68th Annual Spring Honors Convocation ~ via Zoom | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

68th Annual Spring Honors Convocation ~ via Zoom

  • Monday, April 12, 2021

    After a year's hiatus triggered by the COVID19 pandemic, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore resumed holding a real-time spring honors convocation with a socially distanced, virtual ceremony earlier this month. 

    Dr. Michael Lane, the Richard A. Henson Honors Program director who served as emcee, said the event celebrated “774 undergraduates - current freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors and recent graduates, now alumni - whose demonstrated scholastic acumen earned them a place on the University's Deans' List during the past calendar year.” 

    Deans' List honorees are full-time students who earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher during the spring 2020 or fall 2020 semesters. 

    Four women received Awards of Excellence, the top honor for each of UMES' schools under which undergraduate programs are clustered. The winners were: Anul Akil (Business & Technology), Gabrielle Pinto (Agriculture and Natural Sciences), Marina Pereira Cruz (Pharmacy & Health Professions) and Ciani Wells (Education, Social Sciences & The Arts). 

    “When I saw my photo appear on my computer screen as a recipient of the Award of Excellence, I was … overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. This past school year has been an extremely demanding one and has stretched me beyond my comfort zone, both academically and in my leadership endeavors,” Wells said. 

    “I strive to be outstanding in all that I do and inspire others to do the same, so, although I don't do it for accolades, it is so gratifying to know that my effort is not in vain. I'm very grateful to be honored, and I'm encouraged by it,” Wells said. 

    Pereira Cruz is an international student-athlete who overcame a language barrier to attend college in the United States.

    “I cannot even describe what I felt when I saw that I won the Award of Excellence,” she said. 'With a lot of effort, everything is possible. I'm very happy and proud of myself for overcoming all the obstacles that I had in these past two years at UMES. Being recognized just showed me that tough moments made me stronger. I'm really thankful for everything UMES did for me. I can say that I finished my four years in college with a bang." 

    Pinto earned her bachelor's degree from UMES in the spring 2020 and is now a graduate student pursing a master's degree in counseling education. 

    “There are no words to describe how grateful I am for the opportunity to be a recipient of this award and to represent my department in such a wonderful light,” Pinto said. 

    “Being in this department has shown me a lot about myself and my view of the world. It has given me the chance to shine in lights I could have never imagined and the opportunity to make life long relationships,” she said. 

    Each undergraduate department or academic program identified a student to receive “Departmental Honors” as the single most meritorious student in calendar year 2020 as determined by the unit's faculty. They are: 

     School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences

    • Gaibrielle Bressler, Agriculture, Food & Resource Sciences
    • D'nasia Jones, Human Ecology
    • Teemer Barry, Natural Sciences

     School of Business and Technology

    • Anu Akil, Business, Management and Accounting
    • Samuel Lebarty, Engineering and Aviation Sciences
    • Hannah Haught, Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • Isabel Hughes, Mathematics and Computer Science
    • Elwaleed Abu Eldahab, Technology - now the Built Environment
    • Joshua Sacker, PGA Professional Golf Management

    School of Education, Social Sciences and the Arts

    • Aaliyah Douglas, Criminal Justice
    • Erica Lewis, Education
    • Ciani Wells, English and Modern Languages
    • Rajan Bethea, Fine Arts
    • Ayotomiwa Fashola, Social Sciences
    • Nicholas Williams, General Studies Program

    School of Pharmacy and Health Professions

    • Nia' Fisher, Kinesiology
    • Jordan Kelly, Rehabilitation Services