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Monday, December 17, 2012

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Outstanding University Scholars Honored at Dinner Dec. 13

Heather Bogatko, of Virginia Beach, a biology major with a secondary education concentration, was named Old Dominion's overall Outstanding University Scholar from the fall 2012 graduating class.

She was one of six Outstanding College Scholars recognized by the ODU Alumni Association at the Student Honors and Awards Dinner on Thursday, Dec. 13. The Alumni Association recognizes the undergraduate student in each college with the highest academic average above 3.40 who has completed at least 60 hours at the university at the time of selection.

Bogatko, who graduated Saturday, Dec. 15, with a 4.0 grade point average, was the top scholar from the College of Sciences. She plans to teach biology or life science in Virginia Beach Public Schools. She named Kneeland Nesius, associate professor of biological sciences, as her most inspirational faculty member (see photo below). "He has been supportive throughout my ODU experience. He answers any of my questions and always says yes to helping me," she said.

The other College Scholars recognized at the dinner and commencement were: Amanda Hunley of the College of Arts and Letters, Krystle Hagans of the College of Business and Public Administration, Chanda Hannah of the Darden College of Education, Marcus Updyke of the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, and Michelle Trachy of the College of Health Sciences.

Hunley, of Chesapeake, earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies, with a teacher preparation concentration (primary/elementary emphasis), and graduated with a 3.98 GPA. She was a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Student Virginia Education Association. She named Tami Al-Hazza, assistant professor of teaching and learning, as her most inspirational faculty member.

Hagans, of Norfolk, earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance and graduated with a 3.92 GPA. She was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, Golden Key International Honour Society and Beta Gamma Sigma. She worked part time as a U.S. Coast Guard co-op student and plans to go back to school for an M.B.A. and sit for the CPA exam. She named Jong Park, assistant professor of accounting, as her most inspirational faculty member.

Hannah, a distance education student from Chesterfield, Va., earned a bachelor's degree in human services and graduated with a 3.96 GPA. She plans to attend graduate school and become a licensed clinical social worker. She named Jill Dustin, associate professor of counseling and human services, as her most inspirational faculty member.

Updyke, of Franklin, Ohio, earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and graduated with a 3.95 GPA. He worked as an engineering co-op student with Stihl Inc. since Feb. 2011 and said he hopes to find a permanent position there or at another local organization. He named Gene Hou, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, as his most inspirational faculty member.

Trachy, of Mechanicsville, Va., earned a bachelor's degree in health sciences, with a concentration in public health, and graduated with a 3.96 GPA. She was in the Pre-Health Club and worked as a lifeguard at the Student Recreation Center. Trachy said she hopes to attend medical school and become a surgeon. She named Annette Finley-Croswhite, professor of history, as her most inspirational faculty member.


Heather Bogatko (second from left), ODU's Outstanding University Scholar, is pictured at the dinner with, from left: Provost Carol Simpson; Kneeland Nesius, her most inspirational faculty member; and Ellen Neufeldt, vice president for student engagement and enrollment services.

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