FORT PIERCE — At the culmination of each academic year, Indian River State College recognizes students and faculty for their leadership, community outreach, and contributions to developing a dynamic and engaging campus environment. Friends, family, and the College community joined to celebrate these achievements at two ceremonies this month — a Student Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 6, and the Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL) Awards Celebration held Wednesday, April 12.
Twelve high-achieving IRSC students were selected for the 2023 All-Florida Academic Team. Team members are selected based on their academic achievements, leadership, and service to the community. Shea Dermody, Frenchtown, New Jersey, currently residing in Jensen Beach; Margaret Embody, Hyattsville, Maryland, currently residing in Fort Pierce; Jurie Angelo Fontanilla, Vero Beach; Alvaro Huaman Ruiz, Deltona, Florida; Payte Khoom, Palm City; Nathan Martinez, Deltona, Florida; Evan McCarthy, Palm City; Robert Osteen, Fort Pierce; Moya Smith, Port St. Lucie; Derek Smith Nautel, Port St. Lucie; Coral Strohl, Palm City; and Rylie Walker, Vero Beach.
The 2023 IRSC Student of the Year award recipient is Mudley Duge of Fort Pierce. Mudley is a standout with her infectious smile, kind heart, and willingness to lend a helping hand when needed. She came to IRSC from Aux Cayes, Haiti, and is a freshman majoring in Political Science with a 4.0 GPA. She completed more than 60 hours of community service this year, she is president of the LEAPers Club, which serves under-represented students to help them acclimate to the college and the IRSC experience. She also is a member of Adobe Creative Club, DECA, the Haitian Cultural Club, International Club, and Writing Club. This year she completed all three Student Engagement Leadership Programs — the National Society of Leadership and Success, Emerging Leaders, and Legacy Leaders.
Associate in Arts Academic Award recipient is Shea Dermody of Frenchtown, N.J. Shea has been a full-time student at IRSC since Fall 2021 and is a Physics major with a perfect 4.0 GPA, which also earns her a spot on this year’s All-Florida Academic Team. She earned her Emerging Leaders certification last year and joins IRSC’s Legacy Leaders Program this year. She also served as Secretary of the Student Council, Vice President of the Student Veterans of America IRSC Chapter, and Chair of student-led Historian Committee. Additionally, she works at IRSC as a STEM Pioneer learning assistant dedicated to helping other students succeed. She will graduate this May and plans to attend the University of Florida to earn her bachelor’s degree. Her goals include serving in the U.S. Air Force, enjoying a career in genomics/bioinformatics, earning a doctorate degree, teaching college, starting a non-profit organization supporting equitable education, and one day retiring to a farm with many goats.
This year’s Bachelor’s Degree Academic Award recipient is Neriah Nicholas of Fort Pierce. Neriah is known for helping other students in her classes, forming study groups and creating online chats to share information with others. She is a member of the Science Club and took a large number of courses last semester, all while dealing with some personal struggles and working full-time at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.
The Community Service Award was presented to Rolande Darville of Port au Prince, Haiti. Rolande is a student leader on campus and throughout the community. She is an active member of the International Club, Vice President of the Student Government Association, a graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program, and a Legacy Leader at IRSC. She also chairs the Helping Hands Committee, leading various community service projects along the Treasure Coast.
The events Rolande has volunteered for include Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine, which provides prom experiences for special needs children; mentoring children at High Point Church; and volunteering for the Inner Truth Project, a non-profit organization that provides services to survivors of sexual violence. Rolande is a mother of two and works as a nurse at Lawnwood Hospital. She will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the same time her daughter graduates from the University of Central Florida.
Valerie Delgado Maceira of Port St. Lucie is this year’s General Excellence Award recipient. In addition to her studies, Valerie works in a dental lab and as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She is a mentor to other students, and is Treasurer and Vice President of the Science Club. “Valerie faces challenges with a courage and self-assuredness that is uncommon for students so young,” said IRSC professor Kyle Bartow. “She works harder than anyone else to get good grades and pass her classes and does all this while working several jobs, leading an on-campus archaeological excavation, and balancing her personal and family relationships.”
Valerie also is a Learning Assistant for IRSC and an embedded peer tutor for several classes, creating review materials, recording review lessons, and organizing in-person lab review sessions before exams.
This year’s Leadership Award was presented to Pedro Sanchez from Okeechobee. While working toward his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at IRSC, Pedro at one time took classes at three different campuses so that he could learn face-to-face in a classroom environment, rather than take some courses online. He also serves as the Student Government Association President, a college ambassador, Chair of the Student Life Committee, a peer educator, and a member of the Campus Safety Task Force. As a peer educator he worked closely with the SEAL Team to mentor and educate students about the people, resources, and opportunities available at IRSC while facilitating workshops in leadership programs and representing students at special events.
Pedro began his higher education journey at IRSC as a dual-enrolled student, with support from the College’s Farmworker Career Development Program, a planned program of vocation and on-the-job training, work experience, job placement assistance, and basic education. He has graduated from all three IRSC leadership programs — the National Society of Leadership and Success, Emerging Leaders, and Legacy Leaders.
Seth Maurer of Port St. Lucie received the Special Achievement Award. In addition to helping and encouraging other students, Seth is president of the IRSC Chapter of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). Under his leadership, DECA raised an impressive sum during the DECA Bazaar. As a result, DECA members were able to compete at this year’s competitions. Seth earned First Place on the Business Administration State Exam and First Place in the Human Resources Management Competition. He also participates and volunteers for the Student Government Association (SGA), the Haitian Cultural Club, the LEAPers Club, and others.
The SEAL awards celebrate those who run the more than 70 student clubs, organizations, and athletic teams at IRSC, as well as the hard work and initiative of the Student Government Association (SGA) and the outgoing executive board throughout the academic year.
• RiverLife Achievement Award: Hallstrom Astronomical Society
• Trident Award: Volleyball
• IRSC Pride Award: Sexuality & Gender Alliance (SAGA)
• Outstanding Community Service: Science Club
• Pioneer Impact Award: Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society
• Individual Impact Award: Ashley Boyle of Vero Beach
• Rising Star: Criminal Justice Club
• Hart Award: Audrey Delaune, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs
• Unsung Pioneers: Joseph Lemieux, Academic Advisor; and Jason Fletcher, Coalition for Christian Outreach Co-Advisor and Community Partner
• Outstanding SGA Representative of the Year: Markus Klein, Pioneer Inclusion Club, Port St. Lucie
• President’s Award: Sophia Licata, Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), Jensen Beach
• Club Advisor of the Year: Alex Arnold, SAGA & Financial Aid Advisor, Chastain Campus
• Club of the Year: Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA)
• Student of the Year: Mudley Duge of Aux Cayes, Haiti
• Faculty of the Year: Mrs. June Wells, Assistant Professor of English and Communications, celebrating 50 years at IRSC.
• September: Jon Bell, Associate Professor, Physical Sciences
• October: Kurt Efinger, Adjunct, Humanities
• November: Kelly Caffery, Associate Professor, Social Sciences
• President: Pedro Sanchez, Okeechobee
• Vice President: Rolande Darville, Por Au Prince, Haiti
• Secretary: Shea Dermody, Frenchtown, NJ
• Treasurer: Hayden Mickley, Jupiter
• Press Secretary: George Sofikitis, Port St. Lucie
• President: Pedro Sanchez, Okeechobee
• Vice President: Erika Diaz, Bronx, NY
• Treasurer: Emily Villegas, Port St. Lucie
• Secretary: Elizabeth Flores, Vero Beach
• Press Secretary: Lena Clausen, Port St. Lucie
The following 98 students were selected for outstanding academic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities. These students have completed more than 30 credit hours at the College and maintain over 3.3 GPA: Arly Alexis, Samantha Alzime, Rekik Amme, Melany Anton, Brandon Arias, Marvela Armah, Erika Beyel, Gabriela Borrero, Ashley Boyle, Nicolina Burrell, Sarah Byrd, Alex Caraballo, Leslye Casas, Taylor Copeland, Miguel-Angel Cruz Nunez, Briannie Curtis, Rolande Darville, Emily Decker, Valerie Delgado Maceira, Shea Dermody, Bianca Desreuisseau, Max Dodson, Yamile Dominquez, Cheyenne Dunaway, Delaney Dyer, Samuel Eastmond, Isabella Elg, Langley Elg, Margaret Embody, Wyatt Evans, Zachary Farnell, Jurie Angelo Fontanilla, Ella Gagliardo, Yesenia Gamez, Keira Gaskins, Kyle Gransee, Bridget Green, Brooke Green, Katie Hale, Oscar Hance, Curtis Head, Carissa Hennessey, Katie Hernandez, Yamilet Hernandez, Alvaro Huaman Ruiz, Kenya Johnson, Payte Khoom, Travis King, Greta Klotz, Anderson Kruize, Kreston Lane, Yen Lang, Colin Lawerence, Liam Lepak, Sophia Licata, Kathleen Lott, Nathan Martinez, Mia Masmela, Ella Crissy Massimino, Evan McCarthy, Summer McDonough, Summer McGlamory, Jess Metzgar, Gwen Miller, Victoria Mills, Neriah Nicholas, Robert Osteen, Rodrinay Parker, Brett Pavlik, Sterling Pearson, Sienna Perez, David Perez-Rivera, Victoria Pianelli, Porsche Pickett, Jacob Rich, Nicole Rodriquez, Guadalupe Rosas, Joseph Rosselli, Ivana Saborit, Cynthia Sanchez, Amanda Sandstrom, Mekhi Sappleton, Mariel Scher, Joseph Semprevivo II, Jennifer Sharr, Derek Smith Nautel, Moya Smith, Coral Strohl, Pablo Tamba, Paola Villarroel, Rachel Vold, Rylie Walker, Zoe Williams, Tanner Wise, Wesley Woodard, Morgan Wright, Najeli Zamora and Tania Zamora.