The recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Scholar Award was Melissa Fairchild. She was awarded this honor at the Senior Award Ceremony on Thursday, May 3rd. Melissa started Ferris as an ‘undecided’ student but graduated in Spring 2018 with a degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Academically, she co-authored a paper with Dr. Kristi Scholten, which they presented at the Eastern Communication conference in Boston, MA. While at Ferris, Melissa held positions as president of the Debate Team and debate caption of Pi Kappa Delta Speech and Debate, which helped her pursue her passion of mediated dialogue.
When it comes to service, Melissa tirelessly worked as a volunteer at the Animal Rescue Coalition as well as the Ferris Foundation, where she was an intern. Through her minor in Spanish, Melissa was able to study abroad in Costa Rica as well as get involved with DACA advocacy.
After graduation, Melissa is moving to Philadelphia to work for a political advocacy organization called Grassroots Campaigns.
The Honors Program would like to commend Melissa as well as the other finalists for this award on their strong academic success.
Finalists for Outstanding Scholar 2018:
- Kelsey Diamond, Business Administration and Human Resource Management, Kelsey started Ferris as a Pre-Pharm major, earning her associate degree in science in May 2016, summa cum laude. Despite this, she found her passion in the College of Business, where she double majored in Business Administration and Human Resource Management as well as minored in Leadership and Project Management. Kelsey served as a peer mentor for the Honors Program and lead a large team through the Big Event. She learned most about herself through two service trips to Athens, Greece and New Orleans. Her future plans are to complete an internship in organizational development with Mercy Health St. Mary’s Campus in Grand Rapids.
- Emily Rose Hackbarth, Biology – Pre-Optometry, Emily has taken the charge of Honors to immerse oneself in the collegiate experience to heart. She was actively involved with three different RSOs, holding leadership positions in Beta Beta Beta and as vice president of the Student Alumni gold club. She also serves as a SAL instructor for General Chemistry and is a laboratory assistant for Organic Chemistry. Finally, her Senior Symposium project earned her the Honors Senior Symposium Award of Excellence. Emily will be starting optometry school at the Michigan College of Optometry in the fall.
- Cassandra Kolka, Biology – Pre-Pharmacy, Cassandra has made the most of her undergraduate education. She’s maintained a remarkable GPA and has been an active member of Lambda Kappa Sigma, Panhellenic Council, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Honors Programming Board. She has planned and addressed large events, run the peer-mentoring program, helped to strengthen the greek community and promoted service on and off campus. During her time at Ferris, Cassandra has completed over 450 community service hours and received the Heart and Soul and Rising Star awards in 2016. This summer she is travelling to Martinique for study abroad and South Africa with a nonprofit called “One Heart Source.” Cassandra will be returning in the fall to attend pharmacy school at the College of Pharmacy at Ferris State University.