MANSFIELD, Pa. – Caitlin Beauduy was named the 2021 Outstanding Senior during Mansfield University’s 156th Commencement held at Karl Van Norman Field on Saturday.
Seniors whose activities and accomplishments have brought recognition to themselves and to Mansfield University may be nominated for the Outstanding Senior Award. The Award is presented annually at Commencement, and the recipient is chosen by members of a faculty-student Award Selection Committee who review nominations from the various departments.
To be nominated, the student must be a graduating senior of the current academic year, have at least a 3.0 grade point average, and have shown exemplary leadership and service to Mansfield University and the surrounding region. 14 students were nominated for the 2021 award.
Beauduy graduated with a degree in biology and a concentration in cell and molecular biology with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The New Cumberland, Pa. native was a four-year member and team captain of the Mountaineer field hockey team and held leadership positions with the Student Dietetic Association and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She was involved in T-cell research in Dr. Kristen Long’s cancer research lab at Mansfield and was awarded a NASA grant to continue with additional funding.
She will pursue her passion for STEM and community outreach in medical school next fall, with plans to ultimately become an OB/GYN.
Beauduy was also selected as Mansfield’s finalist for the State System’s Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence. Each year, a senior from one of the 14 State System universities is named the Ali-Zaidi Award recipient.
Nominees for the 2021 Outstanding Senior Award included:
Aaron R. Benfer (Criminal Justice)
Aaron Benfer is from Winfield, Pennsylvania, and is a proud member of the Criminal Justice Department. While at Mansfield, Aaron was the President of the Criminal Justice Fraternity, Lambda Alpha Epsilon, for two years and held several other positions within the group. He also served as the head Resident Assistant in Spruce Hall. Post-graduation, Aaron planned to join the Pennsylvania State Police, however, a knee injury has placed that dream on hold. In the meantime, Aaron is exploring other options in probation, parole, corrections.
Kelly M. Cammidge (English)
Kelly Cammidge was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, but was raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she moved to at the age of four. Kelly is an English major with a focus in professional writing and a minor in creative writing. Since she has been at Mansfield, Kelly made the Dean’s List three times, the President’s List once, and won the English Department’s Outstanding Junior Award. Kelly works at the Writing Center as a writing tutor and manages the EWL Department’s social media accounts. When she graduates, Kelly would like to work at a publishing company and someday have her writing published.
Dustin C. Dailey (Education and Special Education)
Dustin Dailey was born and raised in the rural town of Deposit, New York, and graduated with a degree in early childhood and elementary education this past Fall. Through all of his endeavors, he carries the spirit of his hometown with him. Currently, Dustin teaches kindergarten at Charlotte Lappla Elementary School within the Wellsboro Area School District. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in administration and eventually become a part of a school’s administrative team.
Samuel C. Finch (Political Science)
Sam Finch was born and raised in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, and studied political science with a minor in history. During his years at Mansfield, Sam was privileged to study abroad, advocate for human rights, work at the History Center, tutor students of American Government, and “pollute the airwaves” of WNTE with his tastes in music. Sam’s hobbies include reading (mostly nonfiction), watching television, playing video games, and experimenting on his mandolin. After graduation, Sam would like to spend time living in another country and then pursue a career, probably in technology.
Leanna Gregas (Nutrition)
Leanna Gregas is from Ashland, Pennsylvania, and will graduate with a bachelor of science in nutrition with a concentration in sports nutrition and a minor in community health education. During her time at Mansfield University, Leanna received the Outstanding Student award consecutively all four years of her academic career. She had the opportunity to not only expand her knowledge, but also increase her professional skills through the Student Dietetic Association and her Resident Assistant position. Through her experiences at Mansfield, Leanna was able to apply to multiple graduate programs with a competitive application. After receiving numerous acceptance letters, she has decided to attend Gannon University’s Master of Occupational Therapy program this summer and was awarded their Master of Occupational Therapy Achievement Scholarship.
Catherine A. Hoover (Chemistry)
Katie Hoover is from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and studied chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. Katie was a member of the Borzok research lab since Fall 2019, where she studied the biochemical basis of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy. She is also the president of the Chemistry Club, a chemistry supplemental instructor and tutor, and a lab assistant. Katie received outstanding student awards each year of her career at Mansfield. She will attend the University of Arizona as a member of the Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program in the fall of 2021, where she plans to study Medical Biophysics.
Deshae N. Jones (Graphic Design)
Raised in the small town of Camden, New York, Deshae Jones will graduate with a bachelor of science in graphic design. Being a bi-racial woman in high school, Deshae was encouraged to go into college with the intention of studying either math or science; those are the areas of study that are considered to be “the most successful” or “financially adequate.” Growing up, Deshae always had a passion for the arts, but never thought she could make a living or find a job in that field. Since joining the Graphic Design Department her junior year, Deshae has never been more passionate and immersed in her work. She has never absorbed so much knowledge and information and been able to apply what she has learned in each class to other classes, to her personal life, and to professional life. Deshae’s major accomplishment at MU was finding what she is passionate about doing for the rest of her life. Deshae’s future plans include working as a graphic designer for Compass-Group USA – the 6th largest food service provider in the world.
Jamie P. Leonard (Computer Science)
Jamie Leonard majored in computer science and was raised in Simpsonville, South Carolina, which will always remain her home. She describes herself as having heart, resilience, and determination that will always keep her going, and she will make her dreams become realities. Jamie has a love and passion for programming. While at Mansfield, she earned her place on the President’s and Dean’s Lists several times, and even if she struggles sometimes with life, she will only come back better than her best. Jamie plans to become a software engineer, and with hard work, a pinch of luck, and the motivation from the support she has received up to this point from those she loves, Jamie will one day make her own game.
Anthony N. Mastroianni (Business Administration)
Tony Mastroianni lived in California until the age of nine before moving to Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. He is a business administration: marketing and management major and has been at Mansfield for four years. Tony served as President of the Student Government Association and was named Student Leader of the Year for 2021. He is also a Resident Assistant. Tony serves on many university committees and was part of the team that won 3rd place in the CSBS Bank Competition last year. He has taken additional business courses outside of his required classes and always tried to stay on top of his studies even with all of his extracurriculars.
Ellie A. Motichka (Music Education)
Ellie Motichka grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania in the town of Lake Ariel. She majored in instrumental music education with a flute primary. Ellie’s major accomplishments include earning principal positions in both wind ensemble and orchestra for six semesters, winning the Spring 2020 Concerto Competition, conducting a piece she prepared in the Spring 2020 Conducting Symposium Concert, winning the Sue Cunningham Memorial Scholarship by video audition, and performing her Senior Recital. Ellie plans to teach music in public schools after graduation and would like to pursue a master’s degree in conducting.
McKenna K. Russell (Forensic Psychology and Counseling)
McKenna Russell is from Cogan Station, Pennsylvania, graduating a year ahead of schedule with a double major in forensic psychology and counseling with a minor in criminal justice. During her time at Mansfield, she made the President’s List for four semesters and was the Outstanding Junior of the Psychology Department. McKenna is part of the Mountaineer softball team and was named an Academic All-American. McKenna was a nominee for the 2021 Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence. After Mansfield University, McKenna plans on attending graduate school to study clinical psychology and eventually wants to work as a special agent for the FBI.
Trent T. Smith (Geosciences)
Trent Smith is from Northampton, Pennsylvania, and majored in geosciences with a concentration in environmental science. While at Mansfield, Trent earned the Geoscience Academic Honor Award in both 2018 and 2020. A major accomplishment of Trent’s was completing a watershed restoration report on stream bank erosion on Holden Brook and providing the report to the Tioga County Conservation District. His findings may be turned into real projects to help stop erosion. After graduation, Trent plans to attend the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg to become a State Game Warden for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Jayden L. Walker (Social Work)
Jayden Walker was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, and will graduate with a degree in social work. Due to struggles faced as a child, Jayden knew he wanted a future helping people, especially kids, and fell in love with social work when he took an intro class. Learning about the impact social workers can make and the different opportunities available was amazing to him. Jayden achieved a 4.0 cumulative GPA and was named Social Work Junior of the Year. Jayden plans to attend the University of Kentucky for his master’s of social work and later have a career in social work while also coaching football.