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April 9, 2018

10 distinguished seniors join Hall of Fame

Ten graduating seniors were inducted into the Florida Gulf Coast University Hall of Fame on Friday, April 6 — the highest recognition given to students at FGCU.

These high-achieving Eagles are leaders among leaders, models of mentoring, superstars of scholarship and service who epitomize The FGCU Effect — inspiring those who inspire others.

“The Hall of Fame honors students who have demonstrated superior leadership, integrity and achievement through their activities, service, scholarship and academic excellence,” said Vice President for Student Affairs J. Michael Rollo. “These students have had an exceptional impact on our campus and distinguished themselves as leaders among our many other outstanding students.”

A committee of faculty, staff and alumni reviews nominations and selects up to 10 honorees each spring. The 2018 inductees are listed below with some of their accomplishments:

Richard “Ricky” Cassell of Grass Lake, Mich.: A biology major, he served as a campus naturalist, led University Colloquium tours and educated students about sustainability; he was active in Sigma Phi Epsilon and worked with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry counties to have FGCU’s Habitat for Humanity Club recognized as an official campus chapter.

Vinicius “Vinnie” Fernandes de Oliveira of Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil: A finance major, he served as an Eagle View Orientation leader as a well as a resident assistant and Residence Life team assistant; he plans to move to London after graduation to pursue a career in the music industry.

Arletys Gomez of Naples: While majoring in political science, she served as Student Government director of civic engagement, interned with a human-rights non-governmental organization in Spain and volunteered as an English teacher in Peru.

Montana Knight of Greenville, S.C.: A biotechnology major, she served as an Honors College senator, as Student Government vice chair of appropriations and supervisor of elections, vice president of scholarship and service for Panhellenic Executive Council and president of Chi Omega.

Yelixa “Lexy” Larios-Lopez of Marathon: A community health major, she served as president of the Dominican Republic Outreach Program, which raises money to take school supplies and other items to the country’s youth during spring break; she also studied abroad in Singapore through the Honors College.

Nicole Mamprejew of Newcastle, Wash.: Graduating with a double major in biology and psychology, she led the FGCU Cancer Research Program as president and is currently conducting cancer research with FGCU Assistant Professor Lyndsay Rhodes; she also served as president of the FGCU chapter of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.

Daniela Medina of Cape Coral: A social work major, she served as a leader for Eagle View Orientation for two summers and as a peer adviser and counselor in First Year Advising; active as an advocate for social justice, she hopes to help underrepresented people through her profession.

Maryssa Pallis of Naples: A political science major, she traveled solo to five countries in 10 weeks to research global trade policy on a grant from the Naples Chapter of the Circumnavigators Club; she’s also a certified youth advocate at a women’s shelter and leads occupational therapy activities for children of domestic violence survivors.

Madeline Quinn of Akron, Ohio: While majoring in secondary social science education, she has served as a student-athlete mentor and tutor and Student Government senator and chief of staff; she’s a member of Chi Omega and the Greek honor society Order of Omega.

Jalisa White of Harrisburg, Pa.: An integrated-studies major, she mentored students through Emerging Eagles, Leadership Through Service and the Executive Leadership Institute for registered student organizations; as Student Government president, she represented her peers as a member of the FGCU Board of Trustees as well as across the state to the Board of Governors and Florida Student Association.

Photos shows FGCU's 2018 Hall of Fame students
Wings up! 2018 Hall of Fame inductees, left to right: Richard “Ricky” Cassell, Vinicius “Vinnie” Fernandes de Oliveira, Arletys Gomez, Montana Knight, Yelixa “Lexy” Larios-Lopez, Nicole Mamprejew, Daniela Medina, Maryssa Pallis, Madeline Quinn and Jalisa White. Behind them are Dean of Students Michelle Yovanovich, President Mike Martin and Vice President for Student Affairs J. Michael Rollo.