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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College recognized ten students for completing the Honors Program and honored three students for outstanding service, outstanding research, and outstanding graduate.

The 2023 class was the largest group of students recognized by the Honors Program since it began, according to co-coordinator Keeley Adams.

“Through the support of our administration, faculty and staff, we have grown this program and created special opportunities for our students,” Adams said.

To be recognized as a graduate of the NEO Honors Program, a student must complete 12 hours of honors coursework through honors-only classes, conduct an honors contract project and maintain a 3.5 grade point average.

Last summer, the Honors Program took its first study abroad trip. Students and sponsors traveled to Italy and Greece. In the fall, students toured Crystal Bridges in northwest Arkansas and most recently made a trip to Tulsa to visit the Philbrook Museum of Art.

Students also held a coat drive to support their peers on campus who may have arrived in Oklahoma without something warm to wear. Students donated the coats to Peggy’s Closet, a resource meant to provide professional dress clothes free of charge to students in need.

The students also participated in the third Honors and Service-Learning Symposium. This event serves as an opportunity to recruit incoming students, but most importantly, it allows NEO to showcase what students have accomplished.

“This is a service-oriented group of students,” said Adams. “They care about their peers, they care about their campus, and they care about their community.”

Three Honors Program students received awards for outstanding service, outstanding research, and outstanding graduate.

Nancy Jaime received the Outstanding Service Award, given to the student whose compassion for serving others is evident in all they do.

“Everyone who knows Nancy can attest to her compassionate, caring nature. As I reflected on her time in the program, I couldn’t think of an event or service activity that she hasn’t volunteered for on or off campus,” said Adams.

Jaime first began her service with the program during her fall semester, when she served as Student Body Government representative. Nancy was instrumental in developing the service-learning project in general psychology. She is also quick to volunteer when a student is needed to represent the Honors Program at campus events.

Goldie Snow received the Outstanding Research Award, given to the student who completed original research at a superior level. Snow focused on a research topic in which she had a personal stake, the Tar Creek Superfund Site. She began her research in the fall of 2021 and further built upon her work in the fall of 2022.

Snow took the harmful byproducts in her experiment and safely turned them into meaningful art. The pieces she created were displayed at the annual symposium, and each told a story of Tar Creek contamination. This spring, her research focused on another art form, music. She composed a piece that was performed at Ragnarök by NEO Choir.

“When you combine Goldie’s love of learning with the passion and creativity for art and music, you have an unstoppable force,” said Adams.

Skylar Zortz received the Outstanding Graduate Award, given to the student who excelled in service, research, and participation in all program activities. She excelled not only within the Honors Program but across campus. She served as the Student Body Government representative during her freshman year, and last fall, she was a homecoming candidate for the Honors Program.

Zortz completed research inside and outside the classroom during her two years at NEO. She worked alongside fellow program members to develop a project that served our community’s homeless population, and she put in countless research hours at the NEO greenhouse.

“I am extremely proud of Skylar’s work in the Honors Program and other areas of her life. I know her determination and commitment will continue to guide her throughout the next chapters of her life,” said Adams.

To learn more about the Honors Program, contact co-coordinators Keely Adams at keeley.adams@neo.edu or 918-540-6349 or Bobbie Pennington at bpennington@neo.edu or 918-540-6971.

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