Tony Simmons


Florida State University awarded honors medallions to 53 high-achieving graduates during a Dec. 11, 2023 ceremony in the Alumni Center Ballroom. The FSU Honors Program supports the efforts and talents of the university’s most intellectually curious students who have the potential, dedication and drive for creating change.

Among the graduates was Panama City resident Makayla Evans, majoring in Psychology and Social Work, who received honors in her major.

The ceremony included remarks by Craig Filar, Associate Dean of the Honors, Scholars, and Fellows House; Joe O’Shea, Dean of Undergraduate Studies; Parker Franklin, Outstanding Senior Scholar; and Julie Decker, President and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association.

The breakdown of the honors awardees is as follows:

  • 33 graduates, University Honors Program: Earned at least 18 honors points in fulfillment of the FSU Honors Program requirements.
  • 18 graduates, Honors in the Major Program: Completed an honors thesis in fulfillment of the requirement for the distinction “with honors” in their major department.
  • 2 graduates, Outstanding Senior Scholar: Completed both the University Honors Program and the Honors in the Major Program, with a 3.9 cumulative GPA or higher.

The honors medallion recipients, along with their hometowns, award designations, and academic majors, are listed by state and city below:

Bradenton: Elizabeth Bernate, Biochemistry, Honors in the Major
Clermont: Giovanni Moraes, Biology, University Honors
Clewiston: Eileen Perez, Political Science, University Honors
Coconut Creek: Sophia Fandino, Environmental Science, University Honors
Crawfordville: Daniel Zdrazil, Creative Writing, Honors in the Major
Gulf Breeze: Riley Hart, Exercise Physiology, University Honors
Hialeah: Karen Iglesias, Psychology, University Honors
Jacksonville: Andrew Lodge, Psychology; Statistics, University Honors
Jupiter: Kendall McMullen, Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences (Clinical Professions), University Honors
Kissimmee: Nayeli Marcial, Environmental Engineering, University Honors
Lake Mary: Avery Hall, Civil Engineering, University Honors
Live Oak: Lilian Lamb, Behavioral Neuroscience, University Honors
Longwood: Lara Alston, Psychology, University Honors
Miami: Miguel González, International Affairs, Honors in the Major; Robert Kirk, Exercise Physiology; Psychology, University Honors; Arthur Noriega, Creative Writing; Humanities, Honors in the Major; Anthony Ogando, Biological Science, Honors in the Major; Taylor Torres, Political Science; Japanese Language and Culture, Honors in the Major; Joel Weeks, Finance; Management Information Systems, University Honors
Naples: Rylee Price, Psychology, University Honors
North Lauderdale: Janeen Green, Religion; Humanities, Honors in the Major
Orlando: Gabriela Kaiser, Finance; Marketing, University Honors
Palm Beach Gardens: Julianne Strickland, Accounting, University Honors
Panama City: Makayla Evans, Psychology; Social Work, Honors in the Major
Parrish: Eric Rindermann, Political Science, Honors in the Major
Plantation: David Marblestone, Finance; Professional Sales, University Honors
Rockledge: Anna Nguyen, Public Health, Honors in the Major
Sarasota: Noah Kunkel, Economics, University Honors; Raeanna Michael, Actuarial Science; Statistics, University Honors
St. Johns: Caleb Towne, Biological Science, University Honors
St. Petersburg: Jillian Kuusela, Psychology, Honors in the Major; Christopher Sanders, Political Science, University Honors
Tallahassee: Braidan O’Connor, Public Health, University Honors; Laura Obermaier, Computer Science, University Honors; Ashleigh Witherington, Latin and Greek, Outstanding Senior Scholar

Atlanta: Grace Lege, Instrumental Music Education, Honors in the Major
Cumming: Hailey Anderson, Statistics; Applied and Computational Mathematics, University Honors
Marietta: Harper Coombs, Biological Science, University Honors; Parker Franklin, Commercial Music; Management Information Systems, Outstanding Senior Scholar

Vernon Hills: Jiayi Guo, Statistics, University Honors

Bethesda: Marlo Friedland, Criminology, University Honors
Takoma Park: Daniel Siegel, Literature, Media, and Culture (English), University Honors

Kansas City: Julianna Cartwright, Cell and Molecular Neuroscience, University Honors

Cary: Aimee Wagner, Criminology; Anthropology, Honors in the Major
Raleigh: Lilliana Solovay, Political Science; Editing, Writing, and Media (English), University Honors

Livingston: Alissa Kalyan, Cell and Molecular Neuroscience, Honors in the Major

Lakewood: Stephanie Posedel, Chemical Engineering, Honors in the Major

Oklahoma City: Serena Aiken, Psychology; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Honors in the Major

Fort Mill: Rachel Strickland, Criminology, Honors in the Major

Chattanooga: Ashley Holland, Cell and Molecular Neuroscience, University Honors
Collierville: Angelina Perera, International Affairs, University Honors
Knoxville: Lauren Russell, Biological Science; Public Health, University Honors

Panama City: Andrea Espinoza, International Affairs, Honors in the Major