PARK HILLS – Mineral Area College’s Park Hills campus will be busy Saturday morning as more than 260 students walk through commencement ceremonies.
Several students will be recognized who demonstrate above-average skill and hard work in service, classroom work and other areas of campus life. Outstanding Student Awards are offered in Art, Music, Athletics, Leadership and Campus Service, Theatre, Career and Technical Education Division, and Arts and Sciences Division.
Commencement begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Robert E. Sechrest Sr. Field House.
• Torey Watson, son of Todd Watson and Julie Watson, is this year’s Outstanding Student in the Arts and Sciences Division. Torey is from Leadington and graduated from West County School District in 2009. His course load at MAC had an emphasis in science as he intends to transfer this fall to Southern Illinois University where he will pursue a pharmacy degree.
While at MAC, he played on the golf team, served as an Excel Student Support Services tutor and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. He enjoys music and plays both the trombone and bass guitar. Torey is active in the Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Studio Music performances and Theater Band.
His jazz instructor, Michael Goldsmith, describes him as an “outstanding student and even better, an incredible person.”
Torey indicated he had a “very positive” experience at the college and said highlights of his time at MAC included being on the golf team his various musical performances. He acknowledged the “helpful” staff he encountered in his daily activities.
• Mineral Area’s Outstanding Student from the Career and Technical Education Division is Kayla R. Burt. Kayla is from Desloge and is a 2010 graduate of North County High School. She is the daughter of Kevin and Janice Bess and is married to Dan Burt. She said she met many “amazing” people at MAC and enjoyed learning from her instructors. After graduation she plans to continue working for her family-owned business and is thinking of working toward a bachelor’s degree in business in the near future.
• The Outstanding Student in Art this year is Josh Gann. He is from Farmington and the son of Don and Karen Gann. A graduate of Farmington High School, he played baseball one season for the MAC Cardinals. Josh has taken a number of art courses with Jim Wilson, art professor at MAC. Under Wilson’s supervision he said he has had a “wonderful” artistic experience.
He was involved in an on-campus art exhibition known as the “Wise Guys,” which not only gave him the experience of displaying his work but also helped him learn how to prepare for gallery shows. Josh is graduating this spring and has been accepted as a student at the Kansas City Art Institute in the fall.
Both Tanner Glore of Mineral Point and Walter “Lee” Wilson of Perryville will be honored in Athletics.
• Tanner is the son of Jody Glore and Melissa Eye. He graduated from Potosi High School in 2010. He is a baseball player, and in his freshman year was designated an All-Conference and All-Region player. After he leaves MAC, he intends to attend a four-year school where he hopes he’ll be able to continue playing baseball while earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.
• Walter “Lee” Wilson is a non-traditional student who moved to Perryville from North Carolina. He and his wife Lani have two children, Ethan and Talulah. Lee has not only taken full academic loads but also plays on MAC’s golf team and participates in the Student Government Association. He said he has enjoyed the personal relationships with faculty and staff, and he made “great” new friends. Lee intends to earn a education degree and will continue his own education back in North Carolina at Appalachian State University.
• Lindsey Douglas is this year’s recipient of the Leadership and Campus Service award. Lindsey is the daughter of Danny and Paula Douglas, and a 2010 graduate of Farmington High School. Lindsey has been an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, serving as vice-president of scholarship.
She has also been a member of the Art Club. Lindsey’s special area of interest is art, and her dream is to pursue a career in which she is able to mix both creativity and business. She will transfer this fall to University of Missouri-Columbia, where she’ll major in textiles and retail management.
Lindsey said she has had “many” positive experiences at MAC during her two years. They included art studies with Wilson, going to Chicago with the Art Club and holding her own at the “Support the Arts” variety show. She will continue to advocate keeping the arts in education.
• Steven Young has been selected as this year’s Outstanding Student in Music. Steven is the son of Robert and Valerie Young, and is a 2009 graduate of North County High School. Steven has been a part of several music groups on campus, both vocal and instrumental.
He has participated in Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Studio Music, MAC Kicks Band, MAC Singers, and Chamber Singers. Through his classes and with his participation in the various groups,
Steven said he feels he has matured both as a person and as a student. Memorable times at MAC include meeting and playing with world-renowned artists at the annual MAC Jazz Festivals. He will continue his education at MAC and then plans to attend a four-year university to earn a degree in music performance.
• Outstanding Student in Theatre is Ian P. Miller, son of Frank and Katie Miller of Desloge. Ian was home-schooled and came to MAC in the summer of 2009. While at MAC he has been a member of the Little Theatre Guild and of Delta Psi Omega. He served as Delta Psi Omega president in 2010 and as its secretary in 2011-12. Ian has appeared in a variety of roles in several productions including the character of Falstaff in “Merry Wives of Windsor,” Master in “Charlie Brown,” and Myself in “Godspell.”
His latest appearance was in the MAC production of “Cabaret.” Over the last few years, he said he’s made lifelong friends and has learned more than he could have ever imagined. He feels he has picked up many skills that he otherwise wouldn’t have had, if not for having attended MAC. Ian will pursue his bachelor’s degree in theater and dance study. His career goal is to first become a professional actor and then a director.
Kevin R. Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.