Academic and Professional Achievements

Apr 26th, 2019

Academic and Professional Achievements

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 26, 2019 – High Point University faculty, staff and students recently received the following academic and professional awards and recognitions.

HPU Senior Selected for Humanity in Action Fellowship

Yasmene Dergham, an HPU senior international relations and political science major, has received the Humanity in Action Fellowship. Humanity in Action is a competitive, international program awarded to leaders dedicated to cross-cultural competency and social justice. Dergham will spend the month of July in Atlanta with an international cohort of students and recent graduates from the U.S., Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine. The fellows will examine issues related to discrimination, resistance, minority concerns and social justice. Following the program, Dergham will embark on a self-designed Action Project meant to support social justice in her own community. Dergham received this fellowship following her tenure as a Gilman Scholar, through which she studied abroad in Morocco, and as HPU’s first Boren Scholar, through which she studied abroad in Jordan.

“Humanity in Action’s emphasis on social change and dialogue, along with the group of diverse fellows from around the world, is a unique opportunity to grow not only as a leader but an individual as well,” says Dergham. “I am excited and honored to be part of a discussion focused on how acts of solidarity and the forming of coalitions between diverse groups affects the future of not only the United States, but the international community as a whole.”

“This latest recognition is just more evidence that Yasmene will leave HPU completely ready to pursue a meaningful professional career at the highest level,” says Dr. Mark Setzler, political science professor. “More than any students I have worked with, she is someone who makes her own luck in the world. She works and listens hard, aims high, rebounds from setbacks, and constantly learns from everyone around her.”

HPU Junior to Participate in the North Carolina Summer Policy Institute

Avery Moon, a junior and honors scholar at HPU, was selected to participate in the North Carolina Summer Policy Institute. This program gives a small cohort of students a chance to gain a better understanding of policy in the state with a particular focus on the impacts of race and poverty in the policy process. Students also network and build relationships with social justice leaders, policy makers and advocates.

“I am excited to attend the NCSPI the summer before my senior year because it will help me develop the skills I’ll need to enter the workforce after I graduate,” says Moon.

“I couldn’t think of a better fit for this opportunity than Avery,” says Dr. Allison Blosser, assistant professor of education. “In my Honors Social Scientific Inquiry course, Avery took an immediate interest in the causes and solutions of systemic poverty. In examining the problem of student transiency in high poverty schools, she adopted a macro-level sociological perspective to study and propose policies that could mitigate the problem. I have no doubt Avery will be an agent of social change in whatever community she finds herself in.”


HPU Senior Receives Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention

HPU senior Thomas Boudreaux, a computational physics major, recently received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program honorable mention. The NSF-GRFP is often considered the top award for those pursuing graduate work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Last year, Boudreaux was a recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship. Upon graduating, he plans to attend Dartmouth College to pursue a doctorate in astrophysics.

“I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Brad Barlow and Dr. Meredith Malburne-Wade for helping me during the application process,” says Boudreaux. “While I’m very excited for graduate school, I’ll miss working with these wonderful people.”

“I am absolutely delighted that Thomas was recognized with an honorable mention by the NSF-GRFP,” says Dr. Brad Barlow, assistant professor of astrophysics. “His research accomplishments in astronomy and astrophysics resemble those of a Ph.D. student more closely than those of an undergraduate, and so he is quite deserving of this honor. In his past four years at HPU, he truly has been one of my closest scientific collaborators.”

Music Students Compete in State, Regional NATS Competitions

Five HPU music students competed in the North Carolina competition of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Four of the students, freshman Tabitha Brandel, sophomore Jerry Hurley, sophomore Noah Sigsworth and senior Laura Carskadden, qualified for the Mid-Atlantic competition in Towson, Maryland, held in March. At the regional level, Hurley won first place and Brandel won second place in their respective categories, qualifying them to submit video entries for the national competition to be judged in June. Brandel is a student of Dr. Candice Burrows, instructor of voice at HPU. Hurley, Sigsworth and Carskadden are students of Dr. Scott MacLeod, associate professor of music.

“The HPU Department of Music is proud of these students and their accomplishments,” says MacLeod. “Their participation and resulting success reflect a high level of musicianship, determination and enthusiasm for their craft.” 

HPU Class Helps Local Organization Win Grant Funding

A technical writing class in HPU’s new minor in public and professional writing helped Tiny House Community Development win second place in a grant funding competition recently. Students in the class, taught by Dr. Erin Trauth, assistant professor of English, wrote and revised professional and technical documents in support of the organization’s mission to provide tiny homes for individuals experiencing homelessness in the High Point and Greensboro areas. Along with placing second, the organization won $12,000 in funding.

Mark Stinson, Tiny House Community Development board member and construction committee chair, says of the collaboration, “Professor Erin Trauth and her students were very attentive to our needs, and they came out to do some hands-on work with THCD before starting to put together our beautiful manual, brochures and flyers. [In the documents], they got every detail of our nonprofit organization. We are so proud to be using their flyers at our events now.”

“It was a very exciting experience for the students to see their work help advance the aims and mission of Tiny House Community Development,” says Trauth. “This collaboration is a great example of one of the many ways HPU offers students a chance to practice premier life skills. Professional and technical writing skills will serve students well in any career field they choose, and students in our technical writing class can now take pride in the fact that they have used their expertise in service to our community.”

HPU Named Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador

HPU was recently accepted into the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador program. This initiative is an effort to formally recognize partners who are improving the nation’s readiness against extreme weather, water and climate events. As an ambassador, HPU will continue to provide the campus community with weather related messages for awareness and severe weather potential threats. Weather related informational seminars will be held to inform students, faculty and staff of safety tips and weather terminology.

“This opportunity gives us a partnership with the National Weather Service for training and educational resources, and it’s one of our first steps toward becoming a Storm Ready campus,” says Harry Hueston, emergency management coordinator.