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HPU Announces Academic and Professional Achievements

Jan 26th, 2023

HPU Announces Academic and Professional Achievements

HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 26, 2023 – High Point University faculty and students recently received the following academic and professional awards and recognitions.

HPU Kaitlyn Cruz studying abroad in the UKTriad Native Awarded International Scholarship

Kaitlyn Cruz, a junior history major and Bonner Leader from Greensboro, North Carolina, was recently awarded $4,000 from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The scholarship allows her to study British history this spring in the United Kingdom.

She wrote three essays as part of her application to the program. Her essays discussed her personal reasons for wanting to study abroad, what it means to her to be an American citizen going abroad and how she hopes to encourage others to pursue the Gilman program through service work. Cruz shares that she is a first-generation college student and the daughter of an immigrant. The study abroad experience as an American citizen has a much deeper meaning to her.

“Receiving this scholarship means everything to me as I would not have been able to afford to go without it,” says Cruz. “I hope to eventually get my Ph.D. in British studies, and I believe that this trip will allow me to build the necessary foundations to get me there. I am beyond lucky and grateful to have received this scholarship, and I would not have been able to do so without the assistance of Dr. James Cotton in the Office of Fellowship and Awards, for whom I am extremely thankful.”

Cruz started her study abroad experience in mid-January.

HPU Michael Oudshoorn recognized by the engineering communityEngineering Dean Recognized by the IEEE Computer Society 

Dr. Michael Oudshoorn, founding dean of the Webb School of Engineering, was recognized by the IEEE-CS (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers – Computer Society) as a member of the 2022 Class of Distinguished Contributors.

This honor recognizes members who have made technical contributions, through either applied or pure computing, to the computing profession, computing community or contributions to the Computer Society. Oudshoorn has provided content in this field for more than 30 years and published more than 100 referenced publications.

“It is just nice to be recognized for the work you do,” said Oudshoorn. “The award itself recognizes my contribution to computer science education through publications and other activities.”

He also says his work with a Computer Science Curriculum Taskforce Steering Committee is another reason he was recognized. This committee consists of 17 international experts from the United States, Egypt, Ireland, India, Brazil and China.

“The committee is tasked with developing curriculum guidelines for computer science that will be adopted globally and shape the way computer science is taught in universities and community colleges globally until at least 2034,” added Oudshoorn.

HPU Jordan Morrison represented the Honors Scholars Program at conferenceSenior Presents at National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Texas

Senior Jordan Morrison, an honors biology major from Loveland, Ohio, recently represented HPU’s Honors Scholar Program at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Dallas, Texas. During the conference, she shared research and coursework that she and her colleagues gathered.

Their research evaluated the HPU honors program and the classes within the program to measure the impact it has on students. Morrison presented on the student perspective and shared the summary of her project. The goal was to analyze the impact of the classes and determine if students accomplished their curriculum goals for the honors program. Morrison says the research opened a conversation about honors program evaluations for other honors colleges across the country.

She says this experience helped her grow in her presentation skills, as well as build her confidence in academic settings.

“The most meaningful part of our trip was going to breakout sessions where I was the only student,” said Morrison. “This made me realize that HPU provides more opportunities to travel and present compared to most colleges, which made me very grateful for this experience.”

Event Management Students and Faculty Attend the American Music Awards 

Two professors and four students from the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication attended the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, for a behind-the-scenes experience in their field of event management. During their trip, they met with the director of the AMAs and other essential professionals who made this event possible.

They also shadowed the rehearsal production of the AMAs by Dick Clark Productions. They took a backstage tour of the Microsoft Theater and the red carpet area the day before the event. Dr. Brianna Clark, assistant professor of event management, said they also saw artists like Pink rehearse and prepare for the live event, and watched event management crews prepare for the big day. This experience showed the students what it takes to produce a live, large-scale televised event.

HPU Event Management attending the AMA
From back left are student Gracie Smith, an AMA worker, professors Dr. Brianna Clark and Dr. Jessica Wiitala, and student Kayla Ross. From front left are students Ava Kitchens and Katie Messick.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am so thankful to have been a part of,” says Ava Kitchens, a junior from Greenville, South Carolina. “I got to see firsthand what it takes to run a live televised event like the AMAs. It reminded me of all the different opportunities within the events industry.”

The group also participated as interactive audience members for “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration,” which aired on Dec. 15.