The College of Education recently hosted its 19th annual Scholarship and Awards dinner. The celebration of student scholarship, formerly known as the Recognition Dinner, highlights philanthropy and honors those who have contributed to the success of this past year.
Donors and supporters of the college gathered to recognize the determination of our 2022 scholarship and award recipients. Although our students come from all different backgrounds and have different paths that lie ahead, their collective hard work has set a new standard of excellence for the College of Education. Each in their own way, these six students have gone above and beyond what has been expected of them, raising the bar for future education students. Join us in congratulating our 2022 award recipients: Max Sommer, Youngwoon Seon, Yasmeen Merriweather, Grace Miles, Bailey Owens and Nicole Wasserman.
Graduate Student Awards
- Max Sommer, Outstanding Graduate, Research — Max received his bachelor’s degree in geography with a UFTeach minor in secondary science education from the University of Florida in 2015. He received his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a focus on educational technology from the University of Florida in 2017. Max received his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on educational technology, as well as a minor in research and evaluation methodology with a focus on quantitative methods, from the University of Florida in the spring of 2022.
- Youngwoon Seon, Outstanding Graduate, Research — Youngwoon is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Counselor Education Program. With his prior experience in South Korea as a teacher, counselor and researcher, he has translated his compassion for counseling children who experience school bullying into a focused research agenda, including understanding childhood patterns of bullying, and bullying prevention. Since beginning his studies at UF, he has published an impressive number of papers and disseminated his research at state, national and international conferences.
Undergraduate Student Awards
- Yasmeen Merriweather, Outstanding Undergraduate, Education Sciences — Born and raised in Jacksonville, FL Yasmeen is a first-generation high school and college graduate. Yasmeen has been dedicated to molding the building blocks for her future and success. Three of Yasmeen’s most recent and proudest accomplishments are her podcast episode on “Transfer Nation,” her published honors thesis titled “The Use of Emerging Technologies: Supporting Differentiated Instruction” and securing a position in higher education in the Associate Provost office at the community college she graduated from while simultaneously working on a Master of Education degree here at the University of Florida.
- Grace Miles, Outstanding Undergraduate, Early Childhood Education — Grace is a student in the Early Childhood B.A.E. program. Over the last year, she has taught kindergarten, preschool, 1st grade, and 2nd grade. After graduating, she hopes to become a 1st-grade teacher and attend grad school. She is incredibly grateful for her experiences at UF and looks forward to this academic year!
- Bailey Owens, Outstanding Undergraduate, Elementary Education — A highlight from Bailey’s last academic year was starting a one-on-one UFLI tutoring experience with the opportunity to connect with a student and watch them grow into a confident reader. This experience allowed Bailey to witness, first-hand, the impact a teacher can have on their students, both personally and academically. This valuable experience affirmed Bailey’s desire to become an educator, and the drive to give students every opportunity to step into their best selves!
- Nicole Wasserman, Outstanding Undergraduate, Unified Elementary Education Proteach — Nicole is from Boca Raton, FL, and received her bachelor’s in elementary education in the Spring 2022 semester. Since then, she has continued her education at the University of Florida in pursuit of a master’s in elementary education. Within the last four years, Nicole has been involved in various areas of the College of Education, including serving as the 2021-2022 President of Kappa Delta Pi, a National Education Honor Society, and as a COE Student Ambassador in 2020. After receiving her master’s, she hopes to become a 3rd-grade teacher and inspire students to change the world!
Congratulations to all
After more than a year of not being able to meet in person, we are thrilled to be back together for this year’s Scholarship and Awards Dinner.
“The Scholarship and Awards Dinner is my favorite event of the year because donors and students can meet and talk about how the support has impacted all parties involved,” states Jim Burke, senior director of advancement. “This spirit of philanthropy is contagious and the emotion in the room is palpable.”
We use this night to reflect on the dedication of our students, donors and alumni throughout the year. Additionally, we are endlessly grateful to be able to provide the opportunity to connect our donors with scholarship recipients through a wonderful night full of recognition and accolades.
Enjoy this quick look at our evening: