Twenty-five IU Southeast non-traditional students inducted into the Pinnacle Honor Society.

2nd May 2024

Twenty-five IU Southeast non-traditional students have been inducted into the Pinnacle Honor Society.

The Pinnacle Honor Society was founded in 1989 and is now a national organization that recognizes the academic and personal achievements of non-traditional students who have overcome significant life obstacles to achieve success.

Induction is based on the following criteria:

  • Must qualify as adult or non-traditional students under locally derived and maintained definitions;
  • Must be a junior or senior student with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for undergraduates, or 3.4 for graduate students;
  • Must demonstrate involvement in numerous campus and community activities;
  • Must demonstrate leadership, persistence, and future promise;
  • Must maintain the highest ethical standards.

This year’s IU Southeast Pinnacle honorees are:

Christopher L Andres

Raven Browning

Renee Bruck

Kiara Burton

Cathy J Carter

Nathaniel Childers

Sara Rose Craft

Christina Crockett

Hailey Delmarie Davis

Semadu N Dewasurendra

Diane Marie Durcholz

Hayley Rebekah Ferguson

Tatiana Salomon Gonzalez

Justin R Harris

Kristin Kennedy

Amanda Lay

Emmanuel Raymond Mwandama

Kristi Lynn Napier

Rachel Pagel

Stephen D Prather

McKenzie R Purkhiser

Aaron Michael Roberts

Kolina Takara Topel

Danielle Marie Traphagan

Whitney Leigh Wilson

Kimberly Pelle manages the Veteran, Adult, and Military Connected Student Services Office and congratulates the students on their achievement.

“These nontraditional students are working parents, single parents, retirees returning to higher education, mid-life adults starting second careers, disabled students, international students, and Veterans and life-long learners,” Pelle said.

“[They] have jobs, volunteer in their communities, are full-time students, and have family obligations. Even so, they manage to find time to be involved in campus and/or community activities; they demonstrate leadership, persistence, and future promise and maintain the highest ethical standards.

They are wonderful role models for the IU Southeast student body, and IU Southeast is very proud of them,” she said.

History major Nathaniel Childers from Bedford says, “This honor means a lot to me. As a non-traditional student, who went back to school close to my 40s, being honored in Pinnacle validates all the time and effort I have put into my academic career over the many years! I have spent the last two years at IU Southeast and have maintained a 4.0 GPA over the course of my studies. I am very proud of what I have accomplished here, and this would be another way for me to prove to myself that going back to school was the correct decision.“

McKenzie R Purkhiser of Seymour says “This honor is important to me because it shows that you can do whatever you put your mind to. As someone who didn’t believe that they’d ever go to college—or even teach one day, it shows that you can succeed when you find what you are truly passionate about. For me, that passion is teaching and encouraging others to reach their full potential.”

Emmanuel Raymond Mwandama from Jeffersonville believes Pinnacle is the greatest honor and makes a social, physical, and life-changing impact on people who deserve it. “Education has been my drive and passion that will always shape my future. This honor will be a great opportunity for me to stand out in my program, and act as an exceptional complement to my philanthropic work,” said Mwandama.

According to Semadu N Dewasurendra from Louisville, “As a public Pre-K teacher, the Pinnacle Honor holds significant importance to me. It not only acknowledges the dedication and hard work I invest in nurturing young minds as both a full-time worker and a full-time student but also validates the crucial role of early childhood education in our society. Achieving the Pinnacle Honor reflects my commitment to excellence in teaching and highlights the positive impact I strive to make on the lives of my students and their families. This recognition motivates me to continuously improve myself with further studies and exploring advanced educational opportunities in the education field. Additionally, the prestige associated with the Pinnacle Honor would open doors to networking opportunities with fellow educators and experts in the field, providing invaluable insights and support as I embark on advancing myself as a Ph.D. candidate in Special Education.”

Graduating Pinnacle Honor Society students will wear a special cord and pin at the IU Southeast Commencement ceremony on May 6, 2024.

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