PCCUA recognizes 2023 honor graduates, outstanding students
Posted Date: 5/15/23

The 2023 honor graduates attending classes on the Helena-West Helena campus of Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA) were honored during a reception preceding commencement exercises on Friday, May 12. The honor graduates were recognized for their dedication in maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.

Among the 2023 honor graduates were: James Crockett, of West Helena; Jedidah Eaton, of Helena; Cashundrea Glass and Tasha Harrell, both of West Helena; Joey King, of Poplar Grove; Jillian Lewis, Markhiyah Love, and Alexandra Sanders, all of West Helena; Cheryl Scarbrough, of Helena; J.C. Stayton, Jr., and Robrianna Wahls, both of West Helena; Chloe West, of Stuttgart; and Draper Williams, Jr., and Xiaohong (Fiona) Zhao, both of West Helena.

Selected Outstanding Students by the faculty for their division were: Xiaohong (Fiona) Zhao – Division of Allied Health; Brian White – Division of Applied Technology; Clifton Hansberry – Division of Arts and Sciences; and Gracie Gagne – Division of Business and Information Systems. These students embody the spirit of PCCUA on their campus.

Zhao moved to the U.S. seven years ago from China and decided to pursue a career in nursing. A very hard worker with a positive attitude, she is very detail-oriented and thorough. Zhao encouraged everyone to be their best and was always willing to help others be successful. Even in the face of diversity, she excelled in the program. She faced many challenges as a first-generation citizen, but her dedication and determination assisted her in reaching her goal. After graduation, Zhao plans to continue her education and become a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Married with two children, White first enrolled in PCCUA’s welding program in 1989. He left and began working at Doughboy, where he is still employed. His passion for welding brought him back to the program, where he has now completed his technical certificate. Mr. Campbell, his welding instructor, described him as a very hard worker, inquisitive about welding, and always willing to put in extra time to increase his skill level. White rarely took breaks and frequently came to class an extra day to practice. On completing his technical certificate, White will be seeking full-time employment in the welding field.

Hansberry was described as the type of student, who makes teaching worthwhile. He was always prepared and rarely missed a class. Not only did he do well academically, but he was engaged in discussions and contributed to class.  He also had a good rapport with other students and never hesitated to help, when needed.   

Gagne, a business management major, was recognized for her dedication and commitment to completing her A.A.S. degree. She was an impressive student, while attending PCCUA. Instructors noted her hard work, leadership, and determination both in and out of the classroom.  She brought a light into the classroom with her kind, nurturing spirit and was always eager to help other students. She excelled in her school work and maintained her GPA, all while working part-time. Gagne brought her conscientious work ethic not only to her school work, but to her job, which was evidenced by her recent promotion. During the pandemic, when many students chose remote instruction, Gagne wanted to be in the classroom on campus. She knew that was the best learning environment for her. Her next step is to transfer to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to earn a Bachelor’s degree in general finance.

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