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Yavapai College leadership “Outstanding Student” awards

Top Prescott Campus students feted for achievements, leadership, service

Student success was on full display April 20 as Yavapai College leadership, faculty and staff honored a driven and resilient group of scholars who reached the pinnacle in their education journeys and earned “Outstanding Student” awards.

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In all, 24 individuals were honored during a traditional Evening of Recognition celebration for the top students in academic and career-training programs on the Prescott campus.

“Individually and collectively, the students we honor today embody our college’s mission – to make the world a better place through our ideas, our innovations, and our engagement with one another,” YC President Dr. Lisa Rhine said, welcoming the “Outstanding Student” winners and their well-wishers.

Addressing the winners directly, she said, “Your tremendous potential is very clearly reflected in your accomplishments. We are so fortunate that Yavapai College gets to be part of your journey and your personal story.”

Addressing faculty members in attendance, Dr. Rhine thanked them for maintaining high levels of academic excellence and “doing so in a culture of care and concern for our students’ success. Across the disciplines, you are developing and shaping ideas that make a positive and lasting impact on our future and I thank you for your efforts.”

Introducing the winner of the most prestigious student award of the night, the President’s Award for Excellence, Dr. Rhine said she well understood why Visual Arts Faculty member, Lauren McCrea, put Corey Seitz forward. “Corey has a perfect 4.0 academically. But Lauren says it’s not only the GPA, but Corey’s character and willingness to collaborate and contribute that makes him the top award winner.”

Lauren said of Seitz, her graphic design student: “I have watched him grow from cashier at a local store to a successful student and graphic designer… Corey is multi-talented and spends his free time volunteering. For three years, he donated more than 200 hours to the YC Performing Arts Department doing set construction and contributed to other weekly projects around the department.”

Corey, who earned a standing ovation from the audience while accepting the college’s highest student award, said he is “super thankful” for the honor, for Professor McCrea for nominating him, and for all of his instructors who helped him learn, explore, and eventually discover fulfillment as a graphic designer. “I’m excited to receive this award as I graduate and move onto other things,” he said.

Winner of the Vice President’s Award for Academic Accomplishment, Visual Arts student Robert “Connor” Uniacke, is pictured in a self-portrait. Connor was unable to attend the Evening of Recognition.

Another YC Visual Arts student, Robert “Connor” Uniacke, earned the Vice President’s Award for Academic Accomplishment this academic year. He was nominated by YC Art Faculty member, Bryan Robertson, who said of Connor: “He goes out of his way to experiment and try new techniques that push his learning to the next level. Additionally, Connor is constantly engaged in class and helps his fellow students learn more about their artwork. He is the type of student who makes Yavapai College a vibrant learning community.”

The “Outstanding Students” of the 2021-2022 academic year representing the spectrum of academic and career-training programs at the YC Prescott campus gather for a group photo following an Evening of Recognition ceremony.

Following are the 2021-2022 “Outstanding Student” honorees for their respective fields of study:

Wolfie Freeman, Visual Arts
Madison Campbell, English
Clare Lei, Graphic Design
Kipp Cornwell, Humanities
Grace Olsen, Music
Lauren Carroll, Performing Arts
David Henderson, Performing Arts
Gayle Richards, Performing Arts
Danielle Hultquist, Administration of Justice
Christine Merritt, Education
Patrick Keegan, Sociology
Melissa Higbee, Sociology and Paralegal Studies
Charlene Diaz, Accounting
Elliott Norton, Business and Computer Science
Steven Pasko, Computer Networking Technology
Sara Ramm, Computer Programming
Dennis Rand, Computer Systems & Applications
Anita Layman, Allied Health
Misty Loy, Health & Physical Education
Luke Markey, Mathematics
Amber Haynes, finalist for Vice President’s Award for Academic Accomplishment
Bethany Kottman, finalist for Vice President’s Award for Academic Accomplishment


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