Central State University Names Top Senior Scholars from Four Colleges

Special to The Truth

Central State University announced its four top college scholars during the annual Academic Recognition Convocation (ARC) on Tuesday, April 2.

The 2024 Outstanding Senior Scholars included Raven Golliday of Cleveland, College of Business; Baijing Zinnerman of Indianapolis, Indiana, John W. Garland College of Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture; Laketa Wright of Dayton, College of Education; and Daquan Neal of Mount Sterling, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

F. Erik Brooks, PhD, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, offered opening remarks. “Though it may be dreary outside, there’s no reason for it to be dreary in here. This is a celebration,” he said.

“We are here to recognize and celebrate our students’ academic successes as we commemorate 137 years of academic excellence at this premier institution of higher learning,” Brooks continued.

Sarah Armstrong-Jones, PhD, interim executive director of the Honors College and International Affairs, and Honors College program manager brought the occasion by stating that Honors Day, the precursor to the ARC, began on April 14, 1954, when then-Central State College acknowledged 83 scholars.

“Fast forward to today, when we are recognizing over 1,000 students for class and college honors,” Jones said. “The name may have changed to the Academic Recognition Convocation, but the spirit of the occasion is one
that will live on in the students we see here today — students who are creative, talented, smart, and determined.

“The students at Central State University have been my students and my mentees for over 10 years, and I, like many of you, have heard their struggles, seen their perseverance, and been in awe of their accomplishments.”

Jones addressed the students, saying they are a meaningful part of the university’s history, culture, and future. She encouraged the students to sit up tall, push their shoulders back, and take pride in what they stand
for and whose shoulders they stand on.

“There is power in that,” Jones said. “We honor you for making the choice to handle your business, to set goals and strive toward them, to not shy away from the hard work. To find balance. To be committed to something
you are passionate about. To make the necessary sacrifices to come out successfully on the other end. To ask for help when the road got bumpy. To assist your peers when you saw they needed it. To give an uplifting and
encouraging word to a stranger, and to simply (pursue) excellence in all that you do.”

Golliday, the top College of Business scholar who also serves as the 76th Miss Central State University, welcomed attendees to the event.

“Today we honor students who have allowed learning to drive their pursuit of personal excellence despite the challenges we have experienced,” Golliday said. “Today’s honorees are true examples of what it means to embrace academic achievement. They have clearly proven themselves to be among the top of their class … and continue to transform Central State University into a culture of true merit and intellectual excellence.”

The ARC recognizes full-time students with high academic standing. Outstanding Senior Scholars are selected based on high GPA, active participation in college activities, community service, and involvement in
respective fields. College Scholars have a GPA of 3.50 or above. Class Scholars have a GPA of 3.20 to 3.49.