CLU students honored for academics

Valedictorians, literary award winners highlighted

Valedictorian Jeriann Lynds of Santa Clarita earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a business emphasis and a minor in math.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – July 18, 2013) California Lutheran University has honored several top students for their academic achievements.

Jeriann Lynds of Santa Clarita and Zachary Zabo of Louisville, Ky., both received the Provost’s Award for Academic Excellence as valedictorians of the Class of 2013.

Lynds earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a business emphasis and a minor in math. She achieved the highest level of the Honors Program. A Presidential Host who gave campus tours and worked in the admissions office, she researched the effect of helicopter parents on their children’s college experiences for her honors thesis. Lynds helped launch MYLife, a campus club that promotes tolerance, understanding and a strong sense of self through the support of others. She was also an officer in the Secular Student Alliance.

Zabo earned degrees in criminal justice and political science and conducted research on how to encourage young people to get involved in victim-centered advocacy. He served as a Presidential Host for three years, a resident assistant for two years and a student senator for two years. He also worked as a legal assistant. He is now working toward a master’s degree in public policy and administration as one of the first two Gallegly Center Fellows to be selected at CLU.

Carrie Baarns, an English major from Sylmar, received the $1,000 Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize for a collection of her poems. English Department faculty awarded Andrew Olson of Murrieta the $500 Ledbetter Prize for Excellence in Writing for his short story “Benny.” The award is given annually to an English major for the best work in any literary genre.

Katelen Eich of Moorpark received the $500 O. Fritiof Ander History Award as the most outstanding graduating history major. The $500 Smith Family Writing History Award for the best history paper submitted during the year was awarded to Zabo.

Fifteen new members of the Scholastic Honor Society, the highest academic honor at CLU, were announced. The new members are Elizabeth Barna, a sociology and environmental science major from Bellflower; Aili Breda, a psychology major from Prescott Valley, Ariz.; Shannon Cordes, a psychology major from Simi Valley; Danielle Foster, a psychology major from Cupertino; Austin Garcia, a biology major from Camarillo; Lacie Goff, a communication major from Enfield, Ill.; Montana Lara, a biology major from Granada Hills; Neika Maryn, an exercise science major from Fallbrook; Maxine Nelson, a bioengineering and multimedia major from Simi Valley; Judith Newlin, an English major from Thousand Oaks; Kevin Parr, a criminal justice major from Torrance; Antonella Puglisi, a liberal studies major from Thousand Oaks; Brittany Thompson, a liberal studies major from Oak Park; Robert Triol, a history major from Camarillo; and Zabo. Upper division students qualify for the society by maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.9 on a 4.0 scale. No more than 5 percent of the students from each graduating class are invited to participate.