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SUU to Recognize Top Scholars at 2008 Commencement

April 28, 2008
Category: Academics


Five students were chosen as valedictorians to represent the Class of 2008 at Southern Utah University’s 109th annual Commencement Ceremony. With perfect 4.0 GPAs, these students excelled in a myriad of academic and extracurricular activities during their tenure at SUU. They will be recognized this Saturday at the main commencement ceremony, beginning at 9 a.m. in SUU’s Centrum Arena.

Jodi Croft Dahlin, is an elementary education major from Cedar City, Utah with a minor in art. Dahlin has served as president of SUU’s Alpha Chi National Honor Society, and has represented the University while displaying her artwork at the national Alpha Chi convention. In addition, Jodi is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for education and the prestigious Golden Key International Honour Society. Not only is she a dedicated student, Dahlin is a skilled swimmer and has set many Utah Summer Games records, including the 1500 meter freestyle.

Whitnee Sorenson, from Orem, Utah, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English, with an emphasis in creative writing, and a minor in accounting. One of just five students to graduate from the University Honors program this year, Whitnee’s thesis project detailed her own creative process of writing a novella.

Brittany Jensen, is graduating as a communication major and sociology minor from Orderville, Utah. Brittany believes in the importance of continuing education for everyone—regardless of life circumstances. In her spare time while attending SUU, Jensen volunteered as a mentor through the USU extension program, Youth and Families With Promise. She’s also volunteered in SUU’s Service Learning Center and in the Cedar Breaks District of the Boy Scouts of America.

Julie Noakes, from Taylorsville, Utah, is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a minor in teaching English as a second language. In addition to completing over 100 hours of practicum teaching work, Noakes has served as a tutor in the STAR Reading Program and the America Reads Program in Iron County School District and in Granite School District’s after-school reading program. She has also worked as a summer camp instructor at the Mill Hollow Outdoor Education Center.

Savanna Sorensen, from Prescott, AZ, will leave SUU with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and chemistry. She is a member of the 2008 National Society of Collegiate Scholars. A transfer student from Southern Virginia University, Sorensen has volunteered in various organizations across the globe, ranging from building homes with Habitat for Humanity in New Zealand to working as a ski instructor at Brian Head Ski Resort.

In addition to the University-wide recognition at the main Commencement Ceremony, each of these five scholars will also be recognized in their individual college ceremonies that same afternoon:

Whitnee Sorenson and Brittany Jensen will be honored in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences Convocation in the Centrum Arena at 11:30 a.m.

Jodi Croft Dahlin and Julie Noakes will be recognized during the Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education and Human Development’s Convocation in the Centrum Arena at 2 p.m.

And Savanna Sorensen will be honored in the Convocation for the College of Science at 11:30 a.m. in SUU’s J.L Sorenson Physical Education Building.

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