Melissa Smith of Fort Myers, Fla., received the prestigious Faculty Award during the Academic Convocation at William Woods University April 20.
The Faculty Award is given to the graduate magna cum laude or summa cum laude “who, in the estimation of the faculty of William Woods, has shown exemplary devotion and commitment to the life of the mind.”
Smith was also named the Distinguished Scholar in business administration. To be a Distinguished Scholar at William Woods, a graduating senior must be selected by the faculty of a particular discipline. A minimum grade point average of 3.4 is required.
In addition, she was one of 14 William Woods University students named to the 2011 edition of “Who’s Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges.” A campus nominating committee and editors of the annual directory chose the students based on academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success.
By being listed in “Who’s Who,” she joins an elite group of students from more than 2,300 institutions of higher learning in all 50 states. Outstanding students have been honored in the annual directory since it was first published in 1934.
According to her professors, Smith is an excellent student and a joy to teach. She is graduating with a bachelor of science in business administration with a concentration in economics and finance and a minor in equestrian science with a hunter/jumper concentration. In addition to being an excellent student, she is involved in extensive on-campus activities.
She has been a member of DECA since 2008 and has placed first in entrepreneurship and fourth in travel and tourism in 2009, second in entrepreneurship and fourth in travel in tourism in 2010 and first in entrepreneurship in 2011. This year, she placed in the top 10 in entrepreneurship, competing with more than 1,400 other college students at the DECA International Conference in Orlando, Fla., April 12-17.
Smith co-founded the WWU Student Investments Club in 2010 and has been serving as vice president. She serves as a University Ambassador and as a cancer research fundraiser for Relay for Life.
She participated in WWU’s unique Mentor-Mentee program this year, allowing her to conduct research with a faculty member, in this case, Dr. Linda McClaren, professor of equestrian science.
Additionally, she has been a member of the Hunter/Jumper Show Team since 2008 and has served as treasurer and president. She is also an active participant in the United States Hunter Jumper Association Emerging Athletes Program.
Smith has won numerous awards at horse shows, including the Kentucky Fall classic, the Ridgefield Charity Show, the Missouri Horse Show Association, New York Horse and Pony Show, Brownland Autumn Challenge in Tennessee, Prince of Wales Charity Show, Irish Fox Horse Show and Harvest Time. The equestrian studies faculty say she has progressed up the ladder of skill development in an expeditious way.