By Jennifer Marbley
Six outstanding University of Nevada, Reno students were honored for their high grade point averages in their respective colleges at the Senior Scholar’s Banquet on Dec. 4. The Nevada Alumni Association partnered with UNR to hold the event in the Joe Crowley Student Union Milt Glick Ballroom.
The Senior Scholar students received a silver lapel and a certificate for their scholastic achievements as they concluded their senior years at UNR. Friends and family attended the event to celebrate the students as well as the mentors who motivated the Senior Scholar award-winners. Each of the six Senior Scholars had a mentor who also helped to lead faculty in new research and creative directions.
Dr. James Winn teaches composition in the music department and acted as a mentor to award winner Quinton Bunk, who majored in double bass performance. Winn met Bunk nearly five years ago and believes that his role as a mentor is to encourage Bunk and support his musical talent by providing advice.
“I’ve had [Bunk] in classes for a long time and he’s always been an absolute superstar,” Winn said. “Every composer is unique, but what he has accomplished as an undergraduate is uncommon even among doctoral students.”
Winn worked with Pulitzer Prize-winners as well as students at Columbia, Princeton and Harvard, and believes that Bunk was his most extraordinary composition student. He described Bunk as quiet and focused. Winn said that Bunk always impresses him with the music that he produces.
According to Bunk, he’s primarily excited about graduation, but is also thrilled to receive the Senior Scholar distinction. He plans to seek further education in musical composition and wants to pursue a career in music. He recently wrote a score for a short film titled “In Good Company.” He has also written classical, theater and orchestral music.
The College of Liberal Arts was not the only college represented at the event. Jordan Forman, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, was also recognized for her outstanding academic performance. Forman said that she feels grateful and was humbled to be chosen as a Senior Scholar. According to Forman, a death in her family helped her realize that she wanted a career where she could help others.
“My grandpa passed away in 2005,” Foreman said. “He was in and out of the hospital a lot before that so I was able to go visit him and I saw what would happen if there was a bad nurse or if there was a good nurse. It really made me develop a passion for nursing.”
Forman said that she’s had an amazing experience as a nursing student and has gained the knowledge and skills to make her dream a reality. By being in college, she discovered that she had to develop the initiative to study every day and stay focused to get high grades.
Forman will begin working at Saint Mary’s Hospital beginning in February for three years. She plans to later return to UNR to work on a master’s degree in nursing.
Foreman partially attributed her success to Stacy Demitropoulos, her nursing mentor. Demitropoulos was Forman’s professor during her first and final college semesters. Forman described her nursing theory class as one of the hardest courses she’s ever had. Demitropoulos was also the clinical leader for nursing school and helped mentor Forman at Renown Regional Medical Center.
“She was the first to care for patients, even if it was just a mannequin,” Demitropoulos said. “She is full of compassion for the patients she’s cared for. She has a heart of gold, like every nurse should have.”
Jennifer Marbley can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @MissMarbley.