The academic year’s top students in their respective fields of study were celebrated during an Evening of Recognition ceremony at the Yavapai College Verde Valley campus April 19.

Along with accolades from YC leadership, faculty and staff, the top students received awards and gifts and were treated to a reception and photographic memories with friends and family.

In her congratulatory remarks at the student success celebration, YC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Diane Ryan applauded the top students for “excelling in college and in life.” She encouraged them to continue to thrive by practicing principles of happiness that “must precede success. Know your signature strengths, build meaningful relationships, practice being kind and prime yourself for positivity.”

In keeping with tradition, two students were singled out for the evening’s top awards – the President’s and Vice President’s Awards for Excellence.

Stephanie Stockseth is the Verde Valley Campus President’s Award winner this year. YC English Professor Dr. Barb Waak nominated Stephanie for the award, saying: “Stephanie stands above my nearly 6,000 students. She was quick to conduct research while in class and provide answers to both me and other students. She took a leadership role in peer editing and was relied upon by her classmates and myself. In the two semesters I have worked with Stephanie, I have seen a tremendous growth in her self-esteem as a student and leader. She seeks and achieves perfection.”

Grace Lechowski is the Vice President’s Award winner this year. She was nominated by YC Culinary Arts Professor Robert Barr. He said of Grace: “She is extremely upbeat and empowered to do well each day. She has shown high regard for what she is about to learn and the skills she is about to master every day, including being 30 minutes early every day to prepare herself for what she is about to experience. She continually asks how she can improve even at things she excels in.”

Following are YC Verde Valley Campus “Outstanding Student” honorees and their respective disciplines for the 2021-2022 academic year:

  • English, Suzanne Tanner
  • Humanities, Eliana Oberlander
  • Sociology, Ava Langlois
  • Management, Melinda Gusman
  • Construction, Timothy Chadwick
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, David Shill
  • Viticulture and Enology, Jeni Davis
  • Applied Pre-Engineering, Steven Galloway
  • Mathematics, Benjamin Kaplan
  • Science and Engineering, Aidan Simpkin