Lake Region College celebrates graduates with honors

Erin Wood
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal
Back row: Ethan Damerum, Sydney Beneda, Kayla Nyhagen, Samantha Shumway, Jarrel McGarvey

Front Row: Samantha McKay, Austin McClure, Hunter Heck, Tucker Bercier

Not in photo: Clarence Daniels

DEVILS LAKE - Graduates of Lake Region State College were recognized with special awards presented during graduation ceremonies May 13th, 2022, in Robert Fawcett Auditorium.

Each year Lake Region State College honors students who led on campus and excelled in music, theater, and writing.

The Lloyd Jones Memorial Music Award is presented to the student who shows outstanding leadership in music. This year the Lloyd Jones Memorial Music Award was presented to Hope Thorlakson of Langdon, ND. She is a shining star with the LRSC musical group, Royal Rhythms.

Hope Thorlakson

The Glenn H. Larson Memorial Drama Award is presented to the student deemed to have made the most significant contribution during the year in LRSC Theater. This year, Nicole Hettwer is the recipient of the Glenn H. Larson Memorial Drama Award. Nicole was a well-rounded member of the LRSC Theater Department working on sets to acting in productions.

Nichole Hettwer

The Writing Excellence Award this year goes to Charlie Estrada. The award is presented to the student who excellence in writing. Submitted pieces are juried by English faculty. Estrada is an online student completing his associate degree at LRSC.

The Who’s Who Awards at Lake Region State College recognize students who visibly made a positive impact during their time at LRSC and viewed as student leaders. Students must be nominated and are then selected by a committee.

This year, the following students were named Who’s Who at LRSC. One of the Who’s Who students also are honored as the Knoke Leadership Award recipient. The Knoke Award this year was awarded to Samantha Shumway.

Samantha Shumway

Sydney Beneda came to LRSC from Fordville, ND and majored in Nursing at LRSC. She is one of LRSC’s Royal Ambassadors and has been featured in various LRSC campaigns. She promotes the college by talking about the college not only being affordable but also how it helps you achieve your goals and build lasting friendships. Sydney takes time out of her busy schedule to show potential students around both the main campus and nursing department. She participates in the Student Nursing Organization and Student Senate. She will be graduating in May with her Associate Degree in Nursing and has a GPA of 3.10.

Tucker Bercier and Jarrel Mcgarvey

Tucker Bercier has had influence on LRSC since he first stepped foot on campus. Tucker, of Belcourt, ND, served as vice-president of Phi Theta Kappa Society and started the Adopt-a-Highway program for the chapter. He served as the PTK liaison to the Student Senate and was a major reason Student Senate decided to start recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day. A President’s List student, he was chosen as one of LRSC’s top two scholars, becoming a member of the ND Academic Team, and one step more, becoming the state’s representative as a New Century Scholar, an award he received in New York City at the Presidents’ Breakfast in early May.

Ethan Damerum crossed the pond from England to the United States and came to LRSC as a transfer from Nebraska. Ethan encapsulates everything that Lake Region would be proud to have represented in a student – as an academic scholar, civil servant, athlete, student advocate, and student employee. He participated in every facet of this campus since setting foot here. Ethan has been involved in men’s basketball, student senate, international club, on campus employment, is a peer mentor and volunteers to help whenever and wherever needed. He has a passion for humanity and volunteered for a Missions trip over the 2022 Spring Break to go to Texas and work with refugees acclimating to American life.

Clarence Daniels demonstrated leadership at LRSC by always having a smile on his face and being ready to go to class and have influence with his fellow students and teammates. He was instrumental with his participation on the Black History Month Film Committee  However, it would be remiss not to mention Clarence’s considerable basketball talents having been named to the NJCAA All-American team. He capped off a terrific season for the Royals where he averaged 20.5ppg 11.1rpg and helped lead the team to a 20-12 overall record. On top of his All-American honors, Clarence was named the MonDak Conference MVP and selected to the All-Region XIII team. Clarence is the first LRSC All-American since Kennedy Henningsgard on the women’s side in 2016. He accomplished all this while maintaining an overall 3.7 GPA and will be continuing his basketball career at University Of New Hampshire as a Wildcat.

Hunter Heck of Cavalier, ND, served as president of Student Senate. A Dean’s List student, he is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and was able to coordinate joint activities with the chapter, most notably the Adopt-a-Highway project. He also was one of the first students to step up to join the Diversity Book Talk on RGB, The Notorious RGB. He also works with the state Democratic party. Hunter will continue his educational journey at Valley City State majoring in History to become a teacher.

Austin McClure came to LRSC from Australia and has studied business and automotive technology. He is a student athlete playing for the Royals baseball team and will be transferring to Crookston to continue his education and play on their baseball team. Austin is kind and a very giving individual. He is eager to learn and turns every situation into a positive learning situation. Austin is a born leader. He is always willing to help everyone out to help them succeed. He has been a member of the Royals baseball team for three years, he is currently a resident assistant, is a member of PTK and also a member of the international student organization. He has worked in various offices on campus and volunteered to assist many departments hosting activities on campus.

Jarrel McGarvey showed up at the first Phi Theta Kappa meeting of the 2020-2021 year and has been a faithful member ever since. He participated in every activity his first year so it was no surprise he was elected president of PTK for the 21-22 year. In that year, he has been an ambitious and devoted president, knowing what to do and when. Jarrel also has been incredibly involved with the Precision Ag club. He also managed to be an active member of Campus Crusade for Christ. A President’s List student, Jarrel was chosen as one of two top scholars to represent LRSC for the ND All-Academic Team. He was chosen out of a pool of over 800 candidates, all of them the top two from their respective colleges, to be one of 150 to receive a Coca Cola Leadership scholarship. He plans on transferring to Mayville State and get a degree in elementary education with plans to stay in ND and teach

Samantha McKay of Devils Lake returned to college to major in business. A Dean’s List student, Sam is a 2010 graduate of Devils Lake  High School and the mother of two great kids. Sam participated in LRSC’s Collegiate DECA chapter for the past two years - serving as the secretary the past two years. She qualified and participated in the International Career & Development Collegiate DECA Conference – earning top 10 honors in her prepared event this past spring. She also was a student employee in the President’s and Foundation office. Sam will further her education with Mayville State University, majoring in business.

Kayla Nyhagen of Cando, ND, has consistently made the Dean’s List (this is a tough feat for nursing students especially) from Fall 2019 to Fall 2021. With a cumulative GPA of 3.70, Kayla has been a tremendous student who is committed to her studies and respectful to others. She was an RA and Royal Ambassador in 2019, serving as Royal Ambassador President in 2020. She also worked in the ER as a CNA full-time while completing her general studies in 2019. She has worked part-time as a CNA from 2020-2021 while in the nursing program and served as President of the Student Nursing Organization while in the PN nursing program and a member of the Student Nurse Organization during the AD year. She is currently an LPN at the hospital and works in home care, too. She plans to apply to the BSN program through Mayville State and eventually become a Nurse Practitioner.

Samantha (Sam) Shumway earned an Associate in Science degree and also earned her Associate degree in nursing. A native of Franklin, Idaho, Sam is a resident assistant, a member of the AD Student Nurse Organization, and a member of the Royals softball team. She is an extremely diligent worker balancing her studies, work and extra curriculars. As a practical nursing student, Sam addressed her RA duties, worked at Eventide senior living center as a Nursing aid and medication aid. This year she worked as an LPN while studying in the Associate degree RN program. In addition to all that, Sam played softball for the Royals. Last year Sam was named one of the top 3 players in their conference. One of the wonderful things about Sam is she will go beyond what is expected of her. She volunteered to assess faculty, staff, and students during COVID clinics during the pandemic. After graduation she plan to attend Mayville State, where she will continue her nursing education towards her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and continue to play collegiate softball.