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Dec. 8, 2014

University names Davenport valedictorian

By Melanie Morris

Adam DavenportThe valedictorian committee has selected Adam Davenport as the valedictorian for the fall 2014 commencement. Davenport is graduating with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Urban Development.

Davenport holds the AmeriCorps VISTA position for the year at the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. He is also a member of Berea’s Planning and Development committee.
Last year, he did research with Ben Clark, a professor of Urban Studies at Cleveland State University, through the Roberta Steinbacher and Thomas Campbell Fellowship investigating the connection between the built environment and health disparities across Cuyahoga County.

He said being selected as valedictorian is quite the honor and that he is very grateful.

“I don’t think it will honestly settle in until I give that speech,” he said.

Davenport said he has loved his time at Cleveland State and enjoys how immersed the university is in the city. He said this sets a student up for success much more than a school that is disconnected with an active-city lifestyle.

Davenport encourages other students to keep doing what they love as much as possible. He also believes what a person does with the knowledge they have means more than what they know on paper.

“I think being involved outside of the classroom encompasses a lot of those aspects,” he said.

Davenport plans to attend graduate school in the future and eventually wants to help urban and natural environments coexist in a sustainable manner.

The valedictorian committee selects the university valedictorian from nominations they receive from the different colleges and the School of Nursing. Some of the colleges have the tradition of honoring their best among the best as college valedictorians too.

Hannah Kohr and Alicia Holod were nominated from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) and the College of Sciences and Health Professions (CSHP) respectively. Earlier they were also honored as valedictorians for CLASS and CSHP.
Hannah Kohr and Dean Gregory Sadlek

Kohr is an Anthropology major and is very excited and humbled to be chosen.

“I have met many students who have worked just as hard, if not harder, than I have to complete their degree and I wish there was a way to recognize their incredible successes as well,” Kohr said.

Holod is a Speech and Hearing Science major and said being chosen as the CSHP valedictorian is indescribable.

“The College of Sciences and Health Professions is full of so many successful and intelligent people, being selected was an honor I never expected,” Holod said.

She said attending Cleveland State was one of the best decisions she ever made and that she wouldn’t change anything about her experience. Both students said they’re lucky to have met the many professors and staff that have helped facilitate their success. Kohr specifically recognizes those who were understanding when it came to her schoolwork and realized that she had a busy schedule off-campus as well as on-campus.

“I am so grateful that these individuals have outnumbered those who did not understand that being a student is only part of my identity, not who I am,” Kohr said.

Holod believes the characteristics that make up a valedictorian include being dependable, studious, curious and bright and Kohr believes her patience and determination have contributed to her accomplishments.

Kohr encourages other students to establish relationships on campus with the people that can help the most. She mentioned talking to not only professors but also advisors and department secretaries to comprise a good on-campus support structure. Holod urges students to stay determined and said to keep up on your work, but also take time for yourself.

“Learning how to relax and take a breather every once in a while is just as important as your school work,” Holod said.

Holod plans to achieve an advanced degree and then conduct research within the realm of audiology, specifically in the area of balance rehabilitation. Kohr plans to take a short academic break to work and develop skills relevant to her career and then will attend graduate school to study cultural conflict resolution.