Gwinnett County Residents Receive Awards


ATLANTA – University graduate Rachel G. Shapard of Suwanee received the Griffin B. Bell Award for Community Service at the McAfee School of Theology commencement May 9 on Mercer’s Atlanta campus. The award, named for Bell, former U.S. attorney general, is given to a deserving graduating student from among Mercer’s nine schools and colleges.

            Shapard received the master of divinity degree. She is an associate pastor for discipleship and outreach at First Baptist Church, Gainesville.

            At Mercer’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing commencement ceremony May 3 on Mercer’s Atlanta campus, four Gwinnett county residents received awards.

            Sarah E. Strauss of Lilburn received the Student of the Year Award. Selected as a Fellow by the Helen Fuld Health Trust, Strauss also demonstrated leadership as president of the Student Government Association, as a student ambassador, peer representative, member of the Honor Council and House Council and as a member of the Georgia Association of Nursing Students’ House of Delegates. She graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing.

            Gail P. Baldwin of Duluth received the Davison-McKie-Newton Award and the Pi Gamma Award. A graduate of the College’s RN-BSN Advanced Track, Baldwin has successfully practiced as an associate degree staff nurse and as a supervisor and director of nursing. Currently, she practices as a rehabilitation staff nurse at Joan Glancy Hospital. She is a member of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and volunteers with senior citizens and at a pregnancy crisis center.

            Mildred D. Kimbell of Suwanee was also awarded the Pi Gamma Award. A graduate of the College’s RN-BSN Advanced Track, Kimbell is currently working as a cardiac rehabilitation nurse following many years of ambulatory cardiac care and cardiac intensive care unit experience. Recently, she spearheaded implementation of health-related services in a community mental health residence facility for adults.

            Anika P. Thompson of Decatur received the Student Nurse of the Year for the December 2001 graduating class. As a student scholar and leader, she was inducted into the Pi Gamma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She received the Outstanding Leadership Award for Student Development and served as class representative to the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Association of Nursing Students.

            At the Stetson School of Business and Economics commencement ceremony May 10 on Mercer’s Atlanta campus, Mercer graduate David P. Croft of Lawrenceville received the Aprille M. Holland Outstanding Student Award. The Aprille M. Holland Award is the highest scholastic honor offered by the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics in Atlanta and is given in honor of the founding dean of the School.

            Croft has been named to the Dean’s List for four consecutive semesters and has completed majors in finance, management and marketing. He is a member of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor of business administration degree.

Founded in 1833, Mercer is a 7,300-student, comprehensive, Baptist-affiliateduniversity offering undergraduate and graduate degrees through the College of Liberal Arts, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics,theTiftCollege of Education, the School of Engineering, the Walter F. George School of Law, the School of Medicine, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the Southern School of Pharmacy and the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology.

Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta, as well as four extended education centers located in Douglas County, Covington, Griffin and Eastman. The University also operates the Mercer Engineering Research Center in Warner Robins and the Mercer University Press in Macon. For the past 12 years, Mercer has been ranked among the leading universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.