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Finlandia University 2011 Honors Graduates Recognized at Annual Banquet

HANCOCK, MI - Friday evening, April 15, 2011, students, family members, faculty, and staff gathered at the annual Finlandia University Honors Banquet to recognize student achievement. Finlandia faculty and staff heartily congratulate these students.

The following 2011 graduation candidates were recognized for their academic achievements:

Class of 2011 co-Valedictorians: Adam W. Jeffery (Lake Linden) and Amanda Nicole Moyer (Livonia).

Class of 2011 Summa Cum Laude Honors Graduates. These students earned an overall 3.9-4.0 GPA.

The summa cum laude bachelor's degree candidates are: Jessica Jean Eichhorn (Wallace), Sadie Marie Hebert (Iron River), Adam W. Jeffery (Lake Linden), Alexis Anastasia Johnson (Houghton), Cara Jeanne Leivdal (Houghton), Robin Louise Meneguzzo (Lake Linden), Amanda Nicole Moyer (Livonia), Clint Ronald Pakkala (Atlantic Mine), Krystle Jean Rivest (Dollar Bay), Jessica Lynn Salo (Chassell), Diana Kay Sorvisto (Laurium), and Jared Luke Tormala (Toivola).

The associate degree summa cum laude candidates are Justus Coleridge Gau (Hancock), Kerstin Jane Halonen (Howell), Corey J. King (Hancock), and Jessica Lynn Roell (Channing).

Class of 2011 Magna Cum Laude Honors Graduates. These students earned an overall 3.700-3.899 GPA.

Magna cum laude bachelor's degree candidates are. Michaela Catherine Boddy (Gladstone), Jessica Ashley Borsum (Dollar Bay), Audrey Rose Chamberlain (Lansing), Ryan Patrick Donovan (Pinckney), Emily R. Gauthier (Houghton), Jamie Lee Kilpela (Atlantic Mine), Hayley Michelle Laban (Houghton), Linzy Leigh Monticello (Hancock), Allyson Marie Tincknell (Negaunee), and Kaitlin Anna Voigt (Ewen).

The associate degree magna cum laude candidates are. Christopher Harold Danis (Calumet) and Kara Rose Rastello (Houghton).

Class of 2011 Cum Laude Honors Graduates. These students have earned a 3.50-3.699 overall GPA.

Bachelor's degree cum laude candidates are. Jessica Lynn Battisfore (Chassell), Elyse Ann Beebe (Peru, Ind.), Ryan Michael Bessolo (Calumet), Justin Waino Buzzo (Ontonagon), Jill Marie Codere (Lake Linden), Kristen Jean Collins (L'Anse), Susanne Elisabeth Danielson (Kingsford), Jessica Rae DeMers (Vulcan), Alisha Mary Ellertson (River Falls, Wis.), Brittany Ann Foster (Cloquet, Minn.), Ashley Nicole Harma (Houghton), Kevin Daniel Korte (Kennewick, Wash.), Kevin Michael LaRoux (Lake Linden), Shari Darlene Messer (Howell), Bobbi Jo Nettell (South Range), Rebecca Joy Nordmark (Houghton), Nikolas M Patrick (Ironwood), Amy Sue Anne Rajala (Chassell), Rachel Michelle Reidenga (Wetmore), Jodi Beth Riutta (Atlantic Mine), Eric Jordan Schultz (Strasbourg, SK, Canada), Bryan August Solander (Marquette), Stephanie Kaye Tarvainen (Hancock), Brenda Kaye Tuovila (Lake Linden), Benjamin George Westcott (Iron Mountain), Tyler Andrew Wright (Lake Linden), and Matthew James Wylie (Eagan, Minn.).

The associate degree cum laude candidates are. Kimberlee Martha Derosier (Painesdale), Rei Hirakawa (Takayama, Gifu, Japan), Steven Bruce Johnson (Hancock), Sheryl Catherine Keranen (Hancock), Airi Natsumushi (Takayama, Gifu, Japan), Janine Marie Nottke (Atlantic Mine), Jill A. Scharfenberg (Hancock), Emily Ruth Sheffer (Lake Linden), Alina Nicole Tuthill (Hancock), and Amy Bennett Wickstrom (Calumet).

Sampo Society Membership is awarded to graduating students with a cumulative GPA of 3.75-4.0 who have demonstrated leadership, commitment, achievement, initiative, and involvement in the cultural and intellectual life of the campus and community. This year's bachelor degree recipients are Diana Kay Sorvisto (Laurium), Jamie Lee Kilpela (Atlantic Mine), Audrey Rose Chamberlain (Lansing), and Jessica Jean Eichhorn (Wallace). This year's associate degree recipients are Jessica Lynn Roell (Channing), Kerstin Jane Halonen (Howell), and Corey J. King (Hancock).

The Sisu Award is awarded to students who have shown courage, fortitude, and perseverance in overcoming hardship to achieve academic and personal success. This year's recipients are Jonathan M. Michael (Hancock) and Jill Arlene Scharfenberg (Hancock).

Continuing Finlandia University students received the following scholarships and awards:

The Kenneth and Lois Seaton Scholarship is awarded to a Copper Country area junior/senior student in a bachelor's degree program. This year's recipient is Leiloni Marie Cloutier (Hancock).

The Philip and Loret Ruppe Community Service Scholarship is awarded annually by the Ruppe family to commemorate the service of former Congressman Phil Ruppe, a Houghton native, and his late wife, Loret Ruppe, who served as head of the Peace Corps and ambassador to Norway. The scholarship recognizes students for outstanding volunteer efforts and service to the college campus and local community. This year's recipients are Cameron M. Goude (Brooklyn Center, Minn.) and Jamie Lynn Clishe (Baraga).

The Samuel Westerman Scholarship is awarded to nursing students from the Upper Peninsula entering their sophomore year as full-time students. Recipients demonstrate financial need, are active in volunteer service to the university or community, and have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0-3.49. This year's recipients are Tricia Karen Daavettila (Dollar Bay), Tina Marie Ploe, and Katie Anne Tarvainen (Hancock).

The Virginia Fund Scholarship is awarded in memory of Mrs. Richard R. Smith to a freshman woman who plans to continue as a student at Finlandia for the 2011-12 academic year. The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement and overall contribution to campus life. This year's recipient is Shaela Rollande Morin (Iron Mountain).

The David Lauren Jokela Endowed Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a continuing student who has demonstrated leadership, service to others, a caring attitude, and 'sisu.' This year's recipient is Kailee Lynn Laplander (Hancock).

For additional information, please contact the office of Student and Academic Affairs, at 906-487-7512.


Finlandia University, founded in 1896 as Suomi College, is the only private university in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and one of 26 colleges and universities affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It is the only university in North America founded by Finnish immigrants. Located in Hancock, Finlandia University is a learning community dedicated to academic excellence, spiritual growth and service. Bachelor and associate degrees are earned by students in two schools and two colleges serving the disciplines of art and design, business, liberal studies, and health sciences. Visit the Finlandia University website at