Rio Awards 379 Graduates at Commencement Ceremony

Despite early morning rain and lingering clouds, University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College held its 148th Commencement Ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday, May 11. The annual ceremony celebrated the academic achievements of the 2024 graduating class.

Elaine Armstrong, a 1986 graduation of University of Rio Grande, was this year’s Commencement Speaker. Armstrong spoke to the graduates about the importance of resilience and chasing their dreams.

A total of 379 students received certificates and degrees, with 26 earning more than one. The full ceremony can be seen on Rio’s YouTube Channel at

A full list of graduates is below.

Master Degrees

Master of Education

Aaron Thomas Jr – Coaching Leadership

Baden Stevens – Coaching Leadership

Brandy Joy Fitzhugh – Coaching Leadership

Ciara Raeann Spurlin – Coaching Leadership

Dana Tenney – Coaching Leadership

Erwin Gutić – Coaching Leadership

Jacob Henderson – Coaching Leadership

Jason Lee Fitzhugh – Coaching Leadership

Jay Michael Moore – Coaching Leadership

Jess Nicole Youse – Coaching Leadership

Leah Deaner – Coaching Leadership

Lucas Neville Hutton – Coaching Leadership

Mallory Katelyn Stonebraker – Coaching Leadership

Marcus Sanford Illingworth – Coaching Leadership

Oluwatobi Emmanuel Ojo – Coaching Leadership

Otón Merín Torró – Coaching Leadership

Rodrigo Ignacio Basso Alfaro – Coaching Leadership

Vilius Labutis – Coaching Leadership







Bachelor Degrees


Bachelor of Science


Abagael Brier Webb - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Abby Elizabeth VanSickle - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Acacia Kauffman - Biology

Aleea Lynn Crites - History

Alejandra Garrett - Adolescent to Young Adult: Language Arts/English AA

Alyssa Dingus - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Anna Loree Ackley - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Audrey Bliss Tracy - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Austin Kendall - Business Management

Beiker Williams Fuentes Reyes - Sports & Exercise Studies

Benjamin Cam Orellana - Sports & Exercise Studies

Braam Sebastian Hein - Sports & Exercise Studies

Brennen Greene - Business Management

Caden Reese Donaldson - Psychology

Carmen Doherty - Psychology

Ciara Mae Jones - Wildlife Conservation

Ciera Lambert - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Cierra Roberts - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Cody Brumfield - Business Management

Dalton Skinner - Business Management

Daniel Gross - Computer Science

Darcie Walters - Environmental Science

Darcy Williams - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Darius Malachi Jordan - Business Management

Diana Lee Roush - Environmental Science

Diego Martinez - Business Management

Drew Christopher Hanning - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Elizabeth Jewel Jenkins - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Gabriel L. Terry - Adolescent to Young Adult: Mathematics/Mathematics BS

Gabriella Faye Lawrence - Wildlife Conservation

Haden Wesley Karshner - Business Management

Hailey Thornburg - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Jacob A. Wells - Intervention Specialist K-12

Jacquelynn Sue-Anne Dailey - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Jakob M. Johnson - History

Jalin Ragland - Business Management

Jaxon H. Harris - History/Liberal Studies BA

Jessica Marie Dyson - Wildlife Conservation

Jocelyn R. Abraham - Psychology

Jonas P. McCreedy - Business Management

Jordan Leland Carey - Wildlife Conservation

Kaitlyn Jarrell - Adolescent to Young Adult: Language Arts/English AA

Kali Brickman - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Katie Walters - Middle Childhood: Language Arts/Social Studies

Kayleigh Osborne - Adolescent to Young Adult: Language Arts/English AA

Konstantinos Kounnou - Psychology

Kori Robie - Wildlife Conservation

Kristin Louise Mannon - Biochemistry

Kyle Jeffery Lightner - Business Management

Kyli Faith Ricker - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

LaFette Johnson - Sports & Exercise Studies

Leanne Marie Young – Psychology

Lexi Woods - Sports & Exercise Studies/Multi-Age Physical Education/Multi-Age Health Education

Lucas George Bateman - Sports & Exercise Studies

Luke Mason Lindamood - Sports & Exercise Studies

Lyndsey Skeens - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Mackenzie McCarthy - Business Management

Madison Elizabeth Callahan - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Mason E. Dishong - Business Management

Mickale Regine Bates - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Mindi D. Gregory - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Miroslav Tadic - Business Management

Morgan Elizabeth Nutter - Business Management

Morgan Rae Jenkins - Pre-K-Grade 5/K-12 Intervention Specialist

Natalie Kalaydjiev - Psychology

Nathan Michael - Computer Science

Nathaniel Thomas Davis - Business Management

Oliver Pete O’Dell - Business Management

Payten Elisabeth Davis - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Pietro Barbera - Computer Science

Rachal Colburn - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Randi M. Gheen - Business Management

Reagan Willingham - Business Management

Reece Jakab Collins - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Samantha A. Smith - Pre-K-Grade 5/Pre-K-Grade 5 Intervention Specialist

Seth Patrick Mills - Business Management

Shalea Marie Byrd - Business Management

Sydney Dickson - Sports & Exercise Studies

Taylor Stephan Elijah Mack - Sports & Exercise Studies

Traven Walker - Computer Science

Whitney Byrd - Wildlife Conservation

Zachary Keith Daft - Business Management


Bachelor of Social Work


Brittney E. Qualls - Social Work

Emma Gayle Shamblin - Social Work

Rebecca Lynn Vaughn - Social Work


Bachelor of Fine Arts


Abigail McCain - General Visual Arts

Emily Boggs - General Visual Arts

Johnathan William Boggs - General Visual Arts


Bachelor of Technical Studies


Jennifer Rachel Leeann Mabe - Applied Healthcare Administration

Jillianne M. Davis - Educational Studies

Lavender Yvette Ward - Applied Healthcare Administration

Lucas James Chess - Educational Studies

Marinda Irene Cook - Educational Studies

Megan Wise - Applied Healthcare Administration

Rachael Burgett - Applied Healthcare Administration

Rachel Danielle Frances Payne - Diagnostic Imaging Administration

Shelby Nicole Jones - Applied Healthcare Administration

Stephen Andrew Ball - Funeral Home Administration

Sydney Campolo - Applied Healthcare Administration


Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology


Austin L. Wilkett - Industrial Technology

Claytin L. Neutzling - Industrial Technology

Landon K. Acree - Industrial Technology

Seth Thomas McDonald - Industrial Technology

William Freeman Harmon - Industrial Technology


Bachelor of Science in Nursing


Aaron Bailey - Nursing

Brandy Gilbert - Nursing

Breaunna Marie Large - Nursing

Briley M. Lusk - Nursing

Brittany Simpson - Nursing

Claire Elizabeth Hamilton - Nursing

Danielle Nicole Steiner - Nursing

Elisabeth Christine Moffett - Nursing

Gabriel Jean Wiseman - Nursing

Hannah Leigh Karnes - Nursing

Heather Calhoun - Nursing

Jennifer S. Errett - Nursing

Kayla Virginia Richards - Nursing

Kimberly D. Mayes - Nursing

Kristen Tarap - Nursing

Kristina Paige Reese - Nursing

Lora May Kinney - Nursing

Madison Brooke McCormick - Nursing

Madison Combs - Nursing

Megan L. Davis - Nursing

Megan Nicole Schmidt - Nursing

Melony Ann Cain - Nursing

Merritt T. Lambert - Nursing

Michelle Ziegler - Nursing

Samantha K. Johnson - Nursing

Samantha LuAnn Shropshire - Nursing

Sarah Blain - Nursing

Sydney Reese Holden - Nursing

Taylor R. Moore – Nursing


Associate Degrees


Associate of Arts


Abbigail Marie Hollanbaugh - General Studies

Alexis Paige Nolan - General Studies

Allison Elaine Guhl - General Studies

Alyssa Zornes - Psychology

Anna Kate Grace Fraley - General Studies

Aurora Best - Psychology

Ava Reanne Green - General Studies

Baylee J. Haggy - General Studies

Braedon Keith Neece - Visual Art

Brailee Clarion Marie Rathburn - General Studies

Breanna Michelle Moore - Social Services

Breanna Noel Blackburn - Visual Art

Brooklyn D. Spencer - General Studies

Brynna Mackenzie Weaver - Social Services

Carolina Faye Folden Sola - General Studies

Caroline Ritchie - General Studies

Chloe McIntire - General Studies

Elliot James Colley - Visual Art

Emily Brooke Masters - General Studies

Gabrielle Elizabeth Myers - General Studies

Garrett Carper - General Studies

Gwendolynn Gail Mullett - General Studies

Hailey Maris Edwards - Social Services

Haley-Beth Noel Smith - Psychology

Hannah Bearhs - General Studies

Isabella Roush - English

James A. Blankenship - General Studies

Jolynne Sedeyn - General Studies

Kaitlyn Easton - Visual Art

Kasey Cheyanne Glaze - General Studies

Kenneth I. Cooke - General Studies

Kerrigan Weber - General Studies

Koen Sellers - General Studies

Leah Skidmore - General Studies

Lexie A. Bevins - Social Services

Monica Joy Thompson - General Studies

Morgan Sager - General Studies

Norah Layne Brown - General Studies

Olivia Grace Smith - General Studies

Rachael Puckett - General Studies

Rylee Haggy - General Studies

Timothy Ivan Moore - General Studies

Victor Jackson - General Studies

William Eli Lambert - General Studies




Associate of Science


Broderick J. Moore - Biology/General Studies AA

Grace Elizabeth Forrest - Chemistry

Harley Towne - Mathematics

Isaac L. Saunders - Sports & Exercise Studies

Julia Lovemark - Biology

Kassidy JoAnna Shaffer - Mathematics

Lauren Jolly - Sports & Exercise Studies

Nicholas Ty Mayes - Chemistry/Mathematics AS/Pre-Engineering ATS/General Studies AA

Scott Kenneth Gray - Sports & Exercise Studies

Westyn Moyer - Sports & Exercise Studies


Associate of Applied Business

Abigail L. Kimble - Business Management

Addison Dickens - Business Management

Aften Ann Walters - Business Management

Alexis Mercedes Bouska - Business Management

Ashley Nicole Hatfield - Business Management

Benjamin Thomas Rutherford - Business Management/Biology AS

Chelsie L. Young - Business Management

Emmalyn Corinne Hayes - Business Management

Erin Rose McKibben - Business Management

Evan Lewis - Business Management

Gabrielle Imani White - Business Management

Georgia Rene Brown - Business Management

Grant C. Sanders - Business Management

Haley Victoria Brammer - Business Management

Holly Alvoid - Business Management

Jacelynn Grace Northup - Business Management

Janetta L. McAllister - Business Management

Jarrell Christepher Scott - Business Management

Jessica De’An Russell - Business Management

Joshua F. Calvert - Business Management

Kameron Wade Maple - Business Management

Kaylor Jordan Offenberger - Business Management

Mackensie Marie Gump - Business Management

Natalie A. Swain - Business Management

Ryleigh Halley - Business Management

Shelby Lynn Whaley - Business Management

Terri Alexis Lorraine Johnson - Business Management


Associate of Applied Science


Abbie B. Bickenheuser - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Adam Bailey - Nursing

Adexa Anne Rose Muhn - Nursing

Alexandria Pierce - Medical Assisting

Alexandria Wood - Radiologic Technology

Alexis Jenkins - Nursing

Alisia Nicole Johnson - Nursing

Allison Fitzpatrick - Nursing

Allorah Lea McCoy - Nursing

Alysa Mitchell - Nursing

Amanda Beth Evans - Nursing

Amber Nichole Cook - IT: Network Systems

Amelia Grace Huck - Radiologic Technology

Andrea Lyn Dickerson - Nursing

Angela Morgan - Nursing

Artie Annette Windon - Nursing

Ashley Lynn Rucker - Nursing

Ashley Nichole Cheesebrew - Nursing

Baylee Rae Tracy - Radiologic Technology

Bethany Riane Blanton - Nursing

Betsy Ellen Munday - Nursing

Bradley James Hagen - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Brianna Brock - Nursing

Bridget Heldreth - Medical Assisting

Brittany Dengel - Nursing

Brooke Danielle Rucker - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular/General Studies AA

Charley Nicole Fink - Nursing

Chloe Carney - Nursing

Cidney Huff - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Clara Havens - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Cole Young - Nursing

Debra Dawn Nicole Hill - Nursing

Earl Emerson Schreck III - IT: Network Systems

Elizabeth Rene Brown - Nursing

Emma Elizabeth Bartram - Nursing

Erica Rain Scott - Nursing

Faith Evans - Respiratory Therapy

Faith H. McCoy - Nursing

Franklin Weston Nile Peters - IT: Network Systems

Gabrielle Mae McConnell - Nursing

Ginger Faye Payne - Nursing

Grace Olivia Gilmore - Respiratory Therapy

Gracie Mae Hannum - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Hannah Elizabeth Conley - Respiratory Therapy

Hannah M. Hurt - Nursing

Haylee Bachtel - Nursing

Hayley Marie Grooms - Nursing

Heather D. Riffle - Nursing

Hunter M. Rife - IT: Network Systems

Ian Grey Eblin - Nursing

Jala Hope Nance - Nursing

Jason Springer - IT: Network Systems

Jaydyn Daquan Armstrong - IT: Network Systems

Jazzmyn Grooms - Nursing

Jennifer Nicole Peters - Nursing

Jeremy Imler - Nursing

Jeridan Remy - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Jessica Coughenour - Nursing

John Christopher Hill - Nursing

Jordan LeRae Campbell - Nursing

Jorja McManaway - Nursing

Josie Lynn Cremeans - Nursing

Justus Steward - Nursing

Kathryn E. Fisher - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Katlyn Eileen Moore - Nursing

Kayla Dawn Carder - Nursing

Kayla Jo Hicks - Nursing

Kaylee Madison Jones - Pre-Kindergarten

Kelly Hughes - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Kennadi Dawn Rockhold - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Kiki Louise Barlow - Nursing

Kristen Rena Oliver - Respiratory Therapy

Lacie Jo Williams - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Landen McDaniel - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Lauren E. Fellenstein - Radiologic Technology

Lauren Nichole Cooper - ..Respiratory Therapy

Levi Warren - IT: Network Systems

Lillian Allen - Pre-Kindergarten

Lindsay Switzer - Nursing

Lindsey Canaday - Nursing

Madison Grace Hatfield - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Madison Petro - Nursing

Madison Sanders - Respiratory Therapy

Madison T. Staley - Nursing

Makala Lynn Elberfeld - Respiratory Therapy

Makayla Jade Carpenter - Nursing

Makayla Leigh Gaines - Nursing

Marilyn Kay Gearhart - Nursing

Matthew R. Finn - Nursing

Mattie Petry - Nursing

Megan Elizabeth Hammond - Nursing

Megan Knope - Radiologic Technology/Sports & Exercise Studies AS

Mindy Marie Steele - Nursing

Morgan Elizabeth Radcliff - Radiologic Technology

Morgan Stansberry - Nursing

Morgan Ziegler - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Nicole Cundiff - Nursing

Nolan Johnson - IT: Network Systems

Olivia Snyder - Nursing

Payton Michael Britton - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Rachel Marie Kasler - Nursing

Rebekka McNichols - Nursing

Renci Lee Ricker - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Rhiana Danielle Dyer - Nursing

Rick Southworth - Nursing

Samantha D. MacFarland - Nursing

Sasha Nicole Johnson - Nursing

Savanna Faith Wenz - Nursing

Shelby Loudermilk - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Shelby Mullins - Nursing

Teddilyn Marie Craft - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-Cardiovascular

Tequilla Dawne Chloe Young - Nursing

Tessa Marie Pritt - Nursing

Tessa Rockhold - Diagnostic Medical Sonography-General

Tiffany Sullivan - Nursing

Valerie Foster - Nursing

Victoria Lung - Nursing


Associate of Technical Studies


Alan Reid McCain - Industrial Automation

Breanna Lynn Taylor - Allied Health

Chance Thorpe - Funeral Home Administration

Collin Ghearing - Allied Health

Dacoda Keith Chapman - Welding

Jaylan Ryliegh Johnson - Allied Health

Kelsey Price - Meat Science

Landon Erwin - Allied Health

Laura Plybon - Funeral Home Administration

Michael Theodore McKinniss - Allied Health

Myca Ann Michael - Medical Assisting

Nathaniel D. Wiles - Welding

Nickolas Ball - Industrial Automation

Raelle Lorain Barnett - Medical Assisting

Todd R. Elliott - Industrial Automation