Beta Cohort Viewbook

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Message from the President

Honors College Leadership

The Mission of the Honors College

The Honors College Experience

The Beta Cohort: At A Glance

Meet The Beta Cohort

Our Generous Benefactor








Edward Waters College is accredited by the Southern Association

of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award

baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at

1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500

for questions about the accreditation of Edward Waters College.




Pursuant to my appointment by the Board of Trustees in July 2018 as

the 30th President and Chief Executive Officer of Edward Waters College

(EWC), it was one of my foremost strategic priorities to engage students in

enhanced, meaningful academic and experiential learning opportunities.

In an effort to heighten the academic profile and competitiveness of Edward

Waters College, the Honors College was conceived through the generous

support of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. With a distinctive emphasis upon

the development of a seminal vehicle to incubate, promote, and support

exceptional scholarly student academic achievement, the inaugural Honors

College at Edward Waters cohort serves as the foundational institutional

pacemaker towards that end.

Accordingly, this view-book is the second iteration of the growing edge of

premiere academic excellence and eminence at Edward Waters College.

We are exceedingly proud and resolutely confident that the Beta Cohort of

The Honors College at EWC is well-represented by a collective diverse talent

of scholarly high achievers and future leaders who are primed to make their

individual and collective mark on the world.

Thus, this collage of distinguished scholars is intended to reinforce the

Edward Waters College commitment to excellence and opportunity for all

students, and further defines why EWC is, in fact, a best in class destination

institution for higher education in the State of Florida, the nation, and


Our story, our voice, is found in the living and learning of this dynamic

cadre of students – one that truly personifies our comprehensive upward

trajectory as a renowned leading academic community of uncontroverted

Emerging Eminence.


A. Zachary Faison, Jr., J.D.

A. Zachary Faison, Jr., J.D.

President & CEO Edward Waters College




Donna H. Oliver, Ph.D.

Provost & Senior VP For Academic Affairs

Donna H. Oliver, Ph.D. joined the College in August

2018 as Provost & Senior Vice President of Academic

Affairs. Oliver serves dually as the College’s chief

operating and chief academic officer, providing

intellectual leadership to create, advance, and

implement the academic mission of the College

and oversee its academic programs, a wide range

of faculty matters, and student academic affairs.

Oliver is charged with providing innovative stratagems and vision to the College

community towards building a strategic academic direction under a new resource

model, balancing the excellence of individual academic departments with a strong

commitment to interdisciplinary endeavors and collaboration. Prior to joining the

College, Oliver made history as the first African-American woman to ever lead a

public university in the state of Mississippi when she was appointed President of

Mississippi Valley State University in 2009.

Oliver earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from the University of North Carolina

at Greensboro, a M.S. in Educational Administration from North Carolina A&T State

University, a M.Ed. in Biology and Curriculum and Instruction from the University of

North Carolina at Greensboro, and an A.B. in Biology from Elon College. She holds

three Executive Leadership Certificates: A New Presidents Academy Certificate from

the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU); an Institute for

Educational Management (IEM) Certificate from the Harvard University Graduate

School of Education; and a Management Certificate from the the Bryan School of

Business at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Mr. Christian Bowers

Honors Faculty Chair

Mr. Christian Bowers is an Assistant Professor of

Mathematics in the Mathematics and Sciences

department. He teaches a wide variety of courses

including College Algebra, Finite Mathematics,

Trigonometry, Elementary Statistics, Pre-Calculus,

Business Calculus, Calculus, Set Theory and Logic,

Numerical Analysis, and Probability. His research

interests are in the field of probability. He holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematical

Sciences with a concentration in Statistics from the University of North Florida.

Honors College Faculty and Staff

This program wouldn’t be successful without the diligent work, tireless effort, and

consistent commitment of our Honors College Faculty and Staff. These educators

work tirelessly to ensure that the members of the Honors College have all of the tools

and skills necessary to not only exceed while at Edward Waters, but after they’ve

matriculated and moved on to their next phase in life.

Professor Christian Bowers | Mathematics

Professor Alvenia Derban | Communications

Courtney Edwards, Ph.D. | Psychology

Ekelaka Ehrlich, J.D. | Criminal Justice

Professor Tyciee Faison | Biblical Studies

Professor Ray Fowler | English

Professor David Gonsalves | English

Vincent Jackson, Ph.D. | Economics

David Jamison, Ph.D. | African American History

Professor Rahman Johnson | Communications

Petero Kwizera, Ph.D. | Physics

G. Victoria Landrum, Ph.D. | Psychology

Damaris M'Mworia, Ph.D. | Biblical Studies, Philosophy

Audrey Morrissette, Ph.D. | American Political Structure

Prabir Mandal, Ph.D. | Biology

Anita Mandal, Ph.D. | Biology

Ephraim Murage, Ph.D. | Biology

Brian Seymour, Ph.D. | Biology

Nakamuthu Sundaralingam, Ph.D. | Physics

Felicia Wider-Lewis, Ph.D. | Mathematics




The mission of the Honors College at Edward Waters is to provide an enriched

and challenging academic program for high achieving students in all fields of

study that creates community, emphasizes critical and creative thinking, crosses

disciplines, and fosters top-quality undergraduate research and creative activity.

This is achieved through three pillars: Academics, Community, and Service.

ACADEMICS – The Honors curriculum seeks to create a well-rounded, intellectually

stimulated, and highly qualified graduate. The goals of the Honors courses and

curriculum are to foster strong critical thinking skills, independence of thought and

research, outstanding written and oral communication abilities, and mastery of the

student’s chosen discipline. Additionally, the Honors College offers interdisciplinary

seminars each year.

COMMUNITY – The Honors College provides students with a family-like atmosphere

where they can be themselves and also be challenged to grow. The heart of this

community is the Ted Baker Honors Village, where many Honors students live

and learn. However, students living in on-campus housing is not the only way to

experience all that the Honors College has to offer. Off-campus co-curricular activities,

on-campus lyceums, use of the study rooms and computer labs, or simply meeting

friends at the student union are all ways the holistic student experience is reinforced.

SERVICE – The Honors College supports its participants’ highest academic

achievement with a service component. At some point in our students’ journey,

the expectation is that they will lead to serve. The program encourages students to

become involved with student leadership in the Honors College, participate in the

service-learning opportunities, study abroad, or become an ambassador. The most

critical focus for Honors College students is to become involved and to represent

scholarship and leadership in all of their endeavors.



Edward Waters College’s (EWC) population serves the majority of underrepresented

college students in a hub zone area in Jacksonville, Florida. Moreover, many of the

EWC students are first generation college students with a wealth of exposure to

real life experiences growing up in disenfranchised poverty stricken areas which

demanded that they overcome many socioeconomic struggles.


A plethora of the students are passionate and highly knowledgeable in their academic

work, for they have discovered a way to use education as a gateway to emerging

eminence in academia and the global community. Moreover, many of the EWC

students are first generation college students with a wealth of exposure to real life

experiences growing up in disenfranchised poverty stricken areas which demanded

that they overcome many socioeconomic struggles.

The Honors College provides an academic experience for a majority minority

population of academically high-achieving, well-rounded students unique

opportunities designed to maximize their time at Edward Waters College. The EWC

student body reflects intellectual and social interests, covering the entire spectrum

of degree programs available.

The Honors College Experience consists of:

Honors Curriculum, featuring small classes with engaged learning led by EWC’s

talented and dedicated Honors faculty;

Residential Experience and Co-curricular Programming, which provide civic

engagement, service-learning opportunities, and global leadership through cultural


Meaningful and Impactful Undergraduate Research/Scholarship Experience;

The EWC Honors Curriculum gives students an incentive to make the most

productive use of their course selections and take advantage of the impressive

resources available to all students at Edward Waters College. The Honors curriculum


Honors General Core Sections – These are Honors Sections of core courses (Math,

English, African-American History, and Biblical Studies) that count toward a student’s

General Education Requirements. The classes are taught by the Honors College

faculty and/or staff.

Honors Seminars – Honors Seminars are special topic classes offered only to Honors

students and carry the designation of “HON” such as Honors Interdisciplinary

Seminars. These seminars are designed to promote analysis of issues that cross

disciplinary boundaries.

Honors Internship Experience – The Honors College

internships are intended to provide Junior and Senior

Honors College students with the opportunity to work

alongside professionals to gain real-world experience,

explore personal and professional interests, try out a

career path, and network with professionals.

Honors Thesis – The honors thesis, which is

a culmination of the interdisciplinary learning

experience, provides an opportunity for students to

engage in scholarship and professional activity with

a faculty member that cannot be paralleled by any

classroom experience.

Research Opportunities – Honors College students

will have the opportunity to publish their research

in the EWC in-house peer-reviewed research journal

and present their research at local, state, national, and

international conferences.

About the Presidential Scholars Scholarship

The Presidential Scholars Scholarship is a renewable,

merit-based award covering full tuition, room, board,

general fee, and the cost of textbooks. Representing

diverse intellectual, social, ethnic, and economic

backgrounds, Presidential Scholars are members of

the Honors College and are transformational leaders

both on and off campus who have demonstrated a

love of learning and a commitment to enhancing

both their local and broader civic communities. Each

year, approximately 10 Presidential Scholarships are


Global and Cultural Experience

The Edward Waters College Honors Program

encourages students to engage in local, domestic,

and international cross-cultural experiences. Crosscultural

experiences are key to the students’ academic

and life-long successes as these experiences build

understanding for people, places and ideas that ignite

different viewpoints. As such, students can explore

and grow by expanding their horizons beyond their

own unique boundaries.

Global and cultural experiences offer a journey of

personal discovery into the richness and challenges

of other cultures and communities. Immersed in

new environments, Honors students will experience

diverse lifestyles, make new friendships and learn

respect for other heritages all while meeting personal

challenges that build character. Students will also

get hands-on opportunities to focus on the issues of

peace and reconciliation and begin toward a path of

lifelong mission and service. Additionally, the Honors

experience offers a variety of opportunities that allow

students to immerse themselves in another culture.

Whether they travel near or far, they will learn to see

the world through someone else’s eyes and build

understanding for people, places and ideas that are

different from their own. At EWC, the Honors students

will be engaged in off-campus experiences associated

with the general education requirements.

Undergraduate Research

One of the most valuable experiences available to Honors

College students is participation in undergraduate

research. Toward that end, the Honors College at EWC

is committed to promoting student research and

works closely with the Edward Waters College Center

for Undergraduate Research (CUR). This experience

provides students with an inquiry-based learning

opportunity and engages them as active learners in a

research or creative activity setting. The Honors College

also offers students research travel grants to present

their research at local, state, regional, national and

international conferences.

About the Edward Waters College Center for

Undergraduate Research (EWCCUR)

The EWCCUR opened in November 2018 and is a

member of the National Council on Undergraduate

Research, where members share a focus on providing

high-quality and collaborative undergraduate

research, scholarly and creative inquiry opportunities

for faculty and students. The opening of the Center

for Undergraduate Research at EWC, is a part of the

physical manifestation of the Emerging Eminence

agenda, which is a major milestone for EWC’s research

strategic direction. In addition to serving as the research

front door to the college, the CUR anchors EWC as a

“best in class” college which the institution predicts

will increase its competitive profile and attract highachieving





Male Student Population

Female Student Population


Highest High School GPA


Average High School GPA


Full-Time Faculty

Extracurricular Activities

EWC men's Baseball

EWC Women's Volleyball

EWC Men's Basketball

EWC Women's Softball


Highest SAT Score


Average SAT Score


Beta Cohort Enrollment

Locations REpresented:

Greater florida Area

Bellgrade, Serbia

Ondo State, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria



Entering Edward Waters with a 3.7, Kashari Battle is an intelligent

determined student, and in business management. Kashari graduated

from Jones High School with a 3.7 GPA and an 890 SAT score. Outside

of academic work, Kashari likes to read books and spend time with

family and friends.


Majoring in Psychology, Alicia is a newcomer to the city of Jacksonville.

She graduated from Blanche Ely High School with an 3.6 GPA, located

in Pompano Beach, Fl. She aspires to become a clinical psychologist.

Alicia has a great talent when it comes to dancing.


Hailing from Lauderhill, Florida, Larry graduated Piper high school

with a 3.89 GPA, and a 1090 SAT. Not only academically gifted, Larry is

also a student athlete. He plays basketball at Edward Waters College

and has chosen to major in Business Administration.


A Native of Hollywood FL, Jose is a Cuban-American Student, who

comes into Edward Waters after achieving a 4.0 GPA throughout high

school, along With a 1260 SAT Score. Jose plays Baseball, and claims It

runs in his veins, being that his grandfather had played professionally

in Cuba. Jose believes that, “Luck Favors Those Who Are Prepared,”

and that perseverance is the key to success. He looks forward to

embarking on a great journey full of successful experiences and many

helpful life lessons.


Majoring in Biological Science, Kaitlin is a scholar-athlete who plays

volleyball for Edward Waters College. She graduated from Oasis High

School in her hometown, Cape Coral, FL where she earned a 4.6 GPA.

When Kaitlin graduates, she would like to continue her education in

graduate school to become a Forensic Criminologist. "I am extremely

excited for the rest of the school year and am looking forward to the

upcoming volleyball season.” When she is not in school or at practice

you can find her doing one of her many hobbies that include drawing,

reading, and spending time with friends.



Jarod is a scholar-athlete for the baseball team at Edward Waters. He

graduated high school with a 3.6 GPA and a 1170 SAT score. A native

of Middleburg Florida, he attended and graduated from Middleburg

High School. He is currently interested in business and is working

towards his major in business.


As a new addition to Edward Waters Women’s soccer team, Ashley

Ithau hails from Orlando, Florida as a graduate of Timber Creek High

School. She closed out her high school career with an unweighted 3.2

GPA and a 1080 SAT score including a district championship ring. The

biology major looks forward to her next four years as a student athlete

with Edward Waters. “I hope to make my family in Kenya proud,” Ithau



A native of Dunedin, Florida, Valeria Johnson is new to the city of

Jacksonville. She graduated from Dunedin High School with a 4.3

GPA and 29 ACT. Attending EWC as a part of the softball program, she

is excited to take on the challenge of balancing the student-athlete

life. Valeria has decided to major in Biology to fulfill her love of the

sciences. Outside of academics and softball, Valeria likes to learn

about ancient history and other cultures.


Majoring in Criminal Justice, Brooke, a graduate from First Coast

High School, has entered into Edwards Waters College with an 3.7

GPA. She has decided to remain in her hometown of Jacksonville,

Florida to continue her education. Brooke is not only talented with

her academics; she is also talented in helping others. Brooke has

developed a mindset of being balanced with her academics and

other extracurricular activities.


Entering Edward Waters College with an earned 4.0 perfect GPA

and 1280 SAT, Adeleye is an international student from Ondo State,

Nigeria that has developed a well-rounded balance of academic and

extracurricular achievement. A graduate of Happy City High School

in Ondo, Nigeria, he decided to major in Biology due to his desire to

contribute to the development of drugs against HIV/AIDS. Adeleye

boasts of knowing how to play soccer, tennis, Scrabble, Chess, and

ludo. Additionally, Adeleye is a brilliant poet and is looking forward to

publishing his first anthology.



Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Divine decided to explore other cultures

by choosing to study at Edward Waters College as an international

student. Graduating Totland Secondary school with a GPA of 3.84 and

a 1330 SAT score, she chose to major in Biology with aspirations of

becoming a Medical Doctor. Divine wants to leave her mark on the

world. Asides from academic work, she enjoys reading, writing, and

music. One of her biggest accomplishments is starting her own blog

and podcast.


Majoring in Sports Management, Daiton is a scholar-athlete who

plays baseball for Edward Waters College. A graduate from Bradwell

Institute, he decided to go out of state and take his athletic and

academic career to Edward Waters College. He graduated high school

with a 3.9 GPA and graduated 3rd in his graduating class. He is looking

forward to his season on the Men's baseball team.


A Jacksonville native, Aidan is a scholar-athlete at Edward Waters.

A criminal justice major, Aidan graduated from Sandalwood High

School with a 3.44 and 1170 SAT score. He is looking forward to the

upcoming season for the Men’s Baseball team.


Majoring in Sports Management, Joshua Sanders plays baseball for

Edward Waters College and is a student athlete. A graduate of Lyman

High School in Longewood, Fl, Joshua was given the opportunity to

receive both an athletic and academic scholarship to Edward Waters

College. He graduated high school as a CUM LAUDE with a 4.0 GPA

and ranked in the top 10 of his senior class. He is electrified and thrilled

to have this new experience at EWC.


A graduate from Orange Park High School, Nate earned a 3.74 GPA

and 1200 SAT. In addition to being a scholar, he is on the baseball team

and in his free time enjoys fishing, hiking, and exercising. As biology

major, Nate aspires to attend graduate school and plans on working

his way into the wildlife research and land management after college.



Graduating from South Fort Myers High School with a GPA of 4.29 and

earning an 1190 on the SAT, Gina Silvestri chose to continue pursuing

her athletic and academic career at Edward Waters College. She is

studying Emergency management due to her passion to help others

and give back to her community. When she’s not in the classroom

she is playing on EWC’s woman’s softball team. Gina has a passion for

fishing and spends most of her free time on the water.


Paris Smith is a Business Administration major. She's a native of Miami,

FL, where she attended Hialeah Miami Lakes Sr High with a 3.8 GPA.

In high school, she was involved in several extracurricular activities

like Sapphires Dance line, Chorus, Basketball, and Ivy Rosettes. She

plans to keep doing extracurricular activities here at EWC. Paris enjoys

singing, dancing, and helping out the community.


A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Natalija chose to attend her College of

choice, Edward Waters College. A Business major, she graduated

from Sixth Belgrade High School with a 3.8 GPA and 1150 SAT score.

Additionally, Natalija looks forward to the upcoming season of

competition as a part of the Women’s Volleyball Team.



Majoring in Business, Donovan is a scholar-athlete that is hard working and open minded. A

native of Miami, FL, he is a graduate of Monarch high school where he earned a 3.0 GPA upon

his high school completion. Enrolling at Edward Waters College with a 1020 SAT score, his

chosen field of study is Business. Additionally, Donovan looks forward to the upcoming season

of competition as a part of the Men’s Football and Basketball Team.




In October 2020, Edward Waters College (EWC) became the recipients of $150,000

from the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund to support the continuation of the Honors

College at Edward Waters. This gift brings the cumulative investment from the

Fund to $250,000 since the onboarding of the new administration at EWC and

underscores the college’s forward trajectory towards sustained growth and

unprecedented success as a college of distinction, uniqueness and longevity.

In February 2019, Edward Waters College (EWC) became the recipient of a $100,000

gift from the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund to support the establishment of the first

Honors College at EWC. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund works to expand access and

create opportunity by investing in people, organizations and communities that were

important to Jessie Ball duPont.

Across its work, the Fund organizes its resources around these focus areas: 1) Building

the Capacity of Eligible Organizations- so that they can accomplish the most with

the resources at hand; 2) Building the Assets of People, Families and Communitieshelps

those communities and people that were important to Mrs. duPont increase

access to essentials of healthy, productive living: education and job preparation,

housing, health care and vibrant communities; and 3) Promoting Civil Society -works

to support a strong independent sector, robust civil society and informed and

engaged citizenry.

Giving to the Honors College

Edward Waters Honors College has produced and continues to produce, some of the

most dedicated, creative, and talented undergraduates in the world who become the

leaders and change-makers of tomorrow. Innovative classes, unparalleled original

research opportunities, and unique community activities engage students from all

of the college’s undergraduate majors in the practice and art of applying knowledge

to real-world problems and building connections between disparate fields and


Our graduates leave the college with a history of accomplishments behind them and

a future at the forefront in addressing today’s complex challenges ahead of them.

We are committed to making sure that every qualified student is ready to do and be

a part of our transformative community, regardless of socioeconomic background,

financial need, or field of study. Support from alumni and friends who share a belief

in our program is essential in creating scholarship resources that allow our students

to rise to the full height of their potential and future ambitions.

Opportunities to Invest

Edward Waters College intends for its Honors College to support the enhancement

of the College’s overall competitive profile and serve as a vehicle for recruiting and

retaining more high achieving and academically gifted students (i.e. Presidential

Scholars). According to research, high achieving students require specialized attention.

As such, an Honors College as an affinity group, offers the focused attention needed

to recruit and retain academically competitive students at the institution. To realize

our vision of emerging eminence, and to increase retention and graduation rates

among academically gifted students philanthropic gifts will support the expansion

of the Honors College at EWC.

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