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.
FROM THE PRESIDENT
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
A. Zachary Faison, Jr., J.D.
A. Zachary Faison, Jr., J.D.
President & CEO Edward Waters College
THE HONORS 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
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.
THE HONORS COLLEGE
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Greater florida Area
Ondo State, 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
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
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.