All-American Amir James, 13 high honors grads among 42 NSU athletic grads at Friday’s commencement exercises

fall 2018 afternoon graduates

Two-time All-America sprinter Amir James led among the 42 Northwestern State athletic graduates receiving degrees Friday at fall commencement exercises in Prather Coliseum.

James ran the third leg this spring on the Demons’ 4×100 meter relay team that finished seventh nationally and broke a 36-year-old school record with a 38.92 time. He was a second-team All-American as a sophomore in 2016 after a 15th-place finish at the national meet in the 4×100. He was honorable mention All-America in the 100 meter dash that season.

He won seven gold medals at Southland Conference indoor and outdoor championships among 15 podium appearances for top three event finishes. James broke the Southland’s 200 meter dash indoor record as a junior (21.15) and set NSU’s outdoor 200 record, 20.41, in May.

Friday’s athletic graduates included Dan Hlad, Cullen McDonald and Kyle Swanson of the Demon baseball team that won the 2018 Southland Conference Tournament crown, a first in school history, and picked up an NCAA Regional win over San Diego State and were a ninth-inning rally away from eliminating LSU at the 2018 Corvallis Regional.

Honorable mention All-America shot putter Cedric Paul, a second-generation Demon, won a pair of Southland Conference championships in his four years before reaching the NCAA Outdoor Championships among the nation’s top 24 qualifiers in June.

Among the most accomplished competitors receiving degrees Friday were eight All-Southland Conference performers including James and Paul: 2017 football defensive end honorable mention selection Lyn Clark, former baseball infielder Chase Daughdrill (2014 first-team All-Louisiana and second-team All-Southland), Lady Demon thrower Keona Jackson (the 2015 Southland indoor shot put champion earned a master’s degree), Lady Demon softball infielder Sidney Salmans (2018), cross country and track standout Joshua Wilkins (2017 all-conference in both sports, and a second-generation Demon) and football’s Chris Zirkle (2017).

Three student-athletes who will continue to play for NSU earned degrees and graduated with high honors Friday: Lady Demon basketball’s Victoria Miller, starting football offensive linemen Dustin Burns and Zirkle.

That trio were among 13 current and former student-athletes with cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 or better.

April Ficarrotta of the Lady Demon soccer team, former track and cross country competitor Dylan Dunford, Miller and Swanson earned summa cum laude status with GPA’s of at least 3.9 on a 4.0 scale. Miller, who graduated in 2 ½ years, led all school of business graduates into the arena during the afternoon ceremony.

Graduating magna cum laude with a GPA between 3.7 and 3.89 were Zirkle, Kathryn Wristen of the Lady Demon volleyball team and former football player Benny Broadway.

Receiving cum laude distinction for cumulative GPA between 3.5 and 3.69 were Lady Demon track and cross country competitor Emily Heard, former football player Patrick Juneau, softball’s Kayla Roquemore and Salmans, along with Burns and Hlad.

Former Demon football player Gerald Long, the president pro tempore of the Louisiana Senate, was the commencement speaker.

Summer 2018 Athletic Graduation List (participating in Fall 2018 commencement) (8)

Baseball (2)

Chase Daughdrill (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science in Nursing; College: Nursing & School of Allied Health; Major: Nursing; Honors: Honor Roll
Kyle Swanson: Bachelor of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Biology; Concentration: Biomedical; Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Football (1)

Tremaine Whittley : Bachelor of Science; College: Education and Human Development; Major: Psychology
Soccer (1)

Cache’ Haley: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Majors: Addictions Studies and Psychology
Softball (1)

Baylee Shephard (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Minor: English
Men’s Track (1)

Desmond Mapps: Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: Social Science
Women’s Track (1)

Keona Jackson (Former Student-Athlete): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Administration
Administration (1)

Amber Lamers (Former Manager/Women’s Basketball): Master of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology, Clinical

Fall 2018 Athletic Graduation List (34)

Baseball (3)

Daniel Hlad: Bachelor of Science; Major: College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Honors: Cum Laude
Cullen McDonald: Bachelor of Science; Major: College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Honors: Honor Roll
Frederic Parker: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology

Men’s Basketball (3)

Cody Cambre (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Arts; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Criminal Justice; Honors: Honor Roll
Caelon Powells (Former JV Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology
Bailey Walker (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Industrial Engineering Technology; Honors: Honor Roll

Women’s Basketball (1)

1. Victoria Miller: Bachelor of Science; Major: College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Concentration: Marketing; Honors: Summa Cum Laude

Football (9)

Timmis Bonner: Bachelor of Science; Major: College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration
Bryson Bourque: Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Social Science; Minor: P.E., Sport and Leisure Management
Benny Broadway (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Physical Education Grades K-12; Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Dustin Burns: Bachelor of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Biology; Concentration: Biomedical; Honors: Cum Laude
Lyn Clark (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of General Studies; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: General Studies; Concentration: Arts and Communications; Minor: Social Science
Regan Edwards (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Honors: Honor Roll
Patrick Juneau (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Biology; Concentration: Biomedical; Minor: Chemistry; Minor: Microbiology; Honors: Cum Laude
Joshua Roberts (former student-athlete): Bachelor of Arts; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Communication; Concentration: Broadcast & Digital Media Prod.; Minor: Business Administration
Chris Zirkle: Bachelor of Science; Major: College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration; Honors: Magna Cum Laude

Soccer (2)

April Ficarrotta: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology; Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Olivia Marazzo: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology; Honors: Honor Roll

Softball (2)

Kayla Roquemore: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Honors: Cum Laude
Sidney Salmans (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Elementary Education Grades 1-5; Honors: Cum Laude

Men’s Track (6)

Dylan Dunford (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Biology; Concentration: Biomedical; Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Amir James: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Computer Information Systems; Concentration: Networking & System Management
Brandon Lewis-Graham: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology; Honors: Honor Roll
Cedric Paul: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Majors: Computer Information Systems and Business Administration; Concentration: Networking & System Management
Kyrin Tucker (Football Student-Athlete Also): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology
Joshua Wilkins: Bachelor of Arts; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Liberal Arts; Concentration: Creative and Performing Arts Industry

Women’s Track (4)

1. Emily Heard: Bachelor of Science in Nursing; College: Nursing & School of Allied Health; Major: Nursing; Honors: Cum Laude

2. Fabrianna Nation: Bachelor of Arts; College: Arts and Sciences; Major: Communication; Concentration: Strategic Communication; Minor: P.E., Sport and Leisure Management

3. Braneshia Payton: Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Business Administration

4. Kristina Vujanic (Former Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology

Volleyball (1)

Kathryn Wristen: Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Majors: Addictions Studies and Psychology; Honors: Magna Cum Laude

Administration (3)

1. Jennifer Enloe (Athletic Adm. Student Worker): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Psychology; Minor: Hospitality, Management and Tourism

2. Hunter Horton (PA Announcer for Multiple Sports): Bachelor of Science; College: Business and Technology; Major: Hospitality, Management and Tourism; Concentration: Hospitality Services; Minor: Communication; Honors: Honor Roll

3. Christian Van Buren (Strength and Conditioning Student Assistant; Also Former Football Student-Athlete): Bachelor of Science; College: Education & Human Development; Major: Health and Exercise Science; Honors: Honor Roll