Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Remembering the Class of 2002 Senior Superlative Awards

Stemming from "Kobe Xzavier Durden's" idea on Facebook of having new superlative awards, I decided to look back at the Class of 2002 superlatives, as voted on by our fellow classmates.

I've asked each person to write a short biography of themselves following a format. Their responses are below. Enjoy! (some small grammatical edits may have been made to entries)

(Some people didn't send a response. If I didn't have their e-mail address, I contacted them via Facebook message.)

Most Popular: Ashley Boxer and Kimani Davis 

Best Personality: Vanessa Fortun and Greg Bacourt
Vanessa Marie Fortun graduated from Florida International University in 2006 with a Criminal Justice Administration Bachelors Degree. She is currently employed at Abadin Cook, where she is a Legal Assistant/Paralegal who focuses on assisting attorneys in the Corporate Transactional aspect of the law. She is engaged, expected to marry on March 3, 2012 and living in Miami. Vanessa also won Best All Around Superlative.

Gregory Bacourt graduated from Florida A&M University in 2005, summa cum laude, and quickly began work with Parks & Crump law firm. In 2006, he returned to Miami to pursue his master's degree at Florida International University, graduating in 2007 with a 4.0 GPA, and a master's degree in social work. He was hired as the program director of Restoring Dignity under the provisions of The Children’s Trust. Restoring Dignity is a program dedicated to educating at-risk youth, k5 to 8th grade. Gregory worked for over two years as the program director helping to develop the program into an exemplary resource in the community.

Best Hair: Loren Beer and Brent Kossally
Brenton Kossally graduated from Florida International University in 2006 with a BBA in Marketing. He has since worked professionally in the corporate marketing arena conducting marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 and 1000 companies in the consumer electronics, finance, consumer services and telecommunication industries. An entrepreneurial spirit--specializing in online marketing and e-commerce, Brenton is always looking for the next big idea. If you have one, he’d love to hear it!…and hair? What hair?

Best Dressed: Latonya Smith and Adrian Gessen

Most Likely To Succeed: Mollie Farber and Greg Bacourt
Molissa Farber graduated from Yale University with honors in 2006. She double majored in Sociology and Political Science. Her senior thesis in Sociology was published in the Yale Journal of Sociology and her thesis in Political Science was published in the Columbia Journal of Politics and Society. She earned an M.S. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, where she was top in her class. Molissa enrolled at Columbia Law School in 2008. During law school, she interned with Judge Richard Sullivan of the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. She also took up running and ran a marathon, two half marathons, and a ten miler during her time in school. She graduated from Columbia in 2011, earning distinction as a Stone Scholar for all three years. Molissa is currently studying for the New York Bar Exam and will start work in the fall as an Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison, LLP in Washington, D.C. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking, baking, traveling, and playing poker.

Gregory Bacourt (continued from his previous entry) Inspired by the election of President Obama, Gregory applied to the doctorial program at Howard University. He was accepted with a full scholarship. In addition to being a full-time student and maintaining a 3.7 grade point average, Gregory works for Medicare, providing educational interventions on diabetes and health management in the elderly African-American community. In his free time he also works with Center City Charter Public schools as a math and reading intervention specialist.Gregory is single and living in Washington, DC. He hopes to graduate in 2013 and pursue a career in academia.

Best Leader: Edwina Bullard and Rick Smith
Edwina Bullard- Simms graduated from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in the Spring of 2006 with her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Minor in African American Studies. While at UCF she served two consecutive years on the SGA Executive Cabinet as their Director of Student Lobbying, served as President of the UCF African American Student Union, and became a member of the Mu Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Incorporated. Post graduation, Edwina became a Middle/High School History teacher for Orange County Public School. After two years working for the public school system, she elected to pursue her passion for non-profit management and began working for American Cancer Society. In 2010, Edwina obtained her Master’s in Public Administration from Strayer University. Today, she is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Gavin Simms, and continues her work in non-profit management as the Southeast Regional Development Director for Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

Rick Smith graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2007 with a degree in multimedia journalism. At FAU, Rick was involved in Student Government, student media (where he won a national award for writing in 2005),and took on leadership roles such as Interfraternity Council President, student-spirit group president, and a resident assistant. After FAU, he moved to San Antonio and worked for over two years in alumni relations at University of the Incarnate Word while earning a master's degree in sports management, graduating at the top of his class. He then left alumni relations and was a full-time faculty member teaching sports management and physical education. Currently, Rick is still at UIW as an adjunct faculty member and external business manager for UIW Athletics, and has taken on an additional role of event manager for UIW's fall concert. He is single and living in San Antonio, Texas. He also is a member of FAU's National Alumni Association Board of Directors and was inducted into the Parliament of OWLs, a "hall of fame" of sorts for alumni that made a significant positive impact on the university community during their years as a student.

Most Athletic: Marilyn Stephens and Bryant Salter
Marilyn Stephens graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2006 with a major in Health Administration. She was a member of the women's track and field team and presently hold's the 400 meter record along with the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 meter relay records. She also was a NCAA regional qualifier in the 400 meter dash, 4 x 100  meter relay and the 4 x 400 meter relay. Marilyn is a certified personal trainer, teacher, and track and field coach. She was a reading resource and first grade teacher before becoming the physical education teacher at Booker T. Washington Senior High School. Marilyn plans to pursue her master's degree in hopes of moving her career into the college level. She is currently engaged to a wonderful man, Mr. Marco De La Cruz, and resides in Pembroke Pines, Fl.

Most School Spirit: Carla Castro and Rick Smith
Rick (see bio above). Additionally, and in line with the superlative, Rick is the founding father of FAU's student-spirit squad.

Best Car: Lori Lorenzo and Tarik Jallad
Lori Lorenzo graduated from Florida International University in 2006 with a degree in psychology and minor in criminal justice. She worked for her family's businesses a couple of years and then decided to go to graduate school for business & finance; which was also the academy she was enrolled in at Coral Reef. Lori will be graduating from Nova Southeastern University in the summer of 2011 with her Masters in Business Administration in Management. Currently, Lori is pursuing possible business ventures in hopes to become an entrepreneur in the near future and successfully own and run a business. Lori is engaged to be married September.

And about the superlative for "Best Car”... she won the award with her white 2-door Honda Civic with modifications. Nine years later she still loves cars, and drives a red 4-door Mercedes Benz Kompressor.

UP NEXT: Finding our classmates who are "lost" so-to-speak... one of the hardest tasks of all.

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