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Meet JCSU Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Charlotte, N.C. (May 8, 2014) -- Valedictorian Regina Jones-McPherson of Kingston Jamaica, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology and chemistry. She spent most of her childhood in street markets selling produce with her mother for their family’s livelihood. “Poverty was never an excuse for us,” she says. “My mother made sure of that.” After graduating from high school with honors, Jones-McPherson received a full academic scholarship to JCSU.

During the past four years, she has adapted to a new environment, learning civility and inclusion and accepting a new culture that has become her life. JCSU provided her with the opportunity to serve as vice president of the International Club and to study abroad in Kenya, Puerto Rico and South Africa. To prepare for her career in medicine, she shadowed doctors and attending physicians at Biddle Point and Carolina Medical Center’s Elizabeth Family Practice. She plans to attend medical school with the goal of becoming an oncologist.

Salutatorian Sana-Kay Whyte, is a first-generation college student who was born in Portland, Jamaica. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry and a minor in general biology. During her tenure at JCSU, she participated in research internships each summer and presented her work at national and local conferences, including the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).

Sana-Kay also served as a peer mentor and academic tutor for students taking Spanish and STEM courses. She contributed to the community by serving in the kitchens of several homeless shelters, mentoring middle and elementary students and by donating clothes, toys and personal supplies to the needy. She plans to attend graduate school at the University of Toronto and prepare for medical school. “I did not succeed because I was smart,” she says. “It was my attitude towards my goals. I always strive to be better than my previous self, no one else.”




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