Trine honors Distinguished Students

May 09, 2024

Trine University recognized its Distinguished Students for the Class of 2024 during its annual Honors Ceremony.

The university also presented the Robert B. Stewart Award, given to the undergraduate student who most clearly exemplifies the traditions and values of Trine University through achievement in scholarship, leadership and citizenship.

The ceremony took place Friday, May 3, in the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Inc. Athletic and Recreation Center.

Robert B. Stewart Award

Chris Ferguson, a computer engineering and software engineering major from Defiance, Ohio, received the Robert B. Stewart Award in addition to being named the Distinguished Student from the Allen School of Engineering and Computing.

Ferguson maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout his career at Trine. His academic excellence earned him membership in the Eta Kappa Nu and Alpha Chi Honor Societies.

He served as president of the university’s Robotic Football Team, where he significantly enhanced the design and performance of the robots.

In the summer of 2023, he worked as a systems engineer and hardware architect on the Artificial Intelligence Maritime Maneuvers (AIMM) project in partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. His significant contributions to this project led to a job offer from Crane, where he will begin his career as a computer engineer.

He demonstrated his research capabilities during a research experience for undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame, where he developed a cost-effective device for monitoring CO2 and Volatile Organic Compound levels in air.

He also developed software for Trine University’s Financial Aid Department that streamlines the process of creating financial aid packages.

College of Graduate and Professional Studies

Hope Liechty of Leo, Indiana, was the Distinguished Student for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Liechty earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in general studies, graduating magna cum laude, and is completing a Master of Business Administration at Trine. She earned certificates in accounting and marketing as part of her undergraduate degree.

She began taking TrineOnline courses in high school.

She works as client services coordinator at Runestad Financial Services in Fort Wayne and earned a Life & Health Insurance producer license in 2023 while studying at Trine.

Franks School of Education

Alyssa Cornell, an elementary education/special education major from Kalamazoo, Michigan, was named the Distinguished Student for the Franks School of Education. She graduated magna cum laude.

During her time at Trine, Cornell was a member of the High Voltage Dance Team and a resident assistant. She helped redesign and facilitate the summer LEGO robotics camp and participated in Trine Pals.

In her spare time, she teaches at a local dance studio.

Jannen School of Arts and Sciences

The Jannen School of Arts and Sciences selected Vincent Ambrose, a criminal justice major from Bristol, Indiana, as its Distinguished Student.

Ambrose was a member of the Thunder football team and part of the Football Leadership Council. He also helped lead off-season workouts for the team.

Ambrose maintained a 3.9 GPA and graduated magna cum laude while maintaining a job at Tractor Supply Company. He also received Chi Alpha Sigma and Gold Key honors.

He intends to work in law enforcement after graduating, becoming a third-generation police officer.

Ketner School of Business

Beau Binnie of Ontario, Canada, a finance major who also earned a Master of Business Administration degree at Trine, was selected as the Distinguished Student for the Ketner School of Business.

Binnie maintained an undergraduate 4.0 GPA while serving as assistant captain of the Thunder men’s NCAA hockey team. He also served as a member of the Ehinger Fellows, vice president of the Finance Club and member of Delta Mu Delta.

In summer 2023, he was selected for a highly competitive internship with Northwestern Mutual in Carmel, Indiana. He was tasked with building his own business from scratch. Through determination and hard work, he has one of the top five fastest-growing businesses in the Northwestern Mutual network out of thousands.

He is only the 11th person in the history of Northwestern Mutual, Indiana to reach his client milestones in less than a year. He will continue working with Northwestern Mutual.

In addition to graduating summa cum laude, Binnie received Chi Alpha Sigma and Gold Key honors.

Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences

Taryn Raisanen of White Lake, Michigan, was named the Distinguished Student for the Rinker-Ross School of Health Sciences. Raisanen graduated with a Bachelor of Science with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry, and a Master of Business Administration.

In addition to graduating summa cum laude, she received Alpha Chi, Chi Alpha Sigma and Gold Key honors.

Raisanen has been captain of Trine’s women’s hockey team for the past two seasons and earned recognition on the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team for three seasons.

She has excelled academically, serving as a peer tutor and a member of the Tri-Beta biology honor society. Her dedication to research yielded notable contributions through her involvement in summer research programs and her senior research project. Her participation in diabetes research resulted in the publication of her work in an academic journal.

Additionally, she continues to actively serve the community through volunteer work.

Raisanen hopes to pursue a career in medicine.

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