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Thomas University honored three of its most outstanding alumni during an awards dinner held Friday, Oct. 30, on the Sue Rumble Terrace on TU’s Main Campus. Jennifer Lindquist (left) accepts the Distinguished Recent Graduate Award on behalf of Dr. Marc Musto, who was unable to attend. Shannon Woods (center) received the Distinguished Alumni Award, and Jim Ellis (right) received the Alumni Ambassador Award.

 

Thomas University honors outstanding alumni at annual dinner

On Friday, Oct. 30, Thomas University honored three of its most outstanding alumni during the annual Alumni Awards Dinner held on the Sue Rumble Terrace on TU’s Main Campus.

Jim Ellis of Cairo received the Alumni Ambassador Award, which is given to an alumnus in recognition of his or her exceptional volunteer commitment to Thomas University. Ellis, a 1969 graduate of Birdwood Junior College (now Thomas University), has been a staunch advocate for TU. He has served on the Alumni Board of Governors since 2011, including service as president-elect in 2013 and 2014, and now as president. Ellis played a pivotal role in reintroducing Birdwood College alumni to Thomas University.

Dr. Marc Musto received the Distinguished Recent Graduate Award, which is given to an individual who graduated in the last five years in recognition of his or her personal and professional accomplishments in addition to his or her support of Thomas University.

Originally from Lutz, Florida, Musto graduated from TU in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. While at TU, he was a member of the Men’s Soccer Team, served on the Honor Council, and worked as a peer tutor for Student Support Services for three years. After graduation, Musto enrolled in the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. While at SCO, he was awarded a three-year Health Professions Scholarship from the United States Air Force. He served as the SCO liaison for the Armed Forces Optometric Society.

While a student at SCO, Musto participated in a humanitarian trip with Student Volunteers for Optometric Service to Humanity providing visual and general health services to people in Urraco, Honduras. He graduated from SCO on May 2015. In July 2015, Musto graduated as a Captain from Commissioned Officer Training at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. He is currently commissioned at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Musto was unable to attend the event, so Jennifer Lindquist, TU Professional Academic Adviser, accepted on his behalf.

Shannon Woods of Tallahassee received the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is presented to an individual who graduated more than five years ago in honor of his or her personal and professional accomplishments as well as his or her support of and commitment to Thomas University.

Woods graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Central Arkansas in 1983 and began her nursing career in Dallas, Texas. She attended Thomas University and graduated with her Master of Science in Nursing with an Education focus in 2009. Woods is certified in perioperative nursing and as a nurse educator. She is a faculty member at TU and is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at the University of Central Arkansas with an anticipated graduation date of April 2016. For her doctoral work, Woods received a National League for Nursing Foundation for Nursing Education Scholarship Award.

Woods’ commitment to her alma mater goes beyond serving as a faculty member. In the fall of 2013, Shannon spent 16 weeks, eight at each of two universities, in China teaching the course Professional Nursing Praxis to TU Nursing students at Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Wenzhou Medical University.

At Thomas University, Woods has served as part of the Safety and Security Committee since 2008. Since the fall of 2014, she has chaired that committee. Shannon’s leadership on this committee has been crucial in implementing improved procedures and strengthening relationships with key constituents in the community to make TU a safer campus.

Also at TU, Woods has been a co-adviser for the Honor Council since 2010, a previous member of the Web Advisory Committee, TU Nursing Division representative for both the Archbold Clinical Affiliation Group and the Tallahassee Clinical Consortium group. She has been part of the Gerontology Certificate Committee and the Tobacco-Free Campus Committee. Woods served as a founding member of the Phi Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. As part of STTI, Shannon has served two terms as Chair of the Nominations Committee, as Fundraising Chair and as an ad hoc member of the Finance Committee.

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