TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Rekindling the tradition to attract the best and brightest students in the nation, six National Achievement Scholars are calling Florida A&M University (FAMU) home, which has more than double from last year. In addition, FAMU also recruited 14 finalists and 10 semifinalists.
“Through aggressive recruitment campaigns, which led us across the nation to places like Boston, New York, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angles and the State of Florida, we were able to show prospective students that FAMU is an institution that provides an enlightening academic experience and faculty that care about student development,” said Roland Gaines, vice president for Student Affairs. “This increase in National Achievement Scholars is just the beginning.”
Of the 1,836 freshmen that are attending college for the first time, the six National Achievement Scholars are as follows:
- Justin Daranda, majoring in management, from New Orleans, La.
- Martine Lunis, majoring in occupational therapy, from Eustis, Fla.
- Alicia Payne, majoring in broadcast journalism, from Louisville, Ky.
- Matthew Rodney, majoring in pharmacy, from Tamarac, Fla.
- Ulyssa Hester, majoring in biology pre-med, from Stone Mountain, Ga.,
- Danielle Jones, majoring in biology, from Anderson, Ind.
FAMU’s National Achievement Scholars from Louisiana to Florida from Indiana to Kentucky share one thing in common — their ardor for an education at FAMU.
Lunis forwent an opportunity to attend Princeton University and came to FAMU.
“I applied and got accepted to Princeton, Florida State and Emory, but I wanted to go to FAMU,” she said. “FAMU provides me with the type of community I wanted for my college experience and the high level of education. I've made so many friends here and the classes are very stimulating.”
Hester said that along with the outstanding academic programs, FAMU “just felt right.”
“I liked the feeling of it,” she said. “At FAMU, they really look out for you; it’s like the motto; ‘Excellence with Caring.’ They really do care. I’ve been to a lot of college campuses, but nothing felt better than being at FAMU.”
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