Outstanding Senior Student Named at USC Aiken
Aiken, SC (12/06/2018) — The University of South Carolina Aiken named psychology major Collytte Cederstrom as the December 2018 Outstanding Senior Student. She and fellow Pacers graduate Dec. 13 in the USC Aiken Convocation Center.
Throughout her academic career, Cederstrom's scholarly performance has been impeccable, as illustrated by her repeated dean's list rankings. According to professors, she is a conscientious, motivated, and hard-working student who has excellent quantitative, writing, and analytical skills. The faculty of the psychology department praise Cederstrom for being a model student who inspires them in the classroom.
"I have been at USC Aiken for 32 years, and Collytte is without a doubt one of the most talented, productive, and overall outstanding undergraduate students I have ever seen. She exemplifies the ideal undergraduate student citizen," said Dr. Edward J. Callen, chair of the psychology department.
"Besides all of that, Collytte is simply a wonderful, kind, caring, and dedicated person who's a joy to have around. It is a student like Collytte who was the reason I entered this profession and provides me daily rewards for what I do as a professional educator and mentor."
In the spring of 2018, she was the department's unanimous selection for the Outstanding Student of Psychology Award.
Cederstrom's peers and mentors say they admire her strong dedication to research. Undergraduate research is a high impact practice, and Collytte's research experiences have maximized that impact. She has volunteered for various research projects and has presented her findings at multiple conferences, including Discovery Day on the Columbia campus and USC Aiken's Scholar Showcase. Her research will also be shared in several upcoming publications.
Callen has worked with Cederstrom rather extensively during her two-year term as his primary lab assistant in the psychology lab.
"In my experiments, Collytte carried out the research in a very responsible manner with reliable, accurate experimental techniques and data collection," he said.
She has taken on added responsibility in the lab as the chief animal caretaker for animals raised and housed in the psychology department vivarium. This critical position requires Cederstrom to adhere to a rigorous daily feeding schedule, including on holidays and weekends. In addition to this, she is responsible for overseeing the high level of experimental activity in the lab and coordinating faculty and student lab research projects.
"Collytte has been consistently reliable in this work, maintaining not only a high level of performance, but also a responsible, organized, mature, and dedicated focus on her job," Callen said.
In addition to her academic pursuits, Cederstrom has also been an active student leader in numerous university and community organizations. She is involved in the USCA chapter of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society of Psychology, and serves as the president of her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. Cederstrom has represented the university in multiple official capacities as an admissions office ambassador, a chancellor ambassador, and as an orientation leader. Cederstrom's leadership experience culminated in the completion of university's leadership certificate program.
As the program director of the Reading Orientation Club in Aiken, which helps children improve their reading abilities, Cederstrom has many responsibilities, including coordinating student enrollment, training volunteer workers, testing reading/spelling skills and analyzing results, developing new projects and sessions for children, and communicating progress to parents and professors.
"Collytte is a valuable member of the campus body and will undoubtedly leave a legacy of excellence. Her department and the university as a whole applaud her," said one member of the Pacer family.