Celebrating the Class of 2022; Student Affairs

Clemson recognizes service members and graduating student veterans

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Clemson held its annual Service Member and Veteran Graduation Recognition on Tuesday in the Almeda Jacks Ballrooms of Hendrix Student Center. Seven undergraduate students and six graduate students were recognized, both for their service to the United States military and for preparing to graduate from Clemson University. The honorees were presented red, white and blue cords to go atop their graduation regalia.

“Military and Veteran Engagement is committed to advocating for our student veterans and military-connected community, so that they are well served during their time at Clemson,” said Kimberly Poole, assistant vice president and senior associate dean of students. “By their presence, these students create a more inclusive community at Clemson, and we thank them for that. This is one of the pinnacles of the Clemson experience, and we’re so proud to honor them in this way.”

Jackson Grant, left, accepts the Outstanding Student Veteran Award from Emily DaBruzzi on Dec. 20, 2022
Jackson Grant accepts the Outstanding Student Veteran Award from Military & Veteran Engagement director Emily DaBruzzi.

The Office of Military & Veteran Engagement (M&VE) led a program that included remarks from leadership in Student Affairs, Clemson Veterans Commission, Student Veterans Association and Clemson Corps. Graduates and their families also heard a keynote address from former M&VE director Brennan Beck, who served as a regional officer with the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs in 2022.

Kristin Walker-Donnelly was named recipient of the Fall 2022 Veteran Impact Award. Walker-Donnelly serves as director of assessment in Student Affairs and works closely with DaBruzzi on utilizing data to inform programmatic offerings related to best serving Clemson’s student veteran and military-connected population.

Jackson Grant received the Outstanding Student Veteran Award for Fall 2022. He currently serves as a student assistant with M&VE and is a veteran of the United States Navy. Grant also serves as the secretary of the Student Veterans Association and is an Army ROTC cadet and Army reservist.

“It was an incredible celebration of our graduates and welcome to so many people who have supported these students,” said Emily DaBruzzi, director of M&VE. “Clemson University is better because of these students, and we are thankful to their contributions.”

MASTER’S GRADUATES

Scott Abrams
• Master of business administration
• Native of Whitmire, South Carolina who earned undergraduate degree in parks, recreation and tourism management from Clemson in 2008
• Currently serving overseas in Germany as a captain with the United States Army

Bradley Christy
• Biological sciences
• Native of Greenville, California who has served 22 years in the United States Army as a 12B combat engineer
• Served on deployments in Iraq (twice), Kuwait and Qatar

Lindsey Davis
• Animal and veterinary sciences
• Native of Fayetteville, Ohio is currently enlisted in the United States Air Force, where she has served for more than eight years as an aerospace medical technician

Demetrius Evans
• Human resource development
• Native of Honea Path, South Carolina who has served 17 years in the United States Army and National Guard
• Served on a deployment in 2010 in Iraq
• Career counselor for the South Carolina Army National Guard

Matt Rutter
• Agricultural education
• Native of Summerville, South Carolina who served 22 years in the United States Army as an intelligence analyst and infantryman
• Served on deployments in Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Kosovo and Romania

Calvin Smith
• Master of business administration
• Native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who served as a nuclear machinist mate in the United States Navy

BACHELOR’S GRADUATES

Shanna LeBlanc
• Recreational therapy
• Native of Huntsville, Alabama who served nearly four years in the United States Army as a radio communications and security repairer

Brady Loggins
• Computer science
• Native of Greenwood, South Carolina served five years in the United States Marine Corps as an avionics technician and combat marksmanship trainer
• Served on a deployment in Japan

Ryan Messina
• Electrical engineering
• Served five years in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman
• Served on a deployment in Afghanistan

Meliza Pascual
• Packaging science
• Native of Newberry, South Carolina who served five years in the United States Army as a welder and machinist
• Vice president of SALUTE Honor Society

Lemuel Reid
• Computer science
• Native of Due West, South Carolina who served four years in the United States Navy as an aviation electrician

Ross Snead
• Electrical engineering
• Native of Danville, Kentucky who served 10 years in the United States Navy as a nuclear  submarine electrician’s mate
• Served on two deployments in the Middle East

Ethan Van-Derpoel
• Environmental and natural resources
• Served four years in the United States Marine Corps as a fire support man