The Academic Scholar Award recognizes excellence in scholarly conduct, accomplishment, and contributions during the student's time at American Public University.
The award is given to one graduate and one undergraduate student from each academic school in the current graduating class. Each graduating class includes six conferrals: August 1, October 1, December 1, February 1, April 1, and June 1.
- Minimum GPA: 3.70 (undergraduate) and 3.90 (graduate)
- Have high levels of engagement and rapport with instructor and peers in the classroom
- Have consistent participation in discussion forums, etc.
- Have made an impact on peers and leadership at the University through co-curricular or service activities
- Additional leadership or scholarly achievements that can be documented by the nominator
- Nominations may be made by faculty, staff, students, alumni, and those familiar with the nominee’s work
- Nominees will be notified and asked to provide a narrative of no more than 250 words or a 2-minute video reflecting on their time at AMU
- Top candidates in each academic school are presented to the University Provost for review
- The University Provost grants final approval
All materials are to be submitted in one complete packet on the award nomination form. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.
- A complete nomination form
- A letter of recommendation from a faculty member. The letter must provide examples of how the student has made excellent contributions to the classroom by engaging with the content and/or leadership among their peers throughout the class. You may want to give your recommendation writer a summary of the award
- An example of a high-quality assignment from your studies, including faculty feedback
- Link to an online portfolio, link Portfolium (optional)
- A reflection of your time at AMU. The reflection may be submitted as a narrative of no more than 250 words or a video of no more than two minutes
- Your current professional resume
- Nominations are accepted at each conferral throughout the year
- Top candidates in each academic school are presented to the Academic Awards Committee for review
- The University Provost grants final approval
- Award recipients will be honored during Commencement weekend, and should we have an in-person celebration, one night accommodations and individual travel expenses to attend Commencement will be paid for by the University
- Award recipients receive a plaque and medallion to be worn at Commencement
- Award recipients are not required to attend Commencement to accept the award
Undergraduate, School of Business
Janine Flerisse Werling (formerly De Mesa) graduated Magna Cum Laude from American Military University with a bachelor’s in Marketing and a certificate in Real Estate Management. She immigrated to the United States when she was 13 years old— making her both a first-generation Filipino-American and a first-generation university graduate in her immediate family. Janine has always had a deep interest in education and learning. Without knowing much English upon her arrival to the United States, she quickly adapted to her new environment by persistently learning the language after school and applying what she learned through class participation. By the time she graduated middle school, she had straight A’s and was able to earn a spot on the Dean’s List. Soon after finishing high school, Janine enlisted in the US Air Force to serve as an Aerospace Medical Specialist. She served in the military for six years and had the privilege of working alongside military doctors and nurses in the Medical-Surgical unit, OBGYN, and In-Vitro Fertilization. During her time in the service, Janine was able to juggle her military career and a modeling hobby, which landed her an opportunity to become an ambassador representing women in the military in one of the most prominent brands in Hollywood, Good American®. Janine transitioned out of the military in 2019 to pursue her education full-time. She also started her thriving company, Veterana L.L.C., the following year. Veterana is a government contracting company providing training development and consulting solutions to local, state, and federal agencies. Janine wishes to expand her knowledge in business and is currently an incoming MBA candidate at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, specializing in Project Management.
Undergraduate, School of Health Sciences
Lacy Razor began and completed a Bachelor of Science in Public Health in 2020 during the COVID-19 quarantine. She accomplished this by simultaneously taking as many as nine classes a term between American Public University and another school. She graduated with a GPA of 4.0 and then earned an $11,000/year scholarship to cover tuition for an accelerated two-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program on the island of Oahu. After finishing an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing and becoming a Registered Nurse, Lacy plans to enter graduate school. Upon completing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, she will work as a Family Nurse Practitioner. With a heart for public health, Lacy wants to be a nurse practitioner to help underserved indigenous populations, particularly those living on remote islands throughout the Pacific. When she is not studying and dreaming of opening a clinic in her home state of Hawai’i, Lacy loves spending time with her beloved husband of nearly sixteen years, Joshua, her wonderful nine-year-old son, Caleb, and her dearest friend, PuiYing. Without their love and support, she could not have completed her Bachelor of Science in Public Health in less than a year.
Theodore Atcherson III
Undergraduate, School of Security and Global Studies
Theodore (Teddy) Atcherson III is graduating from American Military University with a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, Concentration in Organizational Law Enforcement Leadership with a GPA of 3.89. His exposure to the Criminal Justice community began in 1987 when he enlisted into the United States Air Force as a Law Enforcement Specialist. His law enforcement experience facilitated his opportunity to hold various positions within the Criminal Justice arena to include criminal investigations and police training. He is currently a Senior Investigator with the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia. When Teddy is not researching to stay current on legal statutes, he enjoys golf, bike riding, and coaching track athletes in sprints, hurdles, and relays.
Graduate, School of Arts, Humanities, and Education
Catrine Kyster Giery graduated from American Public University in December 2020 with a master’s degree in Public History. Originally from Denmark, Catrine pursued her interest in Danish American history and 20th-century history throughout the graduate history program. For her practicum, she created – in close collaboration with the Danish American Archive & Library in Nebraska – an online exhibit about a Danish American college theater troupe tour in 1942. The exhibit attracted audiences and media coverage in both the United States and Denmark. Before studying at American Public University, Catrine completed a master’s degree in International Communication at Leeds University in England and a four-year journalism degree in Denmark. She has worked as a journalist, copywriter, editor, translator, and online manager. Living in coastal South Carolina, Catrine now uses her history research and communication skills as a writer specializing in historical fiction and nonfiction, crime fiction, and women’s fiction.
Graduate, School of Business
Victoria currently works in retail but soon plans to resign and branch out and expand her organization, the Gertrude Foundation of Hope. She is currently a student at Jacksonville Theological Seminary, majoring in Doctorate in Christian Counseling while also studying for a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management at American Public University. Victoria is currently in the formatting and design stage of her book that will be published shortly, which is written about the odds that her autistic son and herself overcame so that it may inspire others. Victoria served as Vice President of the African American Learning, Inclusion and Guidance Network (AALIGN), where she edited and managed the organization’s member newsletter, and is a member of Delta Mu Delta. Victoria is the first in her family to receive a master’s degree and strives to be the first who will receive a doctorate. Victoria states that her ancestors were not able or allowed to read or write, but she is grateful she has had the opportunity to further her education. She always looks forward to helping others, including those whose children have been affected by Autism. Since high school, Victoria has volunteered at various events and nonprofit organizations such as the Special Olympics, Augusta Missions, Home Inc, and more. Victoria is thankful to God, and she looks forward to serving others while using her education, life experience, and wit in her humanitarian work, which she considers to be her purpose.
Graduate, School of Health Sciences
Christine Hohl graduated from American Military University with a Master’s in Health Science in October 2020 with a GPA of 3.975. She pursued her degree in Health Information Management. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administrative and Management from Colorado State University-Global Campus. She is enlisted in the United States Army and is currently serving in Brussels, Belgium. She has served 15 1/2 years and plans to pursue a career in the Healthcare field next year when she returns to the United States. She has always had a passion for healthcare, helping others, and positively impacting people’s lives. Healthcare workers who seek out opportunities to learn from and collaborate with others will continuously learn new ways to help people and make a difference in their lives. When she is not busy, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, playing flag football, softball, and intramural basketball.
Graduate, School of Security and Global Studies
Kimberly Kerschner began her studies at AMU in 2013 towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management. She graduated Cum Laude in 2019 and immediately began her studies towards a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Disaster Management. Kimberly had finished her master’s program in April 2021, earning a 3.92 GPA. For fun, Kimberly enjoys serving in her community. She is a volunteer firefighter and EMT for the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Company. She serves elsewhere as she works full time as a Recruiter for the Maryland Army National Guard. She enjoys helping people achieve their goals, whether getting college tuition paid or jump-starting a new career. She hopes to retire from the National Guard in a few years and utilize her degree in emergency management. When Kimberly isn’t working, she trains in jiu-jitsu, plays the saxophone, and spends time with her pets. Kimberly also enjoys traveling. Kimberly wants to thank her father for introducing her to the military, as it taught her a lot about life and allowed her to go to college for free.
The submission deadline for 2021 nominations is now closed. Stay tuned later in the year when we begin preparing for the 2022 awards. Contact the University Awards Committee if you have questions.