Press Release for Monday, April 19, 2004

Nursing Student to be Honored at UNF Graduation

Contact Sharon Ashton
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2115

JACKSONVILLE - The University of North Florida will honor one person who has received two of the University’s top awards when it hands out more than 1,200 degrees Friday, April 30, during its spring commencement at the Arena.

Mercy Makka, who will graduate with a bachelor’s in nursing, will be recognized as the recipient of two awards, the Albert D. Ernest Jr. Caring Award and the Senior Service Award.

The Caring Award recognizes a student who demonstrates the spirit of caring, humanitarianism and volunteerism exemplified by Albert Ernest. The UNF Alumni Association presents the Senior Service Award to a graduating senior for outstanding volunteer service to the University or community.

Makka will be among the graduates of the Coggin College of Business, the College of Education and Human Services, and the College of Health participating in the 3 p.m. commencement ceremony. The College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction have their ceremony at 7 p.m.

The University expects to award 1,050 bachelor’s degrees, more than 170 master’s degrees and three doctorates this term.

Also during the 7 p.m. ceremony, NROTC students will be recognized. A total of six NROTC students will graduate from UNF. Two already are commissioned, and the other four will be commissioned during a ceremony at the Jacksonville University gym Saturday, May 1, at noon.

Makka, from Abuja, Nigeria, has worked with many community projects, including Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Nielson Organ Transplant Foundation. She also is active on the UNF campus, participating in the University Scholars Honor Society, the International Student Association, Golden Key Honor Society and the Resident Student Association.

Last summer, Makka worked with the Jacksonville community to gather donations of items such as diapers, clothes and medical supplies to deliver to medical facilities in Abuja. The initiative was something extra Makka did before her trip to Nigeria for a six-week independent study of pediatric AIDS that was done in collaboration with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Makka intends to further her education in the United States before returning to Nigeria.

- UNF -