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Three students in College of Education receive 2024 Presidential Award of Excellence

  |   Kathryn Kao   |   Permalink   |   Kudos,   Outreach,   Research,   Service and Community,   Spotlight,   Students and Faculty

Three students in the Mary Frances Early College of Education recently received the University of Georgia’s 2024 Presidential Award of Excellence for their outstanding undergraduate careers.

The award recognizes students in their final year of study who demonstrate exceptional achievements in academics, extracurricular activities, or service to UGA or their College. This year, the University honored three College of Education students:

  • Claire Hauf (B.S.Ed. ’24), exercise and sport science
  • Casey Jokay (B.S.Ed. ’24), English education
  • Caroline Reedy (B.S.Ed. ’24), special education
Headshot of Claire Hauf

Hauf is involved in the community and on campus as the director of coordination of Make-A-Wish and captain of the Sigma Delta Tau Greek Grind, a philanthropy event benefiting Prevent Child Abuse America. Additionally, she volunteers with the National Marrow Donor Program, Extra Special People, and the Guide Dog Foundation.

For Hauf, the mentorship and encouragement she received in the College not only enriched her academic experience, but also shaped the person she is today. She is excited to carry forward the lessons and values she learned during her time at UGA as she embarks on the next chapter of her journey.

“Receiving the 2024 Presidential Award of Excellence is an immense honor and something I am very grateful for,” said Hauf. “My journey through the Mary Frances Early College of Education and the Department of Kinesiology has been nothing short of transformative, thanks to the unwavering support and guidance from individuals like my advisor, Kalli Drake, dedicated professors, and the leadership of Dean Spangler.”

Headshot of Casey JokayJokay is a Double Dawg student who will graduate with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English education in 2025. He is a student teacher at Cedar Shoals High School and served as a research assistant for the College’s Department of Educational Psychology.

As a student teacher, Jokay adapts instruction and collaborates with teachers to meet the needs of a diverse group of students, including LGBTQ+ students, who he supports as a mentor through the Genders and Sexualities Alliance. On campus, Jokay is a two-time participant of UGA’s CURO symposium, a Morehead Honors College student, and the vice president of records of the University’s Pride Alliance.

“I think this award is really a recognition of how wonderful the professors in the College of Education are,” said Jokay. “So many people gave me interesting opportunities to say ‘yes’ to at UGA, particularly Dr. Schey, Dr. Barger, and Dr. Hogan. I’m looking forward to making them proud by continuing to serve the Athens community at Cedar Shoals High School after I graduate.”

Headshot of Caroline Reedy

Reedy transferred to UGA from the University of Miami in 2021 and has since gained a wealth of student teaching experience, most recently teaching at Clarke Central High School, Oglethorpe County High School, and Loganville Middle School. During these placements, she developed lessons and instructed students in special education programs, while also creating and implementing behavior intervention plans.

On campus, Reedy serves in various positions, including as president of UGA’s Student Alumni Council; a College of Education student representative on the University Council; chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion for sorority Zeta Tau Alpha; a peer mentor for UGA Destination Dawgs; and secretary of Students for Disability Advocacy.

“Receiving the Presidential Award of Excellence proves that transferring to UGA over three years ago was worth it,” said Reedy. “I’m an out-of-state, transfer student who got here during the height of the pandemic, and this award showed me that all the struggles I went through to get here were just part of my beautiful, unique, and joyful college experience. I’d say I made the most of my time here!”

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