Pinnacle Award Recipients

The Pinnacle Award is the highest honor the University bestows on a graduating student. One student from each campus who has demonstrated academic excellence, public service and commitment to the University is honored. Recipients will address their fellow graduates and the assembled audience.

a student standing on stairs. she smiles at the camera.Michelle Schultheis will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing. During her time at FDU, Michelle has excelled in academics, leadership and community engagement. As a member of multiple international honors societies, including Kappa Delta Pi and Sigma Tau Delta, she demonstrated academic excellence. Her leadership roles spanned various organizations, including Student Government Association and Catholic Campus Ministry, where she served as President. Michelle’s contributions extended to the broader community through roles at the NJ Secretary of Higher Education Office and Central Baptist Church. Additionally, she volunteered as a Faith Formation Instructor. After graduation, Michelle plans to continue her studies in FDU’s QUEST (Quality in Education, Schools and Teaching) Program.

a student standing inside. she smiles at the camera.Medjina Milfort, of East Orange, N.J., will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Social Justice Advocacy. Her academic excellence is underscored by her receipt of the Becton College Dean’s Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice. Beyond academics, Medjina has demonstrated her leadership capabilities through active involvement on campus. She has held various leadership roles including President of the Residence Hall Association and serving as both President and Public Relations Officer for the Black Student Union. Additionally, she has contributed to campus life through her participation in organizations such as the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), Student Government Association and the Student Bill of Rights Task Force. With a diverse employment background, including roles as a Sales Associate at H&M and as a Graduate Hall Director with FDU’s Housing and Residence Life Office, she excels in team leadership, event organization and conflict resolution. After graduation, Medjina will continue her studies at FDU pursuing a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice.

a student standing in a park. she smiles at the camera.Hailing from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Helen Ham will graduate with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Minor in Digital Marketing. Excelling both academically and in extracurriculars, Helen maintained a consistent presence on the Academic Honors’ List for four consecutive years and gained membership in the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, representing the top 10% of senior business students across three FDU campuses. In 2023, Helen showcased her talents at the Model National United Nations in New York, focusing on the United Nations Environment Assembly. Beyond her studies, she actively engaged in the Global Scholars program, fostering cross-cultural learning. Post-graduation, Helen aspires to a career in marketing.