Local scholars shine at national universities

National Universities highlight the achievements of three Central Valley-raised students for their academic accomplishments during the Fall 2023 semester

A look at the Southern New Hampshire University campus, where Mercedes Penn of Dinuba and Joshua Bennett-Snow of Sanger both made the university’s Fall 2023 President's List. (Courtesy of Southern New Hampshire University)
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published January 9, 2024  • 
1:00 pm

MANCHESTER, NH – Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) — a private, nonprofit institution with a 91-year history of educating traditional-aged students and working adults — has congratulated two Central Valley hailing students after they made the Fall 2023 President’s List.

To make the President’s list, one must be a full-time undergraduate student who has earned a minimum grade-point average of 3.700, something achieved by Mercedes Penn of Dinuba and Joshua Bennett-Snow of Sanger.

In order to qualify for full-time status, students must earn 12 or more credits over a 16-week term or two 8-week terms — otherwise known as a semester — which is typically broken up with the designations of fall, winter/spring and summer.

SNHU offers approximately 200 accredited undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, available online and on its 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH. Penn and Bennett-Snow are just two of the university’s 225,000 world-wide learners.

As recognized by the U.S. News & World Report, SNHU is considered one of the “most innovative” regional universities and one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. According to a press release, “SNHU is committed to expanding access to high quality, affordable pathways that meet the needs of each learner.”

Those interested in the university, which offers both in person and online programs, can learn more at www.snhu.edu.

An aerial view of the Western Carolina University, where Julie Hunter of Sanger was named to the university’s Fall 2023 Chancellor's List. (Courtesy of Western Carolina University)


Julie Hunter of Sanger, a Western Carolina University (WCU) student, recently received her school’s equivalent of President’s List, after meeting the minimum qualifications of obtaining a GPA of 3.8 or higher while completing a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Along with Hunter, WCU’s 2023 Fall Chancellor’s List was also awarded to approximately 1,600 other students at the westernmost institution in the University of North Carolina System. 

According to a press release, WCU attracts students from around the globe with its nationally ranked programs, affordability through NC Promise and exceptional student support.

Not only does WCU bolster academics, but also a multitude of recreational activities, many of which take advantage of the nearby Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. Thanks to its local topography, WCU students have access to a vast amount of natural diversity, which helps to create unrivaled experiential learning.

WCU offers residential, hybrid and online programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees at its main campus in Cullowhee, as well as its facilities in Asheville — located at Biltmore Park — and wherever students are through distance learning.

Mid Valley Times Staff