Three CAL Students to Graduate with 4.0 GPAs

msu campus buildings with spring flowers

Three College of Arts & Letters students were recognized with Board of Trustees’ Awards for having earned the highest grade point average at the close of their last semester at Michigan State University – a perfect 4.0.

For this accomplishment, the students were presented with Board of Trustees Awards at the April 15 Board of Trustees meeting and will be recognized at the College of Arts & Letters spring commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 8. There were 47 other student from across the university who also will graduate with 4.0 GPAs and received Board of Trustees awards.

The following is a list of the Board of Trustees Award recipients from the College of Arts & Letters:

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Joseph Saum, a Chinese major, served as president of the Chinese conversation hour, where he focused on instilling passion for the Chinese language in undergraduates and bridging the gap between American and Chinese students.

In June, he will participate in a program called Mosaic Taiwan where he will learn about Taiwanese economics and culture before returning to Taiwan in the fall to teach English for a year.

Saum graduated from De La Salle Collegiate High School in Mount Clemens and shares this advice with students: “You should surround yourself with passionate people, especially people who are passionate about something you are not. Their passion will encourage you to learn new things and help you to excel and expand in your own field.” 

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Lauren Straley, an English major and a member of the Honors College, is the president of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society, and president of the Women’s Glee Club. She also is a member of MSU’s Tower Guard and a member of MSU Dance Club. 

After graduation, she plans to take the Columbia Publishing course and begin a career in editing and publishing. 

A graduate of Powers Catholic High School in Flint, Straley has this advice for students: “Do what you love. If you are passionate about what you do, the hard work you put into it offers greater sense of fulfillment.”

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Cattleya Trager, a Japanese major, was involved in MSU Extension and Spartan Marching Band. She also studied abroad in Hikone, Japan, in the summer of 2015. After graduation, she hopes to volunteer with AmeriCorps to help mentor youth in Detroit Public Schools.

Trager graduated from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor. She has this advice for students: “Stay open-minded throughout college, get out of your comfort zone, and give yourself permission to grow, mature, and change a lot. Remember that you don’t have to look like or act like the people you see around you — just do you.”