Each year, the outstanding student for each college is recognized at the University's commencement ceremony.
For 2015, the Outstanding Students were:
- College of Graduate and Professional Studies - Phoenix Jackson, MA, Counseling Psychology, Specialization in Somatic Psychology
- College of Undergraduate Studies: Keith Bonnes, BA, Psychology
Phoenix Jackson, MA, of the Holistic Counseling Psychology Program (emphasis in Somatic Psychology), graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Sociology with a specialization in Law, Criminology, and Deviance.
In addition to her work here at the University, Phoenix researches public health and public policy implications of alcohol, tobacco, and drug misuse through mixed methods and ethnographic studies. Her work at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation is sponsored by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program by funding through the National Institutes of Health. Her research has taken her into survey and interview operations in more than 30 Bay Area cities, 200 schools, 12 counties, nonprofits and professional associations, over 500 retail outlets, and various fire and health departments for quantitative and qualitative research. Her work has been published on ethnographymatters.net, in a reader for JFK University's graduate course Somatic Perspectives on Stress and Psychobioimmunology, and in Prevention Science. She presented at the American Public Health Association’s 141st Annual Meeting on effective messaging in tobacco control. She serves as a lay Eucharistic minister with St. Giles Episcopal Church in Moraga, CA.
Phoenix plans to work with pre-adolescent children, adults with sexual or racially-based trauma, and the LGBTIQQA community, and is exploring working with sex offenders in prison populations.
Keith Bonnes, BA, is a dedicated, caring, and humble honors student in the University's undergraduate Psychology program. He has been interested in human consciousness for much of his life and plans to become a counseling psychologist. Keith is admired by his instructors and fellow classmates for his probing questions and profound thoughts. Always seeking to help others, he has volunteered at an assisted living facility, where he worked with residents who have Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Prior to coming to JFK University, Keith served in the U.S. Air Force as a vehicle driver and logistics specialist in Iraq, where he distinguished himself as an excellent teammate and leader and mentored new Air Force personnel to transition to military life. Upon returning to civilian life, he generously supported his comrades suffering from PTSD.