MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee joins five Rutherford County residents who graduated with highest honors during the university's spring 2015 commencement ceremonies to discuss their future plans. Seated with McPhee is Yerlyn Castro-Vargas of Murfreesboro, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. Standing are, from left, Samuel Benjamin Black of Lascassas, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice administration; Chase Zingale of Murfreesboro, who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing and graduated summa cum laude; Crystal LeAnn Scott of Murfreesboro, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting; and Anna Chelsea Neal of Rockvale, a summa cum laude graduate who received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.
Castro-Vargas, a native of Costa Rica, minored in international relations and criminal justice and received the College of Liberal Arts' 2015 Senior Honor Award for political science as well as the Department of Political Science's 2015 C.C. Sims Award. She is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha political science, Alpha Phi Sigma criminal justice and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and wants to work for the federal Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She is working toward that goal by preparing for law school to become an immigration attorney and seeking employment at a local nongovernmental organization serving immigrants and refugees. Castro-Vargas lives in Murfreesboro with her husband and daughter, Marvin and Valerie M. Barrantes.
Black, a 2012 alumnus of the Middle Tennessee Christian School, minored in agriculture and received the 2014 R.B.J. Campbelle Jr. Criminal Justice Scholarship at MTSU. He plans to attend law school at Belmont University to become an attorney. His family includes his parents, Tim and Melinda Black of Lascassas, and his grandparents, Sam and Frances Black of Murfreesboro and Linda and Buddy Brown of Lascassas.
Zingale, a 2010 alumnus of Siegel High School, minored in business administration and was named the Outstanding Marketing Senior for his top grade-point average. He also is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. He is the son of Michelle and Chuck Zingale and the brother of Reid and Alex Zingale, all of Murfreesboro.
Scott, a Baroda, Michigan, native who lives in Murfreesboro, received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting and minored in business administration and is a member of the Gamma Beta Phi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She is the daughter of Samuel and the late Rita Scott of Bridgman, Michigan, and the granddaughter of Shirley and the late Samuel Scott of Baroda and Robert and Nancy Curtis of New Johnsonville, Tennessee. Her sisters are Shannon, Kathryn and Kaleigh Scott, all of Stevensville, Michigan, and her fiancé, William Taylor, and her daughter, Carmen, live in Murfreesboro. Scott is interning this summer in the Internal Audit Department of the Nashville-based health care company HCA and plans to return to MTSU this fall to earn her master's degree and her designation as a certified public accountant.
Neal, a 2011 alumna of the Daniel 1 Academy, minored in agriculture and is a graduate of the MTSU University Honors College who successfully defended her honors thesis on honeybees last fall. She plans to obtain employment as a staff zoologist at a zoo or a museum curator. Her parents, Willie H. Neal Jr. and A. Cornelia D. Neal, and her brother, J. Ethan Neal, all live in Rockvale.