Meet some of the 2024 graduating class

April 25, 2024

More than 1,200 students (700+ undergraduate and 500+ graduate) will walk across the stage on April 27 and 28 to accept their degree at Jacksonville University’s 2024 Commencement Ceremony.

This year’s graduating class includes students from 38 countries earning bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. They join more than 40,000 alumni who have graduated from JU since the 1930s.

The new graduates embody Jacksonville University’s pioneering spirit, embracing new frontiers in STEAM, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)., digital animation, marine science and other emerging fields. Some graduates have lined up jobs or internships at major organizations around the globe, while others plan to continue their education with advanced degrees.

Whatever their path forward, these accomplished students are blazing trails for generations to come with their distinct, and, at times, unique academic arcs. Learn more about several whose achievements represent the grit and merit of the Class of 2024.


Sheriann FisherBalancing motherhood and full-time employment is challenging, but Sheriann Fisher has successfully managed both while also conquering multiple obstacles while earning her Doctor of Nursing Practice. Despite juggling equally critical responsibilities, Drs. Laurie Buschini, Roberta Christopher, and Lindsay Wolf, faculty at JU's Keigwin School of Nursing, say Sheriann never made excuses or asked for modifications and still graduated on time. 

“Sheriann represents the very definition of fortitude and resiliency. She has an authentic presence, is an engaged learner, and fills every room with joy just by being there. She will be greatly missed in our classrooms, but we are so proud and excited for her next steps and all the people she will impact.”

Shortly after graduation, Sheriann plans to take her board certification exam. From there, she plans to work as a board-certified family nurse practitioner in the community. 



Makaylen Green is a double major in psychology and English, with a minor in women and gender studies. Always seeking opportunities to grow and learn, Makaylen has served as an intern at major organizations around Jacksonville, including Mayo Clinic, Lutheran Social Services, Head Start, and Northeast Florida Literary Alliance.

Makaylen’s dedication, diligence and academic excellence earned her the Frances Bartlett Kinne Woman of the Year award in 2024, which included a $500 scholarship. Her nominator shared, “During my classes, she was actively engaged in classroom activities, supported her peers, and challenged herself and others to strive for success. As a student, Makaylen’s assignments were always superb and showcased evidence of critical thinking and intellectual curiosity.”

Maykalen was recently accepted into a master's program in clinical psychology at Suffolk University, where she plans to begin studying in the fall.


Marco MelendezMajoring in music education in cello, Marco Melendez has already been accepted into four graduate programs. He has chosen to pursue his master's in music performance at the University of New Mexico next fall. He will be receiving a graduate assistantship as a member of the Abe Franck String Quartet starting Spring 2025. 

As a music student at Jacksonville University, Marco performed in a masterclass with Nick Photinos as well as with Darol Anger in an American String Teachers Association Eclectic Styles masterclass. He also won the JU Orchestra Concerto Competition and performed Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro as principal of the JU Orchestra. He also attended the Ascent music festival at the University of Cincinnati and Luzerne Music Center.

Marco shared high praise for his collegiate experience as a Dolphin. “The culture of JU is like a family to me. Sure, there are gonna be ups and downs, but the downs never stopped us from uplifting each other and celebrating our victories together, which is all that I could ask from my family.”


A marketing major at Davis College of Business & Technology and prestigious Zimmerman Scholar, Bailey Walker’s post-grad plans include taking the helm of her family’s business, Tuscan Rose Vineyards in Callahan, Fl.

As if being a full-time student and helping her family’s estate isn’t impressive enough, Bailey is managing to graduate in just three years. She has worked closely with Zimmerman Scholar Program Director Jennifer Reid, who has helped her learn how to balance being a businesswoman with the demands of a collegiate career. 

Reid expressed high praise and optimism for the Davis College of Business & Technology student’s future. "Bailey has been a pleasure to know and to teach,” stated Reid. “She knows how to deal with people, and she knows how to run a business. I see nothing but success in her future." 


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