Nursing Grad to Receive King O’Neal Scholar Award
USF College of Nursing student Olivia Taylor will be honored at the August 4 university-wide commencement ceremonies with the King O’Neal Scholar award — a coveted recognition given to undergraduate students graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
The award, presented by the USF Alumni Association, was created in honor of charter USF graduates Lucas King and Evelyn O’Neal.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve just been really thankful for having the best professors and the best clinical instructors at USF. I’ve loved it. It’s been challenging, but it’s been worth it,” she said.
Taylor, who serves as vice president of the college’s Nursing Students Association, said she didn’t learn about the award until the beginning of her last semester of coursework. By then, her remaining coursework were clinicals and a leadership course, so she was hopeful her high academic scores would continue.
Each King O’Neal scholar receives a certificate recognizing their accomplishment and a medallion featuring the university seal. At the College of Nursing’s pinning ceremony on August 2, Taylor received more academic honors, including the Upper Division Academic Excellence Award and the Clinical Excellence Award.
Taylor transferred to USF in August 2016 after taking her pre-nursing classes at Seminole State College of Florida in Sanford, FL. She maintained a 4.0 GPA at Seminole State and continued with her academic excellence after she enrolled at USF.
She said she thought it would be nice to continue with the perfect grades, but that was never the overall goal.
“Basically, just every semester, I was going to put in my best effort and see how it turns out,” Taylor said.
After graduation, Taylor hopes to find a job as a critical care nurse, ideally working in an ICU at a local hospital.
Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing