Jonathon Norcross Named Class of 2011 Valedictorian

April 27, 2011

Jonathon Norcross (Class of 2011)
Photo by Laura J. Cole

Most professors in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science know Jonathon Norcross (Class of 2011) as an ambitious student who pushes himself to learn as much as he can and who is always willing to tutor.

In his three years at Rollins, Norcross has accomplished more than anyone ever expected, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, which garnered him the position as this year’s valedictorian. Enrolling at Rollins with 36 credit hours already under his belt from dual-enrollment, Norcross completed his degree in mathematics and computer science with speed and accuracy.

“In the four classes that Jonathon has taken with me, he has had either the highest or second highest average in the class,” said Professor of Mathematics Jay Yellen. “He often stops by to talk about problems that are not even required. He clearly enjoys mastering the material for the intellectual challenge it offers.”

A self-starter, Norcross welcomes challenges both in and out of the classroom. After reading only a portion of Dave Mark and Jeff Lamarche’s Beginning iPhone Development, he took the lessons he learned on basic tools used to build an application and created a Rollins iPhone App as well as the FoxDayCam App for iPhone. Norcross also participates in the mathematics department’s “Problem of the Month” and is often the first student to turn in a correct solution.

“I’ve always been most impressed with Jonathon’s curiosity,” said Associate Professor of Computer Science Julie Carrington. “He rarely misses a Problem of the Month and he’s always willing to tutor his peers.”

Norcross enjoys tutoring because he wants to help his classmates, but also because he appreciates what it does for his own understanding of the subject matter.

“I have tutored every year that I have been here at Rollins and most of the time the students ask questions that I know the answers to after thinking about it for a bit,” said Norcross. “However, I have some students who have come in for help and asked me a question that I just could not figure out the answer to. When that occurs, I feel that I either wasn't prepared enough or I fell short in my duties of being a tutor; I eventually realized that my knowledge has limits, so getting the extra practice as a tutor has helped me develop my own skills as well.”

Apart from academics, Norcross is a member of the Rollins sailing team, plays chess, enjoys learning about artificial intelligence, and participates in Rollins’ GAME Club (Gaming and Multimedia Enthusiasts). He is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars as well as Phi Eta Sigma. Upon graduation, he plans to move straight into the computer programming industry and begin working.

Norcross never expected to be chosen as the class valedictorian, but he hopes to use this opportunity to encourage his peers to continue to seek knowledge after graduation.

“The message that I hope to deliver to my peers is that after we leave Rollins, we still have much to learn. We must continue to ask questions, but not just any question. We must find one that will make a difference in the world.”

By Sarah Hartman (Class of 2011)

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