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One Of The Youngest Students To Graduate From UF Saturday

Ed Hunter (352) 392-1773 x 278

GAINESVILLE — One of the youngest students ever to graduate from the University of Florida will join 1,301 other students during commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on campus.

Adam Sewell, 18, from Plano, Texas, will earn his bachelor of science degree in entomology from the UF’s College of Agriculture. He is one of 2,604 students eligible to receive a degree, according to the UF Office of the Registrar.

But Sewell isn’t your typical genius who completed high school in one year — he skipped it completely, withdrawing from public school in Texas after completing middle school.

“I wanted to get the show on the road,” Sewell said. “I always heard that college is best years of your life and I wanted to experience that quickly.”

After withdrawing from school, Sewell took the Texas Assessment for Special Programs test, which he said was equivalent to Florida’s College Level Academic Skills Test. That earned him admission to Colin County Community College. After graduating from community college he enrolled in the University of North Texas before transferring to UF.

He said starting college at 14 was not a problem. “It was pretty fun, my classmates were really nice to me. They treated me like a novelty,” he said.

Sewell plans to apply to medical school and will take the Medical College Admission Test on Aug. 21.

As it does each semester, the UF Alumni Association will honor several graduates for their outstanding scholarship and service to the university.

Shannon Marie Colavecchio, a journalism major from Boynton Beach, and Tracy Lai Man Wong, a double major in finance and management from Jupiter, are the outstanding female leaders. The outstanding male leader is William Galaviz Santiago, a food science and human nutrition major from Miami.

The summer four-year scholars are Sarah Marie Bailer, a management major from Clearwater; Julie Annette Kelley, a mathematics major from Bradenton; Sabrina Eloisa Lopez, an elementary education major from Fort Lauderdale; Jessica Morgan Roberts, a plant science major from Ft. McCoy; and Melissa Segarra, an English major from Hollywood. The two-year scholar is Laurie Amanda Dennison, an English major from Marianna.

The university will present its distinguished alumni award to Charles P. “Chuck” Steinmetz and Jerry Chicone Jr.

Steinmetz, who earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from UF in 1961, is a leader in the pest control industry and developed the once-a-year customer service program for Sears Termite and Pest Control. He retired from that company in 1998. Chicone, who graduated in 1956 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration, will be honored for his success as businessman and his long-standing commitment to the university. Chicone is managing director of Chicone Grove Properties.