Initial Misgivings

There is no meaning to life, but Puzzlehunt 101 is all the rage! They're getting ready for their annual project, and the groups have been set, but something is missing. For inspiration, take a look at the top students from last year.

Section 001
TA: Lauren Keyes

Mr. Brandenburg
Charles Donaldson

Thomas Cartwell
Timothy Biggins

Nicholas Ives
Ms. Nelson

Austin Garande
Simone Roquefort

Samantha Griggs
Simonella Ingles

Gerry Dinkley
George Evans

Indiana Norwood
Ivan Ranchero

Georgina Austin
Amelia Underwood

Alexander Monty
Aaron Ricardo

Rachael Bartles
Richard Foresman

Sarah Epps
Alexis Graham

Section 002
TA: Louis Syphor

Micheal Donwaldo
Melissa Osterander

Samuel Corand
Summer Emaney

Abonie Swanson
Barry Adams

Regina Euler
Ron Gregorio

Ms. Keples
Pamela Mesterhuis

Frederick Rancor
Gabriella Apane

Mr. Fetlonde
Gerome Dickens

Kristofer Rydell
Lawrence Riddle

Raphael Agarsson
Renaldo Edwards

Carrie Dens
Chris Azely

Tommy Henson
Sherry Newmann

THE TOP

Lumans, Williams, Ionnaes, Urugalla, Georges,
Paterson, Simmons, Kerchel, Hans, Neola,
Ferdinovich, Thomasdottr, Chandle, Arkse, Diones,
Bruguel, Quansta, Young, Merdels, Raimey,
Johnson, Venusa, Zhersa, Orlando, Eritts

Hints

"No meaning of life" should help point to the cipher; it has nothing to do with 42.

The initials of all of these people have something in common.