Honors Recognition Ceremony- April 25, 2009
More than 50 Honors students, parents, family members and friends gathered along with Honors faculty and VSU administrators to show their appreciation for the top achievements of members of the VSU Honors Program this academic year. The event was hosted by Dr. Ofélia Nikolova, Director of the University Honors Program.
Among the distinguished guests were President Emeritus Hugh C.Bailey and Mrs. Bailey, VSUs Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost Louis Levy, and the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Connie Richards. President Patrcik Schloss stopped by on his way from the “Take Back the Night” event and en route for another celebration during this most festive season for our campus.
Dr. Levy addressed the audience congratulating the Honors students on their achievements and expressing appreciation for the inspiring work of Honors faculty. He introduced Dr. Hugh C. Bailey, President of VSU from 1978-1991. Dr. Levy highlighted the distinguished career of President Bailey and his extraordinary contribution to the transformation of Valdosta State College into Valdosta State University and to the subsequent growth of the University. Dr. Bailey talked about his unforgettable time at VSU and handed the Bailey Family scholarship awards to the four recipients: Craig Black, Brandi Foster, Chris Nish, and Matthew Schmidt.
Dr. Schloss urged the students to follow the “Bailey way” leaving a legacy for future generations. He stressed the highly symbolic and inspiring value of the scholarships awarded.
Twenty-six students were recognized for completing the requirements for the Honors Program and 24 collected the gold cords, which will be adorning them at the Graduation ceremony in a few days. Dr. Nikolova pointed out the pivotal role of the Honors certificate and expressed her hope that the students earning it will consider it a beginning, not an end in their academic career. She wished all of the graduating seniors success in their further endeavors and invited them to keep in touch with their Alma Mater and their Program.
This year the VSU Honors Program hosted the Georgia Collegiate Honors Council conference, a state-wide event that proved the vitality of our program and its role of esteemed partner in Honors education in the state of Georgia. More than 120 Honors students from 11 programs in Georgia attended the conference, according to Dr. Nikolova, current President of the GCHC. Twenty-six VSU Honors students presented 10 papers and 7 posters at the forum. Many of them also worked tirelessly to organize and advertize the event. A dozen of Honors students who did not present at the conference helped presenters and staff of the Honors Program to ensure the smooth sailing of the meeting. Drs. Hill, Bogyo and Johnson organized panel presentations and served as moderators at the event. Presenters and moderators received certificates and coordinators and helpers were invited on stage. The GCHC was truly a collective endeavor!
A few weeks ago the Council on Undergraduate Research held its symposium. Twenty Honors students who presented their research ( 2 papers and 8 posters) at this forum were applauded at the Recognition ceremony.
This year’s election of Exemplary Honors Faculty of the Year brought in a record number of nominations, eight. The Honors students in Valdosta State showed their deep appreciation for the challenging, inspiring, and dedicated faculty who make the difference in their lives. The nominees – Dennis Bogyo, David Buehrer, Jim Hill, Donna Sewell, Michael Stoltzfuss, Cheri Tillman, Jeffrey Vasseur – all received a certificate and the winner - Michael Davey – a certificate and a gift card for Books-A-Million.
Dr. Nikolova praised the dedication of Mrs. Jane Robinson, Senior Secretary of the Honors Program, thanked her on behalf of all students and faculty for her gracious way of juggling her many obligations at the Honors House and for going beyond and above of the call of duty, and presented her with a modest token of appreciation.
Tobi Lovelace, Graduate Assistant, Lani Hollingsworth, Work Study, Ashlie Braswell, Student Assistant, and Yvonne Garcia, Work Study received applause from the audience and small gifts for their hard work for Honors.
On behalf of the Honors Program, Dr. Nikolova expressed her gratitude for the outstanding work of Mr. Jay Prosser, outgoing President of the Honors Student Association and presented him with two books on France, the country where Jay is headed this coming fall for a whole academic year of Study Abroad.
Jay, in turn, handed Mrs. Robinson and Dr. Nikolova a “serenity basket” each and thanked them for their patience and good humor in dealing with all things Honors. He then invited on stage the outgoing HSA officers for recognition. Finally, Matthew Schmidt, the newly elected President of HSA introduced the new officers to the audience.
The recognition ceremony ended on a high note with refreshments served in the lobby of the UC. Old friends were greeted and new made and all departed in a good mood ready to tackle the last batch of papers, projects, and exams for the semester.
We will see you all again in the fall!