May 10, 2010
10-090

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Honors Students for Academic Excellence

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University honored its best and brightest at the annual Academic Honors and Awards Dinner Thursday, May 6, in the University Center's Cypress Room.

Nursing major Rebecca Herman claimed VSU's most prestigious academic honor, the Annie Powe Hopper Award. Named for the institution's first dean of women, each year's winner embodies the university's values of character and community service and has attained the highest levels of individual academic success.

Graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, Herman will leave behind a legacy of excellence, evidenced by her active participation on campus and in the local community. After graduation, the Minnesota native plans work on the surgical floor at South Georgia Medical Center, while also pursuing her doctorate in nursing as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

The former U.S. Air Force medic said she's always wanted to be a nurse because it required critical thinking and problem solving, while allowing her to connect with, support and influence her patients. The challenges, she added, only force her to stay active and drive her to always improve her education and skills.

"Nursing is a means of touching people's lives in the subtlest way: by being there when people need you the most," Herman said. "It requires patience, kindness and the courage to face situations that challenge your intellect."

Herman's leadership among students in the nursing program, dedication to her education, and community involvement also earned her the Outstanding Nursing Student Award.

Anthropology major Natasha Fast and psychology major Tim Malone were honored with the 2010 Marga and Mac awards, which are presented annually to a female and male student who have demonstrated academic superiority and influential participation in at least three campus organizations.

Fast's most inspiring accomplishments involve her leadership of Students Against Violating the Environment (S.A.V.E.), which advocates for responsible use of the earth's resources and educates the VSU community about environmental issues. A native of Wiesbaden, Germany, she co-coordinated efforts to institutionalize the university recycling program and co-authored a proposal for the SACS Quality Enhancement Program Grant to initialize community-based energy efficiency programs in Valdosta.

Malone was actively involved in multiple honor societies, including Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Chi and Golden Key. Off campus, the Alpharetta native volunteered frequently with Habitat for Humanity and Second Harvest Food Bank. His dedication to academic success is clear; he earned dean's list designation seven times and was chosen as the Outstanding Student in VSU's Bachelor of Science in Psychology program.

Many other students were honored for their achievements at Thursday's award dinner. See below for a list of the university's top academic award winners.

College of the Arts
Outstanding College off the Arts Award
Kimberly Tucker

College of Arts and Sciences
University Honors Program's Bartram Award for Intellectual Exploration
Timothy Hilgert, Matthew Schmidt and Meagan Wood

Outstanding Student in the Arts and Sciences
Jay Prosser

Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration
Wall Street Journal Achievement Award
Thomas Paul Amiot

Dewar College of Education
COE Highest Academic Achievement Award
Jonathan Koenigsfeld

College of Nursing
Outstanding Senior Nursing Student Award
Rebecca Herman

Academic Affairs
Master of Library and Information Science �" George Gaumond Award
Kathryn Justice Leache

Aerospace Studies
Most Outstanding AS300 Cadet
Cadet Dustin K. Vicent

Athletics
Male Student Academic Athlete of the Year
Jonathan Koenigsfeld

Female Student Academic Athlete of the Year
Jessica Brown

University Wide Awards
University System of Georgia Academic Recognition Day Award
Ashley Hartt

Alpha Lambda Delta Marie Leonard Book Award
Thomas Paul Amiot

Clare Philips Martin Scholarship
Matthew Schmidt

American Association of University Woman Award
Ngoc-lan Vu

Marga Award
Natasha Nicole Fast

Mac Award
Tim Malone

Annie Powe Hopper Award
Rebecca Herman