Holton named College of Education and Human Services top graduate

VALDOSTA — Anna Joy Holton of Valdosta, Georgia, is the recipient of the Fall 2018 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in each of VSU’s six colleges - Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.

VSU will celebrate its 226th commencement on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8.

Holton will serve as the official banner carrier for the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, on the VSU Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education in middle grades education, emphasis in mathematics and social studies, and an Honors College Certificate.

“I am humbled and honored to represent the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services and lead my fellow graduates into the commencement ceremony,” she said. “I did not make it this far on my own. First, I would like to thank my Lord and Savior for giving me the strength and wisdom to complete my degree. Second, I would like to thank my parents and family for loving, supporting, and encouraging me to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. To my middle grades education classmates, I will forever be thankful for the friendships cultivated with each one of you and for the memories made. I cannot wait to see all that you all accomplish in the future. Finally, I would like to thank my professors, supervisors, and mentor teacher. Each one of you has played a unique role in my college education, guiding, teaching, and encouraging me on my way. I will always be grateful for the time you devoted and invested in my life.”

As a student at VSU, Holton was a Zell Miller Scholar and a member of Alpha Chi: National College Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi: International Honor Society in Education, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Chi, and Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success. She was also a member of the Dean’s List during her time at VSU and a recipient of the Colquitt Electric Membership Corporation Scholarship.

Holton had an article titled “Learning from High-Performing Middle Schools in High-Poverty Areas” published in the Reflections, an official publication of the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She co-authored this piece with Dr. Greg Harrell, a professor in VSU’s Department of Mathematics.

Holton serves middle school girls as a Sunday School teacher and youth leader at Morningside Baptist Church of Valdosta. She also helps with Vacation Bible School every summer. For the past three years, she has volunteered at the Colton Shaw Foundation Skeet Shoot, which raises funds for scholarships.

Holton plans to continue her education after graduation by pursuing a master’s degree in the areas of curriculum and instruction. She plans to work as a long-term substitute in mathematics at a local elementary school during this time and then pursue a full-time position teaching either mathematics or social studies at the middle school level. She is the daughter of Ward and Julie Holton.

 

Savolainen named VSU College of Business Administration top grad

VALDOSTA —  Suvi Alice Savolainen of Espoo, Finland, is the recipient of the Fall 2018 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in each of VSU’s six colleges - Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.

VSU will celebrate its 226th commencement on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8.

Savolainen will serve as the official banner carrier for the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, on the VSU Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics.

“I am honored that I had the opportunity to study at Valdosta State University and learn from my professors and fellow classmates,” she said. “When I started my college career, I never thought I would be receiving any kind of honors. I truly appreciate this honor; it proves to me that hard work pays off. I am excited about the opportunity to represent the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration and lead my fellow graduates to the commencement area.”

As a student at VSU, Savolainen played midfield for the Women’s Soccer Team. She served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma: The International Business Honor Society and the Society for International Students.

Savolainen’s commitment to academic and athletic excellence resulted in her earning 2018 Google Cloud Division II Women’s Soccer Academic All-Region honors, 2017 Gulf South Conference All-Academic honors, and the 2017-2018 Student-Athlete Academic Award. She was also a member of the Dean’s List during her time at VSU.

Savolainen plans to return to Finland after graduation. She wants to earn a master’s degree and then start building her career. Her dream is to “have a job that I enjoy doing while achieving something that leaves a mark on those around me.” She is the daughter of Jaana Leivo and Timo Savolainen.

 

Welch named College of Nursing and Health Sciences top graduate

VALDOSTA — Tessa Ashlyn Welch of Homerville, Georgia, is the recipient of the Fall 2018 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in each of VSU’s six colleges - Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.

VSU will celebrate its 226th commencement on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8.

Welch will serve as the official banner carrier for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, on the VSU Front Lawn. She will graduate magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“There are no words to express what an honor it is to be receiving this prestigious recognition,” she said. “I have had the chance to get to know and care for each and every person in my nursing cohort. To be able to lead these people into the area where they will receive a degree indicating one of the greatest accomplishments of their life makes me ecstatic. Every person in my cohort has unique characteristics to offer growth in the nursing profession. I am honored to even know these students. I see nothing but present and future success when I look at them. It is with overwhelming joy that I hold the College of Nursing and Health Sciences banner high as I lead my fellow graduates into the commencement area.”

As a student at VSU, Welch was a member of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Student Affairs Committee, the Valdosta Association of Nursing Students, and Sigma, formerly known as Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She volunteered her time to support the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, Hungry at Home, Hospice of South Georgia, and Ronald McDonald House Charities. She helped the Lowndes County Health Department provide free HIV testing on campus, collaborated with other nursing and health sciences majors to host a health fair the community, conducted free blood pressure screenings at the South Georgia Pride Festival, and offered free health screenings at the Hahira Community Day.

Welch conducted research on the impact of the perioperative surgical checklist on morbidity and mortality rates in surgery, the mental health of the homeless, and effective communication and leadership.

Welch’s commitment to academic, service, and research excellence resulted in her earning the 2018 Valdosta State University Foundation Scholarship, the 2017 Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship, the 2015 Clinch Foundation Scholarship, and the 2015 Dr. Lewis F. and Audrey H. Chisholm Healthcare Scholarship. She was a Zell Miller Scholar and a regular on the Dean’s List. She earned a spot on the School of Nursing Dean’s List in 2018.

Welch plans to find a job in a hospital-based Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit and work for at least six months before pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing. “I will work towards an online degree part time while obtaining more nursing experience at the bedside. My long-term career goals are to have a family practice serving a rural community as a family nurse practitioner.” She is the daughter of Ray and Pam Welch.

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

Trending Video

Recommended for you