VALDOSTA -- One Valdosta State University graduate knows the power of perseverance and determination.

A psychology major, Jamie Rebecca Daniels, 21, received a bachelor of science degree during a Saturday morning commencement ceremony. It was a goal this fall semester graduate accomplished in just a little more than three years.

"I went to school during the summer and took extra courses during the regular year," she said. "For me, college was an educational experience, not an opportunity to party. I went to Valdosta State University strictly to pursue my education and secure my future."

The self-described driven student said it was her ability to remain focused on the end result and motivated throughout that led to the accomplishment. And she did it all with style and utter perfectionism.

A summa cum laude honor graduate, Daniels maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average during her undergraduate studies of the science of mental life. She said she never expected anything different from herself.

"I really enjoyed the psychology program," she said. "It was a lot of hard work, but everyone, all of my professors, were great."

Throughout her academic career at Valdosta State University, Daniels worked 40 hours a week and met the man of her dreams, Jonathan Daniels, whom she married on Aug. 9, 2003. She said making everything fit took some effort but was worth every sacrifice.

"I am really exited about graduating and beginning a new phase of my life," she said. "I cannot wait to start a career and turn my focus towards building my family. I am really looking forward to taking advantage of every opportunity my college experience and this degree will afford me."

Saturday, Daniels led her fellow graduates from Valdosta State University's College of Education during the processional. This was her now-alma mater's way of marking her as a top graduate, the best of the best.

Eventually, Daniels plans to continue her education, earning a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology.

While a student at Valdosta State University, Daniels was named outstanding psychology student for 2003-04 and was inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, running, bike riding, sewing, playing with her dog, and spending time with family and friends. She is a member of Crossroads Baptist Church.

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