April 6, 2007

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations

Student Leadership Awards

VALDOSTA - Elizabeth Jones, Jonathan Hughes Stroble and Seth Gunning were honored as Valdosta State University’s female and male Senior Students of the Year at the Student Leadership Awards banquet held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 4 in the University Center’s Cypress Room.

This award recognizes students who have shown exemplary leadership throughout their time at VSU, demonstrating involvement in the community, student organizations and activities within their academic discipline, while maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.5. Each recipient received a certificate of achievement as well as a $100 check from the Valdosta State University Alumni Association. This year’s exceptional group of nominees produced a tie in the male category for the first time ever.

Jones is involved in a variety of campus organizations including Phi Mu sorority, National Honor Society, Golden Key International, Sigma Alpha Chi and intramural sports. She was instrumental in starting the first honor society for biology majors, Tri-Beta, during her freshman year and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Youth Challenger League at the YMCA and her church’s fundraising and relief efforts. As president of Alpha Epsilon Delta, she has increased recruitment of new pre-med majors and also created a “shadow network” for associate AED members, which provides a very necessary and organized link between members and local physicians. She holds a 3.95 GPA and displays many leadership skills inside and outside the classroom, according to VSU professor, Dr. Brian C. Ring.

An active leader, Stroble holds key roles in the Inter Fraternity Council, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Student Government Association and student orientation efforts. While maintaining a 3.0, he also has been a member of the Union Steering Committee since its inception, involved with the student activity fee allocation process for three years and active within the Public Relations Student Society of America. His fraternity advisor, Timothy Reisenwitz, considers him to be always concerned with brotherhood, solidarity and morale. His administration was successful in securing a new fraternity house, increasing the number of brotherhood retreats and increasing the amount of community service activities.

Gunning is described by many as extraordinary, highly intelligent, dedicated and persistent. He is involved in several on-campus organizations including the campus NAACP, Gay-Straight Alliance, UNICEF, SGA and College Democrats. He is also involved in off-campus groups like the Energy Action Coalition, Habitat for Humanity, Georgia Students for Sustainability, Keep Lowndes and Valdosta Beautiful and Amnesty International. Dr. Matthew Richard considers him a committed humanist, the most impressive he has ever encountered in the student body. Gunning was among those who revitalized Students Against Violating the Environment and has almost single-handedly transformed it into a vital force on campus.

Other awards presented included:

Student Organization Awards
Contribution to Members: Golden Key
Contribution to Campus: Black Student League
Contribution to Community: Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
Outstanding Organization of the Year: Kappa Delta

Spectator Awards
Karah-Leigh Hancock, Most Valuable Staff Member
David Hudson, Most Improved Staff Member
Matt Smith, Best New Reporter

Blazer Leadership Awards
Monique Byrd
Sean McClune
Larry Harris

Information Technology Awards
Richard MacLaughlin, Philosophy (Junior), area: Novell Netware workgroup servers
Jason Read, Applied Science in Technical Studies (Senior), area: Service Center
Justin Weinmann, Criminal Justice (Senior), area: Systems
Bradley Cupp, Early Childhood Education (Junior), area: COE Service Center

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