August 24, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Honors College Kicks Off Record-Breaking Year

VALDOSTA — The Honors College continues a tradition of attracting the best students to Valdosta State University as it welcomes nearly 140 new, academically motivated students to campus this fall.

“The students are the most important part of the Honors College,” said Dr. Mike P. Savoie, interim dean of the Honors College and professor of mass media. “If we can connect great students to great faculty, that’s a recipe for success.”

The Honors College rolled out the welcome mat for the first-year students, hosting its annual Honors Colloquium on Aug. 14. The hour-long seminar focused on the foundational objectives of being an honors student at VSU and served to build the honors community. Speakers included four active, returning honors students who have demonstrated leadership and success on campus, in the community, and abroad.

Erika Schumacher, a recipient of the William Bartram Award for Intellectual Exploration, discussed scholarship and research. Hunter Pope, a recipient of the Hugh C. Bailey Family Scholarship, explained service learning. Connor Wyatt, a recipient of the Hugh C. Bailey Family Scholarship, reviewed global experiences. Jennifer Dandron, president of the Honors Student Association, shared her thoughts on leadership.      

“The Honors Colloquium serves to inform our incoming students about some of the successes and opportunities available to them as they begin their honors path,” Savoie said. “The students we selected to present are some of the best students and have done exemplary work in the Honors College.”

The 2015-2016 academic year is a record-breaking one for the Honors College, with a total enrollment of more than 450 honors students who will make a visible and positive impact on and enrich the diversity of the entire university community. That is the highest number Savoie has seen since he was appointed interim dean in 2012.

“It’s a record year,” he said.   

The Honors College offers interdisciplinary seminars, a special track of core curriculum courses, honors sections in various majors, and opportunities for independent research that lead to a Certificate in University Honors. The college curriculum is designed to provide for the stimulation and challenge of academically motivated students so that they achieve their full academic potential.

The Honors College encourages connections between disciplines, interdisciplinary programs, innovative and unusual approaches to subject matter, strong undergraduate research and/or creative focus, a reliance upon experiential learning, and a global perspective that are fully integrated into the course content. The courses and seminars are designed to give all students in the college a shared intellectual experience in order to develop a community of learners and to encourage a spirit of collegiality in the pursuit of knowledge, a spirit that is essential for intellectual growth and personal fulfillment.

“The Honors College is a wonderful incubator of ideas and service activities and keeps me engaged and active,” said Savoie, who went on to explain that he never thought he would love something as much as, if not more than, his former professional media life. “I get to work with some awesome students who bring the best ideas to the table. They truly define the success of the program. I’m always excited to begin the new year.”

Contact Dr. Mike P. Savoie at (229) 249-4894 or to learn more.  

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

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