March 8, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Katie Tatro Recognized at Georgia Collegiate Honors Council Conference

VALDOSTA — Kathleen “Katie” L. Tatro’s “High Premiums, Low Benefits: A Look at Health Insurance as a Consumer Product” won second place for Best Paper in the Social Sciences at the 2016 Georgia Collegiate Honors Council Conference.

“In today’s market economy, Americans have come to view health insurance as a consumer product like any other product they could buy off the shelf,” shared the 22-year-old daughter of Jeff and Judy Tatro of Canton. “Insurance companies take advantage of that, and this has led to extremely high premiums. In my paper, I suggest the reform of health insurance policies and make suggestions for the reform based on models from around the world. Health care reform should focus on strategies like public programs, preventative medicine, and incentive programs.”

Tatro expects to graduate from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Science in biology, with a minor in chemistry, in the summer. Her future plans include pursuing either a Master of Physician Assistant Studies or a Master of Public Health and someday possibly attending medical school.

“I have always been fascinated by how the body works, how all of the pieces come together to create one cohesive unit,” she said. “For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to work in the health care industry.” 

Dr. Christine A James, a professor in VSU’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, supervised Tatro’s award-winning research.

Tatro is secretary of the Honors Student Association and a member of the Blazin’ Brigade at VSU. She was named co-captain of the marching band’s color guard in the fall of 2015.  Since arriving on campus nearly four years ago, she has earned the John and Gertrude Odum Scholarship, the Alumni Chapter of Atlanta Scholarship, and the Walter R. and Dorothy S. Salter Scholarship. She was a finalist for the Mimi A. R. Koehl and Stephen A. Wainright Award for Best Student Talk in Biomechanics at The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore., in January. She enjoys volunteering her time at the Lowndes County Animal Shelter.

Each year, the Georgia Collegiate Honors Council invites students to submit proposals that represent excellent undergraduate work. This year’s conference, which was hosted by Augusta University, was built around an "I Chose Honors” theme, and students were asked to share academic or creative work that showed honors students and faculty from across the state “why you have challenged yourself to explore your academic passions," according to conference organizers.

Valdosta State University had a total of four Honors College students selected to present at the Georgia Collegiate Honors Council Conference. Hunter D. Pope of Remerton presented “How to Use the Bathroom Appropriately.” Morgan L. Blough of Cairo presented “Representations of Rape and Seduction in Rowson’s Charlotte Temple.” Caitlin J. Mozzo of Adel presented “Troy Maxson: A Fallible Man in the Eyes of the Audience Alone.”

The Georgia Collegiate Honors Council is committed to the promotion and advancement of honors education in institutions of higher learning in the state.

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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 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

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