March 10, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Middle School Students Attend Sister-to-Sister Summit at VSU

Valdosta State University welcomed approximately 108 South Georgia middle school girls to campus for the 18th annual Sister-to-Sister summit March 5.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jennifer Dandron, a Valdosta State University alumna and reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University welcomed approximately 108 South Georgia middle school girls to campus for the 18th annual Sister-to-Sister summit March 5.

Hosted by the Valdosta branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the goal of the summit was to bring attention to the issues that influence the lives of middle school girls.

AAUW is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization consists of more than 170,000 members and supporters, as well as 1,000 local branches and over 800 collegiate partners across the United States. Through its AAUW Educational Foundation, the organization funds pioneering research on the educational experiences of girls and women and provides fellowships and grants to women scholars, public school teachers, and community activists helping to improve the lives of women and girls around the globe.

The theme for the Sister-to-Sister summit was “Unique.” The keynote speakers were Diana Acero, a member of the AAUW, and Debbie Bailey Helwig, the daughter of the late Dr. Hugh C. Bailey, former president of VSU.

“The speakers wanted to make sure the girls knew that no matter who they are or where they come from, we are all unique, and unique is not a bad thing,” said Selenseia Holmes, corresponding secretary for the Valdosta branch of the AAUW and coordinator of Multicultural Affairs in the VSU Office of Social Equity. “Being unique keeps us from being ordinary.”

The students represented both private and public middle schools in South Georgia, including Brooks, Lowndes, Valdosta, and Echols counties.

The day’s events included a question-and-answer discussion on the topics of social issues, health and well-being, and cyber safety; the exploration of the subjects of science and math; a visit to the VSU Planetarium; and the opportunity to attend an international panel discussion.

Holmes said more than 20 graduate students from the Department of Social Work, the Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences, and the student chapter of the AAUW at Valdosta State University volunteered for the event.

Contact Selenseia Holmes at (229) 333-5463 or or Dr. Beatriz Potter, president of the Valdosta branch of the AAUW and instructional technology and lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, at (229) 333-5948 or for more information.

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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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