May 9, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Alisha Burdett Honored by Dewar College of Education and Human Services at VSU

Pictured, from left to right, are Dr. Lynn Minor, dean of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services; Alisha Burdett; and Dr. Brian Gerber, interim provost and vice president for the Division of Academic Affairs.

VALDOSTA — Alisha Duncan Burdett of Adel is the recipient of Valdosta State University’s 2016 College of Education and Human Services Highest Academic Achievement Award.

“It was such a humbling experience to accept this outstanding award,” she said. “It is the only award I have ever received, and I am so grateful. I am thankful to the faculty and staff who chose me and for the support of my family and friends. I am thankful to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for this award. Without much prayer and perseverance, I would not be where I am today.”

Burdett’s scholastic achievements and service to both the university and her community were recognized during VSU’s annual Academic Honors and Awards Dinner, where she was honored by Dr. Lynn Minor, interim dean of the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services.

Before joining the Blazer Nation family, Burdett earned an Associate of Applied Science in digital media technology from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in May 2014. She then took some much-needed time off to focus on family, home, work, and herself.

Burdett entered VSU in Spring 2015, eager to take full advantage of a Pathways Program agreement between Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and VSU that would maximize the transfer of credits she had already earned and apply them toward a four-year degree. She credited her husband, Brian Burdett, a VSU alumnus who earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics in May 2013 and now teaches algebra at Tift County High School in Tifton, with giving her the courage to continue her education.

“It’s not an easy thing to take classes as a full-time student on top of working a full-time job, but it is worth it in the end,” said the Moody Air Force Base mail clerk.

Burdett anticipates graduating from VSU with a Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance in December. She then hopes to start her own business and work as a videographer and entrepreneur of film and technology.

“I enjoy working behind a video camera and capturing special moments and events of people all around my community,” she said.

In 2013 Burdett completed a digital media technology internship where she created highlight videos from summer camp programs in New Orleans, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; and West Palm Beach, Florida. She has helped New Life Baptist Church in Adel, where she is an active member, create and edit videos of Vacation Bible School, church services, youth events, announcements, and more and has also volunteered her services to capture video footage at Camp Crosspoint in Pelham. She is “super excited” to film her first wedding ceremony in July.    

Burdett, 24, is a regular on the Dean’s List and enjoys serving her community as a volunteer at such annual events as the Adelily Festival and Relay for Life. She is the daughter of Donnie and Jackie Duncan of Adel, the great-granddaughter of Opal Tillman of Coolidge, and the granddaughter of Tom and Sarah Tillman of Coolidge and Betty Duncan of Pavo.

“My granny said, ‘I am so proud of you, girl. You have made me so happy, and I am honored to be your granny. Anything that is honor related is something to be proud about.’”

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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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