May 2, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Mara Charles Honored with American Association of University Women Award

Pictured, from left to right, is Mara Charles, a senior communication disorders major from Savannah, and Dr. Brian Gerber, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

VALDOSTA – Mara Charles is a recipient of Valdosta State University’s 2016 American Association of University Women Award.

“I feel honored to have been selected for the American Association of University Women Award,” said the daughter of Boisy and Marcella R. Charles of Savannah. “It is wonderful to be recognized for my academic and extracurricular endeavors during my college experience at Valdosta State University.”

The American Association of University Women Award is presented to a graduating female student with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.5 who has demonstrated talents for intellectual growth and leadership through her involvement in clubs, organizations, projects, and/or work experience throughout their time at VSU.

As a student at VSU, Charles was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society, the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association, the National Residence Hall Honorary, and Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success. She was also a member of the Honors Student Association and the Residence Hall Association, team captain and a team leader for Relay for Life, and served as a volunteer for various student organizations and events on campus, including the Rivers Alive Community Cleanup, the Society for International Students annual international dinner, and the residence hall move-in days.

A regular on the Dean’s List, she received numerous honors and awards, including the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention’s Undergraduate Student Research Poster Award, the Dorothy Dewar Service Scholarship, the Best Poster Award at the 2015 VSU Undergraduate Research Symposium, the VSU Honors College’s Literary Guild Book Award and Hugh C. Bailey Family Scholarship, the VSU National Residence Hall Honorary Outstanding Leadership and Service Award, the Collegiate Women of VSU’s Girls Rock Award for Most Philanthropic, and the Spring 2016 President’s Award for Academic Excellence.

Charles is scheduled to receive a Bachelor of Science in Education in communication disorders at VSU’s 221st commencement ceremony at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.

Charles plans to attend graduate school in the fall. She hopes to work as a speech-language pathologist and looks forward to exploring the many aspects of the field.

On the Web:

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.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit to learn more.