June 17, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Destiny Wilkinson Wins Best Poster Award at VSU Symposium

Pictured, from left to right, are Dr. James LaPlant, assistant vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School; Destiny Wilkinson; and Dr. Brian Gerber, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

VALDOSTA — Destiny Wilkinson’s “Iris Murdoch: The Study of Good and Evil” won the Best Poster Award in the Arts and Humanities at the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted by Valdosta State University.

“I did research on the woman philosopher Iris Murdoch and her study of good and evil and as humans how we determine what is good and evil,” said the 20-year-old who is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and a minor in philosophy at VSU.

Wilkinson’s award-winning research was guided by Dr. Lavonna Lovern, a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

All freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors at VSU were invited to submit proposals for the 22nd annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Individual academic departments and colleges then selected the university’s best paper, poster, and video research presentations, as well as creative arts exhibits, to be featured throughout the four-day event and to compete for prizes.

“Each year I am incredibly impressed with the quality of our undergraduate student research, scholarship, and creative work,” said Dr. James LaPlant, assistant vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School. “The students are making original contributions to the body of knowledge of their disciplines. Many of the students are doing research that we often do not see until the graduate level.”

The Undergraduate Research Symposium reflects VSU’s commitment to increasing the opportunities available for undergraduate students to participate in research through specialized courses, engagement in internships and service learning, and other opportunities. This has many benefits, according to the university’s Council on Undergraduate Research, as students who engage in research activities are able to build relationships resulting in enhanced learning with their faculty mentors, are more likely to be retained, are more likely to pursue advanced degrees, have an increased knowledge base of research methodology, and are more likely to promote an innovation-oriented culture.

Wilkinson is a member of the VSU chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and American Muscle Fitness Club, where she serves as secretary. Her future plans include attending law school and becoming a criminal defense attorney. She is the daughter of Kimberly and Octavia Wilkinson of Savannah. 

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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.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.