April 28, 2021

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Honors Stephanine Larkin With Alpha Lambda Delta Maria Leonard Book Award


VALDOSTA — Stephanine Elizabeth Larkin of Livingston, Alabama, is the recipient of the 2021 Alpha Lambda Delta Maria Leonard Book Award at Valdosta State University.

“I am honored and grateful to God to receive this award at the culmination of four years spent working toward my academic goals,” she said.

The Alpha Lambda Delta Maria Leonard Book Award is named for the late Maria Leonard, who founded Alpha Lambda Delta: The Honor Society for First-Year Success at the University of Illinois in 1924. This award is presented annually to an active member with the highest cumulative grade point average in their graduating class.  

Larkin will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education: Deaf and Hard of Hearing during VSU’s 231st Commencement at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 7, at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.

“I want to use my degree to serve the Deaf community and teach others, especially my own future children,” she said. “To this end, I plan to get a part-time job within the educational field, potentially teaching or tutoring in writing, English, art, or American Sign Language. I am also going to write and pursue publication, an endeavor I began to take more seriously after being published in the VSU Odradek Literary Journal three times while in college.”

As a student at VSU, Larkin was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta: The Honor Society for First-Year Success. She was also an active member of Baptist Collegiate Ministries for a couple of years before turning her attention to off-campus groups and Perimeter Road Baptist Church, where she worked in the food bank, mentored teenagers, cared for children, and planned events and activities for college students.

Taking full advantage of research and experiential learning opportunities offered by faculty at VSU, Larkin presented “Forms and Fauns: The Corollaries Between C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and Plato’s Republic” at the university’s 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium and “The Lion’s Light: A Study of Themes from Plato’s Republic in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia” at the 2019 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Larkin’s commitment to academic, research, and service excellence resulted in her earning repeated spots on the Dean’s List as well as the Barbara Pearlman Sosnik Scholarship, the Griffin LLC Scholarship, the Mary Virginia Terry Scholarship, and the Jerry and Kay Jennett Scholars Endowment Scholarship.

Larkin’s supportive family includes fiancé Elijah Robbins, mom Cindy Larkin, dad Butch Larkin, and sister Melissa Larkin. She looks forward to celebrating love and life when she gets married in June.

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