February 21, 2022

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Kasmira Smith, Student Intern

VSU’s Vanessa Okojie Earns USG Academic Recognition Day Award

VALDOSTA — Vanessa Okojie of McDonough, Georgia, is the recipient of the 2022 University System of Georgia Academic Recognition Day Award at Valdosta State University.

“I was so excited and honored to be recognized,” she said. “It feels good to know that all of the hard work that I’ve put in here at VSU has been seen.”

The University System of Georgia Academic Recognition Day Award is presented to a student who has a perfect 4.0 grade point average, represents the USG’s and VSU’s best qualities, strives for excellence, and has the ability to share knowledge in various areas of expertise.

Okojie will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science during VSU’s 233rd Commencement Ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, at the Front Lawn.

After graduation, Okojie plans to spend a year working in the legal department of a financial startup to gain experience before going to law school. She solidified her career goals after completing an internship with the law office of John D. Holt PC.

Okojie serves as president of VSU’s Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team. She was nationally ranked as fourth best debater by the Junior Varsity International Public Debate Association from 2020 to 2021. She served as vice president and is currently president of the Alpha Beta Mu chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha: The National Honor Society for Political Science. She was recently appointed director of academic affairs with the Student Government Association and selected to serve on the University Council Plus.

Okojie has presented research at VSU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Georgia Political Science Association’s annual conference. She plans to present more research at the 79th annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois, in April. Her research focuses on various topics, from presidential gains of power to electoral success to education disparities.

Okojie’s commitment to academic, leadership, and research excellence resulted in her earning repeated Dean’s List honors, the Georgia Power Recruiting and Retention Scholarship, the Regents’ President’s Choice Scholarship, and the Debate Team Scholarship. She was a finalist for the Department of Political Science David W. Winder Best Paper Award.

On the Web: