April 11, 2022
22-59

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Kevin Eppes Named Top College of Science and Mathematics Graduate at VSU

Kevin John Eppes Jr. of Valdosta, Georgia, is the recipient of the Spring 2022 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of Science and Mathematics at Valdosta State University. He will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry during VSU’s 233rd Commencement at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, on the Front Lawn.

VALDOSTA — Kevin John Eppes Jr. of Valdosta, Georgia, is the recipient of the Spring 2022 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of Science and Mathematics at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to a high-performing graduating student in each of VSU’s six colleges — Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.

Eppes will be recognized during VSU’s 233rd Commencement at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, on the Front Lawn. He will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry.

“It is an honor to be recognized as a top scholar and recipient of the President’s Award for Academic Excellence in the College of Science and Mathematics,” he shared. “Receiving this award for my efforts will serve as an incentive and motivator to continue striving for academic excellence as I leave VSU and pursue a degree at the Dental College of Georgia in Augusta.

“VSU has become more than a school; it has become my second home. I have built relationships with my professors, and my achievements correlate to the exceptional instructors and professors that have guided and encouraged me over the past four years. I want to acknowledge all the dedicated educators in the College of Science and Mathematics for giving their best to engage my interest and enrich my life as a student. As I depart, I will carry many fond memories in my heart of my classmates and friends I made along the way.

“I want to give all glory to God. Without His unconditional love and mercy on my soul, I would not be where I am today. Through God, all things are possible.”

As a student at VSU, Eppes served as Pre-Dental Club president, Student Government Association parliamentarian, and Blazer Beginnings Orientation leader. He was an active member of Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta): National Biological Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success. He volunteered to serve low-income residents through the South Georgia Partnership for Health Dental Clinic and the homeless through Lowndes Associated Ministries to People (LAMP) Inc., and he completed an internship with Georgia Department of Public Health, where he helped host dental fairs at elementary schools and educate students about proper dental hygiene.

Eppes conducted research titled “Exploring Deep Eutectic Solvents as Green Solvents for Biocatalyst-Mediated Organic Transformations” under the direction of Dr. Gopeekrishnan Sreenilayam, an assistant professor in VSU’s Department of Chemistry. He shared this work through VSU’s Blazer Summer Research Institute, the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference, and the Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Continuing his collaboration with Sreenilayam, Eppes also conducted research titled “Developing Protein-Polymer Nano Constructs as Reusable Biocatalysts,” which he presented at the annual meeting of the Georgia Academy of Science and VSU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium.        

Eppes’s commitment to academic, research, service, and leadership excellence resulted in him being named a Georgia HOPE Scholar and earning repeated Dean’s List honors, the 2022 Biology Senior Award, the 2022 Outstanding Student in Science and Mathematics Award, and the Hinman Dental Society of Atlanta Scholarship.

Eppes will attend the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University after graduation. Approximately 2,000 students applied for admissions, and 90 were accepted.

“I have always had a passion for dentistry and believed it would be an intriguing career and provide an opportunity for me to give back to others,” he said. “Currently, I want to specialize in oral surgery, but I am leaving the doors open to allow God to direct me throughout dental school. I hope to one day be able to come back to Valdosta and serve those in my community.”

His supportive family includes parents Kevin and Zane Eppes.

On the Web:
https://www.valdosta.edu/administration/advancement/event-services/commencement/
https://www.valdosta.edu/csm/
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