May 16, 2023
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
Anna-Kathryn Gardner Recognized During Academic Honors Program at VSU
|Anna-Kathryn Gardner of Valdosta, Georgia, is the recipient of the 2022-2023 Annie Powe Hopper Award at Valdosta State University. She anticipates graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, a Minor in Entrepreneurship, and a Minor in Advertising and Promotions from VSU this summer. Following a study abroad experience in Croatia and Turkey, she plans to attend Hult International Business School in London and pursue a master’s degree in international marketing. She is pictured with Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU, and Dr. Robert Smith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
VALDOSTA — Anna-Kathryn Gardner of Valdosta, Georgia, is the recipient of the 2022-2023 Annie Powe Hopper Award at Valdosta State University.
Gardner was recognized during VSU’s annual Academic Honors Program on April 27.
Known as the highest honor bestowed upon a VSU student, the Annie Powe Hopper Award is presented annually to a senior who represents the university’s high academic standards and exemplifies its traditions of excellence. It was first presented on May 2, 1962, and is named in honor of the institution’s first dean of women, who arrived at what was then known as South Georgia State Normal College in 1920 as a teacher.
South Georgia State Normal College became a four-year institution in 1922 and the name was changed to Georgia State Womans College. In the role of dean of women, Hopper insisted on proper etiquette in all areas from behavior to dress. She believed that a college education afforded students the opportunity to engage in a higher level of knowledge and the pursuit of an advanced critical thinking process, and she guided her female students to make choices that were noble and worthwhile in their lives. She retired in 1943, seven years before the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia declared the institution a coeducational one and changed the name to Valdosta State College.
“I am incredibly humbled to be the recipient of the Annie Powe Hopper Award,” Gardner shared. “I owe it all to Jesus, who has blessed me in more ways than I can express. I am confident I wouldn’t be where I am today without his guidance in my life along with the unconditional support of my friends and family. Winning this award has been the highlight of my time at Valdosta State University, and I intend to represent this academic honor in all my future endeavors.”
Gardner anticipates graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, a Minor in Entrepreneurship, and a Minor in Advertising and Promotions from VSU this summer.
As a student at VSU, Gardner was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma: The International Business Honor Society, an achievement that lists her among the top 10 percent of undergraduate business students in the world. She joined the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration’s efforts to create The Agency, an experiential learning-based nonprofit designed to help on-campus and off-campus clients with their digital marketing needs. Through one of her class projects, she led a team in creating a social media and branding strategy for VSU’s Honors College, an opportunity that allowed her to collaborate with students from the university’s Department of Art and Design and Department of Communication Arts.
Gardner has played an active role as a member of The Wesley Foundation Connect and Media LEAD Team for two years, where she creates digital content for the campus ministry organization. She is also a member of Alpha Chi: National College Honor Society, the American Marketing Association, Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success, and the Honor Society Foundation.
Gardner attends The Porch Community Church, where she enjoys giving back to others. She has completed more than 500 hours of service as a student and mission leader, including multiple weekend retreats for middle and high school students and two seven-day mission trips. She was recently selected to lead the Board of Directors Youth Committee, and she volunteers weekly with children ages 2 months to 18 years.
Her commitment to academic, leadership, and service excellence resulted in her earning multiple Dean’s List recognitions and the Langdale College of Business Study Abroad Scholarship, which will allow her to study in Turkey and Croatia this summer. She was a HOPE Scholar.
After graduation Gardner plans to attend Hult International Business School in London and pursue a master’s degree in international marketing. She earned the school’s Academic Excellence Scholarship and Social Impact Scholarship, as well as an offer to pursue a second master’s degree at no additional cost at the school.
"I plan to further my skills in marketing and expand my understanding of how it can be applied in an international perspective,” she noted. “Eventually I hope to secure the role of a digital marketing manager in a globally based marketing agency.”
Her supportive family includes parents Michelle and Bob Gardner.On the Web: