b'P resiDentsA wArD forA cADemice xcellence f All2020 r eciPientsThe Presidents Award for Academic Excellence is presented to a high-performing graduating student in each of VSUs six collegesHarley 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. c ollege ofh umAnities&c ollege ofn ursing& s ociAls ciences h eAlths ciencesg rAysonf rieDmAn of Evans,s hAntiAt iAK eonDrAGeorgia, is the recipient of thet homAs of Macon, Georgia,Spring 2024 Presidents Award foris the recipient of the Spring Academic Excellence for the College2024 Presidents Award for of Humanities and Social SciencesAcademic Excellence for the at Valdosta State University. TheyCollege of Nursing and Health graduate summa cum laude with aSciences at Valdosta State Bachelor of Arts in InterdisciplinaryUniversity. She graduates summa Studies, with concentrations incum laude with a Bachelor of American Sign Language, DeafScience in Nursing.Studies, and Art. I feel accomplished and proud of myself, she shared. I am so honored to be recognized for my academic successReceiving this honor is rewarding for the time and at a university level, Friedman shared. Looking back, I wasdedication that I put into my studies.nervous to fail, and with the challenges I faced, it didnt seem improbable, as author Lemony Snicket would say, Life is aAs a student at VSU, Thomas served the university conundrum of esoterica. However, I worked hard to make surecommunity as a tutor for nursing majors and as a member of that didnt happen; seeing that effort turn into an achievementMinorities in Nursing. like this feels unreal. I know I would not be here without the support of my family, friends, and professors, and for them, IShe spent countless hours learning and perfecting her skills am inordinately grateful. in VSUs on-campus STEP (Simulated Training Encounters with Patients) Center and gained valuable real-world As a student at VSU, Friedman served as social media editorexperience as a nursing student volunteer serving the needs of for The Spectator, the universitys award-winning independentunderserved populations in the region.student news organization; a resident assistant for Housing and Residence Life; and a member of the American SignThomass commitment to academic and service excellence Language Club.resulted in her earning repeated Deans List honors, the Dorothy Cobb Levy Nursing Excellence Scholarship, and the Friedman presented original research titled The CulturalLettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship. She was a Importance of DeVIA Art at the 2024 UndergraduateHOPE Scholar. Research Symposium; celebrated that research being accepted for publication in Volume 14 of Omnino, a peer-reviewed,After graduation Thomas plans to pass the NCLEX, the scholarly research journal for undergraduate students at VSU; andnational examination for the licensing of nurses, and pursue showcased a metals piece during a special exhibit for the Nationala career as a registered nurse in the Emergency Care Center Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation team. at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, a Level I trauma center and one of the most active emergency Friedman hopes to pursue a graduate level education in eitherdepartments in the world. deaf education or museum/curatorial studies in the future. Her supportive family includes parents Mekita and My career goals are to be an art teacher at a school for theRobert Thomas. deaf or work in an art center, gallery, or museum as a curator or art educator. 22 |VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY'