b'P resiDentsA wArD forA cADemice xcellence f All2020 r eciPients c ollege of theA rts Her supportive family includes father Gerald Caldwell; mother Estrellita Warfield; stepfather Carl Warfield; dogs Blaze, Alina, m Arybelleb elle and Dante; hermit crabs Tom and Jerry; anole lizard Caballera; c hristinec AlDwell ofand a number of plants that have given me much-needed Dalton, Georgia, is the recipientserotonin throughout college. of the Fall 2023 Presidents Award for Academic Excellence for the College of the Arts at Valdosta Statec ollege ofh umAnities& s ociAls ciencesUniversity. She graduates summa cum laude with a Bachelor of ArtsK iAnnAl ynnr oss of in Art.Thomasville, Georgia, is the recipient of the Fall 2023 Presidents Award Winning this award feels so mythical, like something I neverfor Academic Excellence for the even considered would be a reality for me, she shared. IveCollege of Humanities and Social always known that I was a hard-working student, but I also feltSciences at Valdosta State University.like I could never compare to all the wonderful students around me and their accomplishments. Im not the type of person to putThe Presidents Award for Academic myself above others, especially when it comes to the tremendousExcellence is presented to a high-talent of the artists around me. I am truly honored to receive thisperforming graduating student in award, even if it still feels like a dream. each of VSUs six collegesHarley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Caldwell transferred to VSU from the College of CoastalCollege of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College Georgia in 2021.of Education and Human Services, College of Science and Mathematics, and College of Humanities and Social Sciences. As a student at VSU, she supported campus-wide resource conservation and recycling efforts as a member of theRoss will be recognized during VSUs 236th Commencement Environmental Issues Committees Resource Conservationat 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, on the Main Campus Front Subcommittee. She worked to increase affordable housingLawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor opportunities as a member of Habitat for Humanity, whereof Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in she served as secretary for one year, and she created must-readJournalism, English Studies, and Sociology. content for Her Campus, an online magazine for college women where she served as secretary, treasurer, and head editor. Being named a top student for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences is an achievement that I will hold dear, she Caldwell focused her art studio studies on photography, printmaking,shared. My college experience has been quite unique. I was a and graphic design. She presented Abandonment of Ariadnestudent of two different universities prior and found my home and its Visual Variations of Myth in Art at the 2022 Georgiaat VSU my sophomore year. I have made many connections Undergraduate Research Conference. Her creative work was featuredwith my professors, advisors, and classmates over the years. The in VSUs Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery on several occasions,lessons that I have learned from them have shaped me into an including Continuum, the Fall 2023 senior exhibition; the 2023outstanding candidate for the workforce, and I am grateful for Student Juried Art Competition; and the 2021 Make/Mark, antheir wisdom. I have learned that VSU is not just a university; exhibition of first-year art students taking foundation-level courses.it is a family that is dedicated collectively to the success of its students, and I am honored to be ending my undergraduate Caldwells Mind, Mood, and Me photography series wascareer with this culminating honor. featured in VSUs 2022 Day of Inclusion Art Exhibition, where she earned honorable mention honors. Before coming to VSU,As a student at VSU, Ross was a member of the National Society she published four photographs in the College of Coastalof Collegiate Scholars. She volunteered with New Mount Zion Georgias Seaswells Magazine, where she earned Best OverallMissionary Baptist Church in Thomasville, where she served Photo and Best Computer-Enhanced Photo honors.as a member of the culinary staff and helped spearhead service events like back-to-school and shoe drives. She also volunteered Her commitment to academic, creative, leadership, and servicewith Project Backyard, a Thomasville organization that creates excellence resulted in her being named a Zell Miller Scholar andopportunities for Christians to come together in service to earning repeated Deans List recognitions.their neighbors and community. She worked as a freelance photographer specializing in natural light photography. After graduation Caldwell plans to move back home, find a job working with plants in a garden center or nursery, and continueRosss commitment to academic, leadership, and service excellence to expand her artistic abilities. resulted in her earning repeated Deans List recognitions; having her work published in The Spectator, VSUs independent student Caldwell wants to apply for artist residencies that allow her thenewspaper; being named a HOPE Scholar; and earning the time, space, and resources needed to research and develop herPoynter Institutes ACES Certificate in Editing. printmaking practice while exploring the world. 236TH COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY| 23'