On April 12, 2022, thirty-five students of the College of Science & Mathematics were recognized as award and scholarship recipients. Congratulations to each of you! To our graduating seniors, we are excited for you as you embark on this new journey and wish you the best. And remember - once a Blazer, always a Blazer!

Meet our outstanding students and the Spring 2022 Student Award Winners in the College of Science and Mathematics below.

To watch the live streamed awards ceremony, click here: 2022 College of Science & Mathematics Student Awards Ceremony



Amanda Aguilar

Award Received: Martha H. Barnes Scholarship
Activities: Active member of the Pre-Vet club
Favorite class: Ecology and Evolution with Dr. Rose
Career Goals: I hope to attend veterinary school once I finish my undergraduate degree.


Teressa Akuoko

Award Received: Martha H. Barnes Scholarship
Activities: I am a volunteer researcher in Dr. Ansul Lokdarshi's lab, and we are working towards elucidating some of the mysteries that persist in the plant genetics field. Additionally, I am the first-year representative of the Honors Student Association, which is the organization purposed for serving the community and promoting the activities of the Honors College, as well as a member of SMACS, or the Student Members of the American Chemical Society, which encourages and propagates the pursuit and love of chemistry.
Favorite class: Human Anatomy course with Dr. Timothy Fort. As my first upper level Biology course, it has challenged me more than any of my previous coursework, and the class continues to push me to improve myself and my studying habits.

Zoe Barrett

Award Received: Martha H. Barnes Scholarship
Activities: I participated in a directed study with Dr Chambers on his ongoing research. I am a member of the Christian Student Center and will be taking over as president next semester. I presented my research proposal named the ZE Wellness Fund: Affordable Health Program Model for the Undergraduate Symposium for 2022.
Favorite class: Biology 1107 and 1108 with Dr Chambers.
Career Goals: My plans after graduating is to go to Medical School where I hope to become a Pathologist.


Austin Byrd

Award Received: Martha H. Barnes Scholarship
Activities: Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) member, Heavy metal pollution research with Dr. Kang
Favorite class: My favorite classes so far have been Biology 1107 Lab with Dr. Kang & Calculus I with Dr. Vélez.
Career Goals: After graduating, I plan on taking a gap year to get more experience in the medical field. I will then apply to medical school with hopes of eventually working in emergency medicine.


Val Carey

Award Received: Outstanding Student Award – Astronomy
Activities: Honors College and SPS
Favorite class: Planetary Geology or Astrophysics


Kevin Eppes

Awards Received: College of Science & Mathematics Outstanding Student Award and Biology Senior Award
Activities: Pre-Dental Club President, Student Government Association Parliamentarian, Tri-Beta (Biology Club), National Society of Leadership and Success, Blazer Beginnings Orientation Leader, Internship with Georgia Department of Public Health where I worked alongside Mrs. Cumi Fillion - we would go to various elementary schools and host dental fairs educating the students on proper dental hygiene via dental fairs, volunteer work at the Partnership Dental Clinic here in Valdosta under Dr. Tomlinson, Dr. Shiver and Dr. Kirbo, dental shadowing with Dr. Scott Summers, volunteered at LAMP
Favorite class: Organic Chemistry with Dr. Gopeekrishnan Sreenilayam.  Dr. Gopee was a great professor but an even better friend to me. I appreciate all his time and effort he invested into me.
Career Goals: Following graduation I will be attending the Dental College of Georgia in Augusta, with plans to specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery.



Thomas Falkenhausen

Award Received: ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry
Activities: Student Chair of Valdosta State Pride Connection, Tutor/SI Leader/Mentor/Sr. Mentor at the Academic Support Center where I supported courses from Math, Biology, and Chemistry, been on two professor research teams and presented my research at the Georgia State Capitol, GURC, and NCUR, active student member of the American Chemical Society, work as part-time temporary staff at the Academic Support Center
Favorite class: Biochemistry 1 and 2 with Dr. Woldman. I really enjoyed learning about how complex the chemistry of life can be!
Career Goals: I have recently accepted Emory University Department of Chemistry’s offer to matriculate as a PhD student in the fall. I plan on working towards my PhD and becoming a professor at a R1 university.


Jacqueline Farmer

Award Received: Dr. M. Elizabeth (Betty) Derrick Award
Activities: Current member of The National Society of Leadership and Success, The Tau Sigma Academic Honor Society, The Phi Theta Kappa Academic Honor Society, a member of The Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement and a registered American Chemical Society member.
Favorite class: Medical Terminology. I am passionate about healthcare and helping others and I though this class was both informative and interesting. Learning about the past, present, and future of medicine really opens a new world of how far we have advanced and how we got to today.
Career Goals: I plan to attend Physician Assistant (P.A) school as my graduate studies. Following that I plan to work full time as a P.A in Valdosta and hopefully conduct my own research in advancing medicine.

Alexander Fouraker

Awards Received: : Outstanding Student Award – Engineering Studies and Scruggs Scholarship


Kahleel Guerrier

Award Received: Undergraduate Award in Biochemistry
Activities: Participated in multiple research symposiums/ conferences. I'm a member of the Pre-Med club, LSAMP, and Caribsa. I do research with Dr. Duncan on Tungsten Polyoxometalates. I was a peer mentor and Organic Chemistry PAL.
Favorite class: Either Herpetology or Biochemistry
Career Goals: I plan to work in medicine production after I graduate with a PhD in cancer biology and toxicology. I have been accepted to the PhD program in cancer biology and toxicology at the University of Kentucky.


Yasmin Guzman

Award Received: Marjorie Carter Award
Activities: VSU Mosquito Surveillance Program with Dr. Blackmore (Current Director of Operations), VSU College Assistance Migrant Program Scholar, Latin American Students Association (served as Public Relations Officer and President), SOWEGA -AHEC Pathway to Medicine School Program, VSU Honors College, The National Migrant Scholars Internship Initiative, Honors Success Program, and VSU Ambassadors, and Directed Study: Exploring the Potential of 6 antivirals as Drug Therapies Against SARS-CoV2 with Dr. Manning (Presented at VSU Undergraduate Research Symposium and the SE Latino Medical Student Association Conference)
Favorite class: BIOL 3860: Emerging Infectious Diseases with Dr. Chambers, Biol 2261: Calculus 1 with Dr. Kicey, and HONS 1990 with Dr. Hanna
Career Goals:
My career goal is to become a Pediatrician that provides Bilingual services in rural or underserved areas of South Georgia. Currently, I plan to take a gap year after graduation to complete more shadowing hours, receive my Spanish Interpreting Certification, and take the MCAT. I also hope to start mentoring other high school students from my hometown to help them navigate their college applications. Personally, I had to search and find opportunities on my own to enter college, so I would like to support others who may need it.

Tanner Hampton

Awards Received: Outstanding Student Award – Engineering Studies and Threadgill-Thompson Scholarship


Christian Harriss

Award Received: Andy Koppy Memorial Scholarship


Adariah J’nai Holloway

Award Received: Elizabeth Joy Lohmar Scholarship


Olen Hulett

Award Received: Martha H. Barnes Scholarship
Activities: Independent tutor and previous ASC Peer Tutor in several biology related courses, MCAT Prep Ambassador, attempted to revitalize Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Med Club before Covid-19 lockdown (lasted long enough to establish a student board and hold a couple interest meetings before campus closed), assisted with physician led research on HPV vaccine as a supplemental treatment for squamous cell carcinoma 
Favorite class: Close tie between Dr. Fort’s Human Physiology course and Dr. Calestani’s Developmental Biology course.
Career Goals: : After graduation I plan on attending medical school where eventually I hope to match into a surgical residency.

Yeonghun Jeong

Award Received: Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry


Andrew King II

Award Received: Most Outstanding Student in Aerospace Studies, GMC Category
Activities: ENACTUS, ROTC 
Favorite class: International Business

T’Airra Lane

Award Received: Martha H. Barnes Scholarship

Grant McReady

Award Received: American Institute of Chemists Award


Mallory Newbern

Award Received: Gerald Petrella Outstanding Student Achievement in Mathematics Education Award
Activities: I was an active member of Kappa Delta Sorority from Fall 2018 to Fall 2020. During my time in Kappa Delta, I was Vice President of Community Service for a year. I have attended and participated in math study groups. I have also tutored and helped my fellow classmates.
Favorite class: All of the math classes. If I had to choose just one, it would be the statistics class that I took my freshman year when I was a biology major. I had Dr. Wares as a professor and in the beginning of the semester, I hate to admit it, but I had a 40 in the class. Through hard work and extra help from Dr. Wares, I finished the class with an A.
Career Goals: I have accepted a job at Lanier County Primary School as a second-grade teacher for next year starting in the Fall. I also plan to come back to school at VSU to get a Master’s degree.


Thuong Pham

Award Received: Outstanding Computer Information Systems Award
Activities: I have been a computer science tutor since 2021. I joined ACM and Data Science Club while I've attended VSU.
Favorite class: CS 1302 Principles of Programming, CS 3410 Data Structures, CS 4321 Software Engineering, and CS 4721 Database Design
Career Goals: I'll work at the 402d Software Engineering Group at Warner Robin Logistics Complex after graduating from VSU. I'll be an Information Technology Specialist.

Jason Phillips

Award Received: ACS Undergraduate Award in Inorganic Chemistry

Estefani Quinones

Awards Received: Polymer Chemistry Award in Organic Chemistry, Undergraduate Research Award, Outstanding Chemistry Senior Award, and Finalist for the College of Science and Mathematics Outstanding Student Award

Michael Rice

Award Received: Freshman Chemistry Award

Marianoelle Rivera

Award Received: Martha H. Barnes Scholarship


Imeisha Rountree

Award Received: Martha H. Barnes Scholarship
Activities: During my time at VSU I have gotten involved in the VSU chapter of Habitat for Humanity and become a part of the e-board in spring 2021. I have joined the Pre-Med Organization this semester. I have also started doing research with Dr. Cristina Calestani on her work with mussels.
Favorite class: Throughout all of my courses here at VSU I would say my favorite classes has been Developmental Biology and Neuroscience.
Career Goals: I am graduating this upcoming May. I am in the process of gathering everything need to apply to medical school this cycle in hopes of being admitted for Fall 2023. With this, I would like to pursue my plans in becoming a Pathologist.


Dalila Sanchez

Award Received: David and Cecelia Ratcliffe Scholarship
Activities: I have participated in directed study with Dr. Emily Rose researching dwarf seahorses. I presented two posters for this research at the Georgia Academy of Science 2022 Annual Meeting and the VSU Undergraduate Symposium. I was also a mentor in the CoSM GUIDES program to help freshmen undergraduates.
Favorite class: Mycology with Dr. Emily Cantonwine
Career Goals: I plan to attend graduate school here at VSU after I graduate.


Jessica Shores

Award Received: Outstanding Student Award - Geosciences
Activities: I was the Event Coordinator for the Geoscience Student Society and am currently the President of the Geoscience Student Society. I am also currently working on a senior thesis under the direction of Dr. Groszos. I will be presenting a poster at the Undergraduate Research Symposium this semester. I have also been a part of the Blazer Summer Research Institute.
Favorite class: Geochemistry with Dr. Feng. I enjoyed it very much so that I plan on going to graduate school to get either a master's degree or a Ph.D. in geochemistry.
Career Goals: I am still undecided. My interests within geochemistry are igneous petrology and mantle rocks. I am taking a year off before I go to graduate school to travel and see some geological sites.


Hope Smith

Award Received: Julia Wisenbaker Sumerford Scholarship
Activities: I have been a member of the Honors College, HSA (Honors Student Association), and SMACS (student members of the American Chem Society) for two years, and I have been doing a directed study with Dr. Gupta for two semesters now.
Favorite class: Picking a favorite class is very difficult, but I have enjoyed both Organic chemistry classes very much.
Career Goals: My game plan after I graduate is to get my PhD in Chemistry or in something interdisciplinary with Biology and Chemistry. I would love to have a career in research, whether that will be with an organization or as a professor, I am not sure. I hope to do an internship with Moody Air Force Base Chemistry Department next year in order to help get a better idea of where I will excel and what I will enjoy the most in the future.

Karla Solis Rueda

Award Received: David and Cecelia Ratcliffe Scholarship


Jayden Thomas

Award Received: Southwest Georgia Section of ACS Optima Chemistry Award
Activities: I am doing research in Carotenoid extraction with Dr. Srreenilayam and Dr. Focsan as well as doing research with Dr. Manning in developing educational STEM games which I was able to present at an entrepreneurship competition at Atlanta. I have a chemistry internship at PCA doing testing at their water lab. As for clubs, I am the treasurer of SMACS, a member of the honors college and part of the math club. I'm currently a mentor for guides, will be a PAL Facilitator for Chem 1212 this upcoming fall and was accepted into a computational chemistry summer REU at the University at South Dakota studying methods of properly storing nuclear waste; however I decided to decline my invitation in order to do research with Dr. Salami which I am very excited for.
Favorite class: History of Math with Dr. Kicey. One because I love math, so studying all of the ancient methods of computation, geometry and proofs was really cool, but also because Dr. Kicey has been a big mentor for me.
Career Goals: I am torn between going to medical school or going to grad school for chemistry or pure math. If I could do all 3, I would. A short term goal of mine is to do an internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.


Winston Turner

Award Received: Mack Varnedoe Greer Sr. M.D. Scholarship
Activities: I am a part of the Honors Student Association (HSA), Valdosta Smash Ultimate club, and the Honors College.
Favorite class: Principles of Biology II (BIOL 1108) with Dr. Grove.
Career Goals: I plan to attend medical school with the goal of becoming a pediatrician once I have finished receiving my education.


Sean Vickers

Award Received: Outstanding Computer Science Award
Activities: I was a member of the winning team of Azalea Health’s Hackathon in 2021.
Favorite class: Computer Ethics, Principles of Programming II, Data Structures, and Web Programming
Career Goals: I plan to work for 402 Software Engineering Group located at Robins Air Force Base as a computer scientist.

Rene Viele

Award Received: Outstanding Student Award - Physics


Lauren Vosburgh

Award Received: Marsha Paulk Scholarship
Activities: I was an involved member of the Valdosta State University Student Government Association as a Senator. I served as Senator for two years from Fall 2019 to Spring 2021.
Favorite class: Microbiology with Dr. Turco
Career Goals: I plan on working for a year or two to gain patient-care experience hours so I can apply to a physician assistant program at Middle Tennessee State University.