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April 4, 2013 – Robert Edenfield, a Fort Valley State University psychology student, is no stranger to hard work. As a volunteer, Edenfield’s battled blazes in his hometown ofJesup, Ga., searched rivers and lakes for drowning victims, and coached little league baseball and football teams where his sons, Isaac and Jake, are players.
He also worked at a lumber mill, but was recently laid off.
“I started there when I first graduated and I really loved it, at first, because the money was good; and then I just got tired of it because it wasn’t something that I wanted to do the rest of my life.” Edenfield decided to change his life and enrolled at WaycrossCollege; and later decided to transfer to FVSU’s online program.
“I wished I had gone to school when I was younger,” said the 36-year-old senior, who was recently one of 600 high-achieving students honored at the 62nd annual Honors Convocation on March 21. “I’ve done a lot of studying for my courses. My wife, Rachel, who’s a physical therapist, helps me out after she gets off of work. I’ve only had one ‘C’ all the way through college, which I made in a math course. I can’t stand having a C in anything.”
Dr. Canter Brown Jr., executive vice president and interim vice president for academic affairs, presided over the occasion that honored students who made a 3.0 GPA or better during the 2012-2013 academic school term.
“We welcome you and hope you share in this most significant occasion, where we honor our students for their academic prowess, and a job well done,” said Brown, who introduced the keynote speaker for the event. “At FVSU, we take special pride in our president. Dr. [Larry E.] Rivers is not only as an excellent administrator and planner, but because he’s also an excellent professor and scholar.”
Rivers told the audience that the purpose of the morning was to honor FVSU’s high achievers.
“If you continue to work hard, make good grades and graduate with a 3.5 or better, you can go anywhere with a degree from FVSU,” Dr. Rivers said. The president cited historian John Wesley Blassingame, a fellow alum, as one of his inspirations while attending FVSU. The prominent African-American historian went on to earn a master’s degree from Howard University and a doctorate from Yale University, where he later became a professor for African-American and American studies for 29 years.Blassingame co-authored and edited several books, including Long Memory: The Black Experience in America and the Autobiographical Writings of Booker T. Washington.
“I thought if Blassingame can go to FVSU and succeed, then Larry Rivers can do the same,” he said. “You have an excellent faculty here, at FVSU. Continue to work hard and get good grades…go to graduate school, get a Ph.D., and then get a job. Continue to work hard because you are mighty Wildcats.”
National honor society president Rena Ingram (Alpha Lambda Delta), Beta Kappa Chi representative Richard Brinkley, and Pi Gamma Mu members Joy E. Joseph and Brandon L. Davey read the names of honorees. Students marched to the stage where Brown, associate vice president of academic affairs Dr. Danielle Gray-Singh, and the president congratulated them.
Wildcat student Robert Edenfield (left) poses with his oldest son, Isaac, youngest son, Jake, and wife Rachel.
One student was unable to attend the ceremony. On March 11, Edenfield underwent surgery to have a softball-sized tumor removed from his pelvis. Fortunately, the large tumor was benign. True to his uncompromising work ethic, Edenfield didn’t ask professors for time off, nor did he stop doing his school work. Instead the volunteer firefighter continued his online classes and completed all assignments on time. Edenfieldonly took a week off during Spring Break from his 30-hour internship at Houston County Primary School to recuperate from surgery.
Before Edenfield graduates in this fall, he has to complete one more requirement – a Spanish course. He also has plans to retake the math course he made a “C” in, next semester, in hopes of raising his grade to an “A.” After graduation, he plans to enroll at South University or Georgia Regents’ College to become a physician’s assistant, or enter a graduate psychology program.
To see pictures from the event, please visit Flickr.
Below are the 2013 Honors Convocation recipients of special awards:
I. Students/Organizations Selected for Special Scholastic Awards
|Board of Regents Academic Recognition Award||Rena E. Ingram|
|The Henry A. Hunt Award||Gabrielle Hall|
|The State Teachers Award||Le’Tombria Seay|
|The Fort Valley Alumni Award||Amber Ivey|
|The Al Knox Award||Charles Banks, III|
|Dr. Genevieve Knight, FVSU Class of 1961 Award||Christopher Drakes|
|Dr. Fariborz Assadian Award||Tiffany Rutledge|
|Greek Female with the Highest Average||Ki’Undra Jackson|
|Greek Male with the Highest Average||Micah Baisden|
|Greek Organization with the Highest Average||Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.|
|The Department of the Army Superior Cadet Awards||MS I – Cadet Shikesha L. Thorton
MS II – Cadet Jordan D. Harper
MSIII– Cadet Cedric L. Bacon Jr.
MSIV– Cadet Michael L. Bush
|Female Athlete with the Highest Average||D’Ambria Thomas|
|Male Athlete with the Highest Average||Aaron Coleman|
II. Students Elected for Departmental Honors
|Agricultural Education||Christina Sanders|
|Agricultural Economics||Kenya Barrett|
|Computer Science||Britney Sylvain|
|Criminal Justice||Yesmine Releford|
|Early Childhood/Special Education||Gabriel Favors|
|Electronic Engineering Technology||Ki’Undra Jackson|
|Family and Consumer Science Education||Jimeca Lawrence|
|Food and Nutrition||Lillian Mosely|
|Health and Physical Education||Joe Barnett|
|Infant and Child Development||Eajae Walls-Wilson|
|Middle Grades Education||Klacia Porter|
|Political Science||Glorie Chiza|
|Veterinary Science||Evan Hayes|
|Social Work||Shamese A. Boyd|
Christina Milton, writer
Marketing and Communications
(478) 822-7589, firstname.lastname@example.org