FVSU student wins USG award twice, making history

Jan. 27, 2014 –A Fort Valley State University student is making University System of Georgia history this month. Rena Ingram, a senior majoring in chemistry (with a concentration in forensics), is the first Georgia student to win the Academic Recognition Award twice in system history.

“Ms. Ingram will be recognized for her exemplary performance at the FVSU Honors Convocation this year,” FVSU’s Vice President of Student Success McCraney released in a prepared statement. She will receive a commendatory letter from the Chancellor and signed resolutions from the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives.”

Every year, the University System of Georgia Chancellor asks each member institution to select one student that is representative for outstanding scholastic achievement on their campus. The individual must be a Georgia resident, hold a cumulative GPA of 4.0 (or close to it), and be enrolled in an undergraduate program.

Ingram says the award was a complete surprise. Her advisor, Wallace Keese, dean of students, told Ingram that FVSU president Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith wanted to meet with her.  Believing that it was a meeting related to her work as vice president of the Student Government Association, Ingram arrived with her portfolio and pen.

She was stunned upon entering and seeing the president and several cabinet members gathered to deliver congratulations to her for being selected again.

“It felt remarkable and surreal to me when I found out I won it again,” said Ingram.  “I didn’t think it was possible to win it twice, but again, it was incredible.”

The 21-year-old Augusta, Ga. native currently holds a perfect 4.0 average. Last spring, she was awarded a $25,000 scholarship and named a UNCF-Merck Fellow.  She is a member of the American Chemical Society, and has been a ACS Scholar for the last two years. Ingram also is the 2012-2013 chief justice for FVSU’s Student Government Association and belongs to several honor societies, including Beta Kappa Chi and Pi Gamma Mu.   She also is the past president of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and a member of the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participants (PSLAMP).

Ingram has been honored as the Who’s Who Among American Students in American Universities and Colleges, and won numerous awards and scholarships including the Margaret J. Bennett Scholastic Award.

Christina Hobbs, business development manager for the Board of Regents’ Office of External Affairs, says she cannot remember a University System of Georgia student that has won the Academic Recognition Award twice.

Ingram has some advice for FVSU students that want to walk in her footsteps.

“My only advice to FVSU students is to stay humble,” said Ingram. “FVSU has taught me a lot of lessons, and it hasn’t been easy at all. You need to stay humble, adapt to different circumstances and to be prepared for anything to happen.”

She said once students graduate from FVSU, they need to remember to give back to their alma mater.

“Many students graduate, and don’t give back,” she said. “And these are the same ones who complained about not having enough money while they were in school. You have to graduate, and give back to help others.”