March 31, 2015 – A Fort Valley State University Cooperative Developmental Energy Program scholar is setting the bar for high achievement and academic excellence on campus. Ashley Davis is the recipient of the 2015 University System of Georgia’s Academic Recognition Award. The graduating senior majoring in mathematics has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average during her matriculation on campus.
Every year, the University System of Georgia Chancellor asks each member institution to select one student that is representative of 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.
Davis, Warner Robins native, graduated from Northside High School as its valedictorian in 2012. In 2012, she received a HOPE scholarship to attend college. Many members of her family attended, and graduated from, FVSU’s campus, and encouraged her to enroll.
“My Dad, uncles and aunts went to Fort Valley State University and encouraged me to go,” Davis said. A high school agricultural adviser, Virgil Blalock, encouraged Davis to apply for the university’s Cooperative Developmental Energy Program, a dual-degree program that encourages minorities and women to pursue career paths within the energy industry. She interviewed with the program’s director, Dr. Isaac J. Crumbly, and was accepted. She received a full ride scholarship that would cover her tuition and fees at FVSU and the partner institution she would later transfer to, in order to earn her second bachelor’s in an energy-related field.
Davis excelled her first year on campus. During her freshman year, the scholar became involved with the university’s Student Government Association. Her peers elected her as the vice president for the freshman class. Davis also became involved in the campus chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, where she served as a senator for the organization. The Wildcat was also inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. She also received CDEP’s Highest Average Award as a first-year student.
During her sophomore year, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. accepted Davis as a sorority member. She was selected as a senator for FVSU’s SGA. Davis received an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated South Atlantic Scholastic Achievement Award in 2013. The student was named the organization’s treasurer. Later, the student was elected as the vice president of the NBSE. She became president of the organization during her junior and senior years.
“I really enjoyed my time at FVSU,” Davis said. “It took some time to adjust, not being at home every day. But, I’ve made a lot of close friends while I was here. I’ve learned a lot from them, and I’ve grown up a lot since coming here.”
Davis says that her experience on campus has taught her how to plan, communicate with her professors, and use resources efficiently in order to attain her goals.
Last summer, Davis participated in the NBSE Fellowship Program. She was allowed to shadow individuals in higher leadership positions within the program. She also interned with Aera Energy in Bakersfield, Calif., as a facilities engineer in industrial process control systems.
“I worked at one of the natural gas plants and looked at safety features to see if the control system needed upgrading or should be replaced altogether,” Davis said.
Davis says that she was surprised to receive the USG Board of Regents award, but that it was a validation of her achievements. She said she was thankful that Dr. Jianmin Zhu, a professor of mathematics, for nominating her for the award.
“It means a lot to me,” she said. “I take pride in my work, and I work very hard. When people recognize what you’re trying to achieve, it’s always a great thing.”
She also receive the National Society of Black Engineers Member on the Rise Award in 2013.
In May 2015, Davis will be marching with her bachelor’s degree in mathematics. As part of the CDEP, the student will transfer to Georgia Tech University for two years, where she will earn a second bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering technology.
Davis had this advice for students, “You have to have a passion for what you’re doing,” she said. “If you don’t have a a passion, then you won’t keep going for your goals. Also, find people on campus with the same goals that you have. CDEP has allowed me to make some really close friendships, and my friends have given me invaluable advice on how to excel in my classes, including tips like taking notes, that have helped me. Also be thankful, and thank the people who have helped you along the way. Also, don’t just focus on book learning…get involved, and build good relationships with your professors.”
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