Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center was filled with smiling faces of proud family members, faculty and friends as more than 800 S.C. State University scholars received awards honoring their academic achievements at the annual Honors and Awards Convocation on April 2.
The Honors and Awards Convocation recognizes students who have earned 3.0 or higher grade point averages. Acknowledgements of these accomplishments are awarded with bronze (3. 0 to 3.49 GPA), silver (3.50 to 3.74 GPA) and gold (3.75 to 4.0 GPA) medallions. Presidential Scholar awards were presented to those who demonstrated academic excellence to maintain and achieve higher levels of academic pursuits.
Dr. Jennifer E. Gamble, interim coordinator of service learning and student leadership development in the Division of Student Affairs, was the convocation speaker. She challenged the students to remove all limitations and change their way of thinking.
“If you desire to change the world, you must shift your paradigm. In order to shift your paradigm, you must engage in activities that stimulate your neocortex, a part of the brain responsible for an individual’s intelligence, creative thinking, compassion and love,” Gamble, a Greeleyville native, told them.
She inspired the scholars to step out of their comfort zones and to endure new challenges while taking risks and confronting the unknown.
“These risks are going to unleash the essence of who you are,” she said. “You will experience success and losses, but as long as you continuously create opportunities, you will remain on track with changing the world.”
For many S.C. State scholars, receiving an award for their academic achievement is a well-deserved reward for their hard work and determination.
“I am actually proud that I was recognized for my commitment to academics. I was a transfer student from USC-Upstate and I was not doing very well. I was told that I would do better in manufacturing,” said Ricky Fields, a senior mass communications major from Spartanburg. “Coming to S.C. State University and pulling my grades up was a big achievement for me.”
Fields is a member of the Office of Student Media, where he assists with “The Collegian” newspaper and WBTV. He is also the editor-in-chief for the yearbook, “The Bulldog.”
Fields, who currently works full-time at T-Mobile and attends the university full-time, still manages to hold a 3.1 GPA. He credits his high academic achievements to studying late at night and praying. “The experiences that I have encountered here are truly worth it in the end,” he said.
Upon graduation, Fields plans to obtain a master’s degree in business administration and marketing from Alabama A&M University. After he hopes to one day work as a public relations executive for a telemarketing company.
Dana Brooks, a Newberry native and senior mass communications major, said, “Being recognized during the Honors and Awards Convocation ceremony was a very good moment for me. It made me very proud of myself.”
Brooks is currently the editor-in-chief for “The Collegian” newspaper. She is the recipient of the Sligh-Gaulden Scholarship, and currently maintains a 3.5. GPA.
“To reach high scholastic achievement, you must never give up and keep working hard and always go the extra mile,” she said.
To learn more about S.C. State students’ achievements, log onto www.scsu.edu.