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Five senior biology graduates honored

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Gabe Burns, Editor-in-Chief

On May 7, five VSU students graduated having made school history.

The VSU biology department gives an Annual Senior Award to the graduating senior with the highest GPA. Since 2006, the honor has been bestowed to one individual. In 2016, it’s breaking that trend.

Jake Croft, Reanne Harris, Jayme “Erin” Parker, Hannah Pittman and Jesse Wayson all tied for the highest average in biology.

Each student said he or she invested plenty of time to maintain such prestigious scores.

“I really had to manage my time in order to find success where I wanted to,” Croft said. “Sacrifices had to be made in order to stay on top of my classes. Ultimately, it took a commitment to myself to never settle for less than my best effort.”

Time management was a common theme when the students elaborated on their successes.

“Time management is a big deal,” Parker said. “I try to study enough in advance so I don’t have to cram but sometimes cramming is the only option.”

Harris said she learned organizational skills, how to set academics as the priority and “make every minute of studying count.” Wayson echoed similar sentiments, saying he had to quickly learn how to divide his time among classes.

Their efforts have destined each of them to further their careers in medicine.

Croft starts a 13-quarter Doctor of Chiropractic program at Palmer College of Chiropractic this October. Harris will attend Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Georgia campus in the fall. Parker is moving to Auburn in July for medical school at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Wayson relocates to Augusta to enroll into the Pre-Matriculation program at the Medical College of Georgia. Pittman is currently applying for medical schools to pursue her dream of working in general and/or transplant surgery.

The five are natives to the Valdosta area. Croft, Harris and Parker are alumni of Lowndes High School. Wayson is from Valdosta, where he was homeschooled before enrolling at VSU. Pittman is a Statenville native and graduate of Echols High School.

Though the friends are splitting ways, their time at VSU is a memory they will always share.

“From three and a half hour labs to joking about how we never actually have the time to relax because we are almost always studying, it’s been a ride,” Harris said. “We’ve lived in Bailey Science Center and supported each other over the last four years.”

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