May 26, 2021

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Six Students Honored at VSU's 2021 Graduate Student Research, Scholarship Symposium

VALDOSTA — An elite group of 40-plus graduate students were nominated by faculty in their various academic disciplines to present at Valdosta State University's 2021 Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Symposium, which was held on a virtual platform due to COVID-19. Six of those students earned top awards for their first-class research and scholarship.

• Kayla Sanders of Valdosta, Georgia, presented "Talk Therapy for Reducing Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue, Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS), and Burnout in a Social Worker at Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS)" and earned first place honors — the Researcher's Award — in the Poster Division. 

• Elizabeth Bingham of Dade City, Florida, presented "Decriminalization of Marijuana and the Societal Effects" and earned first runner-up honors in the Poster Division. 

• Thibault Deneve of Lessines, Belgium, presented "The Aftermath of Combat Exposure and Death of Veterans' Health" and earned second runner-up honors in the Poster Division.

• Mirakal Jackson of Marietta, Georgia, presented "The Glass vs Concrete Ceiling" and earned first place honors in the Three-Minute Thesis Division.

• Kathryn Sizemore of Greenwood, South Carolina, presented "Gender Inequities Within Collegiate Coaching" and earned first runner-up honors in the Three-Minute Thesis Division.

• Elizabeth Rivera of Griffin, Georgia, presented "Religion, Familial Expectations for Childbearing, and the 'Child-Free' Movement: How Individuals Negotiate Identities on Reddit" and earned second runner-up honors in the Three-Minute Thesis Division. 

VSU's 13th annual Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Symposium featured students from the university's Department of Political Science; Department of Modern and Classical Languages; Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice; Department of Biology; Department of Communication Arts; Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Special Education; Department of Teacher Education; Department of Human Services; Department of English; Department of Music; and Department of Leadership, Technology, and Workforce Development.

VSU is committed to providing a quality graduate learning environment, enabling advanced studies guided by graduate faculty with a passion for teaching, research, and service. Research is a key component in a large number of the more than 55 face-to-face and online graduate programs offered at the university.

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