November 22, 2021
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
VALDOSTA — Autumn Paige Wibright of Valdosta, Georgia, is the recipient of the Fall 2021 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Valdosta State University.
The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in each of VSU’s six colleges — Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.
Wibright will be recognized during VSU’s 232nd Commencement at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, on the Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, with concentrations in English, Political Science, and Sociology, and an Honors College Certificate.
“I feel honored to receive this award,” she said. “Valdosta is my hometown, and I am so proud to have been able to study at this amazing university in a great town that has changed me so much academically and personally. I will never forget how caring and passionate my professors were and how they influenced the person I am today. I hope to be similarly kind and passionate in my future career, whatever it may be.”
As a student at VSU, Wibright was an active member of the Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team and Students Against Violating the Environment, where she served as social media coordinator. She volunteered with The Humane Society of Valdosta / Lowndes County and Hospice of South Georgia’s The Tree House Thrift Shop. She tutored chemistry students through VSU’s Academic Support Center, and she held several part-time jobs, the most recent ones being at Valdosta Kettle Works and Red Owl Coffee Company.
Wibright is in the process of submitting research to the 2022 National Conference on Undergraduate Research. She is also submitting a research paper titled “Transgender Discrimination in Public Policy” to VSU’s 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Wibright’s commitment to academic, research, leadership, and service excellence resulted in her being named a Zell Miller Scholar and a Jennett Scholar and earning repeated Dean’s List honors, the Martha H. Barnes Scholarship, the first place Novice Speaker Award and first place Novice Debater Award at the 2021 Gorlok Gala debate tournament, the second place Novice Speaker Award and first place Novice Debater Award at a 2021 debate tournament against the University of Central Florida, the Top Novice Award from the VSU Forensics (Speech and Debate) Team coaches, and the 2021 Outstanding Student in Interdisciplinary Studies Award.
“I plan to move to Boston, Massachusetts, in Summer 2022 to pursue a master’s degree in either Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or International Relations — still applying to both and still deciding — starting Fall 2022,” she said. “Before then, I am studying abroad in the Czech Republic in May 2022.
“I am interested in working in academia and/or government and studying some of the world’s most pressing problems and investigating how many social issues are intertwined with them. I hope to learn several languages and travel to many countries during my career.”
Wibright’s supportive family includes parents James and Lara Wibright.
November 22, 2021