Georgia State Readies for Commencement

ATLANTA—With research papers and final exams finished, nearly 4,000 spring and summer graduates will receive degrees at Georgia State University’s largest ever commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. May 6 in the Georgia Dome.

“I’m very excited. It feels really bizarre realizing that we all have to go out into the real world, but I’ve had a great experience here, and I’m glad to be able to celebrate this with my friends and family,” said Brianne Cagle, who has been a starter on the Georgia State women’s soccer team for four years and was a captain of the team her junior and senior year.

Cagle, a 22-year-old senior majoring in history and minoring in religious studies, is being recognized with the Kell Award for Academic Excellence at the ceremony for having the highest GPA with no transfer credits.

La’Conya Cobb will also be acknowledged among the Class of 2012. The psychology major will receive the Nell Hamilton Trotter Student Leadership Award, which is the highest student leadership award that recognizes an outstanding commitment to student involvement.

“Georgia State University has opened numerous doors for me. It has been a roller coaster ride of opportunities and of meeting great people,” said Cobb, who has participated in numerous GSU organizations, including working as a tour guide in the Welcome Center and serving as co-director of the Spotlight Programs Board. “I thank Georgia State for all of my accomplishments and helping me down this road. Georgia State really does have a place for every individual that comes to the university.”

Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, will deliver the keynote speech during the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, which has provided food to more than 37 million Americans in need through a network of more than 200 food banks. Prior to joining Feeding America, Escarra had a distinguished career with Delta Air Lines, where she advanced through the ranks to become Delta’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

“Vicki Escarra is a proud GSU alumna,” said Georgia State University President Mark Becker. “I’m certain her message will be one of relevance and inspiration to our graduates and guests.”

Arun Rai, a Regents’ Professor and Harkins Chair of Information Systems at the Robinson College of Business at GSU, will deliver the keynote speech at the Ph.D. Commencement and Hooding ceremony at 10 am. May 5 at the Rialto Center for the Arts.

Rai, who co-founded the Robinson College of Business’ Center for Process Innovation, has also held visiting appointments at universities in Germany, France, Hong Kong and Australia. He is a three-time recipient of the Robinson College of Business Faculty Recognition Award for Research, has received the Robinson College of Business Faculty Recognition Award for Teaching and was appointed Regents’ Professor in 2006 by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in recognition for outstanding contributions in research, teaching and service to the Information Systems discipline.

For detailed information about commencement and speakers, visit http://www.gsu.edu/commencement/.

April 30, 2012