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Kristi St. Clair Receives Highest Honors

Every year, Georgia Southern University hosts the Honors Day Convocation, which recognizes the achievements of students’ work throughout the year, new members of honors societies, and graduating seniors. Kristi St. Clair (chemistry ‘18) was one of the many graduating seniors this year, but in one particular way she stood out. President Dr. Jaimie Hebert awarded St. Clair the highest honor at the convocation, the University System of Georgia Academic Recognition Award.

This award recognizes the student that exemplifies the most outstanding academic achievement as well as their dedication to the campus community. “I was very happy when I walked on the stage to receive my award. I was so proud that my hard work has been recognized.”

Her time with the University Honors Program has given her countless opportunities. However, her favorite memory with the program was when she gave back to the local community. During her freshman year, she was in Dr. Francis Desiderio’s Honors section of the First Year Experience course (FYE), Meaning of Place. In the University Honors Program, students are required to complete experiential learning and in their first year, they complete the requirement with their FYE class.

Dr. Desiderio’s students volunteered with the Averitt Center for the Statesboro Ghost Tours by Lantern Light. “My favorite memory of the Honors Program was during my FYE class we volunteered as tour guides for the Statesboro ghost tour,” she said. “We turned the old hospital into a haunted house which was the final destination of the tour.  It was so much fun and I learned all of Statesboro’s spooky stories!”

St. Clair also volunteered twice for the Honors Program’s alternative break trip to work with Camp Blue Skies at Camp Twin Lakes.  Camp Blues Skies makes use of Camp Twin Lakes’ site and professional staff when they host their yearly camp for adults with developmental disabilities.  In her first year at the camp, St. Clair worked as cabin counselor and activity leader, but in her second year, she found a place with the medical staff and got to see another side of camp, helping the staff assist campers with their health needs.

In the classroom and the lab, St. Clair excelled as well. Her honors thesis examined “gold nanorods as a source of energy to increase the function of a catalyst that was attached to the nanorod in order to make the catalyst more efficient at lower temperatures.” She also presented research at several conferences, including the American Chemical Society national meeting, the Georgia Academy of Physicians Annual Scientific Assembly, and the American College of Physicians Georgia Chapter meeting.

After graduation, St. Clair will attend the Medical College of Georgia. The Honors Program wishes Kristi all the best as she graduates from Georgia Southern and begins the next chapter of her studies and career.



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