First Global Innovators Leap Onto the FVSU Stage

Posted on Aug 24, 2018

Recruited specifically to use a Fort Valley State University education as a launchpad to make a major difference in the world, the first Global Innovators Scholarship winners took their first steps as official Wildcats along with other new students last week. This week, they dove headfirst into classes, determined to aggressively pursue scholarship even as they are already planning future study abroad experiences.Global Innovators are winners of a competitive scholarship which includes up to $40,000 for tuition, room, board, fees, and other academic expenses, in addition to $2,000 for international study and $500 to pursue a customized passion project, such as research, creative exploration, or entrepreneurship. Students were selected based on their grade point average, demonstrated leadership, and interviews on campus this past February. The average grade point average for the Global Innovators was 3.8 on a 4.0 scale. The inaugural class of Global Innovators is comprised of Lindsay Corbin from Arabia Mountain High School in Lithonia, Georgia, Neariah Freeman from McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia; Camille Saunders from Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia; and Lauren Wartley from Harris High School in Hamilton, Georgia.
Dr. Paul Jones and other campus leaders, including faculty, administration, and student leaders, showed their commitment to support the future trailblazers during a reception designed to introduce them to the campus community and help them meet the FVSU family members who will guide them on their journey to greatness.

"They are amazing young ladies who we know are just going to transform the world," said Jones. "No pressure," he added laughingly.

Demonstrating the leadership qualities that helped her land the scholarship, Corbin came ready with a prepared speech expressing both gratitude and expectation.

Corbin Reception Global Innovator Lindsay Corbin (center) talks describes her future plans to senior campus leaders. Pictured (center left) are President Paul Jones and Provost. T. Ramon Stuart.

"I just want to thank all of you for your dedication and for the opportunity that you have given me to gain a top level education as Vet Tech major in the Agricultural Department," Corbin said. " My goals of owning a mixed animal practice building prosthetics for animals all while studying abroad would not be possible without the Global Innovators Scholarship. Without your efforts I would not be standing here before you today. You have already made a difference in my life. Now I want to do the very best that I can to help make a difference and improve the lives of others."

Active in robotics, Corbin's academic mindset is focused on her ultimate career goal of combining engineering and agriculture to create new innovations such as animal prosthetics. She also wants to work to decrease world hunger and improve living standards.

Ivery Butts Global Innovators Global Innovators Camille Saunders and Lauren Wartley (left) talk with Dr. Regina Ivory Butts (right), the campus advisor for study abroad opportunities. Neariah Freeman (center left) talks with LuWanna Williams (center right), the director for civic engagement, leadership, and professional development.

Saunders is studying mathematics en route to an engineering career, and participates in FVSU's renowned and challenging CDEP program, known for preparing students for internships and permanent placement with major energy companies or government agencies. FVSU, she says, has already pushed her into seeing herself with greater leadership potential.

Freeman has already built relationships with faculty members, who have taken a special interest in ensuring that she is taking the right mixture of classes which can accelerate her learning. The future pediatric oncologist is studying biology and ultimately wants to work with underprivileged children. She is extremely excited about the opportunity to study abroad.

Wartley is an animal science major. Her goal is to see the world as a traveling physician-- specifically, a trauma surgeon specializing in disaster medicine. She also looks forward to further mastering her language love, Spanish. She sees herself as a problem solver.

Deans Global Innovators University leadership in attendance included Dr. Govind Kannan, dean of the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology (left), Dr. Gregory Ford, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (middle), and Dr. Rebecca McMullen, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies.

The FVSU Global Innovators Scholarship was created to produce inquisitive, culturally adaptable students who create change. It helps students understand methods for conducting meaningful and thoughtful research into an idea or opportunity, move ideas to meaningful action, and create new approaches to problem-solving. At the same time, students develop a greater understanding of globalism by living, learning, and working with people in other countries. For more information about the Global Innovators Scholarship, please visit

Walker Brown Global Innovators Student leaders who came to support the Global Innovators included Miss FVSU Tanzania Walker, pictured with advisor Joyce Brown.

Main image caption: (l to r): Global Innovators Lindsay Corbin and Lauren Wartley, President Paul Jones, Global Innovators Camille Saunders and Neariah Freeman.

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