Bright futures ahead for Honors graduates


KENNESAW, Ga. (May 15, 2020) — Among the more than 3,500 students who earned their degrees from Kennesaw State University this spring were dozens of top scholars from KSU Journey Honors College.

KSU Journey Honors College offers academically talented, highly motivated students an innovative curriculum along with opportunities for undergraduate research, domestic and international travel, and community service activities. Each student customizes their Honors experience, enriching their education in a way that best prepares them for their future endeavors.

Here, we spotlight a few of the standouts from the spring 2020 graduating class, highlighting their favorite KSU experiences and what is next for them.

Leanne BelgaLeanne Belga

Biology major

Leanne Belga plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in emergency medicine. Her favorite Honors memory is her very first Honors course – Foundations for Healthy Living – because instructor Mia Oberlton’s “passion for her students and love for the subject allowed for everyone to succeed.”

Tyler GraggTyler Gragg

Mechatronics engineering major

Tyler Gragg, the spring 2020 Outstanding Honors Senior for the Marietta Campus, will attend graduate school and conduct research on aerial, ground and underwater vehicles performing tasks collaboratively. His favorite Honors memory is his senior design project, being part of a team that built a self-playing pinball machine.

Morgan HarrisonMorgan Harrison

Journalism and emerging media major

A four-year member of the KSU soccer team, Morgan Harrison’s new fields will be marketing and event management. She appreciated the Honors contracts that allowed her to collaborate directly with an instructor on customized projects, which she said, “helped me dive deeper into the parts of my studies I was passionate about.”

Kevin KampermanKevin Kamperman

Mechatronics engineering major

Kevin Kamperman is interning with the Georgia Tech Research Institute, working with unmanned aerial vehicles in the defense industry. He credits Honors faculty member Molly Brodak with encouraging him to begin writing his first novel.

Heather MorrisonHeather Morrison

Business management major

Following an internship, Heather Morrison accepted a full-time position in management with Target Corporation. She praised the professors who taught her Honors courses for being “some of the most knowledgeable, charismatic and overall wonderful educators I’ve ever had” and “made a lasting impact on my life.”

Joseph PayneJoseph Payne

English major

Joseph Payne is attending a publishing institute this summer before starting graduate school in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. His favorite Honors assignment was examining the literature composed during and after the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s, which he said, “truly shaped my path to graduate school.”

Valencia ScalesValencia Scales

Biology pre-medicine major

Valencia Scales is volunteering at hospitals and shadowing doctors in preparation for applying to medical school this summer, working toward her goal of leading her own obstetrics practice. She said, “I loved every part of my Honors experience because it allowed me to be the best I can be, both academically and spiritually.”

Madi SeiglerMadi Seigler

Spanish education major, linguistics minor

Madi Seigler is continuing her education, pursuing her master’s in Spanish linguistics and then planning to earn her Ph.D. and become a professor. She describes publishing research with professor Brian Olovson as “the highlight of my college career.”

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit