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The Sting editor first student to speak at commencement


APRIL 18, 2014 – SPSU has had many “firsts,” from the first woman geologist to serve as a university president in North America to offering the first mechatronics degree in Georgia. On Sat., May 10, Randy Brown Jr., an English and professional communication major, will become the first student in SPSU history to serve as commencement speaker when he delivers the address at SPSU’s 109th commencement ceremony.

Brown came to SPSU in 2010 as an architecture student, but in the fall of 2011, he transferred into the English, Technical Communication and Media Arts (ETCMA) program, where he continued to excel. In December 2012, Brown took the reins as editor-in-chief of SPSU’s student publication, The Sting. Under his leadership, the staff turned this once-small newspaper into a journalism magazine. The Sting was named the 2014 SPSU Student Organization of the Year and the Georgia College Press Association’s Most Improved Student Newspaper in 2012-13. The publication received both awards in 2013 as well. As an extension of the paper’s revitalization, the ETCMA Department created a course, “The Newspaper Practicum,” in fall 2013, and Brown added teaching assistant to his repertoire.

The year 2013 proved to be most rewarding for Brown. He became an Honor Council member and served as a guest speaker at the Student Life Organizational Leadership Workshop, SPSU’s Open House and the SPSU 1000 course. Brown also served on the Student Life Committee and as a technical writer for the Office of Faculty Support and Development. He was named the Student Government Association’s Student of the Year and the ETCMA Outstanding Senior on April 11.

Brown will receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Technical Communication on the same day he addresses his fellow graduates. His current plans for the future revolve around choosing a graduate program. He has received letters of acceptance to the Master of Fine Arts programs in Creative Writing at the New School in New York City and Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

The School of Architecture and Construction Management, the School of Computing and Software Engineering, and the School of Engineering will confer degrees on their graduates during the 10 a.m. ceremony, while the 2 p.m. ceremony will graduate students from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering Technology and Management.