Published on April 7th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Gamble Challenges Students to elevate their minds to reach their highest potential

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center was filled with smiling faces of proud family members, faculty and friends while SC State University scholars sat in anticipation to receive awards honoring their academic achievements at the annual Honors and Awards Convocation. The 3 p.m. ceremony was held April 2.


Dr. Jennifer E. Gamble

The Honors and Awards Convocation recognizes students who have earned 3.0 or higher grade point averages. Acknowledgements of these accomplishments are awarded with bronze (3. 0 to 3.49 GPA), silver (3.50 to 3.74 GPA) and gold (3.75 to 4.0 GPA) medallions. Presidential Scholar awards were presented to those who demonstrated academic excellence to maintain and achieve higher levels of academic pursuits.

Dr. Jennifer E. Gamble, who is a member of the university faculty and staff, served as this year’s guest speaker. Gamble, the interim coordinator of Service Learning and Student Leadership Development in the Division of Student Affairs, assists students in their overall leadership development.

She challenged students to remove any limitations and to change their way of thinking.

“If you desire to change the world, you must shift your paradigm. In order to shift your paradigm, you must engage in activities that stimulate your neocortex, a part of the brain responsible for an individual’s intelligence, creative thinking, compassion and love,” said Gamble.

She inspired the scholars to step out of their comfort zones and to endure new challenges, while taking risks and confronting the unknown.

“These risks are going to unleash the essence of who you are,” she said. “You will experience success and losses, but as long as you continuously create opportunities, you will remain on track with changing the world,” said the Greeleyville, S.C. native.

For many SC State scholars, receiving an award for their academic achievement is a well-deserved reward for their hard work and determination.

“I am actually proud that I was recognized for my commitment to academics. I was a transfer student from USC-Upstate, and I was not doing very well. I was told that I would do better in manufacturing,” said Ricky Fields, a senior mass communications major from Spartanburg, S.C. “Coming to SC State University and pulling my grades up was a big achievement for me,” he continued.

Fields is a member of SC State’s Office of Student Media, where he assists with The Collegian newspaper, Stated magazine and WBTV. He is also the editor-in-chief for the yearbook, The Bulldog.

Fields, who currently works full-time at T-Mobile and attends the university full-time, still manages to hold a 3.1 grade point average. He says that he receives high scholastic achievements at the university by studying late at night and by praying. “The experiences that I have encountered here are truly worth it in the end,” he said.

Upon graduation, he plans to obtain a Master of Business Administration in marketing from Alabama A &M University. After he earns his master’s degree, he desires to work as a public relations executive for a telemarketing company.

Dana Brooks, a senior mass communications major and Newberry, S.C. native, shares the same sentiment as Fields.

“Being recognized during the Honors and Awards Convocation ceremony was a very good moment for me, it made me very proud of myself.”

Brooks is currently the editor-in-chief for The Collegian newspaper. She is the recipient of the Sligh-Gaulden scholarship and currently maintains a 3.5. grade point average.

“To reach high scholastic achievement, you must never give up and keep working hard and always go the extra mile,” she said.

To learn more about our students’ achievements, log onto

Founded in 1896 as a land grant institution with a mission of providing service to the citizens of the state, South Carolina State University has evolved from a small teachers’ college into a major University center of learning and research. Located in Orangeburg, S.C., with a student population of some 3,500, South Carolina State offers more than 50 different fields of study on the undergraduate and graduate levels. South Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools.



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