ASU Alumnus Alfred Johnson was the speaker at Albany State University's Honors Day Convocation Friday. He is associate director for Research Services and Director of the Office of Research Services at the National Institutes of Health. He urged ASU students to "dream big." (March 15, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany State University recognized more than 400 students for academic achievement Friday during the university's 2013 Honors Day Convocation.
During the ceremony, which was organized around the theme "Academic Achievement: The Road to Excellence and Success," the students were recognized with presentations of certificates and plaques.
ASU's 2013 teacher, staff member and researcher of the year were also named.
Edward E. Lyons, a natural science/biology teacher was honored as the school's Teacher of the Year; History/Political Science/Public Administration Professor Maurice Melton was named Researcher of the Year, and ASU Police Chief John Fields Jr. was the Staff Member of the Year.
Lyons was selected by a vote of peers and students, Melton by a peer committee and Fields by a staff committee.
"It (Honors Day) is an enduring ASU tradition that has continued for decades and draws parents, ASU alumni and Albany residents," said Dr. Melvin Shelton, associate professor and director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship.
ASU alumnus Alfred Johnson was the speaker. He is associate director for research services and director of the Office of Research Services at the National Institutes of Health. The agency is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is the nation's medical research agency.
Johnson urged those at the gathering to believe in their dreams.
"Dream big and hold on to those dreams because they can come true," Johnson said. "When I look out on this crowd, I see acres of diamonds which can disperse light of many different colors. You are all diamonds formed by the pressure and heat of academic rigor. You all are under a lot of pressure here, but it makes you stronger and more beautiful.
"Think big and always have a dream to chase."
Johnson likened dreaming big to the Iditarod Great Sled Race.
"You might ask, 'Why should I dream big?'" he said. "Think about the Iditarod and being that lead dog. ... You want to be that top dog, because if you are one of the other dogs in back, the sights and smell never change.
"When you think and dream big, you can be that lead dog, and you can make a difference ... always have a dream."