HONORS CONVOCATION 2021 "Perseverance"
Virtual Ceremony & Celebration of Students' Academic Achievements
The annual Honors Convocation is held during spring semester (April) each year. The 2021 Convocation will be virtual and pre-recorded. Join us on April 21, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. for a FACEBOOK PREMIERE EVENT @ElizabethCityStateUniversity.
Honors Convocation Overview
What is Honors Convocation?
The Honors Convocation is an opportunity for ECSU to celebrate and recognize the academic achievements of undergraduate students with full-time enrollment. Awards will be based on academic identified in both spring 2020 and fall 2020 semesters.
Who Will Be Recognized?
All students enrolled in the University Honors Program will be recognized with Merit of Certificate Awards. Chancellor’s Scholars (who are also members of the University Honors Program) will receive academic blazers, as well as University Honors students who are graduating in spring 2021 and are completing their honors theses.
Recognition is also given to eight students in each academic department for their
high academic achievement. While only eight students can be chosen from each department,
each discipline has the opportunity to highlight the academic achievements of their
students. Also listed in the Program will be those students who have earned recognition
for being on the Chancellor’s List, Dean’s List, and Honor Roll.
Who is invited?
Everyone is invited! Families and friends are encouraged to view this year’s pre-recording, along with everyone from the University and ECSU communities.
Honors Convocation Keynote Speaker
Valerie “Val Marie” Henderson is a North Carolina native, who has become a pillar in the New York City community.
As a senior reporter for the DailyMail.com, she’s worked in the British newspaper’s
London office, and for the Belfast Telegraph in Northern Ireland.
As a first-generation college student, she is deeply committed to public service and displays this commitment by volunteering her talents to numerous organizations that serve Black communities. She is an advocate and volunteer for issues such as racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and awareness for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
She attended Elizabeth City State University, where she received a bachelor’s in aviation science and a bachelor’s in mass communications in 2014. While at ECSU, she became the university’s first Black female pilot in 2011, received the Excellence Without Excuse Award, was awarded the Tuskegee Airman Scholarship and three Thurgood Marshall College Fund scholarships, and she was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a member of the Honors Program. In 2012, she was initiated into the Delta Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and served as the chapter’s president. She was also a member of countless organizations on campus, including Vikings Assisting New Students (V.A.N.S). Some of her fondest memories at ECSU include her time as a radio host for WRVS 89.9, an anchor for Vikings Wake Up on W18BB-DTV, the editor of The Compass Newspaper and as a performer with the university’s theater program. Valerie was also a member of ECSU’s tennis team.
Valerie’s interest in science and writing led her to intern for agencies like NASA and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. After graduating from ECSU, Valerie was selected as a White House HBCU All-Star alumna. From North Carolina, Valerie packed up her things and moved to New York City where she attended Columbia University. In 2015, she graduated from Columbia with a master’s in journalism. In 2016, Valerie was selected as an HBCU Top 30 Under 30 distinguished scholar.
In 2017, Valerie was selected as a New Leaders Council (NLC) Fellow for the New York City chapter. After graduating from the fellowship, she stayed involved by joining the board to help with diversifying the curriculum for future fellows. Valerie’s ambition to make efficient community impact keeps soaring and in 2019, she was elected as the New Leaders Council's National Pride Caucus Co-Chair, a position she still holds. Under her leadership, the Pride Caucus has developed four subcommittees that provide transgender education, programs for LGBTQ+ Youth, workshops and curriculums on intersectionality and addresses LGBTQ+ issues in the workplace.
Last year, Valerie was selected as a NAACP NextGen Fellow. Throughout the year, she took her activism to the next level by organizing virtual conversations around mental health in the Black community amid two pandemics: COVID-19 and systemic racism. She also co-chairs the NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch’s Climate Justice Committee and serves on the LGBTQ+ and Civic Engagement committees.
Valerie currently serves as the first vice-president over community programs for the oldest graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in New York City. She has created one of the largest service projects in the Harlem community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. During the annual MLK Day of Service in January, she led the charge to raise more than $11,000 worth of donations like toiletries, hats, gloves and other items that were then donated to four shelters in Manhattan.