Dr. Erica Osmond Named 2015 Distinguished Alumna of the Year

VSU Erica Osmond

VALDOSTA — Dr. Erica Osmond is Valdosta State University’s 2015 College of the Arts Distinguished Alumna of the Year.

“I was surprised when I found out I was going to be recognized as a distinguished alumna recipient,” she said. “I have worked extremely hard to earn my degrees and to get where I am in my career. Knowing that the institution where I started my education recognizes my journey is humbling. I had the privilege of learning from some of the strongest and most challenging professors during my time at VSU. My interactions with my professors is what inspired me to enter the field of higher education, and for that, I am beyond grateful.”

Osmond earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in speech communication from VSU in 2002.

“VSU was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me,” she shared. “I made some amazing friends who I still keep in touch with today, had the opportunity to participate and travel with a strong debate team, and I learned to be independent. Although I was only 1,000 miles away from home, I was able to experience another subculture…and that turned me into a fan of Southern living.”

During her time at VSU, Osmond was a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s honor society, and the Forensics (Speech and Debate) team.

Thirteen years later, Osmond still makes the effort to keep in touch with her VSU instructors.

In 2014, she had the opportunity to work with Dr. Michael Eaves, director of forensics and a speech communication professor in the Department of Communication Arts at Valdosta State University, as a contributing book reviewer for his recent health communication textbook, Applications in Health Communication: Emerging Trends.

After graduation, Osmond earned a Master of Arts in corporate and public communication from Monmouth University and a Doctorate in adult learning and higher education from Walden University.

A full-time instructor and coordinator of speech communication and education at Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) in Pemberton, Osmond has proven to be an active faculty member on the RCBC campus.

She is president of the Faculty Senate, advisor for the Education Club, a success coach for at-risk students, a mentor for speech and education adjuncts, and chairwoman of the Written and Oral Communication area of the General Education Committee and the annual RCBC breast cancer campaign committee. Osmond is also a member of Governance, the Academic Standards Committee, the Middle States Committee, the RCBC Honors Committee, and the Social Committee.

Additionally, Osmond is a co-chairwoman, host, and featured speaker at the RCBC’s annual 9/11 remembrance program and a Craft Advisory Board member at the Institute of Technology High School in Burlington County, where she serves as a liaison between High Tech High School and RCBC to create programs that will enhance curriculum prepare students for a post-secondary education.

For the past three years, Osmond has been selected to participate in the New Jersey State Curriculum Consortium, Big Ideas: Faculty Summit on Learning Outcomes. She has also volunteered as a speech and business plan coach for high school students competing in Start-up Stars, a Shark Tank-like competition that promotes young people to explore becoming entrepreneurs.

In 2009, she was honored by the Instructional Technology Council for the development of her online public speaking course in the category of Best Distance Learning Course.

Osmond resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jim, and three sons, J.R., 11, Andy, 10, and Jack, 8. She said her family is her most important and greatest accomplishment.

-written by Whitney Yarber, Communications Specialist, Office of Communications, Valdosta State University, www.valdosta.edu/news