Kennesaw State Honors student awarded for scholarship and service

KENNESAW, Ga. | Apr 19, 2021

On his bedroom walls, KSU Journey Honors College student Robert Connor has a collection of sticky notes with motivational phrases he’s written, including, “You have 1,440. How are you using them?” – in reference to the number of minutes in each day.

Connor is making the most of each day as a student and a leader, and accordingly has been recognized as this year’s top student in Kennesaw State University’s President’s Emerging Global Scholars (PEGS) program. Named for the founding dean of the Honors College, the Ralph Rascati Outstanding PEGS Student award is given annually to a second-year student who demonstrates strong scholastic performance and service to others.

Robert Connor

“Receiving this honor really blows me away,” said Connor, a business management major from Rome, Georgia. “PEGS is a group of fantastic individuals who motivate me and inspire me, so it’s an incredible feeling to be given an award like this with so many deserving people being considered. It’s humbling.”

Connor serves as a peer mentor, helping fellow PEGS students navigate college life and the rigors of the Honors program, answering questions they have and simply being a friend. He also works as a resident assistant in University Village, recently completed a one-year term as the Coles College of Business senator in the Student Government Association, and has been accepted into the Coles College Scholars Program, an Honors cohort for high-achieving business students.

“I chose to come here because I felt that Kennesaw State would give me the best opportunity to go above and beyond,” Connor said. “I want to be someone who’s involved at KSU, someone who’s a leader, and being in PEGS and KSU Journey Honors College has given me those connections and opportunities.”

Among his many memorable experiences at Kennesaw State, Connor said his favorite has been the PEGS service project last fall for a third-grade class from a Cartersville elementary school. The KSU students recorded themselves reading different children’s books and shared the videos on YouTube, so they could be watched by children who were at home and attending school virtually because of the pandemic.

Connor chose the book “Where’s My Monster?,” but he didn’t just read it. Like several other PEGS students did, he acted out scenes from the book and enhanced his video with sound effects and music. To those who know him, that’s typical of the zest he brings to whatever he does.

“Robby stands out among his peers within the PEGS cohort due to his contagious enthusiasm, positive attitude, motivation to excel in his studies, and heart for leadership and service,” said Rita Bailey, dean of KSU Journey Honors College. “He is always the first student to raise his hand and volunteer to take on extra tasks, to motivate and organize other students toward cohort goals, and to assist his classmates.”

While Connor’s collection of motivational sticky notes includes one that says, “What is today’s purpose?” he also is always looking ahead. He has earned a promotion to senior resident assistant for next school year, overseeing one of the buildings in University Village, and he has secured a financial planning internship with Northwestern Mutual for fall semester, which he will work full time while carrying 13 credit hours of classes.

As he progresses toward his management degree and looks forward to starting his Coles Scholar coursework, Connor is weighing what career path he will take after he graduates from Kennesaw State. Most of all, he wants to continue striving to make the most of those 1,440 minutes in every day.

“I want to keep my eyes open to the many possibilities of life,” Connor said.

– Paul Floeckher

Photos by David Caselli

Related Stories

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit