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Campus Celebrity Ayannie Thomas ’15

The lady with the great smile and powerful ambition, meet Ayannie Thomas, our Campus Celebrity this week! 

Name: Ayannie [Yaya] Sharnell Thomas

Classification: Senior

Major: Public Relations

Zodiac Sign: Virgo

Her Campus: Hey Yaya! ​​What made you come to VSU?

Ayannie Thomas: When I came to visit, I felt so welcomed and ​right at home. The campus was so beautiful and it caught my attention immediately.  VSU’s location was perfect for me – close by Florida and not too far from my family.  VSU has so much to offer from student organizations, services and majors, so having a lot to choose from [is] always a plus for me.

HC: What’s your greatest accomplishment and experience here at VSU?

AT: My greatest accomplishment here at VSU was being able to be myself in a place where so many things try to make you something else! My greatest experience here at VSU was being a part of Media Arts Geniuses and planning the Showcase. The Showcase was a wonderful learning experience and helped me discover my major! The event was amazing and everything was so entertaining! It definitely exemplified excellence.

HC: What all are you involved in?

AT: ​I am a member of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), serving as the Secretary.  I am a public relations representative and serving on the event coordinating committee for Media Arts Geniuses (M.A.G.), serving as the Treasurer, Community Service and Fundraising Chair.  I am also an Assistant Manager for the Muscogee County Board of Elections.  I am a makeup artist for Glam Equipe and Publicist for Miss Abriel Blake.


HC: How do you manage your time?

AT: Managing time has always been a struggle for me, but I learned that it is VERY important to write everything down and back it up in at least two places for constant reminder. I also had to learn that I am not superwomen and can’t be in two places at one time.  Because I had so many task and obligations, I had to make my life easier and more organized. So, I bought a planner! I use this planner for EVERYTHING and it is color coded and can only be understood by me! My iPhone and iPad calendar are color coded, but alerts me 15 minutes before everything I need to do. First, I handle my school work (starting with time sensitive task), then organizational commitments, and then everything else follows. I write everything down from work schedule, class assignment due dates, bill due dates and even TV show releases. My planner is the only thing that helps me manage my time!

HC: Planners are everything! What’s some advice you can give to girls that have so much going on?

AT: Girls, the best advice I can give you is take a break, analyze what you have going on, and HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS.  Do not lose yourself in all the chaos; take control and do what you have to do!

HC: What person in the past or present (not family or friends) has inspired you?

AT: A women by the name of Audrey Boone-Tillman inspires me in so many ways!  She is the epitome of a hard working woman, who strives for greatness.  She exemplifies what it truly means to be dedicated, committed and a leader.  She is a wife, mother, business woman, an educated queen and AFLAC’s executive vice president and General Counsel.  In 2013, The Network Journal selected her as one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business!  She was also named one of the Top 100 Blacks in Corporate America by Black Professionals magazine.  She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the North Carolina State Bar and the Bar of the District of Columbia and past chair of the corporate law section of the National Bar Association!  I hope to embark on a journey that is just as empowering as Mrs. Tillman!

HC: What is a quote that describes your work ethic?

AT:  ​A quote that describes my work ethic is: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit!”

HC: How have you changed from when you first came to VSU until now?

AT: There has definitely been a change in me!  I was a girl who didn’t know her purpose in life, very negative and not at all motivated.  But now, I can proudly say I am a woman of hard work, truly happy, well focused, and free!  I am stronger than I was yesterday and I can thank the Lord, my mother, grandmother, Mrs. Carla Jordan, Mrs. Loretha Copeland, Ms. Rebecca Taylor, Tysean Jackson, Juwan Andrews, William Jimerson, and Abriel Blake for helping me along the way!

HC: What are three words to describe you?

AT: Three words that describe me are passionate, driven and innovative.

HC:  Last but not least, what motivates you?

AT: My family, my future and my family motivate me to the fullest! There is nothing better than your family being your support system! I believe in myself! Self-motivation is so beautiful. Belief in myself will be that spark that leads me to my future. Every time I get discouraged I tell myself, “Whatever it is I can count on God to work through it all for my ultimate good!”

Ayannie [Yaya] is an exceptional girl! She’s so driven and focused and such a wonderful woman to know! Don’t hesitate to say hi to her! 

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