Remembering. . .

Dr's. James LaPlant, Dean, and Mark Smith, Associate Dean, along with the department heads, faculty, staff, and students of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences would like to dedicate this page to all faculty, staff, and students we've recently lost. If you have a memorial you would like posted here, please contact the Dean's Office.

"When sorrow seems to surround you, when suffering hangs heavy o'er your head, know that tomorrow can bring wholeness and healing, believe on this when it's said."  - Crystal Lewis

Jane Louise Elza was born Oct. 9, 1943, and died July 1, 2023. Dr. Elza came to Valdosta State University (VSU) in 1974, and was the first woman in the VSU Political Science Department. She helped start the Legal Assistant program, the Women's Studies program, and the first faculty senate. She was one of the founders of the Southern Association of Pre-Law Advisors. While at VSU, she was active in the American Association of University Professors.

She is predeceased by her mother and father, Ruth and Karl Elza, her brother, Karl Elza, and her other mother and father, Lucille and Harvey Gideon. She is survived by her nephew, Dethe Elza, grand-nephews Seth and Azlen (Vancouver, B.C.), her niece, Judy Hale, Esq. (Pittsburgh, PA); and her cousin Mike Elza (Florida). Dr. Elza gave her body to science. There will be a memorial service at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year at Valdosta State University. She asked that you remember her as you will. She had a profoundly positive impact on her family, colleagues, friends, and students, and leaves us inspired to live for justice and love.

Barbara Ann Warren, who died peacefully on Friday, December 22, 2023, after a courageous battle with Parkinson's disease. She was well known to friends and family as Bobbie, was 76 years old. She was born on February 8, 1947 in Adel, Georgia, to Joe and Mona Newbern. One of five siblings, she was raised on the family farm and with a large a loving extended family near Chaserville. Bobbie moved to Hahira in the early 1970s and raised four children while running a quilting shop and working part-time at the post office. Bobbie was on the very first Hahira Honey Bee Committee, which created the festival we all know and love. After raising her children she went back to school at Valdosta State University and obtained her Master's degree. Bobbie then taught English there for the last 18 years she worked. She was an inspiration to students and coworkers who remember her love for poetry and classic vinyl record sleeves on her office walls.

She enjoyed many summers volunteering as the camp nurse at Honey Creek, the Episcopal conference center in Waverly. Bobbie is survived by her sons, Jesse (Brandi) of Thomasville, Davy (Kristin) of Hahira, and Patrick (Amy) of Tifton. Bobbie adored being 'Nana' to her grandchildren. She was preceded in death by son Chris. A graveside memorial service will be held at Brushy Creek Baptist Church and condolences may be expressed to the family online at Her memory will remain forever in our hearts, and our deepest sympathies go out to her loved ones as they process this devasting loss.

Dr. Moses Hardin peacefully left this life on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. Dr. Hardin joined our Blazer Nation family in January 1976 and retired in December of 2012, as an associate professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in French from Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, NC), a Master of Arts Degree in French from Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA), and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in French from Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL). A French professor for 36 years, Dr. Hardin embraced his teaching career with a vibrant passion and served as moderator of the local chapter of the French Honor Society, Pi Delta Phi and in 2012, he was honored as a "History Maker" for Valdosta/Lowndes County. At the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Integration at VSU in 2013, Dr. Hardin was celebrated as a "Distinguished VSU Pioneer" for breaking barriers and helping to implement online teaching for the University System of Georgia, as well as developing other groundbreaking programs for the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. He was an exceptional teacher, cherished colleague, and a dear friend to so many people at VSU and in the surrounding community.

Dr. Sandra Walker had this to say: “Dr. Moses Hardin was an esteemed and well-loved colleague and professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. His kindness and deep faith, as well as his unwavering commitment to learning and teaching (especially in the field of French Language and Literature), made him a role model and mentor for those who knew him. Moses was also, for me, a good friend whose wise counsel was comforting and whose wonderful sense of humor brought laughter and joy.” 

His memory will remain forever in our hearts, and our deepest sympathies go out to his loved ones as they process their loss. This includes his devoted wife of 45 years, Dr. Shirley Hodge Hardin and their children: Keltrice and Eric Hardin of Valdosta, and Jeremy (Amanda) Hardin of Atlanta. 

It is with great sadness that her family announces the passing of Janice Fay Lowe on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 25, 2024 at First Baptist Church Quitman at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Steve Shierling officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. The family will be receiving friends one hour prior to the service at the church.

Janice was born February 3, 1955 to the late Audie Lowe and Clara Waitt Lowe and was raised in Quitman, Georgia.  As an only child, she devoted her adult life to caring for her parents and made sure they had the best of everything in their older years.  Janice and her parents were avid Cloggers and Square Dancers, winning many competitions and ribbons. Most importantly, Janice loved and cherished her relationship with God.

After high school, Janice graduated with a degree in Mathematics from Valdosta State University where her love for Blazer Athletics was born.  She went on to earn her Masters Degree in Computer Science.  Janice loved math and after many years teaching at the high school level, she joined the Math Department at Valdosta State University and taught there for 38 years.  While at VSU, Janice was a faculty advisor for Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, received the Outstanding Alumni Award for the Department of Mathematics, was a charter member of the Georgia Epsilon Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society and became Co-Advisor to this as well. In her own words, Janice said “I have always considered it a privilege and an honor to teach. To think that I could have some impact on a student’s education and life causes me to take what I do seriously.  Through it all, it is the “moments” that make it all worthwhile.  The “moment” when you see in a student’s eyes that they understand what was taught, how much they have learned in your class, when they tell you thank you for your help and encouragement.  Yes, it is the “moments” that give me the greatest joy.  This is why I teach!”  Janice had just announced her retirement from VSU and was planning to relax, travel and continue to support her beloved Blazers. 

Second to teaching was Janice’s love for anything related to Blazer athletics.  She whole-heartedly supported Blazer football and tailgated with her beloved “Bouncing Blazer Buddies” fondly known as the “B-Cubes.”  Janice loved Blazer Nation so much she was fondly known as the “Blazer Lady” and was instrumental in having Valdosta State designated as “Title Town” following the Blazer football team winning a National Championship. Janice loved telling everyone that “It’s Friday, Blazers!! Get your RED on!!” 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Valdosta State Athletics by visiting and selecting “Athletic Excellence Fund” as your designation. Please mention “in memory of Janice Lowe” in the comments section.  Donations can also be made by check to:  VSU Foundation Inc. 1500 North Patterson Street Valdosta GA 31698. Please write “In Memory of Janice Lowe” on the memo line of your check.

Dr. Steven J Kohn, age 65, of Valdosta, Georgia passed away on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.                          A graveside service for Steven was held Friday, July 28, 2023 from 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM at Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, NY 11003.

Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, President of Valdosta State University shared the following about our beloved Dr. Kohn,“Dr. Kohn joined the Department of Psychological Sciences faculty in August 2004. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Comenius Medal from Palacky University in the Czech Republic for his many years of service to VSU’s “Live and Learn in the Czech Republic” study abroad program. He enjoyed seeing students grow through their time abroad and introducing them to iconic cities like Vienna, Olomouc, and Prague and historical sites like Auschwitz. His students respected him and described him as caring, straightforward, easy to communicate with, and kind. One of his spring semester students shared, “I would take any class with him.”

A college education is more than just the classroom,” Dr. Kohn said upon receiving the award from Palacky University. “These are life-changing experiences. It changes their views on their own future, their ideas about things, how they see themselves, and how they see their home. It’s a pleasurable thing to see.”

Kathe Lowney who died unexpectedly on Monday, January 8, 2024, was a dear colleague, who had a major impact on VSU. The author of five books and numerous scholarly articles, she made many professional presentations and public lectures, and conducted many workshops. She received numerous grants, both from VSU and externally. She served on three doctoral committees and led the dissertation support group that helped numerous students working on their dissertations. She contributed to the university in numerous other ways and was widely recognized for her contributions, including being selected as the first Fellow-in-Residence for the Idea Center. She was very active in her profession and was recognized nationally, including winning the Hans O. Mauksch Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Sociology from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Teaching and Learning. Kathe’s husband is Dr. Frank Flaherty, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences. Their residence is in Brasstown, North Carolina. The family will receive friends from 1pm to 3pm on Friday, January,12 at Townson-Rose Funeral Home Chapel in Murphy, N.C.