South Georgia State College’s Residence Life and Housing Coordinator Sandra Adams was awarded with the Gold medal distinction and named Outstanding Individual of the Year at the University System of Georgia Chancellor’s Service Excellence Awards on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The award was presented during a ceremony in the Champion’s Club at the Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta.
Adams was nominated for her commitment to the students of SGSC and her continued desire to make their home away from home an exciting and positive experience. She has been an integral part of SGSC since 2010 with the responsibility of providing leadership and management to the Office of Residence Life and Housing. With her being at the front lines for student engagement, she takes the time and energy to go a step further, at times many steps further. She established and serves as the lead on several initiatives focused on the students, as well as their interactions with the community.
Her work with the R.I.S.E (Retention Involves Student Empowerment) Program and the Safe Space Program has been instrumental with lives being changed and students receiving the support needed to be successful in their collegiate pursuits at SGSC. The R.I.S.E Program is connected as a state-wide and campus-wide network for foster, homeless and disconnected youth. It also serves students that are struggling with everyday needs while on campus. Pantries have been established on both campuses and are stocked with non-perishable food items, toiletries, clothing, towels, linens and school supplies to distribute to students in need. The Safe Space Program created a team of allies for students that identify as part of the LGBTQ community.
Another initiative she is involved with is the SGSC Programming Team. This group was started in an effort to insure programming for students to include cultural, social, educational, athletic and “just for fun” events to foster student interaction with their peers, faculty and staff.
In addition, an area important to her is community service. She established a relationship between the College and the Hope Center, a local afterschool program for youth, and takes students there frequently to volunteer. She also created the SGSC Cares 2017, a community service week in April to expose students to the benefits of volunteerism.
“Ms. Adams demonstrates sound leadership qualities, a strong work ethic and positive human relations skills with a solid commitment to student-centered learning. She has demonstrated through the years an unwavering loyalty to the institution,” says Dr. Greg Tanner, Dean of Students at South Georgia State College. Tanner goes on to say, “I am always impressed and appreciative of how she goes out of her way to make a student’s experience at SGSC a positive one. She is well-deserving of this honor.”
According to the University System’s website, this award “recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding, "above and beyond" service to the students, colleagues and other customers of the USG over the last year. Nominee's actions must reflect the following five attributes of service excellence: Respectful, Accessible, Informed, Supportive, and Responsive.
“Sandra Adams is an amazing person with a passion for the students at South Georgia State College and for people. She continues to exceed all expectations and notably during the last hurricane that hit our region, Sandra took care of not only our students but also students and staff members from our sister institution - The College of Coastal Georgia,” says Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, SGSC President. “Sandra has a very big heart and it shows in her day to day work with everyone at the College.”