South Georgia State College (SGSC) officially celebrated the start of the 2018-2019 school year at Convocation on August 6 on the Douglas Campus. Convocation is an annual tradition that gathers the faculty and staff from all SGSC campuses and instructional sites to spotlight the successes and plans of the College for the coming year and to welcome new employees.
Ryan Sconyers, director of human resources, opened the program with the introduction of the new faculty and staff. He then presented the employee service awards. Celebrating 25 years of service was Scott Thigpen, professor of nursing. Celebrating 20 years of service was Yuna Chen, professor of economics. Celebrating 15 years of service was Susan Clement, associate professor of nursing; Rhonda Kelley, associate professor of English and learning support; Martha Morgan, assistant to the athletic director; and Jeff Timothy, lecturer of physical education and head baseball coach. Celebrating 10 years of service were Jamica Coates, interim director of admissions; LaToya Curtis, assistant director of financial aid; Paula Fales, associate professor of English and education; Amy Hancock, communications and outreach manager; Annette Harrell, custodian; Taylor Hereford, Waycross Campus director; Lance Keaton, electrical technician; Walda Kight, vice president of external affairs; Lisa Mancil, administrative assistant for school of sciences; Nathaniel Roberts, custodian; Sandra Roberts, custodian; and Becky Wehmeier, development services coordinator. Celebrating five years of service were Rosa Guedes, associate professor of biology; Jimmy Harper, chief information officer; Kimberly Hunt, assistant professor of biology and genetics; John Kirkland, infrastructure support specialist; Stanley Sinkfield, career specialist; and Amber Wheeler, academic success director.
Receiving special recognition and congratulations on their retirements were Shirley “Buckie” Sasser with 24 years of service; Curtis Owens with 23 years of service; Pam Rudick with 13 years of service, Lionell Bennett and Jacqueline Vickers, each with 11 years of service.
LaToya Curtis, staff council president, shared key accomplishments of the Staff Council and several SGSC staff members. She recognized Sandra Adams, residence life and housing coordinator, for receiving the University System of Georgia’s gold medal distinction and Outstanding Individual of the Year at the customer service excellence awards ceremony. Amy Hancock, communications and outreach manager, was recognized for receiving a distinguished advisor award at the national level for her work with Phi Theta Kappa students. Caity Barber, coordinator of campus & development operations on the Waycross Campus, received the first Employee of the Month recognition. This program, started by the Staff Council, will recognize an employee of the college each month for outstanding service and good deeds.
Frank Pridemore, faculty assembly president, congratulated several faculty members on recent accomplishments. Dr. Margaret Adams, assistant professor of mathematics, has presented research and papers at several national mathematical conferences. Dr. Kathryn Dye, assistant professor of biology, was recently published in CourseSource-Evidence-based teaching resources for undergraduate biology education. Susan Clement, associate professor of nursing, was also published in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice.
Also recognized by Curtis and Pridemore were the staff and faculty members receiving the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award. They included Ronald Abercrombie, senior lecturer of accounting; Lynn Crews, enrollment services advisor; Jerome Danner, former administrative assistant for arts and professional studies; Amy Hancock, communications and outreach manager; Jimmy Harper, chief information officer; Martha Morgan, assistant to the athletic director; Priscilla Price, academic success academic advisor; Mitch Roundtree, admissions advisor; Sandra Sims, custodian; Angela Speight, financial aid advisor; Amber Wheeler, director of academic success; and Ame Wilkerson, registrar.
“This past year was a busy year and we accomplished so much that makes us very proud. I am especially appreciative of the faculty, staff, community partners and friends of the college who worked tirelessly in helping us reach certain milestones. Thank you for all you do for our students!” SGSC’s president, Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, continued, “I am looking forward to an even better year filled with many successes as we chart a new course with an emerging strategic plan and a focus on our priorities for this year.”
In conclusion during his keynote address, John Fuchko, vice chancellor for organizational effectiveness with the University System of Georgia, expressed his appreciation for all SGSC does in the region and challenged the faculty and staff to continue to work together for the greater good of educating the students and making a difference in their lives.