Bell White Promoted to Professor

Six Faculty Promoted, Three Receive Tenure

Gordon State College professors will have a delay in the formal tenure and promotion recognition ceremony due to COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the delay, two faculty have been promoted to professor as part of the seven faculty members total who received promotions and/or tenure.
Pamela Bell, Ed.D., who had previously received tenure, and Jeff White, M.Ed., have been promoted to professor. Bruce Capers; Winsome Chang, MSN; Melissa Harrison, MSN and Erik McCarthy, Ph.D., have each received promotions to associate professor. Jacquelyn A. Key, DNP, is receiving tenure along with Chang and McCarthy.
“I wish to congratulate each of these faculty members for their well-deserved achievements,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. C. Jeffery Knighton. “Gordon State College students are indeed fortunate to have these fine individuals helping them achieve their educational and life goals.
“Being awarded the rank of professor, or ‘full professor’ is the highest honor that a faculty member can achieve. It essentially means that person’s teaching, service, and professional development and scholarship is of such a high quality that they can be held up against any professor, anywhere, as being the ‘cream of the crop.’”

Bell began working for Gordon in 2005 and will reach the 15-year milestone mark this fall. The Forsyth native who lives in Barnesville currently teaches seniors in the education department and serves as a college supervisor for student teachers in the field.

“I am honored to be named a full professor and am thankful to all the people along the way who helped me in my journey,” said Bell. “That includes my family, of course, but also Dr. Richard Baskin, who took that initial chance on me, Dr. Jerry Stinchcomb, Dr. Sheryl O'Sullivan, Dr. Michael P. Mahan, and Dr. Joseph Jones.  I appreciate all the guidance that they have provided through the years.”
White, professor of Health and Physical Education, has been teaching at Gordon for almost 20 years. The Missouri native lives in Macon+Bibb County currently teaches PHED 1001: Health and Wellness for Life and Colloquium 2993: Global Health Issues.
“I love everything about Gordon, but I admire GSC’s continuing dedication to its mission of ‘to be a catalyst for exceptional and accessible education,’” said White. “I am humbled and grateful that my peers have honored me with this promotion to full professor. I pray that I will bring honor to the title of full professor.”
Tenured professors keep their positions as a permanent status member of the college until they retire, resign or are terminated for a specific cause. In order to receive tenure, faculty members must submit a collection of data recording their teaching, research, and service accomplishments. The portfolio goes through an extensive review process before it is submitted to the president for final review.
“Being awarded tenure is a major milestone in the life of a faculty member,” Knighton said. “It essentially means that the college is saying to that person, ‘We have so much confidence in you that we are willing to make a commitment to you for the rest of your professional career.’ Similarly, being promoted to associate professor indicates that person’s record of teaching is superior, and either their level of service or professional development is at such a high level, that they are now ready to be at a higher level, one where they, themselves, can serve as role models for newer faculty members.”
Capers has been working for Gordon for seven years. The Chatham County native who lives in Snellville teaches Fitness for Life, Introduction to Physical Education, Weightlifting, Pace Walking and Careers in Sports.
“I feel really good about this accomplishment because it's an indication that your colleagues respect and appreciate your hard work as an educator trying to make a difference,” said Capers. “My favorite thing at Gordon is the growth potential and the fact that I have a chance to be a part of that.”
Chang has been a member of Gordon’s nursing department faculty for seven years. The Paulding County native who lives in Acworth teaches Acute Medical-Surgical for the BSN Pre-Licensure Program.
“My favorite thing at GSC is the sense of community, especially that which comes with working with my colleagues, seeing my students succeed in their chosen field as we at Gordon invest in their lives,” said Chang. “Our state-of-the-art buildings, the multiple activities, and the feeling of family among our entire staff, faculty and student.  I appreciate that my efforts in teaching students here at GSC in my role as not only a faculty but as a nurse is being recognized and that means a great deal to me.”
Harrison has worked for Gordon for six years and previously granted tenure. The Jones County native who lives in Gray teaches third and fourth semester ASN nursing students.
“I am quite excited about this promotion and appreciative for the recognition of the hard work,” said Harrison. “The faculty I work with and the opportunity to help students grow is my favorite part about Gordon State College.”
McCarthy, Missouri native who lives in Barnesville and teaches English composition and introductory and advanced literature courses, has been teaching at Gordon for five years.

“It has taken many years for me to get to this point in my career; so, what I feel right now is mainly relief,” said McCarthy. "One advantage of working at a smaller institution like Gordon State College is the opportunity it affords to work closely and form friendships with colleagues in other disciplines."

Key, an assistant professor, Macon+Bibb County native who lives in Lithonia has been working for Gordon’s nursing faculty for five years. Key teaches Foundation of Nursing, Pharmacology and Mental Health classes.
“I love the respect that I receive from the students, colleagues, and the community,” said Key. “I am proud but humble for the accomplishments that I have achieved within the last five years.  My humbleness has allowed me to recognize that I have not completed my professional growth, but I must continue to set new goals.”