Student Success Summit Highlights Award Winners, Service Milestones

As part of Gordon State College’s strategic plan to recognize excellence across the campus, Gordon awarded its inaugural GSC Foundation Faculty and Staff Awards, honored outstanding students, who named 15 faculty and staff members with the 2020 Highlander EDGE Awards and spotlighted those with service milestones during the Student Success Summit Wednesday.

The Highlander EDGE are noted qualities that set Gordon graduates apart: Engaged Innovators, Dedicated Scholars, Gifted Communicators and Ethical Leaders.

Celebrating the EDGE was the theme for the fifth annual summit, which was held virtually. The agenda was filled with the recognition of many faculty and students spotlighted for helping others succeed. Employees were able to benefit from a variety of training and personal development sessions designed to enhance student success.

President Kirk A. Nooks said he was inspired and encouraged by each award recipient and the investment of time and effort demonstrated by each presenter and participant in the summit.

“Each person brings something unique to our college,” Nooks said. “I am reminded of what Gordon can accomplish when we put self aside and focus on the common goal. All of our students are counting on us.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs C. Jeffery Knighton congratulated the EDGE recipients along with the distinguished faculty and staff. “You represent all that is great about Highlander Nation," he said. "You are all an inspiration and passionate about learning. You perfectly exemplify the Highlander EDGE. Gordon State College is dedicated to providing you with a superior education and seeing you prosper. The Highlander EDGE is the advantage that students will have for life-long career success, enlightened living and community leadership."

GSC Foundation Awards:

Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Amanda Duffus received the inaugural GSC Foundation Faculty Award. A statement from a colleague’s nomination of Duffus notes, "As a faculty fellow for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), Dr. Duffus has coordinated the highly successful Undergraduate Research Symposium, a large student-centered event requiring collaborative, planning, and interpersonal skills...throughout her ten years at Gordon State College, Dr. Duffus has mentored about fifty research students both at GSC and at other institutions, and has participated in over one-hundred different projects with her students."

In a statement from another colleague nomination for Duffus, “Dr. Duffus has guided and mentored several faculty members at GSC. There are several instances where she has gone well above the average ‘call of duty’ to help colleagues.  Her dedication and loyalty to her colleagues, students and Gordon State College is undeniable, and she regularly proves this through her actions. Simply put, whether it is her research, her students, or her colleagues, Dr. Duffus exceeds expectations and is beyond deserving of the Foundation Award.”

Finance and Administration Coordinator Joy Matthews was recognized for the inaugural GSC Foundation Staff Award. Matthews’ nominee wrote, “On a professional level, Joy is everywhere. She always strives to learn more about her job and those around her in the best interests of the college and her professional development. She spent countless hours learning and working with the offices of the Bursar, Financial Aid, Admissions, and the Registrar to coordinate and manage the on-campus call center and more. Does a lot of things above and beyond her regular job duties. Joy was a student at Gordon and works at Gordon because she wants to be at Gordon.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs C. Jeffery Knighton congratulated the EDGE recipients along with the distinguished faculty and staff. “You are all an inspiration and passionate about learning,” he said. “Gordon State College is dedicated to providing you with a superior education and seeing you prosper. We believe our graduates have an advantage over their competition. They think critically and demonstrated a commitment to lifelong learning that will transfer to all aspects of their lives.”  

Highlander EDGE Awards:

Outstanding students are selected by faculty and staff for the Highlander EDGE Awards, and in return, the nominated students also selected a faculty or staff member who has most influenced, guided and demonstrated exceptional leadership to them.

Highlander EDGE student recipients and selected faculty/staff include:

Business and Public Service: Katelyn Basford/Dr. Joe Mayo

History and Political Science: Victoria Brack/Dr. Frank Winters

Humanities: Alyssa Copeland/Dr. David Janssen

Fine and Performing Arts: Larry Stoermer/ Lisa Ferguson and Tony Pearson

Nursing: Brittany Steiger/ Wendy Martin

Natural Sciences: Amber D. Fraley/Dr. Cathy Lee  

Health Information Management: Tyleslie Johnson/Dr. Brenda Johnson

Elementary Education: Brittany Braden/ Dr. Joseph Jones

Middle Grades Education: Rhett Carroll/Dr. Pamela Bell

Honors Program: Autumn Vicos/Dr. David Janssen

Student Success Center: Hannah Rutledge/Dr. Rachel Mittelman

Student Life Assistant of the Year: Shaughne Bedgood/Dr. Jessica Traylor

Recreation Assistant of the Year: Shayla Guillory

Community Assistant of the Year: Jordyn Mays/ Shalanna Banks

Gordon State College Outstanding Scholar of the Year: Hannah Rutledge

Employee Service Recognition:

Employees honored for 30 years of service included: Beverly Eskridge, who is now one of nine employees in the Master Class who have served Gordon State College for 30 years of more. 

Employees honored for 25 years of service included: Lester Collins, Reginald Hamm, Grady Sullivan and Kenneth Tribbey.

Employees honored for 20 years of service included: Jody Alford, Dr. David Janssen and Jacqueline Robinson.

Employees honored for 15 years of service included: Dr. Pamela Bell, Samantha Bishop, Dr. Neil Boumpani, Dr. Alan Burstein, Kenny Cunningham, Jeff Dean, Dr. Annette Jackson and Dr. Jeremy Richards.

Employees honored for 10 years of service included: Tammie Adams, Dr. Amanda Duffus, Dr. Christy Flatt, Wanda Grant, Jeffrey Mason, Dr. Cortney McLeod, Christy Skinner, Dr. Wesley Venus and Jessica Yarbrough.

Employees honored for five years of service included: Jennifer Alford, Dr. Solomon Betanga, Candice Brown, Lisa Ferguson, Linda Foster, Jose Gutierrez, Pamela Henry, Jennifer Jones, Dr. Jacquelyn Key, Crystal McAbee, Dr. Erik McCarthy, Dr. JoAnn Nobles, Kendra Perdichizzi, Willie Proctor, Ashley Travis, Kelly Wilson, Dr. Franklin Williamson and James Woodruff.