Gordon State College Celebrates Highlander EDGE Award Winners

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

Gordon State College presented its 2022 Highlander EDGE Awards on Monday, May 2, at the GSC Fine Arts Auditorium.

“Each year this particular event perfectly exemplifies why all of us here at Gordon State College, the faculty and staff, do the work that we do. It’s to prepare our students for a transformed life,” said GSC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. C. Jeffery Knighton.

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

“I’m proud to be in a room filled with these women and men that characterize what it means to have the Highlander EDGE. Each person brings something unique to Gordon,” said GSC President Dr. Kirk A. Nooks. “This award proves you have that advantage to experience career success and community leadership.”

As part of GSC’s strategic plan to recognize excellence across the campus, the Highlander EDGE Awards is an annual event in which outstanding students are selected by faculty and staff. In return, the nominated students also select a faculty or staff member who has most influenced, guided and demonstrated exceptional leadership to them.

“What I love about this ceremony is that, to me, it’s the beginning of the end of the [academic] year. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our successes with the beginning of this event and then ending it with commencement,” said GSC Professor of English Dr. David A. Janssen. “I’ve been privileged to take on the role of emcee for six years now. In organizing this event, I was able to talk to and work with the students we’re celebrating. I got to know this group of students and they’re truly fantastic and wonderful people.”

The format in which the award winners are listed below is as follows:

[Student’s Name – Award: Faculty/Staff Member Chosen by Nominated Student]

Highlander EDGE Award Winners in Academic Affairs

Joba Duke – Humanities and Fine & Performing Arts: Prof. Tony Pearson

Kandice Estrella – Math, Engineering, and Computer Science: Dr. John George

Zakiya Davenport – Biology: Dr. Amanda Duffus

Stephen Singleton – Nursing: Dr. Anne Sanders

Donna Marie Joiner – Health Information Management: Dr. Alan Burstein

Faith Catoe – Elementary Education: Dr. Julie Little

William Jones – Middle Grades: Dr. Joseph Jones

Alisha Landreth – History and Political Science: Dr. David Janssen

Rebekah Foster – Business and Public Service: Dr. Alan Burstein

Emma Mixon – Honors: Dr. Karen Guffey

Kandice Estrella – Student Success: Dr. John George

Highlander EDGE Award Winners in Student Affairs

[Award – Organization or Student: Faculty/Staff Member Chosen by Nominated Student]

Registered Student Organization of the Year – Sisterhood of Integrity, President Paris Hamilton: Dr. Brie McDaniel

Rising Star Award – Elijah Clemmons: Dr. Tonya Moore

– and Mary Monroe Smith: Mr. Calvin Adams

Student Leader of the Year – Alvin Stephens: Ms. Shalanna Banks

Highlander Life Award – Elijah Clemmons: Dr. Tonya Moore

Registered Student Organization Advisor of the Year – Dr. Linda Hyde

Dr. Knighton said the award is a lifetime achievement that will allow each person to experience an “enlightened living.”

“I am so proud of each of these students, faculty and staff members. Each of them represent what is excellent about Gordon State College,” Knighton said. “They possess the Highlander EDGE, and that will be with them for a lifetime.