Staff Bios

Peter Higgins

Mr. Peter Higgins, Vice-President for Academic Excellence, has been the Director of Student Success at Gordon State College since August 2008. He was born in Boston, MA, went to high school in North Carolina, earned an MA in American Literature at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), and did graduate work at the University of Tennessee. 

Valerie Calhoun

Ms. Valerie Calhoun earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Literature and a Masters of Music in Music Literature from the University of Georgia. She has taught music classes and music appreciation classes at Gordon for many years. She also served as Interim Admissions Director in 2017. Ms. Calhoun joined the Student Success Center as an Academic Success Lecturer and Advisor in August 2018. She teaches the Freshmen Introduction to Reasoning Essentials (FIRE) course for first-year students in addition to being a faculty advisor. Ms. Calhoun is also currently working with a class of First Generation College students.

Sue Gilpin

Ms. Sue Gilpin is Gordon State College's Testing Center Coordinator. Sue has worked at Gordon State College since 2003, moving to the Student Success Center in 2009 and to the Testing Center in 2013. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Gordon State College in 2016. 

Wanda Stuckey

Dr. Wanda Stuckey is a former high school English teacher who now serves as an Academic Advisor in the Student Success Center. She has a B.A., M.Ed., and Ed.S. in English and English Education from Columbus State University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Northcentral University. Additionally, Wanda has National Teaching Certification through NBPTS and a Certificate in Information Technology through Macon State College (now Middle Georgia State University). Wanda first came to Gordon's Humanities division in 2007 before moving to the Student Success Center in 2011.

Katherine Tippins Sylvestre

Ms. Katherine Tippins Sylvestre earned her Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. She received a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Communication at Georgia State University and planning to graduate in 2021 or 2022. Ms. Sylvestre joined the Student Success Center in August 2018. She teaches FIRE1000 and Communication courses. She also has experience teaching freshman English. Ms. Sylvestre is interested in international education and study away (domestic) programs.

James Woodruff

Mr. James Woodruff earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Lander University and a Masters of Education degree from the University of South Carolina.

A graduate of the 2018-2019 Highlander Leadership Academy, Mr. Woodruff worked with other experienced and emerging leaders from across campus divisions to develop leadership skills and grow in understanding of the Highlander Ethos. 

Mr. Woodruff is a Student Success Advisor and Lecturer and serves as the primary Athletic Academic Advising Services Advisor to NJCAA Division I college athletics. In 2016, he earned a certificate from NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising to improve the academic success and eligibility certification of student-athletes.

Effective August 1, 2019, Professor Woodruff is the Access Coordinator, Fort Valley State University and GAP for Academic Year 2019-2020.