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2017 Honors and Recognition Ceremony recognizes faculty, staff and students

AMERICUS (April 25, 2017)—Georgia Southwestern State University held its Spring 2017 Honors and Recognition Ceremony Monday, April 24 in Jackson Performance Hall.

“The awards for faculty, staff and students recognize excellence in service, advising, scholarship and commitment to teaching, as well as faculty and staff members of the year,” said Interim President Charles Patterson when giving his opening remarks.

“It is important that we also celebrate, together, the achievements of our students,” Patterson added. “We take great pride in our identity as a close-knit university.  The Honors and Recognition Ceremony, where students and faculty come together in celebration of excellence, is just a small example of this commitment.”

The faculty and staff award recipients were as follows:

  • Faculty Excellence in Service Award: Kailash Ghimire, associate professor and chair of the School of Computing and Mathematics
  • Staff Excellence in Service Award: Donna Tissue, senior administrative assistant and officer of Public Safety
  • Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award: Gary Fisk, associate professor of psychology and sociology
  • Faculty Excellence and Commitment to Teaching Award: Paul Dahlgren, associate professor of English
  • Faculty Excellence in Advising Award: Bonnie Simmons, associate professor of Nursing
  • Staff Excellence in Advising Award: Linda Randall, director of Academic Resource Center and First Year advocate for the Academic Center for Excellence
  • Professor of the Year (sponsored by the GSW Alumni Association): Mark Grimes, assistant professor of management
  • SGA Faculty Member of the Year: John LeJeune, assistant professor of history and political science
  • Oris Bryant Staff Member of the Year: Donna Tissue, senior administrative assistant and officer of Public Safety

Additionally, faculty were recognized for promotion and tenure; faculty and staff were recognized for years of service to GSW; faculty retirees that were granted emeritus status were recognized and a moment of silence was held for the faculty and staff members that passed away while actively serving Georgia Southwestern.

At the conclusion of the night, Ellen Cotter, Ph.D., professor of psychology and sociology, delivered the second annual "Last Lecture" – a new tradition for the annual ceremony.

The 2017 GSW Outstanding Scholar, Carson Fields of Athens, Ga., was recognized and given a framed resolution from the both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate.

Awards for Academic Excellence were presented to the following students:

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Dramatic Arts Star Award: Sydney Scott of Richland, Ga.
  • Outstanding Graduate in English: Megan Dolan of Leesburg, Ga.
  • The Delores Capitan Writing Awards: First place: Gloria Brown of Ellaville, Ga.; Second Place: Megan Dolan of Leesburg, Ga.; Third place: Alyson Williams of Poulan, Ga.
  • Excellence in Psychology Award: Jamie Gesslein of Chipley, Florida
  • Excellence in Achievement in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies: Jamie Gesslein of Chipley, Florida

School of Business Administration

  • Oustanding MBA Graduate Student: Les Cromer
  • Outstanding Business Graduate in the Online Program: Marina Burke of Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • Outstanding Business Graduate in the On-Campus Program: Nicholas Ward, of Eastbourne, England

School of Computing and Mathematics

  • Outstanding Graduate in Computer Science: Hyukpyo Hong of Americus, Ga.
  • Outstanding Service to the School of Mathematics: Pagie Thomas of Leslie, Ga.

School of Education

  • Outstanding Early Childhood Student Teacher Candidate: Rachael Medlin of Cordele, Ga.
  • Outstanding Middle Grades Education Major: Chambliss Goodson Newsome of Leesburg, Ga.
  • Outstanding Early Childhood Student Teacher Candidate – ABAC: David Handley of Fitzgerald, Ga.
  • Dr. Richard W. Litwhiler Award for Health and Physical Education: Russell Hayes of Albany, Ga.
  • Dr. Richard W. Litwhiler Award for Exercise Science and Wellness: Laurie Tison of Warwick, Ga.
  • Leadership in Exercise Science and Wellness: Sarah Bridges of Sasser, Ga.
  • Kirt Myers Excellence in Teaching: Hannah Conger-Robinson of Americus, Ga.

School of Nursing

  • Outstanding Undergraduate in Nursing: Victoria Duren of Adel, Ga.

African American Male Initiative Awards

  • Genesis Davis
  • Brandon Hartman of Decatur, Ga.
  • Jacobi Smith of Macon, Ga.
  • Ashton Treadway of Butler, Ga.
  • Justin Wells of Buena Vista, Ga. 

A Facebook photo gallery of the Honors and Recognition Ceremony is available here.

- GSW - 

GSW Summer Reading Camp 2017 set for June 19-22

AMERICUS (April 24, 2017)--The Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) School of Education will offer a summer reading camp for children seeking to strengthen their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

Chemistry lab naming dedication in memory of Bill Wysochansky set for April 21

AMERICUS (April 19, 2017)--During a special ceremony Friday, April 21 at 1 p.m., Georgia Southwestern State University's Analytical Chemistry Laboratory will be named in memory of the late William "Bill" Wysochansky, Ph.D. The ceremony will take place just outside of the lab, which is located on the third floor of the Joseph C. Roney Building - Room 315.

Justin Neal uses theater experiences to mentor children with autism

The Atlanta native to begin second ‘act’ after graduation

AMERICUS, Ga. (April 14, 2017) – Justin Neal, who graduates next month, has played many roles as a Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) student, but his work with autism may be his most admirable role thus far.

Information for Graduates

Useful links for Upcoming Graduates:

Georgia Southwestern State University Presidential Search

A Message from the Chair:

My name is Dr. Sam Peavy, and I am chair of the Georgia Southwestern State University Presidential Search and Screen Committee (PSSC) at GSW.  Our charge from the Board of Regents is to seek qualified candidates for the position of GSW President, screen candidates for the position, interview candidates and provide the names of 3-5 unranked persons to the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia and the Special Regents Search Committee, which will make the final choice as to who will become our next president. 

Our goal is to identify the best possible candidates to provide leadership for our institution. We are managing this process to achieve that goal; however, we need your help and assistance as we move through this effort.  

In order for us to be effective in the screening process, it is important that we get input and insights from GSW faculty and staff, alumni and the citizens of Americus and the surrounding area as to the qualities and expectations we desire in the next GSW president. To that end, the PSSC will be organizing and holding a series of Town Hall Meetings, both on and off campus, to allow our many stakeholders to help us further define the future president’s desired qualities, qualifications, and vision for GSW.

Once we have the Town Hall Meetings scheduled, we will post the times and dates on this page, so check back soon. We hope that you will plan to attend one. 

The Board of Regents will announce the finalists for the presidency. To attract the best leader for GSW, please note that we will be protecting the confidentiality of candidates as they move through the search process, and interviews will not be open to the public. We are taking this approach as it is designed to ensure we engage a broad, high profile and excellent pool of qualified candidates to include sitting presidents and provosts who, if not chosen when publicly pursing this position, would negatively impact their current post and institution. 

Please join us in our effort to help select Georgia Southwestern State University's next president.

Sam Peavy,
Chair, Presidential Search and Screen Committee 

Update from the Chair - March 30,2017

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Friends of GSW:

I would like to thank all those who have attended the Town Hall Meetings. The meetings were very informative and helpful to the committee and will certainly aid us as we begin the candidate review process.

As of Monday, March 27, 2017, we have 30 applicants for the position, with an additional 40-plus nominees and interested parties. The final review pool could be as high as 50 candidates for our presidency.

The next step in our process will be to begin reviewing applicants (next week), which will be followed by a meeting at the end of April to select candidates for the preliminary interview process. Our goal right now is to have a final group of 3-5 candidates determined by early June.

Sam Peavy 

Official Job Announcement and Presidential Profile

Position Announcement

GSW Presidential Leadership Profile 

Town Hall Meeting Schedule

  • Friday, February 24, 2017 -- 10:30 a.m., Roney Building - Room 301
  • Monday, March 20, 2017 -- 5-6 p.m., Carter I Nursing Auditorium
  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017 -- 5:30-6:30 p.m., Carter I Nursing Auditorium
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017 -- 5:30-6:30 p.m., Carter I Nursing Auditorium

Members of the Committee named by the Board of Regents:

  • Dr. Sam Peavy - PSSC Chair and Professor, College Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Chadwick Gugg - Faculty Senate President and School of Computing and Mathematics
  • Christy Barry - GSW alumnus and Director of Student Accounts and Staff Senate President
  • Bryce Benton - President, Student Government Association
  • Dr. Glenn Robins - Professor, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Dr. Gaynor Cheokas - Assistant Professor/Director of Center for Business and Economic Development, School of Business Administration
  • Dr. ChuChu Wu - Associate Professor, School of Education
  • Dr. Michelle Dykes - Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
  • Dr. Lemond Hall - GSW Alumnus and GSW Alumni Board President
  • Hulme Kinnebrew - President, Kinnebrew Company, Americus
  • William Peterson - GSW Alumnus and Chair of the GSW Foundation
  • Ty Turner - GSW Alumnus and President of the Commercial Bank, Thomasville, Georgia

Members of the Regents’ Special Committee:

  • Regent Doreen Poitevint - Chair, Special Committee
  • Regent Tommy Hopkins, MD - Chair, Board of Regents
  • Regent Laura Marsh
  • Regent T. Rogers Wade
  • Regent Larry Walker

Procedure and Timeline for Candidacy

Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Candidates should provide a resume or CV, letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile, and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. These materials should be sent electronically via email to Georgia Southwestern State University’s consultants Ann Yates and Charlene L. Aguilar at

Material that must be mailed may be sent to:

Georgia Southwestern State University C/O WITT/KIEFFER
Attention: Ann Yates and Charlene L. Aguilar
2015 Spring Road, Suite 510
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523

Georgia Southwestern State University is an equal opportunity employer. As such, the University takes affirmative action to preclude discrimination in recruiting, transferring, training and terminating of employees because of race, color, creed, age, sex, national origin, veterans status, disability or any other reason in accordance with applicable state and federal statutes, executive orders and other regulations which prohibit discriminatory employment practices.

GSW to host funeral for Officer Jody Smith Dec. 14, 11 a.m.

Funeral arrangements for Officer Smith are set for Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. in the GSW Student Success Center Storm Dome. Greg Hancock Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

GSW to host funeral for Officer Nicholas Smarr

AMERICUS, Ga. (Dec. 10, 2016)--Georgia Southwestern State University will host the funeral for Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr Sunday, December 11 at  2 p.m in the Student Success Center “Storm Dome” ( building 10 in campus map).

GSW fraternity to lead prayer vigil on campus Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

AMERICUS, Ga. (Dec. 9, 2016)--Georgia Southwestern State University will be hosting a prayer vigil initiated by GSW's chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity in honor and memory of fallen Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr and GSW Officer Jody Smith.

The vigil will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at the front entrance of the Wheatley Administration Building ( building number 1 on this map). The community is invited to attend this event.

Family members or handicapped individuals are welcome to park beside the Wheatley Administration Building. Others wishing to attend are asked to park behind the Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex ( building's number 48 and 49 on the map) or the lot between the Education Center and the Magnolia Residence Hall ( buildings 32 and 47 on the map).

For additional information, call (229) 931-2037.

- GSW -


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