Two faculty and two staff members of Bainbridge State College were recognized during the College’s annual employee fish fry, which was held on May 7.

BSC Student Services Program Coordinator Joy Burrell and Financial Aid Director Helen Catt earned the Meritorious Staff Awards, and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Elwanda Coston and Assistant Professor Reading Tammy Hinson earned the Meritorious Faculty Awards.

Burrell’s tireless work in ensuring projects and events are flawless was the main reason she was nominated for the award. “Although she is considered a part-time employee, hardly a week goes by that she has not worked longer than her set hours to make sure that events go off flawlessly,” Bainbridge State College President Richard Carvajal told the College’s employees.  Burrell has coordinated and orchestrated most all of the receptions tied to the Arts and Lecture Series, the 40th Anniversary Gala and many other special occasions for the Student Services Division and for the President’s Office.

Under Catt’s leadership, Bainbridge State and deserving students have benefitted from a more effective and timely process of receiving financial aid.

“Due to her diligence in reviewing and correcting student records, she has single-handedly saved the institution hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Dr. Carvajal said. “Helen’s efforts have helped us perpetuate a new image that better characterizes our standing as a great college.”

Coston teaches developmental math and college algebra, and has taught developmental math from 7:50 to 9:30 p.m. for the last several years, better accommodating Bainbridge State students to attend at a more convenient time for them. She was also cited for always being willing to help her students.

“She is always professional, but never too busy to stop and speak with students, assist them in better understanding by tutoring them, or just to give students, staff and faculty a big smile,” Dr. Carvajal said. “She is an excellent role model for our students; she is an even better role model for faculty and staff.”

Hinson piloted a successful new remedial reading class that was paired with a credit class, enabling students placing in reading to earn college credit for a content class at the same time. She spent more than 50 hours researching how to teach these classes, structuring them to match the content area of the paired classes, and working with the content class instructors and peer mentors.

“While our pass rate in traditional remedial reading classes was 35 percent last fall, students who took Tammy’s reading class passed history at the same rate as those history students who didn’t place in reading,” Dr. Carvajal said.

Assistant Professor of Technical Mathematics Sheila McLendon and Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Director of Learning Support Wesley Whitehead earned the NISOD Excellence Award for Innovation, which honors faculty members nationwide for their efforts to improve student learning through innovative approaches.

Dr. Carvajal complimented the faculty and staff for a long list of accomplishments during the past academic year.

Among them are the following: An 18 percent increase in new student enrollment; the Model United Nations team winning a coveted award, and the Honors Program having an exception year with special guests, including a White House official’s visit and a trip to New York City; the opening of the expanded library; the successful launch of the President Jimmy Carter Arts & Lecture Series; and anticipated ground-breaking of the new $3 million Health Sciences facility and the Donalsonville addition.

The day was capped off with Student Wellness Center Director Justin Gravlee winning the use of a GMC Sierra for a month because he had perfect attendance.


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