Awards

2016 Regents’ Hall of Fame Alumni and Friends Award Recipients

Congratulations to the Regents’ Hall of Fame Alumni and Friends Award Recipients: (from left to right) Dan Amos, Allan Vigil and Joel Wernick with USGF Vice Chairman Regent Jim Hull

Mr. Dan Amos, nominated by The University of Georgia

Mr. Amos earned his bachelor’s degree from UGA in risk management and insurance in 1973, after which he joined American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac). He rose to leadership positions, including president, chief operating officer and board chairman. Dan has a stellar record of service and loyalty to his alma mater. He is a current trustee and past chair of the University of Georgia Foundation and presently serves as chairman of the Building Terry Campaign Cabinet. He has led by example, contributing the lead gift for Amos Hall as the signature building of Phase II, now under construction.

Mr. Allan Vigil, nominated by Clayton State University

Mr. Vigil began his automotive career with Ford Motor Company in 1971. Since then, he has built one of metro Atlanta’s most successful family owned auto dealerships. Allan Vigil is no stranger to many in this room, having served on the Board of Regents. But his commitment to higher education does not stop there. Mr. Vigil’s community service in the South Metro Area dates back to 1983, when he was named to the Board of Trustees of the then-Clayton Junior College Foundation. He served as a member and leader of the Foundation Board as the institution became a College and later a State University. In 2012, the Board recognized his years of service by granting him Trustee Emeritus status.

Mr.Joel Wernick, nominated by Darton College

For more than 27 years, Joel Wernick has shown extraordinary support for the goals of higher education in this community and state, and in particular, he assisted Darton State with financial resources and programmatic support for its nursing and allied health sciences programs. Thus providing outstanding clinical experience; allowing Darton nursing and allied health graduates to achieve professional careers within numerous prestigious facilities.

2016 Felton Jenkins, Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2016 Felton Jenkins, Jr. Hall of Fame Award Recipients: (from left to right) Margaret Baldwin, Richard Deaner, Mei Miranda Zhang, Sarah Kuck, Bonnie Ferri, and Vanessa Slinger-Friedman with USGF Chairman Regent Sachin Shailendra.

Ms. Margaret Baldwin

Ms. Baldwin is a senior lecturer of theater and performance studies at KSU. Her provost says hs is an outstanding teacher who has had a tremendous positive impact on her students as well as the colleagues she mentors. Colleagues say Ms. Baldwin seamlessly integrates the classroom, the stage and the community, masterfully employing the high impact practices to draw students in and push them to grow.

Dr. Richard Deaner

Dr. Deaner is a faculty member in the Department of Counselor Education at Augusta State University. In addition to his commitment to the classroom, he serves as the Counselor Education Program Coordinator and diligently works to help students in their professional development. His peers say Dr. Deaner is an excellent teacher who cares deeply about his students and brings a zest for learning, inspiration and creativity to the classroom.

Dr. Mei Miranda Zhang

Dr. Zhang’s colleagues say she is one of the most demanding, academically rigorous faculty at Georgia Gwinnett, and one of the most respected and well-liked by students. She is also known for helping first-generation and academically challenged students adjust to college. She not only helps them learn to write excellent research papers, she personally mentors many of her students through graduation, helps them get the first job, and remains in touch with them long after they graduate.

Dr. Sarah Kuck

Dr. Kuck has taught online and traditional courses at Darton State since 2007. Currently an associate professor of political science, she has garnered a great deal of respect from her colleagues and administrators for her leadership in online teaching and learning. She is also lauded for her many successes both as an online instructor and researcher of best online practices.

Dr. Bonnie Ferri

Dr. Ferri has been a member of the Georgia Tech faculty since 1988 and currently serves as professor and chair for Undergraduate Affairs in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her colleagues nominated her for her commitment to improving student learning by better engaging students in the classroom through technology-based techniques.

Dr. Vanessa Slinger-Friedman As an associate professor of Geography at KSU, Dr. Slinger-Friedman has a distinguished record of scholarship in the areas of multimedia cognitive models for online courses. She is also lauded by colleagues for writing across the curriculum and for the outstanding design and assessment of learning technologies.

About the Felton Jenkins, Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award

Felton Jenkins

When Felton Jenkins passed away on January 1, 2011, he left a legacy of service to Georgia that will resonate for decades. A native of Madison, Georgia, he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia and began a distinguished legal career with King & Spalding, which he helped mold into an international legal powerhouse.

Jenkins was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2006 and quickly earned a reputation for being extremely well-prepared for meetings, for an insightful mind and for asking tough but fair questions about the issues that came before the Board. Ever the graceful gentleman, he was widely known for treating people with respect.

Regent Jenkins was driven by a desire that every student in Georgia would have access to top-quality higher education. His focus was always on what was best for the students, and he understood keenly the connection between the success of the System’s students and the success of the state of Georgia. Education, he knew, was the key to all of life’s opportunities and possibilities.

In honor of his dedication to the mission of the University System of Georgia and his life of exemplary service to others, the trustees of the University System of Georgia Foundation have renamed the annual faculty award “The Felton Jenkins, Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award.”

Emily Followill and Alan Jenkins accept a gift to honor the memory of their father, Felton Jenkins, Jr., from Regent Dink NeSmith

Emily Followill, Alan Jenkins, Regent Dink NeSmith

2015 Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Mr. William B. Turner

This year’s recipient is Mr. Bill Turner, a major business, civic, and philanthropic leader in Columbus and the rest of Georgia for more than 50 years. He is the chairman emeritus of the executive committee of Synovus Financial Corporation, the treasurer of the Bradley-Turner Foundation, and the chairman of the Pastoral Institute. Mr. Turner is also the past chairman and chief executive officer of the W. C. Bradley Company.

In honor of his outstanding service to the state of Georgia and his continued commitments to higher education, public service and leadership in this state and around the world, the 2016 recipient of The Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award is William B. Turner.

Elridge McMillan, the longest-serving member of the Board of Regents, was the inaugural recipient of the University System of Georgia Foundation Board of Trustees’ Lifetime Achievement Award. In recognition for Regent Emeritus McMillan’s long career serving higher education, the award was officially named The Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. The award is given in recognition of extraordinary service to higher education in Georgia.