Mr. Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., nominated by Fort Valley State University
Mr. Dortch is known internationally as chief executive officer of Atlanta Transportation Systems, Inc.; chairman and CEO of Cornerstone Parking; chairman of Lancer Parking Management, LLC; and managing partner of FAD Consulting, LLC. He also established the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., and co-founded the Georgia Association of Minority Entrepreneurs. He has continually served Fort Valley State as an active alumnus and later as a member of the Board of the Fort Valley State University Foundation. His key role in this capacity increased friend raising and fundraising that led to thousands of dollars collected to provide support for students in the areas of academics, need-based and athletic scholarships. He is one of our greatest ambassadors and answers every call to assist the University with any efforts to help achieve our mission.
Mr. James Joseph (Joe) Edwards Sr., nominated by Gordon State College
James Joseph (Joe) Edwards, Sr. served forty years on the Gordon State College Foundation Board of Trustees. When Joe stepped down from the board as an active trustee to accept emeritus status in 2012 he left a foundation that was approaching a corpus of $10 million with more than 100 endowed scholarship. The J. Joel Edwards/United Bank Scholarship (established in 1986) and the Brad Edwards Scholarship (established in 1991) have made education attainable for countless young men and women. Other support for Gordon include the support of students in dire need of emergency loans, the professional development of faculty and staff, and the construction of a memorial to honor those who have fought, served and died in wars.
Mr. Jerry Jennett, nominated by Valdosta State University
Mr. Jennett is Chairman of Georgia Gulf Sulfur Corporation. Thanks to the remarkable generosity of Jerry and his company, Georgia Gulf Sulfur, many significant contributions have been made to Valdosta State University. Personally, the Jennett’s have made transformational gifts to a number of VSU programs. In addition to the basketball scholarships, Jerry and Kay have funded the Kay M. Jennett Music and Theatre Scholarship, the Jerry Jennett Choir Scholarship, and the Robin Robinson Scholarship all to benefit students who are studying music and theatre. An equally valuable contribution from Jerry and Kay is their time in service to VSU. Jerry is a co-chair of VSU’s first comprehensive capital campaign which has raised over $48.SM in gifts and gift commitments since July of 2014.
Marilyn and John McMullan, nominated by the University of Georgia
The McMullans are unique in that their generosity is not limited to a select set of special interests. Instead, they have supported nearly three dozen programs at the University of Georgia. Most recently, they have made a transformative, multi-million dollar commitment through their estate plans. The McMullans have demonstrated their fervor for their beloved alma mater through nearly five decades of volunteer service in various capacities. They have welcomed the President and key Development leaders into their lovely Atlanta home on numerous occasions for intimate dinners and receptions with small groups of influential business people-in several cases, making first-time introductions on behalf of the institution.
Dr. David M. Collard Georgia Institute of Technology
The committee was particularly impressed that an Associate Dean with an extensive research portfolio would also demonstrate such a strong commitment to teaching. As one committee member noted, “He is an exemplar for combining the best of teaching and research at this level.” They noted an early and continued use of active learning approaches and educational technology; and work as co-Director of the Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops and Communities of Scholars program which reaches beyond Georgia Tech to encourage best practices in STEM education for all instructors. The committee was also impressed with Dr. Collard’s record of obtaining funding in support of STEM programs and undergraduate research.
Dr. Miriam Segura-Totten University of North Georgia
The committee appreciated Dr. Segura-Totten’s commitment to not only teach students but to nurture “engaged citizens.” They felt this commitment was demonstrated in the creative assignments included in her portfolio designed to promote critical thinking and to contextualize science for non-science majors. They also noted a focus on retention of underrepresented students in STEM, a history of a scholarly approach to teaching as evidenced by a number of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning publications, and the editorship of an undergraduate research journal as confirmation of her dedication.
Dr. Stephen Raynie Gordon State College
The committee felt that it was evident in the teaching philosophy statement, letters, and artifacts in Dr. Raynie’s portfolio that not only is he dedicated to the success of his students, but he also has thoughtfully designed courses to support and encourage their growth as students and individuals. For example, students mentioned not only their learning, but learning how to learn in his classes. His commitment is further supported by being accessible to all students, and by recognizing the importance of one-on-one interactions with students who may need extra help. The committee noted that his career at Gordon State is filled with examples of supporting student success and modeling his teaching to best meet the needs of his students.
Dr. Anissa Lokey Vega Kennesaw State University
The committee was particularly impressed with Dr. Vega’s overall commitment to ensure quality in online education, as evidenced by her use of the Quality Matters rubric, Universal Design principles, project-based online learning (both the use of, and the refining of that model through research), peer-evaluation in large enrollment courses, and her ALG textbook transformation grant award. They felt that her work in both credit and non-credit courses (MOOCs) is remarkable, and appreciated the narrative in the portfolio about how she became passionate about teaching.
Dr. Jennifer L. Brown Columbus State University
The committee was particularly impressed with the wide dissemination of Dr. Brown’s tested instructional strategies, evaluations, and assessments to her department, college, university, and external audiences through forums, presentations, and peer-reviewed publications. She also stood out because of her success in obtaining both internal and external funding for SoTL-related activities.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.
Hillary H. Steiner Kennesaw State University The committee was particularly impressed with how Dr. Steiner has embedded SoTL into her teaching, research, and professional service commitments. Also noted was her dedication to encourage and support SoTL research at the local, state, and national levels through mentoring, presentations, workshops, publications, and an online course. The fact that the impact of her research reaches far beyond Kennesaw State University helps establish her as a leader in the SoTL movement.
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
This year’s recipient is Chancellor Hank Huckaby who is a lifelong public servant to the State of Georgia. A native Georgian, he has a strong reputation for his contributions to public higher education, state finance and budgeting. His enduring contributions and leadership have profoundly influenced the economic growth of Georgia.
During Governor Zell Miller’s administration, Huckaby was a key player on Miller’s talented team that created and developed HOPE scholarships, grants and 4-K programs. Huckaby has served as commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and as the executive director of the Georgia Residential Finance Authority.
In his role as Chancellor, he worked to enhance Georgia’s economy through his support of the Complete College Georgia initiative. Under his leadership, the University System increased the number of graduates from 54,855 in 2011, to more than 62,545 students in 2016, an increase of approximately 14 percent.
Additionally, he’s played a key role in Governor Deal’s High Demand Career Initiative, harnessing the opportunities in some major economic growth engines, including the areas of film and TV production, financial technology and cyber security. With the support of Governor Nathan Deal, the Department of Economic Development and the Legislature, he launched the Georgia Film Academy.
In addition to his many aforementioned contributions, Huckaby has served as a teacher and administrator in the University System and also taught at private colleges and universities.
As a former resident of Douglasville, Huckaby also was active in the local community and was named the 1995 Douglas County “Man of the Year.” Georgia Trend named Huckaby the 2015 Georgian of the Year, and Leadership Georgia awarded him the 2015 J.W. Fanning Award. In 2016, he received the 8th Annual Blanchard Award for Outstanding Stewardship and Ethics in Business from the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum.
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 2017 recipient of The Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award is Hank Huckaby.
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.