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AMERICUS (April 27, 2016)--Sam Miller, Ph.D., vice president for Student Affairs at Georgia Southwestern State University, was named the 2016 Oris Bryant Staff Member of the Year by the Student Government Association (SGA), April 25 at the Honors and Recognition Ceremony.

This award is named after the late Chief Oris Bryant, who served as an exceptional SGA advisor for many years and a friend and mentor to all students on campus.

The award is presented to a faculty member who consistently promotes student engagement, school spirit and serves as an exceptional mentor to all students. It is nominated and voted on by members of the SGA and is presented to the faculty member for his or her contribution above and beyond the call of duty, just as Chief Oris Bryant did.


A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Miller joined the GSW staff in June 2000. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He earned a Master of Education and a Ph.D. in counselor education from Mississippi State University.

Miller award

Caption--Dr. Sam Miller (left) presented with the Oris Bryant Staff Member of the Year Award by 2016-2017 SGA President Bryce Benton.          

AMERICUS (April 27, 2016)--Robert Bennett, Ph.D., associate professor of management within the School of Business Administration at Georgia Southwestern State University, was named the Student Government Association (SGA) Faculty Member of the Year Monday, April 25 at the Honors and Recognition Ceremony.

The SGA Faculty Member of the Year Award is given annually to recognize an outstanding faculty member. The award is presented to a faculty member who consistently promotes student engagement, school spirit and serves as an exceptional mentor to all students.

It is nominated and voted on by members of the SGA and is presented to the faculty member for his or her contribution above and beyond the call of duty.

Bennett joined the Georgia Southwestern faculty in 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of South Alabama, an MBA from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.

Bennett award

Caption--Dr. Robert Bennett (left) is presented with the SGA Faculty Member of the Year Award from 2016-2017 SGA President Bryce Benton.

- GSW -



Janie Mooney, administrative assistant for the School of Business Administration, was recently honored with the Staff Excellence in Service Award at the 2016 University Honors and Recognition Ceremony.

Mooney, who has been with the school since 2010, was applauded for her efforts at the university level, as well as her efforts within the community.

At GSW, Mooney is serving her second term as a staff senator. She is a Relay for Life team recruiter, is on the Graduation Committee and is the chair for ushers.

Mooney is also actively involved in Americus as a member of the Pilot Club, a Sumter Humane Society volunteer, a parent representative for Schley County High School athletics and is an active participant in many other local charities.

When you enter the School of Business, Mooney is the first person you see. Her nominator applauded her for going beyond her call of duty to help students, parents and visitors.

“She has been a friendly face and a sympathetic ear to a student who has just failed an exam,” her nominator said. “She offers coffee or tea to a waiting visitor – and then gets up to make it. In short, Janie Mooney goes above and beyond. For her that is the norm.”

Mooney award

Caption--Janie Mooney (left) receives the Staff Excellence in Service Award from Dr. Liz Wilson.



AMERICUS (April 27, 2016)--Georgia Southwestern State University associate professor of Visual Arts, Keaton Wynn, was recently awarded the Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award for 2016.

Wynn, who has been with GSW since 2004, was chosen from the faculty for his outstanding, scholarly and creative contributions to the Department of Visual Arts.

This year, Wynn showcased an exhibit of blown glass promoting the Ralph Harvey Retrospective at the Albany Museum of Art. The project is the result of years of curating and promoting, which resulted in several grants, lectures and catalogs sent to major glass museums nationwide. His collaboration promoted the important work of glassblowing in America.

In addition to his work on the Ralph Harvey Retrospective, Wynn has collaborated with Chinese scholars and published a paper on the efforts of contemporary artists in China. He has researched and led a revival of community ceramic work in China and organized a visiting scholar program between China and GSW. This summer, two of GSW’s recent graduates will join Keaton in China.

His efforts have allowed for another exhibit at the Albany Museum of Art showcasing a Chinese scholar who has collaborated with GSW.

Beyond his achievements as an associate professor in the fields of ceramics and art history/critical thinking, Wynn maintains his studio work in ceramics. He has exhibited his work at many national, international and regional exhibitions.

Recently Wynn and Laurel Robinson, professor and chair of the Department of Visual Arts, exhibited a series of ceramics and paintings that source to the Roman/Persian Late Antiquity at the American Academy of Religion’s National Conference. The conference, which took place in Atlanta, allowed their work to be showcased to over 11,000 participants.

Wynn’s nominators are extremely proud of his passion and dedication to the field.

“Keaton is a great collaborator and his creative work is always thoughtful and critically relevant,” one of his nominators said. “He is undoubtedly a scholar and an artist of the very highest caliber and is clearly deserving of this recognition,” another nominator said.

Wynn received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southwest Missouri State University, his Masters of Fine Arts from Kent State University and his Masters of Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Wynn award

Caption--Keaton Wynn (left) is presented with the Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award from Dr. Kelly McCoy.

- GSW -



AMERICUS (April 27, 2016)--An English and Modern Language associate professor has been awarded the Georgia Southwestern State University Faculty Excellence in Service Award.

Elizabeth A.  Kuipers, Ph.D., who also serves as one of two English Department advisors, was selected from the faculty for her contributions to the university and the community. She was honored at GSW’s 2016 University Honors and Recognition Ceremony held on April 25, 2016.

At GSW, Kuipers has dedicated her time to educating and mentoring her students, serving on various committees and actively seeking ways to help her colleagues and others around her.

“Her dedication, in many ways, finds a focus on education in a variety of settings in our community,” her nominator said. “It is this focus which makes her an excellent ambassador from Georgia Southwestern State University. Her hard work in both civic engagement and university service is a perfect representation of what an employee of GSW offers us all.”

Kuipers’ service extends beyond her 18-year tenure at GSW. She has been a driving force in the community for the Furlow Charter School that was established in Americus in 2015.

One of her nominators applauded her for the countless hours that she put into making the school a reality and bringing an additional opportunity for high quality education to the community.

“Anyone who lives and works in Americus and at GSW knows Elizabeth Kuipers’ dedication and enthusiasm for helping others,” her nominator said. “What makes her community service unique is that she has taken a need and transformed it into a community empowering entity. I truly believe GSW, Americus and Sumter County are better places because of her work and vision.”

Kuipers received her Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan College and her Masters of Art and Doctor of Philosophy from Auburn University.

Kuipers award

Caption--Dr. Elizabeth Kuipers (left) is presented with the Faculty Excellence in Service Award by Dr. Kelly McCoy.

- GSW -



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