Special to The Gazette

TIFTON -- The top faculty member, staff member, administrator and academic advisor for the 2003-04 academic year were recognized during Wednesday's Honors Day ceremony at Abraham Baldwin College.

Joy Shurley, an assistant professor in the Division of Science and Mathematics, received the W. Bruce and Rosalyn Ray Donaldson Award for Teaching Excellence. Duane Weeks, electrician at the physical plant, received the Roy R. Jackson, Sr. Award for Staff Excellence. Kay Powell, assistant professor and Director of ABAC on the Square, received the E. Lanier Carson Leadership Award for College Administrators. Sue Wilson, associate professor and Interim Chair in the Division of Social Science, received the Excellence in Advising Award.

Bertha Daniel, Director of College Services and Human Resources, received a special award from the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution for her selection as an Outstanding Liaison. Daniel was a former faculty member in the Division of Social Science before assuming her administrative position.

Shurley did not decide to become a teacher until she was already in college while tutoring elementary students for an education class. She graduated from Mercer University with a B.A. degree in mathematics and went on to obtain an M.Ed. degree from the University of Georgia.

Shurley became an instructor of mathematics at ABAC in 1991. Since that time, she has been one of the highest rated instructors and a major contributor to the Division of Science and Mathematics. She has served as an advisor in the area of Allied Health, as an AIM mentor and as an ABAC 1000 instructor in addition to teaching a wide variety of mathematics courses. She has provided leadership in the division, serving as the Coordinator of Mathematics for the past three years.

Shurley has assisted with various projects, including the Science Olympiad, has conducted workshops at the Academic Assistance Center and has been advisor to the Student Government Association. She lives in Tifton with her husband, Donald, and their two sons, Justin and Matthew. In honor of her achievements, she received a plaque and a check for $2,500 from the ABAC Foundation.

Weeks has been a dedicated employee at ABAC for more than 20 years. An electrician at the physical plant, he is the seventh person in his department to be honored with the award for staff excellence.

In addition to his regular duties, Weeks has also contributed to many special events on and off the ABAC campus, including George Scott Day, Love Affair and Dollars for ABAC Scholars. He and his wife, Donna, have been married for 21 years and live in Lenox. Weeks has a son and a daughter, who is an ABAC alumna. In recognition of this award, Weeks received a plaque and a check for $1,250 from the ABAC Foundation.

Powell received her master's degree in business education from Valdosta State in 1988. She serves on various committees at ABAC and in the community. Her association with ABAC began in 1998 as an assistant professor of business administration.

In 2001, Powell became Director of ABAC on the Square in Moultrie. Over the last three years, she has made significant contributions to the college, including a 50 percent increase in enrollment and a 60 percent increase in course offerings at ABAC on the Square. Enrollment reached an all-time high this semester with 403 students.

Powell recruited 22 part-time instructors and assisted in acquiring a $60,000 donation to set up a science lab in Moultrie. She also assisted in creating the new student ambassadors program at ABAC on the Square. Powell received a plaque and a check for $1,250 from the ABAC Foundation.

Wilson was a teacher and administrator in the public school system before joining the ABAC faculty in August, 2000. She serves as a mentor and advisor to the 65 students she advises.

Wilson almost single-handedly convinced Valdosta State University to offer an evening program in early childhood education on the ABAC campus. She also worked extensively with VSU to offer a scholarship program through which 40-45 paraprofessional educators per semester received financial assistance with their classes.

In recognition of this award, Wilson received a plaque and will attend the national meeting of the National Academic Advising Association in October in Cincinnati.

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