I will remember our spring 2020 semester for many good things.
There is no getting around the impact we have all seen and felt from COVID-19. It handed us an unprecedented semester, filled with professional and personal challenges.
But you — our faculty and staff — rose to the occasion, using your creativity and resourcefulness to give our students the best possible “learning at a distance” educational experience. I’m proud of the dedication you’ve shown as we forge this new “normal” in education. I’m especially proud of our ability to lift up and celebrate our students, recognizing their achievements during graduation and when it mattered most.
Among the good things I will remember from spring 2020 is our “surprise” Webex celebration of Diana Ha and Matthew Wessler, two of our excellent students who won the Jack Kent Cooke (JKC) Undergraduate Scholarship. Their success is not only a reflection of their drive and determination, but also of the faculty and staff who have supported them on their educational journey at the college.
Matthew and Diana are Perimeter’s 20th and 21st students to receive this prestigious scholarship since 2002 — a scholarship that offers up to $40,000 per year for three years to complete their undergraduate education. There was added joy in finding out Matthew and Diana both will complete their undergraduate education at our Atlanta Campus! They are the first two Perimeter JKC recipients to choose Georgia State.
I’m also excited that we’ve been invited to participate in the federal Second-Chance Pell program, which provides financial aid to incarcerated students and supports our Georgia State Prison Education Project. Since 2016, our faculty have provided enrichment and for-credit courses for incarcerated students, giving them a chance to return to society as productive citizens. This grant will allow more students to participate in the program.
And I will not forget how this semester began — with the announcement of our awards of excellence for our faculty during Faculty Development Day — our Cole Fellow, Dr. Sheryl Shanholtzer; Senior Faculty Associate, Polly Bouker; Junior Faculty Associate, Barbara Robertson, and Adjunct Faculty Member, Carmen Bernal. Thank you all for providing us excellent examples of how passion strengthens teaching.
I also want to congratulate faculty members who have been awarded either promotion or tenure, including our new senior lecturers. You can check out the entire list in HR Corner in this edition of Perimeter Post.
My wish for all of you is to have a good and restful summer and to recharge for the fall. We’ll be back. It will be different. But I have no doubt that you, again, will rise to the challenge and give our students the best possible experience here at Perimeter College.