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Finalists Named for Bainbridge College Presidency

Atlanta — May 4, 2005

Regent Doreen Poitevint, chair of the Special Regents’ Committee for the presidential search at Bainbridge College, and University System of Georgia Chancellor Thomas C. Meredith today announced the names of the three finalists for the Bainbridge presidency.

The finalists all have decades of experience in the University System.

“Our two-year colleges are key access points into the University System, and they require a special type of leadership and partnership with the communities they serve,” Chancellor Meredith stated.

Regent Poitevint said, “We are pleased all three of these finalists have a track record of excellent service to our System, and that they seek to contribute their talents to the Bainbridge presidency.”

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Dr. Virginia M. Carson, vice president for academic affairs at Floyd College, in Rome, Ga. Carson, who was named to her current position in 2001, also is a professor of mathematics at Floyd College. She previously served as dean of academic services for Georgia Perimeter College’s (GPC) Clarkston, Ga., campus from 2000 to 2001. She spent the 1999-2000 academic year as a fellow of the American Council on Education (ACE) at Northern Virginia Community College, in Annandale, Va. Previously, she served as chair of the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering, also on GPC’s Clarkston campus. Her years as a math teacher at GPC (formerly DeKalb College) extend back to 1982.

Carson is a member of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the National Advisory Committee for Project ACCESS, a professional-development program of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC). She served as editor of The AMATYC Review, a semi-annual refereed mathematics journal from 1998 to 2003.

Carson holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, and a M.Ed. and Ph.D., all in mathematics education, from Georgia State University.

Dr. Mark H. Pelton, associate vice president for Extended University at Georgia College & State University. Pelton not only spent 15 years of his 25-year career in higher education at Bainbridge College (then Bainbridge Junior College), he also is an alumnus of the institution. He has served in his current post at Georgia College & State University for the past year. Previous positions held at GCSU include dean of Extended University, research and graduate services from 2002-2004; and dean of continuing education & public services and adjunct assistant professor of education from 1995 to 2002. At Bainbridge College, Pelton served as director of continuing education from 1984 to 1995, assistant to the dean for continuing education from 1981 to 1984, and library assistant from 1980 to 1981.

Pelton long has been active in the University System of Georgia’s Administrative Committee on Public Service and Continuing Education, serving as the committee’s chair from 1991 to 1992 and 2001 to 2002. He has been just as active in the Georgia Adult Education Association, serving on its board of directors from 1994 to 1995 and 1998 to 2000.

Pelton holds an A.A. in journalism from Bainbridge Junior College, a B.F.A. in theatre arts from Valdosta State College, in Valdosta, Ga., and an M.S. in adult education and an Ed.D. in higher education from Florida State University, in Tallahassee, Fla. He also completed post-graduate study at Harvard University’s Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education.

Dr. Thomas A. Wilkerson, vice president for academic affairs and professor of speech at Spartanburg Methodist College, in Spartanburg, S.C. Wilkerson, who was named to his current position in 1997, previously served as vice president for academic affairs and professor of speech at South Georgia College, in Douglas, Ga., from 1984 to 1997. During his 13 years at South Georgia, Wilkerson forged deep ties with the Douglas/Coffee County community, serving as a member of the local chamber of commerce, and a founding member of the Coffee Alliance for the Arts and the Coffee Theatre Company, for which he served two terms as president. Wilkerson also was heavily involved in two local programs that foster high-school completion and participation in post-secondary education.

Prior to joining South Georgia, Wilkerson served as chair of the Division of Humanities from 1974 to 1984 at Dalton College in Dalton, Ga. He assumed that role after serving as a Speech/English faculty member, teaching remedial English, English composition, literature, humanities and public speaking at Dalton from 1969 to 1984.

Wilkerson began his career in higher education at Middle Georgia College, in Cochran, Ga., where he served as chair of the Department of Speech/Drama from 1968 to 1969.

Wilkerson holds undergraduate degrees from Augusta College, in Augusta, Ga., and Georgia Southern College, in Statesboro, an M.F.A. in speech and drama from the University of Georgia, and an Ed.D. in speech education, also from UGA.

The Board of Regents will take final action on the naming of the Bainbridge College president at their regularly scheduled monthly board meeting on May 18.

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