WGTC Advisers Honored at State Conference

Staff Report From Newnan CEO

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

West Georgia Technical College swept the Advisor of the Year awards at the Georgia Student Government Association and National Technical Honor Society Winter Conference February 10-12 at Callaway Gardens. Two WGTC students and the WGTC NTHS chapter also were awarded.

WGTC Student Life Manager Melinda Hofius won the inaugural Georgia Student Government Association Advisor of the Year award, and Health Services Program Assistant Annie Pool won the inaugural National Technical Honor Society Advisor of the year award. Both awards were given for the first time this year to recognize advisers who have made significant contributions to their local chapters.

“This year, we wanted to expand our awards competition to fully recognize all that our Georgia Student Government Association and National Technical Honor Society local chapters contribute,” TCSG Student Life Coordinator Tjazha Mazhani said. “It was important that in addition to student and chapter awards, we introduced the Advisor of the Year award to recognize the tremendous invaluable work of our local advisers. Advisers are often the unsung heroes of student organizations who give of themselves tirelessly to help develop our students, and this award is a small thank-you for their hard work.”

NTHS members can choose to compete in a number of areas at the conference, and Business student Abby McClary from Douglasville won first place in the Prepared Speech Contest.

Student JoAnne Garza, a Criminal Justice and Business student from Newnan, was selected to serve on the NTHS State Action Team for 2017-2018, and the WGTC Chapter of NTHS won the Georgia NTHS Silver Star Award for its event “Books for Brighter Beginnings.”

“We are extremely proud of Melinda and Annie for sweeping the Advisor of the Year awards,” President Steve G. Daniel said. “This is another example of talented staff members who are dedicated to serving students, and it shows our overall commitment to excellence at WGTC. I am so proud of them both for receiving this statewide recognition!”

Hofius has been Student Life Manager for two years. In her written letter of support, WGTC Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Tonya F. Whitlock said, “[Melinda’s] a mighty collaborator and she’s a true champion for technical education and our students. I cannot think of a better person for such a prestigious award.”

Hofius said she was surprised, especially since she’s only been on the job two years.

“I was so surprised and honored to be nominated for this prestigious award. I was even more humbled when they called my name,” Hofius said. “I truly love working with West Georgia Technical College students, and I am so proud to be able to challenge and support them in their growth.”

Pool has worked at WGTC for more than 10 years, serving the last six as NTHS adviser and as State Executive Director of NTHS since 2012. In her written letter of support, Business Technology Instructor Shirlee Ausman said, “Anyone who has worked with Annie knows that no detail is too small or responsibility too large for her to master. She will jump in wherever and whenever needed and seems especially drawn to the tasks and details that others are unwilling or unable to tackle.”

Pool credited the NTHS students with making the award possible.

“I want to give all my thanks to the students that I work with on a daily basis for believing in me enough to let me guide them in all of the opportunities a student organization can offer,” Pool said. “I wasn’t born to follow – and I’m not even sure I was born to lead – but one thing is certain: I was born to give. I teach my students every day the importance of giving back.”