Macon Magazine

April/May 2014

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aPRiL/MaY 2014 Macon Magazine i 81 ADVERTISING | WOMEN IN BUSINESS Jennifer Brannon is excited to be part of the new Middle Georgia State College. "We are developing emerging leaders," said Brannon, vice president of Student Affairs. "Middle Georgia State is an amazing place of learning, with dedicated faculty and staff who share the goal of helping each and every student succeed." Brannon is one of seven vice presidents who comprise Middle Georgia State's executive leadership. Three of the others are Dr. Martha L. "Marti" Venn, vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. Sheri Rowland, vice president of Enrollment Management; and Nancy Stroud, vice president of Fiscal Affairs. All were key players in the success of the recent consolidation of Middle Georgia College (founded in 1884) and Macon State College (founded in 1968). "Although the consolidation was challenging, we are coming out of it a stronger institution and a college of choice for the midstate region and beyond," said Rowland, who leads Middle Georgia State's operations of recruitment, admissions, registrar, financial aid and communications. The college now has 8,000 students on five campuses (Macon, Cochran, Dublin, Eastman, Warner Robins), nine academic schools offering dozens of programs leading to baccalaureate and associate degrees, campus housing, thriving student life/athletics programs and a new president, Dr. Christopher Blake. In addition to the vice presidents, the institution's vanguards include nine academic deans, among them Dr. Debra Matthews in the School of Liberal Arts and Dr. Rebecca Corvey in the School of Health Sciences. These six women bring a combined 120+ years of higher education experience to Middle Georgia State. Brannon's home from 1997-2012 was Middle Georgia College where she started as Student Activities director. She later worked in admissions and registrar. Her promotion to Student Affairs vice president came during consolidation last year. "I am responsible for the scope and quality of student affairs at all of our campuses," Brannon said. Corvey, who has worked in higher education for more than 30 years, joined the Macon State faculty as director of nursing in 2003 and was named dean of Health Sciences in 2011. "So many of our students live and work in the surrounding communities," Corvey said. "I think one of the greatest impacts Middle Georgia State has on this region is graduating students who give back to their communities in exciting and enduring ways." Matthews, who was a 22-year-old Howard University graduate student when she taught her first class, joined the college faculty full time in 1990. She progressed through the academic ranks while earning a Ph.D. in English and is beginning her second year as dean of Liberal Arts. "Our school offers a number of programs to prepare students for careers that require excellent skills in critical thinking, oral/written communications, research technology and the fine arts," Matthews said. Rowland began her career in higher education nearly 20 years ago, starting as a counseling coordinator in the Florida community college system. "I had wonderful mentors who over the years gave me the opportunity to serve in various positions in enrollment services, student affairs and institutional research," she said. During her two years at Middle Georgia State, she said she has been impressed with the institution's resilience and the faculty and staff's dedication to student success. Stroud, in her role as Fiscal Affairs vice president, oversees all business and budget functions of the college. She started as a part-time budget manager in 1998 at Macon State and advanced to several fiscal affairs posts before becoming vice president in 2012. "Middle Georgia State is educating the people who live here, work here and will stay here and become the backbone of their communities," Stroud said. Venn arrived at Macon State in 2005 to take the reins of the college's new School of Education. Under her leadership, the school grew its enrollment, earned accreditation and expanded its programs. As Academic Affairs vice president, her primary responsibilities are providing academic direction to Middle Georgia State's five campuses and 300 faculty. "We take our mission very seriously," she said, "and that is 'to serve the educational needs of a diverse population through high quality programs connected to community needs in a global context and to serve as a leader for the intellectual, economic and cultural life of the region.'" Middle Georgia State College 100 College Station Drive | Macon, GA 31206 478.471.2800 | PHOTO BY MARYANN BATES Middle Georgia State's executive leadership includes, from left, Dr. Martha L. "Marti" Venn, Jennifer Brannon, Dr. Sheri Rowland, Nancy Stroud, Dr. Rebecca Corvey and Dr. Debra Matthews.

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