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Wiregrass' Dr. Shawn Utley received National Award

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Dr. Shawn Utley Submitted photo Dr. Shawn Utley

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Dr. Shawn Utley of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, was recently awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the National Navigate Summit Awards Dinner hosted by the Education Advisory Board (EAB). Utley is the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs for Wiregrass Tech. The national award was presented in Washington, D.C. at the 2017 awards ceremony. Navigate is an educational software program that provides an online student portal used to help "navigate" the student from the initial application to college through to graduation. The communication tool was implemented at Wiregrass Tech last year and has proven very successful and highly beneficial the college's students. Dr. Jammie Wilbanks, Wiregrass' Dean of Retention and Advising shared, "Using Navigate we were able to confirm retention of 63 percent of our currently enrolled students for spring semester....in 11 days of registration. What we have accomplished in 11 days has taken us 20 or more days in past semesters. Navigate allows us to easily conduct targeted outreach to specific groups of students and applicants so that they get the information they need at the right time."

The Educational Advisory Board, with a membership of over 1,100 colleges and universities, presented the Visionary Leadership Award at their 2017 annual conference to Dr. Shawn Utley of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. The award is presented to "an individual who, through leadership, vision, and commitment to innovation, has helped their college realize significant, positive change through faculty/staff engagement, process improvement, results-orientation, and major cultural transformation. The award is given to one member each year and is accompanied with a student scholarship given to WGTC in recognition of Dr. Utley's achievement.

In response to the award, Dr. Utley stated "I am extremely grateful for this recognition. However, like all awards of this nature the real credit goes to those who support our mission on a daily basis. Dr. Jammie Wilbanks, WGTC's Dean of Advisement and Retention is the real hero with this project. She not only led her department, but led our college in making our Advisement and Retention Centers a successful reality. With the vision and support of our President, Dr. Tina Anderson, WGTC is making the enrollment and advisement experience for all students both beneficial and positive."

Wiregrass Tech is currently accepting new students for Spring Semester. Classes begin January 9, 2018. To apply or learn more about the college visit wiregrass.edu.

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