The Student News Site of Georgia Highlands College

Six Mile Post

The Student News Site of Georgia Highlands College

Six Mile Post

The Student News Site of Georgia Highlands College

Six Mile Post

Professors recognized for excellence with tenure and promotions

Several professors have recently reached defining moments in their careers, having received a promotion or tenure for 2024-2025, earning recognition and the opportunity to influence their disciplines and students further.

Tenure is a prestigious status that offers professors permanent employment. It is an affirmation of their dedication and academic community contributions, signifying stability and respect within the educational institution.

Among those recently tenured are Jay Pickern, Charles Grimm, Zac Johnston, Ejiro Ogaga, Justin Polizzi and Marta Sanderson, each having demonstrated excellence in their respective fields.

Abigail Henderson
Books placed as part of a staircase symbolize academic growth and achievement.

“Achieving tenure is a huge deal both personally and professionally. It’s one of the highest achievements in higher education, and I’m very honored to have earned this distinction,” Associate Professor of Healthcare Management Jay Pickern said.

Promotion often means moving up in academic rank, from assistant to associate professor or associate to full professor. This step in a professor’s career is not just a title change but a professional and personal accomplishment in reflecting years of dedication and achievement in one’s field.

Jayme Wheeler earned a promotion to associate professor. Similarly, Steve Stuglin achieved a promotion to full professor.

“Reaching the rank of full professor means that you are a leader in the college community, and that has been a goal of mine since I was a senior undergraduate in my discipline years and years ago,” Professor of Communication Steve Stuglin said. “It feels like both a finish and a starting line, in that I have accomplished something that took over twenty years of education and experience but I also feel like I am just getting started.”

Each professor’s journey to these academic milestones is unique and filled with challenges and pivotal decisions.

“Coming from an industry background, as opposed to a traditional academic background, has been a bit of a challenge for me. Practitioners and academics tend to have different ways of thinking and approaching things. So, it was a bit of an adjustment for me when I started teaching to figure out how to fit into a completely different environment,” Pickern said.

For aspiring early-career academics, the road ahead requires hard work, strategic planning and reflection. Assistant Professor of Mathematics Zac Johnston advises attending conferences as an “invaluable source of networking and ideas” and emphasizes the importance of documentation and active engagement in the academic community.

“Keep a thorough record of what you do. Even if it seems minor, such as offering advice to a coworker in a tough situation, document it. That example would be evidence of mentoring a coworker,” Johnston said, “When you update your courses in an effort to improve student success, record and analyze the results. Did the change in your course lead to something beneficial for the students? If so, talk about it. Quantify it. If not, present your plan to pivot and try another idea.”

With the momentum of their recent achievements, the faculty is looking to create an even more dynamic educational environment with plans to develop innovative courses and resources that will shape the minds of future generations.

“I look forward to being able to teach more than just composition, although I am passionate about the power of literacy and welcoming students to the academic discourse community of higher ed. I have enjoyed teaching my ghostwriting and AI humanities course, and I hope to propose more focused classes in humanities and perhaps teach a literature course as well,” Assistant Professor of English Charles Grimm said.

Grimm also hopes that continued growth potentially leads to hiring peer writing center tutors and further developing English-focused student groups.

The commitment to excellence, evidenced by the faculty’s achievements, underscores an ongoing dedication to learning, discovery and the journey toward academic distinction and innovation.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Abigail Henderson
Abigail Henderson, Features Editor
Abigail Henderson majored in business administration and is now pursuing a BBA with a major in Information Security & Assurance at Kennesaw State University. In her free time, she enjoys learning new things and spending time with her dog, Finley.

Comments (1)

All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    A DutchMar 4, 2024 at 6:39 pm

    Well written. Helpful in explaining the faculty process to students