East Georgia State College (EGSC) held its Spring Commencement Ceremony Friday, May 12, 2023, at 6 p.m. The ceremony was held in the gymnasium on the EGSC Swainsboro campus.
At the beginning of the ceremony, the EGSC Alumni Awards were presented. Matt Donaldson, the president of the EGSC Alumni Association and Foundation Trustee, presented the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Rising Star Award.
Jordan Robins received the Rising Star Award. This award celebrates the achievements of alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years and who have notable recognition in their chosen field with a promise for continued success. Robins is a financial analyst at Trane Technologies in Vidalia, Georgia, an air conditioning manufacturing company. While enrolled at EGSC, she worked part time in the department of social sciences. She also worked at an afterschool program and was a high school soccer referee, both of which she stills does today when her schedule allows.
After completing her associate degree in business administration and economics from EGSC, she went on to obtain a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from Georgia Southern University and she recently earned her MBA from Georgia Southwestern State University. Robins currently serves on the boards of directors for the United Way of Toombs, Montgomery, and Wheeler Counties, Cornerstone Children’s Center, and the Southeast Region of the American Red Cross. One of her favorite community efforts is being able to help develop leaders with the Greater Vidalia® Chamber of Commerce, serving as a mentor in their annual leadership program.
The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Lisa Bertoch. This award is presented to someone who has excelled in their chosen field and has had a positive effect on the local, regional, state, or national level. Bertoch is a lifelong resident of Emanuel County. She graduated from Swainsboro High School in 1991 and is 1993 graduate of East Georgia College (EGC). She received an associate of arts degree from East Georgia College and served as the sophomore representative for the Student Government Association during her time at the college. Bertoch continued her education by obtaining a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Georgia College & State University in 1997.
She is employed at Yeomans & Associates Insurance Agency which has locations in both Swainsboro and Louisville, Georgia. Bertoch currently serves as Vice-President, managing partner and a producing property & casualty agent. She started working part time at Yeomans & Associates while attending EGC and then moved into full time duties managing the agency while attending GCSU. She has worked with the agency for over 30 years.
Bertoch is a member of the First Baptist Church of Swainsboro where she teaches 1st-3rd grade Sunday School. She is the Chair-Elect for the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce Board and completed the 2022 Leadership Emanuel Class. She is also the Chair of the Emanuel Medical Center Foundation, the Xi Delta Psi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi 2020/2021 Lady of the Year and has served as a Swainsboro Middle School Pride with Purpose Mentor.
After the awards presentation, the ceremony continued with EGSC sophomore La’Fredrick Gilchrist delivering the Reflection, and Dawn Baker delivering the keynote speech.
Gilchrist is a native of Augusta, Georgia. He has been a member of the Student Government Association since 2021, serving as an ambassador and then as president in 2022-2023. He is also the Vice President of the African American Union and a member of the STEM Club/Beekeeping Club and Reading Club. Gilchrist plans to attend the University of Georgia after his time at East Georgia State College and major in Botanical Sciences with a minor in Phytochemistry. He says his goal is to make a positive impact in the world.
Dawn Baker is the longest serving newsperson in the Savannah television market. She’s the evening anchor at WTOC- TV. The Riceboro, Georgia, native has received several awards for journalism and community services including the “Associated Press Best Documentary Award,” “Humanitarian of the Year,” and Southeast Regional Emmy Award for “Best Newscast.” Most recently, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office honored her with the “Outstanding Georgian Award” and the Savannah Tech Foundation named her a “Community Star.”
Through the years, she has awarded thousands of dollars to high school girls through "The Dawning of a Miracle Scholarship," a fund she created to help young ladies with chronic/ life- threatening illnesses go to college. Baker says her proudest accomplishment is the Dawn’s Daughter Leadership Academy where she teaches 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade girls in Chatham, Bryan, Liberty and Effingham County public and private schools the skills they need to become successful in their personal and professional lives.
A full list of graduates will be available soon. Congratulations, graduates!
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