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Historic BSC Graduation: Awards its first Bachelor of Science Degrees
Jun 5, 2017
by Susanne Reynolds, BSC Media Coordinator

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, Bainbridge State College history was made. Eight graduates were the first to ever receive a Bachelor of Science degree at the Institution.

, Patricia Williams of Bainbridge, Janice Chason of Whigham, Angela Foster of Bainbridge, Cerisee Snow of Donalsonville, Mindi Merritt of Colquitt, Dr. Leonard Kistner-Program Director, April Perkins of Whigham, Tabitha Ingle of Climax and Victor Hunter of Donalsonville.

"This graduation at Bainbridge State College marks a milestone in our institutional history, as well as an opening to our future," commented Rayfield. "The awarding of bachelor's degrees at BSC marks a shift in our mission, a shift that I hope will continue in our future. I congratulate those students, their faculty, and the staff of the College who saw this opportunity to increase the access to higher education in southwest Georgia."

Dr. Rodney Carr, the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs added, "Bainbridge State College has a 44 year history of meeting the needs of our community and our students. This year marks another milestone in our continued academic excellence in meeting the needs for our region."

Bainbridge State College began offering classes for its first bachelor's degree--- the Bachelor of Science in Management (B.S.M.) Degree--- during fall 2015.

Three years ago, Dr. Leonard Kistner, the B.S.M. Program Director, was offered an opportunity to provide leadership in this level change at the College. There were many bases to cover during the start-up of the B.S.M. program, which included final curriculum decisions, finding and recruiting faculty to teach the courses, academic catalog revisions, internship placements, teaching full academic loads—and that was just a few of the responsibilities of the program director.

He said, "Sometimes I felt like a one-armed juggler—but having the opportunity to guide the start up on a program like this is an opportunity most academics never have. I'm grateful to have had this opportunity."

Kistner was proud to witness the awarding of these first degrees. "This opportunity has opened the doors for many students," he said. "I'm proud of the enthusiasm and hard work these students have invested in the program."

According to Kistner, the program is growing faster than what was initially projected. He also added that the program has received "nothing short of great," support from both the Bainbridge State College and the entire community and region.

Over the past three years, students have been anticipating the new program—and finally their dreams of obtaining a Bachelor's Degree has come true.

Cerisee Snow of Donalsonville was excited about the news of the new program at Bainbridge State. On May 6, her excitement and hard work paid off. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree from Bainbridge State College.

She commented on how the strong education base with the BSC staff and faculty members has helped her achieve this accomplishment and how it is impacting her future.

She said, "BSC has such a strong educational base with some amazing staff and faculty members. They have all helped me to reach my educational goals. I am a non-traditional student at age 59, and my Bachelor's Degree has already opened many doors for me. Recently, I have had future employers call me and asked me to apply for positions in their company."

Tabitha Ingle of Climax also received her Bachelor's Degree. She "cannot wait to see what the future holds for her in the business industry."

"I really enjoyed achieving my B.S. in Management under Dr. Kistner at Bainbridge State College and I cannot wait to see what my future holds in the business industry," she said.

April Perkins of Whigham who was named BSC's 2017 Outstanding Graduate was "honored and proud to say that she was one of the first to graduate from BSC with her Bachelor's Degree."

"It is a privilege to be a part of the first class to assist in pioneering the Institution," she commented. "My degree will enable me to attain the occupation of my dreams and has opened a broad variety of career opportunities for my future."

Perkins explained that the degree program at BSC has prepared her for any position she may hold in the future.

She said, "I will use my knowledge from BSC for the rest of my life. I will be eternally grateful to the faculty and staff who have molded me—and especially to Dr. Kistner for working countless hours on establishing this program."

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