Gadsden State Alumni Association presents annual awards


Gadsden State’s Alumni Association Awards honored the 2023 Outstanding Academic Faculty, Outstanding Technical Faculty, Outstanding Support Staff, the Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Alumni of the Year at the annual employee holiday luncheon held Dec. 18 at the Beck Conference Center. The awards were presented by Dr. Kathy Murphy, president of Gadsden State, and Heather Brothers New, the president of the Gadsden State Alumni Association.

“Choosing the winners was no easy task,” New said. “There were many wonderful nominations, so it took us awhile to select those who have gone above and beyond for the college, community and the Alumni Association.”

Each winner was presented with a certificate and is featured in the Alumni Yearbook as well as on the College website and social media platforms.

The 2023 Outstanding Academic Faculty Award was presented to Gerri Langley, the Office Administration instructor at the Ayers Campus.

New described her as “a Gadsden State Cardinal through-and-through.” Langley enrolled at Gadsden State in 2001 and earned an associate degree in Office Administration at the Ayers Campus in 2004. Since then, she has served as the clerk in Admissions and Records, the College’s transcript evaluator, the Ayers Campus director and an Office Administration Instructor. She also continued her education earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary Education from Jacksonville State University and a master’s degree in Education from the University of West Florida.

Hollie Bonds is the winner of the Outstanding Technical Faculty Member. She is the Mechanical Design Technology instructor at the Ayers Campus.

Bonds is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Gadsden State, earning a degree in Mechanical Design Technology in 2010. As a student, she represented Gadsden State on the USA Today All-USA Academic Team. She also served as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa, was a Gadsden State Ambassador and competed in Skills USA.

“Hollie is an innovative instructor who has served as a great recruiter to her program,” said Alan Smith, dean of Workforce Development. “Hollie has participated in panel discussions featuring Women in Manufacturing, and she works tirelessly as an advocate for women pursuing STEM careers.”

The Outstanding Support Staff of the Year is Jessica Slaten. She started her career in 1998 at the Ayers Campus as an accountant. Since then, she has worked her way up in Financial Services to become the director.

“She is known for providing consistent and high-level commitment and excellence in her service to the College,” New said.

Slaten is a graduate of the college Business Management Institute at the University of Kentucky and has earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from JSU. She is the 2022 winner of the Chancellor’s Award for Administrators, is a graduate of Leadership Etowah and is a lifetime member of the Gadsden State Alumni Association.

Pam Clough is the 2023 Distinguished Service Award winner for exemplary dedication and service to Gadsden State, the Alumni Association and her community.

“She is truly a supporter of both Gadsden State and our community,” New said. “Co-workers know they can turn to her whenever they need assistance. She is trustworthy, honest and dependable.”

Clough has degrees from Gadsden State, JSU and the University of Alabama. She also earned a pipefitter certificate at the Alabama Technical College, now known as Gadsden State’s East Broad Campus.

Baisha Woody is the 2023 Alumni of the Year.

“I’m proud that the Alumni Association is recognizing someone who is a trusted advisor to students wanting to upskill or train for a new career; someone who is a dependable co-worker always willing to help; and who has been a long-time supporter of the Gadsden State Alumni Association,” New said.

Woody is the director of the Skills Training Division. She has earned degrees from Bevill State Community College, Alabama State University and the University of Phoenix. In 2008, she earned a certificate in Massage Therapy from Gadsden State.

Woody was hired by Gadsden State in 2001 and has since served in several roles, including teaching office administration, ready-to-work courses, office careers and orientation. She is a big supporter of the Gadsden State Cardinals and can be seen at many campus events.

“Baisha is the best supervisor, and she works very hard to help her students succeed, including writing grants to fund tuition and fees for students,” said Toni Bishop, a member of the Skills Training staff.

Woody has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for many years and currently serves as its treasurer.

“Very few people know more about the Alumni Association than she does and is appreciated for her support and dedication,” New said.

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