April 11, 2017

VSU Honors Retired Faculty and Staff

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University recently honored faculty and staff who have retired or will retire during the 2016-2017 academic year.
During the annual Retired Faculty and Staff Luncheon, the Council on Staff Affairs and VSU Retirees Association paid tribute to 30 faculty and staff members representing a combined 608 years of service to the university.
“Days like today help me fall deeper in love with our institution,” said Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, university president. “To those of you who are retiring today ... I think it’s very safe to say that you have helped leave the university better than you found it. We are a better university today than we were yesterday, and because of the foundation that you all helped lay, we will be a better university tomorrow.”
Tim Yorkey, a training specialist in Employee and Organizational Development, retired after serving VSU for 36 years.
“I enjoyed building relationships with those who were making VSU a positive and beneficial influence on our community,” he said. “I enjoyed being a part of change while watching our future being shaped by those generations coming and passing through. VSU is truly a hidden jewel for our South Georgia region.”
Sherrida Crawford, head of automated systems and an associate professor in Odum Library, retired after serving VSU for 29 years. She said highlights from her time at VSU include reading to prekindergarten children during VSU’s annual Read Fest and being tapped by the Regents Academic Committee on Libraries to be a part of several key initiatives involving the expansion of Georgia Library Learning Online (GALILEO) to all University System of Georgia students, faculty, and staff.
“I have enjoyed the caliber of the people I have met and worked with throughout the Valdosta State University campus community and the University System of Georgia,” said Crawford. “I formed rewarding professional friendships that extended well beyond VSU’s campus.”
Listed are the 2016-17 retirees, a few of whom took the opportunity to share a favorite memory from their time at VSU:
• Michael Bauer, carpenter in Plant Operations — 29 years
• Byron Brown, professor in the Department of English — 33 years
• Sherrida Crawford, head of automated systems and associate professor in Odum Library — 29 years
• Brenda Dixey, professor in the Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, Reading, and Deaf Education — 20 years
• Victoria Douglass, architect in Plant Operations — 11 years
• Jan Fackler, director of Budget Services — 22 years
• Linda Floyd, assistant professor in the School of Nursing — 28 years
• Janet Foster, associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education — 11 years
• Barbara Garland, clerk in the Department of Communication Arts — 13 years
“One of my favorite memories of my time at VSU was the exciting celebration of Valdosta State College becoming Valdosta State University. It was a great experience for me to have been a part of that celebration. I have enjoyed meeting the new students and parents over the years and building everlasting memories and friendships with some of them.”
• Martha Giddings, professor in the Department of Social Work — 22 years
“I have many favorite memories from VSU, but most of them have to do with being in the classroom and interacting with graduate students. It was the students that really taught me how to become a good teacher. I came into teaching with a love of people, but through working closely with students, I hoped to share my love and fascination with social work practice with them. I will continue to practice post-retirement, but not full-time. In addition to the students, I have enjoyed working with the faculty and staff at VSU. I have made close friends that I care about deeply and I will miss seeing them regularly. VSU has some really wonderful people who work on this campus.”
• Mike Hamm, electrical shop supervisor in Plant Operations — 34 years
• Elnora Hunter, building services worker in the Division of Student Affairs — 17 years
• Ashok Kumar, professor in the Department of Mathematics — 31 years
“Most of my time at VSU was spent teaching full-time, but I did serve as head of the department for a period of eight years. It was a pleasure to serve the university as an administrator. I worked closely with several deans and learned quite a bit about the university and its workings. I have really enjoyed working for Valdosta State University. I have been fortunate to find an exceptional group of people in the department to work with. My colleagues have been kind and very helpful. I can’t thank them enough for making my stay at Valdosta a very rewarding experience.... I have taught at many institutions. I found students at VSU to be very respectful to faculty. You are not going to find a more polite group of people than students at Valdosta State University. I am really going to miss my students.”
• Ginger Macheski, professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice — 29 years
• Reynaldo Martinez Jr., department head and professor in the Department of Adult and Career Education — 12 years
“I must divide [my favorite memories] into categories. Social — picnicking and enjoying the music with friends and colleagues at Pops in the Park. Academic —hooding my doctoral students at Graduate School commencement ceremonies. Personal — spending time with VSU friends and colleagues from across the university who made time from their day to join us at the 35th anniversary celebration of the Department of Adult and Career Education ... this year. I have most enjoyed the people. From the beginning of my time here in 2005, almost everyone has been very friendly, collegial, dedicated, and willing to collaborate.” 
• Paula McNeill, associate professor in the Department of Art — 21 years
“What I have enjoyed most about working at VSU for 21 years is following the careers of our art education students who have became leaders in the field of art education at the local, state, and national levels, impacting the lives of young American students and their communities.”
• Michael Meacham, professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice — 19 years
• Anita Ondrusek, professor in the Department of Library and Information Studies — 13 years
• James Shrader, professor in the Department of Music — 10 years
• Katina Starkson, secretary in the Department of English — 12 years
• Ellen Stevens, lecturer in the Department of Economics and Finance — 10 years
• Kathy Sundin, instructional technology specialist at the Center for eLearning — 10 years
• Michael Taylor, instructor in the Department of Communication Arts — 21 years
• Vida Thomas, building services worker in Plant Operations — 16 years
• Shirley Thompson, associate professor in the Department of Middle Grades, Secondary, Reading, and Deaf Education — 21 years
• Sherelyn Wade, admissions specialist in the Office of Admissions — 20 years
• Katrina Whitmore, accountant in the Division of Finance and Administration — eight years
• Ellen Wiley, professor in the Department of Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology — 25 years
• Larry Wiley, professor in the Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy — 25 years
• Timothy Yorkey, training specialist in the Employee and Organizational Development — 36 years
The new retirees were automatically inducted into the VSU Retirees Association.
The VSU Retirees Association strives to help faculty and staff maintain their connection to the university throughout retirement by providing opportunities for them to remain involved in campus life and to serve as a resource to current faculty, staff, and students, as well as alumni.
The VSU Retirees Association’s home on campus, the Retiree Center, is located in University Center Room 4122.
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