Each year the Graduate School showcases outstanding graduate students from each academic college in the Graduate Student Hall of Fame. Selected by their College, the student is honored with a canvas portrait which will be unveiled and displayed for one year. 

The inductees for the 2019-2020 academic year are: 

 Amy Yarbrough, Ed.D. Nursing EducationAmyYarbrough

Amy has excelled as a doctoral student at the University of West Georgia Tanner Health System School of Nursing and is committed to advancing the discipline of nursing education through scholarship. She holds herself to extremely high academic standards and desires to advance herself as a nursing education scholar through education, innovation, and professional excellence. As a rising leader, she is cognizant of the skills, abilities, and needs of those she works with and serves as a constant source of encouragement to those in her cohort. She has a passion for nursing education research surrounding students with learning disabilities. Through her research, Amy seeks to understand how students with learning disabilities can best be served within a nursing education program and within the profession of nursing. Her dissertation, exploring classroom accommodations for students with learning disabilities, explores an area of research highly needed within nursing education. Amy's dissertation results, along with her planned post-doctoral research, will advance the scholarship of nursing education and assist in the diversification of the nursing workforce. Amy was also a recipient of the prestigious National NLN Nursing Foundation Scholarship award for her dissertation research.

Bre'Ahn HeardBre'Ahn Heard, M.A. Sociology

Bre'Ahn is a fantastic graduate student who has made contributions to the sociology department and graduate student community in a variety of ways. In her first year, she served as co-chair of the graduate student development committee. As a Teaching Assistant, Bre'Ahn has guest lectured in an undergraduate research methods class on the topics of survey methods, SPSS software, and interpreting descriptive statistics. The students in the class raved about her knowledge of the material, ability to make it accessible, and genuine passion for helping them.  As a scholar, Bre'Ahn has been accepted to present preliminary findings from her Master's thesis, this April, at the Southern Sociological Society Annual meeting. Her work explores the relationship between race, gender, and early attitudes towards math/science as an explanatory variable for the under-representation of Blacks and Latinos in STEM majors.  Finally, Bre’Ahn is now putting her sociological training to work by serving as a graduate research assistant on an NSF funded grant under the direction of Dr. Christopher Jett in the Math Department examining the persistence and achievement of African American men in STEM.


Drew SchulzDrew Schulz, M.A. History

Drew's Graduate Research Assistantship has been focusing on National Park Service history. Right now, he is helping us research and write an administrative history of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area; he is writing two of the chapters for this history. And soon, he will begin helping us with an administrative history for the Ocmulgee National Monument, in Macon. For his thesis project, he is working with a collection of oral histories from Sapelo Island, completed by Dr. Ray Crook from 1970-1992. He is drawing upon those to develop an exhibition for Sapelo Island, working with the community there. He hopes to use those oral histories in his thesis essay, which will also focus on Sapelo Island. Right now, he is still developing the framework for that study, but I know he is interested in changing land use and heir lands on the island.


Jacalyn ButtsJacalyn Butts, M.Ed. Professional Counseling

In addition to her excellent academic record, Jacalyn is the GA for Career Development in the Office of Career Services. She also serves as a College if Education Ambassador, a highly selective group of student leaders who display excellent leadership abilities, communication skills, and a strong GPA. Jacalyn has coordinated the Professional Development Series for Graduate Assistants in the M.Ed. in College Student Affairs, and has aligned the competences of the program to expectations in the field. Overall, she is an excellent student who continually seeks opportunities for service and professional growth.




Jean LeeJean Lee, Ed.D. School Improvement

Jean Lee distinguished herself with her dissertation research that focuses on the intersection of race, education, and equality.  Entitled, The Power of Words: An Analysis of Supreme Court Jurisprudence Related to Education, Race, and Equality, her work reveals the negative effects of de jure and de facto segregation in the United States from the 1950's forward.  Dr. Dianne Hoff, Dean of the College of Education, noted that, "The completed work is a stunning achievement that makes a major contribution about the challenges minority children continue to face in education, despite Supreme Court rulings that should have protected them. It is a call to action if minority children are to receive the education they deserve."  Dr. Lee is now disseminating her work to wider audiences, including a presentation at the upcoming National Civil Rights Conference.



Kassandra ArtsKassandra Arts,  M.S. Biology

Kassandra is an outstanding graduate student in regards to research, academics, and service. She has been a research assistant since Spring 2018 on an externally funded project studying the cryptic small carnivore, the eastern spotted skunk. This has been an extremely difficult project given the rarity of the species and countless months needed to track them. For the first 6 months of her graduate career, she lived at a remote site in southern Alabama conducting research. Since that time she has continued to travel weekly to Alabama for her research project. She has shown exceptional grit, determination, and independence during her thesis, overcoming many hurdles such as tough field conditions, isolation, and technical issues. She also has excelled in her classes earning a 4.0 and praise from her instructors. She has won a COSM travel award and a best graduate student poster award from the Georgia Wildlife Society. Kassandra has already written a research note that we are submitting for publication. She has a can-do attitude and doesn't let physical or logistical obstacles stop her from her goals. She has mentored a half dozen undergraduates, providing research opportunities for them to work on her project. In addition, she has done outreach activities such as presentations on skunks to K-5 students at Sandy Springs Elementary.

Katlyn BradshawKatlyn Bradshaw, M.B.A. Business Administration

Katlyn Bradshaw is nominated for her outstanding academic performance and for her research, which she began as a junior at the University of West Georgia. She has been selected to present her research at the 2nd World CUR in May 2019 in Germany. Her contribution to this project as an MBA student includes developing a survey to measure student learning engagement with the Dumpster Audit, organized annually by UWG Facilities and the Sustainability Council.




Meghen BasselMeghen Bassel, Ed.S. Media

Meghen is a model student who also displays innovation in her professional role as a School Media Specialist. Her inclusion of a therapy dog to help struggling readers has caught the attention of news outlets across the state and Nat Geo Wild.  Students read to the trained "reading dog" without judgment, building their skill and confidence. She is an outstanding example of a committed graduate student who uses her education to make a big impact in the field.



Samantha BowlingSamantha Bowling, M.S.N. Nursing

Samantha Bowling displays professionalism in her performance as a future nurse educator by striving for excellence in her coursework and collegiality with faculty and fellow students. Multiple faculty presented her name as a candidate for this award. It is with pleasure and honor that Samantha is nominated for the Hall of Fame award from the MSN Program of Tanner Health System School of Nursing.





The following students are recipients of Certificates of Recognition for their achievements in Graduate Studies:

Clayton Drummond, M.A. Criminology

Christina Paige Goodwin, M.A. English

Colleen Kingston, M.A. Music

Taylor Underwood, M.Ed. Speech Language Pathology

Korbyn Boyd Thompson, M.Ed. Special Education

Terri Phoenix, M.Ed. Professional Counseling

Patricia Durrough, M.Ed. Media

Erin Neighbors, M.Ed. Media

Alexandria Vena, M.Ed. Early Childhood Education

Jennifer Prosba, M.A.T. History Education

Jennifer McManus, Ed.D.Higher Education Administration

Michael Rector, Ed.D. Professional Counseling & Supervision

Royanne McWaters-Baer, Ed.S. Media

Sarah Owen, Ed.S. Professional Counseling

Callie Williams, M.Ed. Early Childhood Education

LaDonia Patterson, Ed.D. Nursing Education

Lisa Pugsley, Ed.D. Nursing Education

Laura Phillips, Ed.D. Nursing Education

Janet Owens, MSN Nursing

Laura Edwards, MSN Nursing

Chelsea Kitchens, MSN Nursing

Emma Robbins, MSN Nursing

Maria Torres, MBA

Jesse Morris, MBA

Michelle Brock, MPAcc