Three SGTC Marketing students recognized with SGTC Foundation Scholarships

Published 8:37 am Thursday, March 28, 2024

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Staff Reports

   Three students in the South Georgia Technical College Marketing Management program have qualified for South Georgia Technical College Foundation academic scholarships based on their grade point averages and work ethics.  Mary Cross is the instructor of the SGTC Marketing Management program and recommended each of the students.

   Shakiya McDonald and Tyona Royal of Americus were selected to receive the Roy Lee and Susan Smith Scholarship and Leah Nunley of San Jan Valley, AZ, was awarded the Leonard and Marie Waitsman Marketing Scholarship.

   All three students expressed their appreciation to the South Georgia Technical College Foundation and the donors who helped make these scholarships possible.

   The Roy Lee and Susan Smith Scholarship is awarded to deserving students from Sumter County and/or to interested students from the Georgia Sheriff Youth Homes, who desire to receive an education from South Georgia Technical College after graduating from high school.  The Smith scholarship was established in 1997.

   The Leonard and Marie Waitsman Marketing Scholarship was established by the Waitsman Family in 2009.  The Waitsman family has also endowed scholarships for Criminal Justice and Health Care related programs.

   “We are very proud of these three students for their academic accomplishments,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford.  “And we appreciate the support that South Georgia Technical College and the SGTC Foundation has received from the Smith and Waitsman families and other strong foundation partners.  Their generous gifts are providing educational opportunities for these students and for future generations.”

   SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the SGTC Foundation Su Ann Bird echoed Dr. Watford’s comments.  “Endowed scholarships are a wonderful way for individuals to recognize their loved ones while also allowing their legacy to continue.  These scholarships are tremendous assets for our students and their families.”

   Tyona Royal was almost in tears when she learned she had been selected for the Roy Lee Smith Scholarship.  She is a graduate of the SGTC Cosmetology program but chose to reenroll in the marketing program to gain the skills needed to open and operate her own business one day.  She also pointed out that this experience has strengthened her desire to help others to have these same types of opportunities. She is the daughter of Roxanna Shelton and Arthur Royal Sr.

   Shakiya McDonald was the other Roy Lee and Susan Smith Scholarship recipient.  “I love South Georgia Technical College.  This is a great college and Mrs. Cross is a great instructor,” said McDonald.  “I hope to own my own business one day and I feel like I am gaining the skills to be able to accomplish that goal.  The instructors here care about your success and I really appreciate that.”  She is the daughter of Porsha Ingram and Darrell McDonald.

   Leah Nunley was the third Marketing Management student recognized and she received the Leonard and Marie Waitsman Family Marketing Scholarship.  She is from San Jan Valley, AZ.  She selected South Georgia Technical College because of its on-campus housing and excellent online education reputation.

   “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I attended another college and played soccer but after a year I decided to give up soccer and look for another place to enroll.  I found South Georgia Technical College on line and I applied.  I am very glad I did.  I like living on-campus and my goal is to secure an internship this summer in the Atlanta area and complete my associate degree.”

   Nunley is currently working at Smoothie King in Americus and participated in the SGTC Light Up Your Future event giving out small samples of Smoothie King products as part of her marketing training.

   SGTC Marketing Instructor Mary Cross bragged on each of her students for their academic performances, work ethics, and willingness to go the extra mile in their classes and extracurricular projects.  “I was pleased to recommend these students.  They were on the SGTC President’s List for all A’s this past semester and they pay attention in class and do their work.”

  South Georgia Technical College is currently registering students for summer semester.  Classes begin May 23.  Registration will be held April 23 and May 21.  To apply now, visit and click on Apply Now.  The $25 application fee is waived through March if students use the code MARCH24.

   For more information about the Marketing program, contact instructor Mary Cross at  To learn more about the SGTC Foundation and endowed scholarships, contact SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Su Ann Bird at or 229-931-2110.