Three Criminal Justice students recognized with SGTC Foundation Waitsman Family Scholarships

Published 8:06 am Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Staff Reports

   Three students in the South Georgia Technical College Criminal Justice program have qualified for South Georgia Technical College Foundation academic scholarships based on their grade point averages and work ethics.  Teresa McCook is the instructor of the SGTC Americus Criminal Justice program and recommended each of the students.

   Sherri Hillman of Montezuma, GA; Connie Leann Lowry of Cordele, GA; and Barbara Ann Chestnut of Mauk were selected to receive the Leonard and Marie Waitsman Criminal Justice Scholarships.

   All three students expressed their appreciation to the South Georgia Technical College Foundation and the donors who helped make these scholarships possible. “I am so thankful for this opportunity,” said Connie Lowry.  “I never thought I would enroll in college and now to have been recognized and rewarded with a scholarship is just tremendous.”

   Sherri Hillman also shared her enthusiasm about the scholarship, the criminal justice program, and her instructor.  “Mrs. McCook is awesome.  She makes sure you know the material and she is very helpful.  In fact, everyone at South Georgia Tech goes the extra mile to help students.  I just love this school and am so thankful it is here. Everyone should take advantage of this college.”  In fact, Hillman had her daughter with her who is now enrolled in the SGTC Dual Enrollment program. “I told her she needed to go ahead and get enrolled and she did.”

   Barbara Ann Chestnut agreed with Hillman and Lowry.  “I came back to college after I retired from my job.  I wanted to come back and find something else to do.  I was very nervous, because I was a little older, but it has been great.  The instructors and the students have been so supportive.  And now, I earned a scholarship. If I can do this, so can others,” said Chestnut.

   The Leonard and Marie Waitsman Criminal Justice Scholarship was established by the Waitsman Family in 2013.  The Waitsman family has also endowed scholarships for Marketing 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 Waitsman family 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.”

   SGTC Criminal Justice Instructor Teresa McCook 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. If I give them an assignment, I know they are going to complete the work and do it well.”

  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.

   For more information about the Criminal Justice program, contact instructor Teresa McCook at on the Americus campus or Wanda Bishop at on the Crisp County Center campus.  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.