Georgia Bailey Swinford of Brandon, a sophomore mathematics major on the Raymond Campus, has been named a member of Phi Theta Kappa’s 2014 All-USA Community College Academic Team. She is one of only 20 students nationwide to receive this honor. The winners were selected from more than 1,700 students nominated by more than 800 community colleges.
She traveled to Washington D.C. with Hinds Community College President Dr. Clyde Muse and PTK adviser Dr. Johanna Williams and was presented her award during the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges on April 7.
“The Hinds Raymond Campus Honors Institute is fortunate to be able to work with talented students like Georgia,” said Debbie McCollum, dean of the Honors Institute. “Not only does she have an outstanding academic record, but she has been a leader in community service efforts, too.”
In addition to being a full-time student, Swinford works as a server at a local restaurant, is a member of the Hinds Honors Program where she is a leader on the executive board, and is a member of Student VOICES, a student-led community college advocacy group that appeals to the Mississippi Legislature for equitable funding for two-year colleges.
She is also the recipient of the Mississippi-Louisiana Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges’ scholarship, is a President’s Scholar at Hinds CC, and is a member of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math program at Hinds.
She says her goals in life are divided into both short-term and long-term categories.
“In my life, I have heard that goals are the best way to get something done,” she said. “My goals are based on a subject I love, mathematics. My first short term goal is to graduate from a university with my master’s degree. My dream job would be to teach math at the community college level.
My two long-term goals include becoming the head of my department wherever I decide to teach and earning my Ph.D. in mathematics. Mathematics has been my passion since ninth grade, and I would like to study and teach as long as I can in order to share my love of the subject with future generations.”
Swinford said her big “Aha!” moment happened recently while tutoring Carver Middle School students, a program she organized and cultivated herself.
“I met one day a week with a sixth grade girl, tutoring her in math. As with many girls, she hated the subject and did not understand much of the lecture in class. By the end of the semester, she had a B in math. I then grasped how fulfilling helping others could be.”
PTK’s All-Academic Team honors students of all ages and backgrounds who have overcome a range of challenges to pursue their dreams and are thriving in U.S. community colleges. Those selected display an outstanding combination of academic achievement and community service.
Sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, with support from the American Association of Community Colleges, each winner receives a $2,500 scholarship. To be eligible, the student must have been nominated by his or her college.
“Community colleges provide students a high-quality, affordable education,” said Don Germano, president of Follett Higher Education Group. “All of us at Follett are so pleased to recognize and support these outstanding students — driven, brilliant students on a path to be our future leaders.”