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May 26, 2021

Spinks Selected for Roy R. Jackson Award at ABAC

TIFTON—Kim Spinks has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Roy R. Jackson Award for Staff Excellence, presented each year to the top staff member at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Presented in memory of Roy R. Jackson, Sr., award recipients must have completed at least 10 years of continuous full-time service to ABAC.  Award criteria states that the staff member must be dependable, loyal, reliable, and one who contributes to the growth and development of the college beyond the normal call of duty. Now serving as the Office Coordinator for the Office of Academic Support, Spinks has been an ABAC staff member for 22 years. A coworker states Spinks is always pleasant and professional, whether her focus is on a recruit, applicant, student, graduate, parent, alumnus, visitor or an ABAC employee.  She has proven to be flexible and adaptive at ABAC, serving in various positions and working well as a team member or alone, depending on the task, and is always ready and willing to assist any co-worker when needed in a pinch.  Another coworker writes that Spinks processes graduation applications promptly and adds a personal touch by sending a lovely congratulatory note to the soon-to-be ABAC alumnus as well as to their advisor.  In so doing, it keeps both the advisor and student up-to-date and informed.  One colleague says Spinks is service-oriented and “others-minded, always going above and beyond to assist ABAC students.  I believe our students, faculty, and staff would all agree that this year’s awardee has a genuine desire to make the ABAC experience positive.” ###
May 25, 2021

ABAC Faculty Member Selected for Georgia Agricultural Education Hall of Fame

TIFTON—Dr. Farish Mulkey, an assistant professor of agricultural education at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, has been selected for the Georgia Agricultural Education Hall of Fame.  Mulkey joins two current ABAC faculty members, Dr. Frank Flanders and Von Peavy, in the Hall of Fame. “We are extremely proud of Dr. Mulkey and the fact that ABAC now has three active faculty members in the Hall of Fame,” Dr. Andrew Thoron, Head of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at ABAC, said. “I think this proves without a doubt that ABAC is vested in agricultural education in Georgia.” Mulkey began his 32-year career in agricultural education as a classroom agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Macon County High School in 1988.  His career continues today at ABAC where he advises, teaches, and prepares the next crop of agricultural educators. In a career that saw him teach both middle and high school in Macon County, Worth County, Bainbridge, and Stephens County, Mulkey and his students have achieved a great deal of success. He served as advisor to 61 state degree recipients, 14 American Degree recipients, 18 state and four national Career Development Event winners, and nine state proficiency award winners. The role of an agricultural education teacher is very diverse. In addition to teaching and guiding students, agriculture teachers are expected to make an impact on their community and their profession. Just as he did as an FFA advisor, Mulkey excelled at those expectations. Mulkey served as a Young Farmer advisor, providing instruction for adults in his community, was named Teacher of the Year in his school system, participated on local Farm Bureau boards, and served on committees within the Georgia Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association. A Georgia Agricultural Education Hall of Fame spokesman said that Mulkey's very decorated and successful career was not highlighted by the many plaques, trophies, and ribbons that his students earned; rather his career is highlighted by the character that he exhibited and instilled in the young people he taught in class. ###
May 24, 2021

Luke-Morgan Receives Teaching Excellence Award at ABAC

TIFTON—Dr. Audrey Luke-Morgan has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the W. Bruce and Rosalyn Ray Donaldson Award for Teaching Excellence at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. First awarded in 1965, the purpose of the prestigious award is to publicly recognize superior instruction and exemplary service to the college by honoring one faculty member each year, as chosen by a special representative committee of faculty and students. The recipient is honored with a recognition plaque and a monetary award. To be eligible for consideration for the Donaldson Teaching Excellence Award, a faculty member must be a full-time instructor with five or more years of continuous service to the college. An Associate Professor in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Luke-Morgan has taught at ABAC since 2012. She received an associate degree from ABAC, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Georgia (UGA), a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from UGA, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Valdosta State University. To best meet the needs of her students, Luke-Morgan has each student complete a biography and self-assessment so that she can tailor each course to target skills such as public speaking or use of spreadsheet software. “I believe that you must move out of your comfort zone to reach your full potential to learn and grow,” Luke-Morgan said. Several letters of support reference Luke-Morgan’s passion and fire for her subject matter. Dr. Mark Kistler, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said, “she strives to kindle each student’s curiosity for lifelong learning.” A peer recommendation states that she peaks the students’ interest in introductory classes where they often struggle with terminology with “practical and everyday examples to demonstrate use and application. She then pushes her juniors and seniors to rise to a much higher bar of performance in her classes.” A former student writes, “It is very easy to lecture about all of the things you know, but to translate that knowledge into a conversation that everyone can understand is a special gift that makes the best professors.” Luke-Morgan was the 1992 valedictorian at Fitzgerald High School. In 1994, she was selected as the top academic student at ABAC, receiving the J.G. Woodroof Scholar award with a 4.0 grade point average. ###
May 20, 2021

ABAC’s Polly Huff Receives Top Honor from Georgia Association of Museums

TIFTON—The Georgia Association of Museums (GAM) recently honored Polly Huff from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with the Museum Professional Award, the industry’s top honor for a museum professional currently serving in the state of Georgia.  Huff, the curator at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture (GMA) in Tifton, received the award at the virtual meeting of the Georgia Association for Museums Conference.  “The Middleton Shoe Shop,” an original exhibition at the Museum curated by Huff, also won the Exhibit Award in Category 2, which encompasses project budgets below $25,000. Nominating Committee Chair Virginia Howell, Director of the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, and members April Moon Carlson, Independent Museum Consultant; Christa McCay, Curator of the Marietta Museum of History; and Holly Beasley Wait, Director of the National Civil War Naval Museum, singled out Huff for “more than two decades of producing innovative exhibits, maximizing limited resources in incredibly creative ways, and being an advocate for the museum field.” In her role as the ABAC curator, Huff oversees a collection of more than 100,000 GMA artifacts. She has designed and installed over 100 significant exhibitions at the GMA, the Art Gallery, and satellite locations; oversees the institutional archives on campus and at the Museum; handles the curatorial duties at ABAC’s Fulwood Garden Center; and is the staff liaison for Tifton’s Wiregrass Farmers Market. “The Middleton Shoe Shop” project took the Museum’s curatorial staff on a journey across the country and back to the 1800s when a cache of mysterious shoe shop artifacts donated by an Indiana resident was discovered at the GMA 40 years after the donation had taken place. Months of intense research with the assistance of museum colleagues from across the country eventually identified the shoemaker in the lone photograph stored with the artifacts as James Middleton, a Tifton shoemaker who lived and worked in the area in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Huff and restoration specialist David King built an exhibit duplicating the exact scene of Middleton’s shoe shop depicted in that lone photograph. Working with local restoration photographer Charles Styer, Huff recreated a life size rendering of the shop complete with a wall mural of the Middleton wagon, a lifelike museum figure replica of Middleton himself, and a display of several hundred shoemaking artifacts. The exhibit’s wooden shoe forms were treated with a special museum wax, which infused the nostalgic scent of shoeshine paste into the experience.  When the pandemic brought everything to a halt in 2020, Huff and her senior media intern, Tristin Clements from Tifton, filmed the exhibit installation and converted the opening into a virtual event, offering it to Museum guests in the early days of the pandemic to the sound of a nostalgic 1890s tune. Huff was recently elected for a third term on the GAM Board of Directors.  She is a frequent panelist and presenter for the state organization and its membership.                                                             ###
May 18, 2021

ABAC Begins Four-Day Work Week

TIFTON—For the second consecutive summer, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will utilize a four-day work week. ABAC President David Bridges said ABAC’s hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on a Monday through Thursday basis. The college will be closed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  “Closing three days a week will save energy during the hot months of the summer,” Bridges said.  “Employees can also enjoy a three-day weekend with their families during this time.” The four-day ABAC work week began May 17 will continue through July 24.  Summer term classes begin at ABAC on June 1.  The fall semester opens Aug. 10. ###
May 17, 2021

Abbeville Graduate Receives Top Award at ABAC Commencement

TIFTON—Meredith McGlamory, an Agricultural Communication major from Abbeville, received the ABAC Alumni Association Award as the top graduate participating in the commencement ceremony on Friday at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Because of social distancing guidelines, ABAC hosted three commencement ceremonies, two in Tifton and one in Bainbridge.  A total of 302 graduates participated in the ceremonies.  McGlamory received a plaque and a check for $500 from the ABAC Alumni Association, which sponsors the award and conducts the interviews which lead to the selection of the winner. The recipient of the award must participate in the commencement ceremony.  The award recognizes scholarship, leadership, and citizenship. From her role as Homecoming Queen to the time she rode on horseback carrying the flag for the Alpha Gamma Rho Breast Cancer Barrel Race, McGlamory has experienced all sides of ABAC. A stellar academic student with a 3.73 grade point average, McGlamory was a Distinguished Honor Student and made the Dean’s List and the President’s List.  She interned with Bayer Crop Science where she worked on experimental chemical plots in row crops.  She also went on a study abroad trip to Belize and took part in a mission trip to Bolivia. At one point in her ABAC career, McGlamory was the Social Media Intern for the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition.  She also served as an active member of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.  McGlamory has worked at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show, and she traveled with other ABAC students on the annual Farm Tour when they visited Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Closer to home, McGlamory has guided visitors on the Sunbelt Expo trams, dealt with small animals at Branch’s Vet Clinic, and worked in Plant Pathology at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station.  A Ms. ABAC Finalist, she often helped to recruit new students at Stallion Day. One of McGlamory’s references said, “she strives for success in everything she does and always represents ABAC in a positive manner.” McGlamory plans to travel to New Zealand after graduation to take part in an outreach ministry program. Summer term classes begin at ABAC on June 1, and the fall semester opens Aug. 10. ###

News Archive

View Archive Abbeville Graduate Receives Top Award at ABAC Commencement
September 28, 2023

ABAC Presents! The Vega Quartet performance on Oct. 12

TIFTON – The Vega Quartet will perform on Oct. 12 as part of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series. The group is the Quartet-in-Residence at Emory University and is cultivating a new generation of chamber music lovers through dynamic performances and innovative community engagement. The Quartet's major performing projects at Emory have included performing the complete cycle of Beethoven quartets, as well as pairing Bach’s complete works for solo violin, viola, and cello with the six Bartók quartets.  They have also developed a series of “Jazz Meets Classics” programs, bringing the two genres together. “They’re a really amazing quartet,” said Wayne Jones, Arts Connection director. “We’re thrilled to have them back. This is their second time performing at ABAC for the ABAC Presents! Series.” This performance is followed by pianist Jasmine Arakawa on Feb. 20, 2024; a play titled “Keep Marching: The Road to the March on Washington” will be featured on March 7, the Akropolis Reed Quartet performs on April 4, and The Jim Gasior Trio performing will join the ABAC Jazz Ensemble for a performance on April 18. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets can visit or call the ABAC Ticket Line at (229) 391-4895. The ABAC Presents! series showcases professional performing artists selected to support ABAC and area students’ study of the arts and to present high-quality arts experiences to the entire community. All ABAC Presents! performances are held in Howard Auditorium on ABAC’s Main Campus beginning at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:15 p.m.
September 27, 2023

Forgotten “Power Couple” subject of Oct. 5 Usher Lecture Series event

TIFTON – Dr. Rachael Price will discuss the legacy of a forgotten “power couple” on Oct. 5 as part of the Jess Usher Lecture Series at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. “Henry and Katherine Bellamann were a force to be reckoned with in 1930s and 1940s Manhattan,” said Price, an associate professor in ABAC’s School of Arts and Sciences. “While Henry was best known as the author of Kings Row (a novel that was made even more famous with the release of a 1942 film version starring Ronald Reagan), both Henry and Katherine were prolific writers and musicians, and their Upper West Side apartment, with two grand pianos in the living room, was an epicenter of arts and culture.” ABAC’s Horseman Press recently re-published Henry’s first novel, Petenera’s Daughter, and copies will be on sale at the event, along with copies of Kings Row. Price began her ABAC career in 2016. She received her BA in English from the State University of New York at Geneseo, her MA from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and her PhD in English from the University of Arkansas. Other series events include a talk titled “It Takes A Village to Provide Quality Food for our Pets” by Diantha Ellis on Oct. 30; John Cable’s lecture “Throwing People Away: The Enclosure Movement in Mississippi” on Feb. 27, 2024;  and “How Ideas Have Sex: An Account of Human Communication” by Jay Baldwin on April 1. The lecture is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at ABAC’s Howard Auditorium. Each Usher Lecture Series event is free and open to the public. The Jess Usher Lecture Series features a carefully curated slate of dynamic presentations, drawn from a wide range of disciplines and delivered by distinguished members of the ABAC faculty as well as distinguished guest lecturers. Formerly known as the ABAC Lecture Series, this special collection has been renamed in memory of Dr. Jess Usher, a beloved ABAC professor and former lecturer in the series, who passed away in June 2021.
September 26, 2023

ABAC boasts 100 percent boards pass rate for nursing graduates

TIFTON – Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s spring nursing graduates have a 100 percent boards pass rate, according to Dr. Jeffrey Ross, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “We have always been confident that our ABAC nursing graduates were well prepared upon graduation from our program,” Ross said. “However, our 100 percent pass rate reaffirms that ABAC nursing graduates have the critical knowledge, skills, and attitudes to enter the nursing profession. “Our students work extremely hard while enrolled in the nursing program, and their work, dedication, and commitment shine with these results,” he added. “Our staff and faculty’s ongoing commitment to quality and excellence shows in all aspects of our mission."  Ross said that this pass rate is especially impressive as the NCLEX-RN, the standardized test used for the licensing of nurses in the U.S., recently received revisions to better assess actual nursing practice and assess graduates’ critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills. He said that, knowing the NCLEX-RN change was coming in April, nursing faculty systematically introduced the students to the newly-designed question formats. The averages for Registered Nurse pass rates in the state is 82.58 percent and 77.91 percent nationally, according to Ross. “We are going to continue to work hard and implement additional changes to keep the pass rate up,” Ross said. “Our faculty and staff work tirelessly to ensure the students have the knowledge they need to be successful in both the classroom and clinical arenas. This rare and extraordinary achievement would not be possible without the support of our local clinical partners and healthcare facilities as well as the administration of ABAC.”
September 26, 2023

Romantic masterwork featured in Oct. 3 First Tuesday concert

TIFTON – The 2023 First Tuesday Concert Series at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College continues Oct. 3 with a performance featuring Owen Lovell on piano and Bryan Hall on violin.  This concert will showcase the romantic masterwork of Cesar Franck’s Violin Sonata and virtuoso treats by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Eugène Ysaÿe.  Also, on the program is the world premiere of a gypsy piece by David Johnson. Lovell and Hall have both performed extensively in the United States and have both appeared as soloists and in conjunction with acclaimed orchestras. Lovell is currently an associate professor of music at Georgia College and State University. Hall is currently an assistant professor or upper strings and orchestra conductor at Georgia College and State University. Dr. Jennifer Huang, Fine Arts Department Head, said that the concert will begin at 7 p.m. in ABAC’s Howard Auditorium. All First Tuesday concerts are free and open to the public with no ticket required.   Other performances in the First Tuesday lineup include The Music Educators concert on Nov. 7. In 2024, performances will include an organ recital by Andrew Atkinson on Feb. 6., The ABAC Community Choir on March 5, and The Songs of Broadway on April 2. For more information on the First Tuesday series, visit
September 26, 2023

Run for the Nurses scheduled for Oct. 28

TIFTON — Registration is now open for the Run for the Nurses on Oct. 28 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  The event includes both a 5K and a half marathon from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. “This event is a lot of fun and we hope a lot of people will consider supporting our nursing students,” said event chair Christy Blanchett, program specialist with the ABAC School of Nursing & Health Sciences. “Those who do not wish to run but would like to support, there are sponsorship opportunities available.” Blanchett said runners can register online at . Registration for the 5K is $30 per person through Sept. 30.  From Oct. 1 through Oct. 27, the cost is $35.  Race day registration is $40.  For the half marathon, the registration is $60 through Sept. 30. $65 from Oct. 1-27, and $70 on race day. Blanchett said the Run for the Nurses is held in honor of the Lisa Purvis Allison Spirit of Nursing Scholarship at ABAC and is the only event the School of Nursing & Health Sciences does annually to raise scholarships for nursing students. “This event allows us to stop and remember Lisa Purvis Allison, who passed away shortly after graduating from ABAC’s nursing school in 2009,” said Dr. Jeffrey Ross, Dean of ABAC’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences.  “The scholarship fund honors Lisa and provides financial assistance to ABAC nursing students who have the same drive and passion for nursing that Lisa had.” For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, contact Blanchett at
September 22, 2023

ABAC’s Brundage celebrated at inauguration

TIFTON – Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College faculty, staff, students, University System of Georgia institution representatives, and community officials celebrated Dr. Tracy L. Brundage’s investiture as ABAC’s 11th president Friday. The event included supportive remarks from a number of individuals about Brundage’s contributions to higher education throughout her 31-year career. University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue presented President Brundage with the ABAC medallion, a recreation of the college seal which represents the scholarship and authority of the office, as well as the ABAC mace, which represents the authority vested in the president of an institution of higher learning by its governing board. It was carved by alumnus Keith Rucker out of wood from a Bradford pear tree that once lived on campus, and the presidential medallion was created specially for the investiture of President Brundage. “It’s hard to believe, but an entire year has passed since I arrived in August of 2022 during the dog days of summer.” said Brundage. “For the past year, I have been the Captain of the Good Ship ABAC and my goal is to always sail in the right direction, rowing together toward a bright horizon. I know there will be storms at sea, but I also know there will be times of sunshine and calm waters and we should celebrate those times. “We are very excited to continue the work we have already started but there is still much to do and we will do it together as we help prepare our students for citizenship, and relevant, family sustaining careers,” she added. “We already know that our graduates are continuous lifelong learners who are actively engaged, contribute to their communities, and thrive in the world.” Before Brundage gave her speech, several local dignitaries welcomed attendees to the event and offered congratulations to Brundage. Governor Brian Kemp sent remarks via video, and Tifton Mayor Julie Smith, former ABAC Faculty Senate President Diantha Ellis, ABAC Staff Council President Tia Kohler; Student Government Association President Brooke Patry, ABAC Foundation Board of Trustees Chair Jaclyn Ford, and ABAC Alumni Association Vice President Chad Hancock all welcomed the attendees and offered congratulations. Dr. David L. Passmore, Distinguished Professor Emeritus from Penn State College of Education, and Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, President Emeritus from Pennsylvania College of Technology also sent in video remarks; former ABAC President David Bridges, and Georgia Board of Regents Chair Harold Reynolds also offered remarks. Fran Langan, Vice President at Keystone College in Pennsylvania, delivered remarks from Keystone President John Pullo, who was unable to attend. “Ladies and gentlemen, what ABAC got in Tracy Brundage was a fighter,” Pullo’s remarks read. “In this current climate in higher education, you couldn’t have picked a better leader at this important time. ABAC has a proud 115-year tradition of providing a unique, intimate learning environment where students are given the tools to embrace their full potential and pursue their aspirations through a hands-on education. Tracy Brundage fits that tradition to a tee, both through her personal vision as well as her style.” President Brundage spoke about that vision at her investiture. “My overarching vision is for ABAC to remain relevant,” she said. “Be revolutionary in our ideas for the future, meet workforce needs, understand what makes ABAC unique and distinct- what are our competitive advantages in the marketplace and if we can create that carefully orchestrated balance and have a culture that has high employee morale and a quest for continuous improvement, we will continue to provide transformational experiences for our students and remain sustainable for years to come. Our mission, our institutional values- are so critical and will help guide our work ahead- and frame how we interact internally and externally.”