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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
November 30, 2023

ABAC annual Christmas Concert scheduled for Dec. 7

TIFTON—Sounds of the season will ring throughout the campus of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College on Dec. 7 when the Department of Fine Arts presents its annual Holiday Music Christmas Celebration. Dr. Jennifer Huang, Head of the Department of Fine Arts, said the free concert, featuring students, faculty, and community musicians, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Howard Auditorium, located on ABAC’s main campus.  A selection of holiday prelude music will be performed by ABAC music ensembles beginning at 6:10 p.m. “We are very excited for this concert,” Huang said. “This longstanding tradition is our gift to Tifton and the entire South Georgia region, and all of our performers are thrilled to ring in the season with song.” The entire community is invited to join ABAC faculty, staff, and students to celebrate this Christmas through holiday favorites such as the Nutcracker Overture Suite, Feliz Navidad, A Christmas Medley, and more. Huang said that Santa Claus will also appear as a special guest for this very merry holiday event. The ABAC Band will open the concert with the “Overture from the Nutcracker Suite” and close it with “New Age Christmas;” the Jazz Band will perform “December” and “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,” and will perform “I Love the Winter Weather” with the Jazz Choir and “Feliz Navidad” with the ABAC Choir. The ABAC Fine Arts Academy will perform “When Love Was Born,” and will join with the ABAC Choir for “Carols of the Night. “Still. Still. Still.” will be performed by the ABAC Ensemble, the ABAC Choir will perform “Stars I Shall Find,” and the Concert Band will perform “The Night Before Christmas” along with special guest Santa Claus. The last day of fall semester will be Dec. 4, with graduation scheduled for Dec. 14. Spring semester classes will start on Jan. 9, 2024.
November 29, 2023

Rogel takes over ABAC tennis program

TIFTON – In the first 57 years of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College tennis program, only three head coaches led the program. That kind of consistency is not lost on Matt Rogel, who will lead the program this spring as the fourth head coach in the college’s history. During his ABAC career, Rogel helped lead the Stallions to a pair of top 6 national finishes and was named a “National Player to Watch” during his freshman year in 2016-17. The Nantes, France native is excited that his first head coaching opportunity will be at his alma mater. “This is a great opportunity,” Rogel said. “I love that I get to go back to where it all started. I can’t think of a better place to start my head coaching journey.” Rogel parlayed his ABAC success into a highly decorated career at Georgia College and State University. He was an ITA Doubles All-American in 2018-19 and won several scholar-athlete awards during his time as a Bobcat. “We’re thrilled to have someone of Matt’s caliber leading our program,” said ABAC Athletic Director Charles Wimberly. “Our program always has high expectations, and he not only understands that, he embraces it.” Rogel earned his master’s degree at Georgia College while serving as the assistant tennis coach, always with an eye on becoming a head coach. When that opportunity came at ABAC, he jumped at the chance. And he said his first head coaching position became even more exciting when the college was approved for four-year status in May and was approved for membership by the NAIA. “Competing in the NAIA will be completely new for our program,” he said. “There is a great tradition here and following coaches like Red Hill, Alan Kramer, and Dale White, I know I have big shoes to fill. But I’m excited about the chance to build on that great tradition as we move into NAIA competition.” Last year in the National Junior College Athletic Association, ABAC’s men’s team finished fourth in the country while the women’s team finished fifth. “A strong culture drives results, and that’s what I will focus on developing as we transition into NAIA and compete as a four-year school,” Rogel said. “I’m grateful for our athletic director Charles Wimberly for his trust and also for Coach Steve Barsby and Wendell Staton for their mentorship during my time at Georgia College and State University. I will continue to carry their influence with me in my coaching journey at ABAC.”
November 21, 2023

ABAC Office of College Advancement honored with institutional excellence award

TIFTON - The Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Office of College Advancement was honored with the Overall Institutional Excellence in Advancement Award at the Georgia Education Advancement Council (GEAC) annual conference on Nov. 14. This award is the highest award presented by GEAC to an entire staff at an institution that demonstrates outstanding achievement and commitment to the field of higher education advancement. The ABAC Office of College Advancement (OCA) includes the ABAC Foundation, development, alumni, advancement services, and advancement communications offices. “When you look back at your career, there are times when you realize you are extremely fortunate to be working with some of the finest people you could ever imagine,” said Dr. Deidre Martin, chief advancement officer. “Co-workers who are dedicated to the institution and who are a joy to work with every day. I found that place in the Office of College Advancement at ABAC, and it was a great honor to nominate this group of advancement professionals for this award.” ABAC’s OCA earned this high-level honor by increasing overall fundraising by 470 percent within an eight-year period, from $648,566 in 2015 to $3.7 million annually. Total assets have surged from $28 million in 2015 to more than $42 million, and scholarship support for students has risen from $680,000 to more than $1.1 million under this team’s dedicated efforts. The Foundation’s success includes acquiring significant amounts of land for expansion as well as backing several capital projects. “This recognition is well-deserved for our Office of College Advancement,” said ABAC President Tracy Brundage. “The financial support from our donors is crucial to the advancement of our overall mission. But what is also important are the relationships they cultivate. Every individual in this office understands how important ABAC is for our students, our community, and our region. They play such a pivotal role in our success and this award reflects their success.” “Through challenging times and adversity, this remarkable team has exemplified resilience,” said Dr. Amy Maison, GEAC board member. “They have encountered significant hardships, including navigating leadership changes, coping with tragedy and personal loss, and facing health challenges. Despite it all, they come to work each day with positivity, determination, and a steadfast commitment to exceed expectations. Above all, this remarkable team is not just a force within the institution but respected throughout the community and region. They actively serve on committees, volunteer in countless ways, and have built strong connections with faculty and staff, demonstrating care and commitment to all they encounter. The impact of the Office of College Advancement at ABAC extends far beyond the walls of the institution. Their dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment have created a legacy of excellence and enduring relationships.” In addition to Martin, team members include: Jodie Snow, chief operating officer of the ABAC Foundation; Lynda Fisher, director of alumni relations and special events; Sue Mastrario, director of operations and accounting; Randi Hickman, development officer; Victoria Whiddon, advancement officer; Jordan Bentley, advancement communications coordinator; Andrew Smith, gift processing coordinator; Karin Law, Foundation administrative assistant; as well as former Office of College Advancement employees Ric Stewart (Georgia Southern University) and Amanda Stitt Moore (University of West Georgia).
November 16, 2023

Seventeen ABAC students selected for Ambassadors’ program

TIFTON—Seventeen Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College students have been selected to participate in one of the most active organizations on the college’s campus - the ABAC Ambassadors. This year’s Ambassadors include Abby Kennedy from Meigs, Lily Harbuck from Americus; Colton Peacock from Ludowici; Jenna Williams from Douglas; Daniel Durrence from Moultrie; Lesly Meza from Wray; Mia McGurl from Jacksonville, Fla.; Abigail Lampp from Rochelle; Oscar Martinez from Pearson; Gracie Bananto from Warner Robins; Laurie Jo Burt from Moultrie; Karoline Wilson from Ringgold; Reanna Brown from Lake Wales; Blake Nicholson from Mineral Bluff; Austin Collins from Statesboro; Isabella Patillo from Tifton; and Maddie Jones from Bonaire. “The Ambassadors represent and promote the college at a variety of community and college events,” said Abby Clark from ABAC’s Office of Marketing and Communications. “They work to maintain positive relationships between students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community and are a key component of recruiting. We have a fantastic group this year and I’m honored to serve as co-advisor along with Sunny Sparrow and Griffin Bates from our Office of Enrollment.”    To be selected, students were interviewed and had letters of recommendation before the selection committee made the selections. To continue in the organization, students must maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale and commit at least 45 hours per semester to their service as Ambassadors. The Ambassadors assist with many college-wide activities during the year including commencement, Homecoming, and Stallion Day. They also conduct tours for prospective students throughout the year.
November 14, 2023

ABAC waiving application fee during ‘No Fee November’

TIFTON – Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) is waiving all application fees throughout the month as part of ‘No Fee November’. The current Fall semester saw an enrollment increase of nearly four percent from a year ago and President Tracy Brundage said the momentum around the campus is evident. “There are so many exciting things happening right now at ABAC,” Brundage said. “Waiving the application fee provides another incentive for prospective students to take advantage of our strong value proposition. An ABAC education is a tremendous return on their investment.” The waiver applies to all applicants, including those from out of state who can attend ABAC and pay in-state tuition. When paired with the college’s already low tuition rates, the “Neighbor Waiver” has drawn plenty of interest according to ABAC’s Director of Enrollment Management Spencer Stewart. Currently, ABAC has students from 151 of Georgia’s 159 counties, 53 of Florida’s 67 counties, 16 states, and 21 countries. “The interest in ABAC is high because we offer a fantastic product,” Stewart said. “Students love our small class sizes with an 18 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio. Our graduates leave here prepared to step right into a job, or graduate school, or whatever their goal is. And 50 percent of them leave debt-free. There is a lot to be excited about.” Stewart said he has also gotten great feedback from ABAC’s episode of “The College Tour”, an award-winning TV series which shares ABAC’s story through the eyes of its students. Season Nine of the show debuted on Amazon Prime in October and ABAC is the first college featured in the season. “What I love about The College Tour is our students tell the story,” Brundage said. “And they did a tremendous job. An educational experience is a highly personal one and by watching the show, you get a sense of why there is so much excitement on campus.” Students interested in applying can visit To watch ABAC’s episode of “The College Tour”, go to
November 13, 2023

ABAC freshman earns GCAA regional cross country honors

TIFTON – Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Kylie Downs recently became the school’s first cross country runner to place at the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association Region 17 championships. She was also named to the GCAA Women’s Cross Country All-Region team. “It’s really an honor,” said ABAC cross country coach Mike Beeman. “This is the second year we’ve had this program, and we’re already very competitive with top established teams within the region.” Only the top five finishers in the men’s and women’s competition earned All-Region status. Downs placed fifth in the 5-kilometer race held at the Council Farms course in Milledgeville. Downs, a freshman from Adel, has been running for eight years and credits her high school coach Jonathan McDaniel with encouraging her to attend ABAC. During her prep career, she was Cook High’s first individual region champion in the sport. She said that she didn’t know where she had placed while competing in the regionals. But she realized it must have been in the top five when she saw Beeman shouting in celebration at the finish line. “My goal was just to get faster every time,” she said.