Six award-winning alumni to be honored during Alumni Weekend
Six award-winning alumni to be honored during Alumni Weekend
G eorgia College salutes four alumni, whose perseverance exemplifies the goals and missions of the university. Their acts of kindness, dedication to their professions and tireless commitment to volunteerism sets the bar for alumni achievement. The university also showcases two alumni who are inducted into the GC athletics Hall of Fame, representing the top competitors in the history of Georgia College Athletics. The awards will be presented to all six recipients during Alumni Weekend.
Dr. Susan Stewart, ’70, is the recipient of the Alumni Heritage Award. This honor is bestowed to an alumna who, in four or more decades of service, has demonstrated in her life those ideals that best exemplify the traditions and heritage of the university.
Georgia College means a lot to Stewart. She served on the Alumni Board, as well as the Foundation Board of Trustees for 10 years, two of which she served as chair.
“This was a wonderful experience,” she said. “It was such a great opportunity to not only meet the people who are on the board, but also the faculty and students. This experience also allowed me to keep apprised on what Georgia College was doing. And each year it gets better.”
Her calling in life is to help youth and families maximize their resources and live their best lives. Her home economics degree from Georgia College prepared her for a rewarding career in public schools and with the University of Georgia Extension Service following her calling.
“At Georgia College I had the opportunity of being a junior advisor,” Stewart said. “Junior advisors were in the dorm with students, including those who’d transferred. I got to work with a French student who had studied abroad. It was very rewarding.”
What she enjoys most are the relationships she’s formed while being involved with Georgia College. Her class has since started holding periodic mini reunions.
Stewart is president of S. Stewart and Associates, Inc., where she’s a conference planner. Stewart feels her Georgia College experience gave her the confidence to contact the heads of organizations.
“I've had to deal with business executives, United States presidents, vice presidents and community leaders,” she said. “Whether you're having a conversation with former Presidents Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton, how you relate to them is important.”
“I just am so appreciative to Georgia College for allowing me to be involved,” she said. “It has been one of the joys of my life. I could never give back what it has given to me, but I’ve loved trying.”
Pamela Trawick, ’91, is the recipient of the Alumni Service Award, which recognizes graduates who’ve rendered the greatest service in recent years to both the university and the Alumni Association.
While attending Georgia College, Trawick considered herself an introvert, but that all changed once she graduated. Trawick served a two-year term as the first event coordinator for the African American Alumni Council (AAAC) and was instrumental as being one of its six founders.
“During my tenure, my position allowed me to be creative, serve in purpose and create platforms to recognize several alumni, allies and friends who have made a significant and positive impact in and for the lives of African American students at GC,” she said. “The AAAC’s role and importance gives hope to so many students.”
Being on the AAAC Executive Committee was the springboard for her involvement with Georgia College. This experience enabled her the opportunity to serve on the Foundation Board of Trustees, which she serves on today.
“I am grateful for everything at Georgia College, but most of all I love the students—all of them,” she said. “You never know the struggles students encounter in college. I never came to GC to only stand for African American students, I came to stand for all students.”
Trawick happens to be an African American alumna with a biological family consisting of people of different races, religion, age, disabilities, sexuality and gender.
“GC students have a sense of community. When they see a wrong, they have no problem addressing it with civility and poise, and I love each of them for this,” she said. “We need more of this in the world and on college campuses.”
Trawick thinks it’s important to serve others. She learned this from her mother and grandmother.
“This is what drives me to serve,” she said. “I want to make sure the values and morals of my upbringing were always on display and in action for others to see.”
Trawick learned so many lessons at Georgia College that she uses in her profession as president, owner and operator of ICD Monitoring Services, LLC and in her everyday life encounters.
“I learned to reach back and pull forward,” Trawick said. “Be a fisherman of men. When you cast your rod, pole or net, you want to catch as many as you can and bring them with you to the next level of the journey and then you can release them back into the water, the world so they can go forth and do more.”
Dr. Sean B. Dolan, ’12, is the recipient of the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. This honor recognizes Georgia College alumni who graduated within the past 10 years and have achieved notable achievement in their profession with promise for continued success. He’s worked as a pharmacologist at the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) over a year-and-a-half. Before that, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where his focus was behavioral pharmacology and behavioral economics research related to substance use and addiction.
“At all stages of my career, I’ve found the most joy in discovery,” he said. “Whether it’s making my own discoveries through my experiments or learning of others’ discoveries by staying on top of the scientific literature in my field, it’s truly a privilege to have learning new things as a core feature of my job.”
Dolan chose this career so he could make a direct impact on public health.
“Although academic research provides more freedom and diversity in research topics, it can take a long time for your findings to have any impact outside of a particular field of academic research,” he said. “At FDA, the research can be used directly to influence policy and make a large positive public and individual health impact.”
Dolan knows perseverance is the key to success. Day-after-day, he is driven by a passion for what he does.
“Any rewarding career is likely to require hard work, both at the job itself and in the prerequisite steps necessary to achieve it,” he said. “Continuing to work hard through the challenges one may face is essential for success in any career.”
Vincent Carey, ’87, DMD, is the recipient of the Ethel Rae Mozo-Stewart Community Service Award. This distinction is in memory of an alumna from the class of ’46, to honor the spirit of volunteerism among graduates. Recipients are characterized by a history of exemplary service that result in visible improvements within his/her community.
At Georgia College, Carey helped charter the first chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. He was also a resident assistant (RA) for two years, which provided him great real-world experience in working with people.
“As an RA, I got a chance to interact with every personality type you can think of,” he said.
Carey and his friends also started a small social interest group called “Rated PG.” They networked with local elementary schools to do good things in the community, especially during the holidays. Samples of his good deeds catered to local youth. They hosted a Halloween carnival at a nearby church with games and treats. They also hosted Spring Fling filled with fun activities for children, like bobbing for apples.
“We wanted to provide some sort of outdoor activities for the kids,” he said. “In doing so, we gave them some idea of mentorship. That was very important to me.”
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, his dental office hosted “Dentist for a Day.” Carey rented a charter bus for elementary school students. They came to the office where he and his staff taught the kids how to do dental exams and other activities associated with dentistry. After that, the team treated the children to lunch at the Galleria Mall in Centerville.
Carey also hosts Fort Valley State University students at his office once a year to advise them about dental school and help prepare them for college.
“We all have a responsibility to share our education with someone younger than us,” he said. “Because in my mind, it’s the only way you're going to build a community, maintain that community and keep the bloodline of the community flowing.”
Carey’s also sponsored two scholarships at the Medical College of Georgia—one for students in dental school and one for students in medical school.
He continues to help young individuals by sharing his experiences with them, so they can better navigate through life.
“What it all boils down to, is taking your life experiences, and making every last one of them positive,” Carey said. “Young people don’t understand this concept and think that everything that happened to them is for a purpose. They look at a situation as if, ‘Oh no. This will defeat me.’ But really, it won’t. It’s just preparing them for the future.”
He feels mentorship is important, because he learned so much from the people before him.
“Mentoring is not our responsibility; it’s an obligation,” he said. “The students that we're mentoring are the ones that’ll keep the fire lit for generations.”
Mary Rob Plunkett ’10 (Soccer) is the first All-American in Georgia College Women’s Soccer history after making the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Third Team in 2009. The most decorated goalkeeper in Bobcat Soccer history, Plunkett was an All-Region and All-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) First Team selection that season, as well. She owns two of the four NSCAA All-Nation Scholar awards in school history, picking those up in 2009 and 2010. Plunkett is the school’s career record-holder in goals against average [0.74], saves percentage [.854] and shutouts . She also ranks second in career saves with 275 and wins with 33.
Martin Dewald ’10 (Baseball) played two seasons with the Bobcats as a junior-college transfer. He was an Honorable Mention All-American his first season as a relief pitcher and a consensus All-American as a starting pitcher in 2010. Dewald helped lead the Bobcats to an appearance in the NCAA Division II World Series in 2010, taking spots on the 2010 NCAA World Series and NCAA Southeast Regional All-Tournaments teams. In the 2010 Southeast Regional title game, he threw a six-hit, eight-strikeout shutout, not walking a single batter against Francis Marion. The win was his second at that region tournament. At the World Series, he threw two complete games, including a 3-0 win over Southern Indiana on five hits and eight more strikeouts.