Bray, Swinsburg Selected as 2022 ATC Student and Instructor of the Year
Date: Jan 25,2022
(Athens, GA) Two individuals have been given top honors as student and instructor of the year at Athens Technical College. Mary Bray, a dental assisting student, was selected as the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) representative and Jonathan Swinsburg, program chair for industrial systems technology, was named the college’s winner to compete for the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction during a ceremony on Jan. 20.
Both individuals were selected by a local panel of judges and will go on to compete at the regional level this spring for the two statewide awards that are coordinated by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). The state winners will be announced in late April.
“This is the highest award a student and instructor can receive at the college, and we are very proud of the dedication that Mary and Jonathan have shown in their time here,” said President Andrea Daniel. “We wish them the best of luck in the next round of competition and look forward to recognizing them in Atlanta.”
Bray, who lives in Athens, was a certified pharmacy technician for 16 years before returning to school. She has received high praises from the dental office she is placed at for practicum and also volunteers at the Mercy Health Center whenever possible to help provide quality dental care to an underserved population in Athens, according to the dental assisting Program Chair Jennifer Burrell who nominated Bray for the award.
“Mary is a non-traditional student, and has made the comment to me several times, that “my son graduated college before me, but now it is my time, and my family couldn’t be prouder”. Mary not only works hard in the dental assisting program, but she also works hard at home to take care of her elderly parents and does it all with a smile on her face. There are mornings where she has been up since four o’clock am studying for my class; because that is the only personal time she has to get it done. She is an extremely dedicated student and daughter,” said Burrell.
Swinsburg is no stranger to the college, originally enrolling as a student in the adult education program after having to quick his job due to a major health setback. In 2017, he was named the college’s and state’s Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) winner, earning him a scholarship to complete an associate degree in electrical systems technology. After completing his degree, Swinsburg became an adjunct and then a full-time instructor. He currently resides in Athens with his wife Elizabeth and their four sons.
Other finalists for the GOAL award included Trent Cwiertniak, radiography; Ulesha Tirado, dental hygiene; and Todd Waller, social work assistant. Leslie McKenzie, an instructor in early childhood care and education, and Anita Thompson, a sociology instructor in the general education division, were named finalists for the Rick Perkins Award.
Cutline: Mary Bray (left) and Jonathan Swinsburg (right) have been selected as the 2022 Athens Technical College student and instructor of the year, respectively. They will go on to compete for the state titles through the Technical College System of Georgia's competitions this spring.