The Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) was established in 1972 to showcase the state’s technical education programs and their students. South Georgia Technical College has had three state GOAL winners. Royce Ann Martin, an aviation maintenance technology student, was SGTC’s first state winner in 1981. Johnny Dodson, Industrial Systems, represented SGTC as a state winner in 1996 and Ashley Rogers, a marketing student, won the state title in 2016. GOAL had a tremendous impact on their lives and career success. (See information below.)
Since 1972, outstanding students attending Georgia’s technical colleges and divisions have been recognized annually for academic excellence and personal achievement. Zakyah Cameron, Culinary Arts student, was SGTC’s 2022 GOAL winner and represented the college at the State competition.
Each SGTC program instructor may select and nominate two outstanding students. From these nominations, a Screening and Selection Committee selects the college’s top student as nominees move through an interview process; this top student is given the title of college GOAL winner. Then, all college GOAL winners compete at the regional level. Each regional competition will select three students (Southern, Central and Northern regions). These nine semi-finalists will compete at the state level in Atlanta. The state level competition involves another round of interviews as the nine semi-finalists receive individual consideration from a panel of judges. From this outstanding group of students, the judges will select one student, the State GOAL Winner, to serve as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia.
The administration of the GOAL program is relatively complex. Certain activities must be accomplished on a timely basis, using specified procedures and official forms.
To learn more about the “who, what, where, when and how” of the GOAL program’s operations, please contact Joshua Curtin, GOAL Coordinator at 229-931–2713 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Royce Ann Martin, PH.D., Associate Professor, Retired; Aviation Studies Program; Bowling Green State University; South Georgia Tech first goal winner from 1981;
“As a student in South Georgia Technical College’s two-year Aviation Maintenance Program, I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of both the state’s GOAL Award and the state’s PRIDE (Performance Recognition Indicating Demonstrated Excellence) Award in 1981. The benefits from being a state GOAL winner and student in South Georgia Tech’s vocational-technical courses had a tremendous impact on my life.
“Receiving the GOAL award gave me confidence in myself and my ability to succeed; improved my public speaking ability; solidified my interest in becoming a teacher; strengthened my passion for being a lifelong learner; and significantly impacted my teaching philosophy. GOAL was more than just an award; it was life altering.”
Prior to enrolling in South Georgia Tech’s aviation maintenance technology program, Royce Ann Martin had worked as an aircraft maintenance officer. She was involved in a severe accident and due to serious head trauma and other debilitating injuries, she was given a medical discharge from the military that left her devastated.
With encouragement from her husband, Phil, she enrolled in the FAA certified aviation maintenance program at SGTC. With support of instructors and a lot of hard work, she developed an affinity for the hands-on approach to learning of vocational-technical education. Her accomplishments and the affirmation of her work went a long way in keeping her motivated and reinforcing the idea that she could do anything.
Frank Gassett, Martin’s Aviation Maintenance Instructor, inspired and influenced her to become an educator and mentor. After graduation and earning her FAA Airframe and Power plant certifications, she returned to college and earned a masters degree while also serving as a civilian ground instructor for Grumman Aircraft. She later earned her Ph.D. and taught classes at Indiana State University for five years. She retired from the College of Technology at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio in 2018 after teaching aviation courses there for 22 years.
“My teaching always reflected my belief that theory should be intricately connected to application.”
Johnny Dodson, Director of Economic Development/Advanced Manufacturing at Southern Crescent Technical College; South Georgia Tech’s 1996 State Goal Winner;
Dodson continued his education at Valdosta State University and has nearly 20 years of experience as an Industrial Systems Technology instructor with a rich background in industrial manufacturing, maintenance, and electrical systems. His experience also includes nearly 2 years as a Training Manager (Cooper Tires) and one year as a Training Specialist (Allen’s Foods). He has also works with business and industry in designing, developing, and implementing successful Economic Development training systems.
He credits much of his success to his experience in GOAL at South Georgia Technical College.
Ashley Rogers, Property Manager at Communities Property Management; Graduate of Middle Georgia State University; SGTC 2016 State Goal Winner.