Recent BPC Graduate Determined to Succeed

August 20, 2021

Michael “Mikey” Anderson pitches during a home game for the BPC Barons.

By Evan Riekhof

BPC Marketing Coordinator

MOUNT VERNON  – “Nice guys finish last” is attributed to Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team manager Leo Durocher in 1946. However, the story of Mikey Anderson’s time at Brewton-Parker College is one that proves nice guys can finish much higher than last with determination, finding the right support system, setting goals, and meeting those goals.
Anderson signed as a pitcher with the BPC baseball team in 2016. During his signing, Anderson stated he chose BPC because, “Brewton-Parker just feels like a good academic fit for me.” After arriving at BPC, Anderson found success on the baseball field, but found he was not prepared for the academic rigors of the college classroom. Fortunately, Anderson soon discovered a community of support.

One of those supporters was Dr. Beverly Robinson, Associate Vice President for Student Responsibility & Success. Dr. Robinson noted that when Anderson first arrived at BPC, he seemed to have some uncertainty about his drive and performance as a first-year college student. “He had no concept of his abilities to succeed,” Dr. Robinson explained, “but he had the desire to succeed.”

That desire drove Anderson to work diligently with Dr. Robinson to make sure he was learning how to study, set goals, and develop his confidence. They often discussed his strengths and weaknesses and set academic goals. Anderson readily agreed to focus his attention on his academic success and visit the academic success center frequently. When Anderson achieved a goal, he and Dr. Robinson would celebrate these victories, no matter how small they might have been.

Dr. Robinson has a term for students like Anderson, calling them “Athletic Scholars.” An athletic scholar, as defined by Dr. Robinson, is “an athlete who not only does well and is committed to their sport, but they are equally as committed and do well academically with a clear plan to reach their goals.” Dr. Robinson worked with Anderson to help him develop a plan to achieve his goals and provided the encouragement he needed to meet them.

Anderson also developed a strong friendship with his mentor, Joe Filippone. Filippone is the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Development Authority and has a knack for helping students who need support on their life’s journeys. He provides guidance and advice, looks over resumes, and practices job interviews with students as his way to give back. Filippone is also an active fan of BPC’s baseball team and attends most practices and games.

When Filippone met Anderson in the BPC cafeteria at the beginning of Anderson’s freshman year, Filippone’s first impression was of Anderson’s potential with the proper support channels he needed. When Filippone saw his wife after meeting Anderson for the first time, he promptly explained, “I met the nicest young kid today, a really nice kid.” Filippone noted Anderson would need support, encouragement, and to work diligently to succeed at BPC. Not wanting to give up on Anderson, Filippone coached Anderson to set attainable goals and encouraged Anderson to work at improving his reading and speaking skills. As Anderson reached each goal, his confidence and ability to reach more challenging goals improved leading him to achieve his academic goals in the classroom and graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2020.

Filippone stated that “[Anderson] is the perfect example of what you can do if you apply yourself and work at it.”

Filippone commented that not only did Anderson apply himself in the classroom, but he also showed growth and leadership on the baseball field. During one of the practices, Filippone observed one of the players struggling to complete a drill. Anderson went over to his teammate to help him get back on his feet and provided positive encouragement while they completed the drill together. Filippone also observed the teammates positively gravitated towards Anderson.

Anderson’s dedication and determination often surprised his mentors as he worked toward finishing his degree. The biggest surprise for Filippone was when he received a call from Anderson stating that he was planning to continue his studies in Psychology and attend graduate school. Filippone shared that this news brought a tear to his eye and stated, “Anderson’s is a beautiful success story.”

Anderson benefited from his mentor and the support system at BPC, and he achieved his success through the work he did to reach his goals. The result is he became successful in the classroom and graduated in four years. He plans to attend graduate school to continue his studies in Psychology. Obstacles can be overcome with the right tools and support, and Anderson has proven that nice guys do not always finish last.

Recent BPC Graduate Determined to Succeed - Brewton-Parker College


The purpose of the nursing program is to prepare graduates who have the knowledge and skills to provide patient-centered holistic care that is safe, compassionate, honoring to Christ, and that meets the healthcare needs of diverse populations.

Mission Statement

In concert with Brewton-Parker College’s mission, the School of Nursing is committed to provide nursing education through the application of biblical truth to promote the formation of graduates who engage in evidence-based practice, lifelong learning, and servant leadership through the development of clinical reasoning, professional nursing skills, and Christian values.

Joanna Phillips-Mock

Student Enrichment Director

Joanna Phillips-Mock is a proud third generation Baron, both as a student and a staff member.

Beginning her teaching career in Middle Georgia in 1995, Mrs. Mock worked with a state funded program that served some of the most disadvantaged special needs students within the local school districts. She ultimately moved into leadership positions within the organization, serving and training others in multiple initiatives. She enjoys working with students of all ages to recognize and to achieve their greatest potential.

Mrs. Mock holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brewton-Parker College, a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Georgia College and State University. She resides in Ailey, Georgia, with her husband Don, their son Tye Lewis, her mother Carol Joyce, and multiple fur babies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and attending concerts.

Candace Lilford

Profeessional Tutor

Candace Lilford graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Generalism in 2021 from Anderson University and with her master’s degree in English Literature in 2023 from the University of Alabama. She presently serves as Professional Tutor for the Student Enrichment Center while also teaching sections of ENG 101 and 102. 

As part of her two-year master's program, Ms. Lilford taught sections of ENG 101 and 102, while also serving as teaching assistant for British Literature Survey courses and volunteering in the university’s Writing Center. Ms Lilford has also presented papers at the Hudson Strode Conference and the South Eastern Christian and Literature Conference as well as working on various theatrical productions.

Born in North Carolina of South African descent, Ms. Lilford has lived in Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, and Trinidad before settling in Mount Vernon with her family in 2016, where she attended Brewton-Parker College as a dual enrollment student. She presently resides in Mount Vernon with her family and spends her free time watching old TV shows.

Linda Armstrong

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Linda Armstrong earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Technology from Southeastern Technical College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with diverse populations, including at-risk youth and families and youth in crisis because of mental health and other issues. Her empathetic nature has made her an effective advocate for those in need. In addition to her professional work, Linda is also is committed to volunteerism. She has dedicated countless hours as a youth mentor, and to teaching about her faith at various Christian organizations. She believes in the power of positivity and its ability to transform not only her life but also the lives of others.

"If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully." ~ Maya Angelou

Willie Ford

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Greetings, Baron Nation!

It's truly a joy to be back in a place that has shaped me so profoundly. I'm Willie Ford, a proud 2022 graduate of historic Brewton-Parker College, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education. Following my graduation, I embarked on a journey in education, teaching Special Education within the Vidalia City School District. In addition to my role as an educator, I had the privilege of serving as the Unit Director at the J.D. Rabun Boys and Girls Club. All the while, I was honored to pastor at the esteemed New Hope Baptist Church of Rhine, Georgia. With God's grace, I managed these responsibilities, and now, I'm thrilled and ready to contribute to the welfare of our students, aiming to inspire through service.

Dusty Arnold

Mental Health Counselor

Dusty Arnold  is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a BPC alumnus. He has years of experience working with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, grief, and challenges related to Autism. He specializes in behavior-related interventions that can help college students build on their strengths to set achievable goals while also learning how to deal with the thoughts and feelings that sometimes get in the way. He incorporates Biblical values and evidence-based treatments to meet students wherever they happen to be on their journey to spiritual and psychological health. 

Carl Anthony "Tony" Wardlaw

Assistant Student Enrichment Director & Student Success Coach

Carl Anthony “Tony” Wardlaw – For over 25 years, Dr. Wardlaw has worked in leadership, counseling, and pastoring. Beginning with working in middle management for a manufacturing company in Douglas, GA, Dr. Wardlaw has also worked in the academic, nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Additionally, he served over 7 years in the United States Military as a Military Intelligence Officer before resigning his commission as a Captain in the Army.

Currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Student Enrichment Center, Student Success Coach, and Adjunct Faculty at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, GA, he also serves as the Pastor of The Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Dublin, GA.

As a member of the renowned International Gospel Singing Group, The Wardlaw Brothers, Dr. Wardlaw has traveled all over the nation and abroad ministering and singing the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Dr. Wardlaw has served as a consultant for various agencies and has worked as a Fatherhood Coordinator and G.E.D. instructor within the Technical College System of Georgia and participates in local and national civic and philanthropic work.

Dr. Wardlaw holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from the University of Georgia, two master's degrees from Troy University (Master of Science in Clinical Counseling and Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling), and a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Wardlaw is a Lifetime Silver Member of The NAACP and a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is happily married to the former Mrs. Stephanie Scott. They have 3 Children; Chambria, Marc, and Carleigh.

Translate »
Scroll to Top