BPC Criminal Justice Student to Intern with the Georgia State Capitol

BPC Senior Jacob Shield will begin his internship with the Georgia State Capitol in January of 2023. 

MOUNT VERNON — Jacob Shield, Brewton-Parker College Senior Criminal Justice major, accepted an internship with the Georgia State Capitol. Shield is from Liverpool, England. He was selected to participate in the Georgia Legislative Internship Program. The website for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government – University of Georgia – Georgia Legislative Internship Program has information on what the program entails. Every spring semester, over 50 junior and senior students from Georgia’s public and private universities and colleges intern with the Georgia General Assembly. These students gain first-hand experience in the lawmaking process through the program. The program was created in the 1970s under the leadership of then Lt. Governor Zell Miller and is a paid internship opportunity coordinated by the Georgia General Assembly. 

Dr. Roger Byrd, BPC Associate Professor of Social Sciences, Director of Prison Programs, and Campus Coordinator for the Legislative Intern Program shared praise for Shield being selected into the program. Dr. Byrd, enthused for Shield stated, “Jacob has been one of the outstanding Criminal Justice students since coming to Brewton-Parker. Being from England, it is interesting that he has such a deep appreciation for the American criminal justice system. Jacob has taken a special interest in corrections and has become a genuine advocate for corrections education and helping incarcerated individuals find a path to rehabilitation.”

Jacob Shield shared how he came to be interested in the field of criminal justice, “My mother is a criminal defense lawyer back home in England, so growing up I would always ask her questions about her job. I had a family member spend time in prison, and living through his experiences allowed me to see how many people who end up in prison just need guidance. Education, love, and a solid support network is often the catalyst for them to turn their lives around. I have always been passionate about helping those in need, and I believe in advocating for those who have no advocate. I see the problems that exist within the criminal justice system and I believe that I can impact this system for the better.”

Shield also shared what he hopes to gain from the internship and said, “The number one thing that I hope to acquire from this internship is experience. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I look forward to savoring each and every day I spend at the Capitol.”

During the internship, Shield may have opportunities to work directly with these Georgia General Assembly committees and offices: Speaker’s Office, Speaker Pro Tempore, President Pro Tempore, Minority Office, Ways and Means, Rules, Majority Whip, Legislative Counsel, House Media Services, and Majority Leader.

Students selected get to participate in the legislative process with a full-time internship in a standing committee of the Georgia General Assembly during the Georgia legislative session, research bills or issues before the General Assembly, work with a legislative committee, monitor the progress of legislation and perform other duties as assigned by their committee, learn about the inner workings of state government, and make contacts for a future career in public service. The students will also receive four to twelve hours of pre-approved internship credit from their college and earn a weekly stipend.

The process to participate in the program has various eligibility requirements and they must apply for the program and are selected through a process that includes an evaluation of their application and an interview session at the Capitol.

Shield will be spending three months starting in January of 2023, working at the Georgia State Capitol. Jacob Shield, excited about the internship and opportunity commented, “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, and it is one that I am not taking for granted. I hope that by being accepted onto this internship I can open similar doors for my fellow classmates at Brewton-Parker, and inspire them to keep working hard towards their own dreams and aspirations. Whilst at the Capitol I hope to be a positive reflection of everything that Brewton-Parker stands for, whilst also ensuring that I give all the glory to God. I will be eternally grateful for Dr. Byrd, Brewton-Parker College, my professors, coaches, and all those at the institution that I have failed to mention because they have helped shape me into the man I am today. I am a reflection of them, and I intend to do my best to ensure that I reflect upon them well.” 

Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, FL. As a comprehensive Georgia Baptist institution, Brewton-Parker College provides liberal arts and professional programs in a learning community of shared Christian values. Through the application of biblical truth in scholarship and a co-curricular focus on character, servant leadership, and cultural engagement, the college strives to provide a transformational experience that equips the whole student for lifelong learning and service in Christ.

Visit Brewton-Parker College online at www.bpc.edu.


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.

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