BPC Awarded $2.2 Million Grant

On September 27, Brewton-Parker College (BPC) received news that it is one of this year’s Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant recipients from the US Department of Education. The grant totals over $2.2 million awarded over the next five years and will provide the funding needed for the college to begin its Enrichment, Persistence, and Innovation in Collegiate Community (EPICC) Initiative. As part of the EPICC Initiative, BPC will hire seven additional full-time employees to provide essential services to aid student success and retention. 

BPC’s retired vice president, Dr. Beverly Robinson, played an invaluable role as a consultant and lead person for the grant submission. She remarked, “This grant reflects our unwavering commitment to providing students with the tools they need to succeed academically and spiritually. It is a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication, as well as the tremendous support of our community.”

The existing student success center will be restructured to become the Student Enrichment Center (SEC). Within the SEC, students will receive academic advising, career counseling, tutoring services, mental health counseling, and other support needs. New software will be implemented to help monitor student performance and identify at-risk students to facilitate timely interventions. Additionally, new technologies will be purchased, such as loanable laptops, e-readers for online textbooks, webcams for proctored exams, and expanded computer labs for student use on campus. 

Dr. Robert Brian, BPC Provost, highlights the impact of the grant by stating, “Students are often facing enormous challenges in adapting to the rigors of college. In addition, they face the added pressure of balancing participation in sports, work, family, and other responsibilities. This grant will enable BPC to offer student assistance at a very high level to help them cope with the intense pressure many of them feel.”

Receiving these funds marks a significant milestone for BPC and underscores its commitment to its students’ academic and personal growth. The grant’s successful acquisition was the culmination of over 18 months of dedicated work by a team comprised of faculty, administrators, student representatives, trustees, and community members.

Dr. Steven Echols, BPC President, also expressed his gratitude, stating, “This grant is a game-changer in providing our students with the best possible resources to ensure their success and signifies a significant step forward for BPC. It reflects our dedication to nurturing our students’ intellectual and spiritual growth, preparing them to be ambassadors for Christ in our community and beyond. We believe that the outcome of these funds will profoundly resource BPC’s mission to transform the lives of students both academically and spiritually, all for the glory of God.”

Brewton-Parker College looks forward to leveraging the resources provided by this grant to further its mission of nurturing student growth, both academically and spiritually, and ensuring their success in higher education.

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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