National Science
Foundation Grant

For students interested in pursuing graduate studies in the Physical Sciences field, a unique opportunity exists at Brewton-Parker to take part in a summer research program in Nanoscience. Prof. Hong of Brewton-Parker College and Profs. Rahman and Liu of the University of Central Florida (UCF in Orlando, FL) are supported by a National Science Foundation award of $752,532 from the Chemical Catalysis Program in the Division of Chemistry to understand and predict the properties of single-atom catalysts.

Recent Update

Chance Hatcher, BPC Biology Major, participated in the summer research program in 2021.
His work has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, Catalysis Today.

Effect of surface acidity modulation on Pt/Al2O3 single atom catalyst
for carbon monoxide oxidation and methanol decomposition

The National Science Foundation (NSF)( is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950. NSF has an annual budget of $8.3 billion (FY 2020) to fund 12,000 new grants per year for basic research conducted at U.S. colleges and universities.

Prof. Hong of Brewton-Parker College and Profs. Rahman and Liu of the University of Central Florida (UCF in Orlando, FL) are supported by a NSF award ($752,532; September 1, 2020 – August 31, 2023) from the Chemical Catalysis program in the Division of Chemistry to understand and predict the properties of single atom catalysts.

In this project, Prof. Hong and his colleagues will carry out joint computational and experimental studies of oxidizing (burning in a controlled way) methanol to form carbon dioxide and molecular hydrogen on singly-dispersed platinum, copper, and cobalt nanoparticle catalysts. 

Catalysts are used in industry to speed up chemical reactions while selecting for specific products over others. Catalysts are often made of nanoparticles (nano is a billionth of a meter) because nanoparticles have unique properties that distinguish them from macro-scale bulk catalysts because of their reduced size and quantum confinement. For example, bulk gold is chemically inert but gold nanoparticles are very reactive with gases in the air (like carbon monoxide). The minuscule size of the nanoparticles also means reduced cost of precious metals. Prof. Hong and his colleagues aim to unravel the factors that control reactivity and product selectivity of nano-catalysts in the NSF funded projects.

Student Opportunities

The NSF grant started in September 2020 and lasts until 2023. Each summer two or more BPC students will have the opportunity to participate in an NSF-funded undergraduate research program. Students will work in Prof. Liu’s laboratory at UCF in Orlando, FL participating in preparation and measurements of nanoparticle samples. UCF is the second-largest university in the nation in terms of enrollment and is a very active research university. For example, UCF CREOL is a nationally recognized optics research institute. This program will provide BPC students a laboratory internship opportunity in a major research university. Furthermore, they will participate in the state of the art nanotechnology research and gain useful experience for careers in academics or industry. This program will be particularly useful for those who plan to attend graduate schools or desire to have a career in biotech companies.

To apply, contact Prof. Hong at or 912-583-3148.

*Students who have strong academic records in Chemistry and Physics (at least B or higher in General Chemistry or General Physics) are encouraged to apply.*

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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