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AMERICUS (May 26, 2016)—“Carleen Wise is a wonderful illustration of the saying ‘keep your eyes on the prize.'" These words came from Liz Wilson, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business Administration, when describing recent Georgia Southwestern State University graduate Carleen Wise, a native of Plains, Ga.

“She left school after earning an associate’s degree in 2001 to begin her career and returned to GSW in 2010 to pursue a BBA in management,” added Wilson.

Wise left school again on Friday, May 6, this time with a Bachelor of Business Administration in management summa cum laude.

Earlier in the semester, Wise was recognized as GSW's Outstanding Scholar by Chancellor Hank Huckaby, the Georgia Legislature, and GSW Interim President Charles Patterson, Ph.D.

“Carleen Wise is a dedicated student and is deserving of this recognition,” said Patterson who presented Wise with a framed resolution from the both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate on April 25 during an honors ceremony. “She has embodied true dedication in completing her bachelor’s degree as a full-time working professional, and doing so with highest honors. Carleen serves as a great role model for current and future Georgia Southwestern students.”

“It is surreal that a non-traditional student like me could be chosen for this award,” said Wise. “It just proves that where there is a will there is a way and that hard work and dedication really do pay off.”

Since returning in 2010, Wise has completed all of her course work with only one “B” and a 3.97 GPA. The Outstanding Scholar Award represents superb scholastic achievement. A student must have a near-perfect GPA even to be considered for this award.

“Carleen generally takes two courses a semester plus one in the summer,” said Wilson earlier in the semester when Wise was named GSW's top student, “so her progress has not been rapid, rather, steady and spectacular. And while she takes most of her classes online because of her work schedule, she is always willing to volunteer on campus to recruit or assist in business honorary inductions. We couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishments.”

Wise is employed as a senior buyer at Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems in Albany, Ga. As a GSW student, she was a member of Gamma Beta Phi, the honor society and has served as vice president and parliamentarian; of Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success; and of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society which recognizes the upper 10 percent of the junior or senior class.

As a closing thought, Wise indicated the level of determination she exhibited in completing her degree, “never let anyone or anything stand in your way of accomplishing your goals.” 

Wise award

Caption--Carleen Wise (left) is presented with a framed resolution from the both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate by Interim President Charles Patterson.

Patterson Wise graduation

Caption--Carleen Wise (right) is presented with her diploma from Interim President Charles Patterson during Spring 2016 Commencement.

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