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Breeze Logo 2019

New Hires, Promotions & Retirements


Gaynor Cheokas named Interim Dean

Gaynor Cheokas, associate professor of management in the College of Business and Computing, has been appointed Interim Dean of the college. Cheokas replaces Liz Wilson, who retired in May of this year.

“Gaynor is a proven leader who has been part of the GSW community for 16 years,” states Suzanne Smith, GSW provost and vice president of academic affairs. “Her extensive leadership experience, ties to the community, and devotion to the college will be tremendous assets.”

Before joining the College of Business and Computing in 2004, Cheokas spend 21 years in private industry. At GSW, she teaches courses in small business management, entrepreneurship, and organizational leadership and behavior. Cheokas has been award the Teacher of Excellence (2019) and many other university honors while in her service. In addition to serving as an associate professor at the college (2013-present), Cheokas serves as director of the Center for Business and Economic Development at GSW. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State, a master's degree from Georgia Southwestern, and a doctorate from Georgia State. She is a member of the Americus Chamber of Commerce, the Americus Rotary Club, and is active with other local organizations. She is also a member of the Academy of Management.

Tiffany AldridgeTiffany Aldridge joins Health Sciences

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences recently welcomed Tiffany Aldridge (left) in the role of Support Specialist. Tiffany is from Ellaville, Georgia and went to Americus- Sumter High School. She attended Valdosta State University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology.

Tiffany will serve in an administrative assistant support role for the Exercise Science and Long-Term Care Management programs and will also serve as the clinical placement specialist for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program.

Michele McKie named Assessment Director and Lecturer

Effective August 1, 2020, Michele McKie became the Assessment Director and a lecturer in the College of Education (COE). In this role, McKie will provide leadership for the COE Quality Assurance program. McKie has been employed at GSW since 2014 and previously served as the Director of Field of Experiences.

Susan Stephens and Amber Ward join College of Education

Susan Stephens

Susan Stephens (right) recently joined GSW as a lecturer in the College of Education. Susan will be teaching in the elementary education program with a focus on early literacy, language arts, and classroom management.

She and her husband live in a neighboring county and have two grown sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and the blessing of a new grandson. She is a twenty-five-year veteran of the Georgia public school system. She completed her BS, M.Ed, and Ed.S degrees at GSW.

Amber WardAmber Ward (left) recently joined the College of Education as Director of Field and Clinical Experiences. Amber has worked in the College of Education since 2017 as a course assistant.

Before joining GSW as an employee, she attended GSW and obtained her BSED and MEd degrees in Early Childhood Education and taught second grade in Crisp County. Amber lives in Cordele and enjoys all of her free time with her son, Cannon.

Lisa Hensley, Wei Ding, and Bill Hamby join College of Business and ComputingLisa Hensley

Lisa Hensley (right) recently joined GSW as a part-time Administrative Assistant for the College of Business and Computing.

Lisa comes to GSW with a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors, paired with life experiences gained from living and working in five states (Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, and now Georgia). Over the course of 25+ years, her work has focused on administrative assistant and office management roles, including for a large insurance company, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Postal Service.

Lisa and her husband Mike are settling into their home in the Buena Vista area after moving to southwest Georgia in late 2019. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and taking walks with Mike and their two Brittany Spaniels, Persimmon and Willow. Lisa is excited to join the GSW family and is looking forward to building deep ties here.

Wei DingWei Ding, Ph.D., (left) is a new Associate Professor of Computer Science. Before coming to GSW, he was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Florida Polytechnic University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science with a minor in Economics from the Louisiana State University in 2006. Ding has 14 years teaching experience at U.S. four-year universities. Bill HambyHe is an IEEE senior member, and member of ACM, IEEE Communication Society, and IEEE Computer Society.

Ding worked as a senior software engineer in China before coming to the U.S. for his Ph.D. His recent research covered cybersecurity, health informatics, wireless networks, cyber-physical systems, and the internet. He has published two books, five book chapters, and many peer reviewed papers, most as the first author in IEEE/ACM international conferences or journals. Ding served on the Technical Program Committee for many IEEE international conferences, e.g. IEEE WCNC, IEEE GLOBECOM, IEEE ICC, IEEE ICNC, etc. He also served as reviewer for IEEE transactions.

Bill Hamby (right) recently joined COBAC as an Associate Professor of Accounting.

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