When Cody Osting and Will Adams, Jr., walked across the stage during East Georgia State College's commencement ceremonies Friday, May 9, 2014, they not only earned their four-year degree in Biology, they also made college history. They were the first two graduates to earn a four-year degree at EGSC.
"Will and Cody worked hard to become the first graduates in this new program," said biology professor Dr. Breana Simmons, one of the many professors who worked with the students during their careers at EGSC. "It's not easy designing and teaching new courses, and it's not easy taking them, either. They were enthusiastic and up for the challenge."
She goes on to describe their hard-working attitudes, saying, "I sent them into the pond to survey fish, into the woods to survey reptiles, and even to George L. Smith State Park for a canoe trip and a lesson in conservation management. They were always eager to participate."
"I could not be more proud of them, and they are excellent representatives of our new program," she concluded.
Osting and Adams worked hard to earn their degrees, and were part of EGSC's delegation to the Georgia Academy of Science Conference in Augusta recently. They both presented papers during the conference. Adams presented "Ectoparasites of the White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Southeast Georgia," co-written with Dr. Jimmy Wedincamp, describing the parasites of white-tail deer and reporting significant differences in the number of ticks between male and female deer. Osting's paper, co-written with another senior Biology major, Regan Phillips, along with Dr. Simmons, Dr. Wedincamp, and J. McGuire, was entitled "Tortoise Population Persistence: 10 Years Post Construction," and compared current tortoise population and habitat quality on property near EGSC to data collected in the same area in 2003.
"East Georgia State College takes great pride in its new bachelors program in biology and in our first two bachelors degree recipients," said EGSC President Dr. Bob Boehmer. "These students are extremely well-prepared for their careers. They have completed a an academically rigorous program taught in small classes by highly qualified faculty in our Math and Science Division and have spent many long hours in the labs renovated by the college for this program. We are confident that many other students will be inspired by their academic success. As these well-prepared students enter the work force and graduate degree programs in our region, they are poised to contribute to the economic vitality of the region."
To celebrate their graduation, the Math-Science Department at EGSC held a special luncheon for Osting and Adams on Thursday, May 8, and many guests stopped by to congratulate the pair on their success.
Adams and Osting are the first in what will be a long line of Bachelor's Degree graduates from East Georgia State College, and the entire community is proud of their accomplishments.