East Georgia State College began offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in Fall 2012 and recently added an Associate of Science in Biology degree this past Fall. As of the Fall 2017 commencement ceremony, sixteen students have graduated with their Bachelor of Science in Biology. Both the Bachelor and Associate degree programs have seen an increased enrollment in comparison to previous years, and the programs continue to grow.
On October 13 and 20, 2017, Dr. David Chevalier, Chair of the Biology Department at EGSC, held two Meet and Greet sessions for students currently enrolled in the Associate and Bachelor programs in Biology. Along with biology faculty and current students, six graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Biology program attended the meet and greet to speak to students. Spencer Salter and Joshua Herndron graduated in Spring of 2015, with Salter recently completing Physical Therapy School at Armstrong University in Savannah and Herndron currently enrolled in medical school at Mercer University in Macon. Regan Phillips, who graduated in the Summer of 2015, and Reggealika Bailey, who graduated in Fall of 2014, are both pharmacy technicians. Colby Calhoun, who graduated in May of 2017, is currently employed as a radiation protection technician at Plant Hatch in Baxley. Hailey Rials, who graduated in December 2017, is enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at South University in Savannah.
“I really enjoyed being able to catch up with my former classmates and professors and meet the new students in the program,” said Rials of the event.
“The meeting provided us an invaluable chance to reunite and catch up on each other’s progress with not only our careers, but life in general,” said Bailey. “I was happy to give the future graduates encouragement and advice that will push them to the finish line together. I was also elated to see the expansions of the campus and curriculum.”
During the meetings, Dr. Chevalier described the biology curriculum to the students and discussed the career opportunities of a biology major. Graduates of the program shared their experiences in the program and also discussed applying to professional schools, such as medical and pharmacy schools, and applying for jobs after graduation. Current biology students were also able to ask the graduates questions about what to expect.
“For me, the meet and greet was a source of encouragement,” said current student Susanna Hall. “Listening to the experiences and accomplishments of past participants and learning more about the program and professors in it showed me how much East Georgia seeks to see me succeed in what I dream of doing and how much the school wants to prepare me for the next step of that process.”
Added current student Tanner Peebles,” The biology meet and greet was an interesting and insightful overview. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from our former students’ experiences and also have a chance to become familiar with the professors.”
Dr. Chevalier said, “I am very proud of the accomplishments of our graduates. Their experiences and knowledge shared with the current students are priceless and will benefit our students.”