News Release

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Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


GPTC Kicks off New Academic Year with Fall Convocation on Newton Campus
Ceremony is one of a series of events to celebrate the college's 20 years in Newton County

Newton County - August 23, 2017

On Tuesday, August 22, 2017, Georgia Piedmont Technical College held its fourth annual Fall Convocation to celebrate the beginning of a new academic year; to welcome new faculty and staff members, and to honor an outstanding retiree.  This year, convocation was held at the Newton campus in Covington as the first in a series of events that will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the opening of that campus.              

Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont, said, "Our focus has been, and continues to be, ‘One College, One Goal.'  Just this past year, based on metrics measured by the Technical College System of Georgia, our college met or exceeded nearly every goal established by the system office," he stated. 

During his address, Simama reported that Georgia Piedmont's students have been obtaining employment at a rate of 99.5 percent.  He also touched on significant milestones that occurred over the past academic year, including the introduction of electric vehicle charging stations at the Newton campus and the investment in the college's new Advanced Manufacturing Center. 

Simama indicated the college is conducting a top-to-bottom review of its academic programs to create an academic master plan and is reviewing its processes and systems to ensure they meet the changing demands of those programs.  

This year's Emeritus status recipient, Dr. Daisy Walker Davis, spent nearly three decades working as an instructor and as a dean at the college.  Emeritus status is an honor designating a retired faculty, staff or administrator as having served a distinguished professional career and as having made significant contributions to Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Davis began her career at Georgia Piedmont as a mathematics instructor. Davis assumed a leadership role when she was named chairperson of the General Studies Department.  While in that role, she taught math and directed the college's self-study for the 2002 Reaffirmation of Accreditation.  She was subsequently promoted to Dean of Academic Accountability and Outcomes.

Of particular note during her career, Davis assisted the Vice President of Academic Affairs with the College's 10-year Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Reaffirmation for Accreditation Report (2012) and verified teaching faculty credentials for compliance with SACSCOC guidelines.  Her involvement with SACSCOC included serving as a team member, chair, and co-chair for more than 16 accreditation teams and special committees.  Davis maintains close ties with Georgia Piedmont Technical College and with SACSCOC.   

"I'm so honored to accept this award," Davis said.  "During my time at the college, I tried to greet people with a smile and with a kind word," she said.  "Over the years, I discovered my job required more backbone than wishbone.  I believe my approach was successful," Davis continued.  "I thank the nominating committee for considering me for this honor.  I encourage all of you to give your best and to do your best, because success is a journey---not a destination," she concluded.       

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About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is one of the top technical colleges in Georgia. As a student-centered institution, GPTC prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing, global economy. In August 2016, Georgia Piedmont was ranked among the top ten technical colleges in terms of enrollment by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. GPTC’s graduation rate is more than 74.3 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 98.7 percent placement rate. With nearly 4,000 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is among the largest in the state. The college has 12 learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1176, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.