(DeKalb County, September 27, 2018)Georgia Piedmont Technical College is delighted to welcome new administrators and to recognize two recently promoted veteran employees. “I’m pleased that seasoned administrators have joined the Georgia Piedmont team,” said Dr. Tavarez Holston, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College.   “Together, they possess many years of proven leadership at several institutions of higher learning. I am confident each of them will make valuable contributions. I also congratulate the long-term employees who have been promoted,” he stated.


Dr. Cheree Williams comes to Georgia Piedmont from Lanier Tech, where she has spent the past few months serving as the interim vice president of Academic Affairs. As a vice president at Lanier Tech, she assumed dual roles, concurrently working as dean for General Education. Williams previously served as a psychology faculty member at Lanier Technical College, University of North Georgia, Wayne County Community College, and Henry Ford College.


While at Lanier Tech, Williams equipped faculty with the necessary resources required to deliver high-quality instruction. She also has been instrumental in developing several initiatives including an adjunct-faculty onboarding process, general education annual schedules, and student advisement best practices.


Williams is a dedicated psychologist who enjoys counseling young adults and at-risk youth. She completed a bachelor’s in psychology at Madonna University; a master’s degree in Clinical and Humanistic Psychology from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Psychology at Capella University.


Dr. Meghan McBride is Georgia Piedmont’s new dean for adult education.   “I am excited about the opportunity to serve as dean for adult education here at Georgia Piedmont Technical College,” McBride said.   “Earning my GED 18 years ago opened the door to postsecondary education for me. Completing that step in my educational journey ultimately led to a fulfilling and rewarding career in higher education.  I look forward to working with our faculty, staff, and community partners to make adult education equally transformative for prospective and current students,” she added.


Prior to joining Georgia Piedmont’s team, McBride served as Albany State University’s assistant registrar. She recently defended her dissertation for her doctor of education from Valdosta State University. McBride holds a master’s in history and a bachelor’s in secondary education, which she also earned at Valdosta State University.


Cory Thompson, affiliated with the college for 14 years, is the college’s executive director of marketing and communications. Not only does he oversee internal and external communications for the institution, he also is the liaison between the college and the Georgia Piedmont Technical College Foundation.


“We have reached a pivotal point in the college’s history, and I am honored to be a part of this collaborative rebirth,” Thompson said. “In the role of executive director of marketing and communications, I have a unique opportunity to help bring the college to the next level of public awareness.  Georgia Piedmont is a hidden jewel.  My job is to make sure it isn’t hidden any longer!” he exclaimed.


Thompson first served the college as a member of its Board of Directors. Later he became the full-time public relations and information director, followed by a stint as director of program development. Since 2015, he has served as the college’s director of marketing. Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree from Grand View University. He also spent 30 years as a television anchor and reporter before coming to Georgia Piedmont Technical College.


“I am excited to be in my new role. I bring over 34 years of experience to this position, including product and manufacturing design,” said Bryan Sexton, who was named executive director of advanced manufacturing. The college has employed Sexton since 2007.


In October 2017, Georgia Piedmont opened the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) on its Newton campus. The AMC is comprised of state-of-the-art mechanical, electrical and robotic training systems. The college is developing both credit and non-credit programs for manufacturing. New programs will address industrial systems technology by offering intensive mechanical and electrical training. Georgia Piedmont’s credit programs will center on developing a trained workforce, while the non-credit/customized training programs will support manufacturing organizations by helping to upgrade skills of their current workforce.


“In the manufacturing sector, I was involved in electrical engineering for the continuous improvement of the mass production processes. I gained valuable insight,” Sexton said. “As executive director, it is my goal to integrate technological advancements in manufacturing into our training programs. I will personally serve as a liaison between the Advanced Manufacturing training programs and various industries,” he said.


“It is my goal to develop industry training partnerships. I will do my part to ensure the level of training for credit, non-credit and customized industry courses will be top-notch,” said Sexton. “I will emphasize processes such as continuous flow manufacturing, automated robotic processes and computer-integrated digital manufacturing techniques (such as Industry 4.0). I believe that emphasis will enable Georgia Piedmont Technical College to remain competitive,” he concluded.


For Jill Ellis, returning to Georgia Piedmont is a homecoming. She left the college nearly 10 years ago, but has returned as its new director for institutional effectiveness. Ellis brings over 20 years of institutional effectiveness and research experience, including serving as a SACSCOC peer reviewer and an Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Educator. “It is with great enthusiasm and tremendous humility that I return to Georgia Piedmont Technical College,” Ellis said.  “I look forward to broadening my existing knowledge in institutional research and effectiveness, while cultivating meaningful relationships across campuses. I intend to work closely with my counterparts to make certain we understand the value of institutional research,” she said.


Ellis has worked as the director of institutional research, assessment, and planning at Spelman College since 2009. She previously served as Atlanta Technical College’s institutional effectiveness specialist and director of student services.   In her new role, she will report to the vice president of academic affairs and is responsible for providing direction and oversight for institutional assessment, assessment of student learning, institutional research and strategic planning initiatives. Ellis previously served as Georgia Piedmont’s (then known as DeKalb Tech) director of admissions as well as its director of research and planning.

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 economy. GPTC’s graduation rate for academic year 2018, as reported by the Technical College System of Georgia, is more than 73 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 96.6 percent total job placement rate. Serving more than 4,600 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is the second largest in the state.  The college has seven learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, and Rockdale 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 Candice Buckley, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1111, ADA504Coordinator@gptc.edu or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103B; or Lolita Morrison, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1210, TitleIXCoordinator@gptc.edu or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-157 for assistance.