South Georgia State College graduate receives Academic Recognition Day Award
Jamie Denise Merritt is South Georgia State College’s 2018 University System of Georgia Academic Recognition Day Award recipient. Merritt, accompanied by her parents Greg and Cookie, was honored by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents during their February board meeting. The annual Academic Recognition Day Award is presented to one student from each of the systems’ 26 colleges and universities who exemplifies outstanding academic achievement and success.
“This award reflects the support of my teachers, family and friends,” said the 21-year-old SGSC graduate from Ambrose, who earned her Associate of Science in Chemistry in 2017. “Working two jobs, attending class and finding the time to study was stressful at times,” she said, “but looking back and seeing my success, the effort was all worthwhile.”
Merritt’s goal of becoming a medical dosimetrist is an ambitious one for the straight-A student who received academic achievement awards in both her freshman and sophomore year at SGSC as well as the Outstanding Chemistry Student award from the SOWEGA chapter of the American Chemical Society and Optima Chemical. Asked to explain what a medical dosimetrist does, she continued, “Medical Dosimetrists are members of the radiation oncology team. Based on physics and chemistry calculations, they plan the course of radiation for cancer patients.”
Becoming a medical dosimetrist is not Merritt’s only goal. She hopes to continue participating in mission trips like the one she recently completed to Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. The purpose of the trip was to bring clothes and other necessary supplies to children as part of “Christmas Backpacks for Appalachia,” but the trip expanded to bring food and presents for each child. According to Merritt, “The experience taught me about how giving what seems like a little is so much more than you can imagine, and how much better it is to give rather than receive. The experience also taught me so much about planning and leadership.”
Currently enrolled at Coastal Pines Technical College in Waycross, Merritt will receive a Radiologic Technology degree before transferring to Georgia Southern University to complete her four-year degree in Radiation Therapy.
“Helping to realize the goals of outstanding students like Jamie Merritt is my passion,” said SGSC President Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, who escorted her to the state capitol after the award ceremony to meet District 169 State Representative Dominic LaRiccia. “We’re doing great things together to improve the lives of people within our community,” she said.