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NewsThursday, August 15, 2013
President Ronnie L. Booth, left, presented Dr. Brian Swords with the Presidential Medallion for Staff Excellence at the College's fall convocation today (August 15). The medallion, along with a cash award made possible by the Tri-County Technical College Foundation, goes to a person who best exemplifies the College philosophy and has contributed the most during the academic year to the development of the college and its students.
Dr. Brian Swords Receives Tri-County’s Presidential Medallion for Staff Excellence
CONTACT: DR. BRIAN SWORDS. 220-8889 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/15/2013
(By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON -- His months-long efforts in coordinating and overseeing a new matriculation (enrollment) process that focuses on student success and student engagement helped to earn Dr. Brian Swords Tri-County Technical College's 2013 Staff Excellence award.
President Ronnie L. Booth presented Dr. Swords with the Presidential Medallion for Staff Excellence at the College's fall convocation today (August 15). The medallion, along with a cash award made possible by the Tri-County Technical College Foundation, goes to a person who best exemplifies the College philosophy and has contributed the most during the academic year to the development of the college and its students.
A 20-year employee of the College, Dr. Swords currently serves as director of the Easley Campus, as well as the QuickJobs Training Centers in Seneca and Easley and the Watkins Center classroom/lab facilities in Honea Path.
Nominations from his peers lauded his work during the last year on the new matriculation process that focuses on proper assessment, registration for the right courses during students' first semester, and a support system in place to help the students throughout their college career.
"I'm very humbled by my selection. I give all the credit to the team that worked with me this year to help take this step toward improving student success. I feel very blessed to have the type of job here at Tri County that allows me to help make a small difference in the lives of our students," said Dr. Swords.
Dr. Swords led a team of faculty and staff to design a new structure of intake processes and intake personnel that focuses on one-on-one engagement with students to build a foundation for their success.
He continues to work with team members to implement processes and facilities changes and to expand engagement opportunities with students through fall 2014.
"Brian is one of the most student-focused members of the Tri-County family but he also cares very much about the faculty and staff. He truly is an asset to this institution and well deserving of this recognition," said Gayle Arries, marketing director and a member of the matriculation team. "Dr. Swords is dedicated to ensuring that students are a good fit for their chosen program of study and are on a pathway that ensures their success."
In addition, he will be among the 10 pilot student engagement coaches for the new Twenty/20 program that launches this fall. Twenty20 is a mentoring and personal relationship-building program.
Twenty members of Tri-County's faculty and staff each will serve as "Twenty20 coaches" for twenty students to improve student retention and success. This initiative will support the institutional goal of increasing student retention.
"Brian has been one of our biggest supporters and most energetic pilot coaches," said Stephanie Winkler, disabilities services coordinator and co-director of the Twenty/20 program. "He always has great ideas and even has volunteered to take on more students than planned for the mentoring project. Perhaps more important than all of his hard work is his positive attitude and willingness to help. I continue to be amazed at his energy level and dedication to help students. He always has a smile on his face and no matter what I ask of him, he is always willing to help."
He is an active member of the community as well, working with the Pickens County School District to create innovative partnerships that use resources on the Tri-County campus, as well as facilities owned by the school district.
He serves as chairman of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce, is an active member of the Easley Rotary Club, is chairman of the Junior Leadership Pickens County Board of Directors and is a member of the Board of Visitors at Southern Wesleyan University. In addition, he served as co-chair of Leadership Pickens County and two terms on the board of the directors for South Carolina Association for Higher Continuing Education. In 2006 he was program facilitator for 2006 Clemson University/Tri-County Higher Education Leadership Program
The Pickens County native joined the College in 1993 as a student services specialist in the registrar's office and later worked as admissions team leader and coordinator of admissions processes and technology for the admissions office. After serving as coordinator of computer training for the College's Business Training Center. Later he became director of operations for the Corporate and Community Education Division. While in that position, in 2009, he coordinated and taught the College's first apprenticeship class making Tri-County the first technical college in the State to have a registered customer service apprenticeship through Apprenticeship Carolina.
Dr. Swords holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Southern Wesleyan University and a master's in Technology and Human Resource Development and doctorate degree in Vocational and Technical College Administration from Clemson University.
Dr. Swords lives in Liberty.