Brandon Waters Named 2019 GSW Outstanding Scholar

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Brandon Waters, a non-traditional senior education major from Pitts, Ga., was recently named Georgia Southwestern State University’s 2019 Outstanding Scholar, the university’s highest academic honor.

Waters currently holds a 4.0 GPA, which puts him at the top of his class. The Outstanding Scholar Award represents superb scholastic achievement. A student must have a near-perfect GPA even to be considered for this award.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized as GSW’s 2019 Outstanding Scholar,” said Waters. “Being a non-traditional student has made it challenging at times, but with the support of God, my family, and especially my wife, my hard work has paid off.”

As the owner and operator of a cow-calf cattle business, Waters originally entered the agriculture field after graduating from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with a degree in Agricultural Business.

“After I graduated, I began working as a salesman in the agriculture field. But over the years, I could not shake the idea of becoming a teacher,” said Waters. “Being a positive role model and molder of young minds was a desire I could not continue to ignore. With the support of my wife, I chose to come back to school to pursue my second career in education with the hopes of also getting into coaching.”

“I’m extremely honored to recognize Brandon Waters as this year’s Outstanding Scholar,” said GSW President Neal Weaver. "This young man is the definition of hard work, grit and determination. He meticulously balances being a full-time student, business owner, and husband all while maintaining a flawless academic record.”

At GSW, Waters was the 2018 recipient of the Kirt Myers Scholarship. He is also actively involved with the School of Education’s annual reading camps and the GSW Special Olympics.

“We are very proud of Brandon's accomplishments,” said Dean Rachel Abbott, Ph.D. “He is a great representative not only of the education profession, but as a student and leader in the classroom both on campus and in his classroom. The School of Education faculty look forward to watching Brandon thrive as a special education teacher in Georgia.”

“Georgia Southwestern was the perfect choice,” said Waters. “I have had nothing but outstanding instructors that have all had a positive hand in grooming me into a confident future educator. I have friends that I can call on at any time, as well as professors that would be there for professional support. I am proof that if you want something in life, go for it. Live life with no regrets.”

As the recipient of this award, Waters, along with other top students, were recognized in a special ceremony by Chancellor Steve Wrigley during the February 2019 meeting of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. He also received a signed resolution from both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Senate.