This morning, a lively crowd of Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) students, alumni, faculty, and staff greeted the institution’s new president, Dr. Jann L. Joseph, when she arrived for her first day on the job.
As she arrived at the college’s administrative building, Joseph was met with cheers, banners, balloons and a bear hug from General, the GGC grizzly mascot. At a following reception, she was welcomed more personally as individuals introduced themselves. Those unable to participate in this morning’s event will have another opportunity to meet their new president tomorrow at an ice cream social.
“What an exciting way to kick off my first day at GGC,” said Joseph. “It is invigorating to meet so many people who share my enthusiasm for the next phase of GGC’s growth and development. I look forward to getting to know everyone better, and working together to continue the college’s impressive momentum.”
Staff members have worked with Joseph for the last few months to develop a robust schedule to help her become familiar with all facets of the college and its community as quickly as possible over the next several months. In fact, while today may be her first official day as president, Joseph has already taken part in a variety of activities in recent weeks since moving to Gwinnett County. This included interactions with campus and community leadership to begin building relationships.
GGC’s third president since its 2005 founding, Joseph recently served as interim chancellor at Indiana University South Bend and has 30 years of broad experience in higher education. She was named GGC’s president after a nationwide search following the retirement of Dr. Stanley C. “Stas” Preczewski in January.
“Dr. Joseph has certainly hit the ground running, which fits right in with GGC’s culture,” said Dr. Judy Awong-Taylor, professor of biology and chair of the college’s presidential search committee. “I think she will align very well with our mission and vision, and our commitment to student success.”
Born in Trinidad, West Indies, Joseph is the youngest of five siblings. Although her parents did not complete elementary school, they valued the power of education to transform lives for generations. Her parents’ encouragement and sacrifices inspired Joseph to serve in higher education.
Joseph graduated from The University of West Indies at St. Augustine with a bachelor’s of science in agriculture in 1984 and a master’s of philosophy in plant science in 1989. She taught with the Ministry of Education for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, where she also served as Agricultural Science department chair from 1990 to 1992.
In 1998, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a doctorate in curriculum and instruction in science education. Her teaching, research and administrative experience included positions at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti and Indiana University South Bend.
Joseph’s professional affiliations include a variety of state and regional education-focused organizations, several of which she served in leadership capacities. Her community service is similarly hallmarked by leadership and volunteerism.
Married to the late Dr. Edwin Joseph for 36 years, Joseph has three children and four grandchildren. She now resides in Lawrenceville.