Elizabeth Rodriguez of Newnan, a spring graduate of West Georgia Technical College’s Registered Nursing program, has been named the state’s top technical education student.
Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Greg Dozier presented the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership to Rodriguez on May 26 on the West Georgia Tech’s Coweta Campus.
“Through her hard work, leadership and passion for helping others, Elizabeth has rightfully earned this tremendous honor as TCSG’s student of the year,” Dozier said. “She has the admiration of her peers, her college and the entire Technical College System of Georgia. I know that the West Georgia Technical College community is extremely proud of her as she becomes this year’s student ambassador for technical education across our state.”
As the grand prize winner, Rodriguez received a brand new, made-in-Georgia, 2021 KIA K5, courtesy of KIA Georgia and delivered by Ed Voyles KIA of Chamblee. Rodriguez is the first West Georgia Technical College student to win the statewide GOAL award.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be titled as this year’s State GOAL winner,” Rodriguez said. “This win comes as a collaborative effort and is dedicated to my community. I aim to fulfill my purpose of serving others and sharing everything I have learned and will continue to learn as I pass along these cherished moments of success.”
The GOAL program, now in its 49th year, recognizes the most outstanding technical education students out of all of the 22 TCSG colleges. As the award winner, Rodriguez will make public appearances as a representative for technical education during the next year, including meeting with Gov. Brian Kemp and addressing the Georgia General Assembly.
Each year, selection for the GOAL program begins with the naming of the top technical education student at each college. Regional competitions follow and narrow the field to nine finalists for the award. Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a panel of judges interviewed this year’s nine finalists virtually.
“We are incredibly proud of Elizabeth and honored that she chose West Georgia Tech for her educational journey,” West Georgia Tech President Julie Post said. “She is the best representative of why we do what we do in technical education every day.”
Rodriguez has accepted a nursing position in the Post Op Unit at Tanner Health System and will begin in July.