February 14, 2011
11-34

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Womack-Wynne Named Graduate of the Last Decade

 

VALDOSTA -- The Valdosta State University Alumni Association named Dr. Carlise Womack-Wynne, ’00 and ’07, the 2011 Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD). The prestigious award is given each year to a graduate who has demonstrated professional achievements and community service within 10 years of graduation.

The VSU community will recognize the department chair and assistant professor of Education at Gainesville State College during halftime of the men’s basketball game against West Georgia at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 19, in the P.E. Complex.

A Passionate Ambassador

Womack-Wynne has dedicated her life to education. She organizes routine campus visits to promote early college awareness among area youth and administers a grant of more than $100,000 to advance diversity within the student population. She serves as a voluntary consultant for the Ministry of Education in Belize; and in her “spare time,” the 34-year-old volunteers in area classrooms and organizes study abroad opportunities for undergraduates to experience international educational settings.

“The most rewarding parts of my job are those that deal directly with my students. I love to work with student-teachers during their final clinical placements, which is when you create a bond and really help them refine their teaching styles,” said Womack-Wynne, who achieved tenure at Gainesville State in only three years. “It is touching and inspiring when you witness a student-teacher who ‘gets it’ -- one who is idealistic enough to want to change and move the world, yet is practical enough to know that it will not happen overnight.”

Dr. Warren Caputo, ’96 and ’97, instructor of health and wellness education at Gainesville State College, said he nominated Wynne-Womack for the GOLD award because of her tireless drive to be a change agent in the lives of children and educators throughout the world. Her commitment to teacher excellence, he said, is evident in her every endeavor.

“Dr Womack-Wynne is truly making a difference in the lives of children locally, teacher education students at Gainesville State College, and children in the nation of Belize,” he said. “She is an excellent ambassador for VSU and embodies every quality this award represents.”

Humanitarian Education

The native of Moultrie, Ga., considers her greatest passion the “indescribably meaningful” humanitarian work in the Central American country of Belize. As a consultant to the Ministry of Education in Belize, she is an integral part of the Task Force for Alternative Discipline and Quality Pre-School Initiatives. She conducts teacher and administrator trainings to convey alternative methods of discipline in hopes of terminating corporal punishment in Belize schools.

“I think my work with the Ministry of Education in Belize is the single most meaningful project I have ever worked on. I feel that this is one of the reasons I have been put on this earth,” said Womack-Wynne, who serves on the Board of Examiners for the Professional Standards Commission of the State of Georgia. “I am able to change the attitudes of teachers by providing training, working within their schools, and giving them tools that make schools in Belize stronger, better and safer. I am touching the lives of every single child in that country, and changing their environments for the better. It humbles me greatly to be given that privilege.”

Womack-Wynne said she takes her cues from “the generous, gentle, loving spirit of Gandhi” and looks to emulate Mother Theresa’s love for all people “as they are, where they are and despite their position in life.” She hopes to continue to be a good steward of all children by providing them with access to the basic necessities of life and quality education.

“I want my daughter to be able to look at my life when it is over and say ‘I'm proud that she was my mother, I want to be like her,” said Womack-Wynne of her 2-year-old daughter, Lily.

The Guidance of Mentors

Her time at VSU was one of growth, as she explored the essential and delicate role of educators in the lives of children during her undergraduate years studying secondary education. Womack-Wynne specialized in educational theory and organizational development during her doctoral studies of Educational Leadership at Valdosta State. She said the direction she received during her time among the stately pines provided her with a solid educational background and helped her build an ethical framework that guides her professional work.

“I can barely scratch the surface to answer, ‘how VSU has prepared me for my current role?’ I received a world-class education, mentors and professors that now embrace me as a peer, and friends that will always be in my life,” said Womack-Wynne, who has published dozens of publications and reviewed various textbooks. “I had amazingly knowledgeable professors who took the time to help me refine my skills and dispositions, and gave me the tools I needed to be successful.”