Frank Lin is a nursing major originally from China who moved to the United States in 2013. Lin already gained a master’s degree in medicine in his home country and is about to earn an associate degree at ABAC. “The learning experience is different,” Lin said. “Here, they’re are more interested in critical thinking and back in China they’re more interested in knowledge.” Lin currently works at Southwell Medical and previously worked at Tifton Regional for three years. Lin ran a business for ten years in China before pursuing a degree in medicine.
When Frank Lin first came to ABAC he did not understand much English and initially had a lot of trouble understanding the material. He then gained help from Tom Grant, an associate professor of Arts and Sciences, who he considers to be his biggest guide at ABAC. “He really helped me understand speaking English more, where before I could only really read it and it really helped me with my studies,” Lin said.
This past year has been especially difficult for Lin due to Covid-19 moving many of his classes online. “I’m used to face-to-face instruction, where the teacher is right there with you as you learn it so you can ask questions and get help immediately,” Lin said. It is much harder when everything is online, and you don’t have that same connection.
Lin considers his greatest accomplishment to be his tenure in ABAC’s nursing program. “I had a really hard time with comprehension when I first came here. So just being able to overcome that and stay in the program is a big accomplishment.” Outside of school, Lin has an interest in photography. He is married and has two children who he considers his biggest supporters. “My wife and kids have been super supportive, and I couldn’t have done it without them,” Lin said.
After Lin finishes his time here at ABAC, he hopes to continue his education by attending Mercer University to pursue a master’s degree in nursing. Lin’s biggest aspiration to be able to combine his knowledge of Chinese traditional medicine and western medicine to find new ways to fight diseases.
Rumonda is graduating with a Bachelor’s in Business. Her focus is Economic Development, which she puts to work at her job at Community Actions Council. Solomon is from Moultrie, Ga. In her free time, she enjoys family, as that is what is most important to her. She also enjoys fashion and loves to shop.
She says Covid has mostly affected her schedule, as all her classes moved to morning classes. She struggles juggling work, school, and feeling tired from the change. However, she feels as if it worth it.
Solomon says her biggest supporter is her Mom. She states “She has gone through school with me whole way. My Mom has been my biggest supporter, alongside my sister. They have always encouraged me along the way.”
Solomon’s philosophy is her favorite Bible verse, Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” She states, “By me keeping my faith, it keeps me moving forward.”
She believes that by attending ABAC, her benefits have been incredible. She says that ABAC opened the door for her current job. “If I hadn’t gone to ABAC, I wouldn’t have known what I knew today. They opened a lot of doors for me.”
She was also able to become very close to her dean, Renata Elad, Ph.D., which she learned so many things. She would also like to thank Dean Elad for this opportunity. Her plans after school include getting married, starting a family, and furthering her already growing a career at Community Actions Council.
Her advice to freshmen is “Any freshman that feel like giving up or feels like it’s too tough, don’t give up. Anything worth it is worth fighting for. It gets perfect.”
Jonah Smith has a Bachelor’s in Science and Natural Resources Management and a major in Forestry. He is from Vidalia, Georgia, and “enjoys kayaking and many other outside activities.”
After he graduates, he plans on getting married and beginning his career in forestry.
Some of his greatest accomplishments include “Serving as the President of the ABAC SAF Forestry Club and winning the Quiz Bowl at the 2020 SESAF,” he said. Smith said online classes were “challenging, as I do not feel as engaged in the course as I do with in-person class.” A very inspiring teacher for Jonah is Dr. Moss, who no longer works at ABAC. Moss was Assistant Professor of Forest Resources. While at ABAC, Jonah has “gained lifetime friendships and real-world knowledge of the forest industry.” His biggest supporter is his fiancé’ Dahlia Sutliff, who is an ABAC Alumna and helped him in “every way possible through this journey.” His philosophy is to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” He wishes to move to Vidalia with his family and establish a career in forestry in his hometown.
Environmental Horticulture Major
Macie Wheeler of Thomasville is an Environmental Horticulture major with a concentration in Turfgrass and Ornamentals. She plans to attend graduate school at UGA Tifton after graduating from ABAC, to earn an M.S. in Crop and Soil Sciences.
During COVID, she said, “The hardest thing for me is having to teach myself as I’m going to class, and I work 25 hours a week on top of that, so it’s really hard to find the time. It’s really hard to be motivated, especially when I have senioritis.”
Her greatest accomplishment at ABAC is the connections she’s made with people. She feels that she would not be where she is today without them.
The teacher who has motivated her the most is “Dr. Mulkey who is an Ag teacher. He and his wife have become a mentor for me throughout my college career. I met him my second year, spring semester at ABAC, and we just clicked ever since I came into his classroom. I would consider us friends. We talk with each other all the time and keep up with each other even though I don’t have a class with him anymore.”
Her philosophy in life is, “Work hard. Keep your nose to the grindstone, because it really gets hard, especially trying to balance life, make all A’s, and all the things that you have to do for school.”
She believes networking with people is important “because people that you meet in your classes are going to carry, they’re going to be with you throughout your career, they’re going to be your connections, your business partners, and they’re going to be your competition. I think it’s important to build those relationships now.”
Her favorite classes have been Soil and Fertilizers, Soil Management, Floral Management, and Greenhouse. She has gained close relationships with other students and teachers by coming to ABAC because of the “teacher to student ratio. I didn’t feel like a number anymore. I felt like I was important. I was missed if I wasn’t there. Being such a small campus, you really do know everyone, and I just love that atmosphere.
Her family has been her biggest supporters. She plans to become an Extension Agent for the southeast region.
Jessica Hope Nelson
Jessica Hope Nelson is a Nursing Science major at ABAC. She’s from the small town of Pavo, Georgia and, in her free time, she repurposes old furniture. Her other hobbies include riding horses and participating in agility trials with her dog, Lucy. After her graduation, she wishes to spend time with family and friends, as well as doing some work. In the fall, she hopes to continue her education and begin a master’s degree. She hopes of becoming a family nurse practitioner.
Due to the nursing bachelor’s program has always been online, Covid has not affected her nursing classes. She says her “biggest struggle has been finding that good balance of work, school, and family” and that she is “currently enrolled in 12 hours of nursing classes while working full time as a labor and delivery nurse.”
Her greatest accomplishment is winning both national and state titles in showing livestock and horses. She grew up showing livestock and won with her one-eyed horse, Silkey, who had lost the eye due to cancer. She taught Jessica that “anything is possible if you are willing to work for it.”
A teacher who inspired Jessica is Dr. Jeffery Ross. Jessica says that “He has a gift for teaching and is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure I have what I need to succeed” and that he “has stuck up for fellow classmates and me and helped prepare us to enter the nursing field.” After completing her Associates, he encouraged her to get a Bachelor’s Degree. She is very glad she did and fully enjoyed the program. It has taught her many leadership and management skills in nursing and she is very thankful for Dr. Ross’s encouragement.
Jessica’s philosophy is “Everyone dreams; however, it is taking it the next step further and turning those dreams into plans. Plans can be turned into actions, and actions allow you to move closer and closer to your end goal.” She believes and enjoys a quote by James C. Maxwell, “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”
She enjoys going to ABAC as it is a smaller school and has some benefits. smaller schools make it easier to find help if there’s a problem, and the teachers will take the time to help students individually. It also makes an easy commute to and from work.
Jessica’s biggest supporters are her family. She says their “outpouring of love and support got me through nursing school. They were always willing to listen to my worries, and rants at any hour of the day. There were many times I thought I couldn’t do it, but they continued to lift me up and push me to finish”.
In her future, she plans on marrying her highschool sweetheart, who is also graduating this May, during the fall of 2021. She enjoys working in labor and delivery and plans to stay there while continuing her education. She is very excited as to what the future holds.
Hannah King is a Biology major from Tifton Georgia. She has served as an ABAC Ambassador for the past three years. In her second year in the ABAC Ambassadors she served as the Vice-President, and this previous year she served as President. Her involvement with the Ambassadors has helped her to become the person she is today and prepared her for the future. She is also part of Tri-Beta, an Honors Biology Society
She also participates in another biology club called ATOM or Advancing Towards Occupations in Medicine. She is currently working for Tift Regional Medicine as a Patient Care Tech. She plans to continue working after graduation to build hours for PA school to become a Physician’s Assistant. During COVID-19, she has struggled most with not being able to be as social with other students and teachers like she is used to.
She views being the ABAC Ambassador President this past year, participating in mentored research with Dr. Bills, winning first place in a STEP Symposium, and being awarded a Pacesetter Award as some of her greatest accomplishments. She is thankful for all the support the biology department has given her throughout her time at ABAC.
The teachers that have inspired her the most are Dr. Beals and Dr. Harper, and both have heavily influenced her college career. She has gained many relationships with her teachers and peers that she believes she would not have made if she had gone to a larger university or college. She plans to become a PA in the future and is considering going into Women’s Health.
Traveling to places such as Belize, Jerusalem, and Hawaii are also on her bucket list. She spent lots of time on ABAC’s campus when she was very young due to her parent’s ABAC jobs. She remembers seeing the Ambassadors in their green jackets and aspiring to be one of them one day, and she knew from a very young age that ABAC was the school for her.