Every year a few individuals out of 30 plus nominations are awarded the ABAC Pacesetter Award by The Stallion staff. These individuals are recognized for their great service to our school and students.
Each one deserves to be celebrated for their individual efforts to go above and beyond for the student body. Among those who receive this award one individual each year receives the Superior Pacesetter Award.
Pacesetter awards were given to the following people: James Galt-Brown, Andrea Krafft, Kaci West, and Jess Usher.
This year the Superior Pacesetter Award went to Sarah Herring who has served our school in a multitude of ways since she first began working for ABAC four years ago. She currently works as the Residence Life Coordinator for Leadership Development and advisor to the Residence Hall Association, while also helping to run the campus’s food pantry, clothing closet, and community garden.
Since coming to ABAC, she has been dedicated to helping students with whatever they need, listening and helping to fill those needs however she could.
In Fall 2019, she received a $6,000 grant to fund her efforts regarding the clothing closet, food pantry, and community garden. “When I got here the Residence Hall Association wanted to start a food pantry and professional clothing closet on campus for students, and we found a space in Place 100 to host that, and it was very grass roots,” Herring said.
Herring also said, “My second year I noticed that students would ask for more than professional clothing, so I started slowly gathering more than professional clothing, all clothing that’s new or gently used. It became more of just a clothing closet than just professional clothing.”
“The food pantry got the most traffic during COVID by far, because the students that were allowed to stay on campus were students who were homeless or students who were international students who couldn’t go back to their home country,” said Herring. She mentioned how thankful she was for all the donations the food pantry received to help students to get through these rough times.
James Galt-Brown has taught at ABAC for 18 years and teaches various history-based classes to the student body. He is the Coordinator of the ABAC lecture series. He has also been the ABAC representative for the Regions Academic Advisory Committee for History since 2009.
Galt-Brown is well known across campus and many students registered for his class have done so in order to get the “Galt-Brown Experience.”
“I think the best thing that can be said about me is that I am a teller of tales and a lot of students seem to respond to that,” said Galt-Brown.
He also described how he treats all students with respect because, “College is an adult undertaking and I treat college students like adults, so hand your work in on time.”
Andrea Krafft taught English at ABAC and was heavily involved with the school’s creative writing program. Due to the pandemic, she has moved on from teaching at ABAC and now works making interactive learning modules and tutorials.
“I remember going to a lot of different peoples’ Capstone presentations and trying to support people that way,” Krafft said. She attended about ten different students’ presentations to support them.
During Krafft’s time teaching at ABAC she used many methods to make her classes creative and fun, such as picking a theme for each and every class she taught. In some of her last classes, she chose themes such as Stranger Things and serial killers. The serial killer themed class, she said, “was a grim class.”
She also described her creative way of teaching instructional writing, “People in my classes would end up making slime, and then doing sewing projects and all kinds of weird stuff.”
Kaci West has been working for ABAC since the fall of 2013. She teaches English composition and sometimes world literature. She has been the acting adviser for the Gay-Straight alliance on campus since about 2014. She also provides academic advising to some students.
The alliance advocates for equal rights and opportunities through “events, fundraising, meetings, get togethers, all different kinds of stuff, where people who look different, sound different, outside of the norm can feel more comfortable,” explained West.
West also gives students creative project opportunities to allow students to shine in their own ways because, as she said, “I like them to be creative because they think, students think in all different sorts of ways.”
Thank you, Pacesetters past and present. You have been driving forces for positive change on Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s campus, and have supported all those who reside and learn on our campus.