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Andrews College Professor Receives Governor’s Award in the Humanities

By   /   October 3, 2011  /   Comments

(Atlanta, GA) – Dr. Lela M. Phillips will receive 26th Governor’s Awards in the Humanities on Thursday, October 6, 2011, at noon at the Old Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in downtown Atlanta.  Dr. Phillips is being honored for building bridges between Southwest Georgia, the rest of the state, and the world through teaching, research, and program development.

The former Professor of Humanities at Andrew College in Cuthbert, Dr. Phillips taught critical thinking, writing, and research skills to the students in her classroom, using local stories, places, or art works as starting points. She also served as a trusted advocate for and mentor to the international students at Andrew as well as the campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.  While at the college, she co-authored two publications, The History of Andrew College and Toward Literacy:  Theory and Applications for Teaching Writing in the Content Areas (Wadsworth Press).  In 2001, she published The Lena Baker Story, which chronicles the events surrounding the only woman to be executed in the Georgia electric chair.  Phillips’ courageous retelling of Lena Baker’s story led the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to reexamine the case and to issue a posthumous pardon.  Subsequently the book has been turned into a motion picture, which aired at Cannes Film Festival.


Governor Deal states, “Dr. Lela Phillip’s work inspires, educates, and increases our collective appreciation of humanities and culture in Georgia.”

This celebration of the humanities coincides with National Arts and Humanities Month in October.  Other recipients of the Governor’s Award in the Humanities include:

  • David Bottoms, Marietta
  • Doris Derby, Atlanta
  • Judith Ortiz Cofer, Louisville and Athens
  • John Wesley Jacobs Jr., Gainesville
  • Ethelene Dyer Jones, Milledgeville and Blue Ridge
  • Gwen Hutcheson, Athens
  • Christine Lambert, Madison
  • Clayton M. Shotwell, Augusta
  • Annette Wise, Plains
  • Georgia Women of Achievement, Macon
  • Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, Athens

Recipients of the Governor’s Award are nominated by the public, reviewed by a committee of the Georgia Humanities Council board, and approved ultimately by the governor.

“The work of these individuals and organizations serve as models for what can be accomplished through the humanities in communities across our state,” said Jamil S. Zainaldin, president of the Georgia Humanities Council.

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Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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