While more than a thousand miles might separate her previous stop at Keystone College and her new home at ABAC, the gap between the two institutions isn’t nearly that great according to newly appointed school President, Tracy Brundage. In fact, it’s the similarities that really attracted her to the job.
“Everybody asks me, ‘why did you come to South Georgia?’, and it’s the mission of the school you know, it is pretty far away from Pennsylvania, but really, I lived in many rural areas in Pennsylvania. So, I’ve been around agriculture my entire life. I’ve lived in rural communities in Pennsylvania. I’ve worked in schools that have had a mission similar to ABAC with the hands-on experiential mission,” says Brundage.
That career, which has spanned more than three decades, has given her the necessary tools in order to succeed in the new position.
“I felt that, you know, my experience and the skills that I’ve developed along my 31 plus year career pathway really prepared me well. I spent the first six years of my career in educational roles in the private sector. And then I transitioned into higher education 25 years ago,” says Brundage.
It also helped shape her leadership philosophy, which is centered around the students and what they need to succeed in today’s environment.
“We need to always remain relevant and innovative in my opinion and not be afraid of being revolutionary in the ways that we prepare and serve our students,” says Brundage. “So, I’m a very student-centered leader and continue to provide those transitional experiences, those hands-on applied learning experiences that will not only contribute to their overall career success, but also help them become the very best that they can be in their lives.”
On that note, the college has recently started two programs that will not only fill a major void in the job market, but also attract new prospective students.
“We do have those two new bachelors’ programs that we brought in in the Fall with agricultural technology management, which is just such a growing field within the agriculture sector, and criminal justice, which is totally online. So, we’re able to broaden our service area. So, how do we take a very good educational institution here and kind of open it up a little bit to other populations and stake holders just beyond the traditional students,” says Brundage.
While some changes might be on the horizon, it’s important to Brundage to honor the tradition of the school while moving it into the future.
“ABAC has a really proud past and I’m going to work hard each and every day to build upon that past and continue the long-standing legacy of this college within our community, this region, the state of Georgia, and even beyond,” says Brundage.
By: Damon Jones