3 August, 2017
A group of Gadsden State Community College students were recently celebrated for securing scholarships to participate in a unique program with Auburn University. The 2+2 Poultry Science Program gives students the opportunity to complete their freshman and sophomore years at Gadsden State Cherokee and their junior and senior years at Auburn University. In the end, students will earn a bachelor’s degree in poultry science.
“This program is unique to Cherokee County,” said Dr. Martha Lavender, president of Gadsden State, during the July 31 reception. “We recruit students to take advantage of what we have to offer at this beautiful, welcoming campus. Gadsden State Cherokee creates growth in our community and stimulates the economy.”
The reception was held to honor nine students who earned a scholarship that pays for 13 credit hours for the fall semester in addition to a $500 book scholarship. Scholarship recipients include Ethan Waters of Gadsden; Craig Covington, Paul Wynn and Joseph Wiggins, all of Centre; Aaron Mackey of Piedmont; Terry Stephens and Dawson Foshee, both of Leesburg; Krista Thompson of Boaz and Peyton Merrill of Graham.
“Making a decision to attend Gadsden State Cherokee is a good decision for your future,” Lavender said. “We want you to graduate from Gadsden State and complete your education at Auburn. We then want you to stay here in Alabama to help our state prosper. I appreciate the work you have done and will continue to do. Hats off to you and the journey you have chosen. We salute you and we support you.”
Dr. Wallace Berry, associate professor of poultry science at Auburn University, reiterated the sentiment to the scholarship students.
“Graduate and stay in Alabama,” he said. “Life opportunities are waiting on you. There are a number of positions available. You can write your own ticket.”
Those who earn their poultry science degree aren’t always chicken farmers, he said.
“You’re not limited to working in a chicken plant or in poultry production,” Berry said. “There are many things you can do. The opportunities are endless – everything from being a field technician to being a CEO of a genetics company. We even have students that go onto medical school.”
He said poultry science students at Auburn University receive four to five job offers before they graduate.
“Those that complete graduate school can earn a six-figure salary within a few years,” he said.
Rep. Richard Lindsey, who was instrumental in getting funding for the program along with Sen. Phil Williams, said students in the 2+2 Poultry Science Program will have 100 percent job placement upon graduation.
“Poultry is a huge industry for our state and our country,” he said. “Participating in this program is something you can be proud of. You will earn a degree that can be used to make a good living. There’s a future in this industry. We wish you the very best in this endeavor.”
Students must take the poultry production course (AGP130) during the fall semester and must have a 2.5 GPA or better to qualify for a 2+2 scholarship. To be considered, a general scholarship application at www.gadsdenstate.edu as well as a description of educational and career goals must be completed by June 1 prior to the fall semester. For more information, go to www.gadsdenstate.edu or call Amanda Martin, enrollment specialist, at 256-927-1807.