Phyllis Ingham

Dr. Phyllis Ingham

West Georgia Technical College named Lauren Birriel, an Associate Degree Nursing student from Sharpsburg, as its 2018 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership winner and Murphy Campus Clinical Laboratory Technology instructor Dr. Phyllis Ingham as its 2018 Rick Perkins Award winner November 16 at a banquet honoring finalists for both awards.

GOAL is a statewide program of the Technical College System of Georgia, which honors excellence in academics and leadership among the state’s technical college students.

The Rick Perkins Award is designed to recognize and honor technical college instructors who make significant contributions to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields.

Both Birriel and Ingham will compete against winners from other Georgia technical colleges in a regional competition in February before participating in the state competition, held in Atlanta in April.

The 2017 WGTC GOAL winner Terrance Robinson was named a state finalist last year, making him one of the top nine TCSG students in Georgia.

“I am so proud of Lauren Birriel and Dr. Phyllis Ingham for their selection as West Georgia Technical College’s representatives in the GOAL and Rick Perkins Award competitions,” West Georgia Technical College Acting President Dr. Scott Rule said. “They represent the very best of West Georgia Tech. On behalf of our students, staff and stakeholders, I offer best wishes for their success in the next phase of the competitions. I also want to salute all our finalists. We have great educators and students at West Georgia Tech who work hard each day to advance workforce development in our region. Our two winners are the best of the best.”

Birriel was nominated by Coweta Campus biology instructor Dr. Jeremy Bishop. She was one of 14 initial nominees before being selected as one of four finalists. Birriel plans to graduate with an associate degree in nursing in 2019.

The other three finalists for the WGTC GOAL award were associate degree nursing student Bryan Gordon, clinical laboratory technology student Monika Robertson and radiologic technology student Skylar Stringer.

Lauren Birriel

Lauren Birriel

Ingham was nominated for the Rick Perkins Award by Naquilla Thomas, Dean of the WGTC School of Health Sciences, and Associate Dean Nikki Gilbert. Ingham teaches clinical laboratory technology and phlebotomy and also serves as program director.

In the nomination, Thomas said, “As a Master Teacher, Dr. Ingham has shown a great commitment to her position. She is very passionate about her industry and displays that passion to her students and peers.”

Ingham was selected out of a field of seven WGTC instructors. Other nominated were dental assisting instructor Jessica Harvey, English instructor Donald Miller, cybersecurity instructor Dr. Gary Perry, cosmetology instructor TruLisa Turner, and electrical systems instructor John Ward.

First launched in 1971, GOAL focuses on student excellence in technical education by focusing on academic excellence and personal achievement. A panel of judges selects one student as the state GOAL winner, which is announced at the state competition in April. The state’s GOAL winner will serve as an ambassador of technical education in Georgia.

The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction honors technical education’s most outstanding instructors. Formerly known as the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence, the Rick Perkins Award was renamed in memory and honor of Thomas “Rick” Perkins, an instructor of the former West Central Technical College, who received the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence prior to his untimely death.

West Georgia Technical College, with campuses in Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Troup counties, and class sites in Heard and Meriwether counties, offers over 120 associate degree, diploma and technical certificate programs of study. A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Tech is the fourth largest of the state’s 22 technical colleges. For more information, please visit