5 Questions with Tamika McKenzie

April 30, 2013 

By Sonya Sorich

What are your main responsibilities at Columbus Technical College?

As a recruiter, my main responsibility is planning and implementing recruitment activities for Columbus Technical College on Fort Benning. I also work cooperatively with the faculty on student recruitment and retention activities. I assist students with the admissions process, financial aid and various programs offered by the college.

Legislation in Georgia would lower grade requirements for those seeking HOPE grants to attend the state's technical colleges. How would the bill impact Columbus Tech? (At press time, the bill was awaiting Gov. Nathan Deal's signature.)

Enrollment would increase due to affordable tuition. When the requirements were raised, the enrollment went down. The legislation would give many students the opportunity to seek certifications and advanced educational programs for employment. With the new GPA requirements, the college can embrace a more diverse student body and continue to meet the needs of the community.

What is the biggest misconception about technical colleges?

Many people are not aware that most technical colleges in Georgia are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) which is the same accrediting agency as the University of Georgia and Columbus State University. Technical college courses may be articulated to four-year colleges and provide the same academic excellence. Technical colleges also provide training to meet industry needs, technical certificates of credit, diplomas and continuing education courses.

Does Columbus Tech offer any programs or services that are open to the public?

The cosmetology program has a large clientele, giving students experience in cutting, styling, manicures, pedicures and facials. There is also the community dental clinic. The clinic is a partnership between the college, area dentists, community service providers and medical/dental organizations. Once a month, patients who have been referred to the dental hygiene and/or assisting program at Columbus Technical College can receive dental care.

Aside from your job, what's the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?

The best-kept secret in the area is an organization I belong to called Toastmasters International. Toastmasters is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

There are 14 Toastmasters Clubs in the area so far. The club I belong to is Columbus Uptown Toastmasters. We meet on the first, third, and fifth Friday of every month at 7:05 a.m. at the Twelfth Street Deli & Catering Company (2nd Floor) at 117 12th Street. Come and join us.

Tamika D. McKenzie

Age: 37

Job: Fort Benning Recruiter at Columbus Technical College

Hometown: LaGrange, Ga.

Current home: Columbus

Family: Mother, Virginia McKenzie, Associate VP of Administrative Services at Columbus Technical College; father, Larry McKenzie, Supervisor at William Carter Co.

Education: LaGrange High School; Columbus State University, B.A. in History; Troy University, M.Ed. in History

Favorite book: "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Favorite movie: "The Shawshank Redemption"

Favorite quote: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." -- John Quincy Adams

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