By LAUREN MCDONALD firstname.lastname@example.org
Meg Amstutz is trading in her long-worn Bulldog red and black for Mariner blue.
Nearing the end of her first month as the interim president at College of Coastal Georgia, Amstutz said she's been warmly welcomed in the Golden Isles so far.
"I have met so many wonderful people, so many supportive people, both on campus and in the community," she said.
Amstutz is moving from Athens, her home for nearly the last 20 years, where she worked as the associate provost for academic programs at the University of Georgia.
In that position, which Amstutz held for three years, she provided oversight to some of the campus's larger institutional initiatives, oversaw the commencement committee and essentially supported programs that the university's president and provost felt were important.
Before serving in that position, she worked in the office of UGA's president for 16 years. She spent 10 years as an assistant to the president, working as a liaison to faculty and academic affairs, and then served as the president's chief of staff for six years.
"That's the position that probably best prepared me for working as interim president, because I was able to see the variety of issues that come into a president's office and think holistically about a campus and the needs of the students, the needs of the faculty the goals of all the constituents," she said.
She also brings 25 years of experience working in education to her new position in the president's office at CCGA.
Amstutz, who grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., earned her bachelor's degree in English from Centre College in Danville, Kent. She received her master's and doctoral degrees in English and American literature from Washington University in St. Louis.
She began working at UGA soon after graduate school, she said, and had wonderful experiences at the state's flagship institution.
"But what I also learned while I was there was what a great university system we have in the state of Georgia," she said. "It's one that really provides opportunities for students all across the state to achieve their academic dreams."
Amstutz officially began serving as interim president on July 1, following the retirement of former president Greg Aloia.
Right now, she said she's exploring her new home here in the Golden Isles, while working to meet and connect with community members.
"That's where I'm spending a lot of my time right now, is connecting with the community and making sure they understand how committed the folks at the college are to ensuring that we serve the community," she said.
Amstutz is the sixth individual to serve in CCGA's president's office since the institution's founding in 1961 as a two-year junior college. She said she hopes to continue building a stronger college.
"The biggest thing that any college can do to strengthen itself is to make sure that we have a strong faculty," she said. "So we'll be paying attention to openings and making sure we hire the best people as we can to fill those positions."
The success of the college reverberates out into the community, she said.
And it's clear, she said, that CCGA holds a special place in the hearts of many in the Glynn County.
"There is a great deal of affection and love for this college in the community," she said. "I sense that from many people who attended here when it was Brunswick Junior College or Brunswick College, as well as people who have children enrolled here at the College of Coastal Georgia."
Photo by Bobby Haven of The Brunswick News
Meg Amstutz has recently begun her new job as interim president of the College of Coastal Georgia.