MGA Announces Speakers For 2024 Spring Graduation Ceremonies

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2024 12:00 AM
Categories: Students | Pressroom | School of Aviation | School of Arts and Letters | School of Health and Natural Sciences | School of Business | School of Education and Behavioral Sciences | School of Computing

Macon, GA


Middle Georgia State University is honored to host distinguished leaders in healthcare, government, education, aviation, and law as the keynote speakers at the 2024 spring graduation ceremonies.

Charles Briscoe, CEO, Houston Healthcare will address graduates at the 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, ceremony, while Macon-Bibb Mayor Lester Miller is scheduled to speak at the 3:30 p.m. ceremony that same day.

On Thursday, May 9, Dr. Dan Sims, Bibb County School Superintendent, will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony, while Rod McLean, Vice President and General Manager of the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions Line of Business at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, will speak at the 12:30 p.m. ceremony. The Honorable Crystal Jones, Chief Judge of Macon-Bibb County Municipal Court, will speak at the 3:30 p.m. ceremony.

Here’s more about each graduation speaker:

Charles Briscoe
President and Chief Executive Officer
Houston Healthcare

Charles Briscoe is president and chief executive officer of Houston Healthcare. After 17 years of service with a national healthcare provider, including two assignments as CEO, he joined Houston Healthcare as the chief operating officer/acting chief executive officer in December 2016.

In June 2019, Briscoe assumed the role of interim president and chief executive officer for Houston Healthcare, and, in January 2020, he was named president and CEO.

He is board certified in healthcare management and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the University of Georgia and a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Health Administration from Georgia State University.

Briscoe currently serves as a board member for the Georgia Hospital Association, 21st Century Partnership, Community Foundation of Central Georgia, and Central Georgia Technical College. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Middle Georgia State University Foundation.

Lester M. Miller
Macon-Bibb County

Mayor Lester M. Miller, a lifelong resident of Macon, is the second mayor of the Macon-Bibb County new consolidated government. Since taking office, he started and maintained initiatives aimed to keep streets and neighborhoods clean of trash and blighted structures, prevent violent crime, offer free mental health services, and provide a warm place to sleep and offer resources for those dealing with housing insecurity.

He also is helping lead – along with the Urban Development Authority, Eisenhower Business Improvement District, and others – the revitalization and rejuvenation of the Eisenhower Corridor by focusing on the Macon Mall.

His leadership has been recognized across the state and country. He was invited to speak on a panel at Harvard University about how the county has used American Rescue Plan funds to meet the needs of the community. His plan for the Resource Center and Macon Violence Prevention program both received the Visionary City Award from Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Trend Magazine.

A graduate of Mercer University, he has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Juris Doctor from the Walter F. George School of Law.

Dr. Dan A. Sims
Bibb County School District

Dr. Dan A. Sims, a Georgia native with a lifelong commitment to public education, became superintendent of the Bibb County School District in July 2022.

He brings 28 years of experience to the success of students, and he has demonstrated passion for community service throughout his professional career. During his time in Bibb County, he has shown a deep commitment to student and community engagement, all signaling that he is #Built4Bibb.

Prior to joining Bibb County School District, he served as an associate superintendent of schools in the Atlanta Public School (APS) System for six years, where he directly led and supported principals and other leaders as they pushed for excellence in student achievement. Before his time in APS, he spent 21 years with the Fulton County School System, living the unique experience of being a teacher, principal, leader, and coach in the same community in which he grew up.

A 2020 graduate of the Urban Superintendent’s Academy through the University of Southern California, Dr. Sims is a three-time graduate of Georgia State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics, a Master of Education Degree in Educational Leadership, and a Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Leadership.

Roderick McLean
Vice President and General Manager
Air Mobility & Maritime Missions Line of Business
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

Roderick McLean is vice president and general manager of the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions Line of Business at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Marietta, Georgia. He is responsible for the C-130 Hercules transport, the C-5 strategic airlifter, the LM-100J commercial air freight variant, and the P-3 Orion.

He also is the site general manager of the 5,000-employee Marietta facility and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility.

Previously, he was vice president and general manager for F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group (IFG) Programs at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas, and earlier in his career, he served as the F16 deputy vice president and F-16 program director for several countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.

McLean began working with Lockheed Martin in 1994 as a radar systems engineer in Moorestown, New Jersey. Before joining Aeronautics, he worked within Lockheed Martin Government Affairs supporting the Corporate Headquarters Executive Staff.

He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University, a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

The Honorable Crystal Jones
Chief Judge of Macon-Bibb County Municipal Court

The Honorable Crystal Jones, chief judge of Macon-Bibb County Municipal Court, graduated from what was then Macon State College, now Middle Georgia State University (MGA), in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Service.

Since then, the Macon native earned a law degree, worked in private practice, became a registered mediator for the state, served as senior assistant county attorney with the Macon-Bibb County Attorney’s Office, and, in 2019, was appointed chief judge of Macon-Bibb County Municipal Court.

While a Macon State student, Jones was elected Student Government Association president for two consecutive years, and she co-founded the Public Service Association. Twice she received the Distinguished Student Leadership Award. She graduated cum laude and was President’s Scholar for the Class of 2003.

In May 2006, she earned the Juris Doctor in Law from Mercer University where she was a Walter F. George Scholarship recipient.

Early in her career Jones worked in private practice with a Valdosta firm. Her areas of practice included the Georgia Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Georgia appellate work, civil defense litigation, personal injury, contracts, workers compensation defense, and court-appointed criminal defense.

She has served on MGA’s Alumni Board and Foundation Board of Trustees.