Visionary: Albert Sandford
VSU Student Earns Scholarship from "Undercover Boss"
“This wasn’t a ‘right place at the right time’ situation. This was meant to be.”
is how Missouri native Albert Sandford speaks of an experience that
ultimately afforded him a full scholarship to attend Valdosta State
University as well as nationwide exposure on a television show.
the fall of 2009, then-21-year-old Sandford was stretched thin working
as a guest services and front gate attendant at Silver Dollar City and
attending Ozark Technical College in Branson, Mo. He had worked at the
popular amusement park since he was 16 and was now using his earnings
to cover tuition and fees for college.
Despite the demands
of work and school, Sandford’s positive and professional attitude
remained apparent. Perhaps this is why he was asked to participate in
the filming of a training session for Silver Dollar City in preparation
of the park’s 50th anniversary celebration.
“I was asked to
spend the day with a gentleman by the name of John Briggs,” said
Sandford. “The filming took two days, during which time I trained him
like I would any new employee.”
What Sandford did not know
was that the man posing as John Briggs was really Joel Manby, the CEO
of Herschend Family Entertainment, the company that owns 24 amusement
parks nationwide including Silver Dollar City and Wild Adventures.
two weeks after the filming, Sandford was flown to work at a sister
park in Stone Mountain, Ga. for a day. Still oblivious to John Briggs’
true identity, Sandford was taken to Herschend’s corporate office in
Atlanta after work. There he learned who his trainee really was, and
that he had made such a profound impression on the CEO that he was
selected to receive a full scholarship for college. MORE
Center for Applied Social Science Receives Gift
Valdosta State University’s
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, and Marriage
and Family Therapy announces the opening of the Center for Applied
Social Sciences. The Board of Regents of the University System of
Georgia approved the center’s formation in July.
“Everyone has been very supportive … It has been a dream of mine to
start this center,” said Dr. Darrell L. Ross, department head and
center director, who joined the VSU family in August of 2010.
During a reception on Thursday, Sept. 8, representatives from
Meggitt Training Systems Inc., a division of Meggitt Defense Systems
Inc. located in Suwanee, Ga., presented the department $20,000 in
start-up money for the center.
“We picked Valdosta because of Dr. Ross, its size, its
aggressiveness and its desire to do business with the private sector,”
said Randall L. Murphy, new product development, Meggitt Training
Systems Inc. “We plan on bringing a lot of stuff down here and doing a
lot of big things, and we look forward to it.” MORE
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