Macon State College MVPs is a web feature that profiles notable students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Full name: Sheila L. Knowles.
Age: 46. ("It's the new 36, so I'm told.")
Residence: Warner Robins.
High School: Warner Robins High School, Class of 1980.
Family: "My husband, Scott, is an Air National Guard member, and proudly serves in the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins AFB. My daughter, Christy, is a full-time student at University of South Carolina and is married to Ryan Lowe, who is a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. They are stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, SC. We have one dog, Allie."
Current Employment: "I am currently employed at Robins AFB, through the co-op program with Macon State, and serve as a logistics management specialist."
Degree Objective: Bachelor of science in business and information technology, with a major in accounting.
Class Rank: Senior.
Activities: "I have been a member of First United Methodist Church for 30 years, where I sing in the choir, play in the handbell choir, serve on the Finance Committee as secretary and serve as the Sunday School superintendent. I also have worked with the soup kitchen at our church."
Career Goals: "My goal is to learn as much as I can about the field that I am now working in (logistics) so that I can convert to a full-time position after graduation and work another 20 years or so at Robins."
She chose Macon State because ... "I was ready for a career change, had heard about the SCEP (co-op) program, and felt like it was time for me to make a move in that direction. I received an associate's degree in mathematics from Macon State in 1990, and I enjoyed that learning experience immensely. From my recent experience, the four-year degree in business and IT is excellent. The professors are dedicated to educating students, and I have definitely learned many things that not only will help me in my career, but that also apply to my personal life during these tough economic times."
The one thing that surprised her about Macon State was ... "How many students my age or older that were in my classes. Many of them are getting a first degree, and some, like me, are making career changes. I was also surprised at the number of students now attending Macon State. With two campuses, Macon State has the potential to grow beyond anything that I might have expected 15 years ago."
Her favorite professor is ... "Dr. Sharon Seay. Let me say that this was a hard question to answer because I had to pick one professor. I have deep respect for all my professors, and each one has taught me many things, but Dr. Seay reminds me of myself. I had her for Accounting 2101 and 2102, and she is one reason why I decided on accounting as my major. I was a teacher of mathematics for 15 years at the high school level, and as a former teacher, I can easily adapt to any teaching style quickly, but in her class I never felt the need to adapt. She works very hard to help her students understand concepts of accounting, as well as the applications that they will need on the job. She is fair and always available for help if students need extra tutoring, but she makes you want to learn what she is teaching. She actually worked in her field before she began teaching, so she has many real-world stories to share with students, which makes the content so much more applicable. So, thank you, Dr. Seay! I look forward to having you for more classes before I graduate."
Her favorite place to study is ... "At home, where I won't be distracted."
One thing people don’t know about her is ... "I love to run. I'm not saying I'm the most graceful runner, but I can do it for 45 minutes straight without passing out. I just love everything about the sport of running. I coached cross-country at Warner Robins High School for four years, and I am still the scorekeeper at home meets. I have found that many high school runners (who were very reluctant to run at first) have graduated, grown up, gotten jobs, had kids ... and still run."
Her friends make fun of her because ... "I am a neat freak. You should see my cubicle at work: everything on my desk is parallel or perpendicular to the wall. I used to work for a dentist, and it drove him crazy for me to constantly straighten his dental tools on the tray while he was working."
The one person she'd most like to meet is ... "Larry David. I am a huge fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld, and I would love to get to know him and see what is going on in his head. Probably more than we want to know."
Five years from now she sees herself ... "As a full-time employee at Robins AFB, doing exactly what I'm doing right now, because I love it!"