NGTC Alumni Association Names 2022 Award Recipients

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Clarkesville, GA – North Georgia Technical College (NGTC) Alumni Association announced the 2022 Alumni Award recipients during the college’s alumni homecoming. Recipients are nominated and selected for the Young Alumni Award, Bridge Builder Award, Alumni Career Achievement Award, and Alumni Hall of Fame Award based on their outstanding contributions to the college and community.  

Carrie Rodriguez was named the 2022 Young Alumni Award winner. Rodriguez graduated from NGTC in 2017 with her associate degree in medical assisting and worked as a medical assistant before returning to NGTC as a medical assisting instructor. During her five years at NGTC, Rodriguez earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, a master’s in higher education leadership and served as the medical assisting program director at NGTC. She has also completed NGTC’s leadership academy and previously served as the department chair for the Blairsville campus. 

The Bridge Builder Award was presented to Julia Barnett, chief nursing officer of Union General Health System. Barnett was instrumental in assisting the college with the startup of the Associate of Science in Nursing and Practical Nursing programs and has served as an advocate for NGTC students by agreeing to provide clinical rotations at Union General Hospital and affiliate medical facilities. Barnett also assists with acquiring donations for the Practical Nursing program and serves on the NGTC board of directors.  

The Alumni Career Achievement Award was presented to Jeff Miller, protection specialist for the Soque River Watershed Association. Miller spent several years volunteering with the Soque River Watershed Association while pursuing his environmental technology degree at NGTC. After graduating, he continued to volunteer while pursuing his degree in early childhood care and education before becoming a full-time employee. He is now able to combine his knowledge from both programs and his years of volunteer experience to serve the community through science and outreach.  

Eddie Umberhandt was named the 2022 Alumni Hall of Fame Award winner. Umberhandt served as the automotive technology instructor at Lee Arrendale Transitional Center for many years. He is a former NGTC graduate and instructor and has continued to volunteer his time teaching in the prison even after his retirement. Umberhandt has served as a role model and mentor to many and is passionate about seeing inmates succeed upon their release.  

“We were so excited to be able to host our first Back to the Pack Homecoming event this year,” said NGTC Alumni Association president and student affairs specialist, Emily Sullens. “There were alumni in attendance that graduated as early as the 1950s, and it was wonderful to hear their stories and the memories they have from their time at NGTC. We also awarded some very deserving recipients with the 2022 Alumni Awards. It was so nice to everyone in attendance!”  

For more information regarding North Georgia Technical College programs or admission or the Alumni Association, visit or call 706-754-7700.  


Pictured (left to right): Emily Sullens, NGTC Alumni Association president; Carrie Rodriguez, NGTC Young Alumni Award winner; and NGTC president, John Wilkinson 
Pictured (left to right): Julia Barnett, NGTC Bridge Builder Award winner; and NGTC president, John Wilkinson  
Pictured (left to right): John Mather, NGTC Alumni Association director, and Jeff Miller, NGTC Alumni Career Achievement Award winner  
Pictured (left to right): Emily Sullens, NGTC Alumni Association president; Eddie Umberhandt, NGTC Alumni Hall of Fame Award winner; and Randall Fry, NGTC Alumni Association past president   


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