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Bridgette McDonald awarded inaugural GACE Champion Award

(June 20, 2024) - Clayton State University’s Director of Career Services could do nothing but hide her face in her hands.

Clayton State University Director of Career Services Bridgette McDonald is a former GACE president and currently serves as a treasurer for the association

Bridgette McDonald said she was truly left speechless and “tickled pink” after being honored by the Georgia Assoc. of Colleges & Employers (GACE) with the organization’s first-ever Champion Award, which recognizes an established member for his or her numerous years of service, involvement, and investment in the organization.

In her storied career with GACE, McDonald won the Founders Award in 2014, which was the organization’s highest honor at that time.  She has also served as president, conference chair, and seemingly “almost every committee” in the association.

Her most recent board position has been treasurer for the organization. 

“When somebody said, ‘I think we should have a GACE Champion Award,’ I thought, ‘Why?’” McDonald said. “'We are all volunteers who love the organization; no one needs recognition for that beyond the Founders Award.' But, I kept quiet about that thought except to a few select board members.”

McDonald, laughing, then said that, “little did she know,” a few of her friends at GACE were planning on nominating her for the inaugural award the entire time!

With the many hats she’s worn in the association, the former president said that service to the organization has remained fulfilling for so long because she loves relating to the “young professionals” she watches grow every day, seeing herself “in every last one of them.”

She also believes her Champions Award truly encompasses her career with GACE and the passion behind assisting the many students she’s helped along the way.

“Being a part of the organization, I get to have the best of both worlds,” McDonald said. “I do what I do on behalf of students at all colleges, primarily Clayton State University, but I also have to be engaged with employers and Chambers of Commerce. It’s just bringing everything under one umbrella to be able to do what you love to do, which is what we tell students is a true calling.”

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