Middle Georgia State University Foundation Announces 2019 Legacy of Leadership and Outstanding Alumni Awards
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
Chris R. Sheridan, Jr. of Macon, who is chairman of the board of Sheridan Construction, is the 2019 recipient of the Legacy of Leadership honor, while Dr. Christina Chu, who conducts research in physics for a contractor, is this year's Outstanding Alumna in awards that the Middle Georgia State University Foundation recently announced.
The Legacy of Leadership award recognizes an individual, persons or group who has given exemplary service to Middle Georgia State (MGA) and the Foundation. It is the highest honor the MGA Foundation bestows. The Outstanding Alumnus award is given to selected alumni who have distinguished themselves academically, professionally, or through community involvement - and achieve positions of influence and regional or national reputation.
Sheridan, a longtime supporter of the Middle Georgia State University Foundation, received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Master of Business Administration from Tulane University. He worked as a field engineer, superintendent, estimator and project manager before assuming leadership of Macon-based Sheridan Construction in 1982. Sheridan leads or has led many professional organizations, including Associated General Contractors of Georgia, Mercer Engineering School Advisory Board, Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority. He has served on the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents Facilities Advisory Board. Sheridan also serves on several civic boards and has been recognized by the community on various occasions receiving many prestigious awards.
He and his wife, Ramona Sheridan, recently established the Sheridan Family Scholarship to support single parents who want to pursue degrees at Middle Georgia State in order to make better lives for themselves and their families. The first recipient of the scholarship, Crystal Maher, presented the Legacy of Leadership award to Sheridan at the President’s Gala, an event hosted by the MGA Foundation.
Chu, the Outstanding Alumna award recipient, is a 2006 graduate of Middle Georgia State, where she was a student in the Georgia Academy, an exclusive two-year dual enrollment residential program that allows high school students the opportunity to simultaneously earn a high school diploma from their home high school and an associate’s degree from Middle Georgia State. The Georgia Academy is based on the Cochran Campus.
Now a resident of Laurel, Md., Chu went on to obtain two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree from Embry-Riddle. She received all three degrees concurrently in 2010 at the age of 22. She is currently working on her Master of Business Administration.
The recipient of a NASA Harriet G. Jenkins Graduate Fellowship, Chu worked as a visiting scientist at NASA Goddard in Maryland while pursuing her Doctorate of Philosophy in Space Physics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
During her time at NASA Goddard, she received the John Mather Nobel Scholars award. Chu has given countless presentations at scientific conferences and authored or co-authored five peer-reviewed journal articles. At Embry-Riddle, she studied ways to represent the plasma environment around Earth statistically. In 2018, Chu won her first research grant to study high-energy electrons in the boundary regions of the space near Earth.