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Quadruple Eagle, emeritus leader to address fall 2023 graduates this December

Quadruple Eagle and nationally recognized social worker Jackie Brown-Pinkney, Ed.D., (‘93,’04,’06,’15) and Professor and Executive Director of Leadership, Emeritus, Todd Deal, Ph.D., will address Georgia Southern University’s Class of 2023 during the 32nd annual Fall Commencement ceremonies.

Graduates in Savannah will hear from Brown-Pinkney during the ceremony on Dec. 16 at Enmarket Arena, and graduates in Statesboro will hear from Deal during the ceremony on Dec. 14 at Allen E. Paulson Stadium. 

Jackie Brown-Pinkney, Ed.D.

Brown-Pinkney is a social worker within the Effingham County Public School System who earned national recognition from the School Social Work Association of America, which honored her with the prestigious title of 2023 School Social Worker of the Year.

Brown-Pinkney’s career spans over three decades in Effingham County schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and a master’s, specialist and doctorate degrees in educational leadership.

One of Brown-Pinkney’s most notable achievements is founding the Wesley J. Jenkins Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization established in loving memory of her nephew. Through this foundation, she orchestrates an annual congenital heart walk, raising vital funds for congenital heart defect research and offering scholarships to high school seniors pursuing higher education.

Brown-Pinkney’s pioneering spirit has fueled numerous impactful initiatives within the Effingham County school system and in her community. She serves on the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists, is president of the School Social Workers Association of Georgia, works as an adjunct professor for the Department of Social Work at Savannah State University, and is active in many community organizations.

Todd Deal, Ph.D.

Deal was named Executive Director of Leadership, Emeritus, upon his retirement from Georgia Southern University in 2018. Deal also accepted a new challenge as senior faculty and higher education practice lead at the Center for Creative Leadership, a global leadership development organization based in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

He leads a dynamic team of professionals who work across the spectrum of North American higher education to co-create leadership development initiatives for college students, faculty, staff and university executives. In addition, Deal is the founder, owner and chief learner of TDLearning, Inc., a leader development and leadership education company dedicated to engaging corporate, nonprofit, governmental and education partners to catalyze leadership innovation. 

Learn more about Georgia Southern’s Fall 2023 Commencement ceremonies by visiting


Posted in Graduate Stories, Press Releases