Finding joy in serving the Georgia Tech community
Apr 17, 2017 | Atlanta
Georgia Tech has selected Sirocus Barnes as one of the recipients of the 2017 Outstanding Performance Staff Award. Barnes is the director of the Horizons at Georgia Tech program at the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC).
Horizons at Georgia Tech provides summer learning experiences to underserved K-12 students and supports them and their families during the school year. Through Barnes’s efforts, Georgia Tech is able to host more than 100 K-12 students during the summer for up to six weeks of enrichment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as swimming lessons in Georgia Tech’s aquatic facilities.
Not only is Barnes responsible for the program’s daily operations, he also ensures that funding is available, and he recruits teachers and volunteers. Notably, Barnes engages the entire Georgia Tech community. For example, Georgia Tech President G. P. “Bud” Peterson and College of Sciences Dean Paul M. Goldbart are regular guests as “Mystery Readers,” reading stories aloud to elementary students.
Participating families have consistently rated the program as “outstanding.” Donors consistently rate Barnes highly on leadership, organization, and service.
Ever tireless and industrious, Barnes has taught GT 1000, the seminar course to help freshmen students transition to college life and work, for the past three years.
Barnes also serves on the MLK Planning Committee. In that capacity, he initiated Georgia Tech’s MLK Sunday Supper. This gathering brings students, faculty, and staff together to discuss the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in the context of social issues facing the Georgia Tech campus and surrounding communities.
Recently, Barnes served as a staff advisor for one of Georgia Tech's Alternative Service Break trips to Nashville, Tennessee.
“I believe – just as Shirley Chisholm did – that service is the rent that we pay for the privilege of living on this Earth,” Barnes says. “I find joy in serving the Georgia Tech community beyond my professional responsibilities.”