Distinguished Alumni of the Year
Rep. Elizabeth Porter
The 2014 Florida Gateway College Distinguished Alumnus of the year is Representative Elizabeth Porter. Elizabeth graduated from the college in 1984 with an associate in arts degree. She went on to attend Florida State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.
In 2004 Elizabeth was elected to the Columbia County Commission where she served as chairperson of the board in 2006. While on the county commission she served on the 3rd judicial circuit nominating commission, the Lake City Columbia County joint fire and recreation committees as well as the Suwannee Valley Transit Authority.
Liz has been very active in her community serving on the Safe and Drug Free Schools Advisory Council, the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Barron’s Ball, Friends of Alligator Lake, Altrusa International and Campaign Chair for The United Way of the Suwannee Valley.
In 2010 Liz was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. In the house she serves are Vice Chair of the Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee and Vice Chair of the Education Committee. She also serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee, K-12 Subcommittee, The Florida Select committee on Gaming and the Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations subcommittee.
Liz is married to Andrew Porter who teaches at Columbia High School. She has two children, Drew who will attend Columbia High School next year and Erin who is a senior at Columbia High School and is in our graduating class as a dual enrollment student. She will receive her college degree today, three weeks before she earns her high school diploma.
On her college days at Lake City Community College, Elizabeth says “I was shy leaving Columbia High School but got involved in activities like Drama club, and that allowed me to meet new people other than those who she grew up with” “The college also helped me to develop my own responsibility, my instructors expected me to be to class on time and to do the work and that doing my work was entirely up to me.” That she says helped to make her who she is today.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to present to you this year’s Florida Gateway College Distinguished alumnus, Representative Elizabeth Porter.
Distinguished Alumni of the Year
Sheriff Joey Dobson
The 2014 Florida Gateway College Distinguished Alumnus of the Year is Baker County Sheriff Joey B. Dobson.
Joey graduated from Baker County High School in 1967. Following his graduation, Dobson received a basketball scholarship from Florida Community College at Jacksonville, now Florida State College at Jacksonville. After injuring his knee, he decided to move back home and attend Lake City Community College, now Florida Gateway College. He graduated in 1969 with a degree in Management.
“I found out what I really wanted to do with my life while I was at Lake City Community College, and that was to help people,” Dobson said.
Dobson later attended Florida State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Criminology, and Santa Fe Community College, where he received his Law Enforcement Officer Instructor Certification. He put that certification to good use when he became an instructor at LCCC from 1984-1996.
Using the knowledge he gained through his postsecondary education, Dobson served several local and state agencies, including the Baker County Sheriff’s Office and Eighth Judicial Circuit Court State Attorney’s Office. Dobson also served as the Clerk of Circuit Court in Baker County from 1976-1980.
During his career, Dobson has been named the Baker County Jaycee’s “Outstanding Young Officer” award, a member of the Governor’s Council on Criminal Justice, and President of Baker County’s Sertoma Club. He helped establish Baker County’s first alcohol and drug abuse program and also supports Hubbard House Domestic Violence Center.
Dobson supports his community by his departmental involvement in the Florida Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, Macclenny Lions Club, Baker County Council on Aging, and Baker County Juvenile Justice Council.
Dobson and his wife, Linda, live in Macclenny. They have four children and six grandchildren.
Dobson says that, “I am certainly proof that you can start here and go anywhere.”