Dalton State Magazine Spring 2009
Dalton State magazine for alumni and friends, Spring 2009 issue
SPRING 2009 THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS 6 BARBARA SHIFfLER: Staying in Stitches 10 SHERIFF SCOTT CHITWOOD: A LIFE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 18 BIG BUCKS: ECONOMIC IMPACT A Message from the President Dr. John O. Schwenn Welcome to the newest issue of Dalton State Magazine for alumni and friends. Inside, you’ll read about several successful alumni, each making his or her mark on the world, and each bringing credit back to his or her alma mater. Right here in Dalton, alumnus Scott Chitwood keeps local residents safe as the longest-serving Sheriff of Whitfield County. In Atlanta and in Washington, D.C., alumni Paul Bennecke and Chad Brock pull the political levers to make things happen in elections and in the halls of government. In southeast Georgia, alumna Barbara Shiffler has traded in her accountant’s calculator for a quilting frame and is a nationally recognized award-winning quilter. And even overseas, alumni like Reba Anderson and Janice Barton have served our country and their fellow citizens of the world, and lived their dreams. Dalton State alumni do great things because of their experiences with great professors, and we’re proud to showcase a couple of our best instructors in this issue, too. Psychology professor Christy Price, long a student favorite, is receiving national recognition for her innovative teaching and classroom approaches. Accounting chair John Trussel is gaining renown for his work with nonprofit organizations and his new perspectives on the numbers game. On campus and off, Dalton State’s impact – through our alumni, our faculty and staff, and even in our everyday operations – is felt in hundreds of places by thousands of people. The stories we tell in this issue prove that. Share your story with us. Go to www. daltonstate.edu/alumni and catch us up on your accomplishments. We’d love to hear how you’re doing. SPRING 2009 THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS Dalton State Then & Now 4 Big Bucks: Economic Impact 18 Barbara Shiffler: Staying in Stitches 6 Profile of a Donor: Billie & Norris Little 20 9 Faculty & Staff 22 Alum’s journey from “poli sci” major to Georgia “pol” Moving the College forward Sheriff Scott Chitwood: A Life in Law Enforcement Around Campus 24 Alumni Profiles 26 Alumni Notes 30 1969-2009 Forty years of growth and change A pattern for success Paul Bennecke: Producing Results Alum reflects on serving the community Dr. Christy Price: Turning Toward Active Learning Psychology professor wins prestigious awards Dr. John Trussel: Accounting for Success It all adds up for the Accounting Chair 10 Dalton State’s significant economic impact on northwest Georgia Fulfilling their “responsibility to give back” What’s happening now Catching up with classmates 13 See what our alums are doing 16 Dalton State Magazine is a publication of the DSC Foundation and the Public Relations Office of Dalton State College. Comments or questions can be directed to 706.272.4469 or 706.272.4587. Editors, David Elrod and Jane Taylor; Writers: Jane Taylor, Josh Wilson, and David Elrod; Photographers: Frank Fortune, William Massey, Linda Massey, Stanley Leary, and Phillip Spears; Design, Second Shift Design LLC, Atlanta. Dalton State College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; Telephone Number: 404.679.4501) to award the Associate and Bachelor’s degrees. Notice of Nondiscrimination Admission policies, activities, services, and facilities of the College do not exclude any person on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, or disability. Dalton State College is an Affirmative Action Program institution. Any individual who requires assistance for admission to or participation in any program, service, or activity of Dalton State College under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the designated Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator: Dr. John Hutcheson, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Memorial Hall, Room 122, 706.272.4421. page 6 page 9 page 13 page 16 page 18 page 24 S TAT S 1969 2 Then Dalton State… In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, the internet was being developed in a University of California lab, and Mick Taylor replaced Brian Jones as guitarist of the Rolling Stones in time to perform their new hit “Honky Tonk Woman” in front of a quartermillion people in London’s Hyde Park. On this side of the pond and closer to campus, more than three dozen faculty and staff members joined the College. The Associate of Arts in Nursing program welcomed 61 students, while the business administration program was expanding its course offerings. 46 Number of faculty 20 Number of new faculty 16 Number of staff 8 Number of academic programs 5 Number of buildings 67 Students graduating 10,000 Books in library Dean Benjamin Wygal unveiled plans for a new 30,000 square foot library. That year the college’s library and its 10,000 volumes were housed in what is now the Westcott Administration Building. Back then only the Westcott Building, the gymnasium, a single classroom building (now known as Sequoya Hall), the Student Services Building (today the Pope Student Center), and a maintenance building existed. $70 Tuition and Fees (Quarter) The Tams – “the sensation of the Southeast” – performed in the gym. Sponsored by the Student Government Association, they brought their hits “Untie Me” and “What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)” to campus after touring with mega-stars such as James Brown and Otis Redding and performing with Ray Charles and The Supremes. None Technology Fee In their first year of intercollegiate competition, the men’s basketball team posted a winning season. At the first annual basketball banquet, LSU legend and then-NBA player Joe Dean was the guest speaker and Coach Melvyn Ottinger presented awards to five members of his 12 man roster. The academic year culminated with an historic occasion: the College’s first commencement exercises. On Sunday, June 8, in the gymnasium, 67 students graduated with certificates and associate degrees. 4 960 Student enrollment Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 $10 Student Activity Fee $35 Average cost of books for full-time enrollment None Parking Fee $31,690.35 Foundation assets S TAT S 9 2009 4,957 Student enrollment Now Dalton State… 132 Number of faculty 25 Number of new faculty 174 Number of staff 117 Number of academic programs 10 Number of buildings 562 Students graduating 130,470 + 56,881 e-books Books in library $1,085 Tuition and Fees (Semester) Time flies. Forty years ago the first graduating class of then-Dalton Junior College made its way into the world. “Make a difference,” they were told during their commencement exercises. Whether in business or education or government or healthcare, in raising their families, in being productive members of their communities, and even in their involvement with Dalton State over the years, the differences they made are felt in hundreds of places and by hundreds of people every day. Their connection to their alma mater is unique; their meaning to Dalton State is immense. They were the first students in the doors and they were the first to graduate. Everything they did in between was a first: the first first day of class, the first student activities, the first academic awards, the first basketball games, the first scholarships, the first student government association, the first student newspaper. They even blazed the first sidewalks. President Arthur Gignilliat didn’t want sidewalks poured on campus until he could see where students were walking between buildings, so he let them lead the way. Everyone on campus today walks in those footsteps. $40 Student Activity Fee This summer the College will host these honored alumni for their 40th anniversary reunion. It’s not every institution that can boast of having its very first graduating class back on campus. $48 Technology Fee They’ll see the many changes that have taken place in the forty years since they were students here – and yet much will be familiar to them. $500 Average cost of books for full-time enrollment $65/Vehicle/Term Parking Fee $32,273,242 Foundation assets The changes that have occurred are, in large part, physical and cosmetic. What lies beneath – the College’s mission, the faculty’s commitment to teaching, the staff’s assurance of superior service, the campus leadership’s dedication to the place and its people – are constant. More than buildings and parking lots and even academic courses and textbooks, these are the core of Dalton State. Time flies, but some things never change. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 5 Barbara Shiffler Staying in Stitches 6 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 A sk Barbara Shiffler, Class of 1976, what she learned at then-Dalton Junior College and her answer is simple and direct. “I can do anything,” she says. She credits her accounting instructor, Ms. Dottie Smith, with instilling in her the notion that anything was possible with an education. “She was my role model,” Barbara recalls. “Her example as a female accounting instructor in what was then a maledominated field inspired me.” As the first in her family to earn a college degree, Barbara knew that in addition to Dottie Smith’s role model-influence, she was also responsible for pushing herself to succeed. Dean of the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University. “By that time, I was making good money,” she remembers, “even more than Ron.” But when Ron got an offer to teach at the University of Louisville, the offer was too good to refuse. So they moved to Kentucky and “that’s what changed my life.” While the Shifflers were in Louisville, Barbara taught corporate finance and accounting at the university. Then, to pursue “something fun and therapeutic” to relieve the stress of academia, she signed up for a six-week introductory quilting class at a local quilt shop. “I knew at the end of those six weeks that I had found what I would do for the rest of my life.” Among her college knick-knacks in her Statesboro, Georgia, home is a small plaque she received when she was named recipient of DJC’s outstanding business administration student award. She stores it with her DJC diploma, still immaculate in its blue leatherette folder. In the 24 years since, she’s made nearly 50 quilts. And she left academia for good. “DJC gave me a good education, a good foundation for what was to come. It all started there,” she says, smiling at the memory of being in the first generation to attend the young institution. “I also like that it requires handwork, that it’s a tactile art form,” she points out. “The college was there for us, now it’s time to step up.” “My love is hand-quilting,” she claims. At 12 to 14 stitches to the inch on some of her quilts, she stays in stitches a good portion of the time. She recently stepped up with a gift to endow the Barbara Shiffler Award for Business Teaching in Dalton State’s School of Business. The gift will provide an annual stipend for a professor teaching in one of the school’s several bachelor’s degree programs. She cites other advantages to her educational experience here. “I gained confidence with every course and learned something that stayed with me to this day: perseverance.” “I love the creative process of quilting,” she says, noting that no one else in her family, except her mother, had the artistic gene. It’s a lot of handwork, actually, because Barbara doesn’t use a sewing machine to quilt. All of her quilting is done by hand. Managing time is something that all accountants learn early and that lesson has stayed with this full-time quilter. She maps out the days of the week on a whiteboard in her quilting studio and she keeps a record of the number of hours she spends on a quilt. “Right now I try to spend about 30 hours a week quilting,” she says, but quickly admits that her avocation doesn’t contribute a great deal to her household’s bottom line. She graduated from DJC and transferred to Georgia State University, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA in finance, all in night school over five years. It takes about 1,000 hours to craft a queen-size quilt by hand. She worked for a utility company during the day, overseeing budgets and gaining practical experience in her chosen field. Sustained Glass She also met Ron Shiffler, who was finishing his doctorate and teaching at Georgia State, and they married on St. Patrick’s Day in 1982. Today, Ron is She has three or four quilts in process at any one time. Some of them are commissioned by friends or others who have heard about her through word of mouth. Others are for special events, like the one she did for Georgia Southern University’s centennial in 2006, which now hangs in the campus library, or the one she’s working on now for a charity auction. Still others are for competition, Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 7 and one suspects that those are the quilts that keep Barbara Shiffler going. young college co-ed, “I can’t wait to quilt through it – my hands are just itching.” The self-admitted NASCAR fan – “I’ve always liked fast cars” – is fueled by the competitive urge. The top of her work wall is festooned with 26 ribbons her quilts have won. On another wall hangs a plaque that sums up her philosophy: “Any day spent quilting is a good day.” “I’m constantly working on competition pieces,” she confides. Nearly half of the 50 quilts she’s made over two decades have been entered into regional and state fairs, quilt shows and competitions. Twenty of her productions are “juried quilts,” meaning that a sample of the pattern and stitching had to be submitted beforehand in order to be considered then accepted for the competition by a jury comprised of quilting experts. And all of her quilts, pursuant to standard operating procedure in the quilt world, have names. “Purple Daze,” a sunburst-pattern quilt of bold violet and soft lavender, lilac, and orchid tones she displays on her bed, won Best-in-Show at the Palmetto Quilt Guild at Hilton Head Island. “Sustained Glass,” reminiscent of an antique stained glass window and so-called for the sustained effort it took to finish it – five years – won Best-in-Show at the Georgia National Fair. “Fine Feathered Star,” a gorgeous Wedgwood blue and white piece quilt, won the blue ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair and went on to win a Better Homes & Gardens magazine award. “Grandmother’s Psychedelic Flower Garden” (pictured left) is a hallucinogenic fantasy of tie-dyed hues juxtaposed with a zebra print surrounding flowers in brilliant hues of purple, blue, and green. It was displayed earlier this year at the American Quilters’ Society Quilt Show and Contest in Paducah, Kentucky – the premier quilting show in the world – and is one of five juried quilts she has shown there over the years. There are no scissors here. “They don’t cut straight lines,” she asserts. Instead, she reaches for an ergonomically-designed rotary cutter and cuts a piece of fabric. “See?” It’s perfect. She works alone, but prefers to share her space with music. Her tastes are eclectic. She designs patterns with Metallica but likes to stitch to New Age. On the day of this visit, soft jazz fills the room. “Once I’ve started,” she says of quilting with her music, “I’m in the zone.” Her love of music extends to another room where she has guitars, an amplifier and a microphone. Asked what she sings, she likes “pretty much anything,” citing country, pop, and even John Denver. “My best audience is a mirror,” she laughs. In addition to her competition quilts, she enjoys working with her local quilters’ guild, an assemblage of like-minded individuals who first came together nearly four years ago to share their love of quilting. Today the guild, called “Staying in Stitches,” boasts 60 members. Quilting might be left-brain or artistic, but Barbara credits her right-brain accounting background with helping her learn to stitch. “Like accounting, quilting is all about precision and technique,” she says. Every stitch on a quilt, it turns out, like every number on a balance sheet, has to be in exactly the right place. One of the several quilts she currently has underway will be called “Midnight Rendezvous.” It features polychromatic butterflies and patterned flowers on a black background, or quilt top. “The inspiration for that was something I’ve always wondered: do butterflies go to the flowers at night?” The quilt says they do. She works in a studio on the second floor of her home. The high-ceilinged room benefits from a Southern exposure: a large Palladian window provides ample natural light. The 24’ by 28’ space is a maze of cutting table, sewing station, ironing boards, two quilt frames (each about the size of a church pew and each with a quilt-in-progress), her “work wall” where she pins patterns on her newest quilt, and shelves upon shelves of fabric that she’s collected and saved for just the right quilt. Of one sumptuous fabric in particular, which she will use on “Midnight Rendezvous,” she says with the excitement of a 8 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 Purple Daze ProducingPaul Results Bennecke Paul Bennecke, left, confers with Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. For Paul Bennecke, politics is a bottom-line business. “At the end of the day, results matter,” he says point blank, when asked what attracted him to a career in politics. Bennecke went to the University of Georgia after finishing at Dalton State. The College Republican Association asked him to become the Executive Director of the statewide College Republicans. The 1999 political science grad’s tally sheet of accomplishments would certainly hold up under a recount. “We recruited about 5,000 members in one semester at UGA,” he recalls. “It was the largest chapter in the country.” When he was a student at Dalton State, he helped launch the campus chapter of College Republicans, a politically-motivated group of conservative twenty-somethings. His first political event was a re-election rally for then-U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell, accompanied by Georgia Congressmen Nathan Deal and Bob Barr, and Texas Senator Phil Gramm. One day at Georgia, Bennecke was having lunch with his girlfriend, whom he would later marry, when his cell phone rang. The caller was a state senator from middle Georgia who had recently switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party. “It was in the auditorium in Memorial Hall. We had 300 people, including a lot of community leaders. That was my first real dip into politics.” Coming off the success of that event, Bennecke was asked to host the 9th Congressional District Republican Party Convention in Bandy Gymnasium. Nearly 800 delegates from the district attended. “Paul, I’m thinking of running for governor, and I’d like to talk with you about it. Can we meet tomorrow morning?” Bennecke agreed, thinking he was going to talk about recruiting college students to volunteer in this campaign. The next morning, he met his caller in an Atlanta Waffle House and they talked for three hours. “He asked me all sorts of questions and then two days after our meeting he called to ask me to be his political director,” Bennecke remembers. And that’s how Paul Bennecke helped elect Sonny Perdue as Georgia’s first Republican governor in over a century. The day Perdue was sworn in as governor, Bennecke took over as Political Director for the Georgia Republican Party. During the next two years, he played a pivotal role in electing 24 representatives and four senators to the Georgia General Assembly and turning both the House and Senate over to Republican control for the first time since Reconstruction. Today, Bennecke works as the Deputy Executive Director and Political Director of the Republican Governors Association based in Washington, D.C. Commuting between Washington and Atlanta, Bennecke works with governors, the Republican National Committee, and grass-roots organizations on political strategy and campaigns. “People want someone who provides results,” he says with passion. Voters on both sides and in the middle are likely to see much more of Paul Bennecke’s results in elections to come. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 9 SHERIFF SCOTT CHITWOOD A LIFE IN L AW ENFORCEMENT Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood recalls a day during his freshman year when legendary Roadrunners’ coach Melvyn Ottinger, known affectionately as “Coach O,” was watching a couple of intramural basketball teams scrimmage in the Bandy Gym. had been rivals during high school, there was still the element of competition that you get with sports, but we had come together to be on the same team in college. It was a great time to be in school.” “Coach O came up and asked me if I would try out for the Roadrunners,” Chitwood recalls. “He said, ‘I want you to come out for the team next fall.’ It was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received, and one of my fondest memories of being in school here.” Although Chitwood elected not to go out for the team, his impression of Coach O as a disciplined role model and the close relationships he forged with professors like George Jones, Bill Jump, and Terry Christie formed the backbone of many of his fondest memories of what was then Dalton Junior College. “The College was pretty new at that time,” says Chitwood, a 1975 graduate in criminal justice. “A lot of people that I knew from Dalton High were coming to school here as were kids from county high schools that I had competed against when I played basketball at DHS. It turned out to be a great close-knit group of folks. And for some of us, who 10 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 One of the misconceptions about the College at that time, recalls Chitwood, was that coming to school in your hometown was like going to “13th grade.” “I had heard that kind of talk before I got there. But I learned very quickly in the classroom that the instruction was definitely college level.” Like other colleges in the 1970s, Dalton Junior College was not immune to the cultural experiments of the day, including “streaking.” “We even had our own streaking parade, although on a much smaller scale than you’d have found at other schools during the 70’s,” he says. “It was actually kind of comical. Word had gotten out and the city police came down to campus and were lined up, waiting to catch the streakers.” While Chitwood was not officially a member of law enforcement during Dalton’s streaking episode, he did manage to make a critical career decision while he was enrolled in DJC when he began working fulltime for the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office. â€œThe College was pretty new at that time, [but] the instruction was definitely college level. â€? Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 11 A day in the life of Sheriff Chitwood Most mornings, Sheriff Scott Chitwood arrives at his “home away from home,” the Whitfield County Jail, by 6:30 a.m. “I got to know some of the officers there and decided to give it a try,” he recalls of his early days working as a dispatcher at the old jail on Hamilton Street. “I discovered that I really liked it.” Following graduation, he chose to stay with the Sheriff’s Office, and except for a few short breaks along the way, he’s spent over 35 years in law enforcement and security. Elected to his first term as Sheriff in 1992, Chitwood is currently in his fifth term, earning the distinction of being the longest serving sheriff in the department’s history. In 2002, he was named Sheriff of the Year by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, an organization comprised of sheriffs from each of the 159 counties in Georgia. During his career, Chitwood has witnessed significant changes within the city and the county. In the “old” days, says Chitwood, many of the roads that he patroled in the county were unpaved. Over the course of his career, he’s watched as new roads, buildings, and carpet mills have been built, the county’s infrastructure has expanded, and advances in technology have revolutionized the business of public safety. “The level of protection has certainly improved over the years,” he says. “Our officers now wear bullet-proof vests and have access to TASER guns to stop criminals. And with cell phones, two-way radios, and widespread computer access, we’re able to be more efficient than we could have been in the past. “And the forensic end of what we do was almost unheard of 20 years ago,” he says. “But even so,” he says with a laugh, “we’re not CSI. A lot of television programs lead people to believe that we go around shooting people all the time, but in this job you may make it through your whole career without firing your weapon. “There’s no doubt, though, that law enforcement continues to be a very demanding, very challenging profession.” 12 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 The $21 million facility is shared by nearly 200 deputies and staffers who oversee the maintenance and security of the 552-bed facility, which houses an average of 460 inmates on any given day. During a typical day, Chitwood makes and returns phone calls, goes to court to assist judges, engages in public speaking activities, and deals with the public, listening to concerns, fielding suggestions, relaying praise where praise is due, and interacting with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. But not every day is typical. “It seems to be true in law enforcement,” Sheriff Chitwood muses. “You never think ‘it’s going to happen here,’ but as public safety officials you plan for the worst, and hope it never happens. That hit home for us last year. The unimaginable happened when the McCamy Law Firm was bombed.” That event demonstrated the strong sense of cooperation and collaboration between the City of Dalton Police Department and the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Chitwood says. “We work very closely with the City of Dalton police force and assist each other on calls when needed,” he says. “When the law firm was bombed, we stepped in and helped the city police by helping them handle other calls and assisting with the investigation. “I’m very proud of our deputies and our staff for the professionalism that we have projected to the community,” says Chitwood. “It’s just all part of a day’s work.” E Excellence in Teaching Dr. Christy Price Turning Toward Active Learning “There are all sorts of negative things we do to adjust,” Professor of Psychology Christy Price explains to her class. The group of about 40 students enrolled in “Psychology of Adjustment” has just finished watching a video clip which shows wheelchair-bound Vera, a woman ravaged by advancing age and the aftereffects of a stroke, engaging in a combative exchange with her friend Delores, who urgently, but futilely, tries to calm Vera down. “In this case, what’s the adjustment issue for Vera?” Price asks. “Why is she so demanding? Why does she keep saying ‘I want this,’ and ‘I want that’?” Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 13 Professor Christy Price, right, moves learners through group activities, discussion, case studies, and role plays to create an active learning environment in the classroom. “She’s had a stroke,” one student blurts out. “So she’s angry, frustrated.” Another volunteers, “She’s displaced her anger.” “Yes,” agrees Price. “And Vera’s response to her displaced anger puts her in the maladaptive adjustment category, because she’s made the decision to take her own life.” A lively discussion ensues, as students dissect the maladaptive coping strategies employed by Vera and Delores, debating which other, more positive, courses of action the two could have chosen that would have resulted in a less tragic outcome. The debate is followed by a mini-lecture, complete with handouts which highlight its critical points, that will serve as study notes for the next quiz. And then Price divides the students into a dozen groups of three or four to engage in role play scenarios to illustrate common human behaviors: passivity, attentiveness, preoccupation, contempt, and others, both negative and 14 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 positive. Within minutes, each group has created a short skit to present to the other students, who try to accurately diagnose the behaviors they’ve just witnessed. This is just a typical day in a typical class taught by Price, who has received multiple awards in recognition of her teaching expertise, including one of only three University System of Georgia Teaching Excellence Awards for 2008. She received the DSC Foundation’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2007. And this winter, she was one of 10 professors and administrators nationwide to be named an Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, an organization based at the University of South Carolina. Chosen from among 84 nominees, Price believes her selection as a top-ten finalist is the result of her work on Dalton State’s “Retention, Progression, and Graduation” initiative, her leadership in faculty development workshops within the USG, and her presentations at Price, who currently teaches courses in Introduction to Psychology, Applications in Psychology, and The Psychology of Adjustment, engages learners in an active learning approach, utilizing such teaching methods as Socratic questioning, discussion, digitized video clips, application exercises, case studies, group activities, demonstrations, role plays, and computer simulations. “In the classroom, I use a variety of techniques to try to get students to think critically and to analyze situations,” says Price. “It’s important for an educational experience to be one in which learning is active, not passive,” she adds, noting that her students earn points in class for contributing to the learning environment. Her teaching techniques pull from the latest applications and research gleaned from both cognitive and educational psychology disciplines. One very successful technique has been to begin each class period with a question – a mystery or problem to be solved. Back in her Tuesday/Thursday morning Psychology of Adjustment class, Price began the day’s lecture by posing a question about Vera’s adjustment issues, brought about by the uncontrollable byproducts of illness and aging. While she and her class explored the multiple issues inherent in the women’s complicated relationship, she stressed that if the two had responded to the crisis by “turning toward” each other, the outcome might have been different. “What we’re striving for in our own lives is being attentive to others and learning how to ‘turn toward,’ as opposed to ‘turn away from,’ others,” Price reminds the class. “But to do that we have to be able to analyze just what’s going on with them and what they’re communicating to us.” The Five “Rs” for Teaching the Millennial Learner Relevance The information-savvy millennial generation expects course content to be connected to current culture and for learning outcomes and activities to be made relevant to them and to their future. Rapport Extremely relational, millennials are accustomed to being the center of their parents’ lives, and appreciate it when professors show great interest in them as well. Rationale Millennials typically reject or rebel against attempts to control their behavior. It is important for professors to explain the rationale behind course policies and assignments so that the student understands their purpose and sees their benefit. Excellence in Teachin statewide and national conferences on the topic of “Motivating and Engaging Millennial Students.” Relaxed This generation has brought about a decline in formality and social rules regarding dress, attitudes, and communication. They thrive in a comfortable learning environment and enjoy informal interactions with their professors. Research-based methods Millennials prefer a variety of active learning methods, such as visuals, cases, demonstration, collaboration, and application activities as opposed to the traditional lecture-only format. She ended the class by making the point that “we can have conflict, without creating distance.” While that lesson might be too late for Vera and Delores, it could have a lasting impact on generations of students to come. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 15 Dr. John Trussel Accounting for Success “Even in a bad economy, the field of accounting is somewhat recession proof,” believes Dr. John Trussel, DSC Foundation Chair and Professor of Accounting. “During the first semester, I was learning my way around, just getting my feet wet,” he says. “This semester I feel right at home.” “All companies, even those that are bankrupt, have to have their financial statements prepared; they also have to file their taxes, so many accounting firms are still hiring.” One reason that he feels right at home is because he’s getting to do many of the types of activities that drew him to academia in the first place: teaching accounting courses each semester, conducting research, submitting articles for publication, and working with area charitable organizations to assess the states of their financial health. Despite the poor state of the national economy, Trussel, who formerly taught at Maryland’s Hood College and Penn State University, predicts a positive job outlook for the first 10 or so students expected to graduate in May from Dalton State’s new BBA in Accounting program. “One good thing about accounting firms is that they’ll typically hire graduates right out of college, unlike some types of businesses that won’t even interview potential employees who don’t have a few years of related work experience under their belts.” The possibility of earning a high salary for an entry-level position, plus the availability of jobs in such diverse workplaces as CPA firms, corporations, government and non-profit organizations, make the field appealing to many students. Around 120 students at Dalton State have declared accounting as their major, Trussel says, noting that that number is likely to grow as the program becomes more established. “Accounting is a very challenging major,” says Trussel, “but it’s one that is in demand and that pays relatively well from the outset. Typically, students who succeed in accounting have certain characteristics. They are usually well organized, have good quantitative and analytical skills, and have good communication skills.” Trussel, who joined the Dalton State faculty this past August, jokingly refers to his first year at Dalton State as the “tale of two semesters.” 16 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 On campus, he also heads up several internal committees for the School of Business and serves as the club advisor for the new Accounting Club. Recently, Trussel and colleague Laura Rose, an Associate Professor of Accounting, co-authored an article called “Fair Value Accounting and the Current Financial Crisis,” which will appear in The CPA Journal. Trussel, a graduate of both the University of South Florida and The George Washington University, says he prefers to conduct academic research that can be practically applied. Using past research, he created a software product that uses financial data to predict whether or not a charity is likely to become financially distressed. Called “Financial Analysis of Charities,” the product is sold through the website LintonShafer.com. His updated version, ProFound, is currently being beta tested and will likely be on the market soon. “Business schools usually don’t cover non-profit agencies, including charities, in depth; those types of organizations are more likely to be studied in public administration programs,” he says. “So if you’re an academic researcher, doing research on the financial management of non-profits can be really interesting because not as much has been done on it. Your research can end up having a greater impact.” Accounting – Future Growth, Local Promise The demand for new accountants is likely to increase substantially in the near future, say several local Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), particularly because of the more complicated compliance issues imbedded into recent laws that pertain to fiscal and tax matters. “The need for accountants is going to increase, not decrease,” insists Larry Winter, Managing Partner for Winter and Scoggins, CPAs. “Historically, we have had to recruit our accountants from outside of the region,” he continues. “Dalton State’s new BBA in Accounting program is an asset to our students locally, because they will be able to earn that degree here and remain in the area after graduation if they choose. And the program will also prove to be an asset for our business community as they will be able to hire employees who are likely to have strong ties to the region.” Michael Gardner, a CPA with the Morehouse Group who serves as the President of the Northwest Chapter of the Georgia Society of CPAs, says that the chapter’s commitment to encouraging students to pursue a career in accounting has led to the creation of five annual scholarships for Dalton State accounting students. “We have partnered with the Educational Foundation of the Georgia Society of CPAs to provide these scholarships in hopes of attracting students to the profession and assisting them along their educational journey,” Gardner says. “Our goal is to create a pipeline of new accountants coming into the industry, not only those who were already planning on a career in the field, but we’re also trying to attract the best and the brightest of the region’s future students to choose accountancy as their major.” Gardner says the local and state chapter also provide a $1,000 gift to the C o l l e g e ’s accounting program each year. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 17 Economic Impact Eighty-eight million dollars. That’s a lot of money. And that’s how much Dalton State College is worth annually to the region it calls home. A recent study shows the economic impact the 35-campus University System of Georgia – including Dalton State – has on our state. “All 35 of the University System’s institutions are economic engines in their communities and the state,” says study author Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Director of Economic Forecasting for the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. “The benefits they provide permeate both the private and public sectors of the communities that host the campuses.” Lest that sound like academic jargon, consider this: • Dalton State’s expenses for things like payroll, operations, and construction, combined with the spending of its 4,957 students, pump $88,000,000 into the regional economy every year. That’s enough to buy every current student a new car and give them a $1,000 gas card. 18 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 • For every one of the 338 jobs on campus, an additional 1.4 jobs exist off-campus as a result of Dalton State’s spending. That’s an additional 611 jobs in the region due to the College’s presence. “Colleges and universities generally afford cultural opportunities to their home communities that other organizations simply do not or cannot offer,” says Dalton State President Dr. John Schwenn. • Student spending alone tops $43 million a year. That means average student spending approaches $10,000 a year with area retail shops on everything from class supplies to fast food. “Here at Dalton State, we host musical performances and public lectures by corporate CEOs and authors. All of these events are open to the public.” $ “These economic impacts demonstrate that continued emphasis on colleges and universities as a pillar of the state’s economy translates into jobs, higher incomes and greater production of goods and services for local households and businesses,” Humphreys says. Local officials agree. Moreover, the College attracts a talented and diverse array of educated professionals to fill faculty and administrative positions on campus and to live in local communities. “Our faculty hires in the past few years have been truly remarkable,“ says Dr. John Hutcheson, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The College makes the community more “We’re attracting faculty who hold vibrant,” says Dalton Mayor David doctorates from Ohio State University, Pennington, who is also an alumnus George Washington University, of Dalton State. “Dalton State and even Oxford University to is one of our most important come here to live and work “Having a local assets to attract young people and contribute in their institution that is part of to live and work here.” communities. We make a big impact with new hires the University System “Further, Dalton State’s like that.” growth, combined with one of of Georgia means we the greatest concentrations of Dalton-Whitfield Chamber can meet the needs of manufacturing in the country, of Commerce Vice President positions our community to Phyllis Stephens concurs with any new employer.” stand out from just about any that assessment. other comparable city in the U.S.” “Dalton State is an important The College is used as a recruiting component of our local business tool to attract new business and industry mix and an asset to our community. to the area as well. College faculty and staff add their expertise to community forums and volunteer their time in a number “We discuss Dalton State in every meeting with a of strategic ways.” prospective new company,” says Melanie Suggs, Director of the Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority. As the College grows, its impact – economic, cultural, “Having a local institution that is part of the University social – will continue to expand and benefit its home System of Georgia means we can meet the needs of any region. new employer.” “This fall we’re going to add student housing on In addition to the dollars flowing through the regional campus,” says President Schwenn. “And we’ll be taking economy as a result of the College’s spending and a close look at the performing arts and athletics. These its value as an educational resource, there are other new facets of the College will have significant impacts intangible benefits that accrue to the area as a result of on the entire northwest Georgia region.” the College’s presence. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 19 [Profile of a Donor] Billie and Norris Little â€œAll the Differenceâ€? 20 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 V olunteering takes many forms: serving on nonprofit boards, working with Boy and Girl Scouts, even taking out the backseat of your car to drive four sheep to a live Nativity scene. Dalton State donors Billie and Norris Little have done all of that and more during their lifetimes spent giving their time and talents to organizations they care about. “You make the time to do what you want to do,” says Norris. “In our experience we are happiest when we are helping others.” The two-time chairman of the Dalton State College Foundation and his wife have made something of a second career out of helping others. Together, they have served 16 years on the Foundation board, and Norris continues as a Trustee today. The pinnacle of their four decades of involvement on campus was their leadership roles and commitment to the DSC Foundation’s $21 million “Fulfilling the Vision” campaign completed in 2008. “That was a very satisfying experience,” recalls Norris, who was active in getting the campaign started and in soliciting major gifts from personal and corporate donors. “To realize the depth of support this community has for the College was gratifying. It was all about the collective vision of Dalton State moving to the next level.” Billie was one of the charter trustees of the Foundation when the campus opened in 1967. “I was awed to be asked to serve,” she remembers. “I knew the community needed the College. A college here could make all the difference.” The Littles say they are impressed by the difference Dalton State has made during its four decades of service to northwest Georgia. “There were obvious benefits to the area when the College opened and those benefits have increased over the years,” reflects Norris. “From training area workers with new technologies, to responding to industry’s need for expertise in chemistry, engineering, marketing, and accounting, the College has been a reliable partner.” Norris, who retired from Shaw Industries in 2001 after a career of progressively increasing corporate responsibilities, says watching the partnership between the region and the College is immensely rewarding. Another reward comes from his and Billie’s personal interaction on campus. “One of the best parts of our involvement at Dalton State has been getting to know the people here,” enthuses Norris. “What a great group of people we have.” The Littles are most impressed with the students, some of whom they’ve gotten to know over the years through the Foundation’s scholarship program. In 2000 they endowed the Norris and Billie Little Scholarships for juniors and seniors majoring in business and education, which mirrored their own professional paths. And each year they meet their scholarship recipients, most recently at a campus scholarship recognition dinner which brings together donors like the Littles and scholarship recipients. “That was a lot of fun,” says Billie. “We enjoy getting to know them.” While Norris may be a familiar face around campus, serving as he does on three Foundation committees and attending frequent meetings, and the Littles are regulars at Dalton State events, they still find time to be active in their church, the local hospital, and with their family, which now includes their first great-grandchild. As for their continued service both at the College and elsewhere, Norris says, “We all have a responsibility to give back. Everyone has to ask himself: if not me, who?” “It’s a lot more fun to be involved through volunteering than to be on the outside looking in.” Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 21 Diann Boatwright It can be quiet, dark, and more than a bit lonely when the dozen or so College custodians punch the time clock at four o’clock in the morning. But for Diann Boatwright, a six-year veteran of the custodial staff, making sure that her building is “the best that it can be” is a high point of her day. “We want everything to look good before the students get here,” says Boatwright, noting that at least one custodian works in each of the academic buildings, with as many as two in several of the larger facilities. “Our day-to-day routine involves cleaning the restrooms, making sure the classrooms are orderly and the floors vacuumed, washing the glass doors, and cleaning the white boards and erasers; just basic daily maintenance. “But then we also have the bigger jobs that we do when needed, like when we use the ‘kyvac’ pressure washing machine to deep clean the bathrooms. And we also shampoo the carpets regularly, usually when students are on break. That’s when we can also tackle other bigger jobs.” 22 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 Boatwright, who has worked in the carpet industry, as a school bus driver, and as a supply manager, is a Dalton native who has always liked “clean smelling things.” She began her cleaning career years ago when she was able to squeeze housecleaning jobs in between her morning and afternoon bus driving routes. Despite the fact that she has to wake each weekday at 2:30 a.m., Boatwright, a wife and mother of two who also has three grandsons, says she loves her “night” job. “We rotate buildings every six months, so we’re able to learn each building. That gives us a chance to get to know the faculty and the staff in each one. And most importantly, we get to know the students, and they get to know us. That’s a great part of the job.” Mary Nielsen Dr. Mary Nielsen admits that she is “good at juggling multiple tasks,” which comes in handy in her roles as Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and chair of the College’s Strategic Planning Committee. And she’s had plenty to juggle this spring, as faculty searches to fill new positions in English, speech, and history have been going strong. “I’m really excited about the opportunities the School of Liberal Arts has to grow and expand as a result of our new bachelor’s degree programs in English, history, and criminal justice,” she says. “While we’re adding about six new faculty positions to help meet the demand for upper-level courses, we will now be able to allow many of our current faculty members to showcase their special talents by teaching the 3000- and 4000level courses that they’ve long wanted to teach.” In tandem with the College’s emphasis on multicultural and diversity issues, upper-level English courses in Appalachian Literature and Southern Literature will be offered as soon as this fall. Junior- and senior-level courses in Appalachian History and American Indian History will also be rolled out during fall semester. “And we’ll also be offering two new criminal justice courses, possibly as soon as this summer,” she says, noting that the demand for majors in that field is expected to be very high. While she expects that many of those who plan to major in English or history will choose the route leading to teacher certification, others will enter career paths where critical and analytical thinking skills and written and oral communication skills are highly desired. Nielsen, the daughter of two English professors, says she knows her love for teaching English and reading comes naturally. “At night, my father, who taught first at Ohio State and then at Florida State University, would read aloud the first chapter of whatever he was currently teaching to any of his five children who were available to listen.” She knew from an early age that she would follow in her parents’ footsteps, so she pursued a bachelor’s in English from FSU, followed by three degrees, including a Ph.D. in reading, from the University of Florida. Since then she has worked at colleges in Florida and Georgia, settling in at Dalton State in early 2000, where she was initially hired to head up the Humanities department’s Writing Lab. While her increased responsibilities as a college dean have resulted in a decreased teaching load, she still finds teaching composition and reading comprehension classes to be “great fun.” Scott Bailey As Vice President of Fiscal Affairs, Scott Bailey comes to work early in order to jumpstart a typical workday. But for Bailey, a five-year veteran of the VPFA position, no workday is altogether typical. “Basically, a large part of my job involves coordinating just about everything and anything,” says Bailey. “A number of projects can be scheduled, and certain tasks are performed monthly, but what we do in our office varies a great deal depending upon the season we’re in.” The busiest season tends to be summer, Bailey says, when students are flooding to the Fiscal Affairs Office counter to pay for their registered classes. That’s also the time, he says, when one fiscal year ends and another begins. And the end-of-the-year audit, mandated by the State of Georgia, also takes place in the summer. But on any given workday, during any given season, Bailey is tasked with overseeing a number of college operations, including the operation and development of facilities, public safety, purchasing and procurement, auxiliary services, human resources, and accounting and budgeting. “Our office is now becoming involved with student housing as well, since the College will have residence facilities next fall,” says Bailey. “These kinds of new projects can be rewarding because we can see results coming out of actions and decisions that have been made on campus. I find it gratifying to have something tangible to show for the work the institution has been doing rather than just a bunch of paperwork to be filed.” Bailey admits that there are additional challenges these days as a result of the national economic downturn, which has resulted in about a 10 percent reduction in operating income for the College. “Our resources are severely strained,” says Bailey. “Our challenge is to make sure that we have enough to make it to year’s end, and to plan efficiently for the next fiscal year, which will likely be about the same.” Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 23 Presidential Portrait Unveiled President John Schwenn and Mrs. Judy Schwenn, left, and former president Jim Burran and Mrs. Sally Burran, right, present the portrait of Burran that will hang in the College’s Westcott Administration Building. Friends from the community and former colleagues gathered on the campus recently to witness the unveiling of the official portrait of former president Dr. James A. Burran. Also during Burran’s tenure, the College experienced record enrollments year after year, exceeding the 4,500 mark during his last academic year in the president’s office. The portrait commemorates President Burran and his 13 years of service to Dalton State that concluded with his retirement in February 2008. Professional portraitist Jamie Lee McMahan of Memphis, Tennessee, was commissioned to do the canvas. College leaders cite Burran’s vision and leadership as being central to the success of the DSC Foundation’s $21 million fundraising campaign in 2006-2008. The Foundation also acquired more than 100 acres of land adjacent to the campus in the last years of Burran’s presidency. “President Burran’s legacy is one of growth and change,” says Dalton State President John Schwenn. “His administration will be remembered for the many changes the institution experienced, including the change of the College’s mission from a junior college to a four-year-degree granting institution.” Dalton State added its first bachelor’s degree in 1998 when its name was changed from Dalton College to Dalton State College. “His gift to the college and to the entire northwest Georgia region was to position Dalton State for its move to the next level,” said Schwenn. 24 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 “His vision for Dalton State was compelling to everyone he came into contact with,” says Bob Buchanan, chairman of the DSC Foundation. “Any time Dr. Burran had an opportunity to talk with a prospective donor about the future of the College, that person came away excited and ready to invest in the future of Dalton State.” AROUND AROUND CAMPUS Construction on the College’s new parking deck is underway, and a net gain of more than 200 spaces should be available by next fall. Dalton State alumna Dora Salazar Price, class of 1984, recently made a gift to the DSC Foundation to endow the Rita Salazar Scholarship. “We hope the students receiving this scholarship will appreciate the gift of learning and the freedom that education provides,” Price said. “Our hope is that these recipients will live the example of our mother: ‘Do good without seeing to whom.’” Dora, left, and her mother, Rita Salazar, center, are shown presenting the gift to David Elrod, Dalton State’s Director of Institutional Advancement. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 25 Chad Brock Alumnus Chad Brock got the political bug while he was a student at Dalton State. Obama campaign and ultimately became the campaign’s Deputy Field Coordinator in Georgia. “I got involved with the Young Democrats and really enjoyed the experience,” the 2005 political science grad recalls. The DSC campus chapter traveled to the statewide Young Democrats convention in Savannah “and I met Young Dems from around the state.” “I founded 25 SFBO [Students for Barack Obama] chapters across the state. I was also given the honor of introducing Senator Obama during one of his campaign appearances in Atlanta.” That was his springboard to being elected Vice President of the Young Democrats of Georgia. In addition to his involvement with Democratic politics on campus, Chad worked in county politics, first locally and then as a liason with other Democratic officials across north Georgia. Two years ago he was contacted by a budding presidential campaign, asking if he would coordinate efforts on Georgia college campuses for a U.S. Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama. He was assigned increasing responsibilities with the 26 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 Last summer, in the midst of the presidential campaign, Chad was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Denver where Obama was officially nominated. “It was very gratifying to see the culmination of all the hard work that I had spent on what was once considered a longshot campaign.” Today, Chad is preparing for law school this fall and is considering his next political move. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Dalton State,” he reflects. “The professors are much more than instructors. I view many of them as ‘life coaches.’” ALUMNI PROFILES David Kirby Every day, David Kirby, Class of 1981, renews his appreciation for something that most of us take for granted. As a Remediation Geologist for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality for the past 8 years, he oversees groundwater cleanup – also known as remediation – projects. Most of his projects “are the results of leaks from underground petroleum storage tanks. I also work with homeowners whose drinking water wells have been contaminated from a release by trying to find them a clean drinking water source.” Pat Durrence The purity of groundwater is serious business to the Calhoun, Georgia, native. “I really enjoyed my two years at Dalton Junior College,” recalls Pat Durrence, class of 1970. “After grad school, I worked as a geologist for an environmental consulting firm,” he recalls. “I think my liberal arts curriculum gave me a good foundation for working with people.” Then he worked for the U.S. Geological Survey where he helped set up a groundwater model for a restoration project in the Everglades National Park in southern Florida. She certainly used it during her 30-year career with the Georgia Department of Human Resources. “The goal of this project is to restore the Everglades to the way it was before parts of it were developed. Groundwater modeling was used to simulate salt water intrusion into the local fresh water aquifier.” When he’s not working in the environment, he’s playing in it, either running, snow skiing, or flying radio-controlled helicopters. David and his family live in Lynchburg, Virginia. “I started my career with DHR as a data entry clerk in the accounting division,” she says, but she “really wanted to do something more exciting and became a caseworker for the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services administering the food stamp program.” In that role, she saw the need for accountability and oversight of the food stamp and welfare programs and became a fraud investigator with DFACS. When the state took over the investigations, she became an investigator with DHR’s Office of Fraud and Abuse in 1981. “As an investigator, I also investigated DHR personnel. Later, I began doing investigations of child care suspected fraud. My job encompassed administrative and judicial follow-ups to the established fraud overpayments, repayment agreements, recoupment from tax returns, conducting administrative hearings, and referral of cases to the district attorney for prosecution.” Today, Pat enjoys flower arranging and doing crossword puzzles. And some of her fondest memories, aside from the liberal arts curriculum that served her so well, of DJC? “I was active in social events and intra-mural sports. I still have my badminton medals.” Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 27 Janice Barton Janice Barton, Class of 1969, vividly remembers her first job. She was a secretary. She landed her first marketing job at The Carpet and Rug Institute, a Dalton-based think tank for the flooring industry. The first time she took dictation from her new boss she was so nervous she couldn’t read her own notes. So she rifled through the trash to find her boss’s notes and typed the letter from those. “I traveled all over the world and interacted with leaders in the textile industry,” she says, all while plying her skills at marketing, public relations, and advertising. That was forty years ago. Today, Janice is Senior Partner of Performance Plus Marketing LLC, an Atlanta-based firm specializing in design and delivery of marketing materials for companies such as Best Buy, Cingular Wireless, and Procter and Gamble. She oversees a team of 30 employees. In the mid-90’s she and a partner launched Performance Plus. “It’s exciting to create an environment that enables our employees to pursue their goals and maximize their opportunities.” She was among the first students to enroll at then-Dalton Junior College in 1967 and was a member of its first graduating class in 1969. Personally, Janice credits her daughter and two grandchildren with enriching her life. “My early years at DJC gave me a chance to mature, to acquire marketable skills, and to gain confidence.” She also volunteers with the Himalayan Youth Foundation and recently traveled to Nepal where the organization dedicated a school for the 100 children it sponsors. She remembers graduating from high school with “no real plan, no real money, and no real mentor” and found her way to DJC. Janice notes that her lifelong learning continues through her hobbies that include painting, pottery, and knitting. “I guess you could say I made one of the best decisions of my life almost by default.” “The faculty was phenomenal – always there to provide guidance and support,” Janice recalls. 28 From CRI she moved to Galaxy Carpet Mills, then to Horizon Industries, where she was Vice President of Marketing Services. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 And she finally mastered the art of taking dictation. “I can still actually write in shorthand,” she boasts. It’s “a most impressive skill to my coworkers when we’re in meetings.” ALUMNI PROFILES Reba Anderson “I remember September 11, 2001,” Reba Anderson says. “I felt the wave of shock and disbelief that washed over the entire campus. Even the staff had stopped working. The mass of people huddled around the TV in the student center still remains an image in my mind.” So powerful was that experience for Reba that she joined the U.S. Army and signed up for Military Police duty “after the impressionable experience I had taking Criminal Justice” at Dalton State. “I spent five years active duty stationed out of Fort Carson, Colorado. I was deployed twice to Iraq – one 12-month tour and one 15-month tour,” she says. After her Army duty, the 2002 graduate landed at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services unit of the Department of Homeland Security where she is an investigative assistant for fraud and possible terrorism. “I had a great time at Dalton State. I learned about my political stance, my love for science, and my passion for literature. I was inspired by some strong professors who expressed to me there were no limits and challenged my own way of thinking.” of Iraq to racing her Jeep through the Colorado mountains she calls home, she’s living her motto: “Enjoy the journey.” Among those professors who impressed her and on whom Reba likely left a lasting impression was her Organic Chemistry II professor, Dr. Vickie Guarisco. “The greatest time I had in college was in my chemistry class,” she remembers. “We used to drive our professor nuts by mixing two different volatile substances together.” Today, Reba’s great times include riding her motorcycle or running with her Siberian husky, Samson. “You never know where one stepping stone might take you in life,” she says. She should know. From around a TV in the student center to the battlefields Savannah-area alumni gathered at the Moon River Brewing Company in downtown Savannah in February for food and friendship. Joining in the festivities were, from left, David Hay, Edith King Hay (‘83), Kathy Covington Campot (‘69), George Campot, Barbara Linn Shiffler (‘76), and Ron Shiffler. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 29 2000s Michael Blockley (2008) resides in East Ridge, TN. He is a respiratory therapist. Crystal St. Pierre (2008) is a teacher for Whitfield County Schools. In her free time she enjoys music, traveling, dining out, and spending time with family and friends. She resides in Chattanooga, TN. Patrick Wilder (2007) works for Hamilton Medical Center as a Radiological Technologist. He resides in Chatsworth, GA. Daniel Hebard (2006) is the CEO of Hebard Technology Solutions, Inc. He and his wife live in Calhoun, GA. Alexis Hughes (2005) resides in Valdosta, GA. She is an operations manager for Circuit Board Computers. Crystal Taylor (2005) works for Shaw Industries. She has four daughters and two granddaughters and lives in Dalton, GA. Jennifer Lamb (2004) lives in Chattanooga, TN. She works for Neal, Scouten & McConnell, P.C., an accounting firm in Chattanooga. Heidi Veal (2004) is an Assistant Office Manager for the Church of God – United Kingdom. She resides in Abingdon, England. Willard Meeks (2002) is a computer consultant for KForce Technology. He lives in Jesup, GA. Kelly Hurtt Seo (2002) recently earned her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Georgia. She and her husband live in Macon, GA. Julie Helton Hall (2001) lives with her husband, Gordon, in LaFayette, GA. She is a manager for ESKO Graphics, Inc. Gary Hawkins (2001) resides in Tennga, GA. He is a partner at HP Builders and Remodeling. 1990s Salina Shontel Stowe (1998) recently relocated to Eastanollee, GA, with her husband and three children. She is a teacher in the Stephens County School System. Roger Henderson (1997) is a Senior Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy and is currently deployed to the Middle East. 30 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 Tim Bentjen (1996) works for Lockheed Martin. He lives in Virginia Beach, VA. Carol Frost (1996) lives in Rocky Face, GA, and works as a draftsman for Kirkman Associates Architects. Chris Hohol (1996) of Rocky Face, GA, was named one of Dalton Magazine’s “20 under 40” outstanding young professionals in the Dalton area. Chris is an associate industrial engineer/process engineer with Shaw Industries. Gina Elliot (1995) lives in Athens, GA, and works as an LPN for Athens Neurological Associates. Robert Neal (1995) is the Chief Software Architect for Integration Management Inc. He resides in Gallatin, TN. Eric Smith (1995) is a music teacher at Dawnville Elementary in the Whitfield County Schools. He was named 2008 Teacher of the Year by Wal-Mart on Shugart Road in Dalton, GA. Sherry Browning Elsberry (1994) resides in Tuscaloosa, AL, with her husband who is employed with the U.S. Secret Service. She is a stay-at-home mom who loves to play tennis. Lynn Knox Wilbanks (1993) was named the 2008 Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce Diplomat of the Year. Lynn is a Banking Officer with the First Bank of Dalton. She and her daughter reside in Dalton, GA. Comer Turley (1993) is the owner of two flooring companies: Ecofloor, Inc., and Turley Flooring Systems, Inc. He lives in Cape Coral, FL. Juan Gomez (1992) works for the United States Postal Service. He lives in Ooltewah, TN. Angela McClung (1992) resides in Middletown, DE, where she is a special education teacher at the Appoquinimink Early Childhood Center. Marcia Sunquist (1992) is a para-professional librarian for the Maricopa County Library District in Phoenix, AZ. She lives in Sun Lakes, AZ. Brad Rowland (1990) was named one of Dalton Magazine’s “20 under 40”outstanding young professionals in the Dalton area. Brad lives in Dalton, GA, with his wife and their three children. Brad is the Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager at Cohutta Banking Company. ALUMNI NOTES 1980s Pam Albertson Bevil (1988) resides in Dalton, GA, where she has represented State Farm since 1993, specializing in relocation to the Dalton area. In her free time she volunteers for the American Cancer Society. Joseph Crook (1986) works as a criminal investigator for the Gilmer County District Attorneyâ€™s Office. He resides in Ellijay, GA. Gary Kennedy (1985) is the owner of Brickman Landscape. He lives in Tucker, GA. Rebecca Nagy Segars (1984) lives in Winder, GA. She is a Technical Customer Service Representative for ViaSat, a company that produces satellite and digital communication products. Kimberly Starr Baldridge (1983) resides in Calhoun, GA. She is a tour guide for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Angela Kirby Clark (1982) is the Marketing Director for Bethany Christian School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She lives in Ft. Lauderdale. John Hardin (1982) lives in Columbus, GA. He is employed with TSYS, one of the worldâ€™s largest providers of outsourced payment services. Bill Hoffman (1982) of Hillsborough, NC, is retired from Verizon. Currently, he is enjoying his second year at PACE Academy teaching Social Studies and elective courses. Paul Wilson (1974) and his wife live in Cohutta, GA. He is Postmaster in Summerville, GA, and enjoys playing with his grandkids, fishing, golf, and computers. Sheila Fay Bates (1973) works for Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, TN, as a Library Assistant. Sheila has two grandchildren and regularly volunteers at Covenant Academy. She lives in McMinnville, TN. Dale Kelly Johnson (1973) recently relocated to Dalton, GA, from Peru, NE, where her husband retired as president of Peru State College. She enjoys tennis, painting, swimming, reading, and movies. Chuck Wright (1973) lives in Glendale, CA, and enjoys bicycling and hiking in his free time. Chuck is the Vice President of Operations for Roland Corporation U.S., an electronic musical instrument manufacturer and distributor. Elijah Green (1972) lives in Los Angeles, CA, and works for BP as a technician in the Pipe Department. Robert Green (1971) was the editor of The Boulder while a student at then-Dalton Junior College. He is president of the Chattanooga Botanical Garden Club and teaches at the Chattanooga Nature Center. He lives in Cloudland, GA. Floyd Wright (1970) retired as Vice President for Fiscal Affairs at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 2006. He resides in Tifton, GA. Pam Travillian (1980) is Finance Director for the City of Ft. Oglethorpe. She lives in Dalton, GA. 1970s Carla Keys York (1979) lives in Ringgold, GA. She is a teacher at Tiger Creek Elementary. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her daughters, walking, and reading. Pamela Ware Gunter (1978) of Watkinsville, GA, is the Nurse Manager at Northeast Georgia Cancer Care. Sarah Bain Knudsen (1977) resides in Castro Valley, CA. She is Executive Assistant to the Provost at California State University at East Bay. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2009 31 Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Chattanooga TN Permit No. 113 650 College Drive Dalton, GA 30720 Got Yours? Go to www.daltonstate.edu/alumni and fill us in on all the latest to get your free Dalton State Alumni t-shirt!