Dalton State Magazine Spring 2010
Dalton State magazine for alumni and friends, Spring 2010 issue
SPRING 2010 THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS SUPERBIRD: COACH OTTINGER & HIS ROADRUNNERS ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: DSC HISTORy, STANDOUT STUDENTS, ALUMNI ACHIEvEMENTS, & MORE. Photograph by Willis Treadwell For the first time that anyone can remember, snow fell on campus on four different days last winter. December 5, January 29, February 12, and March 2 each saw the white stuff accumulate for an inch or two and then vanish almost as quickly as it came. It was a nice change of scenery to see the campus blanketed in snow. Message froM the President What's the old saying � spring has sprung? It certainly has at Dalton State and in more ways than one. Good things are springing up all over campus, from the exemplary work being done in each of the seven schools of the college to the outstanding students who are making a difference on campus to our fantastic alumni and what they are achieving. One of the best things about spring is commencement � a time to reflect on Dr. John O. Schwenn the achievements of our students and their impact on the institution. This spring, we'll graduate more than 600 students � a record. Some will enter the workforce and embark on their careers; others will pursue advanced degrees; some will even return to Dalton State to earn an additional degree. No matter their circumstances, all of them will become a vital part of the Dalton State story and will earn the right to call themselves "Dalton State alumni." We're proud of each of them! Another aspect of graduation is the college's faculty and staff, and what they mean to us. It has been said that the heartbeat of a campus is its faculty � and that is true at Dalton State. Our faculty talent is second to none. They're engaged in creative activity, research and publishing; they're pursuing new teaching techniques to engage new generations of students; they serve our communities; they are more than professors � they are mentors to our students. Our staff, too, goes above and beyond, ensuring the needs of our students and other constituents are met, and done with good cheer and a smile. The excitement of spring is manifested in another way with the welcoming of next year's freshman class as they arrive for campus tours and registration for classes. These students � the future Class of 2014 � look to be dynamic, thoughtful, high-achieving young people who are anxious to begin their college careers. We look forward to having them join the Dalton State family. Spring has indeed sprung � it's springing all over campus. I hope you share my enthusiasm for the many gifts of spring and for the good things that are happening at Dalton State. d Dalton State Magazine is published each May and October by the Dalton State College Foundation for alumni and friends of Dalton State College. Editorial offices are located on campus in The James E. Brown Center, 550 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720. Phone: (706) 272-4473. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contents � 2010 by Dalton State College Foundation, all rights reserved. President, Dalton State College John O. Schwenn Chair, Dalton State College Foundation Sara C. "Skeeter" Pierce Director of Institutional Advancement David J. Elrod `88 Chair, Alumni Advisory Council Jeff Clements `94 Alumni Relations Coordinator Joshua J. Wilson Layout and Design Second Shift Design, LLC, Duluth, GA Photographers Joe Barragan '10, Alana Joyner, Angela Lewis, Linda Massey '72, George Spence,Willis Treadwell Reviewer Jonathan M. Lampley 4 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 SPRING 2010 THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS The 1971-72 DJC Roadrunners, left to right: Steve Hammontree, Tony Ingle, Steven Ludy, Andy Akin, Charles Powers, Jon Heath, Rodney Aldridge, Tony Littles, Roger Rome, Larry Jackson, Mike Wade, Charles Palmer, Larry Cummings, David Rainey, and Cleo Goodgame. Center: Coaches Melvyn Ottinger and Dick Coleman. Story on page 14. Departments 6 Bandy Heritage Center Archives: Truett Lomax Features 12 Dalton State student scores with new club soccer team Alumni Central 27 Engaging alums more closely with their alma mater Joe Barragan: Man On Alumni Advisory Council One man's unique role in the history of Dalton State 8 A quick spin around George Rice Drive Campus Tour 14 A championship coach & a decade of basketball victories Superbird: Coach Ottinger & His Roadrunners 28 Hanging out with the governor Alumni Profile: Brandi Johnson 35 Dalton State mourns the loss of three friends In Memoriam 22 Investing in today's students pays big dividends later Student Scholarships 30 Who, what, where, when, and how All About Alumni About the cover: The Dalton Junior College Roadrunner basketball teams were 231-78 in ten years under legendary Coach Melvyn Ottinger. Playing at home, in Death Valley, GA 30720, they were 120-11 in those same ten years. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 5 B a n dy h e r i t a g e C e n t e r a r C h i v e s From the archives oF the Bandy heritage center For northwest georgia history and culture... Truett Lomax: Community Leader, Visionary, Friend By Dr. John D. Fowler A visitor to Dalton State College today is surrounded by a majestic mountain on one side and one of the nation's busiest interstates on the other; by crowds of students and employees jostling along the wide sidewalks en route to classes or work; and by lines of cars parked one after the other along the streets. For the new visitor, citizen, or student, it is hard to imagine that a half century ago this same land was merely forest and fields. Retired businessman Truett Lomax does remember those early days and he should. He played a key role in turning a dream of a local college into the reality of today's Dalton State. Lomax served as the manager of the Dalton Chamber of Commerce in the early 1960s when the idea to bring a junior college to northwest Georgia first began to develop in the minds of city fathers. Lomax recalls that the community and especially the Chamber of Commerce provided widespread support. These civic leaders were blessed with the foresight to see that a growing community such as Dalton needed a college to educate its own and to serve the entire northwest Georgia region. After a good deal of thought, planning, research, and debate, Dalton leaders petitioned the Board of Regents for a college. In the early part of the decade, fierce competition for a junior college arose among several communities in northwest Georgia, including Dalton, Calhoun, Rome, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and Marietta. Ultimately, two towns were chosen � Kennesaw and Dalton. Selection, however, was a grueling process. In order to convince the Board of Regents to support a junior college, a community had to agree to cover the initial costs of land, buildings, and utilities. Lomax and other members of the Chamber of Commerce, especially those serving on its Education Committee, Cynthia and Truett Lomax 6 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 B a n dy h e r i t a g e C e n t e r a r C h i v e s worked tirelessly with community leaders to convince local residents to vote in favor of a $1.8 million bond issue to build the college. Dalton's visionaries correctly saw this step as an investment in the future of Dalton and its citizens. Indeed, a junior college would help set the economic, political, and social future of this mountain community. During the months leading up to the referendum, Lomax even sported a handkerchief in his suit pocket that read "Vote Yes." The bond referendum made it onto the ballot in 1965, and the May 11 results were staggering: 4,090 to 163 in favor, a margin of 26-1, far outpacing other communities across the state that had voted for colleges in their towns. Given the green light, local officials scouted three locations around Dalton for the new college. Ultimately, the current site along Interstate 75 proved to be the best fit � primarily, because of the old adage, "location, location, location." The land was situated in the center of the growing area, which would promote accessibility and visibility. Also, four local landowners � Tom Swift, Glenn Bevil, Tom Lambert, and John T. Tibbs � agreed to donate the initial 136 acres that would form the core of the campus at this prime location. Looking back over the four decades since the college's beginning, Lomax is proud of Dalton State and the community that supported its creation. He recalls that the Dalton newspaper, the Daily Citizen, and its editor at the time, Mark Pace, vigorously supported a vote in favor of the referendum. The paper consistently ran ads demonstrating the need for and benefits of a local college. Moreover, Lomax remembers that citizens from all walks of life fought hard to see their dream of a college realized. These efforts ensured that not only would the referendum pass but also that it would pass in a landslide. Lomax hopes to see the college continue to grow in size and reputation with the addition of new academic programs. Indeed, his love for the school is a family tradition. His wife, Cynthia, earned an Associate of Arts degree from Dalton State a few years ago, making her the oldest graduate of the college thus far. Dalton State alumni, students, faculty and staff, and friends are grateful for the commitment of civicminded individuals like Truett Lomax who worked hard to make northwest Georgia a better place for future generations. We are honored to call him Dalton State's friend. d Dr. Fowler is the B.J. and Dicksie Bandy Chair in History and Director of the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia History and Culture at Dalton State. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 7 CaMPus tour Bell Tower is Award Winner Dalton State College's bell tower won the Georgia Chapter of the American Concrete Institute's Special Category Award for 2009. The bell tower was the cover feature for The Georgia Contractor magazine's January/February 2010 issue, where the news was first announced. Designed by Daltonbased architect Gregg Sims and built with private funds raised by the Dalton State College Foundation during its 2006-2008 Fulfilling the Vision campaign, the bell tower was the first pre-cast concrete project in the United States to use a photocatalytic cement that reacts with sunlight to clean itself. The bell tower was completed in April 2009. Wachovia Bank Adds to Scholarship Endowment Wachovia Bank recently added $10,000 to the Wachovia Bank Scholarship Endowment for Business Excellence at Dalton State. "We are thrilled with their latest gift," says President John Schwenn. "Thanks to Wachovia's generosity, we will be able to assist additional students majoring in business and those students, in turn, will positively impact the local business community when they graduate." 8 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 Shown making the presentation are, left to right, friends of Wachovia and Dalton State Chang Yim, Virginia Travillian, Danny Simmons, Linda Blackman, Wachovia Market President Susan Brown, Dalton State President John Schwenn, Lee Daniel, Sis Brown, and Dalton State Director of Institutional Advancement David Elrod. CaMPus tour School of Business Earns Prestigious Accreditation Dalton State's School of Business has joined the elite rank of business schools by earning accreditation by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB is the premier accrediting organization for business schools worldwide. "AACSB accreditation is the gold standard," says Dr. Donna Mayo, Dean of the School of Business. "This ensures that our program has attained the highest standards of teaching and learning, research, and scholarship, and that ongoing quality-monitoring processes are in place to maintain those standards." AACSB accreditation is held by only 579 business schools in 35 countries, including the United States, representing less than 5% of all business schools in the world. Dalton State joins 46 undergraduate-only institutions accredited by AACSB International. "This achievement is particularly exceptional for a very young business school," says Dean Mayo. Dalton State admitted its first juniors in the School of Business in 1999. Earning the prestigious accreditation required eight years of work by School of Business faculty and staff, numerous multi-day site visits by other AACSBaccredited program deans, and reports after reports and statistics upon statistics pertaining to faculty teaching and scholarship, professional development, and student achievement in the business school. With all that was involved, Dean Mayo says she's often asked why Dalton State sought AACSB accreditation. "For the same reason that businesses seek quality certifications such as ISO 9000, 14000, or Six Sigma: we want to provide our students with the best business education so they can be excellent employees and productive citizens. External validation assures quality." Dean Mayo likens Dalton State's accreditation process to a fairly extensive home renovation. "My husband and I once bought a small, turn-of-thecentury [20th century] home that needed a complete renovation," she recalls. "There are many similarities between renovating that house and pursuing the AACSB accreditation. A quality outcome was the driving force....we took a lot of great ideas, created a plan, and got to work....we had a dedicated team....we worked many nights and weekends.... we took a lot of risks, some of which paid off while others did not....some days we were in awe of our handiwork and some days we were busy redoing our handiwork....we spent more money than we thought we would....we wondered if we would ever finish the process." But finish they did, and earlier this semester Dean Mayo and School of Business faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors celebrated their achievement. "The investment we made in that house 27 years ago yielded a significant return," she notes. "We plan to have the same return for the School of Business and Dalton State with our AACSB accreditation." Dr. Donna Mayo, Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Marketing (Photo courtesy of Angela Lewis/ Chattanooga Times Free Press) Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 9 CaMPus tour School of Business Students in Associate Professor of Marketing Steve LeMay's fall semester Marketing Research class completed a survey research project to identify various segments of the bridal market and then met to discuss the results with Scott Rogers, Director of Strategic Planning for David's Bridal, the largest full-service bridal retailer in the U.S. According to Rogers, the company plans to use the research in its strategic planning. Instructor of Accounting Jamie Connors is the faculty sponsor for a partnership with the University of Georgia to provide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) in northwest Georgia. VITA offers free tax help to low- and moderate-income families who cannot prepare their own tax returns, and Dalton State accounting majors will be staffing the local VITA site. The students receive significant real-world experience and become IRS-certified tax-preparation volunteers. The School of Business is part of the recently formed Non-Profit Partnership with the United Way of Northwest Georgia and other agencies. Dean Donna Mayo, Sesquicentennial Chair and Professor of Management Marilyn Helms, DSC Foundation Chair in Accounting John Trussel, Associate Professor of Marketing Steve LeMay, and Lecturer of Business Ben Laughter will direct workshops on organizational development topics for non-profit agencies in northwest Georgia. Dalton State students doing their on-site practica, and Valley Point teachers served as professional mentors to the teacher education majors. Dean Merry Boggs wrote and received a $13,500 grant from the Library of Congress's Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Eastern Region to assist Dalton State's teacher education majors and local public school teachers with using primary sources to enhance their classroom instruction in Social Studies. The TPS program aids K-12 teachers in building student literacy, critical thinking skills, and content knowledge with instruction based on the Library of Congress's collection of 13.5 million digitized primary sources. School of Liberal Arts Associate Professor of Communication Barbara Tucker published a novel, Traveling Through, that explores how Christians relate to government, how politics affect our lives, and whether we really see the people we think we know. Associate Professor of English Marsha Mathews's first book of poetry, Northbound Single-Lane, will be released in May. A cross-genre writer, she is also completing a novel, Blood Feather, and writing a young adult novel, Teen Passage. Assistant Professor of English Jonathan Lampley penned two articles for The Essential Cult TV Reader published in December by the University of Kentucky Press. "Dark Shadows" and "The Twilight Zone," two of Lampley's favorite shows, were his topics. Associate Professor of Sociology Hassan Elnajjar submitted a written Expert Declaration in federal court in California for an immigration case last semester. He will testify on that case this spring as an expert on the Middle East, marking his third delivery of expert testimony in federal courts on immigration issues. The March 2010 issue of the American Psychological Association's Monitor on Psychology featured an interview with Professor of Psychology Christy Price School of Education The School of Education continues its partnerships with public schools through a pilot program with Whitfield County's Valley Point Elementary. In spring semester, Assistant Professor of Education Debbie Baxter, Dean and Professor of Education Merry Boggs, Assistant Professor of Education Orenda Gregory, Assistant Professor of Education Lynn Murphy, and Instructor of Education Carol Pate taught teacher education courses at Valley Point for 10 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 CaMPus tour on engaging Generation Y or millennial students in the classroom with social networking applications and dynamic teaching methods. School of Nursing The School of Nursing's new partnership with Dalton's Hamilton Medical Center will provide Dalton State students hands-on clinical training by experienced nurses. The first of its kind in the region, the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) was developed to maximize learning outcomes while also providing Hamilton access to Dalton State nursing faculty. "This is a novel unit devoted to a new concept in clinical teaching and learning," says Dean Cordia Starling. "It incorporates one-on-one mentoring of students and is facilitated by a clinical instructor from Dalton State. Students have the opportunity for an intense learning experience that is more reflective of the working environment of a registered nurse." The DEU has been so well received by students, faculty, hospital staff, and patients that plans are underway to expand the concept to a second service area inside Hamilton. today it houses 33. "The growth in the School of Sciences and Mathematics is due to the addition of the bachelor's programs and the growth of the college as a whole," says Dean Randall Griffus. "Most of the credit for our success recruiting new faculty goes to the existing faculty. They sell the college during the interview process." Over the past five years, the School has added faculty with Ph.D.'s from Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, Boston College, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Auburn, North Carolina State, Oregon State, Tennessee, Central Florida, Wisconsin, and Oxford University. School of Social Work Dean David Boyle retired last semester after 8� years at Dalton State. He helped start the college's Social Work program and served as its first dean. Still active in the social work field as a consultant, Dr. Boyle also enjoys the research and writing of local history, and working on his farm. School of Technology The Adult Education Program in the School of Technology is one of only four in Georgia selected to participate in the national Standards in Action initiative, a two-year project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to develop innovative teaching materials and implement content standards in the delivery of adult basic education, GED prep and other adult secondary education, and English language acquisition. Dalton State's Adult Education Program Director, Sherry Riley, will oversee the pilot program on campus. One hundred percent of the fall semester Class of 2009's Licensed Practical Nursing majors passed the NCLEX-PN state licensure examination on the first attempt this year, compared with the national average first-time pass rate of 86%. Congratulations to the Class of 2009 LPNs! School of Sciences and Mathematics Last year the School of Sciences and Mathematics collaborated with public school systems in Catoosa, Murray, and Walker Counties to provide 60 hours of course content and delivery training to more than 60 teachers from grades 3 through 12. The partnership was funded by a $164,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Education. Assistant Professors of Mathematics Bob Clay and Tim Hawkins, and School of Education Assistant Professor Sharon Beavers, along with Dalton-based Phelps Consulting, provided the training. Two years ago, the first baccalaureates in Biology and Mathematics were offered. Last year, a bachelor's degree in Chemistry was added. Today, there are 299 majors in those programs, with a 10% enrollment growth projected for next year. When the programs began, the School was home to 25 faculty; Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 11 Joe Barragan Man On Just before fall semester last year, Dalton State students Joe Barragan and Jesus Lerma met for the first time. Learning that they had common sports interests, New York-native Joe invited Jesus to watch a Yankees baseball game on TV and the two bonded. They talked about their wishes to play intercollegiate sports at Dalton State. Both soccer fans, they hit on the idea of forming a club soccer team, which would allow Dalton State students to play other college teams without the expenses and regulations of full-fledged intercollegiate athletics. They took their idea to Dalton State's Director of Campus Recreation, Garrett Burgner, and he liked it enough to clear them to proceed. Joe and Jesus had ambition: they wanted to play teams in the southeastern United States. Joe made a few phone calls. Before long, he had other club soccer teams signed up to play a Dalton State team that didn't exist yet. Forty-three Dalton State students tried out for the team; a second round of tryouts carved the final roster to 20. The team members elected Joe coach and Jesus assistant coach. "We only had time for two practices the week before our first game," Joe recalls, a match they dropped to Kennesaw State, 3-1. "We needed more training. We were good, we had played soccer before, but not together, not as a team. We needed some work." So he instituted practices that began before sun-up, and kept afternoon practices as well, to prepare the team. Noting that some of the players did not know each other, he paired up players and had them hang out 12 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 Dalton State's 2009 Club Soccer Team, bottom row, left to right: Sergio Martinez, Saul Maldonado, Bryan Smith, Mario Acosta, Eric Cruz, Hector Holguin, Rene Preciado, and Jonathan Luna. Top row, left to right: Joe Barragan, Ruben Uribe, Jose Valdovinos, Fred Rosillo, Eric Perez, Carlos Fraire, Caleb Tatum, Eduardo Aguero, Freddy Preciado, Jesus Lerma, Nestor Gonzalez, and Ivan Gardea. Not pictured: Wueiner Perez with each other during the day. By the second game, an away match versus the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, "you could just feel it � our morale was really high." Dalton State won 4-3. "We were so excited, we wanted to go back and play Kennesaw again," Joe says, still smiling with the pride of a coach who's seen the best in his players. "Our spirits were really high after that UTC game." The 1-1 team went into its third game against Emory University hungry for another win, but the game ended in a tie, which frustrated Joe because it was the first game played in Dalton and in front of a hometown crowd of about 150 people. Joe "felt the weight of that tie" but the Emory game taught him a lesson. "We really needed conditioning. Our skill was better than the teams we were playing, but their conditioning was better than ours." Dalton State's club soccer team competed in a round robin tournament in Statesboro where they played Georgia Southern (lost 6-2) and Columbus State (won 4-2) with an 11-man roster due to several injuries. Matches with Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt, and a rematch with UTC, carried the team to the end of its season in December, when it was set to play the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, one of the top 5 club soccer teams in the southeast. The Tennessee game "was the best game we ever played," Joe remembers, noting how Dalton State took an early lead � "we dominated!" � and the score see-sawed back and forth before the clock ran out and the Vols were on top, 4-3. The excitement of the season is evident when Joe reminisces about it now. He has a lot of coach in him, and speaks with pride about "our team" and the lessons he learned during the season: discipline, planning, practicing, team-building, and the logistics of uniforms, scheduling, and team travel. "We'll do it again, no doubt," he says, with all the optimism of a coach who believes in his team. In fact, he has already scheduled tryouts for the first week of fall semester. "We felt the college's support" this past season, Joe reflects. "And we want Dalton State to be better known � sports will attract more students here. We're ready." d Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 13 SUPERBIRD: COACH OTTINGER & HIS ROADRUNNERS by David J. Elrod '88 14 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 n the history of Dalton State College, certain names loom large. Like Elvis, they have ascended to one-word status. Gignilliat and Roberts are former presidents; Bandy, Pope, Lorberbaum, and Brown are late citizens of regional prominence. Some professors, too, have gained similar rank: Christie, Weathersby, Phelps. And yet one name in the college's history is recognized by only a letter, a vowel: O. As in Coach O. O for Ottinger. A charter faculty member of Dalton Junior College, Melvyn Ottinger came here in 1967 from Shorter College in Rome. He stayed through the institution's metamorphosis from DJC to Dalton College to Dalton State College. In his first decade here, he also coached basketball. O coached the DJC Roadrunners basketball teams for all ten years of their existence, from 1968 to 1978. In that time, he compiled a 231-78 record, a marvelous .747 winning percentage. He sat astride one of the nation's top junior college programs, and his teams held national top-ten rankings in eight of the ten years that they played. DJC won division championships in 1970 and 1974, state championships in 1970 and 1972, and regional championships in 1972 and 1973. Ottinger coached his teams to two national championship tournaments, and after the fantastic 1971-72 race to the top, his Roadrunners were ranked second in the nation. Ottinger earned statewide Coach of the Year honors in 1970 and again in 1972. During the same period, he was named an Outstanding Young Man of America in 1970 and a Personality of the South in 1971. I "For what we did," he recalls now, four decades later, "it was unbelievable." WARM-UP Ottinger grew up in Tennessee's Cocke County, east of the Great Smoky Mountains. "As long as I can remember, I've played with a basketball," he recalls, noting how "we had a goal on the side of our barn and I'd come home from school and shoot baskets until dark. I'd play in the mud, in the rain, I didn't care. I just loved basketball." He was an athletic standout at Parrottsville High School, lettering in basketball and baseball. He was on the All-State basketball team, and in his junior year was the state's leading scorer and Most Outstanding Player. In his 1958 graduating class of 37 students, only Ottinger and another classmate went to college. Ottinger was class valedictorian. "In Parrottsville," Ottinger once told the Dalton Daily Citizen, "you graduated from high school, married your high school sweetheart, and spent the rest of your life farming there." Not Ottinger. He went to Shorter College on a basketball scholarship. He became a star, leading the nation with a 90.1% free throw completion in the 1960 season and taking MVP honors that year. Ottinger started three seasons there, averaged 15 points per game, and was a two-time All-Conference honoree. He also excelled at tennis, baseball, and volleyball. By graduation, Ottinger had lettered ten times in four sports. In 2009, he was inducted into the Shorter College Athletic Hall of Fame. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 15 As an undergrad, Ottinger met Marilyn Ziegler, a co-ed from Bradenton, Florida. They married after they both graduated from Shorter in June 1962. He completed a graduate fellowship at Clemson University in 1964, and returned to Shorter to begin coaching. He amassed a 35-5 record in two years as the men's freshman basketball coach. A few miles to the northeast, Dalton Junior College was nearing completion and administrators were recruiting faculty and staff, and looking for a good basketball "We didn't have coach. Ottinger got a call, traveled to Dalton to interview, anything to offer and the rest is literally Dalton State history. except the chance In early 1968, DJC students were gearing up to vote for the Eagles or the Mountain Lions as the college mascot. That didn't make sense to Ottinger: these were common mascots and he wanted something unique. He launched his own campaign for a writein candidate, the roadrunner, popular at the time as a Warner Brothers cartoon character, and engaged in some person-to-person politicking to persuade students to support the roadrunner. In a letter to the University System of Georgia central office, then-President Gignilliat announced the news: "The college students have voted to use the roadrunner as the cognomen for Dalton Junior College. Webster's to be a part of When Coach O arrived here in dictionary defines the roadrunner 1967, not everything was ready as follows: `n: a largely terrestrial something special." on the college's opening day. bird (Geococcyx californianus) "The gym wasn't finished in of the cuckoo family that is a '67," he recalls. "It wasn't ready speedy runner and ranges from when the college opened, so we had some tough California to Mexico and eastward to Texas....' P.E. classes: Chinese checkers, cards....volleyball in The roadrunner is a peculiar fitting nickname for the parking lot...." He chuckles at the memory. The a commuting college," Gignilliat concluded, "and I gymnasium opened in 1968. would like to adopt it to describe our student body. You may disregard the reference to the cuckoo." A major in biology at Shorter and Clemson, Ottinger taught the subject his first year and in years Some people on campus and in the community thereafter. Outside of the classroom, he had plenty couldn't forget about the cuckoo, though, and to keep himself busy preparing for the first hoops raised concerns about its suitability as a college season which would start the following year. He mascot. An anonymous letter to the editor of the completed the stacks of paperwork for DJC to join campus newspaper at the time applauded the choice. the National Junior College Athletic Association, "Clocked at 15 miles an hour, head out-thrust, tail scheduled games, and worked out the logistics of streaming behind, in an instant I can swerve into team travel, insurance, and equipment. a turn, using my tail as a brake or rudder for an He spent that first year recruiting all over the state and quickly earned a reputation as a tireless promoter for a little junior college no one had ever heard of. "That was the fun part, but it was tough. We didn't have anything to offer except the chance to be a part of something special." He saw 110 high school games that year. Some high schools he visited two and three times to persuade a potential recruit to sign with him. "They thought I worked there I was there so often." Ottinger says. While Ottinger focused primarily on recruiting, he was also involved in the selection of the college mascot and colors. 16 unbelievably fast stop. Can you possibly imagine a better nickname for a basketball team?" When asked about the letter-writer's anonymity now, Ottinger just smiles. That spring, Ottinger also had a hand in the matter of the school colors, which had to be decided so he could order uniforms to outfit the team. He was attracted to the black and silver of the NFL's Oakland Raiders and thought the colors looked classy. He opted for navy and silver, instead, and went into a student council meeting where a vote was scheduled to be taken on DJC's new colors. "I don't know what colors you're going to vote on," he Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 The ottinger & Roadrunner Record season 1968-69 1969-70 reCord 12-12 30-4 � Georgia Junior College Northern Division Champion � Georgia Junior College State Champion � Region XVII Runner-up � Ranked 12th nationwide in final NJCAA poll � Georgia Junior College State Champion � Region XVII Champion � Placed 12th in National Junior College Tournament � Ranked 2nd nationwide in final NJCAA poll � Georgia Junior College State Runner-up � Region XVII Champion � Placed 10th in National Junior College Tournament � Georgia Junior College Northern Division Champion � Ranked 17th nationwide in final NJCAA poll Post-season aCtivity 1970-71 1971-72 20-9 35-2 1972-73 28-7 1973-74 1974-75 1975-76 1976-77 1977-78 27-6 18-10 23-7 24-7 14-14 told the students, "but I've already ordered navy and silver uniforms." So there was no vote. The school colors were navy and silver. The basketball program's first budget was $5,000, not an ungenerous sum for a first-year program just getting off the ground at a new junior college in the 1960's. "A pair of Converse All-Stars cost $4.95," Ottinger recalls. He didn't have an assistant his first year, so he did everything, including selling ads for the souvenir programs and handwriting recruiting letters on a TV tray at home while he watched Oakland Raider games on Sunday afternoons. "I sold season tickets door to door in the first year. After that [because DJC was winning so many games], I didn't have to call on anybody � we'd just send them a bill." "I spoke at every civic club in town, [I spoke at] churches. There was nothing else but the college in this area. I was energetic," Ottinger remembers. "Back then, I was only 27. I didn't know you were not supposed to work 24/7, which I did." From the start, the Roadrunners enjoyed deep and wide community support. The Dalton Jaycees held cookouts and fundraisers for the team, Ottinger remembers. "They started the Roadrunner Tip-off Club that provided funding for trips and other things we needed." The local newspaper covered every game, home and away, and included editorials in support of the team. The local Volkswagen dealership loaned a couple of vans � "crazy yellow and white" � for the players to travel to away games. Later, players would eat free at Burger King or Western Sizzlin; other local restaurants offered meals at half-price. Burch Beckler, founder of Beckler's Carpet, "was our number one supporter," Ottinger says. Beckler's Carpet sponsored the annual Carpet City Classic, an invitational tournament held on campus each December. "On road trips in those early years, we'd travel in two vans and two Lincolns," Ottinger recalls. "Burch had two Lincoln Mark IV coupes. He'd drive one and his son, Randy [who played for Ottinger], would drive the other one." The Roadrunners were going in style. TIP-oFF Ottinger was cautiously optimistic for his first season at DJC. He lowered expectations with a local sports reporter. "It's going to be hard for us to win since we Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 17 have no experience, but with a little luck we could finish near or slightly above .500." And that's exactly what the 1968-69 Roadrunners did, with a 12-12 record. They dropped their first two games, one away and one at home, and then earned their first-ever victory on November 20, eight days before Thanksgiving, with a 100-96 win at home. Three days later, Ottinger led his team to a 78-77 win over defending state champion DeKalb Junior College, a "shocking victory," in the words of a local sportswriter. Before the season was over, Ottinger's first-year Roadrunners sat atop the Northern Division of the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association Conference for several weeks and defeated DeKalb again, 100-88. His second season was practically a fairytale. Ottinger turned in a 26-3 regular season record, the best in the state, including a 17-game winning streak. DJC made its first appearance in the national polls, climbing as high as 11th, and earned a trip to the junior college state championship tournament. Arriving at the contest in Statesboro, O's team had earned a new nickname � "Superbirds" � so-called for their scoring ability. Coach O himself was tagged "The Head Bird" by local media. Taking a bye in the first round, the Head Bird coached his Superbirds to a 97-84 win over Gainesville in the tournament's second round. In the third round, O's team snatched the game from DeKalb, 9290, as a Roadrunner field goal ripped the net with two seconds remaining. The state championship game, versus Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, had the Roadrunners down 49-41 at the half, but ended up as a 85-78 victory, an astonishing feat for a team that no one had ever heard of just a year and a half earlier. For his part, Ottinger was named the Atlanta Tip-Off Club's Coach of the Year. Midway through the 1969-70 season, a brilliant new paint job was added to the Roadrunners' home court. "Death Valley, GA 30720" was emblazoned on the bleacher-less south wall of the gym, a verbal welcome mat for foes who might think the Roadrunners were a pushover. "I wasn't a rebel, but I didn't want to be like everyone else, either," Ottinger says now. "I decided if someone was going to beat us, they'd have to out-coach us, because they weren't going to out-work us. And nobody was going to out-hustle us, that was for sure." "Death Valley," along with Coach O's competitive streak, would become an essential ingredient of the Roadrunners' hustle. It was all part of O's unique talent for psyching out his opponents and throwing them off their stride. 18 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 "We did anything we could to gain an advantage � except cheat," he points out, and cites as his first evidence something that must have been a lot of fun to witness. "Our guys would come out wearing one blue shoe and one white shoe. The other team would spend the whole first half of the game wondering where we bought those shoes." "We'd turn up the thermostat in the gym, just to watch them sweat." to run players around the campus for missing shots even during practice. During one practice, his players weren't making their free throws. Ottinger stepped in and shot 10 for 10 � blindfolded. Even routing a conference rival was sometimes not enough. Following a 123-109 victory, Ottinger credited the opponent's 109 points to DJC's lackluster defense. "That's the worst game we've ever played," he said. During games, Ottinger's competitive streak would flare up and he would, in his words, "get wild." He paced rapidly up and down the sidelines, grabbed players by their jerseys and gave them "little pep "If we could have had fireworks, we'd have shot talks," and even shouted at those off, too," Ottinger says, referees. Once, he was assessed still a little wistful that the fire three technical fouls three marshal prohibited such behavior. "We'd turn up the minutes after tip-off, and was Later, the repertoire was ejected from the game. He thermostat in the expanded when pre-game warmwatched the rest through a ups were done with the soulful glass pane in a door just off the gym, just to watch theme from "Shaft" pulsing gym floor. them sweat." through the air. Coach O's third season at Ottinger routinely had his players the Roadrunner helm was a shake hands with the opposing transition year: his team went coach, an uncommon sight at the time. He became 20 and 9. But it was a building year, too, one in so well-known for this bit of sportsmanship that which the foundation was laid for the biggest year another coach once pre-empted Ottinger and tried to of his career, the magical 1971-72 season when beat DJC to the pre-game handshake. O jumped into Ottinger's Roadrunners put DJC on the national the coach's arms and kissed him on the cheek. "That basketball map. got our guys fired up," he later said. Decades later, when called out on the edginess of some of these stunts, Ottinger admitted that "I don't know that I would have done that stuff if we were 2 and 25. Whatever we did, we could back it up." He could get the best out of his players. "It is most important that a coach have good rapport with his players," he said in an interview then. "And the only way you can do that is to be there to talk to them and help them any way you can." His players agreed, one of them noting in the same interview that "we have something special here. We have a feeling for each other because of Coach Ottinger. He lets us tell it like we think it is and he listens." "We know that he's behind us," said another. O was also a demanding taskmaster. He held fivenights-a-week study halls in the gym. He was known SCoRE! If any one season is associated with Coach O and his Roadrunners, surely it is his fourth one, when his Superbirds were ranked as high as number two in the nation, won their second state title and first regional championship, and rode a 34-game winning streak all the way to the National Junior College Athletic Association championship tournament. The pre-season coaches' poll had DJC picked to finish first in the region and the state. Ottinger knew the spot he was in. "The pressure is there and will be there all year long, but we've got back a nucleus of sophomores and I feel like they can take it." Coach O's 1971-72 team was the stuff of local legend. It included one junior college All-American Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 19 people," noting that capacity was 1,200. "We kept that gym jam-packed," and would ring the court with folding chairs just to accommodate the crowds. After one game, Ottinger pointed out to a reporter that some of the crowd "stood on tables and sat in the aisles and in the floor..." Even on away games, "we took more fans with us than the home team would have in their bleachers," O remembers. The DJC gymnasium (it took the name Bandy in 1970) where Ottinger's Roadrunners played was a place of good karma. Over ten years, the record at home was 120-11, with four of the losses occurring in the first year. Ottinger was 54-4 at home in his first four seasons at DJC. Then, as now, bleachers were only on the north side of the court, providing for some unintended coziness between Roadrunner fans and their opponents. Recruits would ask "how big is your gym?" and Ottinger would deflect it, telling them instead how supportive the local community was of Roadrunner basketball. Ottinger could be superstitious. He wore a black suit for 25 straight games "because we won 25 games. I didn't quit wearing it to games until we lost." The same suit? "You could have combed your hair looking in it, it was so shiny." He once drove through a neighbor's yard because a black cat lay in his driveway. On road trips, if he saw a black cat in the road, he'd make a U-turn and take another route to his destination. In a later season, winning had become so routine that when the Roadrunners lost two consecutive Saturday games, Ottinger called it "the Saturday night jinx." The only jinx of the 1971-72 season was on the Roadrunners' opponents. Ottinger's team won every one of its regular season games that year, won its three state tournament games to win the Georgia junior college title, and won its three regional tournament games to claim the Georgia-Alabama region crown. That put the Roadrunner winning streak at 34 games, the longest in the country, even outpacing the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers' streak of 33. It was the first time that a Georgia junior college had ever had an unbeaten season. With the regional title, the Superbirds and their Head Bird secured a spot in the national junior college championship tournament in Hutchinson, and four starters who had played for Ottinger the previous year. The lone freshman starter, Roger Rome, had been ranked the 6th best high school player in the state, and was a dual All-American in basketball and football. Sophomore Rodney Aldridge had been ranked the best high school player in the state, and was sought by 50 colleges when Ottinger signed him. In his second season playing for Ottinger, Jon "Buck" Heath would pick up statewide and regional player-of-the-year honors for his scoring prowess, and rewrite the Roadrunner record books. David Rainey and Charles Palmer rounded out the sophomores starting for Ottinger on his 1971-72 squad. The local paper noted that O's season would be unique. "While most college coaches are worried about things such as depth, speed, talent, cohesion, and opponents, Ottinger's main concern is with scouts of senior colleges." On any given night, a dozen or more Division I scouts joined the spectators in Death Valley, reviewing the talent that Ottinger had recruited to northwest Georgia. By year's end, Aldridge had more than 70 offers before settling on the University of Hawaii; Heath was courted by 118 schools, then signed with Western Kentucky. One night, Ottinger's home phone rang five times: Florida State, Western Kentucky, Wake Forest, Mercer, and UNC-Charlotte were on the line. "I get about 15 calls a day, seven days a week," he confided to a reporter at the time. The thrill of that year was evident. "During home games, if you weren't here by 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m. start, you didn't get in," Ottinger recalls. "My only problem was that the gym would hold only so many 20 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 Kansas, the first Georgia team to do so in 11 years. They were ranked number two in the nation. Dalton Mayor Charles Bramlett proclaimed the first week of March as "Roadrunner Week" in honor of the achievement. For Ottinger and most of his players, the trip to Kansas was the first time they had flown on a plane. In Hutchinson, Coach O discovered what he was up against. "That was the big time out there," he said later. "That was a whole new level." His Roadrunners fell in the first round, 78-69, to Gulf Coast (FL) Community College, a perennial powerhouse. The second game, by coincidence, was versus another team with the roadrunner mascot, State Fair (MO) Community College, which O's birds won 90-83. But they were no longer playing in the championship bracket � they were playing for honor. In their third game, they fell to Arizona Western, 92-79, and the next day they went home with a season record of 35-2, the two losses occurring only when they had run as fast as a DJC Roadrunner team would ever run. O's birds placed 11th in the tournament, but the final national coaches' poll had them at number two, which must have provided at least some consolation to Ottinger to be held in that kind of esteem by his peers. That spring, Ottinger picked up coach of the year honors from the Atlanta Tip-Off Club, the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. prize and the regional trophy. They even had an encore at the national tournament. They finished 10th. The next five seasons were typical, except for a peculiar 18-10 mark that ended the 1975 campaign. During his final five years as coach, Ottinger's Roadrunners lost only 44 times, a third of those in the last season. "We were 12-2 when we found out they were dropping the program" in January 1977, Ottinger remembers. The rapid growth of the college, combined with the increasing expense of a fullfledged athletic program, forced the campus administration to make some tough decisions regarding the future of basketball. The program was disbanded in the spring of 1978. Ottinger's final season record was 14-14, for a .500 finish, exactly the same percentage as in his first year a decade earlier. Ottinger continued at the college for another 22 years, teaching biology and P.E. courses. He retired in 2000. Coach O was a sought-after interview subject with the local press, and there were occasional retrospectives in the local paper on the Roadrunners' glory days. People wanted to remember the good times; the end of the program was never discussed. Ottinger became a keeper of the flame for the Roadrunners. In northwest Georgia and for scores of young men he had coached, he grew into legend. This summer he'll celebrate his 48th wedding anniversary with Marilyn, and they'll be surrounded by their children and grandchildren, who are the focus of their lives now. This coming fall, Coach O will be back in Death Valley, GA 30720, when the Roadrunners gather for a tribute to their beloved coach in honor of his 70th birthday. In a reflective mood recently on the floor of Bandy Gym, where it all happened, Ottinger recalled "how many times we ran, how many crowds we had.... those were the best ten years of my life." d FINAL BUzzER Going into the 1972-1973 season, Ottinger took stock of his situation. In the last three years, his Roadrunners had won 84 of 99 games, including two state championships, the region conference title, and a trip to the national championship tournament. Despite losing five of his top six players from the previous year, Ottinger knew that "our main problem is going to be morale and attitude, keeping everybody happy," he told a sports reporter at the time. "You can't play 15 people." The Roadrunners posted a 28-7 record, claimed the state runner-up Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 21 sCholarshiPs Student Scholarships: Today's Investments, Tomorrow's Dividends Forget 8 a.m. class times. That's a cinch. Afternoon labs? No problem. Even parking pales in comparison to a college student's number one desire: money. And at Dalton State, there's an office on campus that gives it away. Well, kind of. On the pages that follow, you'll meet four of the 85 Dalton State students who won a scholarship this year from the Dalton State College Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the students, faculty, and academic programs of Dalton State with funds raised from alumni and other individuals, corporations, and foundations. "The biggest myth about scholarships is that they're just for A-students," states Sara "Skeeter" Pierce, Chair of the Foundation's Board of Trustees. "They're not. We help hard-working students who are determined to succeed, who are involved on campus and in their communities, or who need some financial support to attend classes. With a record enrollment, the need for scholarships has never been greater than it is right now." "An investment in a Dalton State student today can pay dividends for years to come," notes President John Schwenn. "We are proud to have earned the support of so many donors who make an annual gift to sustain an award or who have endowed a scholarship. Either way, it's a winwin. The donors know they're changing lives and the student graduates to become a productive professional. That's a good investment." The DSC Foundation gratefully acknowledges the following donors and scholarships for the impact they have on Dalton State students. Some scholarships support multiple students each year. For information on establishing a scholarship at Dalton State with an annual gift or endowment, contact the Foundation at (706) 272-4473 or email@example.com. 22 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 Scholarships marked with an asterisk (*) are endowed. Arvine Phelps Memorial Scholarship* Azeez Shaheen Foundation Scholarship* Bob E. Knisely Scholarship* Buchanan Family Scholarship* Carlton Candler McCamy Memorial Scholarship* Carpet City Rotary Club Scholarship City of Dalton Public Safety Scholarship* Derrell C. Roberts Memorial Scholarship* DHS Class of '59 Scholarship Dixie Hasty Kinard Scholarship* Don Bowen Scholarship* Earl "Buck" Benson Memorial Scholarship Fincher-Loughridge Teacher Education Scholarship George Jones Scholarship* Gibb Watts Memorial Scholarship* Goizueta Foundation Scholarship* Hispanic/Latino Achievement Scholarship J&J Industries Scholarship Johnnie & Peter Bakkum Scholarship* Jolly Family RETP Scholarship* Kate McMillan Daniel Memorial Scholarship for Teachers* Kay Lauman Nursing Scholarship* Ken White Scholarship* Kenneth E. & Dottie S. Boring Nursing Scholarship* Kiwanis Club of Dalton / Dr. Earl McGhee Scholarship* Mary Bell Price Environmental Studies Scholarship* Mayor David Pennington Scholarship Minor Family Nursing Scholarship Murray Scholarship* MWE Scholarship in Teacher Education Norris & Billie Little Scholarship* NW GA Chapter of the Georgia Society of CPA's Scholarship Ratner Foundation Scholarship* Rita Salazar Scholarship* Robert W. Kinard Scholarship* Roman Open Charities / James G. Freas Memorial Scholarship Roman Open Charities / Ken Beaudoin Memorial Scholarship Ronald S. Taylor Memorial Nursing Scholarship Roy Barrett Scholarship Ruth C. Boyle Scholarship* Ryan Allan Acree Memorial Scholarship* Stan & Janet Goodroe RETP Scholarship* Wachovia Bank Scholarship for Business Excellence* Walter M. & Fannie B. Jones Scholarship* Wayne Bell Memorial Scholarship W.W. Fincher Scholarship sCholarshiPs MARISA CARDENAS: HELPING HANDS When asked what she's known for, nursing and communications major Marisa Cardenas grits her teeth, winces, and says "for being in a lot of pictures," then shakes her head as if she's trying to shrug it off. It turns out that Marisa has "the look" campus photographers like and so she's asked to take part in numerous photography sessions to capture campus scenes. "I know I've been in too many pictures when someone I don't know comes up to me and says that they know me, they've seen my picture," she confides. Born in Guatemala, Marisa and her mother came to the U.S. when Marisa was three. They settled first in Florida and then they moved to Ringgold, where they've lived ever since. Marisa's mother, an elementary school teacher back in Guatemala, stressed the importance of education. "She's gotten me to where I am today," Marisa says, obviously proud of her mom. "And she did it by herself, as a single parent." Her mother taught Marisa English, and today Marisa's diction rivals or exceeds that of American speakers. "And then we'd watch Spanish-language soap operas," she laughs, stressing that it was important she not lose her native Spanish. The double recipient of a Goizueta Scholarship and a Ratner Nursing Scholarship, Marisa majors in nursing to fulfill her desire to "be in a career where I can care for somebody. I want to be a certified nurse midwife or a physician's assistant." Her ultimate goal is to work for Doctors Without Borders, the global relief organization that delivers humanitarian aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, or natural disasters. "I want to be able to help people," she says with passion and conviction. "I feel useless when I can't." In addition to the rigors of the nursing program, Marisa busies herself with several campus organizations. For the past two years she's been a SOAR (Student Orientation Ambassador and Recruitment) leader, and she was the head of SOAR in 2009. She served two years with the Northwest Georgia Crescent Leadership Alliance, a group comprised of students from regional colleges and universities who gather regularly to study leadership. She sits on the Presidents' Council for student organization leaders and the college's Disciplinary Council that adjudicates student offenses. The rewards for Marisa have been many, but one is greater than all the rest: "I've gotten to know myself." Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 23 The FiLe on MArisA CArdenAs.... Little-known fact: Any extra time I have, I read. Listens to: Spanish rock, Regina Spektor, indie music Favorite literary character: Elizabeth Bennett and Scarlett O'Hara Admits to: I'm a sucker for romantic comedies. Favorite toy as a child: I still have my teddy bear named "Brownie." Breakfast: Coffee and maybe toast Favorite quote: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Guilty pleasure: Chocolate Would rather be: Helping out in Haiti or Guatemala Admires: My mother and my aunts, Vickie and Angelica Motto: Never give up. sCholarshiPs SAM PRESLEy: TEACHER MAN Teacher education major Sam Presley has what it takes to make an outstanding teacher someday, but he'd be an equally successful salesman should he ever decide to go that route. When he came to Dalton State as a freshman four years ago, he was the only member in his family of seven to be here. Within two years, his brother, two of his three sisters, and even his mother had enrolled, all thanks to Sam's powers of persuasion. "I just told them how great it was," he says, but somehow one imagines that Sam didn't leave it at that, going on to point out "the small class sizes....affordability....instructors' accessibility.... [and] the closeness to home and family" that Dalton State offered. Sam was inspired to pursue teaching when he was a student at Murray County High School and fell under the spell of his 11th and 12th grade literature teacher, the late Troy Beasley. "I realized one day that his was the only class I enjoyed going to," Sam recalls, noting how Mr. Beasley would engage the class in discussion and stimulate students' thinking with high energy and enthusiasm for the subject. "I wanted to be like him." But Sam put his own spin on things. "I'm actually dating his daughter now," he laughs. At Dalton State, Sam cites one of his education professors, Dr. Lynn Murphy, as a role model and mentor. "Dr. Murphy embodies professionalism," he says, praising the professor's well planned lesson structure and emphasis on reaching out to students and fostering a team atmosphere. Earnest and focused, Sam spends his last semester in college putting in eighthour days doing his student teaching, prepping lesson plans and activities for the upcoming days and weeks, or studying for a children's literature course or a professional seminar required of all education majors in their final semesters. His schedule doesn't leave much time for other pursuits, such as keeping up with politics, going to the movies, or golf. "My clubs are in the attic," he says, noting that he stored them there this past winter when he realized just how busy he was going to be until graduation. This year's recipient of the Ryan Allan Acree Memorial Scholarship confesses that he's "always had a drive to help" and that he gets a certain satisfaction in helping people. "It's my dream to help other people reach theirs." The FiLe on sAM presLey.... Little-known fact: I'm never happy with my hair. Motto: All that glitters is not gold. Listens to: Rush Limbaugh Favorite literary character: Frodo Baggins Known for: Easy-going nature Admits to: Not being serious enough nickname: Samwise Breakfast: Bacon and eggs Favorite quote: "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world." � C.S. Lewis Admires: Mom and Dad dream job: Teacher 24 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 sCholarshiPs ASHLEy BENTLEy: NUMBER GIRL Dalton State senior Ashley Bentley is a little different. Not bad different, not weird different, but unique different. She even says so. Case in point: Ashley has been heard to say, "I loved taking calculus." This aspiring mathematician is the recipient of this year's Arvine Phelps Memorial Scholarship, an award made annually to a student majoring in math. Arvine Phelps was a charter member of the faculty at then-Dalton Junior College, taught trigonometry and calculus here for 27 years, and retired in 1995. He died in 2002. When Ashley graduates this spring, she'll be the first Dalton State student ever to do so with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. She was recruited into the math program two years ago by Dr. Randall Griffus, Dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics. She was offered a DSC Foundation scholarship to stay at Dalton State after she completed her associate's degrees in physical education and math. And because her name is at the top of the alphabet, and no one else in the program has a surname beginning with `A,' Bentley will be the first name called at graduation to receive a baccalaureate in mathematics. "Everybody's got a special gift," Ashley notes. "Mine's math." Currently enrolled in her final semester at Dalton State, Ashley is taking Math 4602, Real Analysis II. She's got Euclidian space, Riemann integrals, and homomorphisms down pat. She had her Alphas, Betas, Deltas, and Gammas knocked out a long time ago. When she's not in class, she's tutoring other students in the math lab on campus. "I meet new people there � I met my best friend in the math lab. I have regulars. When I'm in the math lab, I feel like I'm in the right place" Her math lab experience has given her a taste of teaching, which fulfills her. She wants to extend her study of math to a Ph.D., probably in combinatorics � problem-solving using permutations and combinations, or, as Ashley says, "how to count" � and to teach at the college level. She's earned A's in every college math class except one, where she took a B. "I don't think I'm smarter than anyone else," she says thoughtfully, pausing to think this through. "I just have the determination to pursue what I love � math." Even so, she knows her limits. "Some people are artists. I'm not an artist. I can't draw anything....but a graph." The FiLe on AshLey BenTLey.... Little-known fact: I always wear a crazy hair-bow. Listens to: Mostly alternative, Linkin Park & Evanesence Favorite literary character: "The Little Mermaid" Admits to: Nothing that will get me in trouble hometown: Chatsworth, but originally from Wise, Virginia Breakfast: A sandwich from IHOP or Subway or Panera Guilty pleasure: Watching anime in 10 years: I hope to be doing math. so relates to: My dad � I've always been a daddy's girl. Would rather be: Working for Disney Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 25 sCholarshiPs PARTH BRAHMBHATT: UPwARDLy MOBILE Management major Parth Brahmbhatt says nothing has been more essential to his college education than the communication skills he's mastered along the way. "Writing and speaking skills are the two most important things for a college student and even more so after college," he states with the assuredness of a man older than his 25 years. "They are absolutely the most valuable things I've learned here." Articulate and engaging, Parth will employ those skills as he pursues a legal career following his graduation from Dalton State in May. He aspires to be an attorney in Washington, D.C., and ultimately be an advisor to the president. Parth is a first-generation immigrant to the U.S. from his hometown of Ahmedabad in western India. His father died when Parth was four, so his mother raised him and his four older sisters, bringing the family to the U.S. when Parth was in the tenth grade. "It was hard, but our mother embedded in us the value of education and the financial stability it brings," he recalls. Several of his sisters have master's degrees, including his sister, Bea, who preceded him as an alumna of Dalton State. Parth originally enrolled at Dalton State for two years. Then his entrepreneurial streak took over and he opened a small convenience store in Chattanooga. But his thirst for education was unquenched, and he returned to Dalton State to pursue a bachelor's degree. When he came back, he was attending classes and working two jobs. "That's when I applied for the scholarship," he states, referring to his junior year when he received the Ken White Scholarship. "The scholarship freed me to pursue my education," he says. A regular on the college's Dean's List, Parth earned his current award, one of the Roy Barrett Scholarships, for his senior year, ensuring him a clear path to graduation. "One of the things that surprised me most was the teaching methods used by professors in the School of Business," Parth admits. "They present us with case studies like those used at more established and older business schools, and they're on a very high level." As Parth prepares to graduate this spring, he's already setting high standards of his own. "Money's never a goal of mine....but I hope I can be successful enough to come back and endow a huge scholarship to help other students like me." The FiLe on pArTh BrAhMBhATT.... Little-known fact: Trilingual (English, Hindi, Gujarati, and trying to learn as much Spanish as I can) Motto: Don't think of the future � it comes soon enough! dream job: Advisor to the President of the United States Admires: Gandhi; Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast: Indian chai Favorite toy as a child: A machine gun my mother bought for me. I still have it. Listens to: Hindi music so relates to: Michael J. Fox on "Family Ties" Known for: Playing tricks on people Admits to: Cramming ten minutes before exams Would rather be: Homer Simpson Favorite quote: "Gems don't shine without friction, nor does a man without obstacles." 26 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 Dalton State Alumni Advisory Council Last fall, the Alumni Relations office invited 15 Dalton State alumni to campus to discuss how the college interacts with its alumni. These graduates from various decades and majors were selected to serve on the college's first Alumni Advisory Council. "As we look to expand our programming to our growing alumni base, we're seeking the input and feedback of the 10,000 Dalton State alums we're here to serve," says Alumni Relations Coordinator Josh Wilson. "It's extremely important to us that Dalton State alumni have a say in the way we engage them through our communication pieces like the magazine and email newsletter, and with reunions and special events throughout the year. The Alumni Advisory Council provides an effective venue for that dialogue." Jeff Clements ('94) has been selected as Chair of the group and Nancy Whaley (`74) serves as Vice Chair, each for two-year terms. "I wanted to be part of a group of people dedicated to help Dalton State be the best in all aspects," says Clements, who lives and practices law in Calhoun. "All members of the council share that common bond. To be able to volunteer my time for an institution so dear to me is very rewarding." His attachments to Dalton State run deep, as do those of other council members. All of them have multiple stories about what the college means to them and why they agreed to serve on the council. Clements' story is typical. "I am very appreciative of the education I received at Dalton State and I am additionally grateful for the opportunities that I had at the college. Some of my deepest friendships were made at Dalton State. I was blessed to have professors who cared about me as a person and who wanted the best for me." Clements believes that all alumni can play several roles in support of Dalton State. "A strong alumni base has the potential to be a very powerful voice for public advocacy on behalf of the college," he says. "Further, the most important aspect of any college is, of course, the education of its students. Therefore, if alumni are in a position to help students currently enrolled, then we as alumni should be willing to make that commitment." Members of the 2010 Dalton State Alumni Advisory Council shown seated (left to right): Kimberly Davis, Dudd Dempsey, and Nancy Whaley. Standing (left to right): Ken White, Evitte Parrish, Jeff Carrier, Tim Jones, Hubert Marsh, Bob Oxford, and Michael Williams. Not pictured: Bob Beavers, Mark Beckler, Jeff Clements, Mary Thelma Norris, and Corey Roy. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 27 aluMni Profile BrandiJohnson Photo courtesy of Alana Joyner/Office of the Governor Suppose you're going into a job interview. Suppose it's a job you really, really want, and suppose that you already know a good bit about your potential employer. You're pumped. You've rehearsed your answers, and you know that you're ready for whatever the interviewer throws at you. Now suppose that the interviewer just so happens to be the governor of the State of Georgia. That actually did happen to Dalton State alumna Brandi Johnson early in 2009 when she interviewed for her current position as Executive Assistant to Governor Sonny Perdue's Chief of Staff, Ed Holcombe. Having just completed a stint as a Legislative Assistant in the Governor's Floor Leader's Office in the Georgia State Senate, Brandi had been urged to apply for the Executive Assistant position by a 28 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 aluMni Profile colleague at the state capitol. She interviewed with Holcombe and Governor Perdue, and she got the job on her first try. When asked now about the interview, Brandi hesitates, obviously still overwhelmed by the experience. "Nerve-wracking, yet exciting," she says. "As intimidating as an interview with the governor can be, but I wouldn't change a thing." One can only imagine. Originally planning a career as a fashion designer, Brandi grew up loving to sew and design clothes. While in college, she worked as a graphic designer for Brumlow Home, where she designed area rugs. She found time to earn her Georgia real estate license while juggling a job and her school responsibilities, and she worked for a while with ERA Team Advantage Realty in Calhoun. Then she heard about internship opportunities in state government. Brandi called up the governor's office one day to see if there was an internship program. It turned out there was, but the deadline for applications was only three days away. "They told me to send in my resume, so I did, and I got an internship," she recalls, still marveling at how fast things moved for her then. She was assigned to the governor's scheduling office. "That experience really opened doors that I never knew existed," she says. "Being surrounded by the political atmosphere was so invigorating: it helped me realize how much I love politics." The internship was her first political experience. When it concluded, Brandi applied for and was granted a full-time, six-month fellowship with the governor's press office. As a Governor's Fellow, she communicated with the press, drafted briefings and media advisories, handled requests for interviews and statements, helped coordinate official events, and assisted the governor's official photographer, which put her in close proximity to the Big Guy himself. "Governor Perdue is so normal!" she asserts, pointing out that he sometimes wears cowboy boots with his suits and pops in to various offices around the capitol to see how everyone is doing. Brandi even caught an inside glimpse of national politics when former president George W. Bush visited Atlanta for a fundraiser in 2008: she drove a 15-passenger press van full of national media representatives and a Secret Service agent in the presidential motorcade, and was on the tarmac when the president deplaned from Air Force One. Following the fellowship, she took a job as Special Assistant in the Governor's Floor Leader's Office in the State Senate, where she handled administrative matters, such as constituent inquiries and legislative research, as well as communications. She monitored committee hearings and tracked the progress of bills through the General Assembly. From there she made the jump to working for Perdue's Chief of Staff, where she will be until the Perdue administration ends in early 2011. When she's not in the center of the action at the capitol, Brandi volunteers with the Atlanta Junior League, a service organization focusing on women and children, and participates in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, an annual 60-mile walk to raise money for breast cancer research. She walked in 2008 and 2009, and is planning to walk again later this year. Meanwhile, she puts in 10- and 11-hour workdays, especially when the legislature is in session, and continues to be amazed at where she is. "The excitement of the place....there's always something going on," she says. "Everything [about this job] has completely surprised me," she confides, but admits quickly that "I haven't had time to really think about how all of this happened. Things just kind of fell into my lap." d Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 29 all aBout aluMni Randy Beckler `71 In 1971, a little start-up airline called Southwest Airlines began flying; Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris; Walt Disney World opened in Florida; and a tall, lanky Dalton native named Randy Beckler graduated from Dalton Junior College. We caught up with Randy recently to see what he's been up to. A glance around his office would indicate that he's a professional hunter and fisherman: no less than 12 specimens populate the room, including a largemouth bass, a ringneck pheasant, a northern timberwolf, a black bear, a ground barren caribou, and a bull moose. Turns out instead that hunting's just a hobby, and he's spent his career in the retail floorcovering business, building on the tradition his father and mother started with Beckler's Carpet, turning it into one of the largest floorcovering retailers in the country. Here's the rest of the lowdown on Randy: THEN Known for: being Burch and Claudell Beckler's son; being a good jumper in basketball Listened to: mostly pop and country Admired: my Dad and Mom and DJC Roadrunner basketball Coach Melvyn Ottinger Wanted to be: hunting and fishing Favorite movie or TV show: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"; "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" did for fun: hunting and fishing; basketball drove: a '69 gold Corvette Married: DJC Homecoming Queen Beth Headrick ('71) the Saturday after their DJC graduation Favorite class: American history with Terry Christie � "he kept you on the edge of your seat" Liked dJC because: it was small and everybody knew everybody else; on the basketball team, we learned sportsmanship and teamwork 30 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 NOW Known for: Beckler's Carpet; still being a big fan of Roadrunner basketball Listens to: country; can occasionally get into some classical music Works: Beckler's Carpet, CEO Children: two sons, Bryan and Mark, and three grandchildren plus one on the way Admires: my Mom and anybody who's got good old fashioned common sense Wants to be more: involved with kids, especially young disadvantaged kids does for fun: "hunt critters," especially in Montana � "they call it Big Sky country for a reason" Favorite movie or TV show: "The Blind Side"; "Two and a Half Men"; "CSI-Miami" Appreciates: faith, family, health, and happiness something most people don't know about him: he's got a big soft spot for kids all aBout aluMni 2000s Nathan Smith ('09) was elected Chairman of the Walker County Republican Party in a special election last August. Nathan lives in Rossville, GA, and works for UNUM as a Programmer Analyst. Jason Surratt ('06) married Mollie Jean Allen last fall. Jason is an Assistant Department Manager for Shaw Industries. The couple make their home in Dalton, GA. Andy Foster ('05) returned to campus this spring to speak with students in an American Government class about his experience as the Executive Director of the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission (GAEC). GAEC regulates all combat sports in the state, including boxing and mixed martial arts. "We oversee everything from the types of gloves fighters use, to the doctors and ambulances, to the referees," Andy said. He offered a quick lesson on the difference between a regulatory rule and a law, and discussed the relationship between GAEC, the Attorney General's office, and the Georgia legislature. A former fighter himself, Andy began his professional relationship with GAEC as a referee. He was appointed GAEC's Executive Director two years ago. He loves his work. It was one of his extracurricular activities as a student at Dalton State that really prepped him for the real world, he says, noting how College Bowl coach Dr. Tom Deaton "always made sure everything was complete, including our paperwork. It taught me the importance of being prepared and having my own paperwork complete before I go into a meeting." Andy concluded his class lecture with some sage advice: "Do what you're good at, and if you keep at it, you'll be successful." It was a lesson he learned a number of years ago: "Do what you like." Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 31 Dalton Police Department Chief Jason Parker, right, congratulates the DPD's newest sergeant, Dalton State alumnus Daniel Nicholson ('05). A ten-year veteran of the department, Sergeant Nicholson had been assigned to the Drug Unit. Now that he has been promoted, he will be serving as a supervisor in the Patrol Division. all aBout aluMni Gazing onto the campus flora and fauna through the full-length windows in Roberts Library helped Dalton State alumna Alicia Hughes Newberry ('04) realize her life's calling: protecting and conserving nature, especially locations where animal species are endangered or on the verge of extinction. Alicia works for the Florida Natural Areas Inventory as a GIS Analyst and Data Services Coordinator. Based in Tallahassee, she creates maps using geographic information systems (GIS) software. "I can view, interpret, query, and visualize spatial data, and see relationships and patterns between the data," she says. "In the environmental resources field, I have analyzed the spatial relationship of land cover and land use to the locations of endangered species to determine which locations are threatened by agriculture and which are in good condition." The Ellijay native came to geography indirectly. She initially majored in journalism because she loved to write. But then Dalton State geography professor Dr. Tom Deaton told her about GIS. And biology professor Dr. James Adams inspired her to work in the natural sciences. She blended both and landed in Tallahassee. She admits to being "very shy, so they may not have known it at the time, but their excellent teaching skills and support put me on the path that I'm on today." Today, Alicia helps the State of Florida make conservation decisions. "My ultimate goal is to make a difference in the world, just like Dr. Deaton and Dr. Adams did for me, by helping to conserve and protect the land and the species that inhabit them." Julie Karash Pavlu ('03) was recently named General Manager of the Hampton Inn � Dalton. Julie oversees all financial and management operations at the 124room hotel including sales, marketing strategies, and guest services. The Rocky Face, GA, resident's hobbies include traveling, photography, hiking, boating, swimming, and spending time with family. Barry Blevins ('03, '01) and his family live in Calhoun, GA. Last fall, Barry co-hosted a football pre-game show on Friday nights called "The Fearless Football Forecast" on WJTH 101.7 FM and 900 AM. Barry works at Century Bank and enjoys spending time with his family, watching football, fishing, and working in the yard. Nina Geddings O'Neill ('02) is an Orientation and Mobility Specialist for the blind and visually impaired at St. Joseph's School for the Blind in Jersey City, NJ. Nina and her family reside in Hamilton, NJ. Joshua Roberts ('01), a teacher at Eastbrook Middle School, was recently recognized by Georgia Power as one of Georgia's best and brightest new teachers. Joshua lives in Rome, GA. Carrie Martin Thomas ('01), of Epworth, GA, works for Fannin Regional Hospital as a Registered Nurse in the OR. Her hobbies include scrapbooking and crafts. Trina Johnson williams ('00, '85) lives in Calhoun, GA, with her husband and works at Cartersville Ob/Gyn Associates as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking. 1990s Kenneth "Ken" D. Keith ('98) joined Liberty National Insurance Company in 2005 as an agent and is now a Branch Manager. Ken and his wife live in North Richland Hills, TX. They have three children and one grandson. Ken loves to play the guitar and drums, and watch college football. 32 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 all aBout aluMni Brad Denton ('98) was recently named Vice President and Branch Manager of FSG Bank's Ringgold branch. He currently serves as the co-chair of Leadership Catoosa and has been involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Junior Achievement, and the Chickamauga Recreation Association. Brad and his family live in Ringgold, GA. Tammy Blanchard wilson ('97) is the Member Services Supervisor at Bradley Wellness Center. Tammy and her family live in Cohutta, GA, and like to camp, snow ski, golf, run, and participate in their church. Angela Jackson Runyon ('95) of Chattanooga, TN, likes 80's music and all kinds of sports. She works at Parkridge Valley Hospital as a Medical Assistant. Brandon D. Darnell ('93) lives in Dalton, GA, and works for Whitfield County Emergency Medical Services. Brandon is also a volunteer firefighter. Angela M. McClung ('92) is a special education teacher at Appoquinimink Early Childhood Center in Middleton, DE, where she lives with her husband. Melinda white Dill ('91) is a Meigs, GA, resident who enjoys reading and going to yard sales and flea markets to look for "treasure." Shirley w. Hopkins ('90) recently retired as a pre-school director. She lives in Dalton, GA. 1980s Ann wright Lasher ('88) is an Information and Security Compliance Specialist for Acxiom Corporation. Ann's work focuses on ensuring that new and existing projects, processes, and systems comply with Acxiom's internal information security policies. Ann writes: "I only became interested in computers after taking a computer programming course from Dr. James Head at Dalton State over 20 years ago. That initial spark of interest eventually led to my successful IT security career." Outside of her work, Ann's daughter keeps her busy and entertained. "I love photographing her with my digital SLR camera so that I can share pictures with family and friends back home." Ann and her husband are both huge NFL fans and attend games whenever they can. "Our ultimate goal is to see a game in each NFL stadium around the country." Ann's husband roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Ann cheers on the Atlanta Falcons. To date, Ann and her husband have seen NFL games in Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte. "We're looking forward to taking our daughter to her first NFL game in the very near future," Ann says. Ann and her family live in Roanoke, VA. Tim Prince ('90) is a Budget Officer for United States Army Japan, I Corps (FWD) and 10th Area Support Group in Okinawa. After graduation, Tim completed a two year internship in Germany and then accepted a position in Korea. After being stationed in Korea for seven years, he moved to Hawaii to work as the financial manager for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. Tim writes: "I enjoy golf and salt water fishing and taking part in the trips scheduled by the military in the different countries where I have been stationed." Nancy Lynn Sharp ('85) enjoys reading, cooking, outdoor activities, and spending time with her family. The Calhoun, GA, resident is a Clinical Supervisor at Gordon Hospital. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 33 all aBout aluMni Patricia Ridpath ('83) is retired but frequently writes for five different newspapers. Patricia lives in Buckhannon, WV. Donald L. Ledford ('73) works for Sterne Agee, an investment company. He lives in Anniston, AL. Robert "Bob" Fallis ('72) is the owner of Vogue Enterprises, Inc. Bob enjoys playing golf and lives in Dalton, GA. Marsha Butler Boyd ('72) resides in Ooltewah, TN. She is a social worker for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. Larry G. Harmon ('70) and Charme Butler Harmon ('71) call Jasper, GA, home. Larry is the Executive Director of the North Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency and Charme works in the Gilmer County School System. Jimmy Lamar Davis ('70) co-founded Atlas Industries in 1976. Jim was in the inaugural class of three to graduate then-Dalton Junior College with a degree in tufted textiles management. He lives in Chatsworth, GA. Dr. Thomas "Tom" Price ('83) of Clinton, CT, is Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise Science at Southern Connecticut State University. After completing his doctorate at Yale University, he remained on the faculty for the next fifteen years as a Research Scientist in the School of Medicine. Then, six years ago Tom shifted his professional goal from research to teaching, which led him to Southern Connecticut State. Tom writes: "Outside of work, I have been a professional musician for the last forty years and I am an avid motorcyclist. I am also father to four grown children and six grandchildren, with another on the way, and now I have a wonderful four year old daughter at home." Richard S. McEntyre ('83) resides in Plainville, GA. His hobbies include tennis, hiking, and photography. Cheryl Mayfield Mulkey ('81) of Ellijay, GA, enjoys reading, gardening, cruising through flea markets, and loom knitting. She works in Ellijay as a bookkeeper and office manager. Tommy Jerome "Jerry" Booker ('80) was one of Coach Melvyn Ottinger's Roadrunner basketball players during the 1976-1977 season. He lives in Summerville, GA. 1969 Lynn Frost Smith ('69) and her husband, former DJC Roadrunner basketball player william Gary Smith ('70), welcomed another grandchild to the family last fall. Lynn and Gary live in Dalton, GA. 1970s Ruthie Ammari Pfeiffer ('78) is self-employed and living in Denver, CO. Patrick Allan Neblett ('77) lives with his wife in Waverly, TN, and works for Family Discount Pharmacy. In his spare time he enjoys fishing and motorcycling. 34 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 in MeMoriaM Mr. Roy Barrett Dalton businessman and philanthropist Roy Barrett, a friend to dozens of recent and future Dalton State students, died in January at age 80. The founder of Barrett Carpet Mills and then Barrett Properties, he established the Roy Barrett Scholarships at Dalton State in 2007. "Mr. Barrett was very proud of his scholarship recipients," says David Elrod, Dalton State's Director of Institutional Advancement. "I think he got a bigger kick out of it than the students did. He would ask me throughout the year, `how are my kids doing?'" Mr. Barrett designed the scholarships to run through 2017, providing funding to assist scores of students. His example was one of generosity and his gift was exceedingly thoughtful. We mourn the loss of Mr. Barrett, but are honored to perpetuate his memory with these annual awards to our students. Mr. Barrett, seated, last November at the annual DSC Foundation Scholarship Recognition Dinner with three of his scholarship recipients, left to right, Amelia Atwell, Jonathan Marks, and Vallarie Pratt. Mr. Art Taylor Former Dalton State College Foundation Chair Art Taylor died in January. He was 88. Elected by his fellow board members, Mr. Taylor chaired the Foundation's Board of Trustees in 19941995 between the administrations of presidents Derrell C. Roberts, who retired in 1994, and James A. Burran, who became president in 1995. David F. Hay was interim president between the two. True to his salesman roots, Mr. Taylor was able to walk into a room and make friends instantly, and he was able to do this for the college both during and after his term as Foundation Chair. He will be greatly missed. Mrs. Wyleen Carroll Turner Dalton State's friend Wyleen Carroll Turner died in January at the age of 84. She and her husband, Jack, were major contributors during the DSC Foundation's Fulfilling the Vision campaign in 2006-2008. A pharmacist by training � she was one of two female graduates from Auburn University's pharmacy school in 1946 � Mrs. Turner was a longtime supporter of education in northwest Georgia, especially for children and adults with developmental disabilities. People who had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Turner knew a gracious lady whose smile radiated warmth and cheer. She was generous and kind, and never met a stranger. 35 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010 650 College Drive | Dalton, GA 30720 Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Chattanooga TN Permit No. 113 Got yours? Dalton State alumna Heidi Veal ('04) sports her Dalton State Alumni t-shirt in her hometown of London, England. Show your Dalton State pride and get your free alumni t-shirt at www.daltonstate.edu/alumni and click on "Update My Information".