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Fulfilling the Vision: Tomorrow’s Dalton State Strengthening Academic Programs Expanding Student Opportunities

A Message from the President James A. Burran

Welcome to the April 2007 edition of Dalton State Magazine! In this issue you will find extensive coverage of the DSC Foundation’s “Fulfilling the Vision” Campaign, a $20 million effort to achieve the next big steps in the College’s evolution. All four of the major objectives contained within the campaign will enhance the College’s capacity for growth and the quality of the student experience. All of us look forward to seeing the campaign’s impact upon both the institution and the larger community in the months and years ahead.

If you haven’t already done so, I would like to invite you to consider participating in “Fulfilling the Vision.” I’ll be happy to visit with you personally about the campaign, its objectives, and its importance to the Northwest Georgia area. In the meantime, let me thank you for your interest in DSC and all of the good things that are happening here.



Dalton State Then & Now


How the College has changed since 1974

Fulfilling the Vision: Tomorrow’s Dalton State 6 The Dalton State College Campaign for Educational, Economic, and Cultural Advancement in Northwest Georgia

Growing the Campus


Expanding the College’s physical surroundings

Strengthening Academic Programs


Expanding Student Opportunities


Investing in strategic programs for the future

Creating a diverse array of student life activities

Bringing Campus & Community Together


An iconic symbol of tomorrow’s Dalton State

Joe Keener: Exploring the Relationship Between Shakespeare and Southern Lit


Finding the “masculine” in Shakespeare and beyond

Around Campus


Students serving our country; exploring our world

Faculty & Staff


“Juggling lots of different roles”

Alumni Profiles


Finding their own “stepping stones” to success

Campaign Kickoff


Pictures from a red-letter day

Alumni Notes


See what our grads are doing now

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; Writer, Jane Taylor; Photographers, Phillip Spears and Linda Massey; 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.

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Growth was the theme of 1974 as Dalton Junior College made great strides forward in several areas during the year. The Board of Regents approved construction of a 40,000 square foot “Vocational-Technical Building” on the north end of campus. Vo-Tech programs had come to DJC the year before and were housed in various buildings, some of them even in rented space off campus. Construction crews were all over campus, finishing additions to the Westcott Administration Building, the Plant Operations facility, and the new two-level Pope Student Center. This latter project more than tripled the size of the student center.

Among the 21 new faculty members reporting to campus in fall quarter were John Hutcheson, Richard Smith, and Robert Weathersby. In addition to its books and periodicals, the DJC Library housed 1,290 audio cassettes, 118 film strips, 70 “motion pictures,” 11 video cassettes, and 4,866 reels of microfilm. Due to increased traffic and a notable loss of materials, the library staff installed a detection device at the front door. DJC basketball coach Melvyn Ottinger posted his 200th win as the Roadrunners put down Emmanuel 106-97 in Bandy Gym’s “Death Valley.” The DJC Foundation’s annual fund drive netted “a record” $53,000. And, from the president’s report: “Disciplinary action was taken in the course of the year against a number of students involved in ‘streaking.’ This disciplinary action was taken by a joint committee of faculty and students. There have been no appeals and no recurrences.”

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


1974 Then

Dalton State…

1,294 Student enrollment 60 Number of faculty

19 Number of new faculty 56 Number of staff

7 Number of buildings 209 Students graduating 36,806 Books in library $85/quarter Tuition $10/quarter Student Activity Fee $0 Technology Fee $1/year Parking Fee

$35/quarter Average cost of books for full-time enrollment $334,412.12 Foundation assets



2007 Now


Dalton State…

4,348 Student enrollment 129 Number of faculty

14 Number of new faculty 169 Number of staff

10 Number of buildings 477 Students graduating

122,137 + 46,221 e-books Books in library

$802 Associate/semester $1,280 Bachelor’s/semester Tuition $33/semester Student Activity Fee $36/semester Technology Fee $10/vehicle/year Parking Fee $300/semester Average cost of books for full-time enrollment $17,860,013.00 Foundation assets


Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Baogang Guo was named the inaugural recipient of the C. Tracy Harrington Award for the InterInstitutional Collaboration in International Education.


Members of the College’s Social Work Club sponsored a Boxa-thon campout in sub-freezing temperatures to raise money (more than $4,200) for a clinic that provides medical care for the indigent.


Student Ambassadors from Dalton State traveled to Plains, Georgia, where they attended a Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church led by former President Jimmy Carter and were photographed with Carter and his wife following church services. The students also toured his childhood home and visited the Koinonia Farm in Americus.


The world-famous Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band performed music ranging from classical to calypso to rock and roll before a packed crowd as the first Fine Arts and Lecture Series event for spring. The Manhattan Piano Trio also appeared before a packed house during their debut appearance at Dalton State.


Honors students in Dr. Tom Veve’s History 2112 class traveled to Warm Springs, Georgia, to tour the Little White House and to meet five surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen program. Dr. James A. Burran, President of Dalton State, announced his retirement as of December 31 of this year. The Whitfield County Board of Education donated 3.35 acres of land on its Career Academy campus to the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents to be used for a college facility. The College will build a 20,000 square foot classroom building that will serve as a site for both general education courses and technical studies. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

Fulfilling the

VISION: Tomorrow’s Dalton State

For nearly four decades Dalton State College has prepared students from throughout northwest Georgia and beyond for rewarding careers as successful professionals and for lives as productive citizens in their communities. “With each passing year Dalton State becomes more important to our region’s quality of life,” says DSC Foundation Trustee and University System of Georgia Board of Regents member Jim Jolly. “The College’s ability to continually meet the needs of the region has made it an educational and economic engine, producing graduates in high-demand fields and offering our young people access to a solid educational experience.”

Looking to the future, Dalton State leaders are planning for continued growth and expansion. “We are uniquely situated in the geographic center of a section of Georgia that is projected to grow faster than other parts of the state except metro Atlanta between now and 2025,” says Burran. U.S. Census forecasts call for the College’s service area population to increase to 675,506 (24% over 2006) by 2015 and to 885,101 (42% over 2006) by 2025. “We simply must begin planning and even acting now if we are to keep pace with the region’s expectations of Dalton State in the years to come.”

Since the College opened in 1967, more than 80,000 students have enrolled. However, few people in the 1960’s could have imagined what Dalton State would become forty years later. Dalton State’s relevance to northwest Georgia is demonstrated by the fact that nearly two-thirds of its students are the first in their families ever to attend college. DSC today enrolls more than 4,300 students who come from 26 Georgia counties, four other states, and 42 foreign countries. These students pursue degrees in more than 65 programs, from baccalaureates in business, teacher education, and social work, to associate degrees in nursing, information technology, and a variety of other fields. “Our College has a profound impact on the region we serve,” says Dalton State President Jim Burran. In addition to its educational advantages, Dalton State also boasts a significant economic impact on the northwest Georgia region. “DSC’s economic impact – taking into account operating expenses, student spending, and the rollover effect of these dollars in the regional economy – exceeds $100 million annually,” says Burran. What’s more, the many intangible benefits of a vibrant college accrue to northwest Georgia in ways that greatly enhance our quality of life, says Bob Buchanan, DSC Foundation Vice Chair. “Colleges improve the skills of their graduates, thus increasing their lifetime earning potential. Large industry and small business benefits from easy access to a diverse pool of full-time and part-time workers. And cultural programs and educational facilities often are available to the general public,” says Buchanan.

Central to College leaders’ plans for the future is the DSC Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign. “We call it Fulfilling the Vision,” says Campaign Chair Sis Brown. “But it’s about a lot more than fulfilling the vision for Dalton State. Our vision is for the educational, economic, and cultural advancement of the entire northwest Georgia region.” “Only through private philanthropic support can we achieve results faster than we could otherwise,” says Brown. Fundraising by the DSC Foundation has resulted in many of the College’s recent advances. “Private support enabled the College to recruit two Professors of Management who hold endowed chairs in the Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

Division of Business Administration,” says Norris Little, DSC Foundation Chair. “And individual donors have endowed nearly 50 scholarships for hard-working students. This is talent that we are able to retain on campus and in our communities.” In addition, the DSC Foundation has purchased two pieces of property in the past two years to provide for the College’s future growth.

We are grateful for this unprecedented level of commitment to our students and faculty and vision for the future.” In addition to the vital lead gifts, the DSC Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the College’s faculty and staff have made significant contributions to the campaign. “The Board of Trustees has made gifts totaling $4,475,500,” says Foundation Chair Norris Little. “The board really stepped up. We could not be more pleased with this strong show of support for DSC.” The College’s faculty and staff, including retirees, also stepped up with substantial gifts to the campaign. “For the first time ever, the faculty and staff participation rate broke the 90% mark,” says Elrod. “Faculty and Staff Campaign Co-Chairs Joe Baxter and Carol Burton organized 13 teams of solicitors who raised $236,778 amongst themselves and their colleagues campuswide. Joe and Carol, along with Beth Biron and Doris Shoemaker who headed up the Retiree Division, deserve special recognition for their leadership and commitment.” “We are continuing to identify, cultivate, and solicit prospects for the Fulfilling the Vision campaign,” says Campaign Chair Sis Brown. “Now that we’ve taken the campaign public, we hope that people will invest with us in our College.”

Campaign Chair Brown points out that local residents should consider the impact of the College on their lives and businesses. “I’ve always said that if you made your money here you should spend it here, you should give it here. My family and I consider it a privilege to be a part of fulfilling the vision of the future Dalton State.” At the public kickoff of the Fulfilling the Vision campaign on March 27, College and Foundation leaders announced details of the campaign. “Our goal is $20 million,” says Chair Brown. “We already have secured gifts and pledges exceeding $15 million.” The campaign’s pledge fulfillment period runs for five years, until 2011. The four components of Fulfilling the Vision are Growing the Campus, Strengthening Academic Programs, Expanding Student Opportunities, and Bringing Campus and Community together. (For more detail, see following pages.)

“We are fortunate to enjoy the generosity of so many philanthropists in the area who are committed to Dalton State’s future,” says David Elrod, Director of the DSC Foundation. “The early success of our campaign demonstrates that northwest Georgians are deeply supportive of DSC.

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

This summer, the DSC Foundation plans to contact nearly 8,000 alumni and ask them to make a gift to their alma mater. “We’ve never approached our alumni before,” says Elrod. “We are confident that they will make gifts commensurate with their financial ability and their affinity for DSC.”

by the numbers

Growing the Campus $3,700,000

Wood Valley Property


Strategic Property Acquisition Fund

In the early 1960s, four visionary Dalton businessmen made a gift of land to the Board of Regents for the construction of what was then Dalton Junior College. Those 136 acres were planned and developed to sustain a campus of 1,200 students. But today, with the campus population mushrooming to more than 4,300 students, the College is looking for new opportunities to grow its physical surroundings so that it can continue to meet the growing needs of northwest Georgia. “Our number one priority for Fulfilling the Vision is being able to grow the campus,” says DSC Foundation Vice-Chair Bob Buchanan, noting that the Foundation purchased a five-acre tract of land in 1998 on which The James E. Brown Center is now located. “In 2005, we had the opportunity to buy the Wood Valley Apartments, which are adjacent to the north end of campus. This property will eventually be used to support residential life and it may be the home for new academic buildings as well.” The Foundation invested $1.2 million of its unrestricted assets toward the acquisition of this property and has assumed a note for the remaining $2.5 million, Buchanan said. In addition, the Foundation will establish a $4.6 million Strategic Property Acquisition Fund, which will provide the flexibility to secure new properties when conditions are right. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

Academic strengthening



Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

by the numbers


Strategic Academic Programs


Center for Northwest Georgia History and Culture

Dalton State administrators and faculty believe that the key to the College’s success lies in the institution’s ability to deliver high-quality academic programs that meet the needs of the student body it serves. As a result, they are committed to investing $4.4 million in five strategic academic programs – business and technology, health and human services, teacher education, the performing arts, and the humanities and social sciences – with the goal of strengthening existing programs and creating new ones. “We want to be in a financial position to make significant expenditures for scholarships, professorships, faculty and staff development, and program support,” says Dr. Jim Burran, President of Dalton State. “What we’d like to be able to achieve is a doubling of our scholarship offerings,” says David Elrod of the DSC Foundation, which administers nearly 75 scholarship awards each year. “In addition to providing access to a college education for those students with financial need, we want to use scholarships to recruit students to attend DSC.” Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. John Hutcheson takes a similar view of the professorships the Foundation is proposing. “These stipends would reward faculty excellence in teaching and scholarship, fund new research initiatives, and recruit new faculty talent as the College grows.” Faculty and staff development funds would support advanced study and professional development, while program support would be targeted to teacher education, business, and the performing arts.

Business & Technology With almost one-fifth of Dalton State students majoring in business and technology programs, the College’s four-year business baccalaureates have become a fast-growing segment of the campus. “Support for students majoring in business and technology programs is crucial to DSC’s ability to keep pace with northwest Georgia’s expanding business and evolving technology sectors,” says Dr. Donna Mayo, Chair of the Division of Business Administration. “Attracting talented faculty to teach those students is an equally vital component of Fulfilling the Vision.”

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


In addition to its traditional business programs, the College enjoys a partnership with Georgia Tech through the Regents’ Engineering Transfer Program (RETP). “Students coming out of our aggressive pre-engineering program with a 3.0 GPA go straight to Georgia Tech as juniors,” says Dr. Hutcheson. Health & Human Services Another fifth of the DSC student population is majoring in one of several allied health and human service fields such as nursing, social work, and radiological technology. “We’re the leading provider of nurses to northwest Georgia,” says Dr. Cordia Starling, Chair of the Division of Nursing. “Our graduates typically are among the highest achievers on board exams.” The College’s Division of Social Work was the second program to grant the bachelor’s degree. The rigorous social work program combines classroom instruction and applied learning through fieldwork and on-site training in mental health, child welfare, and homeless agencies. DSC Foundation Trustee Dottie Boring states that “outstanding faculty and compassionate students are


Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

a proven remedy for improving the lives of northwest Georgians. Exceptional healthcare and human services will enrich the quality of life for all of us.” Teacher Education Dalton State opened its teacher education program in 2005. Today, more than 500 students on campus major in early childhood education. “Dalton State knows the value of skilled and effective educators,” says Dr. Mary Edwards, Chair of the Education Division. “Our program is collaboratively developed with public school partners who believe that connecting theory and practice prepares future teachers to significantly impact student learning. Investing in teacher education pays dividends for generations.” Performing Arts “Public-private partnerships are vital to sustaining a vibrant arts culture in any community,” says President Burran. That is why Dalton State envisions new partnerships with established arts organizations in the region to afford new opportunities for northwest Georgians seeking collegebased instruction in the arts.

“Music, theatre, dance, the visual arts – all of them combine to stimulate and entertain not only students majoring in these programs but the larger community as well,” says Burran. Humanities & Social Sciences These Divisions account for another fifth of Dalton State’s enrollment. And they’ve been a key part of DSC’s reputation and success for four decades.

The DSC Foundation seeks to endow the history center to support an endowed chair, the acquisition of research materials, and annual programs open to the public. “Our aspiration is for Dalton State to be a destination campus in each of these fields,” says President Burran. “Our hope is that private donors will recognize the value of these initiatives and make significant gifts to support them.”

“Dalton State has unlimited potential. It is highly rated now, but we want to move it to the next level. This will only serve to mirror the region’s demand for higher education in fields that are natural fits for our area.”

Sara “Skeeter” Pierce DSC Foundation Trustee

“Our strengths in the humanities and social sciences distinguish us from other similar institutions,” says Dr. Mary Nielsen, Chair of the Humanities Division. “We’re tough but fair, and we strive to maintain a high standard that has become our hallmark.” Center for Northwest Georgia History and Culture Northwest Georgia is the only part of the state not to have attracted serious scholarly attention. The region, however, is rich in historical landmarks and offers plenty of opportunity for original research. “The carpet industry, the Civil War, Native American history, and Appalachian history all converge right here to provide us with incredible avenues for historical investigation,” says Dr. Tom Veve, Associate Professor of History. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


Garrett Burgner

Expanding Student Opportunities

Research shows that a diverse array of student life activities results in a more satisfying “college experience.” So it’s no surprise that the DSC Foundation is committing $2.5 million to enhance the College’s Honors and Study Abroad programs and to equip a state-of-the-art fitness center in Bandy Gymnasium. “Prospective students have scores of colleges and universities to choose from,” says President Jim Burran. “Today’s college students expect to be able to take advantage of challenging honors programs, study abroad opportunities, and on-campus fitness and recreational facilities. Tomorrow’s Dalton State will offer all of these and more.” Students like Mi Young Kim and Jessie Roland, featured here, are participants in the College’s Honors Program, which was initiated in 2005. Roland has also had the opportunity to study abroad, which she calls a life-defining experience. And for Director of Recreation Garrett Burgner, profiled on the next page, creating a successful fitness program has long been a dream that he’s about to see come true. 14

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

Honors Program

“Shortly after I started classes at Dalton State, I discovered that I have a really great interest in science and math,” says Kim, 25. “As a result, my career goals, which were once to become an artist, have changed. Now I plan to major in biology or biochemistry and to become a dentist.” Kim has enjoyed great academic success, largely due to her determination and strong work ethic. An Honors program student and a DSC Student Ambassador, Kim has achieved a 3.84 grade point average and has been granted several DSC Foundation scholarships, including the Arvine Phelps Scholarship. She works as a tutor in the College’s Math Lab. “What I’ve learned from being in school here is that trying hard never hurts you. If you really want something, you have to go for it.” Study Abroad Jessie Roland knows she likes the study of languages, enough that she might want to make a career of it. The 19-year-old Rossville native, a Business Administration major, is taking as many Spanish and French classes at Dalton State as she can. And she’s even had the chance to learn a smattering of Chinese, as a result of her study abroad trip to China this past summer.

$1,500,000 Honors Program

by the numbers

Mi Young Kim, a native of Korea, is a sophomore Honors student at Dalton State, with plans to enter the field of dentistry.


Study Abroad


Fitness Center

Fitness Center Having a first-rate fitness center will go a long way toward providing the enhanced quality of life that is becoming more of a requirement for today’s students. Already in the construction phase, the fitness center will be well equipped and will have a very modern feel, helping to transition the campus from a commuter school to one that will soon have residential life. Improvements to Bandy Gym’s basketball court and renovation of the aquatic center will be completed as funds become available. “With any student activity that involves physical fitness, once you get students involved and they see how much fun a sport or activity can be, they want to come back and try it again,” says Garrett Burgner, Director of Recreation, who says he expects that the fitness center will be a popular gathering place for students, faculty and staff. “Just seeing our students playing things they haven’t tried before or learning how to regulate their health through fitness activities is a source of great pleasure to me.”

“I had a really great experience there,” says Roland. “It was my first time out of the country and I loved it.” She received a DSC Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship to assist with the $4,000 cost of the program. Roland was initially surprised by how many Chinese residents could speak the English language. “It astounded me when I found out that all Chinese students begin their English studies in kindergarten,” she says. As a result of being a an American abroad, Roland says she now realizes how important language is. “All of the people there made every effort to help us,” she says, noting that she would really like to see more of the same attitude toward other languages in the United States. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


by the numbers


Performing Arts Center


Quadrangle and Bell Tower

Performing Arts Center “The only way to raise northwest Georgia to a higher level of educational and cultural awareness is to advance Dalton State.”

Bob Kinard DSC Foundation Trustee

The fact that the city of Dalton does not have a dedicated venue for the performing arts has long been a concern of area residents. But the College hopes to change that by building a 500-seat state-of-the-art auditorium as part of a new academic facility that will house performing arts programs. “While this new facility will house much of the arts academic programming, it will also provide a place for community groups to perform and showcase their artistic talents,” says Dalton State President Jim Burran. “We anticipate that our $2 million of privately raised funds can be leveraged with the Board of Regents for a partnership between the state and the DSC Foundation.”


Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

The Quadrangle and Bell Tower Memories of campus life often revolve around visiting with friends in-between classes or walking along footpaths on lovely greenspaces accented by park benches and shade trees. While Dalton State has long been admired for its well landscaped grounds and scenic surroundings, the College has never had an iconic symbol that simply said “Dalton State.” “Part of what attracts students to a campus is the collegiate look and feel,” says DSC Foundation Trustee Sara “Skeeter” Pierce. “The quadrangle and bell tower

will create a lasting impression on students visiting the campus as well as those privileged to enjoy its beauty and sounds.” The 55-foot bell tower with a fully functional 24-bell carillon will anchor the eastern end of the proposed quadrangle. Bordered by Sequoya Hall and Pope Student Center, the quadrangle will be the central gathering place for students, faculty, and staff on campus. In addition to its greenspace, the quadrangle will feature an outdoor stage for student performances and events.

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


Joe Keener Exploring the Relationship Between Shakespeare and Southern Lit

Joe Keener admits he took the long road along his academic journey.

Renaissance Studies courses were intersecting in ways he had never previously imagined.

Starting out as a non-traditional student at a twoyear technical college in North Carolina when he was 25, Keener literally worked his way through his bachelor’s and master’s degree programs serving concessions at movie theaters at night and on weekends. To help support himself when he embarked on a Ph.D. in English from the University of Alabama, he worked as a Teaching Assistant and took out student loans.

“I entered Alabama’s doctoral program because I knew its Renaissance Studies program had a strong reputation,” he says, noting that his goal was to become a Shakespearean scholar.

Now as an Assistant Professor of English at Dalton State, Keener has landed a dream job teaching literature, composition, and cinema to students from diverse backgrounds. “When I was a child, I had a love of books and for the library. As an adult, I wanted to be able to talk about books,” says Keener. But now he not only talks about books; he also writes them. Later this year, his first scholarly work, Shakespeare and Masculinity in Southern Fiction: Faulkner, Simms, Page, and Dixon, will be published by international publisher Palgrave Macmillan of London and New York. “No one had really talked about the relationship between Shakespeare and Southern Lit,” says Keener, whose dissertation focused on this topic. “What I’m trying to show is that American Southern authors have taken ideas of masculinity as modeled in Shakespeare’s works and used them in their own illustrations of masculinity.

“But when I took an independent study course in Southern literature, I felt a spark. I realized that this genre was important to me. These are my people.” His concurrent studies in literary theory focused on gender issues in literature, and because much of the idea for his dissertation depended on current critical theory, it was logical to look for symbols of masculinity in both Shakespeare’s plays and Southern works, Keener adds. His research confirmed to him that Great Britain has had an important influence on the American South, from the naming of Southern towns to the dialects of nearby Appalachia. So he says it came as no surprise that the works of England’s most celebrated playwright have had a significant influence on Southern writers as well. Keener says that because Faulkner has become “deified” in much the same way Shakespeare has, the connections between the two may be more obvious to readers. But he argues that while Southern writers William Gilmore Simms, Thomas Nelson Page, and Thomas Dixon, Jr. are less well known, their works also reveal the influence of this greatest of literary fathers.

“In Faulkner, for example, you find self-doubting, melancholy characters who are very much like Hamlet, but you also find hyper-masculine types like Hotspur in Henry IV.”

Keener is able to introduce many of these ideas in his courses and organizations, which include sections of British Literature, American Literature, World Literature and Composition I and II and the Dalton State College Literary Reading Club. He also teaches film, an art genre for which he and wife Kelli, an Instructor in English, have a great passion.

The idea for this scholarship came about when several courses he studied in graduate school seemed to meld together. When taking an independent study one semester, he realized that the notions of masculinity in his Southern Literature, Literary Theory and

“I love teaching. My dream was to be both a teacher and a scholar. It’s very rewarding to have what you have written published. But helping students to read and understand literature is so gratifying. I’m happy to be able to do both.” Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


Reagan Watkins (left) and Austin Hubble (right)

Veterans In Our Midst When Austin Hubble and Reagan Watkins met at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, six years ago, they didn’t realize how much they would one day have in common. The two Army recruits became friends early on. They would both end up serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and would later become classmates at Dalton State, serving on the College’s newly-formed Debate Team. “I knew I wanted to go back to college,” says Hubble, a native of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, who dropped out of UNC Wilmington a semester after earning a soccer scholarship there. “But the only way I could do it was through the GI Bill.” 20

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

Like Hubble, Northwest High School graduate Watkins wanted to pay his own way through school and joined the Army so that he could qualify for the GI Bill. Being in the service for five years gave Watkins the chance to appreciate even more deeply his “blessings” as an American citizen, he says. “The experience of serving in the military helped me understand how insignificant I am in the big scheme of things,” he says. “But it also made me realize how lucky and blessed I am to live in a country where I can make choices every day.” When Watkins returned home to Dalton in the spring of 2005, he fulfilled his dream of coming back to school, majoring in marketing systems.

“I had my doubts about coming to Dalton State at first,” Watkins says. “But after being here for a year and a half, I see this as a first-rate institution. It’s definitely a place where professors know your name – a place where you’re not just a number. We are so fortunate to have professors here who truly care about your academic success.” Hubble enrolled in Dalton State in the fall of 2006 and is interested in the fields of psychology and marketing. “I’m elated to be back in school,” says Hubble. “If I’m at home I’m usually studying, but if I’m not, I’m usually watching the History Channel.”

AROUND CAMPUS Ambassadors Meet Former President Jimmy Carter Student ambassadors from Dalton State had the opportunity to meet former President Jimmy Carter and to tour his boyhood home earlier this year. President Carter, far left, and Rosalyn Carter, far right, flank ambassadors and associates during a visit to their church in Plains. On the front row are: Patti Key, Melissa Hegwood, Azucena Rodriguez, Valerie Garlet, Jenny Wright; back row, Doug Key, Matthew Queener, Hunter Strickland, and Brenda Dunn.

Business Students Inducted into International Honor Society The College’s Business Administration Division inducted twenty-two students into the new campus chapter of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society this spring. To be included as a member, a student must rank in the upper 20 percent of their junior or senior class at the time of invitation to membership.

Pictured are Business Administration faculty members who participated in the ceremony. From left to right: Ms. Della Sampson, Assistant Professor of Economics; Dr. Joe Baxter, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems; Dr. Donna Mayo, Chair of the Division of Business Administration; Dr. Marilyn Helms, Sesquicentennial Endowed Chair and Professor of Management; and Dr. Larry Johnson, Assistant Professor of Business Administration.

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


A Visit From the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Conductor Robert Bernhardt


Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

A spring tradition, a visit from the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera (CSO), took place in April with a 40-member tribute to “The Magic of Mozart.� Led by conductor Robert Bernhardt, the orchestra performed works by Mozart including selections from The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni.

AROUND CAMPUS Honors Students Visit Little White House Students in Dr. Tom Veve’s History 2112 class had the opportunity to make history come alive this semester when they traveled to Warm Springs, Georgia, to tour Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s retreat, The Little White House, and to meet members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen program. “I found myself looking into a mirror, and I realized that I was looking in the same mirror that President Roosevelt used to look at himself every day when he was staying in Warm Springs,” says April Greene, an English major. The three-bedroom, two-bath house was nothing grandiose by presidential standards, the students discovered, but it was in keeping with what they learned about the values of this very down-toearth president. The Little White House tour included a museum that contained artifacts, pictures, and a historical film depicting Roosevelt’s life in Georgia. “Just to be able to have this kind of hands-on experience was awesome,” said freshman Ashley Long. Pictured are Dr. Tom Veve, Associate Professor of History, standing in front of The Little White House and student Joel Rabelskie in front of one of the former president’s cars.

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007



Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007

John Hutcheson

When Dr. John Hutcheson interviewed for his first teaching job in 1974, the “only thing” that he knew about Dalton was that it “somehow figured into the Civil War.” Now, as Dalton State’s senior-most faculty member, he’s become somewhat of a walking encyclopedia of the region’s history and of the town he now calls home. During his 33-year tenure, Hutcheson has been able to teach more than 8,000 students and has risen up the ranks from Assistant Professor of History to Vice President for Academic Affairs. But while teaching and serving a key role as a College administrator have kept him extremely busy for the past three decades, he’s still found plenty of time for one of his favorite hobbies: collecting books. “I own between 4,000 and 5,000 books,” says Hutcheson, who shelves them in his office, in several rooms of his home, and packs others away in boxes in a storage facility. He admits that he has the “collecting instinct,” but says most of the time he purchases books to read and to be used in research rather than as investments.

He bought some of his books in England during each of his three stays there. He has spent about a year of his life there, initially doing research for his dissertation in British history and later as a Dalton State College professor teaching and coordinating Summer Study Abroad programs in 1997 and 1999. Hutcheson says he has watched the College change, particularly over the past 10 years, to a “bigger and more complicated place” and one whose mission has expanded greatly with the introduction of bachelor’s degrees. “People in the region realize that there’s a depth and a quality here that you don’t always find in emerging colleges,” says Hutcheson, adding that he is pleased with “both the reputation and the reality of academic quality that this school has.”

“Most of the books I’ve collected have to do with British and American history or naval and maritime history, although I have a fair number of books on architecture, music, religion and church history,” he comments. “The oldest book I own is an edition of Voltaire’s Candide, which was published in 1792.” Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


Jim Coleman

Jim Coleman’s marketing students enjoy hearing “war stories” from his past when he worked for corporate America, for mega firms like Federal Express and Arthur Andersen & Company.

Coleman has certainly practiced what he preaches, and is no stranger to developing a strong skill set and being willing to make career moves in response to changes in the marketplace.

But the Associate Professor of Marketing likes to remind them that his experiences are unique to him, and that they’re only relevant if they serve to illustrate a much more general topic that students are studying in class.

In 1989, having spent about a dozen years in corporate America, he and his wife Cassie Bradley, Associate Professor of Accounting, left their day jobs to pursue doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama. Although the couple and their three young girls faced a definite “economic sacrifice,” they say they gained an “incredible life experience.”

“I tell them that my war stories are only valuable if they serve as an example of a bigger idea,” says Coleman, who left a very lucrative job as Managing Director of Public Relations for FedEx to pursue his dream of teaching future business leaders.

Both are new to Dalton State this year after having taught in Mercer University’s MBA program for the past nine years.

Among the words of wisdom Coleman likes to share with his students are to “develop a variety of skills” and to “be prepared for change.” “The marketplace is changing rapidly,” says Coleman. “Today, everyone’s acting in their own enlightened self interest, so it’s important that you don’t over-invest in any one organization. “Although many students initially view this from a negative perspective, I try to get them to see it from both sides. While taking charge of your own career and lifetime financial requirements can be a bit scary, especially at the start of your first professional job, if it’s done properly, you can control your own destiny and always find your talents in demand.”

Courtney Purdy Courtney Purdy loves to read and she knows that she’s not alone. But the recent college graduate has discovered that even though many people love to read, they don’t always have access to organized discussion groups.

So Purdy, who was recently hired to be the Program Coordinator for Personal Growth for Continuing Education, has created a new book club series called Dalton Reads, INK., which is free and open to all. “The new James E. Brown Center provides a great space for a book club,” 26

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says Purdy. “But in addition to having a great facility, we also have access to people who can serve as club leaders, providing literary insights and keeping discussions on track.” Purdy expects that once the program, which was initiated this spring, takes off, the offerings will grow. “We expect to have multiple-themed book clubs each month so that participants can join a club that will be focusing on the types of works they’re interested in,” she adds.

Linda LaChapelle

Linda LaChapelle knows what it’s like to be a non-traditional student. Married soon after high school, LaChapelle didn’t enter college until after her two daughters were born and enrolled in elementary school. When she came to Dalton State in 1984 as an education major, she knew what it was like to be a full-time student, a part-time student worker, and an involved “soccer mom.” “I remember having to juggle lots of different roles,” says LaChapelle, who is Associate Professor of Office Administration. “So I always try to tell my students that they need to have a plan, and that it’s not enough to mark off time for classes, because you also have to block off time to study as well.”

Beth Biron

As a 1955 graduate of Dalton High who went away to college, Dr. Beth Biron was not living here when her hometown college was being built. But for the past 34 years, Biron’s life has been closely intertwined with the school that will turn forty this fall. “I love this College,” says Biron, who has advanced degrees in Romance Languages and interdisciplinary studies. “I have enjoyed watching it grow, and I am thrilled to be a part of how it will flourish in the future.” Biron’s first position with the College began in 1972 when she worked part time in the Public Relations department and as an adjunct instructor in French. Given the chance for a full-time teaching position upon the completion of her Ph.D., Biron moved her family to Athens, Georgia, from 1983-86 in order to complete her dissertation, a study of the French translations of several of Faulkner’s works. Upon her return to the classroom, she spent more than 20 years teaching students French, English, Spanish, and Fine Arts Appreciation. One of the greatest joys of her job has been taking students abroad for summer study programs. In 1997, she organized the University System of Georgia’s first Study

After graduation, LaChapelle worked as a secretary for the Technical Division while completing her education degree, and then spent one year teaching middle grades for the Murray County School System. She was offered a job as a Temporary Instructor at Dalton State teaching Learning Support English and Reading. Soon afterward, she completed her master’s in Business Education and her career was off the ground. LaChapelle says the biggest change she’s noted during her tenure has been advances in technology. “In 1990, I taught ‘typing’ classes using electric typewriters,” she recalls. “Now, my curriculum is impacted every year as a result of advances in technology. Technology has changed the way we do everything on this campus from admissions and financial aid to library research and testing.”

Abroad in France program, which she also directed over the next five years. “I’m most proud of the fact that DSC has been such a huge player in international education in the System,” she says, noting that several Dalton State professors have spent summers teaching in USG Study Abroad programs. “It’s such a joy to see students expand their horizons by learning about a new culture.” Now retired from full-time teaching, Biron still manages to have an impact on the institution, teaching occasional Humanities Division classes. “Many of the retired faculty and staff are still closely connected to the College,” she says, noting that all have seemed eager to help with the Fulfilling the Vision campaign. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


Greg McRae – Finding the Right “Stepping Stone” While a math major at what was then Dalton College, McRae was advised by Dr. Bill Jump, former Chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, who told him about scholarship opportunities to help him complete his engineering degree. He took classes from “several terrific professors” who pushed him to excel academically, which was all the more apparent to him when he earned a higher GPA at Georgia Tech than he had earned at Dalton State. “But I’d have to say that my fondest memory of Dalton was meeting my wife in Sociology class,” he recalls. “I used to borrow her notes when I missed class just so I could talk to her. We started dating during the winter quarter and the rest is history. She actually served as Student Body President during the 1989-90 school year.” McRae earned his associate’s degree in 1989 and completed his bachelor’s at Georgia Tech where he earned High Honors in Textile and Fiber Engineering. He later earned a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. When Greg McRae entered college in the 1980s, he “never in a million years” dreamed that he would one day be a senior officer on a nuclear submarine. He also wasn’t expecting to meet the love of his life. But McRae now credits Dalton State with putting him on his career path as a naval officer and with setting the stage for his 1990 marriage to Calhoun native Kim Cook. “Dalton State was an outstanding stepping stone for my career,” says McRae, who is the Executive Officer of the USS Louisiana nuclear submarine in Bangor, Washington, overseeing 16 officers and more than 150 sailors. “Dalton provided me with an opportunity to adjust to the academic requirements of college without the added pressures of being away from home in a crowded and foreign environment.” 28

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Entering the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program in 1992, McRae’s military service has taken him all over the country, with stops in Rhode Island, Connecticut, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, and Washington. “I enjoy being able to use the academic gifts that God has given me in defense of this great nation,” says McRae. “Submarine sailors and officers are the best and brightest the Navy can attract, and it’s an honor and privilege to be able to work sideby-side with such an outstanding group of professionals.”

ALUMNI PROFILES Michelle Johnson – A Career That Knows No Borders When Michelle Johnson earned her degree in Medical Lab Technology, she never dreamed she’d use it beyond her stomping grounds of northwest Georgia.

moved to Saudi Arabia where she met her husband and worked as a Certified Histocompatibility Technologist (CHT) for King Faisal’s Specialist Hospital.

But a decade-and-a-half later, Johnson has put her skills to use at half-a-dozen locations, including the Choctaw Health Center in Mississippi, King Faisal’s Specialist Hospital in Saudi Arabia, and her current position at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Now, she lives in San Francisco and works as part of a team at California Pacific Medical Center’s transplant program. As an MT and a CHT, she works in the lab to find compatible donors for patients who need kidney, liver, heart and lung transplants.

“I have traveled all around the world because of what I do,” says Johnson, a native of Ft. Oglethorpe who entered Dalton State in 1988. Being an MLT can open up many, many doors.” After earning her MLT in 1990, Johnson worked at the Choctaw Reservation Health Center in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where she had the opportunity to help start a General Education Development (GED) program during her off hours to help Native American young people who had dropped out of school earn the equivalent of a high school diploma. She returned to Dalton State in 1993 to enter the Medical College of Georgia Medical Technologist (MT) program, a distance learning program which allowed her to earn a four-year degree in the field while remaining close to home in northwest Georgia. From there she worked for Emory University Hospital for seven years, and then

“It’s very exciting to be a part of the ‘SWAP’ program, which we have just gotten off the ground this past year,” she says, noting that the goal of the program is to match unrelated people with prospective donors, thereby increasing the pool of available donors nationwide.

Azucena Rodriguez, BSW, 2007

“Having earned my degree in Social Work, I now feel like I can go and contribute to the betterment of the world and do many things that I’ve always wanted to do,” says Azucena Rodriguez, who is only the second student in the College’s history to deliver the commencement address during the graduation ceremony. “What I’ve learned in college has changed my life. I have learned to value cultural diversity, to defend human dignity, and to help others make their dreams come true.” Rodriguez expects to work for the Department of Family and Children Services after graduation, and looks forward to using her bachelor’s degree in a lifelong profession. “I am very grateful for the support that I received from my instructors, my classmates, my family, friends and mentors. I am very proud of saying that I will graduate from this wonderful and competent institution – Dalton State.”

Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


AROUND CAMPUS Dalton State: Fulfilling the Vision Campaign Kickoff


Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


2000s Rachel Norris (2006) married Adam Ryan last fall. Rachel works for Double-Cola in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as Marketing Coordinator. Casey Gann Hobbs (2005) works in sales and marketing for Coast 2 Coast Survey Corporation in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Nimisha Patel (2005) is a Programmer Analyst at Beaulieu of America in Dalton, Georgia. Joanne Ferguson (2003) is a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Harbin Clinic in Cartersville, Georgia. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Candi Garland Hawkins (2002) teaches first grade at Calhoun Primary School in Calhoun, Georgia. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Nina O’Neill (2001) is completing a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Teaching and Orientation and Mobility in order to work with blind and visually impaired students. She lives in New Jersey. Bart Buff (2000) resides in Covington, Georgia. He is Social Studies Department Chair and Assistant Baseball Coach at Eastside High School in Covington.

1990s Amy Holcombe (1999) is a nurse coordinator in HIV prevention with the North Georgia Health District based in Dalton, Georgia. Rebecca Anderson Hulgan (1996) is employed at Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. She is the Recruiting and Employee Relations Manager at Hutcheson. Brenda Gail Talley Gramling (1994) works for the Georgia Department of Family & Children Services. LaDora Hullender McGinnis (1994) and her husband, Jeff, announce the birth of a son, James Connor, born last August. LaDora is Director of Nursing at Chatsworth Health Care Center in Chatsworth, Georgia. Laura Laine Justis (1993) is the Patient Care Coordinator for the nursery at Summerville Medical Center in Summerville, South Carolina. Bryan Crider (1990) lives in Orlando, Florida. He is a Senior Mortgage Specialist with Premier First Mortgage. Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2007


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Dalton State Magazine Spring 2007