Page 1

VOL. 5 ISSUE 2 | SPRING 2017

Q&A WITH CLASS ALUMNUS & ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S TOP100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE Lee Berger, Ph.D., discusses his passion, his journey, and his finds


From the desk of

CLASS DEAN, DR. CURTIS RICKER

W

ith the conclusion of fall semester, we look back on a time of great excitement and change at Georgia Southern University. At the University level, we welcomed a new president, Dr. Jaimie Hebert, and launched a search for a new provost as Dr. Jean Bartels announced her pending retirement. Enrollment reached an all-time high, with CLASS majors seeing solid numbers across the College. We also welcomed a new chair, Dr. Karin Fry, in our Department of Literature and Philosophy. We are also excited that this fall saw the completion of the RM Bogan Archaeological Repository and our new costume and scene shop. The College continued its planning for the new interdisciplinary academic building, with groundbreaking to occur in early

2017. The building will include a public history gallery, a humanities maker space laboratory, a couple of large classrooms, numerous smaller and midsize classrooms, and department and faculty offices, mainly for departments currently housed in the Forest Drive building. The College continues its ongoing mission of academic and cultural enrichment for the University and community, with gallery shows, theatre productions, music recitals, readings, panels, guest speakers, and student presentations of many types. The faculty continue their excellent teaching and their ongoing research, and our students continue to excel in the classroom and beyond.

We invite you to come to campus and share some of our excitement. Please feel free to join us at any of the events where our students display their many talents and achievements. We would love to see you! Sincerely,

Dr. Curtis R. Ricker CLASS Dean

GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS & SOCIAL SCIENCES (CLASS) 912-478-8597 Foy Building P.O. Box 08142 Statesboro, Ga. 30460 class.georgiasouthern.edu Facebook: facebook.com/CLASS.GeorgiaSouthern Twitter: @GaSouthernCLASS Youtube: bit.ly/CLASSYoutube Sign up for our monthly newsletter, CLASS Notes, at bit.ly/CLASSNotes

from the desk of curtis ricker, dean......................... 2 new eagle lands at howard lumber........................... 3 english honor society gives back.......................... 4-5 edenfield named professor of the year..................... 6 pre-law advisings impact...........................................

7 q&a with dr. lee berger. .....................................8-10 irish government officals visit campus. ...................11 music major begins hollywood career.............. 12-13 theatre and performance program update.............. 14 news briefs. ............................................................. 15

Get a list of CLASS Events right to your inbox by signing up for This Week in CLASS at bit.ly/ThisWeekInCLASS Get the latest CLASS news at bit.ly/CLASSNews Dean

Curtis Ricker

Associate Deans Christine Ludowise Jason Slone

Editor

Barrett Gilham

2

Designer

Barrett Gilham

Writers

Barrett Gilham Casey Stoddard Adapted content from Georgia Southern Marketing and Communications

Photos Courtesy of

Barrett Gilham Jeremy Wilburn Georgia Southern University Witts University


NEW EAGLE LANDS AT HOWARD LUMBER In September, an unveiling ceremony was held at Howard Lumber and Hardware on Gentilly Road in Statesboro for the newest addition to the Eagle Nation on Parade (ENOP) project. The sculpture, commissioned by Arthur and Carol Howard, was designed by Georgia Southern University Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art graduate students Courtney Ryan, of Columbus, Georgia, and Jessamy McManus, of Lilburn, Georgia. Four generations of Howards have worked in the lumber industry processing long leaf, yellow pines in Bulloch County since 1898. The “Legacy of Lumber” Eagle is a tribute to the family’s heritage and reflects the evolution of their business — from a small, man-powered sawmill to a technologically advanced, full-line manufacturer and distributor of lumber products in the city of Statesboro. “It was a pleasure working with Jessamy and Courtney on this project, and they were so easy to work with,” said Arthur Howard. “The Eagle turned out fabulous, and Carol and I are so proud of it.” Ryan is a Master of Fine Arts student working in ceramics at Georgia Southern. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture and

ceramics at Columbus State University. Currently, Ryan is working as a graduate teaching assistant instructing foundations-level two-dimensional design and three-dimensional design classes at Georgia Southern. McManus is a Master of Fine Arts student studying painting at Georgia Southern where she also earned her Bachelor of Art in 2D Studio Art and currently is working as the gallery assistant at the Center for Art and Theatre. “We are excited about the latest ENOP project designed by Courtney and Jessamy,” said Robert Farber, chair of the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art. “Through collaboration, these two emerging artists have created a unique sculpture that successfully represents the long history of the Howard Lumber Company and the Howard family’s involvement in the lumber industry in Bulloch County.” Eagle Nation On Parade is a public art project that salutes the University’s traditions, celebrates the unity of campus and community, contributes to the economic vitality and quality of life in Statesboro while supporting student scholarships.

3


Sigma Tau Delta Opens Little Free Library at Local Coffee Shop

Members of Georgia Southern University’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, English honor society, partnered with Three Tree Coffee Roasters’ coffee shop on South Main Street in Statesboro, Georgia, to open Statesboro’s first Little Free Library. A Little Free Library provides easy and free access to books in a self-serve location either in an outside box or inside a business, zoo, school, etc. Little Free Libraries run off a take-a-book-leave-a-book system.

ENGLISH HONOR SOCIETY GIVES BACK

The project started as a way for Todd Bol to honor his mother. Bol’s mother was a school teacher and loved to read books. He built a scale model of one-room schoolhouse and posted it along with books in his front yard.

partner on. The program spread to Madison, Wisconsin, home of the University of Wisconsin, in 2010 and garnered national attention in 2011. In 2016 more than 36,000 Little Free Libraries have sprung up across the U.S.

Bol partnered with Rick Brooks, Outreach Program Manager at the University of Wisconsin, to co-found the Little Free Library. Brooks saw Bol’s project to spread reading through a box of books in his neighborhood and thought it would be the perfect project to

Lydia Biggs, President of the Georgia Southern chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, was taking suggestions for a community service project for the spring semester when one of their members brought to their attention the Little Free Library project.


In theory it was going to be simple. That was the plan. Like they say the best laid plans often go awry, but that is okay. Lydia Biggs “In the past we have done projects such as reading in the after school programs for kids in the local elementary schools, and we have donated books to the women and children’s center and the local prisons to help start their libraries back up. This year we focused on the Little Free Library project. We were approached with it by one of our members, and she said we should look into it. We thought it would be a great project,” Biggs said. Little Free Libraries are located in “Places such as dog parks, random squares down in Savannah, and all up and down the coast which is great,” Biggs said. In order to start up their Little Free Library, they made what they thought was a simple plan. “In theory it was going to be simple. People donate books, get bookshelf and put it in the store, and you are done. That was the plan. Like they say the best laid plans often go awry, but that is okay,” Biggs said. Step one, the book drive. The book drive started off slowly, and the deadline was looming. The chapter had to make a decision and decided to extend the book drive. They hoped that with more time the word would spread, and spread it did. Not only did they get enough books to open up Sigma Tau Delta’s Little Free Library but ended up with enough books to open a second one. They plan to place this one on campus. “We organized a book drive and opened it up to students and faculty. We had a very good response. It was really exciting,” Kenley Alligood said. “We started out by doing the book drive. That started off a bit slower, so we extended the book drive out a little bit. I am so glad that we did. We had lots of students from

outside the department [of Literature and Philosophy]. We had some [Department of] Music people come and donate books. Colin McKenzie, D.M.A., Associate Professor and Director of Athletic Bands, donated some books. It was a good thing that happened, and we now have enough books to do two Little Free Libraries,” Biggs said. In order to entice people to donate books, the chapter started a raffle where for each book you donated, you got a ticket which gave you a chance to win one of assorted prizes such as tickets to a play and a gift card to Three Tree Coffee Roasters. Now that they had the books to open a Little Free Library. Next they just needed a location for it. Their choice was a new local student hangout, Three Tree Coffee Roasters. “I knew the owners pretty well and talked with them before. Since it just opened, I knew it was a hotspot for students and that they have been getting a lot of publicity. I thought it would be a good place for a Little Free Library,” Amanda Gilbert, Co-President and Treasurer. “In the top of their coffee shop, they have an area they call the Treehouse. It is a really relaxing area. We figured people would be likely to pick up a book and read it there.” The book drive was not their only challenge though. Next came the bookshelf. “We were working with Three Tree to find out what kind of shelf they wanted. We sent them several options, and they picked one. We ordered it, and the website lied to us,” Biggs said. “In the picture it came up to about waist high. That would have been perfect, but it was taller than me. It was six feet tall. We got to Three Tree and when we pulled the thing out of the car Phillip, the guy we had been working with at Three Tree, was like I

don’t know if that is going to fit. It ended up not fitting, but the store took it back. We got a different bookshelf which ended up being the best possibility. It looked really unique and different and fit with the vibe Three Tree had,” Biggs said. The Little Free Library was awaiting one final step though. Before this past spring graduation the members of the Georgia Southern chapter of Sigma Tau Delta officially christened the Little Free Library with its plaque. “From there we registered the library with the organization, and we found out that Mary A. Villenponteux, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Literature and Philosophy, received the plaque. Before graduation we put the plaque on the bookshelf. The plaque gives us a Little Free Library ID number, and if people are familiar with Little Free Libraries, they can search on the website, and that one at Three Tree will pop up,” Gilbert said. The Little Free Library was already a hit though. “I took my mom to go see Three Tree recently. We went up stairs, and I noticed that some books have been taken and some new books are in their place. So I was like yes, people are listening, and some others have been moved around so clearly people have at least been looking at them,” Biggs said. The chapter is excited for what the Little Free Library will do. “In today’s age and time everyone is attached to their phones. Libraries themselves are suffering because everyone says it takes too much time; they never have books I want. If you put it into the community, we felt like it would make people be like oh hey this a cool book, and it would be worth it for them to take it, and even if they don’t bring it back to the library, they might pass it off to a friend or something. It is at least giving more literary material in people’s hands,” Biggs said. Gilbert sees the project as “a really sustainable project. Most people throw out old books. I like that the little Libraries are really creative. People decorate them unique ways. I think it promotes creativity as well.”

5


Olivia Carr Edenfield, Ph.D., was presented with the Wells/Warren Professor of the Year Award at the Georgia Southern University 2016 Honors Day Convocation held at the Performing Arts Center in April. A second-generation Georgia Southern University graduate and Statesboro native, Edenfield (’82) attended school at Marvin Pittman Laboratory School and Statesboro High School before earning her undergraduate degree in English at the University. Her parents, Paul Carr (’56) and Rose Watkins Carr (’57), graduates from Georgia Teachers College, passed along their love of teaching to Edenfield. “My undergraduate professors as well as my parents, both of whom were teachers, inspired in me a deep love for the classroom,” she said.

OLIVIA CARR EDENFIELD NAMED GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR OF THE YEAR

Edenfield and her husband of 33 years met as students and she couldn’t resist “coming home” to Georgia Southern with him in 1986 when she was hired as a temporary instructor. Since then she has served as a non-tenure track instructor for the Developmental Studies/English Department, a Generalist in the English Department, the Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and is now the Executive Coordinator of the American Literature Association and professor in the Department of Literature and Philosophy. Edenfield is a member of the Ernest Hemingway Society, the Cormac McCarthy Society, the Elizabeth Madox Roberts Society, the American Crime Fiction Group and the Society for the Study of the American Short Story. Edenfield’s area of specialization is the American short story, and she has published several works including a collection of interviews with Andre Dubus, Conversations with Andre Dubus, as his authorized biographer. Edenfield currently has two works in production, a monograph on Dubus, Understanding Andre Dubus, and a collection of essays on American crime and detective fiction that she is coediting. “What I love most about teaching is watching my students develop a passion for literature,” Edenfield said. “I love watching them develop their ideas and become

6

confident scholars in their own right. I love being in the classroom.” The winner of the Professor of the Year Award is selected annually by the University’s students. Members of the Gamma Beta Phi honor society interview the department heads of the finalists and consider student evaluations of the professors. The group then conducts a blind review of the finalists before selecting the winner of the award, which is endowed by former Gamma Beta Phi advisors J. Norman and Rosalyn Wells. The award is named in honor of their parents, Nolan and Audrey Wells and Hartwell and Lucile Warren. “When I found out I was named Professor of the Year, I was especially happy to make my family so proud of me,” Edenfield said. “The award is important to me because it is determined in part by students as well as by my department chair’s recommendation. We have a dedicated interim department chair, Mary Villeponteaux, whom I very much admire, not only for her dedication to our majors and her sense of fairness, but also for her contributions to her discipline. To have her respect as well as those of my students is very important to me. “I truly love teaching. It is a calling, and I am so blessed to spend my days with English majors.”


OFFICE OF PRE-LAW ADVISING PLAYS PIVOTAL ROLE

Georgia Southern University’s Office of Pre-Law Advising continues to play a large role in assisting Georgia Southern students on their path to law school. In the latest LSAT Action Report for the 2014-15 academic year, 80% of Georgia Southern students who applied for law school were accepted by one or more law schools including Cornell Law School, Harvard Law School, University of California-Berkeley, Boston University School of Law, Duke University School of Law, Emory University School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center.

The acceptance rate has climbed every year since the establishment of the Office of PreLaw Advising in the 2003-04 academic year. In the year prior to the office’s founding, 2002-03, only 30.9% of Georgia Southern students were accepted into a law school. For the last seven years, the endowed Judge Faye Sanders Martin Pre-Law Fund has enabled the Office of Pre-Law Advising to administer four free half-day practice LSAT sessions, furnish students with copies of recent LSAT tests, offer 9 summer SOAR sessions, sponsor a panel of law school

admissions officers, and award a $500 Martin-Davis Pre-Law Scholarship. The Office of Pre-Law Advising has three faculty Advisors: Rebecca Davis, J.D., Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Kathleen Comerford, Ph.D., Department of History, and Maureen Stobb, Ph.D., Department of Political Science. Davis also recently served as Secretary and Webmaster at the Southern Association of Pre-Law Advisors (SAPLA) for the 2015-16 academic year and as the Georgia Chair of the National Association of Women Judges.

7


Q&A WITH ALUM DR. LEE BERGER What brought him to Georgia Southern, his passion, and his finds

Q: Why Georgia Southern University? A: I started at Vanderbilt University to a disastrous start. I started out to be a lawyer, and it really didn't fit me. I actually left Vanderbilt and went out to work. I worked as a television news photographer in Savannah, Ga., for WSAV and WTOC and then decided to come back to university after finding my passion in pursuing

the studying of human origins. I did that through reading a book called Lucy and realizing I would need a degree in Archeology and potentially in Geology. I came to Georgia Southern University and met a few remarkable professors, who I think could see my passion, and I started a major in Archeology and a minor in Geology. I speak all over the world now, and one of the things I always talk about is Georgia Southern and the unique nature

of so many of the professors who choose to teach at Georgia Southern because of the environment, the lifestyle, and the research in that region. I found these wonderful archaeologist like Sue Moore, Ph.D., and geologist like Gale A. Bishop, Ph.D., and Richard Pettway Koo, Ph.D., were passionate about what they were doing, and from them I learned both the skills of archeology but how to find fossils as a professional. All of them were world


leaders in their particular field of expertise, and were passionate about what they did, were infectious in their enthusiasm for their subjects, but also saw in someone like me someone who was passionate about doing the kind of things that they loved. From the moment I walked into Georgia Southern, college wasn't work anymore; it was fun.

Q: What made you want to pursue doctoral studies? A: The working degree is a Ph.D. After graduating from Georgia Southern, I went on Harvard University's Koobi Fora Field School in Kenya while I was waiting to hear from graduate programs. I had selected a number of them that were excellent in the field of Anthropology around the United States, and I also selected South Africa because there was a particular professor here who was well known. I had read everything he had written, Phillip V. Tobias, Ph.D., and when I was accepted to that program, my desire was to find fossils in the field. Of course these fossils of ancient human relatives are found in Africa. There I saw my chance to actually be on the ground in the places where these are discovered. It was a huge transition. You have to remember that it was a particularly tumultuous time in South African history. It was the transition into a democracy, but it was incredibly exciting. I found myself in the middle of this wonderful liberal university, University of the Witwatersrand, which was at the center of the anti-apartheid protests at a time when this transition was taking place with some of the brightest mind in this particular field of science; again it wasn't work, it was an extraordinary amount of fun.

Q: What was it like to move across the world? A: I had prepped myself well for that. I had been an Africaphile since I was a teenager and had read everything about Africa, from National Geographic Magazine and that sort of thing. I had been engaged in Africa and for me the transition was dramatic because of different culture and different environments, but I was doing what I loved, and I think that always eases the road of passage into a new culture, and very quickly this culture began to adopt me. Within a year and a half of arriving here I had made my first major discovery at Gladysvale, which sounds funny at this time, but it was just two teeth, but it was big news at that time 25 years ago. The country as we

got past 1994 really adopted me. I very quickly was promoted into different positions and rose through the ranks here after getting my Ph.D. I see it as my home. I was hooked from the moment I landed. I was hooked really from when I went with Harvard to Kenya. I knew I wanted to be here. I wanted to find these fossils. These incredible fossils. I did find some, and that became addictive. I love Africa. I am passionate about the continent as a whole, African wildlife, African Science, and promoting the development of this region and also the whole continent.

Q: Tell us about your early finds? A: I had spent 17 years being a pretty successful jobbing/field scientist, with all of the usual rewards that that has in place. I have been involved in 1991-92 with the first new early hominid discovery in 48 years, which was the site at Gladysvale. Those were those two teeth. It didn't sound like much now, but it was a big deal then. In 95 I was involved in finding sort of a new area of Taphonomic studies. Studies of burial and studies of mortality like the famous Taung child that had been killed by a bird of prey. After that I was involved in some predictive science working with actual work that had come out of my Ph.D. in arguing for the first time that human relatives that we had found here had long arms and short legs, and then I engaged in a series of other discoveries. The oldest modern human footprints ever discovered at 120,000 years, and I had remarkable things happen to us. In hindsight after the last two big discoveries seemed small, but they were big discoveries at the time. I was awarded the National Geographic Prize for Research and Exploration and took over Phillip V. Tobias, Ph.D., chair. I was having a great time, but I did not have a gigantic discovery, a major discovery, to my name. That wouldn't come along until August 1, 2008, when my then 9-year old son Matthew turned a rock over at a site I had just discovered two weeks earlier called Malapa and said “Dad I found a fossil.� That would lead to the discovery of Australopithecus sediba a new species of hominid that my colleagues, and I would name in 2010 and start one of the largest science programs in the world. With over 100 colleagues, we had three special editions of the Journal Science and something like 15 papers in Science and a number in major other papers. I thought I had won the sort of scientific lottery at least in this field. People like me go through careers and don't

9


ever find even a piece of these finds. I was in the midst of that when I started a new exploration program, and on Oct. 1 of 2013 my team member showed up at my house with the first images of what would become known as Homo naledi and become the richest primitive human relative fossil site ever discovered in the world. That is what I have been in the middle of now.

Q: Tell us about using social media in your latest discovery?

Lee Berger, Ph.D., shown here with his latest find Homo naledi, was named by Time Magazine one of the 100 Most Influential People in the spring

10

A: As soon as I realized that this was going to be an extraordinarily difficult environment that the shaft to get into this was 60 foot long and seven-and-ahalf inches wide. I knew I couldn't open it up, and I wouldn't open it up. So I had to have technology, and I had to have the right kind of people. So I put a Facebook ad up looking for skinny scientists. I put it out without telling people what they were going to do but that I had this exciting expedition to go underground, and they needed these certain skills like a Ph.D. and such. I put the word across the world, because I didn't know how I was going to find people with those particular skills. Very, very rapidly the internet did what it does, and it exploded. I had 60 applicants within 10 days that were all qualified, 80 percent of which were young women. It was extraordinary. Three weeks after that, I had a 60-person expedition underground, and we blogged and tweeted that live and something like a million followers overall on social media. It was an amazing thing.

Q: Tell us about Homo naledi? A: In the midst of this we ended up discovering this treasure trove of hominids and Homo naledi. There had never been a site or assemblage like that in all of history. We were pulling out not one or two remains or 10 or even dozens but hundreds and even thousands of remains. That was one of the greatest adventures which can be seen in

the Dawn of Humanity documentary. What became apparent during that expedition that we didn't share with the world was that this was an assemblage that had only one species of animal in it. That was amazing because for those of us who are paleontologists, you learn very quickly of what people call a monospecific assemblage, an assemblage with one species, but they are incredibly rare. In fact they almost don't exist. When you do hear about them, you hear about a mammoth kill site, or a bison kill site, or a wildebeest drowning in a river. They are always surrounded by other stuff. It is just so dominated by one species that paleontologists use the word monospecific. This was really a single species assemblage and there is one creature we know commonly as single species assemblages and that is humans. We began to eliminate all the usual suspects for how this was collected from the ideas of a prey site, or a death trap, or some sort of mass death assemblage, or scavenge. All these things we could begin to eliminate through the various things that we published; we were eventually left with the most unlikely probability of all, that we just encountered a non-human species of animal related to us all be it but with a brain the size of an orange that actually deliberately disposed of the dead in a ritualized or repeated manner. That's the first time in history that has ever happened. That hypothesis holds, and we are working on testing it. We have gone almost seven months (time of recording), and no one has actually been able to challenge that in any real way. That is incredible because usually if you make an error in science like with a claim of that magnitude, 24 hours later it is disputed. It is very exciting, and I don't know what that means, but I do know that it means that we as a species that at least in the past have not been alone in those kind of thought processes. What they mean I think are going to require a lot of philosophers to think more deeply about this.


CIRT HOST IRISH GOVERNMENT OFFICALS, HANDS OUT INAUGURAL SCHOLARSHIP During the St. Patrick's Day week in Spring of 2016, a group of Irish government officials met with leaders across the state of Georgia including interim Georgia Southern University President Jean Bartels, Ph.D., RN, thanks to work of the WexfordSavannah Axis Research Project, which is a partnership between the Center for Irish Research and Teaching (CIRT) and Waterford Institute of Technology. Visiting Georgia Southern University and the state were Kathleen Codd-Nolan (Leas-Cathaoirleach, County of Wexford), Thomas Enright (Chief Executive, County of Wexford), Anthony Larkin (Director of Economic Development and Planning, County of Wexford), Laurence Byrne (Economic Representative of the Office of the Teachta Dála for Wexford in the Irish National Parliament), Michael Sheehan (Chair of the County of Wexford Strategic Policy Group for Economic Development and Enterprise and Chair of the New Ross Municipal District), and William Keilthy (Chair of John F. Kennedy Trust). The delegation met with the mayors of Atlanta and Savannah, toured historic Irish sites in Savannah and the Georgia Southern campus, and met with local business leaders before taking in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Wexford is the most southeastern of Ireland's traditional 32 counties, and it is the most represented county-oforigin among Savannah's important Irish community. Inaugurated almost exactly two years ago, the Wexford-Savannah Axis Research Project has (among other things) involved almost 40 students in primary-source archival research, generated over $38,000 in grant funding, and excited significant interest among the Savannah community and throughout Ireland. As a direct result of the contributions that the Wexford-Savannah Axis Research Project has made to Savannah's knowledge and appreciation of its heritage, CIRT Director Howard Keeley was honored to be one of two keynote speakers at the 900-guest, black-tie 204th Anniversary Banquet of the Hibernian Society of Savannah, the city's oldest and most prestigious Irish organization. Prior keynote speakers at the event have included two sitting Presidents of the United States.

Rachel Dagget Receives Inaugural Helen Ryan Collins Memorial Scholarship Rachel Dagget was named the inaugural recipient of the Helen Ryan Collins Memorial Scholarship in Irish Studies by the Center for Irish Research and Teaching. The Helen Ryan Collins Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to a student that has been recommended by a faculty member, has a passion for Irish culture, is in good academic standing, and has a financial need. “She truly meets the criteria of the scholarship. She is a conscientious worker who’s delightful to interact with,” said Director for Center for Irish Research and Teaching Howard Keeley. Dagget hails from Americus, Ga., and is minoring in Irish Studies. She is also pursuing a double major in English and Writing and Linguistics. The Helen Ryan Collins Memorial Scholarship was endowed by Tom Collins and his family to honor the memory of his mother.

11


AN EAGLE FINDS HIS TUNE From Statesboro to Los Angeles, a Bachelor of Music degree in composition has taken one Eagle from the East Coast to the West Coast and given him a start in the film and television industry. The next time you go to a movie theater and watch the latest blockbuster or turn on the television for the latest new series, you might just be watching something in which an Eagle had a part.

Department of Music alumnus Dalton Daniel left his friends and family behind after graduating in 2015 and packed all of his possessions into a Uhaul truck for a cross-country journey. He was headed to Los Angeles to take an internship with JoAnn Kane Music Service and to attend graduate school. In a short time though, Daniel accepted a full-time role as a music copyist with the largest music preparation company in Los Angeles and has already helped prepare music for movies and television shows like Zoolander 2, Empire, The Simpsons, The Huntsman: Winter War, and Big Friendly Giant.


“We prepare music for recording sessions by taking the music from the composer and orchestrating it and then copying out scores and parts for the musicians of the recording sessions,” Daniel said. “For example when John Williams composed the music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he actually gave us his handwritten sketches, and we orchestrated and copied out scores and parts for the recording sessions.” A large part of his work takes place in the digital world and on a computer. Like a number of other professions, music has been impacted by the advancements in technology, and the preparation of scores has become an almost digital affair.

thanks to the encouragement of one of his professors.

was a studio trombonist in Los Angeles for more than 10 years.

“My composition professor, Dr. Gendelman, really stressed to all of us composers to learn how to use notation programs and get acquainted with them because how can you produce a modern score without knowing the ins and outs. It is kind of like having Microsoft Word and not knowing how to change fonts or put an indent in a paragraph,” Daniel said.

“He was really good about teaching me how to think musically for myself. All of these things together really helped prepare me for this job,” Daniel said.

Daniel described choosing Georgia Southern as “probably one of the best decisions I could have made. It prepared me for this job in almost every aspect.”

“I found out about it, got on board, started doing some of this work, and I actually really enjoy doing it. It is a lot of fun, and I get to see all the music that is going into all these big movies. I get to see how it is all done, and I get to learn how the greats do it,” Daniel said.

Technology has really changed the way film music is made. Pencil and paper have almost been taken out of the equation completely. Dalton Daniel “Some of the older guys still use pencil and paper to compose, but we mostly work with MIDI. but Technology has really changed the way film music is made. Pencil and paper have almost been taken out of the equation completely. Most modern composers like Alexandre Desplat send us a Digital Performer file, and all the music is in there as raw MIDI data, along with audio files of sequenced orchestral instruments. We then create a score by extracting the MIDI data and referencing the audio files, and the copyists use these scored to create parts. The parts are then sent to the proofers, printed, taped, and bound for the session,” Daniel said. To do this Daniel uses one of two programs — Finale or Sibelius. Both programs help digitize the scorewriting process. He learned how to use these programs at Georgia Southern University

Daniel started at Georgia Southern by making a few of arrangements for the Southern Pride Marching Band for fun. “That really got taught me what musicians like and don’t like to see on their paper as far as notation,” Daniel said. He also started arranging for his brass quintet. “It was nice because we were all friends, and I could go in and ask does this part work for you and what doesn't work for you compositionally? That part of it really helped me become more intimate with other instruments other than my own,” Daniel said.

Daniel always wanted to write music for the film and television industry but did not know about companies like JoAnn Kane Music Service.

He originally took a job with the company as an intern and had no guarantee of a full-time position. Daniel took the risk of leaving his home state of Georgia and crossing the country anyway and prepared a back-up plan of graduate school just in case. “It was probably the hardest thing I have done in my life so far. When I moved out here, I literally didn’t know a soul. I got all my stuff and put it in a Uhaul truck. My parents helped me move out here, and the only thing that was guaranteed was grad school and a roof over my head,” Daniel said. “It was tough to leave all my friends and family back in Georgia, but we still keep in touch. It took me a few months to really settle into it. I am from Perry, which is a small town in middle Georgia. To go from Perry to Statesboro to Los Angeles was tough, but every single day has been worth it,” Daniel said.

He also praised his former trombone professor, Rick Mason, D.M.A., for helping prepare him as a musician and for a career in the film and television industry. Mason

13


Theatre and Performance Program Receives Full Membership in NAST

Founded in 1965, the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with approximately 188 accredited institutional members.

HITTING THE MARK

The Theatre and Performance Program at Georgia Southern University recently received word that it was granted full membership in the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

The march towards full membership started over seven years ago with a 200plus page self study, a five-year plan and a consultation visit before the first site visit by NAST.

The Theatre and Performance Program previously held associate memberships in NAST for five years and is now one of a select group of universities in the United States to have received full membership.

There are around 3,500-4,000 degree/ certificate programs in the United States of which only about 400 of them are members of NAST.

“This accreditation body is setup to highlight what you are good at and what you are cable of doing,” Kelly Berry, M.F.A., Director of Theatre at Georgia Southern University said. “From the beginning till now, we cleaned up curriculum a good bit. There is a good bit more rigor in academics that has taken place over the past five years.” Full membership was voted on by the NAST committee members in March after a site visit to Georgia Southern in November. “The site visit this November was showing that we have taken all these steps over the past five years,” Berry said.

The Theatre and Performance Program is housed in the Department of Communication Arts and has a longstanding reputation for excellence in artistic achievement among industry professionals. The program provides students with opportunities to perform, design, and direct in two state of the art performance facilities. NAST, founded in 1965, is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.


HOLLYWOOD VETERAN AND ALUM VISITS CAMPUS Hollywood veteran and Georgia Southern University alum Timothy M. Earls left the set for Fast 8 in Atlanta to visit his alma mater and speak to students, faculty, and community members. Earls graduated from Swainsboro High School after a childhood that planned Japan, England, and the United States. He started working for James W. Buckley and Associates, an architectural firm in Swainsboro, and attended Georgia Southern University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Earls found his way to California originally to join a video game company started by some of his friends. The game company though folded two months after he arrived in California.

Earls managed by way of some luck to land a role in Hollywood as the Concept Designer on the sci-fi television show Babylon 5. That sparked a career that included credits as the Set Designer on Star Trek: Voyager, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Serenity, and Iron Man 3 and Senior Lead Set Designer on Mission: Impossible III and Live Free or Die Hard. He recently was the Lead Set Designer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the upcoming film Deepwater Horizon. Earls was nominated for the Art Director’s Guild Excellence in Production Design Award for his work on the tv show Glee.

CHORALE AND SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN TAKE HOME TOP HONORS The Georgia Southern Chorale and the Southern Gentlemen both won in competition at the "Laurea Mundi Budapest" Festival of Choral Music in Budapest, Hungary. The Georgia Southern Chorale, directed by Shannon Jeffreys, D.M.A., won the Grand Prix in the mixed choir category and the spirituals category. David Langley, Ph.D., served as the assistant director. The Southern Gentlemen, directed by student Colin Harrison,

won the open category in pop music and was invited to sing against the Georgia Southern Chorale in the Grand Prix. The Chorale also participated in a number of workshops and masterclasses at the festival. The trip to Budapest would not have been possible without the support of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS), Dean Curtis Ricker, and all of their supporters.

COMMUNICATION ARTS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR WINS AWARD Department of Communications Arts Assistant Professor Matthew Hashiguchi, M.F.A., was awarded one of three Spring 2016 Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) Documentary Fund Awards for his recent film Good Luck Soup. His film documents his family’s experiences of being Japanese in America before, during, and after World War II. It explores several generations assimilating into a new culture while preserving their own.

For 36 years, the Center for Asian American Media has curated, created, and supported extraordinary documentaries and independent filmmakers through stories intended for public broadcast and public media. They have awarded nearly $5 million to over 300 projects by and about Asian Americans. The Documentary Fund Awards is run by the Media Fund Department at CAAM. Funding is made possible with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Hashiguchi joined Georgia Southern University in Fall 2015 and holds a M.F.A. from Emerson College.

HISTORY PROFESSOR RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS FELLOWSHIP Kathleen M. Comerford, Ph.D., received one of Yale’s Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar Fellowship for research at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Comerford will travel to Yale in Fall 2016 to continue her research project. The project is a comparative study of libraries in colleges administered by the Society of Jesus - the Jesuits - in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. “The Society is an order of priests with an illustrious history of missions and education, but their bookholding practices have not been studied in depth.,” said Comerford.

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds at least seven books that once resided in European Jesuit Colleges in the 16th and 17th centuries which will help further her understanding of how the books were used by the Jesuits. She has already traveled to Europe to research Jesuit libraries in Spain, the Netherlands, and England. Her plan is to publish this study in a full-length book.

15


College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Georgia Southern University P.O. Box 8142 Statesboro, GA 30460-8142

CLASS Connect is a publication of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent from the CLASS Dean’s Office. For more information, comments about CLASS Connect, or to request additional print or digital copies, call 912.478.2527; write to CLASS Connect, c/o CLASS Dean’s Office, Georgia Southern University, P.O. Box 8142, Statesboro, GA 30460; or email class@georgiasouthern.edu. You have received this publication because of your relationship to the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern University. If you no longer wish to receive CLASS Connect, email class@ georgiasouthern.edu.

GeorgiaSouthern.edu/class

CLASS.Georgia Southern

@GaSouthernCLASS

The College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Georgia Southern University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity, and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations, and the world. Help the College achieve its goal by:

16

GaSouthernCLASS

CLASS - Georgia Southern University

flickr.com/photos/ GaSouthernCLASS

sharing your story with class@georgiasouthern.edu

encouraging high school students to visit campus

bragging about CLASS to those around you

coming back to visit or speak with students

staying connected with the College through mailing lists and social media attending special events

giving financially at any level to support your College passions mentoring student interns at your place of business

Class Connect - Spring 2017