Connection Magazine Summer 2016

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GC Honor Guard



Up Front News and notes around campus



10 Cover Story Forging the Future

16 Sports 18 Newell Scholar 20 Student Profile 22 Featured Alumna 24 A Lasting Legacy 27 Class Notes

Alumni Weekend is Nov. 4-5. Get ready for the Bobcat Ramble, special lectures, reunion events and more! We will celebrate the classes of ‘56, ‘61, ‘66, ‘71, ‘76, ‘81 and ‘86 — the 30th through 60th class years. If you are interested in hosting your class reunion, contact the alumni office at or 478-445-5771. Look for registration information in your mailbox and inbox in August.

History major becomes first GC student to study abroad at Oxford CONNECTION Summer 2016 Vol. XXV, No.2 Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Published by University Communications 231 W. Hancock St. Milledgeville, GA 31061

President Steve Dorman Vice President for University Advancement Monica Delisa Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications Omar Odeh Editor/Director of Marketing and Publications Victoria Fowler, ‘12 Writers Margaret Brown Brittiny Johnson, ‘15 Aubrie L. Sofala, ‘12, ’16 Al Weston Design Jon Scott, ‘83 Brooks Hinton Photography Tim Vacula, ‘86 Guillermo “Willie” Ledezma, ’16 Aubrie L. Sofala, ’12, ’16

Please send change of address and class notes to: University Advancement Campus Box 113 Milledgeville, GA 31061

No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information be excluded from employment or participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination, under any program or activity conducted by Georgia College.

Senior history major Anna Democko became the first Georgia College student to take advantage of a new partnership at Georgia College. During the fall 2015 semester, she studied abroad at Oxford University in England, one of the most prestigious and well-known universities in the world. “Georgia College really does foster independence and helps you learn how to be someone who, for example, can go to another country,” said Democko. “The liberal arts education here also helps by allowing us to learn a lot of different subjects. You have to be able to switch from thinking very analytically for a math class to creatively in literature, so

just being able to shift and having all that knowledge really helped me while I was over there. “ During her time at Oxford, she impressed faculty with her dedication and work ethic. “The Regents Park, Oxford Program is, with its focus on tutorial-style teaching and learning, very reading-and writing-intensive,” said Dr. Steven Elliot-Gower, director of the Georgia College Honors Program. “Anna adapted very well to the demanding style of instruction at Oxford University. Her dons wrote glowing reviews of her work.”

Georgia College recognized for online learning by U.S. News & World Report U.S. News & World Report released its 2016 “Best Online Programs” rankings, and several Georgia College programs topped the list.

Georgia College) was also recognized as the highest-ranking state university, ranking 22nd nationally and tied with four other universities.

Jumping 10 spots from last year, the Georgia College online graduate nursing programs were ranked eighth in the country— tied with University of Cincinnati. Georgia College’s online graduate nursing programs were the highest ranking in the state.

The program allows professionals to earn an MBA completely online without interrupting their work and personal lives.

Online graduate programs offered at Georgia College include Master of Science in Nursing, with track options of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), FNP Post Masters, Nurse Educator and Professional Enrichment as well as the Doctor of Nursing Practice. The online Master of Business Administration (Georgia WebMBA® at

The online graduate business programs at Georgia College, excluding the MBA, were listed as the 33rd, tied with several other schools. This ranking assesses master'slevel business degree programs that are not MBA programs. Examples include degrees in accounting, finance, insurance, marketing and management. U.S. News & World Report also recognized the online bachelor’s degree offerings at Georgia College ranking them 49th best in the nation.

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Piano owned by former Georgia governor finds its way home

The Old Governor’s Mansion is pleased to announce the acquisition of the piano of Governor George Washington Bonaparte Towns. Towns served as governor from 1847 until 1851. The piano was purchased in 1847, the year that Towns became governor and took up residence in the Mansion. The piano was manufactured by Chickering & Company. It represents the transition from the classic harpsichord into the modern grand piano. “The piano will allow our visitors to have new insights into the lives and times of the governors who lived in the Mansion,” said Director Matt Davis. “Pieces such as the Towns’ piano help us to increase our knowledge about life in the Executive Mansion and help us to better tell the stories of those who lived here.”

“To date, this is the only original object we have in our collection from the Towns’ period,” said Davis. “The piano was a central part of life in the Executive Mansion,” said Davis. “Within the home’s parlor, the families would use the instrument as a source of entertainment during family or other social gatherings.” The Old Governor’s Mansion is open for public tours, Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday from 2 - 4 p.m., with all tours on the hour. For more information on the Old Governor’s Mansion, visit, on Facebook at or contact 478-445-4545.

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International student thrives at GC thanks to Global Scholars Fund

For more information on the global Scholars Fund, visit

Senior Andre Moussa grew up in Venezuela. The economy of the volatile nation has been unstable during the last few years, which is one reason Moussa decided to come to the states for his education.

benefits international students who attend the university.

Although those challenges made it hard for his parents to get money to him in Georgia, those struggles did not mean defeat. Georgia College has a special scholarship fund in place that primarily

For more information on supporting students like Andre, contact Monica Delisa, Vice President, University Advancement at or 478-445-1945.

“The Global Scholars Fund started about 10 years ago with an anonymous donation. In about 10 years, we have raised over $100,000,” said Jason Wynn, Because of the situation in his home assistant director of international student country, at times, it’s been tough for him scholar services. “This year, we have to make ends meet. more than $4,500 to give away, which is a “Right now because the economy’s so bad significant amount.” in my country, it’s really hard to get currency in dollars. Basically, the “Through the scholarship that I got—the currency in my country, bolivares, is Global Scholars Fund—that’s helped me going down and the dollar is going up; so out a lot and my parents to pay for as the prices are going up, it’s really hard school,” said Moussa. “It’s a great feeling, to find the currency in dollars,” said and I really appreciate it.” Moussa.

Georgia College senior receives statewide leadership award Two-term Georgia College Student Government Association (SGA) President Juawn Jackson was chosen as the winner of the 2015-2016 Willis J. Potts Student Advisory Council (SAC) Leadership Award. Selected by his fellow SGA presidents across the state, the award recognizes Jackson as an outstanding student leader among all USG student leaders. “Juawn has proven his dedication and passion for the USG through his willingness to host a SAC conference and his excellent attendance at University System of Georgia events. His leadership and presence have been invaluable to the Student Advisory Council,” said Dr. Joyce Jones, vice chancellor for student affairs for the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia.

The recipient of this award is voted on by current members of SAC in honor of Regent Potts’ unselfish, tireless efforts to serve the students of the University System of Georgia. “It is truly an honor to have been selected by my fellow SGA presidents for this award,” said Jackson. “Serving as SGA president for the past two years has allowed me to work closely with some of Georgia's brightest and selfless leaders. Together, we have accomplished so much for the students within our system.” The political science major graduated in May and plans to enroll in Mercer University’s Higher Education Leadership Program.

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Sketching soles to change souls In La Limonada, Guatemala, poverty and gang violence is a way of life for many of its citizens. Those who try to escape rarely do so without getting killed. However, The Root Collective, based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, along with the help of Kirsten Schueler, ’02, aims to help change that through shoe making.

Georgia College receives National Science Foundation grant Georgia College’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences recently received a $263,320 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This is Georgia College’s first NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant. The grant funded the purchase of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and was made possible through a collaboration among several faculty members: Dr. Indiren Pillay, chair of the department, and co-principal investigators Drs. Melanie DeVore, Mike Gleason, Gretchen Ionta, Kalina Manoylov and Allison VandeVoort.

exciting educational opportunities in the community,” said Manoylov. Beyond the obvious benefits to faculty and student research, the SEM will supplement the department’s mission of supporting students’ development of core competencies including applying the process of science and recognizing the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of science. The instrument is also intended to broaden GC’s participation in the region’s research and education communities.

Schueler was introduced to the fair trade shoe wear company The Root Collective in 2014. She met the company’s founder Bethany Tran online in 2015. Asking if Tran needed any help in shoe design, she replied favorably. Since then, Scheuler has been helping to conceptualize Tran’s design ideas by transforming them into shoes that can be produced by La Limondada residents. As Tran approaches Schueler with designs, Shueler sketches the ideas and sends them to Tran, who narrows them down to two options. Then, Schueler makes more detailed sketches of those two for Tran to ultimately decide which will get produced by co-op workers who weave, glue and nail the shoes into the finished product. “Kirsten's work with us is vital in communicating our vision for new designs,” said Tran. “Our partnerships with the makers in Guatemala will never build and grow if we don't first have a beautiful product to sell, and Kirsten is an integral part of that process.” Schueler reflects on her recent visit to Guatemala. “Hearing the Guatemalans’ proud stories of being able to feed and send their kids to school because of their work with The Root Collective is seriously rewarding,” she said.

Of the 841 proposals submitted across the nation, only about 150 were awarded. “We are proud to be among the 18 percent who were successfully awarded this grant from the NSF. This will not only positively impact the research interests of our faculty, it will enhance our students’ education experiences and provide

Kirsten Schueler shares the display of The Root Collective shoes to the women weavers of La Limonada, Guatemala.

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Making a mark: New alumna’s volunteer hours create $27,000 impact Jennie Pless, ’16, is a firm believer in giving back. Because of that, she was recently highlighted during her senior year by the Milledgeville-Baldwin Chamber of Commerce as the Georgia College student that made the largest economic impact in the community. She volunteered a total of 1,173 hours at various on and off-campus organizations. Using the nationwide value of volunteer time, as estimated by the Independent Sector, those hours equate to a $27,061 economic impact. “A large part of why I volunteer is because of how my mom raised me,” said Pless. “She was a teacher, and she always showed me how important it was to help other people.” Pless obtained a double major in psychology and liberal studies, as well as two minors in women’s studies and health education. She also served as the vice president of Gamma Sigma Sigma, vice president of the ONE Campaign, vice president external for Gamma Beta Phi, service coordinator for the Honors Program, treasurer for Circle K, founding vice president of Habitat for

Humanity and president of A.N.G.E.L.S., which stands for AIDS Now Grasps Every Living Soul. “One part of volunteering is that I get to meet not only other students, but community members as well,” said Pless. “I’ve become more involved with the community and in the process, found other service opportunities.” Pless recently graduated in May and said graduate school is on the horizon. Her plan is to one day become a counselor and eventually obtain her doctorate and teach.

Tracking the music of the 2016 presidential campaign From opera to classic rock, the 2016 presidential candidates’ campaign music speaks volumes about their political stance and how they reach out to their constituents. Several Georgia College students and faculty members are coordinating a project through which, for the first time, a presidential campaign will be documented by the beats and lyrics played on the trail.

From Bernie Sanders’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” to Donald Trump playing “Eye of the Tiger”

“Trax on the Trail is a website where scholars, educators, journalists, students and the public can learn about American presidential campaign music and gain insight into how sound participates in forming candidate identity. Our thirty-five-member interdisciplinary team includes students and academic experts from the fields of political science, musicology, sociology, history, communications, media studies and ethnomusicology,” said project creator and co-editor Dr. Dana Gorzelany-Mostak,

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assistant professor of music at Georgia College, who is also developing the site with co-editor Dr. James Deaville, professor of music at Carleton University. Two Georgia College student researchers are working tirelessly to bring it together. Junior music major Sarah Kitts and senior music major Cannon McClain both jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the project and have not only gained valuable research experience but also learned a lot about music and politics through the process. From Bernie Sanders’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” to Donald Trump playing “Eye of the Tiger” at his rallies, the students track the music to add to the growing database. Kitts and McClain are also working with faculty to co-author research papers for the site. For more information, visit


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Forging the future Georgia College renews focus on community, leadership and the arts

Imagine. The seven-letter word can hold so much— hopes, dreams, ideas and goals to be achieved. The word was also a challenge set forth by President Dr. Steve Dorman two years ago. Now, Georgia College is answering that call by creating directions that focus on ending inequalities in the local community, creating the next generation of world leaders, bringing a community of thinkers, readers, speakers and writers together and bringing awareness of social justice issues through the arts. Through these ideas, the university is redefining what a liberal arts education is, and in the process, creating a place where people come to make their mark on the world.

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Mallory Sage

Closing the gap “Investigating various social disparities in local communities are at the heart of a liberal arts education,” said Dr. Costas Spirou, interim provost. “We can provide a framework for how to tackle issues that the middle Georgia areas are dealing with.” Spirou has spearheaded a group that has worked to explore ways the university can begin to close the gap when it comes to disparities in rural communities— specifically looking at health care, the economy, education and environmental concerns. The brainchild of that group is the Center for Rural Community Development. Spirou says one large advantage of a center like this is that it reaches across all disciplines by necessity and by design. “Addressing these issues doesn’t fall under one academic discipline or one organization,” said Spirou. “Numerous efforts are underway, but there has to be a broad range of participants from faculty, staff, students and community

partners. This initiative can play a critical role, and partnerships are key to bringing this center to realization.” While on-campus organizations and projects in the classroom aim to end disparities, Spirou says deliberate attention to these issues is what will make the difference. Senior Mallory Sage agrees. “As a mass communication major, the majority of my work is behind the camera, but knowing the community outreach aspect of what I’m doing feels amazing,” said Sage. “I never thought to explore the public service aspect of filmmaking, and so this is giving me that experience.” Sage has worked with professor Caroline Collier, director of the Center of Design and E-Commerce. The center gives rural business owners a resource center of tutorial videos on various topics. Sage has worked this semester filming and editing the videos focused on utilizing social media, which will become available this summer.

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Spirou says more opportunities for outreach like Sage’s is how the university will know they’re truly working toward closing the gap educationally, environmentally, economically and in health care in the surrounding neighborhoods. He says that tangible outcomes signifying success of a Center for Rural Community Development would be robust outreach efforts, community partnerships to secure external grants that involve faculty and students, entrepreneurial programs that the insitution can assist with and other results from university-created community initiatives. “This requires faculty and students to work more strategically and more intentionally. We are trying to pull existing resources to find ways to address these issues,” said Spirou. “Once in place, the Center will be a hub of action where faculty and students will have opportunities for experiences outside of the classroom, to make a difference, provide leadership, and as they engage with community organizations, bring that knowledge back to the classroom.”

Fostering leadership From the labs in Herty Hall to the recreation fields on West Campus to the multitude of volunteer organizations— leadership is instilled in Georgia College students every day. “We started by looking at places that already exist; and from there, we pulled all these different areas that serve students together,” said Dr. Dale Young, associate dean of business. “From there, we’re planning ways to intentionally reach out to students in a cohesive way to help them reach their potential while at Georgia College.” Young, as well as other leaders from other campus offices and departments, have come together to find ways to intentionally embed transformational leadership into Georgia College. One part of this renewed initiative is getting students into relevant leadership positions. “The programs we have now in places

like the Career Center, Campus Life, Housing and the International Center, are only going to reach a subset of students,” said Dr. Judith Malachowski, associate dean of health sciences. “What we’re trying to do is have consistency across the board and expound upon what we already do to develop leaders in and outside the classroom.” Senior Sofia Papa has been part of the regularly scheduled leadership team that includes Young and Malachowski. Her leadership experience began her freshman year as she was involved with the Emerging Leaders Program. Papa went on to co-found the organization Bobcats Against Hunger, become a member of the Georgia Education Mentorship (GEM) program, serve on the Dean’s Advisory Board and studied abroad for a semester at Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. “One thing that I’ve learned during my time here and something we discuss in the group is that not every leader is the same,” said Papa. “Leadership is very much a learned skill. Everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses—

but there’s a leadership role for everyone at Georgia College.” Dr. Julia Metzker, director of ENGAGE, says experiences like Papa’s in and outside the classroom are the ultimate goal. “I think that the smallest moments can make the biggest difference in a student’s life direction. Too often, we overlook the leadership capacity in students who don’t promote themselves,” said Metzker. “It is the faculty that recognizes potential in a student and encourages them to pursue opportunities that lead to students developing the attitudes and habits that will make them respected leaders in their community. In many ways, these small moments need to become more central to our work as faculty and staff at the institution. There are many simple ways leadership development could be integrated into the curriculum.” John Bowen, coordinator of Leadership Programs, has been at the forefront of programs like GEM, Emerging Leaders and the Leadership Certificate Program. He notes that leadership isn’t just about

Sofia Papa

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Ian Sargent

a student’s time at Georgia College, but it’s about preparing them to make their mark on the world.

Roots in southern literature

“What we’re working to do through leadership opportunities is harness that potential that every student at Georgia College has,” said Bowen. “It’s about truly having an impact and offering these opportunities that will help them build a skill set so they’re prepared once they leave.”

Tucked in the security of Georgia

Papa, who graduated in May and will begin Teach for America, says the leadership opportunities she’s had taught her a new way of thinking. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is to be comfortably uncomfortable in order to grow and learn,” said Papa. “I’ve learned how to be confident and ask the hard questions that are too often not asked. I believe thinking critically is the hallmark of a liberal arts education, and that’s what I’ve gained.”

College Special Collections lies the entirety of famed alumna Flannery O’Connor’s manuscript of “Wiseblood.” For decades, the university has been a beacon for those wanting to delve further into her works, whether it be spending countless hours in Special Collections, visiting the Flannery O’Connor room or taking a trip to Andalusia.

“The story of O’Connor is one that we continue to tell our students today, which is that you can come out of Milledgeville and become one of the most prominent figures of the 20th Century,” said English Professor Dr. Bruce Gentry, who is also the editor of the Flannery O’Connor Review. The mission to further define the university’s role in the realm of southern literature has merits in the university’s

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notable alumna but also its geographical location— just a county away from the birthplace of renowned author Alice Walker. As part of this new push, Chair of the Department of English and Rhetoric Dr. Elaine Whitaker says a large part of bringing a center focused on southern literature to life includes continuing to bring distinguished scholars, writers and artists to campus. “Long before I came here, this was a vibrant program, and Dr. Dorman saw the opportunity in using it to create a center that focuses on creating a community of writers in Milledgeville,” said Whitaker. “That mission is core to who we are as a department and as a university. Every person comes to us with a story, and what we do is help them tell it.” Graduate student Ian Sargent came to Georgia College after seeing the Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts program on a list of the most underrated programs in the nation.

“I always admired Flannery O’Connor, so it was a bit of a pull in a lot of ways,” said Sargent, a Michigan native. “Being able to see what she was referencing, such as the geographical locations, and being able to embody the same space as O’Connor has been an interesting experience.” Sargent is currently the assistant fiction editor for Arts & Letters, Georgia College’s national literary journal; and he also teaches English 1101 and 1102. As a board member of the Milledgeville Film Festival, Sargent says the university has a unique opportunity to combine literature, film and the arts to create a southern writer’s community. “GC is already most of the way there,” said Sargent. “Gentry does a good job ensuring Georgia College is the O’Connor hub—hosting people from all over the world who want to learn more about her works and about Milledgeville.” Whitaker says a center focused on southern literature also serves as a resource center for writers in the local community. “It will be a maker’s space,” said Whitaker. “It’s an identified spot where people can write, listen, read and think – and it’s not just students. A space like this needs faculty, staff and community members.”

Era of Arts in Social Justice Through a unique vantage point, the arts have a way of allowing students to interpret and present solutions to everyday social justice issues. Kristi Papailler, assistant professor of theatre for social change, says equipping

students with skills to make an impact on the world around them is the ultimate goal. “Problem solving and a sense of empowerment is one of the important messages of transformative arts,” said Papailler. “When they leave my class, I want them to have these skills so they can carry those messages of social justice forward.” Senior theatre and criminal justice double major Alexa Williams has spent her time as a student heavily involved with GC Coalition, an organization dedicated to education on oppressed people; engaged with the community at Collins P. Lee Center; and was integral in the Tunnel of Oppression, an interactive theatre experience that allowed the audience to see what it’s like for others. “Theatre gives people a voice. The notion behind the Tunnel of Oppression when it started at University of Western Illinois at Macomb was that attention and care needed to be paid to those that spend a lot of time in spaces where their voice is unwelcomed, dismissed and/or denied,” said Williams. “I was overwhelmed at the response from the actors and participants, particularly those that shared and those that supported an honest and safe space in the debriefing session.” Bridging the gap between the local community and the university is also a first step to bringing awareness of social justice issues. Art professor Valerie Aranda co-instructed a course with sociology professor Dr. Sandra Godwin. The end product of that class was a mural at the Harrisburg Collins B. Center. “The class allowed students to use their skills that they gain in the arts and apply it to the

social justice context and into the real world,” said Aranda. “Building a civic identity is crucial at Georgia College. They need to learn how they fit into the world.” Both Aranda and Papailler are instrumental in bringing visiting artists, performers and scholars to campus. Papailler says bringing different perspectives to campus broadens students’ minds in the process. “During the month of April we had the residency of Ayikodans Haitian Dance Company,” said Papallier. “By bringing performers like Ayikodans, our students have an opportunity to encounter people from around the world and learn firsthand the benefits of a global perspective.” Aranda says she hopes Ennis Hall, home of the art department, becomes a place where community members feel invited to engage with the arts at Georgia College, a mission they already act toward with monthly life drawing sessions that are open to the community. Papiller agrees community is key to understanding and ending social justice inequities, and says the beginning stage starts with preparing students to change the world. “Art is a language, and we teach students to use that language in a way that prepares them for a global market place,” said Papailler. “Our success as a university in preparing students to leave will be understood when we see our students go into the world and positively impact the communities they choose to live in. Our goal as Georgia College is creating a better world, and our students are where it begins.” ■

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Valerie Aranda

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As the highlight of its 25th anniversary celebration, the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) recently announced its inaugural Hall of Fame class. Twenty-ďŹ ve former student-athletes, coaches and administrators were inducted into the newly created Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Tuesday, May 31, at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island. Three members of the Georgia College Athletics family were among the 25 from this inaugural class, as administrator Dr. Stan Aldridge, tennis player Julia (Roudkovskaya) Dimitrov and golfer David Robinson all joined those chosen by the committee.

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Dr. Stan Aldridge On the Mount Rushmore of Georgia College Athletics, Aldridge would be firmly positioned next to former athletics director and golf coach Dr. Michael Peeler. Where Peeler set the foundation for future athletic and academic successes, Aldridge set the framework for the move to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and joining the PBC. Aldridge came to Georgia College to coach the men’s basketball squad in 1975, and prior to joining the administrative ranks in 1986, brought in Georgia Intercollegiate Athletic Association (GIAC) Coach of the Year honors twice. He served as director of athletics for the Colonials and then Bobcats for 17 years, taking over after the passing of Peeler. Just as comfortable mowing the outfield grass as he was in university board room meetings, Aldridge fostered the culture of community in the Georgia College Athletic Department, with everyone coming together for a common goal: graduating student athletes and developing them to be contributors to society while fielding competitive programs. Under his watch, the program made continual and steady progress and became widely respected across the country for excellence. Aldridge added women’s soccer in 2004 and constructed an outstanding soccer facility. Facility upgrades were a constant during his tenure. Baseball and softball dugouts were constructed to include bathroom facilities. The Centennial Center received a message board and courtside tables with advertising capabilities.

Aldridge was the catalyst for the 20year run of Georgia College hosting the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) State Basketball Championships. This event brought thousands of fans from across the state into Milledgeville each winter. As the mission of the institution changed, Aldridge set aside scholarship funds for outstanding academic achievement and created a program to assist student-athletes that had exhausted their playing eligibility but needed additional time to finish their degree. The back-toback PBC Commissioner’s Cup titles are a direct correlation to the foundation that Aldridge laid throughout his career.

Julia (Roudkovskaya)

Dimitrov Inducted into the Georgia College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006, Roudkovskaya is one of 12 PBC Women’s Tennis players in the history of the league to be named an All-Conference performer all four years that she played. From 19992002 she was one of the dominant players in the PBC and named a four-time All-American. The 1999 PBC Freshman of the Year, she helped the Bobcats to the semifinals of the 1999 NCAA National Championships and a victory in the third-place match. That year the PBC Tournament was flighted and Roudkovskaya won the #4 singles flight that helped the school to a second-place finish. She finished the 2000 season ranked No. 17 in the nation in singles and No. 3 in doubles with partner Lilia Biktyakova. She finished 2001 and 2002 ranked No. 6 in the nation in singles. In 2002 she was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Region Senior Player of the

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Year. She also won the ITA regional singles championship in 2000, was a three-time ITA/Rolex doubles champion and advanced to the doubles ITA national finals.

David Robinson Robinson is the only men’s golfer in PBC history to be named the conference’s Player of the Year three straight times. Also a three-time AllAmerican, he won seven tournaments from 2000-03 at Georgia College. He is tied for third all-time on the PBC list of career tournaments won. Robinson made an immediate impact as a freshman, finishing tied for third at the 2000 PBC Championships. He finished 11th at the NCAA Regionals that year, helping the Bobcats to a second-place finish and the NCAA National Championships, where he finished 46th in a field of 93. As a sophomore he won his first individual title at the Mercer Fall Preview and was 16th at the NCAA regionals. He won two more titles his junior year at the Pfeiffer Invitational and the Bobcat Invitational, was fifth at the Peach Belt Championships and seventh at the NCAA regionals. His 72.14 stroke average for that year still stands as the 15th-lowest singleseason average in PBC history. His senior season provided wins at the West Florida Intercollegiate and his first Peach Belt Tournament title. At the PBC, he fired back-to-back rounds of 68, becoming one of four players to ever shoot two rounds in the 60s at the league tournament. Robinson turned professional upon graduating from Georgia College and played on the Nationwide Tour and Tour. He has also worked as a caddy on the PGA Tour.


The Future of Hope Newell Scholar Dr. Michael Charles Tobias ends his residency at Georgia College after a semester of filmmaking, community outreach and ecological knowledge sharing.

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or Dr. Michael Charles Tobias, his love of ecology began at an early age. It was precisely at the age of three that Tobias, after seeing a caged wolf, knew that his calling—not only for his profession, but also throughout his personal life— would always be advocating for those who did not have a voice.


nonprofits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or starting their own research projects” said Tobias. “It has been wonderful to be able to have an intimate class setting and opportunity to go indepth with my pro-seminar class. My approach has always been experiential learning, in addition to the exploration of theoretical knowledge. The students seem to have reacted well to that.”

“Ecology actually derives from a Greek word, oikos, meaning 'our home or habitation,' but certainly since the mid-19th century has come to connote taking care of our homes, our habitat,” said Tobias. “In that sense, we have an immense duty to effect transformations that can optimize ecological house-keeping; can rewild our hearts and Mother Nature. It starts in our backyards and at the dinner table.”

While Tobias’ first passion is writing above all else, he has also made being in the classroom and conducting field research (in nearly 100 countries and on every continent) staples of his life. He has been on faculties from Dartmouth to the University of CaliforniaSanta Barbara to the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque.

Tobias has spent his time as the 2016 Martha Daniel Newell Visiting Scholar hosting film screenings of a handful of his documentaries, of which he has directed, written or produced more than 100. He also brought speakers to campus for public conversations, such as Dr. G. Wayne Clough, president emeritus of Georgia Tech, as well as the 12th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; and Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In addition, Tobias has spent his time equally between working with a student filmmaking class producing a one hour PBS- style documentary entitled “bioreverie,” guest lecturing in other classes, as well as teaching his own course, “Embracing Co-Existence.” “I’ve encouraged my students in our class Embracing Co-Existence to endeavor to give back to the community with a focus on activist non-violence and kindness, whether that’s working with

“I’m an academic because I love teaching, and my research necessitates a concentration in areas of deep collaborative science and ethics with colleagues throughout the world. But I also believe that we have to engender ways to communicate that research broadly,” said Tobias. “That’s why I’ve made so many films for broadcast worldwide. It’s important to find imaginative and effective ways to disseminate your research, inquiries, messages, and most importantly, your questions – sending telegrams to the world so that, hopefully, this and future generations might become better informed – and inspired – with respect to the myriad burning issues of our time and work to carry the torch.” Tobias suggests that an increased focus on animal protection, biodiversity conservation and ecological education has to start with this current generation of youth to truly make the difference in the fate of the earth. “The issues that confront us as a civilization have the opportunity to be rectified through institutions connection magazine | 19 |

like Georgia College. Yes we need students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), but what is the ultimate power of such critical research without the equally pressing skills of reading and writing and deep tools for reflection? We need to teach empathy, compassion. And without stirring poetry in your soul, passion in your heart, all the empirical data in the world can sadly devolve into a cold calculus and become feckless when it comes to truly helping others.” Despite the daily avalanche of disheartening ecological news from the frontlines throughout the world, Tobias says he is hopeful about the future. “I’m guardedly optimistic,” says Tobias. “Otherwise, there is no point getting up in the morning. I’m impatient but force myself to be patient. It’s something of a mantra. Everything happens in those gray zones of change. It’s never black and white. But know this: whether we choose to step in and save whole species from becoming extinct on our watch will be a legacy future generations will be paying keen attention to. Most important of all, we must be active participants in the future of our world. Ecological citizens. Vote. Leave a gentle footprint. Be kind at every juncture of opportunity.” Tobias is the president of Dancing Star Foundation, a global ecological non-profit based in California and New Zealand. His latest book, “Codex Orféo,, an unusual investigation into the Holocaust and ecosystems of eastern Europe, comes out this summer from Springer Science & Business Publishers. Meanwhile, his 1836page epic “The Adventures of Mr. Marigold” is being turned into a Utopian opera. ■




black metal cuff on junior Jordan Wilcher’s wrist glides back and forth across the table, as he begins to recount his experiences as a Marine and now, as a student at Georgia College. The surface of the bracelet is scratched, but the name etched across the curved metal is pristine— it reads: “CPL Alan Brown.”


“I’ve always been the type of person that if I put my mind to it, it’s going to get done,” said Wilcher. “I’ve never actively looked to be in leadership positions. I don’t see myself as a leader. All I’ve ever done, I’ve done for others.” Wilcher is one of a small group of student veterans on campus. He served two combat tours in Afghanistan, with the last one being voluntary rollover extension. His decision to attend college after Marine life was a natural next step. But his decision to form the first chapter of Omega Delta Sigma, the first national veterans fraternity in the state of Georgia, came from a different place. “It happened in May, the weekend after finals during my freshman year,” said Wilcher. “After Alan’s death, I had to take some time to get over it, to understand it—until I could even think about starting the veterans fraternity.” Wilcher’s best friend Corporal Alan Brown committed suicide on May 10, 2014. “It wasn’t until the next spring semester that I felt I was in a good enough place to start the fraternity,” said Wilcher. “I knew something needed to be done, and I was ready to do something about it. I thought to myself, ‘What type of man would I be if I didn’t take this opportunity to make a difference?’” Wilcher founded the Georgia Alpha Chapter of Omega Delta Sigma (ODS GA-A) in spring 2015. The idea was to form a group where veterans could interact with each other on campus. Since its creation, the group has overseen the first Military Ball on campus, participated in multiple color guard ceremonies for the University, ensured veterans have priority registration and honorary stoles during

graduation, and has successfully developed a Student Veterans Resource Center. “I was definitely surprised by the number of veterans we have on campus,” said Wilcher. “I thought that maybe there would be a couple of us, but all together there’s a solid population of about 25, with 15 that are active in ODS.” One of Wilcher’s goals is to decrease the stigma of veterans as victims. “We aren’t victims,” said Wilcher. “So often people want to be quick to react when a veteran gets angry over something and blame it on PTSD [PostTraumatic Stress Disorder]. That’s not always the case.” The highlight of ODS for Wilcher has simply been being able to be around others who understand what post-military life is like. “We need this time together to cope,” said Wilcher. “And no, it’s not us around a circle talking about our feelings, it’s usually just us joking around and having a beer without having to censor ourselves — because that’s what it’s like when you’re in the military. And just being able to be around people who understand you makes a significant difference.” Wilcher is majoring in accounting, with a minor in political science, and plans to begin taking graduate classes during his senior year. When it’s all said and done, he’ll graduate with a Master’s of Accountancy with a minor in political science. After graduation, he plans to take the CPA exam and work in federal legislation to help improve veteran’s benefits. Still, he says that his goal in the beginning remains part of the mission of the fraternity and his legacy at Georgia College. “I will never see the full benefit of what I’m doing. Everything that I’m working for, is to help those to come,” said Wilcher. “And if I can help one person, if I can stop one suicide— then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. And I can be happy.” ■

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FEATURED ALUMNA Frezalia Oliver, ’72

Guiding others lifts Oliver’s spirit

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rezalia Oliver, ’72, never asked for much growing up. She didn’t crave material things to make her happy. Instead, she discovered at an early age that helping others fueled her spirit.

“Since I was small, I’ve always had a helper mentality,” said Oliver. “I just light up when I get the chance to help people.” Because of her desire to learn, Oliver tested at the college level at 16 years of age and graduated as valedictorian of her class. At that time, her school was segregated. Oliver then pursued her degree at Georgia College—an integrated school. “My community was so proud when I got accepted into Georgia College,” Oliver said. While on the dean’s list, she earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia College in three years. Upon graduating, Oliver worked as a caseworker with the Putnam County Department of Family and Children Services. Then, she earned her master’s degree at the University of Georgia in her early 20s. “The intent was not to get through college so early,” Oliver said. “I just had a burning urge to learn.” In 1975, Oliver became a social worker at the Georgia War Veterans Home at Central State Hospital and eventually went on to become the division chief of the Regional Psychiatric Division. In 2005, she received a commendation from former Gov. Sonny Purdue recognizing her as the first and only black female to hold that position at that time. As a licensed clinical social worker, Oliver began her private practice providing counseling services to families, couples and children through Wide Range Resources, Inc., which is nationally recognized and fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities International. By teaching her clients how to live a healthy lifestyle and learning respect at home, her goal is to empower her clients and guide them to a better life. Oliver enjoys going into her clients’ homes and working to reduce the problems within each family. She stresses how she wants to strengthen family cohesiveness through mentoring at school and parental support. “The key is to work with the whole family,” said Oliver. “I believe in empowering them to take care of themselves so they can take care of each other.” Through Wide Range Resources, Oliver and her team of 14 licensed and master level professional counselors provide counseling to victims of crime, clinical evaluations and employee assistance for companies such as The Southern Company, Ritz Carlton-Lake Oconee and the Department of Corrections. She has also been a progressive force in her community serving on several boards, volunteering with many charity organizations as well as her church. ■

Everyone has a passion for something,

mine is helping people. connection magazine | 23 |






GC celebrates anniversaries across campus






In 2016, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate on campus. Whether it’s in honor of the designation of Georgia College as the state’s public liberal arts institution, the celebration of the GIVE Center, marking a significant time in history for the Student Government Association or looking at the achievements of Georgia College Early College— anniversaries have brought old and new faces to campus in celebration of moments in history.





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SGA Now celebrating its 80th anniversary, the Student Government Association first had its beginnings as rumblings around campus in the 1930s. Dr. Euri Belle Bolton, professor of Education and Psychology, was a strong advocate who believed that students deserved a voice. Recent SGA President Juawn Jackson, who served for two terms, says the mission of having a voice is still integral to the organization. “SGA exists to serve as the voice of the student body. We have some of the most passionate students in the system and it is SGA's duty to listen to those passions and give our due diligence to convert them into possible actionable outcomes that works for the betterment of our campus community,” said Jackson. Throughout its 80 years, the organization has had pivotal moments— one of them being the election of Slyvester “Sly” Ford, who was the first black president. SGA’s representation of the student body has only grown over time. The organization has tangible input when it comes to producing changes in school policy, addressing diversity concerns and keeping school spirit alive. Jackson says the strength of their voice comes from building relationships with elected leaders, community members and administration. “We believe strongly in shared governance and have made great effort to demonstrate that as student leaders, we are professional, rational, servant leaders who are committed to providing opportunities for our fellow students to get the most out of their collegiate journey,” said Jackson. For the future, Jackson says he sees a new wave of leaders coming from SGA. “I am positive that the SGA of the future will continue to build upon the progress of administrations that have helped to lay the foundation. The problems and needs of students in the future will be different most definitely from those of today, but I would hope that not only the student government, but also administrators and professors will continue to value the importance of shared governance, working collaboratively together, to address those needs.”

Early College What began as an ambitious endeavor to more readily prepare high school students for college, has turned into a growing program that encourages students to think critically, conduct research and go on to successfully graduate college. “Since our early college program is the only early college program within the state of Georgia that is housed on a college campus, we continuously focus our efforts on making the most of this unique opportunity,” said Principal of Georgia College Early College (GCEC) Dr. Runee Sallad. GCEC is currently celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The program revised its mission in 2013 to focus more on reading, writing and speaking in all contents. The edition of Capstone projects has been a challenge, which Sallad says they have met. “Students are constantly required to explain the ‘how’ and ‘why’ using academic language and content vocabulary. This has been a challenge for our faculty and students, but we are now reaping the benefits,” said Sallad. “We have 105 of our 135 high school students currently dually enrolled at either Georgia College, Georgia Military College or Central Georgia Technical College.

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Of the 105, we have 18 9th grade students enrolled in college, and they currently are passing their courses with a B or higher.” Moving forward, Sallad says she has three main goals which involve students being more prepared for high school and college, obtaining more college credit through dual enrollment programs and for 100 percent of high school graduates to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. “We believe there is always more to learn. As our motto states, ‘We are all teachers, all learners and all leaders,’” said Sallad. “We, faculty and students, have benefited tremendously from being on the campus of Georgia College, which has afforded us multiple opportunities to collaborate, enhance our instructional practices and provide our students with experiences they would not otherwise be privy to on their home campuses.”

GIVE Center The four cornerstones of the Georgia College’s GIVE Center are volunteerism, leadership, collaboration and legacy. These are the four tenets Director Kendall Stiles has constantly thought about not only when founding the center, but in continuing its mission everyday. “It got started by myself and a student named Kate Van Cantfort who saw the desire of our students for service. At the time, I was the coordinator for Student Programs and Activities and we just added service projects to our existing programming. We soon found out that our service events had a high number of participation,” said Stiles. “We started with basic service events and projects like blood drives, bringing a canned food to a dance, trash pick up, etc.” In its 20 years of being a place for students who have a passion and desire to give back, the GIVE Center has added two full-time professional staff members along with 20 student staff, moved into a state-of-the-art space on campus, created the service and leadership scholarship, had over 500,000 volunteers and has created a $15 million economic impact on the local community.

“My experience has been incredible and amazing. I have had the opportunity to lead others to find their passion through teaching, mentoring and encouragement. Every day I get to influence and empower college students to discover a servant’s heart,” said Stiles. “I also feel that my destiny is to inspire belief that one can make a difference in the world and again I am able to do that every day in The GIVE Center. My life has been richly blessed for having the fortunate opportunity to create such a dynamic and amazing center for college students who inspire me every day.”

Liberal Arts Twenty years ago, the Board of Regents appointed Georgia College as the state’s designated public liberal arts university. Chancellor Dr. Stephen Portch was integral in the process of the designation and understood the worth of a public liberal arts institution in the state of Georgia. “There was some skepticism about whether we would be able to do it and if we could make it happen,” said Georgia College Historian Dr. Bob Wilson. “But President DePaolo came in and she understood what the mission meant for us.” The mission of the university was carried on by former President Dr. Rosemary DePaolo, who was the first woman president in the institution’s 108-year history and came to the university in August 1997. Her presidency was met with a wave of unequivocal change, as the college transitioned to Georgia’s designated public liberal arts institution. “She really turned it around for us,” said Wilson. “What she did was come in and make it a reality. I often call that time the DePaolo Revolution, because she understood the mission so clearly, and because of that she was able to transform the college.” In the 20 years since its designation, Georgia College has remained a university that offers a holistic experience— whether it’s through students participating in one-on-one research with faculty, taking the classroom into the community or by exploring and combining disciplines to break the mold. ■

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the provost for leadership and oversight of all undergraduate programs. She has 19 years of experience as university faculty, department chair and vice provost.

1990s Kim Cavender, Ed.S., ’92, ’94, ’02 teaches fifth grade at Turner Woods Elementary in Jones County, Ga. She has won Macon’s 13WMAZ’s “My Teacher is Tops” award twice.

Iris Brookins Corbett, ’35, turned 101 years old this year. She earned a teaching degree from Georgia State College for Women and authored the book: “Growing up strong: My life as a child during the Great Depression.”


1980s Dr. Shannon Lindsey Blanton, ’89, became the inaugural dean of the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) Honors College in June 2014. Blanton came to UAB from the University of Memphis, where she was professor of political science and vice provost for undergraduate programs, responsible to

Michael Shane Bowers, ’95, has pioneered and maintained a national ministry with Christian recording group Julian Drive for more than 10 years. He is also a noted songwriter and has begun to emerge as a sought-after speaker over the past few years. His passion lies with connecting audiences of various ages, cultures and demographics through song, testimony or the spoken word. Air Force Maj. Jovina Buscagan, ’95, is the operating room support services element chief, 96th Surgical Operations Squadron, 96th Medical Group, 96th Test Wing at Elgin Air Force Base, Florida. She is responsible for managing a $10 million budget overseeing state-of-the-art technology and material requirements for the surgical suite. Buscagan earned her commission graduating as a distinguished graduate from the Commissioned Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, in 1997. Pennie Strong, ’95, was promoted to vice president of Student Aid Services of the Georgia Student Finance Commission in May 2014. She manages the administration of the state scholarship, grant and loan programs including the lottery-funded HOPE programs, the call center and organizations and disbursements. Shaun Kahrmann, ’96, became assistant chief for the Eastman Department of Community Supervision Office in December. He supervises a caseload of parolees in Wheeler County, Georgia. He is also responsible for the supervision of three parole officers who work in Dodge, Bleckley, Pulaski, Telfair and Montgomery Counties.

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Dr. Marian Moore Lewis, ’59, had her book “Southern Sanctuary: A Naturalist’s Walk through the Seasons” published in 2015 by the University of Alabama Press. The 320-page book describes plants and wildlife in a 400-acre sanctuary located in the southernmost Appalachian Highlands region of north Alabama. Lewis enjoyed a 40-year career in biological research and published over 100 research papers in scientific journals. Her cell biology experiments flew on 14 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Shuttle missions. At Georgia State College for Women, Lewis majored in biology and was president of the Chemistry Club, business manager of the 1959 Spectrum Yearbook and a 1983 recipient of the Georgia College & State University Alumni Achievement Award.

Julie Dyar, Ed. S., ’93, ’94, ’11, ’14, became the assistant principal at East Laurens Middle School at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. She previously served as the curriculum coach and Title 1 Coordinator at East Laurens Middle School.

Bruce McMullen, ’96, recently became the city of Memphis’ new city attorney and chief legal officer. While serving in these roles, McMullen will continue to maintain his practice with Baker Donelson where he focuses on health care litigation, municipal law, tort liability, commercial litigation and class action defense. He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America® since 2009 and in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2012.


2000s Former registered nurse and clinical professor Jessica Peralta, ’02, was recently named as one of the VEGAS INC 2016 40 under 40 honorees. In 2012, she opened Fit4Mom at Town Square in Southern Nevada. The business has grown to 13 locations. Peralta’s Vegas location recently won the Franchise of the Year award. Its signature program “Stroller Strides” includes power walking/jogging and intervals of strength and body-toning exercises using a stroller and the environment. Other programs offered include: Stroller Barre, Fit4Baby and Body Back. Natalie Khoury Ridgewell, ’04, was recently awarded the international C. Glen Hass Laureate Scholarship for Instructional Leadership for the second year in a row. Ridgewell is a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida College of Education and working toward a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. J. Michael Rifenburg, ’05, received his Ph.D. in composition/rhetoric/literacy from the University of Oklahoma. He has since become an assistant professor in the English Department at the University of North Georgia where he works with student-athletes on their writing. In August 2015, he received a contract from Utah State University Press for his book tentatively titled “The Literate Practices of Big-Time College Sports.”

Dr. Otha J. Hall, ’07, ’08, became the principal of East Laurens Middle School at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. He previously served as a history teacher for six years and an assistant principal for three years at West Laurens High School. While at West Laurens High School, he also served as a middle school track coach, head middle school boys’ basketball coach, assistant varsity boys’ basketball coach and head varsity boys’ basketball coach.

Richard Kerr, ’08, is the material control officer for Helicopter Marine Experimental Squadron 1 in charge of all presidential helicopter transport including Marine One and the other aircraft (MV-22 Osprey) which make up the squadron, called MV-22 Osprey. The Navy uses these 'tiltrotor' airplanes to carry the staff, security and press who travel with the president and support the Navy and Marine Corps in a more general sense. Kerr’s department oversees the entire squadron, including Marine One, to ensure all aircraft have what is needed for maintenance and have what they need to carry out their mission. Jessica Bahn, ’08, ’10, is the chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee, chair for the Natural Sciences Department and Health & Physical Education/Wellness Department for the Georgia Military College online campus and assistant professor of biology and anatomy.

2010s Laurene Greene Avirett, ’10, ’11, sends her “thanks” to the Department of Art at Georgia College. “My studio classes encouraged and cultivated the creativity and problem solving side of me,” she said. “People tend to think being an art major is easy, but it’s the exact opposite. Working through complex assignments and delving into cultures around the world opens art students up to a global world of possibilities.” Upon graduating with her master’s in 2011, she became a middle school art teacher. This past fall, she started her first year of law school.

connection magazine | 28 |

Marissa Knoblich, ’15, recently became an outdoor education supervisor with Cobb County parks.

Brittany Nelson, ’11, was recently hired by George Konik Associates, Inc. as a Business Development Associate to support new and existing client recruiting and staffing needs. Nelson will be responsible for growing deep relationships with Minnesota’s leading companies. She will also assist in hiring, mentoring and developing internal employees and maintaining client relations.

Shelby Light, ’15, is a paid public relations intern at Green Olive Media in midtown Atlanta. Light feels that her internship in Australia while at Georgia College sets her apart from her peers and is always a topic of conversation when applying for jobs. “Just the experience that I gained from the Club Kepreneur Foundation has taught me so much and exposed me to the working world and helped prepare me for my current position,” mentions Light. She also feels that her internship experience is helping her prepare for the professional working world. “I get a taste for the various roles at a PR agency and the possible direction that my career might take in the next few years,” Light said.

Russell Hosea, ’12, recently became the vice president for sales and marketing for Fitness EMS and Champion Fitness Brands in Chamblee, Georgia. Kalli Hollinshead, ’13, recently became a registered nurse with Oconee Regional Medical Center in Milledgeville, Georgia. Robert Eason Cargo, ’13, resides in Stellenbosch Western Cape, South Africa. He has worked for Sport for Christ Action South Africa since April 2015.

Kacey McInerney, ’15, had a yearlong fulltime internship in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Orlando Magic. McInerney loved the experience and everything about the sports industry. This summer she plans to backpack with friends in Europe.

Kristen Aller, ’14, recently became an investigative assistant with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Former Georgia College Student-Athlete Rachel Pasko, ’15, has been admitted into Veterinarian School at the University of Georgia.

Wally Senter, ’14, recently entered his first season as an assistant coach for men’s and women’s swimming teams with Lindsey Wilson College. Senter previously worked as an assistant coach with the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta, where he was an age group swim coach. Damon Brown, ’15, recently became a human resources specialist at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. Alexander Kesner, ’15, recently became a physiotherapy assistant with Alexander Chiropractic Center in Johns Creek, Georgia.

Please submit your news for Class Notes at:

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Joshua Killingsworth, ’11, recently became a national service desk technician with Adams Communication and Engineering Technology, Inc.


Morgan Branch, ’15, wed Caleb Thornley on August 29, 2015, at The Engine Room in Monroe, Georgia. Alumni in the wedding party included: Haley Miranda, ’14, Michaela Pollock, ’15, Emily White ’15, Rebecca Terry ’15, Madison O’Brien ’17. Morgan is currently working on her master’s at Richmont Graduate University, and Caleb is Director of Youth and Music at Ivy Creek Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. They reside in Buford, Georgia.

Karen Farmer, ’07, ’09, became engaged to Kenny Walker on Dec. 24, 2015. The delightful moment took place during a Christmas cruise under the Cozumel stars. The wedding will take place on Oct. 1, 2016 outdoors in the North Carolina Mountains.

Chris Paul, ’14, ’16, and Nikole Smith, ’14 were married in November of 2015 at Little Gardens in Lawrenceville, Georgia, where they reside. Chris teaches at Give West in Gwinnett County and coaches baseball at Brookwood High School. Nikole works at Soliant Healthcare.

Jason Hendrix, ’09, married Rosilyn Mae Lammers on June 20, 2015, at Bradley’s Pond in Tallahassee, Florida. Lammers is a Florida State alumni. Jason is the director of Sports Information for Georgia Gwinnett College. He is also a member of the new Young Alumni board at Georgia College. His wife is a teacher. The couple resides in Buford, Georgia.

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In Memoriam Madalynn T. Turner* Mamie Lee Eubanks Scott, ’13 Jamie Summerour Cochran ’23 Willie Helen McCommons Guy, ’24 Nettie Kennon Abrams, ’25 Virginia Foy Phillips, ’25 Mattie Freeman Webb, ’25 Dessie Stephens Bowell, ’26 Margaret Willoughby Chastain, ’26 Annie Moore Ellington, ’26 Virginia Bonner Samford, ’28 Annie Stanford Chastain, ’29 Lois Briggs Clark, ’29 Gertrude Hussey Thigpen, ’29 Lizzie Gammage Carter, ’30 Margaret Johnson Henderson, ’31 Evelyn Libby Miller, ’31 Annie Chambers Parker, ’32 Alice Cox Spivey, ’32 Virginia Clarkson Coulter, ’33 Virginia Luke Williams, ’33 Lillian Pridgen Cannon, ’34 Mary Bush Collins, ’34 Elma Cowan Gibson, ’34 Blanche Cook Brooks, ’35 Miriam Burke Hudson, ’35 Kathryn Conner Brooks, ’36 Minnie Wall Walker, ’36 Alleyne Spiller Abate, ’37 Loice Smith Allen, ’37 Sybil West Allison, ’37 Lena Pierce Giddens, ’37 Valeria Mobley Hughes, ’37 Elizabeth Smith Murchison, ’37 Ella Hollis Payne, ’37 Elise Hagan Strickland, ’37 Mattie May Thrasher, ’37 Gladys Raley Askew, ’38 Mary King Coleman, ’38 Leila Balkcom Nix, ’38 Tennie Mcfarland Beam, ’39 Marion Bell Bennett, ’39 Ethelind Jordan Cannon, ’39 Mignon Sewell Davis, ’39 Bettie Miller Purdom, ’39 Jane Osterhout Terry, ’39 Martha Adams Brooks, ’40 Mary Wheeler Carter, ’40

Mary Harris Hood, ’40 Mary Harris Moses, ’40 Frances Leroy Duke, ’41 Marjorie Stone Hamilton, ’41 Florence Holmes Holt, ’41 Mary Sineath McMath, ’41 Delia Durham Mobley, ’41 Lila Boynton Odom, ’41 Bonnie Carpenter Powell, ’41 Jessie Harrell Wright, ’41 Helen Pyles Bagley, ’42 Mary Boswell Brown, ’42 Elamund Walker Cates, ’42 Helen DeLamar Edwards, ’42 Catherine Adams Lombardo, ’42 Mary Laidler McDonald, ’42 Frances McElroy Mosher, ’42 Virginia Saltsman Velona, ’42 Miriam Bennett Wright, ’42 Rosalyn Mitcham Ashworth, ’43 Willie Ritchie Scott, ’43 Martha Meredith Slaughter, ’43 Sue McLeod Stone, ’43 Carrie Johnson Wheeler, ’43 Sara Timmons Kruse, ’44 Eleanor Douglas Nash, ’44 Dorothy Lewis Warthen, ’44 Jane Sparks Willingham, ’44* Mary Bennett, ’45 Nettie Webb Dekle, ’45 Laura Trapnell Freeman, ’45 Grace Womble, ’45 Miriam Chatfield Childs, ’46 Elsie Reeve Haynes, ’46 Emma Smith Layton, ’46* Jeanette McJunkin Morrison, ’46 Betty Bowen Jones, ’47 Sara Carpenter Sherwin, ’48* Emmie Carey Light, ’49 Georgia Cowart Luke, ’49 Elanor Coffey Cole, ’50 Norma Marshall Harvill, ’53 Ouida Mozo, ’53* Elsie Worley Collins, ’54 Jackie Keith Hornsby, ’54 Bettie Miller Scott, ’54 Elaine Burch Bowman, ’55 Eloise Chambers Douglas, ’55

Shirley Hall Johnson, ’55 Ann Wallace Herbert, ’57 Martha Rozier Allmond, ’58 Ruby Adams Blackwell, ’58 Lenore Beall Hewitt, ’60 Nannie Mullis Daniels, ’61 Marjorie Thurman Wood, ’61 Edith Moore Benzinger, ’63 Mae Blount Day, ’64 Gloria Payne, ’64 Nancy Waits Stephens, ’65 Robert E. Lee, ’67* James Ballard, ’71 Douglas Joris, ’72 Franklin Cooper, ’73 Harold Mills, ’73 Naomi Ray Brannon, ’74 Orrin Carstarphen, ’75 J.R. “Richard” Weeks, ’76 Robert Black, ’77 Josephine Newsom Cummings, ’77 Patricia Griffin Scoggins, ’78 Betty Jordan Phillips, ’79 Tommy Morris, ’80 Verlene Fields Smith, ’81 Kathleen Roberts Veline, ’83 Linda Paige Bateman, ’86 Phillip Barber, ’87 David Hillman, ’87 Edwanna Smith Stephens, ’87 Thomas Denman, ’90 Loretta May Cropps, ’91 Deborah Dorminy, ’91 Ellamarie Hudson Garrett, ’91 Luann Alexa Bock, ’92 Vida Faulk, ’93 Kimsey Pierce, ’93 Ina Page Joiner, ’94 Patricia Bilak Ratteree, ’94 George Lacy, ’95 Arthur Shepherd, ’96 Larry Hill, ’99 Denzil Pugh, ’99 Mark Curlee, ’02 Kenyon Lawrence Parham, ’04 Regina Clark Warriner, ’04

*Denotes alumni of Peabody School. This list recognizes deceased alumni that the university has been made aware of since April 7, 2016.

University Communications Campus Box 97 Milledgeville, GA 31061


Dr. Robin Harris, ’91, ’93, makes college possible for non-traditional female students For former nontraditional student, professor and administrator Dr. Robin Harris, ’91, ’93, Georgia College meant a great education and more. e university’s rich history was especially moving to her beginning with the significance of Julia Flisch—a member of the original faculty and an advocate of women’s rights, education and independence who helped develop the liberal arts curriculum at Georgia Normal & Industrial College, now known as Georgia College. Harris is authoring the biography of Flisch. As of yet untitled, the book will reflect Flisch’s work as a proponent of educational and vocational opportunities for women and as a prominent voice leading to the founding of the college. When Harris wrote “e First 100 Years: e Story of the Georgia College & State University Alumnae Association,” she met several 80 and 90-year-old women, who still spoke in awe of the amazing experience the college was for them and the many opportunities that were available for them due to the education they received at the school.

“For these women, education was such a significant privilege and blessing that often tears came to their eyes as they spoke about the college,” said Harris. “I wanted to honor these women and all those who benefited from Flisch’s battle to give the girls a chance.” Harris began her education at Georgia College in 1988, when her oldest child moved away to college. From then on, her love for education took off. Harris earned her B.S. and her M.A. in history from Georgia College. In 1998, she earned her Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology in history, technology and society. After several years teaching at Georgia College as an adjunct and then in a temporary full-time position in the Department of History and Geography, Harris became the director of Experiential Education. In 2005, her health led her to step down to return to full-time teaching in the Department of Government and Sociology. Although medically retired from Georgia College, she misses teaching so Harris wants to give back to the university with scholarships for non-traditional female students. With a few simple keystrokes online, she made the Georgia College & State University Foundation the beneficiary of her life insurance policy that the university provides each employee. “I hope these scholarships will allow non-traditional female students to fulfill their dream of attending college without straining the family budget,” she said. “I am so grateful for the scholarships I received and want to pass the joy of learning on to others who share the dream of going to college, but thought it was impossible.” Learn how simple it is to plan your gift. Contact Elizabeth Hines at 478-445-1944 or

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