2019 Georgia College Highlights

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2019 was a year of growth as Georgia College moves towards our goal of becoming one of the nation’s preeminent liberal arts universities.




evident in the accolades awarded to and achievements made by our students, faculty, staff, and the university as a whole throughout the year.



Student Success At Georgia College, our students put independent thought into practice in order to become leaders not only during their time at GC, but long afterward. The following students are just a few of our accomplished Bobcats at the local, state, national, and international levels.

David Williams transferred to Georgia College his sophomore year — looking for a smaller, more personal school where opportunity abounded. He switched majors from audio engineering technology — music production — to economics; made friends by joining the cast of several theatre productions; and developed an intense desire to travel. He wants to be a leader worldwide, helping underdeveloped populations thrive economically. That led Williams to apply for the Boren Scholarship, a nationallycompetitive award given to highly-motivated undergraduates willing to learn less-studied languages, immerse themselves in a different culture, and, ultimately, work in federal national security. “I pursued the Boren originally, purely, because I have wanderlust. It’s just this burning desire I’ve had ever since I can remember,” said Williams, a junior from Augusta. “I really think I would be happiest in a career, if I was moving throughout the world and experiencing lots of different places and cultures,” he said. “I love the idea of communicating with somebody in their language, of going to them and being rooted there. All that appeals to me.” Williams is the second Georgia College student to win this

I really think I would be happiest in a career, if I was moving throughout the world and experiencing lots of different places and cultures.

prestigious honor. Senior Johnathan Mangrum spent the fall of 2018 using his Boren Scholarship to learn Urdu in Lucknow, India. Since 1994, more than 6,000 students have received Boren awards. This year, through the Institute of International Education, the


National Security Education Program awarded 244

"I'm very excited that David has been selected for the

Boren Scholarships out of a pool of 851 undergraduate

Boren Scholarship this year,” Whiteside said. “Last year,

applications. Participants will live in 39 countries

he was named an alternate, and it was thanks to his

throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe,

perseverance and hard work that he has now received

Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

the award.”

Williams’ $26,000 award covers tuition, insurance, cost

“The Boren is a highly-prestigious award,” she said,

of living, transportation, and his flight. He first studied

“and a win for Georgia College. It means our students

Swahili in the African Flagship Language Institute at the

will be continuing do great work across the globe."

University of Florida in Gainesville during the summer. In September, he continued language study at the

Williams also credits his economics professors Dr.

American Councils for International Education in

Zhenhui Xu and Dr. Justin Roush for helping him focus

Tanzania, followed by a business internship there in the

his argument that Swahili is a critically-needed language


and Tanzania a region of vital interest to the United States.

Williams has a list of Georgia College faculty and staff he is thankful for — with Anna Whiteside, coordinator of the

“They pushed me to truly understand the workings of an

National Scholarships Office, at the top. It was the

economic system,” he said, “and why it’s so important

second time Williams applied for the Boren. Whiteside

for a hegemonic country like the United States to have a

reread his application “about 40 times and always found

relationship with developing nations.” ■

something to make it a little bit better,” he said.


Georgia College biology graduate student Marissa Mayfield wants to work internationally, helping people cope after natural and manmade disasters by providing environmental remediation and rehabilitation. She got a head start on that dream this summer. She traveled to

I am really excited to have gotten into the NSF Fellowship program because it gives me the extra money to do my research, especially since a lot of it requires traveling to Zambia.

Zambia with geologist Dr. Samuel Mutiti to research the remedial properties of Moringa trees. Her field project recently garnered the attention of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which granted her a fellowship award of $34,000, along with a tuition stipend — a recognition that puts Mayfield among the country’s best science students. “I am really excited to have gotten into the NSF Fellowship program,” Mayfield said, “because it gives me the extra money to do my research, especially since a lot of it requires traveling to Zambia.” “I am so thankful to my advisor, Dr. Sam Mutiti, for believing in me and helping me apply,” she said. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is selective. It supports outstanding students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Mayfield is the second Georgia College student to win this prestigious recognition. Anne Zimmerman pursued her graduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She received a fellowship in 2014 for her work on the effect of kudzu bugs on soybean plants. “This is further testament to the value of our department’s efforts in the Mentored Undergraduate Research Program,” said Dr. Indiren Pillay, chair of biological and environmental sciences. “I am very happy for Marissa. This is an amazing individual accomplishment for her.” Mutiti mentored Mayfield when she was an undergraduate, getting a degree in environmental sciences. He’s now her graduate thesis advisor and says he couldn’t be more proud. “I am very excited for Marissa,” Mutiti said. “This is a great accomplishment that will open up more doors for her, and I can’t wait to see what other successes she will achieve.” Mayfield got her undergraduate degree in environmental sciences from Georgia College and is now pursuing her master’s. She is part of Mutiti’s Zambian research group of 18 students who conducted research in a mining town in Zambia for three weeks in June. That town, Kabwe, has been dubbed “the world’s most toxic” by media sources.


Mutiti and his students finished building a school wall

years. The giant tree “hyper-accumulates,” he said,

in Kabwe that was started in 2017. They planted grass

and may also be pulling toxins from contaminated soil

in the schoolyard to keep winds from blowing

that ends up in the leaves, roots, and seeds people

contaminated dust and also educated residents on


toxins. “That’s why we’re doing this research,” he said. “If Mayfield’s contribution was researching the Moringa

they plant Moringa trees in their backyards that pull

tree. Its roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil

up heavy metals and then they consume it — that's

— in addition to removing toxins.

just increasing the poison. Instead of trying to fight the negative effect of lead, they might actually be

The Permaculture Research Institute calls it the

enhancing it by consuming those parts of the tree.”

“miracle tree,” because its leaves, roots, and seeds can be eaten and provide large amounts of essential

This summer, Mayfield supervised seven

vitamins and minerals our bodies need. The tree is

undergraduates in Zambia. They helped her conduct

easy to grow. It matures fast withstanding drought,

studies on Moringa trees to see if they act as an

disease, and pests. Moringa leaves are often used in

additional pathway for heavy metal contaminants like

eastern cuisine, and its roots taste like horseradish.

lead and cadmium. She was interested to see why there’s a difference in the same vegetation taking up

Some believe the Moringa tree has healing properties

lead in one area versus another, even though the soil

— antitoxins that could help people with diabetes and

contamination is similar. Her group also helped

high blood pressure. This led a group, funded by the

educate residents on the best ways to reduce

World Bank, to encourage each family in Zambia to

exposure to lead.

plant a Moringa tree for natural supplements. Residents were told the tree could help fight the

By comparing test results of the Moringa with other

negative effects of lead poisoning.

plants, Mayfield hopes to devise a plan for the tree’s best use — either as a supplement for people’s diets

This recommendation concerned Mutiti, who has

or strictly to extract pollution from the soil. ■

researched water quality and pollution in Zambia for


ROBIN MÖELLER, ’19, of Hamburg, Germany, received top national honors as a member of the Georgia College Men’s Tennis team.

Möeller was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-

“All the professors in the exercise science department

American Third Team by the College of Sports Information

helped me a lot since it wasn’t always easy to speak the

Directors Association on June 20, 2019 — the first

language,” Möller said. “I saw Dr. Grazer, our assistant

Academic All-American in Georgia College Men’s Tennis

coach and strength and conditioning coach, every day. We

history. Möller also received the National Arthur Ashe

worked on fitness conditioning a lot in the gym. I actually

Leadership and Sportsmanship Award — the second Ashe

learned a good bit from him. It was amazing.”

Award winner in GC tennis history. The exercise science senior, who attained a 3.94 GPA, ranked third in the nation

Möller credits his success to his team, saying they

for doubles and placed 18th for singles. When playing

depended on each other when playing tennis.

doubles, he teamed with Matt Rogel from Sautron, France, for a 16-3 record.

“You have to be disciplined and work hard to get things done,” he said. “We had a great team. When we were

Möller came to Georgia College for his junior and senior

practicing, it was good to know there were other people out

years after talking to a fellow student who studied here.

there who were doing the same thing. So, that helped me.”

“He told me Georgia College is super nice, the

Staying focused during matches is something Möller

atmosphere is great, and the people are amazing,” he

worked diligently at.

said. “There was another German student on the tennis team, so I talked to him and then the coach. Right from the

“When I’m playing, I’m not actually feeling a lot of emotions,”

first second, I knew I wanted to go to Georgia College for

he said. “When you’re thinking too much, it can get really

my last two years, even though there were other schools I

complicated, and I don’t really play the shots I should. So,

could have gone to.”

when I play tennis, I clear my mind, so I stay focused on the game. I’m just playing one point after the next.”

This past summer, Möller coached tennis and gave practice lessons for his internship in Hanover, Germany, which

Möller’s experience at Georgia College was enlightening.

completed his degree. “In school, my goal was to have good grades. I wanted to As a child, MölIer played tennis, soccer, and handball. He

learn more, so, I became more and more interested in

enjoyed sports so much that he pursued a degree in

what I was studying, and the professors really helped me,”

exercise science.

he said. “Overall the experience I had at Georgia College was great. I’m very thankful for that.” GEORGIA COLLEGE | 8 | 2019 HIGHLIGHTS


he Southeastern Model of the African Union (SEMAU) is a realistic, three-day simulation that recreates the gathering of African heads-of-state. Students debate issues of critical importance and make decisions that could be adopted by real governments, impacting the lives of millions. Senior psychology major Zykeria Jones of Warner Robins, Georgia, was one of 11 students from Georgia College who attended the 23rd annual SEMAU conference in November at Kennesaw State University. She won SEMAU’s Leadership-in-Committee Award. “I had to learn quickly how to conduct myself in the moderated and unmoderated caucuses, if I wanted to be taken seriously after the first day,” Jones said. “I went back to my hotel room and researched all the rules to be better prepared for the rest of the conference. By the last day of the debate, finally, I found my voice.” “I was honored to be seen as a good leader,” she said. Next fall, SEMAU will be hosted at Georgia College. The event’s based on the national Model of the African Union, held every year in Washington, D.C. Dr. Eustace Palmer, an English professor who retired in May after 25 years at Georgia College, chaired the university system’s Africa Council for four years. He played a big role in organizing SEMAU and continues to support students at conferences. “They’re getting knowledge about Africa and African affairs, experience in conflict resolution, conflict management, and dealing with other

people,” Palmer said. “They hone their diplomatic skills, negotiate, and adopt resolutions. That’s the benefit. They have to think on their feet.” African heads-of-state meet yearly in Addis Ababa, the capitol of Ethiopia. They discuss African affairs and make decisions that affect all African populations. SEMAU copies this. Georgia College students have participated in the conference every year since its inception. In the past, they’ve represented the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Somalia, Liberia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, the Sudan, and South Africa. This year, students represented Nigeria — Africa’s second-largest economy and one of the world’s largest oil producers. It’s the most populated nation in Africa, too, but little of its abundance trickles down to the people.

ZYKERIA JONES won SEMAU’s Leadership-inCommittee Award.

proper time to address motions. No one speaks, unless they first call out,

SEMAU isn’t done for class credit. Nor do students get a break from coursework to study African affairs. Everything’s done during free time. It’s extra. Students get only weeks to prepare — research their country, study issues of importance, learn what delegates do and how they act — before they’re dropped into a realistic arena and expected to perform professionally with students from other Georgia and southeastern universities.

“Point of Inquiry.” Students must know their country well and be able to adjust to changing situations. This involves learning the country’s policies, attitudes, and history. When representing issues and leaders, students must ‘stay in character’ and role play, Palmer remarked. They may be Americans, and they may oppose things that are being done in Africa. But they must forget that — internalizing attitudes,

The action revs up fast and feels heart-poundingly real.

policies, and behaviors of the country

Students must quickly adapt to rules and protocols that SEMAU takes seriously. When addressing a board chairman, they say, “Your Excellency” or “Honorable Chair.” They stand when speaking and must gauge the

Jones was on the Economic Matters


they represent.

Committee, determining issues of food sustainability in Nigeria. They tackled the problem of water deprivation and agreed to fix contamination, in order to keep crops

MCKENNA YEARICK recognized as one of the outstanding servant leaders in the nation.

“A lot of awards are competitive, but

Georgia College helped give her the

with this one you set your own goals,

final push to completing the program.

and you achieving them is the award.” “I came to college knowing I wanted The program aims to build character

to do nursing and be involved like I

and citizenship. It’s open to all youth

was in high school. I knew service was

regardless of ability, circumstance, or

something I was interested in too, so I

socioeconomic status. Participants

got put in touch with the GIVE Center

earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold

and found opportunities through that.”

Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals. Each level involves

She worked as a community advisor

setting goals in four program areas;

for University Housing, is in the

Voluntary Public Service, Personal

Honors Program, serves as a Young

Development, Physical Fitness, and

Life leader at Georgia Military


College, gives her time for community service in multiple ways, and still finds

“McKenna is one of those once in a

time to follow her two passions —

decade students you encounter who

nursing and travel.

is a force of nature, exuding

It started when she was just 13-years-

brightness and energy,” said Dr.

“When I was young, I’d always take

Steven Elliott-Gower, director of the

care of baby dolls,” she said of how

Honors Program. “It’s intuitive, but

she first showed an interest in the

you just know that this is a very special

medical field. “It’s a tangible way for

person, so it’s no surprise that she

me to help people get better

would achieve an honor like the Gold

physically. As I got older, I decided I

Medal Congressional Award.”

like to travel, then I found out I could

old. Nursing major McKenna Yearick

use nursing to see the world.”

took on a challenge that few

Because Yearick achieved the highest-

Americans have and now is

level Gold Award, she will be honored in

Her goal is to one day utilize her

recognized as one of the outstanding

June 2020 at Capitol Hill in Washington,

nursing skills and global studies minor

servant leaders in the nation.

D.C. Members of Congress will present

to help in international missions —

the awards to their constituents at a

continuing her enthusiasm of service.

Yearick completed the qualifications

distinguished ceremony.

for the Gold Medal. That means she

As of 2018, just over 5,200 Gold

completed 400 hours of volunteer

“Participating in this program helped

Medals have been awarded since the

service as well as 200 hours of both

prepare me for college by teaching

Congressional Awards were founded in

personal development and physical

me to set goals and achieve them,”

1979. According to their website, the

fitness while also planning and

she said. “A lot of the time people,

U.S. Congress established The

executing a five-day expedition.

including college students, don’t

Congressional Award Foundation on

realize their actions have

Nov. 16, 1979 to recognize initiative,

“The whole program is designed —

consequences, but also that good

service, and achievement in young

and it may seem like a negative

things can come out, so being able to

people. It began as a bipartisan effort

connotation, but it’s positive — to

be rewarded and awarded for the stuff

in the Senate and the House of

help kids grow up. Truly it’s made me

I did is awesome.”

Representatives. The legislation was originally signed into law by President

so much more responsible and mature because I was always working toward

Although she started the program as a

Jimmy Carter and each succeeding

a goal,” said Yearick.

young teenager, her involvement at

president has continued the legislation.


The Georgia College Men's Flag Football team won the 2019 National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Flag Football Championship. They defeated South Texas College 35 to 34 in the final, resulting in the first flag football national title in Georgia College’s history. They went 5 and 1 during the tournament with wins over Slippery Rock, Stephen F. Austin, Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T, and South Texas College. Three students – Josh Hammond, Michael LaHood, and Mitch Risley – were awarded the award of All American Flag Football Player. This award goes to the top seven flag football players in the country. Josh Hammond was honored as the state flag football Most Valuable Player for the month of November, and Mitch Risley was awarded the national tournament Most Valuable Player.



Faculty and Staff Dr. Costas Spirou, provost and vice president for academic affairs, served as a guest author at the 2019 Carl Sandburg Literary Awards for the Chicago Public Library. Spirou was among several invited authors recognized for having a literary impact on the city. He was honored for his book, “Building the City of Spectacle: Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Remaking of Chicago” (with D. Judd), published by Cornell University Press. While in Chicago, Spirou also gave an invited talk at the University of Illinois at Chicago discussing his work on the mayoralty of Richard M. Daley to approximately 100 guests.

Dr. Juli Gittinger, lecturer of religious studies and program coordinator for religion, presented her research to government officials in Washington, D.C. One of three scholars invited to participate in a panel discussion at the U.S. State Department, Gittinger will share her perspective on the Hindu nationalists’ presence on the internet and in social media. “For example CNN can run a story. It can be an objective story, but one that sounds sympathetic to Pakistan, and critical of India, and maybe rightly so,” she said. “The trolls will try to squash any critics of India or of Hindus by attacking the journalist, or by posting hostile comments to skew the discourse.” Since 2004, Gittinger has focused her research on the Hindu nationalist movement. Last year, she released the first and only book published on the subject, titled “Hinduism and Hindu Nationalism Online.” She presented to a mixture of policymakers and analysts from across the U.S. federal government March 18. “I’m really glad the government is interested in this, because I think we can learn some lessons by watching that sort of rhetoric unfold,” she said in relation to the extreme conservatism playing out in India. GEORGIA COLLEGE | 12 | 2019 HIGHLIGHTS

Dr. Chavonda Mills

College and University in the country, Spelman College,

has been with Georgia

there was no shortage of women role models and

College for 13 years and

mentors in the science and math departments. Drs. Etta

recently served for three

Z. Falconer, Cornelia Gillyard, Lisa Hibbard, Joann Lee-

of those years as Interim

Joyner, and Rosalie Richards to name a few,” Mills said.

Associate Dean for the

“These are the trailblazing women that prepared the way

College of Arts and

for me to enter and advance in the Academy. I saw myself

Sciences. Beginning in

in them and never questioned whether or not I belonged

July of 2019, Mills made

here. My hope is that the female students in this

history for the

department look at me and know that they too belong.”

Department of Chemistry, Physics, and

While Mills’ new leadership role in the department is a

Astronomy, as she became the first woman and person of

historical moment — she’s quick to add that the

color to chair the department.

department is already making strides in the areas of inclusivity and diversity. In Chemistry, 82 percent of

“When considering what being the first woman to lead this

faculty are woman scientists from other countries and

department means to me, I counter the question with ‘Why

underrepresented groups. Close behind that is Physics

did it take so long to appoint a woman as chair?’ followed

with 75 percent.

by the declaration that I may be the first, but I definitely will not be the last,” Mills said. “As the first woman and person

“Diversity breeds innovation and creates an inclusive

of color to lead this department, I recognize the impact

classroom and work environment that allows students,

that my tenure will have on the department and, most

faculty, and staff to work at their fullest potential,” Mills

importantly, on the students that we serve. I have

said. “Diversity of perspectives, experiences, genders,

embraced the responsibility, the opportunity to use my role

cultures, and nations of origin fosters creative approaches

to inspire all students in the department, particularly those

to problem-solving, challenging of ideas, respectful

from underrepresented groups, to have a strong work ethic

communication – skills that a liberal arts science graduate

and become trailblazers. My appointment as chair

should have before entering the workforce. If a

represents a major accomplishment for women and people

department has no diversity of thought, no diversity of

of color in science disciplines who don’t often see their

people, it sends a message to students that people that

reflection in those in leadership positions.”

are different from them aren’t worthy of a seat at the table. Our department reflects the diverse society our

Mills has traversed her field, which is primarily dominated by

students will enter, and they are better prepared because

white males, and credits some of her successes to mentors

of it. All students are able to have a voice in group

she’s had along the way. Those people in her life — both

discussions; they connect with their professors and

male and female and of different races and ethnicities —

identify mentors; and they appreciate the value that

guided her and acted as her advocate when it came to

diversity brings to the workplace and all aspects of

leadership opportunities that came available to her.


“As a graduate of the number one Historically Black


Dr. John Swinton, professor of economics, was named a recipient of the 2018 Gold National Association of Economic Educators (NAEE) Curriculum Award. According to NAEE, the award celebrates superior curricular resources, while also offering teachers and administrators a tool for choosing curriculum based on thorough examination by a committee of experts in subject matter and curriculum design. Swinton’s award recognizes Comparative Advantage and Cookie Trade, a game he created for his Principles of Microeconomics course. It teaches students why trade is generally beneficial, and why restraining it can hurt all countries. The award was presented at the National Association of Economic Educators Spring Professional Development Conference held in Denver, Colorado, in late February 2019.

Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge, assistant professor of physics, was one of 18 educators statewide to be named a 2019-20 Governor’s Teaching Fellow (GTF) – a selective program that helps professors increase their knowledge of new technologies and innovative instruction for the classroom. “As one of its goals indicate, the Fellows program helped me to become fascinated by the complexity of the art and science in teaching and obsessed with developing into one of the top five percent of instructors nationwide, who see themselves on a constantly-stimulating journey with exciting challenges and endless opportunities,” Mahabaduge said. The program was established in 1995 by former Georgia Governor Zell Miller to give higher education faculty more opportunities to develop important teaching skills. GTF is designed to bring professors up-to-speed, so Georgia students are taught tech-savvy skills and can compete for jobs in an ever-changing, global job market. The yearlong program kicked off in early September with a three-day symposium at the University of Georgia (UGA). Mahabaduge participated by exploring issues designed to improve course objectives, educational technology, assessment, conflict management, law and ethics, and the future of education. He will attend five more symposiums throughout the year. Dr. Mahabaduge was also recently selected to receive the Felton Jenkins, Jr. Hall of Fame award by the University System of Georgia. This award recognizes faculty members within the university system who have a strong commitment to teaching and student success. He will be presented with this Regents’ Teaching Award in February 2020.


Dr. Larry Christenson, Georgia College’s executive director of University Housing, was one of five individuals recognized with the Parthenon Award from the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I) Foundation. The Foundation’s most prestigious award recognizes supreme achievement in the profession, outstanding service, leadership, and contributions to the field of campus housing. To be considered for this award, members must have contributed 10 years of service to housing, residential life, or affiliated professions as well as five years of service at the regional or international level of ACUHO-I. Christenson received the award at the annual conference in Toronto in June.

During the University System of Georgia’s 2019 Facilities Officers Conference, Georgia College employees garnered two honors. Georgia College’s Plumbing Supervisor Chadwick Wilson was awarded the group’s “Distinguished Service Award” in recognition of his exemplary service in his job duties as well as his demonstration of extraordinary commitment to his university community and the general public. Matt Davis, director of historic museums at Georgia College, was recently elected to the Southeastern Museum Conference

Rick Ruark led the facilities planning

Council (SEMC). The nonprofit

project which received recognition for

membership organization is an

demonstrating significant impact to

association of museums, museum staff,

their institution and community in the

independent professionals, and corporate

area of “Historic Preservation” with the

partners. SEMC focuses on the

restoration of Peabody Laboratory and

Southeastern United States including:

Auditorium. Originally constructed in

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,

1940, Peabody Laboratory and

Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North

Auditorium included a teaching wing

Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee,

and space for performances and large

Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and

gatherings. Changes made during the

U.S. Virgin Islands. Davis was nominated

1970s were exchanged for new windows and glass block which

by his peers to the leadership group for

reintroduced daylight into the restored Peabody Auditorium,

this organization.

classrooms, and public spaces.


Two physics faculty — DR. DONOVAN DOMINGUE AND DR. HASITHA MAHABADUGE — were selected to teach astronomy and electromagnetism to Tibetan monks this past summer in India.

Two physics faculty — Dr. Donovan Domingue and

The professors lived among the monks for two weeks, and

Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge — were selected to teach

were able to witness their prayer life and eat meals with them.

astronomy and electromagnetism to Tibetan monks this past summer in India.

Domingue taught monks in the sixth-year program at Sera Mey Monastery in the Mysore District in India. He

They were among more than 30 physics professors

introduced them to cosmology and explained how we

nationwide chosen to teach as part of the Emory-Tibet

know the solar system is centered around the sun.

Science Initiative, inspired by the Dalai Lama to update

Mahabaduge taught electromagnetism and the optics

monastic training with Western thought and modern

behind light to fourth-year monks at Drepung Loseling

science. Other visiting professors taught biology and

Monastery in Mundgod, India.

neuroscience, as well. Courses were taught, with the help of translators, at the This was the first time Georgia College professors have

end of May into June. Domingue and Mahabaduge taught

applied or been accepted to Emory’s Tibetan program,

alongside partners from other U.S. universities. Lectures

which began in 2008.

were given in the mornings, and hands-on experiments were conducted in the afternoons.

Georgia College Facilities Management offers employees the opportunity to complete apprenticeship programs in their respective trade fields. The Apprentice Program in the Facilities Management department involves a variety of trades, and while they are all different, all require the completion of academic and trade competencies. The program, sponsored by Georgia College, allows employees to complete this additional job training during the course of their employment at the university. Three employees were able to participate in the program in 2019: Anthony Oltremari completed the GC Plumbing Apprentice Program, Bruce Saulsbury completed the GC Floor Care Technician Apprentice Program, and Eric Griffeth completed the Electrical Apprentice Program.


Dr. Stephanie McClure, a professor of sociology, was recently awarded one of six national Faculty Mentor of the Year awards at the 26th annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in Atlanta.


McClure was nominated by Georgia State University

people how great my current and former students are –

doctoral student Hersheda Patel, who said McClure

well, that’s absolutely priceless.”

“embodies the definition of a mentor in her every action, and every one of her students is forever changed

Patel considers McClure her “mentor, advisor, advocate,

by her passion for social justice and racial equity.”

academic mom, and friend.” She started Georgia College smart but timid and unsure of her abilities. Her

Patel is a graduate of sociology from Georgia College.

relationship with McClure helped mold Patel into what

From Baldwin County, she now participates in the SREB

she says she is today: scholar, activist, and researcher.

State Doctoral Scholars Program. SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) provides financial support, leadership

McClure calls Patel “an incredible person all around.”

development, and mentoring to help underrepresented

She wrote countless recommendation letters and sat on

minority scholars become faculty members.

Patel’s thesis committee — but also brought Patel onto several publications and book projects, introduced her

“It meant so much to me to be recognized by this

to professional networks, and designed specific

incredible student,” McClure said, “and by an

independent study courses for her. McClure opens her

organization that is doing such great work in and for

home to students, as well, sharing her family life.

academia.” McClure is “as close to heaven as she can get,” Patel said, “The work is its own reward, every day.” She said, “But

“and I am blessed to have been touched by her light.”

recognition is nice too, and if it’s a chance to tell other



of the University The U.S. News & World Report

ranked ‘Top Public School’ in the state

rankings list Georgia College as a

for regional universities in the south,

“Top Public School.” Designated ninth

and that we were recognized for our

in the south, Georgia College was the

innovation and undergraduate

highest-ranked Georgia institution in


this category. Georgia College was also named a top The 2020 Best Colleges guidebook

undergraduate teaching school —

shows Georgia College as 20th on the

fourth in the South region, and the

Best Regional Universities in the south

university was ranked the fourth most

list — up from 28th last year.

innovative school in the region — the highest-ranked public university in the

There are more than 600 universities in

state in both categories.

the “Best Regional Universities” category. They are not ranked

The J. Whitney Bunting College of

nationally, but rather against their peer

Business was listed nationally on the

group in one of four geographic

top “Undergraduate Business

regions — North, South, Midwest,

Programs” list.

and West. Georgia College was also recognized “These rankings show Georgia

in the top 10 Best Colleges for

College is on a path to preeminence.

Veterans and as a “Best Value”

We continue to be recognized as a

regional university in the south by

top-tier public university in our region

U.S. News.

due to the high- achieving students we attract as well as the dedicated faculty

The “Best Colleges” guidebook is made

and staff who encourage our students

up of a wide variety of data on

to think independently and lead

assessments by peers and counselors,

creatively during their time on campus

retention rates, faculty resources, student

and beyond,” said Dr. Steve Dorman,

selectivity, financial resources, graduation

president of Georgia College.

rate performance, and the alumni giving rate.

“I’m thrilled we were the highest-



Starting in Summer 2019, the John H. Lounsbury College of Education accepted the first cohort of students into the new doctoral degree program in curriculum and instruction. This marks the second doctoral degree to ever be offered at Georgia College, following the Doctorate of Nursing Practioner degree that launched in 2013.

“The College of Education chose to offer the Ed.D. in middle Georgia because of the need in this region for a doctorate from one of the universities in the state system,” said Dr. Joseph Peters, dean of the College of Education. Peters cited that the closest option, the University of Georgia, was 80 miles away, with the furthest being Valdosta State University.

“It’s certainly something that middle Georgia has been waiting on,” said Dr. Barbara Roquemore, doctoral program director. “I’ve been asked about a program offering like this for years.”

The cohort was accepted toward the end of the spring 2019 semester and started the program with a three-course-load summer. They’ll have a little more than two years’ worth of courses, followed by their research and dissertation. Dr. Linda Bradley, interim chair of the department, said having these new scholars within the college is a large benefit to the College of Education and the university.

“This program not only launches the scholarship of these candidates, but it will renew and energize many of the faculty and committee members working with them,” she said. “It will be exciting for candidates to connect with faculty members who have similar research interests.”

Bradley also said it’s a time of growth within the College of Education, with increasing graduate enrollment and the addition of the doctoral program. Keeping the cohort to five was in effort to ensure College of Education faculty would be available for dissertation committees, mentorship, and research opportunities.


“Our distinguished faculty members provide outstanding

Georgia College earned a LEVEL 4 RATING on the (PPEMs) published by the (GaPSC).

instruction and, as part of our field-based cohort model, our preservice teachers spend a significant amount of time in classrooms practicing what they learn in class, while under the guidance of their mentor leaders. This combination of superb instruction and supervised classroom practice leads to our graduates being in high demand across the state of Georgia,” he said. Only five public colleges and universities across the state received the highest rating. Georgia College was among those. PPEMs evaluates educator preparation programs using measures collected during candidates’ time in the program, such as certification assessments required by the state and measures collected following completion, once candidates are in the classroom. Measures include classroom observations by supervisors, as well as surveys of employers and newly-employed teachers. A Level 4 is reserved for those program providers whose performance was exemplary, and the GaPSC will ask these providers to share their best practices with other Georgia program providers, according to Penney McRoy, educator preparation division director at GaPSC. PPEMs are meant to provide the public with valuable information on educator preparation programs, particularly individuals considering entering a program themselves. PPEMs will also complement the GaPSC program approval

Georgia College earned a Level 4 rating on the 2019

cycle, since program providers are required to maintain

Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures

acceptable scores in order to stay approved to educate

(PPEMs) published by the Georgia Professional Standards

future Georgia-certified educators.

Commission (GaPSC.) This level is above the expected level of performance for effectively preparing future teachers and is the highest rating awarded.

The primary purpose of the PPEMs is to give educator preparation programs detailed information they can use to

“Georgia College has a long history of excellence in teacher preparation dating back to its establishment as Georgia Normal and Industrial College in the late 1800s,” said Dean Joseph Peters, John H. Lounsbury College of

improve. In Georgia, all educator preparation providers are engaged in a process of continuous improvement, informed by data,

Education. “The exemplary rating of our programs is

McRoy said. The PPEMs add to that ongoing process,

confirmation that the tradition of providing excellent

providing one more tool to assist them in preparing great

teacher education continues to this day.”

teachers for our schools. GEORGIA COLLEGE | 20 | 2019 HIGHLIGHTS

Georgia College recently received a $2.7 million, four-year grant from the Health Resources Service Agency (HRSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Georgia College recently received a $2.7 million, four-year grant from the Health Resources Service Agency (HRSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services. This grant will help educate and train nurse practitioners to work in rural areas as well as expand on the School of Nursing’s partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to provide free education for Georgia’s public health nurses. Georgia College was the only university in the state to receive this grant. “It also helps Georgia College’s School of Nursing continue its focus on the recruitment and retention of Family Nurse Practitioners and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners from rural Georgia and students who agree to work as primary care providers in medically underserved

public health, so the opportunity to provide an advanced

areas of the state,” said Professor of Nursing Dr. Sallie Coke,

education to those nurses who either want to remain in a

who wrote the grant.

community or remain with public health is a win-win for everybody,” said McCloud. “We are grateful to Georgia

Current students in their final year of the nurse practitioner

College for spearheading this project.”

program will receive their tuition, books, and other expenses paid for, if they agree to work in an underserved

DPH will also help train Georgia College’s nurse

area in the state.

practitioner students with extensive telehealth clinical experiences as part of the agreement.

Over the next four years, the 2019 ANEW grant will fully fund the education of 30-42 rural or medically underserved

“Our partnership with Georgia College is mutually

DPH nurses who agree to continue to practice with the

beneficial, and we look forward to working with Georgia

Department of Public Health after graduation.

College students on training in telehealth,” said McCloud. “This gives Georgia College’s nursing students a valuable

“We know that our nurses want to go back to school to get

experience as they enter the workforce.”

their family nurse practitioner degree, so this is an opportunity for us to educate and recruit advanced

The grant includes the development of a new partnership

practice registered nurses in rural areas where we often can

with Community Health Care Systems (CHCS) to provide

be the only health care providers in the county,” said

student trainees with comprehensive team-based medical

Meshell McCloud, chief nurse for the Georgia Department

and psychiatric clinical experiences while working with

of Public Health.

rural, medically underserved clients.

“When nurses get into public health, they usually stay in

“Our state is in dire need of more nurses, especially in rural


areas. This grant will allow DPH and Georgia College to help

can be for people living in very rural and medically

address that need by educating more nurses and advanced

underserved areas of Georgia. That is why we made it our

practice nurses to work in these medically-underserved areas

mission to focus on what we can do to help.”

in our state, and teaching them to use cutting-edge technology to provide health care,” said McCloud.

“This grant allows us to continue to provide graduate education for future nurse practitioners who will meet the

Two new Georgia College clinical, full-time faculty positions

health care needs of Georgia’s rural and underserved areas,”

are funded by the grant to work directly with students, and

Coke remarked.

the grant also funds a part-time clinical program coordinator and a dedicated preceptor trainer to work with

This is the second ANEW grant Georgia College’s School

our graduate students’ clinical preceptors. Clinical

of Nursing has received to address the rural health care

preceptors are physicians and nurse practitioners who work

shortages, with the first in 2017. Coke’s previous ANEW

at clinical sites throughout Georgia. They serve as a

grant (award of $1.5 million) funded the education of 52

mentors and educators to the nurse practitioner students.

nurse practitioner students who have graduated and are now serving Georgia College as Family Nurse Practitioners

“The School of Nursing’s mission focuses on meeting

and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners. Eleven

health care needs and shortages in rural Georgia,” said

of these graduates were from Georgia’s Department of

Coke. “We know first-hand how bad access to healthcare

Public Health.

 The Graduate School achieved record-high enrollment during the fall semester of 2019, with 1,187 enrolled students. This surpasses the previous record of 1,139 enrolled graduate students that was set in the spring semester of 2000. The university began offering graduate courses in 1998, and now offers 32 graduate programs across all four colleges.


Andalusia recently named as a DISTINCTIVE DESTINATION


ndalusia was recently named as a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is one of approximately 180 historic destinations to achieve this ranking throughout the U.S. and Caribbean. The home of the Flannery O’Connor, from 1951 to 1964, joins Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion in this

regard as it was also recognized as a Distinctive Destination in 2018.

“These recognitions provide a uniqueness for the

Davis began the process by completing an application,

college by having two on campus,” said Matt Davis,

which included a narrative description of the history of

director of Historic Museums at Georgia College. “This

the site, its architecture, and photographs. In addition,

recognition is important as it validates the preservation

he extended the pre-booked admission rate to all Trust

work occurring at the site, opens new audiences for the


museum, and provides greater national recognition for Andalusia, as well as the university.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is leading the movement to save places where our history

The O’Connor home was gifted to Georgia College —


her alma mater — over two years ago. Andalusia was the home of American author Flannery “Since Georgia College began operations at the site, we

O’Connor following the onset of lupus. During her time

have completed a full conservation/stabilization project

at the farm, she completed the bulk of her literary work,

of the main house’s foundation and windows,” Davis said.

which included two novels, 39 short stories, and over one hundred literary critiques. The farm environment

The improvements made include:

served as an inspiration for many of the places and

installation of a new gutter system,

characters associated with her stories and provides a

restoration of several rooms to their original use,

unique window of understanding. Additionally, the farm

restoration of the site’s original flooring,

is a pristine example of a mid-twentieth century dairy

brought back original collections,

farm and gives insights on O’Connor’s family and the

development of a new interpretation,

pivotal role they played in allowing her to pursue her

restoration of several areas of the site’s landscaping,

literary endeavors.

restoration of original fencing,

improvement to the site’s entrance and signage, and

To learn more and find out about upcoming events at

removal of foliage surrounding the site’s calf barn.

Andalusia, visit: https://www.gcsu.edu/andalusia.


Georgia College: the only postsecondary school in the state to be awarded the 2019 Green Ribbon Schools for sustainability award

The U.S. Department of Education released a list of

include education outreach and opportunities to students

schools, districts, and universities it named as 2019 Green

for internships. The Office of Sustainability has provided

Ribbon Schools for sustainability.

more than 30 internships to students, who worked 10,000 hours of service. This gives students chances for

Georgia College was the only postsecondary school in the state

experiential learning and leadership development, while

— and one of only four nationally — to receive this prestigious

impacting the community in positive ways.

award. Plaques, made of sustainable materials, were presented during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in September.

Undergraduate and graduate students helped earn this award by addressing waste reduction, assuring responsible

“This honor represents the hard-work and dedication that

use of resources, educating the campus community,

so many over the years have contributed to making

focusing on behavior change, and providing research data.

Georgia College better and an example to others,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Lori Strawder.

Last year, students instituted the Campus Kitchen of Georgia College to minimize dining hall waste and provide

“The efforts toward making the campus more sustainable

food to the disadvantaged. Physics students installed solar

is not a one-person show. It takes everyone,” she said. “It’s

panels on selected golf carts. And efforts are also routinely

a pleasure to be part of the sustainability efforts on

made to help the environment by members of the

campus and to work with so many people on different

Sustainability Council, Sustainable Fee Program, Garden

levels that are trying to accomplish the same goals.”

Club, and Environmental Science Club.

The selection was based upon Georgia College’s high

Forty-two projects on campus resulted in more than

achievement in three pillar areas: reducing environmental

$200,000 in rebate awards through the Georgia Power

impact and costs; improving health and wellness of

Energy Efficiency Incentive Rebate Program — saving three

students and staff; and providing effective environmental

million kilowatts per hour (kWh). These include LED

and sustainability education through STEM (Science,

conversions, reflective roof installations, heating and air

Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), civic skills,

optimization, and occupancy sensor connections. LED

and green career pathways.

conversions alone contributed to a savings of more than two million kWh in the last seven years. The plan is to

Georgia College's many notable sustainability initiatives

equip the entire campus with LEDs by 2020.


The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $5.3 million, five-year Teacher Quality Partnership grant to create program at GC

The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $5.3 million,

“Students deserve good teachers, and teachers deserve

five-year Teacher Quality Partnership grant to create a

effective preparation for the classroom,” said SREB

residency-based teacher preparation program with

President Stephen L. Pruitt. “This program addresses the

Georgia College & State University.

SREB Teacher Preparation Commission’s recommendations: quality clinical teaching followed by

The Georgia Residency for Educating Amazing Teachers

induction and mentoring, all in the context of partnerships

(GREAT) grant will recruit undergraduate STEM majors who

among universities and K-12 districts.”

aspire to become middle grades math and science teachers. They will complete an online Master of Arts in

“The Georgia Residency for Educating Amazing Teachers

Teaching during a year-long residency — practice teaching

grant will help middle Georgia with its critical need for

supervised by a mentor-teacher — in a high-needs middle

high-quality STEM teachers in our middle schools,” said

grades classroom.

Joseph M. Peters, dean of the John H. Lounsbury College of Education at Georgia College. “The middle grades

Rural school districts served by the Oconee Regional

represent a time when students are beginning to explore

Education Service Agency in central Georgia will be the

future career paths. Exposure to exemplary STEM teaching

primary partners for hosting the residents in classrooms.

helps engage students early on and will lead to careers in

SREB and Georgia College will support mentor-teachers

STEM fields.”

and residents with coaching and specialized training on topics like project-based learning.

“Middle grades are also a time when academic interest can be replaced by social interests if students are not

Over the course of the grant, 60 students will become fully

challenged,” said Peters. “When teachers provide

certified to teach middle grades math or science in

challenging STEM content, students see connections to

Georgia; some will also complete a computer science

real-world problems, and this relevancy keeps them


interested and engaged.”

The newly-certified teachers will then teach in a local

"We look forward to partnering with Georgia College,

school for two years with support from mentor-teachers

whose small-cohort approach to teacher education is led

and SREB instructional coaches. Participants agree to teach

by faculty mentors, with training based in schools," said

in their assigned schools for one year beyond this two-year

Dan Mollette, director of school improvement programs

induction period.

and resources at SREB and project director of the grant. GEORGIA COLLEGE | 25 | 2019 HIGHLIGHTS

Georgia College celebrated the opening of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Historical Preservation Plaza.

In Spring 2019, Georgia College celebrated the opening

education major. “It will be great to see all the fellowship

of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Historical

that will happen.”

Preservation Plaza. The Plaza not only celebrates the heritage of the “Divine 9” fraternities and sororities at

Georgia College holds the charter to eight of the “Divine

Georgia College, but also promotes a vibrant future.

9” historically African-American fraternities and sororities

Representatives from Student Life presented an idea to students — a unique place on campus to called their own. Students immediately jumped on board. Many had visited other campuses with similar “plots” or distinctive ways to pay tribute to NPHC organizations on campus and were excited to bring something similar to their university.

— unique for a university our size. “To be a predominately white institution in the south and to be able to say that we hold the charter to eight of the historically African-American fraternities and sororities is phenomenal,” said Stacey Hurt-Milner, a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

“We hope it’s going to be well represented, and it’s going to be respected the way it should.” said recent alumnus

Several of these organizations have roots dating back to

Fidelis Folifac, a biology major and member of Kappa

the 70s and 80s at Georgia College.

Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. “Our organizations mean a lot to us, and the fact that the university is willing to do this for

“We do really feel like, as far as the history of the college

us, means a lot too.”

goes, NPHC has had a lot to do with the growth of the college,” said Folifac. “We have a lot of NPHC members

The plaza is a symbolic way to acknowledge the historical and cultural significance of the NPHC organizations at Georgia College. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors can visit the site to reflect and learn about the struggles of educated people of color who fought for their

that serve on boards at the college, and so we really feel like the plaza is a way to leave a legacy here to remind people that we have been very active and very important in the history of the college.”

right to associate on college campuses during the time of The Georgia College & State University Foundation

racial segregation and disenfranchisement.

assisted with the funding of the project. The NPHC “It will be great because we can now have functions there,

organizations were also charged with raising a portion of

and we can bond there,” said student Jazmin Hunt, a

the money for the plaza.

member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and music GEORGIA COLLEGE | 26 | 2019 HIGHLIGHTS

In Fall 2019, Georgia College was featured in a special BBC production series called "Aiming Higher." This project premiered at the International Association of Universities (IAU) 2019 International Conference in Puebla, Mexico, Nov. 14. Georgia College was one of about 30 universities around the world to participate in this initiative. The film can be viewed by visiting www.iau-aiminghigher.org/index.html#all-films.

Georgia College welcomed several new faces in senior administrative roles at the university in 2019. These individuals include:

Dr. Costas Spirou

Dr. Sandra Gangstead

Dr. Jordan Cofer

Dr. Sheri Noviello

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Director of The Graduate School

Associate Provost for Transformative Learning Experiences

Dean of the College of Health Sciences

Dr. Tom Miles

Brett Stanelle

Susan Kerr

Dean of Students

Chief of Police Director of Public Safety

Chief Information Officer


Accomplishments in




the Future In the midst of the university’s ongoing capital

diverse backgrounds — raised $5,790 to provide

campaign, “Follow Your Passion. Find Your Purpose,”

scholarships for students who are from racially and/or

the university achieved distinct accomplishments in

socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Call Me

2019. New alumni affinity groups were formed,

MiSTER helps eliminate barriers to the teaching field.

including the African American Alumni Council, the Nashville Alumni Chapter, and the Middle Georgia

“One of the most considerable barriers to becoming a

Alumni Chapter. These groups will help to engage

teacher is the cost associated with matriculation in a

Georgia College Alumni members that belong to the

teacher education program,” said Dr. C. Emmanuel

respective groups, and create more opportunities for

Little, director of Call Me MiSTER and Minority

the alumni to stay better connected with the university

Retention. “So, we must be intentional about alleviating

in the future.

those costs as much as possible, particularly given that MiSTERs often come from racially and/or

This past year also welcomed the first-ever Giving

socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Challenge, held Sept. 10-12, 2019. The 48-hour online giving campaign asked alumni, faculty, staff, parents,

Little hopes to provide at least two additional

and friends to join together and make an impact on our

scholarships from gifts made during the Giving

students by making a gift to six projects that support

Challenge event. Georgia College currently has eight

learning at the university. This initiative brought in over

MiSTERs in the program and has four alumni, who are

$31,700, exceeding the goals set for most areas.

encouraged to give back to their community.

“The GC Giving Challenge was a combined effort

“I hope MiSTER alumni continue the program’s tradition

between the GC Foundation and the colleges and

of giving back whether via mentorship, participation in

departments to raise funds for priorities across campus,”

events as ambassadors, or through fundraising

said Julia Sweeney, assistant director of Advancement

assistance,” said Little. “More than this, I hope Call Me

Marketing. “We partnered with units throughout

MiSTER alumni continue to uphold the standard set by

campus and hand-selected projects that aligned with

MiSTERs nationwide as they ‘plant seeds of dignity in

the deans’ priorities and supported the mission of

children and encourage them to cultivate those seeds,

Georgia College.”

producing a crop of unprecedented success.’”

These projects included Call Me MiSTER scholarships,

The College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) raised $2,645

College of Arts and Sciences scholarships, College of

from the Giving Challenge campaign. This funding will

Business student travel, the Heritage Fund, nursing study

help provide the ability to offer an additional

abroad scholarships, and library technology.

scholarship, while the remaining funds will be allocated toward another scholarship for underrepresented

GC’s Call Me MiSTER — a program that strives to


increase the pool of available teachers from more GEORGIA COLLEGE | 29 | 2019 HIGHLIGHTS

“We feel it is important to provide these scholarships as a

conferences or to compete in academic or business

way for the COAS to help increase the number of students

competitions. The COB and their supporters raised $4,150

from underrepresented groups here at Georgia College,”

for this purpose.

said Dr. Eric Tenbus, dean, College of Arts and Sciences and professor of history. “We realize that

“These transformative learning experiences provide

[underrepresented groups] is an area where we, the

students the opportunity to improve their presentation

college and the university, have work to do. We also

skills, gain self-confidence, and build self-efficacy,” said

recognize that the educational experience for all students

Dr. Dale Young, dean, J. Whitney Bunting College of

is improved in a culturally, ethnically, and intellectually

Business. “They network with students from other

diverse environment.”

institutions, sharing ideas and expanding their world-view.”

COAS offers these scholarships to incoming first-year

Funds raised from the 48-hour event will enable COB to

students, but Tenbus would like to increase the funding, so

support student travel. Each year approximately 35-to-50

that students can continue to receive scholarships

COB students travel to competitions and professional

throughout their college education at GC.

meetings, such as the Grace Hopper Conference (STEM for females), American Marketing Association in New Orleans,

“My hope is that we can attract more excellent students in

and programming competitions in Macon. Around 50-to-

this group to Georgia College,” he said. “If they meet the

75 students participate in classroom travel to places like

entrance qualifications, they will be in high demand from

the Port of Savannah and the Lockheed production facility,

many universities throughout the state and beyond. One

while 20-to-30 COB students participate in study abroad

way we can mitigate that challenge is through financial

each summer to countries like Australia, Spain, and

means. The other is to continue to offer the high-quality


educational experience for which Georgia College is known.”

“Some conferences include a career fair, thus opportunities for students to compete for internships and full-time

Scholarships make it possible for College of Business

positions,” said Young. “Our students network with

(COB) students to present research at academic

business professionals to build interpersonal skills. For


study abroad experiences, students gain from exposure to

The Russell Library hopes to purchase virtual reality (VR)

other cultures, lifestyles, and business practices while

equipment from the gifts they received during the

gaining academic credit at the same time.”

challenge. Through VR, professors can enhance student engagement and facilitate individual learning. The project

The Heritage Fund supports GC students campuswide.

was 62 percent funded, raising $1,880 to purchase four

Donations to the Heritage Fund go toward student

new handheld VR devices. The devices are all-in-one and

scholarships, college support, student ambassadors,

won’t require the use of a computer or phone, making

Georgia Education Mentorship, GC Journeys, Center for

them more accessible to students.

Student Success, Student Affairs, teaching and learning, graduate programs, and more. A total of $3,830 was

“Virtual reality (VR) can assist students to more effectively

raised for the Heritage Fund during the Giving Challenge.

explore topics and academic subjects, such as anatomy, geography, digital design, and physics,” said Dr.

“Last year, donations received to the Heritage Fund were

Shaundra Walker, interim library director, associate

used to provide scholarships for study abroad

professor of Library Science. “VR has been used to

opportunities, as well as support undergraduate student

support students with special needs. Academic programs

research,” said Monica Delisa, vice president for

have also utilized virtual reality in recreating historic sites

University Advancement. “Funds also supported the

and virtual tours, as well as a new method of storytelling.”

Learning Center, Honors Program, National Scholarships office, first-year experience, and the Writing Center.”

“We are ecstatic our call for support prompted an overwhelming response. We received donations from 282

The School of Nursing raised $5,050 during the Giving

of our alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students, and

Challenge for study abroad scholarships.

friends,” said Sweeney. “Each development officer and project leader has done a tremendous job in promoting

“These scholarships will allow us to help support those

their project, garnering support from individuals on-and-

students who cannot afford to go abroad with faculty,”

off campus — making their project a success for both the

said Dr. Sallie Coke, professor of nursing, assistant

GC Giving Challenge and our university.”

director of graduate nursing, international coordinator, and FNP program coordinator. “Every year, we have at

Delisa was also thrilled with the response of alumni and

least four different locations that we take our students —

friends to the Giving Challenge. With another year of

Honduras, Tanzania, Philippines, and London. We take all

preparation and growth, she hopes to exceed $50,000 in

levels of students, including our BSN, MSN, and DNP

next year’s Giving Challenge.

students.” “Support during the Giving Challenge is a great way for According to Coke, students only receive partial funding

the GC family to show its commitment to preeminence

when studying abroad.

and to our students’ ongoing success. One measurement of a great university is the financial support it receives

“Most nursing study abroad scholarships are for $500 per

from alumni and friends,” said Delisa. “Thank you. Your

student,” she said. “Depending on the location, we

philanthropic support will make a tangible difference in

anticipate being able to give five-to-ten additional

the lives of our students.”

scholarships as a result of these funds.” “Through study abroad, I hope to expand our students’ cultural competencies, so they gain a better understanding

To learn more, visit: crowdthunder.gcsu.edu/g/givingchallenge

of how our global health is intertwined,” Coke said. GEORGIA COLLEGE | 31 | 2019 HIGHLIGHTS