Connection Summer 2021

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4 10 14 18 20 24 26 28 32 33 Up Front

Cover Story

Feature Story

LGBTQ+ and Lavender Graduation


Alumni Profile

Student Profile

Faculty Profile

Alumni Weekend Save-the-Date

Class Notes and Deceased List

Homecoming Weekend and Graduation

Co n nec ti on

Summer 2021 Vol. XV, No. 8 Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. Published by University Communications. 231 W. Hancock St. Milledgeville, GA 31061

See more Homecoming Weekend and Graduation photos on page 16.

President Steve Dorman Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications Omar Odeh Editor/Director of Marketing and Publications Victoria Fowler, ‘12 Writers Margaret Brown, ‘19 Brittiny Johnson, ‘15 Eric Jones Anna Gay Leavitt Cindy O’Donnell Al Weston Design Brooks Hinton Bailey Wilson, ‘12 Photography Michael Gillett, ‘15, ‘20 Brooks Hanson, ‘19 Eric Jones Evan Leavitt Anna Gay Leavitt Deon McBride Kaitlyn Ortiz

Please send change of address and class notes to: University Advancement Campus Box 96 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.

up front

Georgia College receives national award for focus on undergraduate research Georgia College has been named a recipient of the 2021 Campus-wide Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments (AURA) by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). This annual award recognizes institutions with exemplary programs that provide high-quality research experiences for undergraduates.

the university purposefully encourages all students to take advantage of during their time here.

“We have seen the value undergraduate research can bring to a student’s education and have chosen to provide as many opportunities as we can for our students to participate in research,” said Dr. Costas Spirou, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This national recognition is a reflection of the exceptional work of our dedicated faculty who are strong supporters of students in their research efforts, and that is key to their success.”

According to CUR, Georgia College showed impressive growth of its undergraduate research program over a 10year period

Georgia College makes undergraduate research opportunities for students a priority. Over the years, undergraduate research has grown from a small, facultydriven initiative into a “transformative experience” that

Now in its sixth year, the AURA recognition recognizes campuses that demonstrate depth and breadth in their undergraduate research initiatives and evidence of continual innovation.

“During the 2019-2020 academic year, at least 2,325 of our students participated in an undergraduate research experience,” said Dr. Jordan Cofer, associate provost for transformative learning experiences. “That’s about 40 percent of our student body.” Georgia College provides opportunities for students across every major and department ensuring all students can take part in undergraduate research.

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Georgia College art students create watercolor prints for kids in Cameroon Georgia College was one of 30 schools and universities nationwide to participate in “The Memory Project,” an international nonprofit. Fourteen students in Matt Forrest’s advanced printmaking class received photos of artwork from 9th graders in the Central African country of Cameroon. Through interpretation and research, they reimagined the art into something new. Water-colored ink prints were then shipped back to Cameroon for students there to keep. about bringing somebody Once the package arrived, young artists in Cameroon sent else joy and happiness through their original work for Georgia College students to keep. a simple picture.” Junior studio art major Maya Whipple of Gordon, Georgia, already knows where she’s going to keep hers on a wall in

Through this, Whipple learned art has meaning — not only

her bedroom.

for the artist but also their viewers. From now on, she intends to put more thought into what’s happening in her

“Things you create have a longer-lasting impact than you

life and how that’s conveyed in her work. She also plans to

think,” Whipple said. “It’s been a very rewarding

apply for a Fulbright scholarship and someday teach

experience to have an impact on these children, who

English in Cameroon.

we’ve never even seen before. It’s just amazing to think

The Graduate School at Georgia College sees record enrollment While colleges and universities across the nation struggled to meet enrollment goals, Georgia College’s Graduate School broke records across the board. For the fall 2020 semester, 1,268 students enrolled in graduate programs at the university — the largest number in history. That number has been steadily rising since fall 2016 when 868 students were enrolled. Interim Associate Provost and Director of the Graduate School Dr. Holley Roberts attributes the growth to Georgia College’s reputation as an institution of higher

education and the innovation to offer programs that meet the needs of professionals in our state. During this time of economic uncertainty, many people are looking to develop more in their current professions, increase their knowledge in a specific area, or change careers, according to Roberts. “Growth is happening in many of our graduate programs with the largest being in the College of Education — specifically in our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program,” said Roberts. The MAT program provides initial educator preparation at the master’s degree level for people who already have a bachelor’s degree with a major in specific content fields. It’s primarily for those people looking to change careers to become a teacher.

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Kendyl Lewis named GC’s Academic Day representative Representing the highest scholastic achievement as well as a devotion to service, senior Kendyl Lewis was named Georgia College’s Academic Day representative by the University System of Georgia (USG).

“The selection committee considered academic awards, evidence of scholarship or creativity, and diversity of academic pursuits in their process to determine the recipient of the award,” said Dr. Brian Newsome, dean of the John E. Sallstrom Honors College and chair of the selection committee for the award.

“As a double major in economics and psychology, who presented research in both fields and who has an extensive list of awards, Kendyl excelled in every category. She is also a model The psychology and economics campus citizen, serving — for example — as the founder and major graduated in May 2021 president of Swipe Out Hunger,” he said. with a 4.0 GPA. She was a member of the Honors College The USG honors one student from each institution as the Academic Day representative. The student must “reflect the and completed multiple Leadership Programs, including system’s best qualities,” as well as have a stellar academic record. the Leadership Certificate “I was extremely excited and very thankful that the school Program and the GEM Program. She also created a second recognized my academic accomplishments,” said Lewis. “It made student organization to help fellow students in need. me feel like all my hard work for the past four years had paid off.”

Communication major wins national radio news award Rising senior Jonathan O’Brien loved watching the nightly news as a child. By kindergarten, he was scaring all the other kids with tales of Hurricane Katrina, and his teachers had to tell him to stop. Now, he wins awards for telling the news. O'Brien took second place for Best Audio Newscast at CBI (College Broadcasters, Inc.), a huge feat as many of his national competitors were from larger schools with bigger budgets, better equipment, and far-reaching audiences — stations with 1.3 million listeners compared to Georgia College’s humble gathering of a couple hundred. O’Brien

one. Since freshman year, he’s also been given practicum

likes to joke, “you might get the WGUR signal up at the

students to manage, all mostly older than him.

Kroger.” O’Brien gets paid $300 a semester to do this job, but he says The communication major from Atlanta, Georgia, O'Brien

he’d do it for free.

quickly rose from a “homesick freshman”— who knew little about all the buttons, lights, and levers on a radio control

“There’s always been an underlying desire to report the

panel — to becoming news director of the student-run

news,” O’Brien said. “I was always fascinated with current

station, 95.3 WGUR, by his second semester. In reality, this

events — anything the adults were talking about. Real-world

means he’s editor, anchor, and chief reporter all rolled into

things always interested me.”

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Georgia College awarded $650,000 national science grant for low income students up to $8,000 per year, a total of $32,000 over four years, as part of a multi-pronged approach designed to attract and retain chemistry and physics majors. “More than 65 percent of funds will directly benefit students by offsetting their education costs,” said Dr. Chavonda Mills, chair of chemistry, physics, and astronomy.

A highly competitive grant — the largest ever received by Georgia College from the National Science Foundation (NSF) — will help students who want to pursue chemistry or physics but lack the financial resources. The NSF recently awarded Georgia College's Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy a $650,000 S-STEM grant, covering a five-year period. It provides eligible incoming students

“That’s what excites me,” she said. “We are able to make higher education accessible to academically talented and low-income students with demonstrated financial need, who want to pursue degrees in chemistry and physics.” Remaining funds will provide enrichment activities to support the S-STEM Scholars and build on proven successful practices that increase retention and graduation rates.

GC Journeys wins Regents’ Momentum Year Award for excellence

high-impact practices,” he said, “and will continue to nurture and develop GC Journeys so our students are career or graduate school ready.”

The University System of Georgia (USG) awarded its “2021 Regents’ Momentum Year Award for Excellence in Teaching and Curricular Innovation” to GC Journeys — a program where every Georgia College student participates in at least five transformative experiences in their college years.

GC Journeys is “comprehensive” and “ambitious,” Dr. Jordan Cofer, associate provost of Transformative Learning Experiences remarked, and that’s what helped propel it to award-winning success.

“We strongly value the success of our students and realize the impact of the intentional and supportive opportunities a program like GC Journeys offers to their college experience,” said Dr. Costas Spirou, provost and vice president of academic affairs. “We are dedicated to providing all our students access to these

“It’s not a department initiative, rather it’s a university-wide initiative,” he said. “While it was conceived and driven by faculty, it’s taken the entire university working together to focus on student success, which is at the heart of a liberal arts education. It’s this type of collaboration that really helped set us apart.”

Georgia College starts nationwide undergraduate journal Scholars with impressive projects from prominent schools all over the country vied recently for a spot in a new academic journal based on undergraduate research. February 2021 marked publication of the first edition of “Undergraduate Research,” founded at Georgia College and put together by two Georgia College assistant professors: Dr. Kelly Massey in exercise science and Dr. Alesa Liles in criminal justice. Three other faculty served as associate editors: Dr. Jordan Cofer, associate provost for transformative learning experiences; Dr. Doreen Sams, professor of marketing; and Dr. Kasey Karen, assistant professor of biology. The 174-page journal showcases research by students in their

freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior years of college. The journal is free and one of a few in the nation to highlight undergraduate work in all disciplines. Fifteen Georgia College faculty signed up to review research projects. Each submission was given a “blind review” by two academic scholars before decisions were made on what to include. The editorial board had members from distinguished schools, as well, and representatives from CUR (Council on Undergraduate Research) and the AACU (American Association of Colleges & Universities). Out of 45 submissions, only six — about 13 percent — were accepted. To compare, 60 to 70 percent of all applicants are accepted to undergraduate research conferences.

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Students serenade isolated memory care residents Two Georgia College students lifted the spirits of elderly residents in Milledgeville one song at a time. “I believe music has the power to open real connection between humans, and I want to use music as a tool to heal,” said graduate student Matthew Seymour of Augusta, Georgia, who’s getting his master’s in music therapy. Seymour and senior music therapy major Reed Tanner, Jr. of Carrollton have been serenading the elderly twice a week at Fellowship Home at Meriwether. Memory care

music and this often breaks through some of the common barriers seniors face, such as memory impairment and physical limitations.”

residents there had been isolated and in lockdown for almost a year due to COVID.

About a half dozen residents would sit in the sunshine to listen and remember. Others listened from windows inside the assisted-living facility, while students performed from inside a

Jared Norrod, director of

protective plastic bubble.

resident care at Fellowship, said it’s “a wonderful opportunity for our residents to interact with someone who is educated on how to connect through

“It’s been great,” Seymour said. “We’ve truly been honored and blessed to come out here and play music and bring a little light to their lives. Combining music with helping people is what I was meant to do.”

Georgia College collaborates with three universities for students to pursue pharmacy school With demand expected to increase for pharmacists in Southern healthcare settings like hospitals and clinics — Georgia College announced a new accelerated Pathways Program for chemistry majors to transfer to one of three Doctor of Pharmacy schools in the United States. Agreements were recently signed with the University of Georgia (UGA), Auburn University, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). Students who meet criteria can utilize these pathways — giving them an early start, streamlined admission, and guided route into the field of pharmacy. These new pathways give chemistry students a chance to earn their Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from Georgia College and a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from UGA, Auburn, or PCOM.

About 21 percent of Georgia College chemistry majors declare a concentration in pre-pharmacy. This year, Georgia College is experiencing a three-year peak at 24 percent, said Dr. Chavonda Mills, chair of chemistry, physics and astronomy. “We’re excited to introduce these accelerated pathways for our students,” she said. “By reducing the total time required for the B.S. and Pharm.D. degrees, our students will be able to save both time and tuition dollars and begin their careers earlier.”

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Center for Health and Social Issues looks to improve quality of life in Oconee Heights neighborhood

More than just an eye-sore, neighborhood blight brings with it a slew of social and economic issues. Rundown and dilapidated homes and buildings lead to increased crime, lower property values, and are an indicator of overall poverty levels in an area. Georgia College’s Center for Health and Social Issues (CHSI) is working to address blight in one Milledgeville neighborhood with the goal of increasing the well-being of the people living there. Dr. Damian Francis, director of CHSI, and his team spent hours surveying residents of Oconee Heights to find out the most important challenges they see in their community. A needs assessment identified blight as a top concern. Now Francis and his team of students and faculty members are working to conduct a blight assessment that will document the

burden and severity of the problem. “What we hope to achieve with the blight assessment is the necessary evidence to support blight remediation efforts such as a charter,” Francis said. “Providing an overall framework that the county could use to handle blighted properties.” They’ve also helped establish community collaboratives meant to foster community involvement and improve the quality of life in the residents. These collaboratives include residents, local government, nonprofits, and Georgia College. “We have different stakeholders coming into meetings where we sit down and talk about the issues, as well as potential solutions,” said Francis. “The goal is to empower residents to jointly come up with the solutions for their own community. Then stakeholders, along with the university, pursue funding for these ideas through grants.”

Georgia College online graduate programs recognized by U.S. News & World Report track options of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), FNP PostMaster, Nurse Educator and Professional Enrichment, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse practitioner programs (MSN and Postgraduate), the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Programs (MSN and Postgraduate), and the Nurse-Midwifery programs (MSN and Postgraduate). The online master’s degrees in business (non-MBA) were listed 38th nationally. That includes Georgia College’s Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Master of Management Information Systems. U.S. News & World Report released its “Best Online Programs Rankings” for 2021 — nationally recognizing four programs from Georgia College. The university’s online graduate nursing programs ranked 27th in the nation — up one place from last year. Georgia College’s programs were the highest-ranked in the state of Georgia. These programs include the Master of Science in Nursing with

The Master of Business Administration (Georgia WebMBA®) at Georgia College was also recognized among the best in the country ranked at 62nd. Also recognized were the online graduate education programs including Educational Leadership, Teacher Leadership, and Master of Arts in Teaching, among others.

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r. Carolyn Denard likens Georgia College’s diversity plans to a house. The first plan built


the house. The second will make the house a home.

“We’re thinking about all kinds of people-powered ways to make campus more welcoming,” she said. Due to fully launch in January 2022, the university’s newly drafted three-year plan is called “Advancing Diversity Inclusion.” It will ensure the inside of the university house is “comfortable and welcoming. It’s diverse. There’s learning going on there, and there’s accountability,” said Denard, Georgia College’s chief diversity officer and associate vice president for the Office of Inclusive Excellence. Denard took charge of the diversity action plan in 2020, when Dr. Veronica Womack became head of the Institute for Rural Studies. Denard credits Womack for implementing the first five-year plan that set a solid structure for the office, built peer leadership teams, started Faculty Fellows, and created the Award for Inclusive Excellence. “The first plan was a trailblazer,” Denard said, “because we didn’t have anything before that. Now, it’s time for refinement. It’s time for retooling. It’s time for being very intentional about how we want to move forward.” The next phase will be focused on increasing diversity in the community and preparing campus to be a welcoming and respectful place for study and work. This phase involves aggressive recruitment and better retention of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff; educational trainings for a more hospitable campus climate; and increased opportunities for feedback — listening sessions and short, frequent surveys. These surveys will “take the pulse” of campus and the community, identifying needs. Georgia College has an underrepresented student population of 17 percent. But the surrounding community is about 30 percent minority. Denard believes the university can raise enrollment of underrepresented students to more closely reflect the state population. She’d like to raise faculty and staff numbers too. Currently, the campus has 25 percent underrepresented faculty and 30 percent underrepresented staff. To recruit more in each category and retain them, Denard said campus climate must be “welcoming, affirming, and respectful for everyone.” One way to achieve this is through educational learning and training sessions. “It’s one of the things that I insisted on, because I think so often the challenges we have with climate or getting along with people, respecting people, is because we don’t know their history,” Denard said. “We sort of get a mandate to respect everybody, but we don’t really have an intrinsic understanding of what these groups have contributed to our state, our region, our nation.” “So, there is the genuine ethical imperative to respect people but,” she said, “there is also a historical cultural imperative too, and that’s one of the things I’ve tried to emphasize.” connection magazine | 11 |

Student Diversity Advisory Council to listen to the concerns of students. They’ll be working with University Advancement to develop a Diversity Inclusion fund to help pay for initiatives of the diversity action plan. They designed a new training module on diversity for first-year students in Georgia View. They’ve established peer educator groups to work with staff and faculty, as well as students. Plus, they plan to hold townhalls in the fall and conduct three-question “walking surveys” with students to gauge how things are going on campus. This fall, Denard also hopes to institute “Dinners for 12 Strangers.” others. Last summer, her office held

Dinners would be at someone’s

In addition to these measures,

listening sessions to survey the

house. The guests would be a mix of

Denard and her committee are

concerns of students, faculty, and

students, faculty, and staff who

working on plans to include the

staff. She started a new Diversity 360

wouldn’t ordinarily meet each other

needs and opinions of staff. There are

Series to help people understand the

on campus.

mentorship and leadership

events of last summer: police

opportunities for students and faculty,

shootings and Black Lives Matter

“I’m very excited about this

but not for staff, she said. To remedy

protests. More recently these virtual

program,” she said. “I really like the

this, she’d like to establish a staff

talks were about microaggressions,

idea of sharing a home cooked meal

mentorship and leadership program.

color blindness, unconscious bias,

and conversation with people who

race and mental health, and

are part of the campus community

Denard wants more involvement from

pronouncing names and pronouns

but don’t know each other personally.

the local community, as well. She’d

properly. Her office also invited the

I believe some good synergy and

like residents to be included in

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to do

relationship-building can come from

decision making.

a talk on anti-Semitism.

these kinds of gatherings.”

“We’re trying to give more voice to

“We want to do more like that so we

With the collaboration of the Center

the community in our diversity

understand how we can behave in

for Teaching and Learning, the Office

initiatives,” she said. “We need to set

such a way as to make others feel

of Inclusive Excellence will also be

up a Community Advisory Council

welcomed and respected. That’s

launching a mentorship program for

and establish a Community

really the goal of these programs,”

underrepresented faculty in the fall.

Partnership Coordinator to be our

Denard said.

This will introduce new faculty to

eyes and ears to what’s going on in the local area.”

campus culture and the processes Since Denard came on board, the

and procedures for promotion and

Office of Inclusive Excellence has

tenure. To retain faculty, “it has to be

This mandate for open

initiated a new Diversity, Equity, and

the complete package,” Denard

communications is important to

Inclusion policy committee in the

said. That includes the benefits of a

Denard. She’s all about listening to

University Senate. They’re forming a

small university — mentorship,

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fellowship and leadership

The comprehensive plan has built-

opportunities, and recognition.

in accountability. The draft has

“Comradery of the group is really the

been completed and a cost

glue,” Denard said, “and we have to

analysis is being done. In summer,

be intentional about getting those

the plan will be reviewed by various

faculty together and offering them

leadership groups on campus for

opportunities for professional

early vetting. In early fall, it’ll be

development and leadership.”

posted for the entire community to read and give feedback. The plan will

The university’s high-impact program,

then go to the Executive Cabinet and

GC Journeys, will play a big role in

University Senate for final approval.

diversity, as well. Faculty and

After a budget is presented in the

students can be encouraged to do

fall, the plan will be ready to fully

research projects on social systems

execute in January 2022.

and the social and cultural history of the local area. Internships can be set

“I’m trying to hear as many people as

up through the Carter Center, the

I can,” Denard said, “so we can build

King Center, or the Southern Poverty

something that is for us.”

Law Center. More community service opportunities can be set up to help

“We are the public liberal arts college

underserved communities locally.

of Georgia. In the various work we all do on campus,” she said, “we’re trying

“The co-curricular opportunities of

to incorporate ways to foster greater

GC Journeys are limitless in ways to

knowledge and appreciation for the

immerse our students in hands-on

history and culture of diverse groups

learning about diverse communities

that make up our campus community.”

in our area,” Denard said. connection magazine | 13 |


Leveling the playing field for students with disabilities hrough no fault of their own, some students struggle in school due to their disability. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Georgia College provides academic accommodations through the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) to help these students achieve academic success.


Student Disability Resource Center Director David Anderson believes that there may be some misconceptions about academic accommodations.

“There was a huge spike in testing online, which a lot of students weren’t prepared for,” he said. “It’s one thing for students to test in class, and completely another to test online.” This presents a challenge for Anderson. Ideally, he wants students who use the SDRC to stay on track when they take their tests in a virtual environment. So, Anderson and his team work hard to accommodate their students’ needs to make online testing a smooth transition.

“These accommodations allow students who need them to perform on a level playing field with their peers,” he said.

The SDRC also works to support the career aspirations of students by having a strong partnership with the Career Center.

There are many different ways that the SDRC works with students to help them succeed. Some of the most common ways of providing such support is given by the Testing Center — granted by the SDRC.

“One of the first things we do is define success for each student,” he said. “So, we have a very strong relationship with Career Services, where we can help these students reach those milestones and achieve their goals.”

Admissions makes students aware of the Student Disability Resource Center right from the start.

Nearly every student who comes into the SDRC has multiple diagnoses, for example, ADHD and anxiety. As students are exposed to the news and social media around the clock, many become overwhelmed with this influx of information. That’s where Anderson and his team help identify their students’ personal priorities.

“We want to get to students who need us as quickly as we can,” said Anderson. “As soon as we can get a face and a name, they become part of our family.” Over the last year, the center saw a rise in the number of students asking for accommodations. Currently, 530 students use the service — around six percent of the student population. Some of this increase was due to the pandemic with students testing online now.

Anderson helps students get organized by reminding them that they can only control what is within their sphere of influence. He also helps them organize their schedule by meeting with students weekly.

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There’s a tremendous amount of freedom when students arrive on campus. And for those who don’t know what to do with their downtime, chances are they’re not going to use that time wisely, according to Anderson.

“Our professors are doing everything they can to pull greatness out of our students,” said Anderson. “That’s what we do at Georgia College. Everybody’s on the same page to get students to graduate. I just love that team mentality.”

“We try and help them fit everything in,” Anderson said. “And the biggest thing we find is for students to treat school like it’s a job and to find a healthy balance.”

In addition to the support services provided by the SDRC, there are also anonymous student note takers, Smartpens that capture everything you hear and write, digital recorders, and laptops available for students. Anderson hopes students take what they’ve learned from Georgia College and apply these techniques in their careers.

The SDRC helps students interact more effectively with their professors through the use of a newly developed interactive database. According to Anderson, it’s easier to use and has more capabilities than the previous one. For example, students can choose which accommodations they want to use for their classes. Once the students choose their accommodations, a letter is sent to their professors. This helps facilitate a conversation between the student and the professor.

“My hope for students is that they graduate and find that job they love,” he said. “It’s one thing to graduate, but it’s another thing to have the essential skills to be employable. And that’s what we want. College is just the beginning of their professional journey.”

The mission of helping students succeed is the same whether it’s through the SDRC or through the care and commitment of faculty.

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In shades of lavender:

10th annual LGBTQ+ graduation at Georgia College It’s been said that lavender is the color of transformation. It’s no wonder then — at a time when all creation is bursting into bloom and college graduates everywhere are transitioning to the next phase of their lives — that Georgia College’s LGBTQ+ community also celebrates its milestones. Fifteen LGBTQ+ seniors of all majors — from communication and sociology to chemistry and outdoor education — graduated in May. They walked across the stage at commencement, but also strode across the Magnolia Ballroom stage for their own special occasion, Lavender Graduation. It marked the university’s 10th Lavender celebration. “I have a real love for this population,” said Melissa Gerrior, program coordinator for the Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Programs. “A lot of times, this population faces challenges other students don’t face getting through school. This is really meant to celebrate and honor that.” “They really look forward to Lavender Graduation each year. Me too,” she said. “It’s bittersweet, seeing them finish this chapter and go on to be successful adults. They’re going to do things that will change the world greatly. Hopefully, LGBTQ+ Programs at Georgia College had a part in shaping their experience and moving them forward.” The first Lavender Graduation was at the University of Michigan in 1995, after a Jewish lesbian was denied access to her children’s graduation ceremony. Today, over 200 colleges and universities offer Lavender Graduation for their students. The ceremony started at Georgia College in 2012 with a handful of participants. It’s grown to embrace dozens of LGBTQ+ graduates per year. Approximately 15 percent of the student population at Georgia College identify as LGBTQ+. It’s not that the numbers have increased so much as visibility has improved, Gerrior remarked. With their own cultural space at the Women’s Center, members of the LGBTQ+ community can relax, feel accepted, and rely on each other. They appreciate having a place where they can go for advice and support. Getting through college for a LGBTQ+ student can be challenging. Some come to college without fully realizing their identity or they’re afraid to come out to family and friends. Some have been kicked out of their families or had finances shut off. Others have difficulties in class, where their pronouns aren’t used properly. Like other students starting college, they can feel ostracized and grapple with depression. “For some of them, whether or not they were going to be able to graduate was even a question,” Gerrior said. “Whether or not they were going to be here at the end and, frankly, still be alive.” “There’ve been a number of students who get to graduation,

and it’s a little more celebratory and special,” she said, “because they didn’t think they were going to make it, but they did.” Senior history and liberal studies major Juniper Guthrie attended Lavender Graduation this year. They learned about this celebration their first year in college and found it “incredible” the LGBTQ+ community had its own ceremony. Through the years, they’ve watched older friends graduate and be honored at what they affectionately call “LavGrad.” “I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate my undergraduate career with members of the community,” Guthrie said. “I really appreciate the opportunity for LGBTQ+ students to celebrate their accomplishments in a safe, affirming space. Often, students are not recognized by the right name or pronouns in the main university graduation — so this is a place where students can be recognized in the right way.” Like the official commencement ceremony, Lavender Graduation has pomp and circumstance. First, a senior’s name is announced, along with majors, minors, clubs, and achievements. Graduates walk across the stage and are greeted by Dr. Shawn Brooks, vice president for Student Affairs. Each one is given an opportunity to thank family, faculty, or friends and impart wisdom to underclassmen. There’s addresses given by the president of Pride Alliance, the campus LGBTQ+ organization, and a keynote speaker invited every year. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Micheal Stratton, dean of the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. Will Perry, inaugural President of the new LGBTQ+ Alumni Council, spoke as well. In past years, keynote talks were given by Milledgeville minister Genie Hargrove, Folks Art owner Kim Joris, retired GC staff member Darryl Richardson, visiting Newell Scholar Mab Segrest, Marketing Professor Dr. Joanna Schwartz, local author Sandra Worsham, and English Professor Dr. Lauren Pilcher. Awards are given each year for “LGBTQ+ Student Leader of the Year” and “Faculty and Staff LGBTQ+ Community Impact Award.” Winners are nominated by their peers. There are no special robes or caps at Lavender Graduation. Everyone wears what makes them “feel comfortable in who they are,” Gerrior remarked. LGBTQ+ seniors do drape a lavender cord over their clothes at Lavender Graduation and gowns at commencement. Afterwards, there’s a reception with lots of tears, hugs, and smiles. “I’m so glad we have something special to offer this population of students,” Gerrior said. “Everyone is welcome to come celebrate. This is a time for rejoicing and reflection. That’s what makes it a truly unique event.”

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I really appreciate the opportunity for LGBTQ+ students to celebrate their accomplishments in a safe, affirming space.


espite typically having the smallest-sized roster among Georgia College’s 11 varsity sports, the Bobcat Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams typically provide the most diversity for the athletic department, bringing in student-athletes from all over the world for the common goals of on and off the court success.


Taking a look at the 2021 rosters, the Bobcats have players from Argentina, France, Venezuela, Czech Republic, and Germany, as well as the Peach State. These are individuals that come together for their love of sport and desire to get an education in the United States. A two-time All-Peach Belt selection and 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American, Jerome Leborgne is now a two-time alumnus of Georgia College getting an undergrad in mathematics with a master’s in business administration. He came to Milledgeville from Coordimanche, France, in the fall of 2009, using a tennis placement agency that matched him up with his best options of both scholarship and his competitive level of tennis. Remarkably, the first time he spoke with anyone at Georgia College was when GC Tennis head coach Steve Barsby picked him up at the Atlanta airport for the beginning of the semester. “One of my first issues was the language barrier,” said Leborgne. “I hadn’t spoken much English before moving to Georgia. I was really appreciative of the them. They made it really easy. There were a lot of internationals, so you can relate to each other. What’s great about sport — even with tennis which is largely an individual sport — you’re used to playing as a team. Coming together as friends off the court, as well, felt very natural.” For Leborgne, some of those relationships off the court were particularly strong, as he met his wife Tracey [Bain] Leborgne, a member of the team in the 2010-11 season and also a Georgia College graduate. Current GC Tennis player Matt Rogel took a slightly different path to get to GC from his native Sautron, France.

After Rogel finished high school, he spent two years coaching the game, locally building up some money to make the move and play collegiate tennis in the United States. He landed at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) for two years to develop his academics. After those seasons in Tifton, Georgia, Rogel came to Georgia College in the fall of 2018. “I really liked how things felt with coach Barsby,” Rogel said. “I met the guys on the team pretty quickly, and I got a good vibe from them when I came on my visit. Compared to the other schools I looked at, I felt much more confidant that I’d be happy here.” He quickly took a liking to the message of Bobcat Athletics, and after already owning his undergrad in management at GC, Rogel will be finishing his master’s in accounting next year while working as a graduate assistant coach for the GC Tennis Program. Taking a similar path was Wictor Andersson, who played four years for the Bobcats, beginning in 2009. After getting his undergraduate degree in marketing, the Karlskoga, Sweden, native then continued on with an MBA, also joining up as a graduate assistant coach. “The move to a new country, with new surroundings and new people, with no family for support was a big change, but also helped me grow a lot,” said Andersson. “I had a great experience and was very happy in Milledgeville. I didn’t really want to let go of tennis yet, and I was able to continue to educate myself by adding the master’s. Steve [Barsby] and I had joked since my second semester that I should stick around and be his graduate assistant, and that came true.” The International Education Center (IEC) plays a crucial role in helping these students adjust to the many difficulties that arise from being so far from home. Under the guidance of Dr. James Callaghan, assistant vice president for international education, the IEC staff helps international students navigate the choppy waters of registration and student visas while partnering with the international club for social events. A common theme in talking with international student-athletes was gratefulness for the work of International Admissions Counselor Susie Ramage and Jason Wynn, assistant director of international student and scholar services. What stood out the most to these athletes is how the staff went above and beyond for this population. “Susie and Jason helped me through the admissions process. They help me still today when it comes to other confusing paperwork. During the COVID shutdown, many of us weren’t able to travel back home, and Susie and Jason helped us get groceries. Anytime there’s something going on, they really try and help. During last year’s quarantine, they delivered meals to all of the new international freshmen as well,” said Andersson. Ramage sees her work as more than just your standard nine-to-five. “We’re a family here,” she revealed. “The tennis players are a little harder to reach because of their busy schedule. They get into that athletic family, and it becomes their new home.” “I love working in the IEC,” Ramage said. “Through this office, I enjoy seeing the domestic students get to know the

connection magazine | 22 |

We’re a family here.


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alumni profile

First Blacks on campus: A journey of desegregation at Georgia College Georgia College pays tribute to the first individuals to diversify Georgia College.

Joyce Hill Vasser

Jacquelyn Nelson hey are known as the Promise Keepers — Professor Emeritus Dr. Lucretia Coleman, ’69, ’71, Cellestine Hill Hunt, ’68, Dr. Thelmon Larkin, ’70, Jacquelyn Waller Nelson, ’71, ’76, and Joyce Hill Vasser.


A recent interview by Stacey Milner, director of fraternity and sorority life, with Nelson and Vasser — both from Milledgeville — revisits that pivotal time in the ’60s and ’70s, and how Georgia College evolved to become a place for all students.

was going to be all right, because Joyce and Cellestine had high selfesteem and did so well at Georgia College. Like them, I knew my purpose was to receive a good college education, so I focused on my studies. Vasser: I was the first to desegregate Georgia College. During those first few days, I felt like I was in a sea of the unknown. It was a tremendous responsibility to be the first to desegregate the university. Because of the historic magnitude of the event, I felt that I had my whole race on my shoulders.

Question: How did it make you feel to be among the first African Americans to desegregate Georgia College?

Question: Who was your favorite professor, and how did you apply what you learned to your career?

Nelson: When I enrolled, there were just a few minority students. I knew I

Nelson: I enjoyed Paschal C. Cheek, who was an instructor of home connection magazine | 24 |

economics and a registered dietician. I planned to become a registered dietitian, and she knew exactly what it would take for me to get there. Ms. Cheek made sure I got my dietetic internship, which was approved by the American Dietetic Association, and provided me with the one-on-one experience that nurtured me to go into the profession and succeed. Question: What was your fondest moment at Georgia College? Nelson: I enjoyed meeting my friends at the Student Union between classes. We met there often. I took pride in our Student Union, because each year I was there I saw more people who looked like me. Vasser: Riots, protests, and civil

unrest that characterized the Civil Rights Movement continued in the summer of 1964 throughout the United States. The racial climate in the South was heightened, because of the violence resulting in the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. We didn’t know what to expect, so my parents asked if they could go with me those first few days of desegregating Georgia College. I said, “No,” because I wanted to be big, bad, and independent. Afterwards, as I walked back to the car, I realized, “Yes, I can do this. We can do this.” The somberness of the situation did not allow for fond moments. But I will say that the feeling of confidence at that moment has been with me and carried me through college and a successful career. It continues to this day. Question: Why do you feel it’s important for Georgia College to embrace diversity? Nelson: We need to come together and bring people of different backgrounds and cultures to take a step forward in any situation. And Georgia College has played a role in that. It makes me proud when I go out into the community and see Georgia College students working at places like The Boys and Girls Club and the Collins P. Lee Center. Vasser: At the time, the goal of my father and others was about opening doors of opportunity for young people, so they could have choices whether they would attend a majority white school or a historical, Black institution. Georgia College is positioned to take advantage of diversity. Milledgeville is a small enough town, where a university can make a big difference in the community and on an ongoing basis, positively affecting generations. Diversity can be a win-win situation for the community and university. Question: What would you tell African American students who are just starting out?

determined. Keep these two things in mind whenever you are in any learning situation — particularly where you are the minority. Right now, you are starting out, preparing yourself for the future, so you don't know everything you should for success in the world of work. But you are in a position where you can learn what you want and need to know. Don’t spend too much time analyzing and giving life to your weaknesses. Hone and sail on those strengths. Question: What are your hopes for students who receive the Promise Keepers Scholarship? Nelson: Funds will be one less thing they’ll have to worry about, as they pursue their education. My hope is we will continue to recruit local students, so they can attend Georgia College and experience activities in addition to the educational component. Vasser: Education has always meant so much to the Black community. I hope these scholarships will allow people who never thought they would be able to get a degree or attend college to see they can be involved in higher education. I also hope that their involvement and success will become the norm, not the exception.

The African American Alumni Council’s (AAAC) Promise Keepers scholarship was established for African Americans enrolled at Georgia College. Recipients are those who empower others by exhibiting peace, forgiveness, love, and acceptance towards all; exemplify exceptional strength, courage and integrity during adversity, risking their lives to protect, serve, and promote equality among social and educational injustices; and encourage and mentor others to serve as community “think tank” leaders, positioning the next generation of minorities for upward success.

Nelson: Keep an eye on the prize. I worked in dietetics for over 50 years. My education enabled me to compete in the real world. So, getting their degree will make it possible to meet their goals and accomplishments in life.

To donate to the Promise Keepers Scholarship, visit:, or you can mail a check to Georgia College, P.O. Box 96, Milledgeville GA 31061.

Vasser: I’ve learned some lessons in this area while working 30-plus years for the Federal Government in education services, then in personnel management. Take advantage of everything life has to offer and be

To learn more about this scholarship, contact: Tre’ Johnson at: or call 478-445-8665.

connection magazine | 25 |

student profile


enior political science major Lauren Miller has always had a passion for international travel. Born into a military family in Alaska, she has traveled both in the United States and abroad, and attended high school in Italy. Her father is retired from the military, but her mother is still on active duty.

This curiosity and ability to think independently has guided Miller through her studies at GC, shaping how she thinks about leadership. “I gained a different perspective of leadership,” explained Miller. “I've been looking at it from a military standpoint the last three years.”

Now in the military herself and a second lieutenant in the Georgia Army National Guard, Miller draws great inspiration from her mother.

Miller was particularly impacted by Ashley Copeland’s course, How to Change the World, finding new perspectives within the principles of leadership.

“She is my best friend and everything I want to be in life,” said Miller. “My mother grew up in a rural area in Panama, and has built an amazing life for herself through her service in the military. I knew the military was a great opportunity to receive an education and career.”

“Lauren demonstrates a strong sense of selfawareness, leads with humility, and she shows up for others,” said Copeland, assistant director of Leadership Programs. “She has had mentors and role models show her that she has the capacity to lead, and because of their investment in her, she seeks opportunities to deepen her personal growth and learning. Lauren always considers how her leadership will impact the lives of others and operates with the belief that effective leaders think of the people first in their decision-making.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Miller would travel every year to visit family in Panama. Since then, Miller continues to connect with her Hispanic heritage through involvement in organizations like GC’s Latino Student Association. “The most important thing to me is the legacy of culture and values handed down from ancestors,” said Miller. Miller is now combining her love of culture and travel with her pursuits at GC. With a heart for public service, Miller always dreamed of having a job in government. At first, she was unsure of what sector of government she wanted to be involved in or how she would make it her career, but after taking a state and local government course at Georgia Military College (GMC), Miller knew that a political science major would be a perfect fit. Before transferring from GMC to Georgia College in 2020, Miller was involved in the school’s ROTC program. “I wanted to stay local so I could still get mentorship from my senior leaders while I finished my degree, and I've truly grown to love Milledgeville,” she said. It was through one of her instructors at GMC that Miller first heard of Leadership Programs at Georgia College after her instructor connected her with Dr. Harold Mock. “Lauren is distinguished by her ability to ask good questions,” said Dr. Harold Mock, director of Leadership Programs. “She is thoughtful and inquisitive, and she approaches new situations with curiosity and a desire for genuine understanding.”

This spring, Miller received the opportunity to combine her passions for travel and public service when she was named a Gilman-McCain scholar by the U.S. Department of State. The scholarship is a congressionally-funded initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S Department of State, which awards $5,000 to undergraduates who are dependents of active duty service members. “This award allows me to pursue my dream of studying abroad. It relieves the part of the financial burden my family would incur,” said Miller. Miller will attend the Intercultural Leadership Program in Strasbourg, France, this summer. The intensive program focuses on business and political leadership. Students in the program visit multiple international companies and organizations, participate in field trips in and around Strasbourg and Germany, and attend workshops, discussions, and lectures by high-profile guests. After receiving her political science degree from GC in fall 2021, Miller will head to military training before applying to law school in 2022.

How a new College of Business professor is bringing accounting to life n January of 2020, before Dr. Sandria Stephenson


“I wanted to be able to teach and talk about accounting

began teaching at Georgia College and before the

in the essence of the liberal arts because accounting is

pandemic changed everything, she was in the

about the socio-economic aspects of life. It is not just

North Georgia mountains, engaging in a Holistic

debiting and crediting economic activities. It’s about the

Educational Learning Partnerships (HELP) retreat amid

living experience and the lived experience,”

the fog-covered peaks with a cohort of prospective

Stephenson said.

doctorate students. Stephenson designed this HELP initiative to retreat with prospective students whom she

It was fortuitous that Stephenson began teaching

felt were prepared to take the ultimate leap in higher

accounting during the fall semester of 2020, as students

education, pursuing a doctoral degree. She’d been

and faculty were returning with some trepidation after

doing this informally since 2008, after discovering that

the national shutdown in March. It was a time where the

she was one of only five percent of minorities who have

nation, and the world, were receiving a hard lesson in

earned a doctoral degree. The number of Black women

how numbers affect everyday life.

with doctorates is even more staggering. “Recently, the federal government passed the American “Once I completed my doctorate, it was always my

Rescue Act, a big COVID relief bill,” she said, “Georgia

mantra to help somebody else along their journey,”

College will get some of that money, as will all colleges

Stephenson says. This is the kind of example she uses to

around the country. We desperately need those funds to

translate realistic numeric data into real-world action in

do a lot more for sanitizing, cleaning, and all the

her teaching.

different things we’re doing now that we have COVID to deal with. But the university must budget and

Stephenson wanted to be a meteorologist before an

subsequently account for all those funds and must

internship in high school introduced her to a love of

report on how they were spent.”

accounting. She views life as narratives, where every story can be translated into numbers. For example, she

This is just one of many examples of how Stephenson

was recently on faculty at an emerging research

has been able to use aspects of the pandemic to bring

institution, where she was one of 34 faculty members in

accounting to everyday life for her students.

the School of Accountancy. She is now at Georgia College, a public liberal arts institution, where she is

To drive home the idea that accounting makes up every

one of eight in her department. She did the calculations

facet of our lives, Stephenson has given every one of

and determined that not only would she be more

her students their own company to run; albeit an

valued at Georgia College, but she could bring more

imaginary one.

value to the institution.

connection magazine | 28 |

faculty profile

“So as we talk about different concepts, we go to that

“During our retreats, we have our own chef, we do

company’s financial statements, and we extract the

holistic activities such as yoga, dance, and counseling,

information,” Stephenson said.

but the core focus is on academics. We have various workshops where we discuss the doctoral application

She told her students a narrative about the way Whole

process, advancing through the coursework, selecting

Foods predicted that a “pandemic” might greatly affect

your committee, and how to navigate the doctoral and

their customers and or services. She showed them in

dissertation journey. My objective is to get as many

class how the company noted this in their risk analysis

underrepresented students as possible to be able to

and outlined it in their 2017 financial statements, and

matriculate and succeed at their graduate and or

was therefore able to prepare for and mitigate the risks

doctoral endeavors, also in any educational endeavor as

of the pandemic to some degree.

a matter of fact,” she said.

These techniques are what Stephenson calls “S.M.A.R.T. Learning,” which stands for “Simulate, Maintain, Apply, Reflect, and Teach,” a technique she created for helping students navigate the learning process. The technique has already become popular in and outside of her classes. A resident assistant in Wells Hall developed the context of this concept into a poster and displayed it around the dorm.

My objective is to get as many underrepresented students as possible to be able to matriculate and sUCCEED...

Stephenson’s philosophy is also making an impact outside of GC. She was recently contacted by and met

virtually with doctoral students from Vanderbilt

As her HELP website testimonials outline, the numbers

University for help with developing a program

don’t lie. Stephenson has been instrumental in helping

evaluation model for their doctoral program. They

many students pursue their master’s and doctoral

contacted Stephenson after reading another of her

degrees. She has worked with honors students in the

teaching techniques, the “Accounting Communities of

past and has discussed her vision of working with GC

Practice (ACOP),” in an article she published in the

honors students with the deans for the College of

international A-ranked journal, Accounting Education.

Business and Honors College.

They asked her permission to use this ACOP model in developing their evaluation proposal. As reflected in her

“I want to be able to take those students and bring them

mantra and evidenced in her HELP initiative,

into the world of creativity and research in accounting

Stephenson was happy to help.

and help them become creative thinkers; to move forward to become Certified Public Accountants, and to

Since she began helping students refine their professional

use that platform to become well-adjusted professionals

aspirations into Ph.D.s, she has been able to formalize her

with a view of social justice in every aspect of their

retreats with the help of “The Ph.D. Project,” an initiative

professional life,” Stephenson said. “Just like the

sponsored by accounting firm KPMG.

weather, numbers account for everything around us.”

connection magazine | 31 |

Save the Date


Nov. 1-6, 2021

A schedule of events and registration information will be announced in the upcoming months. Are you interested in holding a class reunion or event during Alumni Weekend? Contact for more information.

Class Notes 2000S

Justin Roberts, ’06, has recently been named chief financial officer (CFO) at Piedmont Newton Hospital. He has 12 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Roberts will work alongside the Piedmont Newton leadership team to manage the hospital’s financial performance, perform budgeting and forecasting analysis for hospital service lines and strategic growth opportunities, and manage waste reduction efforts and productivity standards.

Mark Moughamian, ’15, married Allyson Kipfer, ’15, Oct. 25, 2020 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee — two years to the day they were engaged in the same city. They met at Georgia College in 2013. Members of the wedding party are fellow Bobcats and pictured from left to right: Lauren Sasine, ’15, Aliyah Gilenson, ’15, Adanma Oduah, ’15, Drew Allen, ’15, and Michael Gillett, ’15, ’20. The couple resides in Charleston, South Carolina.

2010S Kendra Castelow, ’14, ’15, was accepted into Mercer University’s Ph.D. Educational Leadership (higher education) program in the summer of 2020. In addition, she was selected to be the event lead for 2020-2021 Relay for Life of Houston County.

Niki Vanden Hoek, ’16, married Drew Norby, ’13, July 18, 2020, at Ashton Gardens in Sugar Hill, Georgia. Their wedding party was comprised of Georgia College alumni, including Amita McGarvey Worasilpchai, ’16, Kyle Dickens, ’14, Morgan Ownbey, ’14, Matt Hilliard, ’14, and David Robeson, ’15. Niki graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. She is completing her Master of Education in Library Media with Georgia College. Drew graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He is completing his MBA with Georgia College.

Hunterpaige McDaniel, ’19, and Cody Christian, ’19, got engaged in May 2020 at the Botanical Gardens in Athens, Georgia. connection magazine | 33 |

Hannah Elrod Brannan, ’17, ’19, and Mitchell Brannan, ’20, met at Georgia College in 2016 and got married in May 2019 with several Georgia College alumni by their side. Hannah earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Health and Human Performance. Mitchell graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and is completing his dual degree in Material Science Engineering at Georgia Tech in May 2021.

2020S Caroline Warner Pierce, ’20, and Taylor Pierce, ’19, got married Jan. 16, 2021 after meeting at Georgia College in 2018.

The couple also welcomed their baby girl, Courtney Joy, into the world November of 2020.

Sophia LaMarca, ’20, received her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sports medicine. She is working on her Master of Athletic Training degree at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York, and is expected to graduate in 2022. Julia Steele Gavrielides, ’19, and Michael “Bradley” Gavrielides, ’20, are excited to announce to their Bobcats family that they tied the knot Feb. 20, 2021, at City Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Helen Gaillet Bailey, ’13 and Stephen Bailey, ’15, welcomed their first child, Benjamin Ambrose Bailey on March 25, 2021. The couple met at Georgia College in 2012 and were married in 2016. The family resides in Kennesaw, Georgia. Helen and Stephen work in marketing. They’re so excited about their little “Baby Bobcat.” Julie Coppedge, ’15, ’16, and Ryan Ashley, ’14, ’15, married Nov. 14, 2020 at the Payne-Corley House in Duluth, Georgia. Both have a BBA in Accounting and Master of Accountancy.

“We are thankful for the people who have supported and shaped us for our upcoming journey,” said Julia.

Please submit your news for Class Notes at:

connection magazine | 34 |

In Memoriam Karen Fluevog

Annis Daniel Bryan, ’59

Eric Blazi, ’78

William Millians

Carol Eady Clayton, ’59

Emerilyn Dickinson Parks, ’78

Emily Randall

Alta Nicholson, ’59

Minna Butler West, ’78

Myra Middlebrooks Odom, ’41

Donna Jordan Peck, ’59

Harvey Stapleton, ’79

Joann Banks Smith, ’41

Ann Bolton Weeks, ’59

Sandra Self, ’81

Myra Boykin Dunning, ’42

Ruth Dixon Allen, ’60

Marguerite Thurmond, ’81

May Hooks, ’45

Sarah Taylor Jones, ’61

Donna Dearman Gregory, ’84

Martha Britt Jones, ’46

Janet Roquemore Lilley, ’61

Susan Sheffey Gatliff, ’86

Nell Ray Key, ’46

Emma Jean Harden Parks, ’61

Timothy Merchant, ’87

Hazel Langford Milby, ’46

Mattie Hinson Nicholson, ’62

Richard Foster, ’88

Elizabeth Stokes Dunaway, ’47

Shirley Holt Watts, ’62

Sylvia Bond, ’90

Jean Delong Fields, ’47

Betty Hufstetler, ’64

Michael Hobbs, ’90

Kathryn Rice Brabson, ’48

Martha Causey, ’65

Lowell Belk, ’91

Carolyn Anderson Langford, ’48

Sheila Waters Edwards, ’65

Tabatha Adams Hogges, ’92

Gloria Doughtie Lewis, ’48

Emmie Hays Lewis, ’65

Laurel Shiflett Cavner, ’95

Myra Jones Morris, ’49

Emelyn Brand Mitcham, ’66

Lasonya Evans, ’96

Juanita Nesmith Story, ’49

Ann Little Tennille, ’66*

James Britt, ’97

Aloe Earnest Greeson, ’50

Helen Strange Gregory, ’67

Jimmie Smith, ’97

Dorothy Culpepper Goodson, ’51

Carol Collins Ramsey, ’67

Marjorie Harden Harris, ’98

Dorothy Pinkston, ’51

Iris Watson Speck, ’67

Teresa Childs Ridgeway, ’99

Jacquelyn Christian Pennington, ’52

Jacquelyn Chapman Mann, ’69

William Allen, ’01

Mary Jo Cox Hoover, ’53

Barbara Mullis, ’69

Anders Butler, ’03

Mattie Edwards Whiddon, ’53

Joseph Blackmon, ’71

Darren Horton, ’03

Patricia Thomas, ’54

Linda Watson Cross, ’73

Norris Dow, ’06

Pauline Farr Echols, ’54*

Donald McClure, ’73

Alexander Comportie, ’10

Dorothy Gunn Miller, ’54

Bessie Noblitt Jackson, ’74

Robert Arnaud, ’12

Myra Harris Bagwell, ’55

David Mainor, ’76

Anthony Stuckey, ’13

Charlotte King Youngblood, ’57*

Harry Ward, ’76

Deidra Deberry, ’14

Jane Tarpley Bell, ’58

Patricia Sammons Walker, ’77

Gary Burkett, ’20

*Denotes alumni of Peabody School. This list recognizes deceased alumni that the university has been made aware of as of April 27, 2021.

connection magazine | 35 |

University Communications Campus Box 97 Milledgeville, GA 31061


Alumni Association Mentoring Initiative Launches Fall 2021 The Alumni Association and Office of Leadership Programs aim to foster long-lasting relationships between alumni and students through the Georgia College Mentoring Initiative. The Mentoring Initiative consists of three potential opportunities for alumni and students to connect and share experiences: 1. Speaking Engagements – participating alumni will speak on specific topics to students in a panel setting. 2. Mentoring Circles – groups of students are placed in small groups led by an alumni member. These groups discuss specific topics over the course of a few weeks or months. 3. One-on-one Mentoring – students are paired with alumni for oneon-one mentoring for a designated period of time. What are the benefits of this Initiative? The initiative will foster meaningful relationships between alumni and students. Students need support from alumni who have lived experiences; they can share knowledge of careers and professional expertise, giving students an advantage in future opportunities. By reassociation with students and their academic learning, alumni can enrich their lives with new perspectives. Alumni will have the opportunity to reconnect with our community and continue their Georgia College experience. Leadership growth is lifelong, and mentorship is proven to improve leadership skills in both mentors and mentees. If you are a Georgia College graduate interested in serving as a mentor, please email for more information.