Letter from the President e have had a marvelous Fall Semester at Georgia College & State University and this issue of our Connection magazine highlights many of those events and achievements. From our Education partnership in Tibet to our addition of a new Physics major right here on campus, we continue to expand the impact of Georgia College. We have brought on board a talented new Provost, Sandra Jordan, to oversee the continuing enhancement of our academic quality. And we celebrated significant honors, including winning the Commissioner’s Cup in Athletics, awarded to our students for their athletic prowess at they were also bringing home top honors for academic achievement. As you skim the pages that follow, you will learn about these achievements, and more.
As I visit with friends and alumni around the state and the nation, all of them ask about the troubled economy and its impact on Georgia College. Let me say first that we have experienced very significant budget reductions– amounting to at least 20 percent when temporary help from federal stimulus dollars ends! The good news is that we have found the ways to preserve the integrity and quality of the academic programs and student support services at Georgia College. I admire and applaud the wonderful university community that has pulled together to find ways to help each other during this stressful period by tapping into that “can-do” spirit that has long been the secret of success here. We have engaged in the required belt-tightening. We have eliminated a significant number of positions as they become vacant and limited new hiring to filling only those most essential vacancies. We have restricted travel, equipment purchases and other expenditures. We have restructured and merged units. We have set six furlough days for faculty and staff based on a mandate from the Board of Regents. Even when the economy recovers, it will take us many years to recoup these reductions. That’s why, at a time like this, we are all the more appreciative of the wonderful support that we receive from many of our friends and alumni. Whether that support is in volunteer activities or contributions to the annual fund or a donation for a specific scholarship or program, it is of tremendous value to our ability to continue to enhance the education that we provide to Georgia’s best and brightest students. Our students and their families are struggling as well, as this fall’s 36 percent increase in applications for federal financial aid attests. We are committed both to helping our students find the financial resources needed to continue their education at this time and also to providing them with the educational excellence they expect and deserve. As Georgia’s designated public liberal arts university, we are attracting outstanding students from across the state, an upper echelon that historically may have chosen to leave Georgia to attend a university elsewhere. We are developing their intellectual talents and preparing them better than ever – through active service learning, through vigorous involvement in research and scholarship, through residential learning experiences and volunteer activities -to contribute to the state’s future economic development and well-being. We continue to fulfill our dynamic mission despite fiscal challenges and, with your support, we will continue to pursue our unwavering commitment to educational excellence. Sincerely,
CONNECTION Fall 2009, Vol. XIX, No. 1 Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Published by University Communications A Division of University Advancement
President Dorothy Leland Vice President for External Relations and University Advancement Amy Amason Alumni Director Herbert Agnew, ’04 Editor Zach Kincaid Writers Judy Bailey Anna Bryson Zach Kincaid Al Weston Photography Tim Vacula, ’86 Design Jon Scott, ’83 Cover In David Perkins’ Basement Studio, Nashville, Tenn.
Please send change of address and class notes to: University Advancement Campus Box 113 Milledgeville, GA 31061 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.gcsu.edu Dorothy Leland
table Table of Contents 4
Up Front • • • • • • • • • • •
12 14 15
Introducing Sandra Jordan Physics Returns Peach Belt Winner Biology in Practice Tibetan Children’s Village Governor Charles McDonald Education Reform Conference Experiential Education Joining The Peace Corps Interning on Capitol Hill Working With Joe Gibbs Racing
“Liberal Arts Focus Pays Off” An article about Georgia College led the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Metro section on Sunday, September 20. The reporter cited University System of Georgia Chancellor Errol B. Davis sharing that, if he had collegeage children, he would send them to Georgia College. Why? “They provide the complete package and they excel at what they do,” Davis says. The story includes quotes from several Georgia College students, faculty, President Dorothy Leland and others as it captures the national acclaim, the beauty of campus and the strengths of learning in an environment that stresses liberal arts. To read the complete article, “Liberal Arts Focus Pays Off,” visit www.gcsu.edu/connectionmagazine.
Georgia College Ranks Among Safest Campuses
A New York newspaper ranks Georgia College among the top 25 safest universities in the country, placing it eighth in the list compiled by The Daily Beast.
“While I am obviously very pleased and honored to hear that we are ranked well in overall safety, I am not totally surprised,” says Dave Groseclose, assistant vice president for Public Safety & Administrative Services. “We take a very proactive approach to the safety of our students, faculty, staff and property.” "I hope that the ranking adds to parents' comfort in sending students here, but I hope that they feel good about Georgia College for more reasons than just the safety,” says Bruce Harshbarger, vice president for Student Affairs. “While the smaller size of the campus adds to the safety of the campus community, it also enhances the overall quality of the educational experience. As a college parent myself, I've always encouraged my children to consider smaller universities." To determine the rankings, The Daily Beast Reporter Clark Merrefield collected the two most recent years of raw data from almost 9,000 schools. He further analyzed more than 4,000, using more than 50 different criteria, weighing different crimes against each other and factoring in incidents both on-campus and nearby.
9 Feature David Perkins
Physics Returns Georgia College will again offer a bachelor’s degree in physics. “As Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University, the mission clearly supports a vigorous bachelor of science physics program,” says Dr. Ken McGill, professor and chair of chemistry and physics. “Our entering freshmen have the third highest average SAT scores in the state. Our student population is not deterred by the math and science requirements of a physics major.” In fact, Georgia College is one of only 10 University System of Georgia schools offering the degree. Since the state of Georgia currently ranks among the lowest in the number of per capita physics degrees conferred, offering the degree will only help boost a needed supply of professionals. It’s also projected that Georgia College will become the second largest program in the state for both public and private universities if the program hits its target of graduates per year.
Introducing Dr. Sandra Jordan, Provost Dr. Sandra J. Jordan is the first provost and vice president for academic affairs at Georgia College. She began in July and will serve as the university's chief academic officer responsible for the university's academic life and programs. “I am confident that she will provide creative, thoughtful and collaborative academic leadership,” President Dorothy Leland says. As provost, she is the university second in command. Prior to assuming her position at Georgia College, Dr. Jordan earned a doctorate in art history at the University of Georgia and served in leadership roles at several other universities, including Mississippi University for Women, Murray State University, Eastern New Mexico University, University of Montevallo and Lander University. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for distinguished teaching, is a widely published writer and researcher, and is actively involved in numerous professional and community organizations.
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
Professor of Chemistry and Physics Ken McGill works with Matthew Yonz, a junior, on an acoustic array device which measures the flow of fluid through a pipe. This working model is under patent review because of its potential use in industry as a more accurate (and passive) way to measure the flow by simply listening to the sound in the pipe.
Watch an interview with Melanie Wooten and see more photos of her experience at www.gcsu.edu/connectionmagazine
Winner! The Peach Belt Commissioner's Cup For the first time, Georgia College won the coveted Peach Belt Conference Commissioner’s Cup. "Winning the Commissioner’s Cup is proof that you can have excellence in the classroom as well as on the field,” says President Dorothy Leland. “Georgia College leads the conference not only in athletics, but in the number of students recognized for their academic success.” The strong leadership of the coaching staff and the outstanding performance of the student-athletes contributed to a phenomenal year, with 10 teams making appearances in NCAA tournaments and six teams finishing with winning records. Other notable achievements for the year include: • 30 student-athletes named to Peach Belt Academic all-conference teams • 110 student-athletes made the Peach Belt Honor Roll (earning a 3.0 or better GPA for the school year), the most of any school in the conference • Men's Basketball won the first Peach Belt Team Sportsmanship Award • Coach of the Year honors in both men's basketball and men's tennis
Biology in Practice The famed Galapagos Islands run along the equator. The chain includes 30 islands, small and large and it is here that Charles Darwin saw such a plethora of species that his theories of evolution began to take shape. That was 1831. Since then the Islands have become a national preserve of Ecuador. However, external influences (including pirating) have produced the need for eradicating species and plant life not native to the islands. These include goats, ants, blackberries and black rats. It’s the intensive threat of black rats that caused Professor of Biology Dr. Ken Saladin to lend his time, expertise and dollars to help make a change. “Black rats are such a dire threat to this ecosystem,” says Dr. Saladin, “and I decided to help fund the work partly because the project was very well defined, with a realistic timetable, wellitemized objectives, costs, and measurable outcomes, and partly because it was something I could afford to do.” He dedicates the royalties of two college textbooks he co-authored to the project, and now, three years out and many peanut butter baited traps later, the rat population on North Seymour, a major island, and nearby Mosquera, is eradicated. “Field workers will continue monitoring every six months for three years, but so far it appears that the black rat is totally exterminated from North Seymour and nearby Mosquera Islands,” Dr. Saladin says. “Furthermore, careful studies have found no evidence that any native, nonpest species has been harmed. These are wonderful results, a very significant success story in global conservation work.” Thanks to Saladin’s funding and the success of the rat eradication on North Seymour, the Ecuadorian government will provide a multimillion-dollar budget needed for rat extermination on the larger islands in the chain. But Saladin has done more than just fund the rat eradication. Since 2002, he has led Georgia College students in a Maymester study abroad trip to the Galapagos Islands. "It's the culmination of a biology class I teach about the Islands in the spring," he says, "and actually going to Ecuador allows the students to have a deeper understanding." Biology major Melanie Wooten went in 2009. "I was able to go to a place that many biologists just dream of seeing the Galapagos Islands," she says. "I was able to hike across hardened lava flows, snorkel with sea lion pups and penguins, walk through the nesting areas of frigatebirds and boobies, and see firsthand the tortoises that give the islands their name. It was amazing to think that Charles Darwin had set foot on those same islands and experienced the same wildife I had in those few short weeks abroad. It is truly an amazing place, and I feel so blessed that I was able to see one of the last pristine ecosystems on Earth." Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
TCV teachers and administrators and the trainers from Georgia College and Newman University, (a partnering institution)
Georgia College partners with Tibetan Children’s Village A team led by Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Program Evaluation and Development Charles Martin returned to Dharmasala, India, in October to continue a partnership that started last March with the Tibetan Children’s Villages. “We were hooked from the beginning,” says Dr. Martin. “The children are so smart. They absorb everything and want to ask you questions about everything. The kids really care for each other too, and their teachers and school administrators are incredibly dedicated. From the beginning we knew collaborating with them would result in something that could make a difference.” The team returning to the children’s village will train a selective group of the teachers to become trainers themselves. The team also plans to meet with leaders of the new
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
BY ANNA BRYSON
Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education to discuss how Georgia College might collaborate with their teacher education program and create exchange programs or international service learning opportunities for Georgia College students. When the project began the team identified three primary objectives: to redesign village teachers’ evaluation system, to develop democratic leadership skills and to implement a training program for middle grades’ math and science instructors. “We have grown and learned so much, and we want to give others at Georgia College the same experience,” says Dr. Martin. “These kids value their education. They don’t want to waste it, and they don’t want to lose it. Working with them has helped us remember what really is valuable - how much we have versus how much we need
and realizing how much we can give.” Last June the team leaders signed a joint resolution committing both the Tibetan Children’s Villages and Georgia College to a multi-year partnership to improve educational opportunities in the village schools. “The deal was sealed when we had an audience with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, and he stressed the importance of TCV Schools in preparing Tibetans to be leaders in math, science, politics and the arts,” Dr. Martin says. TCV was established following the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950. The Dalai Lama commissioned a place to educate children. Since opening its doors in 1960, the schools have served more than 70,000 refugee children.
At the recent 37th Annual International Conference of the Association for Experiential Education in Quebec, Canada, several Georgia College outdoor education alumni and faculty shared a table at the closing dinner.
Gov. McDonald’s Portrait The unveiling of former Georgia Gov. Charles McDonald’s portrait at the Old Governor’s Mansion revealed his family connection to Georgia College and completes the mansion’s collection of paintings of the eight governors who lived in the mansion. Lauren Callaway, a native to Atlanta and freshman attending Georgia College, is the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Gov. McDonald. She is a biology pre-med major and plans to become a dermatologist.
Front Row L-R: Beth Sayers,'08, a faculty member at Greenfield Community College in Mass.; Dr. T. Grant Lewis, '05, assistant professor of recreation at Springfield College in Mass.; Scott Robertshaw, '04, associate director of student recreation at Colorado State University in Pueblo. (Robertshaw also received a Servant Leader Award at the conference.) Back Row: L-R: Daryl Essensa Georgia College faculty 07-08 and currently in a doctoral program at School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; Lindsay Sturdivant Lewis, '05, currently in a masters program at Springfield College in Mass.; Dr. Jude Hirsch, chair of kinesiology at Georgia College; Liz Speelman,'07, a lecturer in kinesiology at Georgia College, Dr. Lee Gillis, chair of psychological science at Georgia College; Daniel Diddlemeyer, '08.
The 2009 Education Reform Conference “This portrait is very important to the history of the state of Georgia,” said Georgia College President Dorothy Leland. “We are very proud to have the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Gov. McDonald. It means a lot to us.” “I am very pleased and full of gratitude to the descendants of Gov. McDonald for donating the portrait,” said Mansion Director Jim Turner. “The addition of this image will greatly enhance our interpretive abilities. Gov. McDonald was the first governor to occupy the new executive mansion after its completion in 1839, making this acquisition particularly invaluable.”
Great, Great, Great Grandson James McDonald with President Dorothy Leland
Great, Great Grandson Hubert McDonald, Jr.
Key education leaders, business leaders and, policy makers from across the state gathered at Georgia College on October 2, for the 2009 Education Reform Conference. “The two most important questions facing Georgia's education system right now are how to improve achievement in high school and whether to pursue school choice,” said Dr. Scafidi, director of the Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College. The conference included some of the best experts in and around Georgia: George Israel, President of Georgia Chamber Ben Scafidi, Director of the Economics of Education Policy Center Kati Haycock, founder and president of Education Trust George Leef, Director of Research at the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy Matthew Ladner, Vice President of Research for the Goldwater Institute Gerald Robinson, President of Black Alliance for Education Options Kenneth W. Russell, former state president of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) and Social Studies teacher John Winn, former Commissioner of Florida Department of Education and 35year educator The conference was sponsored by The Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College, The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, The Georgia Public Policy Foundation and The Center for an Educated Georgia (CEG) at Georgia Family Council. Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
Watch interviews with Valerie Wayson and Rachel Stephens at www.gcsu.edu/connectionmagazine
Mexico, Madagascar, Milledgeville Valerie Wayson, a Master of Fine Arts student at Georgia College from Austin, Texas, was motivated to join the Peace Corps after participating in a summer mission trip to Matamoros, Mexico, a border town opposite Brownsville, Texas, when she was a teenager. Though Valerie wasn’t particularly religious, she “jumped at the chance to avoid another week of daytime TV.” The long working working and intense heat made her weeks in Mexico difficult. Trash was everywhere, and entire families lived in makeshift shanties. Mission workers had to shower from well-water in buckets. “I counted the days off until I could return to my TV, AC and indoor plumbing,” Wayson says.
“From the beginning, everyone has been incredibly welcoming here,” Valerie Wayson says. “I think I made the right decision.”
As a Peace Corps volunteer she spent two years teaching high school English in a Madagascar classroom (where she also slept). “Because I was an English teacher,” Wayson explains, “I
lived in a village big enough to have a high school and electricity, although it went out frequently, and I got my water each day from a pump.” Madagascar is beautiful but very remote. The island country is impoverished and one of the only places in the world without a McDonald’s, says Wayson. Because the water is dirty, the local people suffer from diseases like syphilis, polio and malaria. And, “You have to be the equivalent of a millionaire in their culture to afford a vacation off the island,” she says. Her love of reading and language attracted her to pursue an MFA at Georgia College, the only university that offers a fellowship in Creative Writing for Peace Corps volunteers. She hopes to use her degree in the publishing industry, but not before more international adventures, including teaching English in Japan.
Interning on Capitol Hill Rachel Stephens, a freshman political science major at Georgia College, participated in the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus program, one of the most respected and competitive internships on Capitol Hill in in Washington, D.C. Since the caucus placed Stephens in her own congressman’s office, she had dual responsibilities. She assisted the congressional office by giving Capitol tours, reading letters from constituents and attending biweekly forums. Interns also kept journals about their experiences and participated in mock Congress sessions, dubbed “Congress In Action.” In fact, Stephens actually served as chair of a committee. Among the hearings she attended were those on the importance of the 2010 census and the Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination. Having taken “Politics and Society,” Stephens explains, “It was really amazing to see a lot of the concepts I learned about Washington come to life.”
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
Gabby Acuna is another example of the strong internship program at Georgia College. As a marketing major, she found the perfect fit, working during the summer at NASCAR’s Joe Gibbs Racing Team. The company includes three drivers: Kyle Busch - #18 (M&M’S), Joey Logano - #20 (The Home Depot), and Denny Hamlin #11 (FedEx). Suffice it to say, Gabby became saturated with the world of marketing and promotion. “I will never look at a t-shirt as just a t-shirt again!” she says. “Working with Fortune 500 companies and licensees such as The Bradford Exchange, EA Sports, PEZ, and Herff Jones, has been a great experience. I know this opportunity has opened many doors for me.”
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Grit and Grace of The
BY ZACH KINCAID
“It whooped me upside the head,” says David Perkins about his first days in Milledgeville. From the gritty Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia, he came to Georgia on a whim after hearing from a friend that a “school was trying to field a soccer team.” It was 1968. “Milledgeville, to me, was a magical place when I was there,” he says. “It was so completely different from what I was used to growing up. We didn’t have anything like Milledgeville, Georgia. I still love it, and I think it still has a grip on me. And, I want to say that the education stood me well. I guess it did because here I am at Vanderbilt.” David is currently a post-graduate student at Vanderbilt Divinity School where he’s working on a dissertation about worship and theology in the Christian church. But that’s skipping ahead. Growing up as the son of musicians, David often shared the stage with his parents and sister as they sang and played music at various churches. At Georgia College, music began to be more of a vehicle to share social and political concerns - “the mark of the time.” True to that mark, David formed a band which he called Uncle Pleasant, after the oracle-like character in Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending, a conjuring man that is “something wild in the country,” as the play describes. The band name gives note to a certain restlessness that would define David’s career. “My music was eventually a wedge into the trajectory of being a lawyer and to go into politics,” he says. While he was playing gigs around central Georgia and dining at Mama Louise’s famed H&H Restaurant in Macon, he took charge of bringing the Vietnam protest to campus. “We had a rally against the war on the front lawn,” he says, “and that was a momentous afternoon and evening for me. All the cadets from Georgia Military College showed up and [he laughs] let me know, in no uncertain terms that I better not be caught off campus.” His thoughtfulness to education, music and social causes took David from Milledgeville to Macon (during the Allman Brothers heyday) and Athens and Atlanta, before moving to Woodstock, NY, and finally to Nashville, Tenn. By then he was a professional guitarist heading into a career that would be 30 years in the making, criss-
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
cover Cover Story
Watch an interview with David Perkins and hear his music at www.gcsu.edu/connectionmagazine
crossing nearly every musical genre. He played bluegrass with fiddle-great Vassar Clements, Texas renegade country with Jerry Jeff Walker, pop with Carole King, alternative rock with Chagall Guevara, Americana with Guy Clark, soul-country with Ray Charles, blues and jazz with violinist Papa John Creach and the list goes on. Along the way, David “married a girl from Nashville,” as he says. Their family grew (they have five children), and as a result, he began to limit his touring schedule. He concentrated, instead, on studio work and producing albums. In 1996, he took a break from music. He told his wife that if he could get into Vanderbilt Divinity School, he’d attend for one semester and read philosophy and theology, something he always enjoyed doing. “I fell in love with it, and it was another kind of creative work for me,” he says. David ended up completing a master’s in theological studies and rolled that into a master’s of divinity degree. “I realized there were some things behind my desire to study; things that were more important life issues that I hadn’t explored before.” So, he plowed ahead into the intensive world of pursuing a “Ph.D.” while garnering a fellowship at Vanderbilt’s Center for the Study of Religion and Culture. But his music didn’t die.
At Vanderbilt Divinity School
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
In 2009, his O’Connoresque album, titled Pistol City Holiness, was released to critical applause. It is a farewell album of sorts. “It was conceived when I thought maybe I would study for longer than one semester, as I intended,” David recalls. “I wanted to do one more album, and, I wanted to go out playing the music that first impacted me - southern blues - and do it with the people I had played with the longest.” He and his friends started laying tracks down and came up with nearly two-thirds of the material. And
then it sat on a shelf for several years. In May 2007, David was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. “It was, of course, a shock,” he says, “and really kind of turned everything upside down. There was the thought that the time might be short. My mind, my heart, my body everything - went back to music. That’s all I could think about. I love my work in academics and it’s exciting to me, but I had this very surprising and overwhelming desire to think about music making.” The next five months entailed daily chemotherapy and he nearly always had a guitar in his hands. “The chemo damages the nerves in your hands and feet,” he says, “so I was trying to keep playing to stave off this neuropathy. I kept playing and playing, sometimes five or six hours a day, and before too long I was playing better than I ever played in my life.” It was this “morbid” time that David set out to make sure his affairs were squared away. He spent time getting his musical assets together and uncovered some wellaged songs. “Sometimes I’d crank up old demos,” he says, “and my wife, every once in a while, would stick her head through the door and say, ‘That’s an incredible song; you need to do something with that.’ And, I think, in her wifely wisdom, she knew how to get me to live forward - to live into the future - as opposed to being on a short schedule.” Pistol City Holiness comes out of that difficult time. The album includes both retrieved archived sessions as well as a set of new songs written during his lingering cancer - a set “to round out” this collection of music. From start to finish, “this album has so much grace attached to it,” David says.
And grace defines David Perkins. His career includes playing music with many great artists of our time, but his humility seems to spill out and form genuine community well beyond the stage. Perhaps it’s an echo back to Milledgeville and the start of both his academic and music career. Now, on
the cusp of completing his dissertation and with conference papers presented at prestigious schools from Princeton to Emory to Harvard, one can expect that the same integrity and spirit will keep intact as he steps into the lecture hall. ■
Discovering O’Connor David discovered later that Milledgeville was home to Flannery O’Connor, an author who has had a profound influence on his faith and art. “What is so special to me about Flannery O’Connor? As an artist who grapples with the question of how to make art that deals with religion, but which is also relevant to the larger cultural conversation, Flannery has been significant to me. She was brave, and took heat from the literary community not only for her religious content, but what was behind it—personal religion. I know a little of what she felt. In the popular arts, there was a time—and, it’s still somewhat the case—when featuring religion in a confessional or devotional way was a liability. It was not simply unfashionable; there was something deeper at play. This was in the 1980s, when the culture wars raged, and there was a backlash to televangelism and evangelical Christianity in mass media. Religion is sometimes unwelcome in the popular arts, which is symptomatic of a more general cultural malaise about religion—rooted, I think, in the difficulty of squaring particular theological ideas and the biblical narrative with the unfolding story of science. The result is that, often, artists who feature religion in a confessional or devotional way are bracketed off—or, they bracket themselves off as with the Contemporary Christian Music business. They are considered by the other side to be marginal voices whose worldviews are on a
different trajectory than mainstream culture. So, many artists with strong religious sensibilities ask themselves, ‘Must I deny or limit my spiritual sensibilities when doing my art? Are art and religion two distinct and separate enterprises? Or, can I include my religious thinking and experience in a way that allows anyone to enter into conversation with the work?’ In my attempts to answer those questions and find a good model for featuring religion in art, I find Flannery’s work inspiring. In stories like “Revelation,” religion can be seen as imminent and transcendent, both clean and dirty. In her novel Wise Blood, there is a purposeful confusion of religion, sex and violence. What does that do to religion? It grounds it. It makes it of the earth. It’s no longer only abstract and just ideas, but a natural aspect of human behavior, be it ugly or beautiful. The reality is that there are ways of incorporating religion in the arts, which, deservedly or not, find resistance and don’t work well in the larger cultural conversation. But Flannery’s way of treating religion is appealing. It is finding new favor with an emerging generation of writers, filmmakers and song writers. In her stories, high and sometimes abstract theological concepts come wrapped up with all the grime, with the nastiness of human existence. I, for one, find that kind of commentary on religion more tenable and more interesting.” – David Perkins
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
notes Class Notes
1940s Grayce Kenemer Barck, ’47, completed her tenth year as a commissioner on the Florida Inland Navigation District.
1970s Dr. Steve W. Batson ’74, ’78, was recently promoted to senior vice president of Cargill Associates, Inc., a national philanthropy consulting firm. Randy Smith, ’76, is a senior management consultant in operations for Chick-fil-A, Inc. He serves as a deacon and chairman of the Global Missions Team at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. Randy also leads a team from Winshape International (Chick-fil-A) and is a volunteer trainer with Providence Learning Center and Development Corporation’s “Changed Lives” Job Training Program. In addition, he’s a board member and chairman emeritus of Global Resource Services. Shannon New-Diaz, '79, and Diego Diaz, '78, were married on May 24, 2008, in Miami, Fla.
Plan Now to attend Alumni Weekend, February 19-20, 2010, with reunions for the classes of 1950, 1960, and 1970 scheduled.
Anita Johnson Lord, ’96, is now regional payment recovery unit manager at GEICO. She began her career with GEICO in 1993. Windy Caviness, ’97, ’02, was engaged to Christopher Reeves of Duluth, Ga., on June 6, in Hilton Head, SC. The couple is planning to marry in Atlanta, Ga., on June 19, 2010. Jeff Houston ’97, was named News Director at WTVA-TV in Tupelo, Miss. in March. He previously worked as an Executive Producer at WAVY-TV in Norfolk, Va. Amy Gallagher Ludwig, ’98, and her husband, Nathaniel, welcomed the arrival of their daughter, Sophia Leonor Gallagher, on May 1, 2009. Helen W. Washington Hunt, ’99, recently had a book of poetry published titled Encouraging Words. Cynthia B. Worthen, ’99, was recently appointed vice president of academic affairs for Argosy University in Washington, D.C.
1980s Sheila Cash Clopton, ’82, ’88, retired from the Department of Defense Schools at Robins Air Force Base after teaching elementary music there for 26 years. She is now teaching general music for the Houston County School System at Perry Primary School. Her husband, Terry Clopton, ’88, recently retired from teaching with the Houston County School System. He teaches private piano lessons and is organist at Shirley Hills Baptist Church in Warner Robins, Ga.
2000s Jan Melnick, ’00, is the principal of Northside Middle School for the 2009-10 school year. It’s his 14th year with the Houston County School System. Jan is married to Laura Anne Melnick. They have two children, Marissa and Matthew. Andrew “Drew” Jahr, ’02, ’03, is the new Assistant Director of Operations with Housing at Texas Tech. Drew also participated in the National Housing Training Institute at the University of Maryland.
1990s J. Noland White, ’90, received the Joe and Ann Marie Horvat Distinguished Service Award at the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) in Indianapolis, Ind. on Sept 6, 2009. He is an associate professor of psychology in the Department of Psychological Science at Georgia College. Casey Rupp, ’91, is entering his last year of the graduate program for counseling at Argosy University in Tampa, Fla.
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
Jarrett Reagan, ’03, is Lead Program Manager at Robins AFB. He is a volunteer firefighter in Peach County and he and his wife, Ellen Osborne Reagan, have three children: Nate (11), Nick (8) and Lydia Grace (3). They live in Fort Valley, Ga. Andrea Williams, ’03, recently graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Strayer University. John C. Williams, ’04, graduated with a Master of Science in Management with a concentration in human resources from Troy University in May 2008.
Amanda O'Donnell MacFarlane, ’05, is now executive producer and lead anchor at the American News Network. Amanda married her high school sweetheart, Patrick MacFarlane, on September 12, 2009. They live in Atlanta. Lindsey R. Rowland, ’05, ’07, and Clinton L. Chambers were married on October 24, 2008, in Auburn, Ga. Tara Springfield White, ’05, was married May 1, 2009, in Kitty Hawk, NC. Lindsey Earle, ’06, and fellow classmate Blake Shiver, ’06, recently were engaged. They plan to be married in October 2010. Both Lindsey and Blake live in Raleigh, NC. Brandie Tatum, ’07, and Harold Mock, ’06, were married May 30, 2009, at St. Brigid Catholic Church in Roswell, Ga. They live in Charlottesville, Va. Amanda Havens, ’07, recently graduated from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (AmeriCorps NCCC) Pacific Region, where she served 10 months. During her term of service, she worked with residents in Texas and the Gulf Coast region devastated by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. Stephanie Lentchner, ’07, teaches middle school math and coaches basketball at a private school for students with learning disabilities and anxiety disorders. Rebecca L. Sheppard, ’07, and Gregory M. Chapman, ’07, ’08, were married on June 6, 2009, at the First Baptist Church in Sandersville, Ga. They live in Atlanta, where Gregory is a Certified Public Accountant for Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC. Nate J. Platto, ’07, serves as an International Mission Board missionary with the Southern Baptist Convention. He is based in Morogoro, Tanzania. He is married to Lindsey Platto and is a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Erin Marshall McDowell, ’08, and Patrick Ryan McDowell, ’09, were married on May 2, 2009, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Co-ops Take Flight 2009 graduates Cody Hammock, Amanda Watson and Eric Biglands are examples of how Georgia College effectively place students with employers. Working through the cooperative program at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Ga., they worked for a semester at the base before each receiving an offer for full-time employment. Cody serves in human resources and is set to manage the very coop program that landed him his job. He credits the College of Business Career Center for working closely with him to know his strengths and place him successfully at the Robins base. Amanda works on the F-15 Avionics team, managing the service of US based planes. “Avionics,” she explains, “is anything not structural. So, it includes things like radar and mapping systems.” Eric is on a similar team as Amanda, but concentrates on F-15 foreign military sales, especially to Saudi Arabia. “So, when we sell Saudi Arabia planes,” he says, “they still come back here for service or repairs.” In fact, Quintel Brinson, currently an MPA student attending the Georgia College center in Macon and working in human resources on base, explains that there are three bases that work on aircraft, and, depending on the needs, they are sent to Robins, Tinker in Oklahoma or Hill in Utah. Though their job functions are diverse, Cody, Amanda, Eric, and Quintel agree that Georgia College prepares students to meet and exceed expectations as well as providing opportunities to move from campus life and launch into a career path.
L to R: Amanda Watson, Eric Biglands, Quintel Brinson, and Cody Hammock
Alumni Weekend 2010 February 19 – 20, 2010 Make plans now to come back and reconnect with fellow classmates and your alma mater during the 2010 Alumni Weekend. Events being planned include: Peabody Luncheon Student Government Association Reunion Welcome Reception Campus Open House Old Governor’s Mansion Tours Honor Roll Luncheon Mass Comm. Alumni Network Homecoming Reunion
Homecoming Parade Homecoming Basketball Games College Events Class Reunions • 60th Reunion – Class of 1950 • 50th Reunion – Class of 1960 Special Events have been planned • 40th Reunion – Class of 1970 Special Events have been planned
Register at www.gcsu.edu/alumni/events Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
memoriam In Memoriam 1920s Elizabeth B. Eberhardt, ’26, 8/17 Lois C. Fisher, ’27, 7/17
1930s Mae G. Duke, ’31, 6/26 Sarah G. Clary, ’32, 6/24 Lina K. Hammond, ’32, 5/22 Lucy H. Wayne, ’32, 9/23 McArva A. Hunter, ’35, 5/21 Mary G. O'Malley, ’36, 4/9 Palacia S. Seaman, ’36, 7/24 Hilda W. Henderson, ’37, 4/29 Ada C. Clements, ’38, 5/23 Anne T. Gelders, ’38, 5/10 Robbie W. Mashburn, ’38, 6/24 Ruth C. McKibben, ’38, 7/11 Marguerite R. Williams, ’38, 8/8 Oreta B. Haines, ’39, 5/30 Beatrice W. Pfeiffer, ’39, 7/15 Anza H. Robinson, ’39, 4/14
1940s Hazel J. Boyles, ’40, 9/27 Martha D. Melton, ’40, 5/28 Ollirette Pierce, ’40, 4/20
Florida H. Cobb, ’41, 8/13 Ruby W. Colhard, ’41, 4/25 Evelyn L. Heller, ’41, 8/31 Allene C. King, ’41, 4/24 Jimmie Sue P. Baughman, ’42, 9/6 Eunice O. Rooks, ’42, 5/4 Lucy J. Jones, ’44, 6/7 Fanny B. McClure, ’44, 8/9 Gladys D. Roddenberry, ’45, 4/13 Nona Q. Bunce, ’46, 8/20 Berma S. Ramfjord, ’46, 9/21 Zell Barnes Grant, ‘46, 10/13 Peggy G. Sammons, ’46, 5/30 Betty L. Brinson, ’47, 9/3 Lynnis H. Gaskins, ’48, 8/12 Celia S. Looper, ’48, 7/15
Carolyn G. Kilby, ’55, 9/4 Martha B. VanHuss, ’56, 5 Alice S. Wolf, ’57, 6/15 Patricia B. Yeager, ’58, 4/3
Kathryn H. Cusack, ’50, 8/14 Roberta M. Hatcher, ’50, 6/8 Olga E. Fallen, ’53, 5/8 Margaret A. Jones, ’53, 7/3 Betty M. Shuman, ’53, 8/25 Nonie F. Cox, ’54, 5/18 Betty W. Maddox, ’54, 8/26 Florence T. Spalding, ’54, 7/13
Teresa K. Reeves, ’86, 8/1
Hon. Donald S. Walker, ’92, died September 28. Following a successful commercial and real estate career, Walker entered Warner Robins city politics as a "late arrival" in 1992 in an unsuccessful bid for the office of mayor. He was elected mayor two years later, in 1994, and served until his passing. He was a life-long member of Warner Robins First Baptist Church. Walker lived most of his life in Warner Robins, venturing from home only while he attended Georgia College in Milledgeville and while he served on active duty with the United States Army at Fort Knox, Ky. and Fort Dix, NJ. He attended Houston County public schools and graduated from Northside High School in Warner Robins as a self-proclaimed "Proud Eagle" in 1967. Mr. Walker was an active and supporting member of dozens of church, civic and fraternal organizations in the city, state and at the national level. His parents, Homer J. Walker Jr. and Marian Walker, preceded him in death. His memory will forever be treasured by his loving wife of 39 years, Patricia Sammons Walker, daughter D. Stephanie Walker, and grandchildren Joshua and Amanda Rainey. Elizabeth Rhodes, former Home Economics chair at Georgia College, died July 23 at the age of 62. She was the Director of the Fashion School at Kennesaw State University for the last 15 years, retiring just one month ago. She was a graduate of Appalachian State College and attended Berea College. She enjoyed sewing,
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
1960s Sarah B. Gaines, ’63, 4/28 Mary K. Davis, ’67, 6/5 Edward N. Weaver, ’69, 9/6
1970s Raleigh M. Shell, ’75, 8/9 Norman L. Bellury, ’76, 8/19 Henry A. Toole, ’77, 4/28 Chesley G. Williams, ’78, 5/2 David L. Dillard, ’79, 7/16 Loette V. Glisson, ’79, 5/6
1990s Marcus H. McClary, ’91, 8/28
2000s Thomas L. McNiel, ’01, 7/1 Gwendolyn M. Scott, ’06, 6/3
embroidery and traveling and was a member of the Toy Stitchers, an antique toy sewing machine group. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Rhodes; son Kerry (Holly) Rhodes; daughter Taylor (Brandon) Steinmetz of Tiffin; grandchildren Hunter Steinmetz; Kennedy Rhodes and Lauren Steinmetz. Peggy George Sammons ’46, died on May 30 at the Kennestone Medical Center in Marietta, Ga., after a brief illness. She was a native of Emanuel County and was preceded in death by her parents, H. I. and Marion Holley George, and her husband, Thomas W. Sammons. A retired educator, she received her Bachelor’s of Administration degree from Georgia College and master’s degree from Georgia Southern University. She taught English and Speech at Swainsboro High School for 10 years before becoming a counselor. When East Georgia College was founded, she became the first Registrar and Director of Admissions. Upon her retirement, she was honored by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia by being named "Registrar and Director of Admissions Emerita." She was a charter member and president of the Swainsboro Junior Woman's Club. She was a member of the McConnell Baptist Church in Hiawassee, a Sunday School Teacher, WMU Circle Leader, and choir member. She also served on the executive committee of the Alumni Association of Georgia College. She is survived by her son and daughter-In-law, Wayne and Tammy Sammons, and grandchildren Shea S. Brown and Matt Sammons.
Got a Match? To make a donation,
Do you work for a company that matches their employee’s or
please call Mandy Peacock at (478) 445-6930 or online at gcsu.edu/foundation.
retiree’s donations? You may be able to double or triple the impact of your gift. Here is a partial list of matching gift companies. To check and see if your employer will match your gift, go to www.matchinggifts.com/gcsu.
A & E TV Networks Adobe Systems ADP Aetna, Inc. Alliance Banks Allstate Insurance American Eagle Outfitters American Electric Power American Express American Fidelity Ameriprise Financial Anchor Brewing Anheuser-Busch Assurant AutoZone Avon Products Bank of America BASF Corp. Ben and Jerry’s Best Buy Company Black and Decker Corp Blue Bell Blue Cross Blue Shield Boeing Company Bristol-Myers Squibb Campbell Soup Capital One Service CarMax Caterpillar, Inc. Chevron Corporation Chiquita Brands International Coach, Inc. Coca-Cola ConacoPhillips Cooper Tires Dannon Company Dell Corporation
Delta Airlines DIRECTV Group Dole Food Company Dow Chemical Company Dow Jones & Company Dr. Pepper Snapple Group eBay Expedia, Inc. Exxon Mobil Ford Foundation Fuji Foto Film General Electric GEICO Corporation General Mills Georgia Power GMAC Google, Inc. H & R Block Harley-Davison Motor Company Harrah’s Entertainment Hasbro Hershey Company Hess Corporation Home Depot Honda of America Houghton-Mifflin Company Humana, Inc. Hunter Douglas IBM Intel Corporation JP Morgan Chase Jackson Hewitt John Hancock Financial Johnson and Johnson Kawasaki Motors Corp Kellogg Company Kraft Foods
LabCorp Land O’Lakes Lennox International Levi Strauss and Co. Liz Claiborne Lockheed Martin Logitech L’Oreal Macy’s Marathon Oil Company MasterCard Mazda North America McAfee Inc. McDonald’s Corporation McGraw-Hill Mercedes-Benz U.S. Merck and Co. Merrill Lynch MetLife Motorola New York Life Insurance Nike Nintendo Nissan North America Nokia New York Stock Exchange Office Depot Olympus America Pacific Life Patagonia Pepsi Pfizer Philips Electronics Piggly Wiggly Procter and Gamble Publix RadioShack
Reebok Rolex SanDisk Corp. Shell Oil Company Sherwin-Williams Sony Sprint Nextel Starbucks State Farm SunTrust Bank Swarovski North America SYSCO Tiffany and Company Time Warner Toyota Motor Sales USA Toys R Us Travelers Union Pacific Universal Music Group USAA Volkswagen of America Wachovia Wal-Mart Walt Disney Company Wells Fargo Winn-Dixie Xerox Corp Yahoo!
Georgia College Connection • Fall 2009
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