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HIGHLANDER The official magazine of Georgia Highlands College

Fall/Winter 2019

CHARGERS TAKING CHARGE IN THIS ISSUE New GHC Alumni Series Nursing program ranked second in the nation Grandfather, grandson receive diplomas at the same time New recreation administration degree Experience nature at Paris Lake

Table of Contents

...in this issue

The Highlander is published twice a year by the Office of Advancement at Georgia Highlands College 3175 Cedartown Highway Rome, GA 30161 • 706.802.5473 highlands.edu


Message from the President


Campus News

Editor and Designer Sheila Jones


Student Travel


Student Organization Spotlight

Photography Jeff Brown Nick Godfrey


Retiree Spotlight


Faculty Spotlight


Student Spotlight


Chargers Taking Charge


Foundation Spotlight


Charger News


Charger Spotlight

Writers Nick Godfrey Jessica Cantrell

The Advancement Division encompasses the GHC Foundation, development, communications, marketing, digital media, print services, and alumni relations.

ABOUT THE COVER: Victor Harwood stands atop the Morgan Falls

Hydro Project. He is one of Georgia Power’s hydroelectric dam operators who helps oversee the dam on the Chattahoochee River. Victor is a Georgia Highlands College graduate. He is happy to be working for Georgia Power at Morgan Falls, and he’ll be the first to tell you that making his start at GHC helped him get there. Read Victor’s story on page 30.

KEEP UP WITH GEORGIA HIGHLANDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA /GeorgiaHighlandsCollege /GHCAthletics /GHCAlumni /gahighlands

@GaHighlands @GHC_Athletics @ChargerInCharge


Georgia Highlands College is a multi-campus, state college of the University System of Georgia. Founded in 1970 as Floyd Junior College, it now serves more than 6,000 students in Northwest Georgia across five locations in Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas, and Douglasville. GHC currently offers an associate degree in over 30 areas of study, as well as a Bachelor of Science in nursing for registered nurses, a Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in healthcare management and in logistics and supply chain management. Ten areas of study are offered fully online. Beginning fall 2020, GHC will offer a Bachelor of Science in health science.

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Donald J. Green, Ed.D., President

Vice President of Advancement & Executive Director of the GHC Foundation Mary Transue Senior Administrative Assistant to the Vice President Tammy Nicholson Foundation Accountant Liz Jones Senior Director of Marketing & Communications Sheila Jones Director of Digital Media Services Jeff Brown Print Services Manager Ken Davis Communications Manager Nick Godfrey Development Communications Coordinator Jessica Cantrell

Chargers Take Charge!

At Georgia Highlands College, we stress the importance of completion. Are you here to get your core classes before transferring? Complete your associate degree! Are you here to go the distance and earn one of GHC’s careeroriented bachelor’s degrees? Don’t stop until you walk across that graduation stage! At GHC, you are a Charger, and Chargers Take Charge. They control their destiny, they own their future, and they finish what they start! Completing your degree at GHC has many benefits, including saving time and money. How? GHC has been listed as one of the most affordable colleges in the state and nation. Also, completing an associate degree locks in all of the classes you’ve completed if you decide to move on to another college in the University System of Georgia. But why do we stress the importance of completing at GHC so much? Because college degrees change lives. Because careers change lives. Because our alumni stress the importance completing at GHC made in their lives, time and again. For many of our alumni, starting and completing at GHC built the foundation for their success at GHC, at other colleges, and in their career. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Read about some of GHC’s successful alumni starting on page 26. After completing their degree at GHC, these alumni landed their dream career and have a lot of good things to say about how GHC helped them get there!

President Green kicked off fall semester with student success workshops across all GHC locations. Read more about this new initiative on page 5.

WHY SHOULD I GO TO COLLEGE AND GRADUATE? There are several reasons to complete your two-year degree here at GHC. With your associate degree alone, the average expected lifetime earnings increases by a million bucks! Here are a few more reasons to earn your two-year degree as soon as possible:

Make More Money

Save Money

GHC is nearly half the cost of larger colleges and universities.

A two-year degree alone dramatically increases your lifetime earnings.

Hold a Competitive Edge

Get Hired

Some 60% of jobs in Georgia will require a college degree in the near future. Also, two-year grads earn up to 35% more than high school grads.

Employers prefer students with a two-year degree over those with no degree.

Transferring is Easier

Colleges and universities accept more transfer credits on average from a completed two-year degree, making it easier to start as a junior.

Be More Successful

Students who complete a two-year degree first are 72% more successful in completing their four-year degree.

Lock in your Progress

Completing a two-year degree “locks in” your college progress, meaning if you need to take some time off and start again later, your courses won’t depreciate over time.

Have a Degree

Life happens! If you have to put college on hold while pursuing your four-year degree, already having your two-year degree means you are still a college graduate.

Represent your Work

Being able to show yourself, your family, friends, and employers you have the ability to set goals and achieve them is powerful!

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From the President


Campus News

Spring 2019 Commencement Highlights Georgia Highlands College conferred 830 diplomas during the May commencement held at The Forum River Center in downtown Rome. The nursing pinning ceremony was held at West Rome Baptist Church in Rome the evening prior to the commencement.

Mace Bearer - Dr. Kemper

The faculty chose Dr. Kristie Kemper as the 2019 Mace Bearer and Dr. Nancy P. Applegate as the recipient of the Wesley C. Walraven Faculty Award.

Regent Sachin Shailendra

Regent Sachin Shailendra gave the commencement address, and Student Government Association President Danielle Griesemer spoke on behalf of the student body. The Honorary Faculty Marshals were Billy Morris and Frank Minor. Donnie Denson spoke on behalf of GHC alumni. Nursing Pinning Ceremony

Walraven Award Winner - Dr. Applegate

FIRST CLASS – GHC celebrated its first class of students graduating with a Bachelor of Business

Administration degree. GHC’s bachelor’s in healthcare management program saw 16 graduates in May’s commencement walk across the stage. Another eight graduated with a bachelor’s in logistics and supply chain management, as well. Many of these graduates were either hired on full time with the companies they interned with, used their degree towards promotions in their current career, or started a career in their program of study within two months after graduation.

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The University System of Georgia (USG) recently released the USG’s total economic impact on the state of Georgia. Of the more than $17 billion reported by the USG as a whole, Georgia Highlands College’s contribution was nearly $180 million. The USG report is for Fiscal Year 2018 and is conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. GHC’s economic impact was exactly: $177,046,638. This represents an increase of over $8 million from the Fiscal Year 2017 report. The latest version of an annual study on the statewide economic impact of USG’s 26 institutions concluded that, on average, every dollar of initial spend-

ing generates an additional 47 cents for the economy of the region that hosts the institution. “While we remain focused on graduating more students, keeping college affordable, and increasing our efficiency in delivering a quality education, we are proud our colleges and universities help power Georgia’s economy,” said USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “USG and its 26 institutions play an important role in generating jobs and boosting businesses across the state, befitting the investment Georgia’s leaders have made in us.” The annual study is conducted on behalf of the Board of Regents by Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Ph.D., director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

New initiatives for student success With the goal of educating each and every student completely, Georgia Highlands College is introducing two new campaigns to help students succeed in college – and save money while doing it. The first initiative, Student Success Workshops, rolled out during the first weeks of classes for the fall semester. Designed as a two-part series, these innovative workshops included practical study tips, like making lists and disconnecting from electronic devices, along with more holistic suggestions like self-care and self-determination. GHC President Don Green led both workshops, “Preparing to Be Successful,” and “Classroom Strategies,” twice at each of GHC’s five locations. Freshman Kyle Martin, interviewed by the Daily Tribune News, attended both workshops and found them helpful and plans to apply what he learned throughout his college career. “I’ve already started asking more questions when I come to class because normally, I’m very timid, and I don’t like to ask my professors anything,” Martin, a business major, said. The workshops are part of an ongoing effort to help students take ownership of their academic success.

“It’s important at GHC that we continually focus on the whole student, which includes helping our students with financial planning, adopting proven techniques and strategies that promote success, and being prepared on a career pathway toward a degree leading to as little debt as possible after graduating.” Green said. “The more we can help students develop and grow at GHC, the greater the positive impact GHC’s graduates will have in our communities in the future.” With that goal in mind, the college has also created a series of videos designed to help students and families understand complex topics such as how to avoid student loan debt. The video series called “Cut College Costs in 60 Seconds” breaks each subject down into entertaining and easy to understand animations. The videos offer practical steps toward saving money on college, like completing a FAFSA each year or taking a full course load each semester to minimize the amount of fees. The money-saving tips in each video are not GHC specific, so students across the state and nation can apply the practices to maximize their return on their college investment. View all the videos online at cutcosts.highlands. edu or visit highlands.edu to learn more about GHC’s student success initiatives.

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Campus News

GHC’s economic impact approaches $180 million

Campus News GHC nursing program nationally ranked The Georgia Highlands College nursing program has been ranked number two in the nation for paramedics looking to expand their careers by becoming a registered nurse. RegisteredNursing.org, an organization based inCalifornia, awarded GHC’s program the second-place spot in its 2019 Best Paramedic to RN Programs list. RegisteredNursing.org examined several factors in creating its nationwide list. The group examined tuition cost, average program length, and the number of cohorts annually. Pass rates for NCLEX-RN, the national nursing licensing exam, from recent graduates also played a significant role in the rankings. GHC’s RN bridge program for paramedics gives students the opportunity to be awarded credit for prior learning and exempt certain courses. To apply, students must be licensed as a paramedic in the state

of Georgia and have at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice in the last two years or have graduated from a paramedic program within the last two years. GHC’s nursing program overall was also recently highlighted by RNCareers.org because of the program’s high NCLEX-RN pass rates. “It’s always an honor to see our nursing program recognized nationally,” said Dean of Health Sciences Michelle Boyce. “I’m proud of the faculty and staff in the program. Everyone has worked so hard to create such a successful environment for our students.” GHC offers an associate in nursing with pathways for those new to the field and bridge programs for paramedics and LPNs. For current registered nurses looking to expand their careers, GHC also offers an online RN to BSN program.


New Bachelor of Science in health science GHC will begin offering a Bachelor of Science in health science (BSHS) in the fall semester of 2020. This new degree will include a 30-hour focus on health and wellness. Graduates with a BSHS have many career options from which to choose. Potential options include entry-level positions in community health organizations, corporate wellness programs, and various health care facilities. The BSHS may also prepare students for graduate school in one of the many health professions.

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Contributed by the Rome News-Tribune John Popham Those with a Georgia Highlands College associate degree in business administration can now go on to complete a four-year degree through a partnership with The Citadel, a military college based in South Carolina. The business administration pathway is currently one of the biggest programs at GHC, said Alan Nichols, division of social sciences, business, and education dean. Due to the number enrolled in the program, this new partnership has the potential to impact a large number of Highlands students, he said. “GHC is constantly striving to provide opportunities to students to further their education,” Nichols said. “The Citadel is an excellent educational institution that will provide a quality degree program for our students after graduating with their two-year degree at GHC.” The Citadel will accept all credits from GHC’s business associate degree program, provided the student has completed the program and received the degree. The Citadel will then award two years of credit towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. This program is online which can be of great convenience for many students, Nichols said. The Citadel is a fully accredited college, so students will be eligible to receive federal financial aid to assist with the cost of the classes. Students will have the opportunity to take courses online through The Citadel’s Baker College of Business or, if they so choose, attend on campus at The Citadel in civilian classes, he added. “We are excited to support the advancement of business students at our partner community and technical colleges CITADEL – continued on page 9

Coakley named the new Dean of Natural Sciences Georgia Highlands College has appointed Sarah Coakley as the new Dean of Natural Sciences. Coakley will oversee the Division of Natural Sciences, which currently offers associate of science degree pathways in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. Coakley is originally from Lake Zurich, Illinois. She has a bachelor’s in chemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago and a doctorate in chemistry from Tulane University. After completing her doctoral thesis on theoretical physical/quantum chemistry in 2012, Coakley started looking for a position at a small school with teaching as the primary focus for faculty. “During my job search after graduate school, I came across GHC and it seemed to check off everything I was looking for in a teaching position,” she says. Coakley began her career at GHC in 2013 as an assistant professor. In the six years since, she has been promoted to associate professor, interim dean and now dean of natural sciences. As an assistant professor, she was honored as the 2016 Cobb County Chamber of Commerce teacher of the year for GHC. As the dean of natural sciences, Coakley is excited to take on new challenges and create positive outcomes for GHC’s students, faculty, staff, and community. Her goals include adopting free textbooks for more courses through the use of Open Educational Resources, expanding degree offerings, and finding creative scheduling options to reduce degree completion time. Coakley also wants to develop new research opportunities for students using resources like the state-ofthe-art STEAM building at GHC’s Cartersville site. She hopes all these initiatives and more can also encourage and inspire more women to pursue STEM degrees and careers. When she isn’t in the office or teaching a class, Coakley enjoys fantasy football, jigsaw puzzles, and traveling. She lives in Marietta with her husband Josh. “I love that GHC is more than a college. It’s a community,” Coakley says. “I love the culture, diversity, and focus on both student success and access to high-quality, affordable higher education. I truly enjoy the people I work with. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

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Campus News

Four-year degree offered through GHC partnership with The Citadel

Campus News

Recreation administration degree now available Georgia Highlands College students can now pursue a degree in recreation administration at GHC. The new two-year pathway prepares students for future work and management with recreation centers, parks, cruise ships, gyms, and other facilities that provide recreation and leisure services to the general public. The new program was created based on the increased demand for recreation administrators across Northwest Georgia, said Lisa Jellum, department chair of kinesiology and wellness. Three new courses have been added to the department’s schedule, and all kinesiology and wellness

Lisa Jellum, department chair of kinesiology and wellness.

faculty are credentialed in the area. Students will graduate with an associate degree in recreation administration. Potential careers for graduates include athletic coordinator, park ranger, resort manager, activity coordinator, cruise director, and more. “The degree pathway is also great for people currently in positions within recreation management if they are looking to further their careers,” Jellum said. As with all associate degrees at GHC, the new recreation administration degree can be completed in two years for less than $8,000 in tuition and fees.

GHC listed for best online two-year degree in Georgia GHC has been highlighted for having one of the best online associate degree options in Georgia by SR Education Group. The education research publisher recently released their first-ever online rankings categorized by state on their website: GuidetoOnlineSchools. com. Each college highlighted on the Georgia list was ranked based on several important factors, including retention rate, graduation rate, and percentage of online enrollment data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The number of online associate degrees offered was considered in the ranking, as well.

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“Community colleges offer some of the most affordable degrees in the country. With a growing number of these degrees becoming available online, we wanted to let prospective students know about these great, accessible options near them. By providing these resources, we hope to help more people reach their educational and professional goals,” said Sung Rhee, CEO of SR Education Group. GHC offers over 30 areas of study in growing fields such as dental hygiene, nursing, and criminal justice, including eight online associate degree programs and three online bachelor’s degree programs.

GHC started another academic year by welcoming 14 new full-time faculty from varying educational backgrounds. BIOLOGY Mahirah Baker holds a master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology from Michigan State University and joins GHC as an instructor of biology. James Matheson holds a master’s degree in biology from Georgia State University and joins GHC as an instructor of biology. Ericka Walczak holds a master’s degree in biological sciences from Clemson University and joins GHC as an instructor of biology. BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Jay Pickern holds a doctorate of business administration from Wilmington University and joins GHC as an assistant professor of healthcare management. CHEMISTRY Justin Polizzi holds a doctorate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of Georgia and joins GHC as an assistant professor of chemistry. Matthew Summerlin holds a doctorate in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and joins GHC as an instructor of chemistry. COMMUNICATIONS Allison Hattaway holds a master’s degree in communication from Auburn University and joins GHC as an assistant professor of journalism and communications.

DENTAL HYGIENE Christy Smith holds a master’s degree in leadership from Shorter University, a teaching certificate from University of Georgia, and a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene from Medical College of Georgia. She joins GHC as an instructor of dental hygiene. ENGLISH Mark Hamilton holds a doctorate in humanities from Florida State University and joins GHC as a limited term instructor of English. Shannan Rivera holds a master’s degree in professional writing from Kennesaw State University and joins GHC as an instructor of English. MATHEMATICS Jonathon Beers holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Jacksonville State University and joins GHC as an instructor of mathematics. Katherine Booth holds a master’s degree in mathematics from University of Missouri – Columbia and joins GHC as an instructor of mathematics. Sandra Howell holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Auburn University and joins GHC as a limited term instructor of mathematics. PHYSICS Guangyao Chen holds a doctorate in physics from Texas A & M and joins GHC as an assistant professor of physics.

CITADEL – continued from page 7

in six states through these agreements,” said Jeremy Bennett, director of the degree completion program at The Citadel. “Our program is designed to meet the needs of those students while allowing them to stay in their communities.” The Citadel will work with 27 two-year schools throughout the south to make the BSBA degree available to students throughout the region. The agree-

ments cover six southern states, from Alabama to West Virginia. Georgia Highlands College currently offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in healthcare management as well as logistics and supply chain management. GHC also offers four-year degrees in dental hygiene, nursing, and an online criminal justice degree.

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Campus News

Fall semester starts by welcoming 14 new full-time faculty members

Floyd County Schools hosts second annual cardboard boat challenge at GHC Georgia Highlands College and Floyd County Schools brought together hundreds of students in September for an unforgettable project-based STEM learning opportunity at GHC’s Paris Lake in Rome. For the second year in a row, fifth graders from elementary schools across Floyd County took to the lake to measure their STEM skills. Teams of students created boats from cardboard materials and then placed their creations into the water for the ultimate test: will it float? This year, 382 students came together to create 102 cardboard boats. From bow to stern, the only permissible shipbuilding materials were cardboard and duct tape. With boats crafted and crews ready, students set sail from the dock at Paris Lake in their vessels and steered toward land using wrapping paper tubes and bare hands. For some students, it may have been their first time on a lake, but for all students, it was a chance to put what they learned in the classroom into action. “STEM projects and project-based learning gives each student a chance to find their strengths, gifts, and talents. Plus, it allows them to do more hands-on activities where they tend to learn better in a more engaging environment,” said Nathan Medley,

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instructional technology specialist with Floyd County Schools. “My desire is for our students to be able to have multiple learning experiences. Every student is an individual and will learn differently.” The dry land held plenty of appeal and learning opportunities, too. Activities led by GHC’s STEM Center included creating a piano from bananas, a demonstration of a frog dissection, hands-on circuitry lessons, water art, and more. The YMCA of Rome & Floyd County and Rome-Floyd ECO Center also committed time, resources, and volunteers to making the event a success. “The STEM Center did an outstanding job, and the kids loved the activities they provided,” Medley said. “It was a tremendous learning experience all around.” GHC faculty and staff were excited to help bring STEM to life for students for the second annual event. “This event is a great way for GHC to give back to a local school system and to showcase the great resources that GHC has to offer to the community,” GHC Assistant Professor Jason Christian said. After this year’s continued success, a third annual cardboard boat challenge is already in the works for next year.

Paris Lake on GHC’s Floyd campus is a nature lover’s dream complete with fishing and a hiking path full of wildlife – and it’s open to the public for everyone to enjoy! One of the lake’s biggest draws is its abundance of popular sport fish, like bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, catfish, and more. Non-game species are also found in the lake, including shad, carp, an assortment of minnow species, and various others. The lake is regulated under all state fish and game laws, so anglers should be sure to bring their fishing licenses. For those wanting to get onto the lake, visitors are welcome to bring their own boats. However, gaspowered motors are prohibited, so only small trolling motors or paddle vessels are allowed. Swimming in the lake is also strictly prohibited. Meanwhile, there’s plenty to do off the water for guests that prefer dryland. A gravel path loops around the lake at a total distance of 1.85 miles. The trail is ranked “easy” by AllTrails.com and is great for anyone looking to get in some physical activity while taking in beautiful views of nature. Geocachers should be on the lookout for caches throughout the trail, as well. The path takes guests through a living wetland. The diversity of this and other nearby ecosystems means the area is teeming with wildlife. Depending on the season and time of day, visitors can spot deer, beavers, rabbits, an assortment of reptiles and amphibians, and more, along with native and migratory insects like butterflies, dragonflies, and bees. Visitors should also keep their eyes on the sky while walking the trail or fishing in Paris Lake. In the last few years, a pair of nesting bald eagles have made the area their home. They can frequently be seen hunting over the lake or tending to their young

during nesting season. Birders can also observe a host of other birds of prey, songbirds, and migratory birds like waterfowl, seagulls, pelicans, and herrings. “Paris Lake is a fantastic resource and opportunity to bring the family out for a day experiencing nature in an easy-to-access and beautiful setting,” says Assistant Professor of Biology Jason Christian. The 55-acre lake is named for Albert E. Paris and his family, an original owner of the property where Floyd Junior College, now GHC, first began nearly 50 years ago in 1970. The lake is situated behind the academic buildings and library. Visitors can easily access Paris Lake by entering the campus from Booze Mountain Road. The entrance road leads straight to a designated parking area and a sign with lake rules and regulations. A covered pavilion with accessible restrooms is available near the parking area. A gazebo is also available, closer to the academic buildings. Paris Lake is open to the public from dawn to dusk every day.

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Campus News

Experience nature at Paris Lake on GHC’s Floyd campus

Campus News

Campus Police launches new dispatch center GHC’s Campus Police department is streamlining its efforts to respond to safety needs and requests with a centralized dispatch center. The new number for all GHC campus safety needs is (706) 295-6347. “GHC decided to start the dispatch center to give the campus police one universal number as opposed to the five different numbers platform we were previously using,” Chief of Police David Horace said. The dispatch center, contracted through the National Association of Campus Safety Administrators, will centrally dispatch all campus police calls for services to each of GHC’s locations (excluding Marietta).

“The new centralized model will help GHC Campus Police efficiently, effectively, courteously, and promptly receive and record requests for police service while also rapidly dispatching police units and disseminating critical information,” Horace added. Horace encourages all students, faculty, staff, and community members to store the new phone number, (706) 295-6347, in their phones for quick and easy access. Everyone is asked to call the new dispatch center for any and all campus safety requests from any GHC site (excluding Marietta). When calling the new dispatch number, callers are presented with three options. Option 1 is for emergency situations. Option

Chief of Police David Horace

2 will put a caller in touch with a campus safety officer, for nonemergency needs, while option 3 will reach out to Chief Horace directly for non-emergency requests. For campus safety needs on GHC’s Marietta site, students, faculty, and staff should continue to contact Kennesaw State University police. For non-emergency calls at Marietta, call (404) 578-6206 and for emergencies, call (470) 578-6666.

Over 60 GHC students compete in annual Public Speaking Competition The ninth annual GHC Public Speaking Competition brought together over 60 students in the spring semester. In total, 61 students from all of GHC’s locations competed in front of panels of judges at the event held at the Cartersville location. The event invites GHC students to prepare and deliver a persuasive speech to an audience of fellow students, faculty, family, and friends. Many students learn basic public address theory and practice in GHC’s Human Communication courses or Public Speaking courses.

It is an opportunity for students to demonstrate speech preparation, verbal style, physical delivery and to build experience in front of unfamiliar audiences. Final round judges included President Don Green. The judges ultimately selected Sarah Gupta and her speech “Bet They Didn’t Teach This at School” as the competition winner. Finalists Nathaniel Carr, Carson Graham, Lyons Nida, and Abby Welchel covered topics ranging from global warming to beauty standards. COMPETITION– continued on page 15

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Boys between the ages of 10 and 14 attended the 14th annual Foundation Camp at Georgia Highlands College last summer. The two-week camp, which is a partnership between the 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia and Georgia Highlands College, is funded primarily by the GHC Foundation and other donors, giving students the opportunity to attend the camp free of charge, including transportation and a breakfast and lunch. The camp focuses on academics, athletics, and enrichment courses intended to build self-respect and confidence, and allows the young men to experience college. To apply for next year or for more information, contact Jon Hershey at jhershey@highlands.edu.

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Campus News

14th annual summer Foundation Camp for boys held at GHC

Campus News

GHC libraries invite community to take advantage of services If you’re looking for somewhere educational to spend time, add Georgia Highlands College’s four libraries to your list. The GHC libraries in Rome, Cartersville, Douglasville, and Dallas are all open to community and public users throughout the year. Anyone may visit the library to relax, use public computers, make copies, and read books, magazines, and newspapers. Guests can also borrow laptop and phone chargers during their time at the libraries. Books available at the libraries range from current bestsellers like “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens and “Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin to scholarly non-fiction publications. The Floyd campus Library also has a collection of children’s books for young readers. By applying for a free community patron card, guests can check out up to five books at a time and borrow headphones for in-library use. Community patron cards are available at all four GHC libraries with a valid driver’s license or government issued ID and proof of address In addition to internet access, the public computer workstations at each library are equipped with a full version of Microsoft Office. This includes programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher. Community patrons also have access to printers through the computer workstations. A courtesy print card can be purchased through VTS machines at each site. The current cost of printing/copying in black-andwhite is 10 cents a page, while color copying/printing is 25 cents a page. “The GHC libraries serve vital needs in our communities,” says Dean of Libraries and College Testing Julius Fleschner. “I hope all members of the communities we serve will find an ally in accessing quality information, friendly assistance, and a dynamic place full of knowledge.” The GHC libraries are located at: Floyd – 3175 Cedartown Hwy, Rome, GA 30161; Cartersville – 5441 Hwy 20 NE, Cartersville, GA 30121; Douglasville – 5901 Stewart Pkwy, Douglasville, GA 30135; and Paulding – 25 Courthouse Sq, Dallas, GA 30132.

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Genealogy series held at Douglasville library Georgia Highlands College’s Douglasville library and the Douglas County Public Library are teaming up to present a four-part series of public events exploring genealogy, family health history, and genetics. “We know that many people are interested in doing research on their family history but may not know how to begin, so we wanted to give them an introduction,” says Shanna Freeman, reference associate with the Douglas County Public Library. The series kicked off with a book discussion at GHC’s Douglasville library in September. Attendees will discuss “It’s All Relative” by A.J. Jacobs. Free copies of the book were available at both libraries in advance of the discussion. In October, the series continued at the Douglas County Public Library with a tour of the library’s special collection room and a talk from a genealogy expert. The series returned to GHC’s Douglasville Library in November for a movie about genetic genealogy. The final event in the series was an open discussion on genealogy topics, including Jacobs’ book, sharing resources, and more, held in December at the Douglas County Public Library. The series was sponsored by a partnership between the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us research program.

Georgia Highlands College’s Cartersville library partnered with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) to give visitors a sneak peek at “Country Music,” a new documentary series from awardwinning filmmaker Ken Burns before it premiered on television. Attendees had the opportunity to watch an abridged onehour episode from the series at GHC’s Cartersville library. “Country Music” is an eight-part, 16-hour series that follows the evolution of the genre over the course of the 20th century as it eventually emerges to become “America’s music.” “At the heart of every great country music song is a story,” said Ken Burns. “As the songwriter Harlan Howard said, ‘It’s three chords and the truth.’ The common experiences and human emotions speak to each of us about love and loss, about hard times, and the chance of redemption. As an art form, country music is also forever revisiting its history, sharing and updating old classics, and celebrating its

roots, which are, in many ways, foundational to our country itself.” The screening was followed by a brief lecture from Professor Frank Minor, GHC’s most senior faculty member. Minor, a country music expert, also led a Q&A discussion after his talk. GHC’s Cartersville library was excited to host the event. “It was a fantastic opportunity for GHC to partner with GPB and offer an enriching, educational event to visitors,” Campus Librarian Jessica Osborne said. “It was both educational and entertaining.” Burns has captivated American audiences for nearly 30 years with his groundbreaking documentary series on topics ranging from baseball and jazz to the Civil War and the Prohibition era. On this latest project, he’s teamed up with his long-time film collaborators Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey to chronicle the history of another facet of American life: country music.

COMPETITION– continued from page 12

Nathaniel Carr, Trinity Fielder, Carson Graham, Shereca Hampton, and Nicholas O’Brien were awarded the “Values Award,” which recognizes speeches and speakers that best represent GHC’s shared values of inclusiveness and freedom of expression. The event was sponsored by Rome Area Council for the Arts, Follett Management, GHC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, student life, and the honors program. The team behind the competition is already at work on next year’s event, which will mark its tenth anniversary.

SPEAKING COMPETITION WINNER & FINALISTS: (Pictured left to right) Sarah Gupta, Abby Welchel, Carson Graham, Lyons Nida, and Nathaniel Carr

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Campus News

Country music documentary series from Ken Burns screened at Cartersville library

Student Travel

Study abroad programs send local students around the world

Biomuseo in Panama City

Visiting Embera Tribe

Boarding canoe on the Chagres River to visit Embera Tribe

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Last summer, Georgia Highlands College students travelled by canoe deep into the rainforest of Panama to spend the day visiting with and learning about the Embera Tribe. It’s moments such as these that students like Derrick Whitaker know will last a lifetime. “I always wanted to travel and experience new cultures,” GHC psychology major Whitaker said. “I’m also excited to use all the Spanish I picked up while overseas.” Whitaker and a group of fellow students and GHC faculty went on a study abroad trip to Panama. Highlights included a visit to the Embera Tribe, an excursion to the port town of Portobello, and a visit to the famed Panama Canal. During their travels, students learned Spanish and worked toward earning college credit in a variety of health, business, and culture courses. GHC Professor of History Bronson Long, director of global initiatives and study abroad, says that study abroad programs are a great way for students to learn about other countries and people. “It is a unique learning experience that brings students into contact with different places and cultures,” he said. “Students who participate in study abroad trips frequently report that it was the most valuable thing they did as a college student. As we live in an increasingly globalized society, studying abroad is also a good way to prepare for the workplace after college.” In May 2020, GHC faculty will be leading a trip to the United Kingdom. The group will tour London, Windsor, Oxford, and Stratford-UponAvon. Through the trip and additional coursework, students can earn credits in communication, business, health sciences, and history. GHC also partners with other University System of Georgia (USG) institutions to offer expanded study abroad opportunities. Students can travel with Kennesaw State University students to Montepulciano, Italy or participate in USG Goes Global programs across Europe and Asia. Information sessions about upcoming study abroad opportunities were held throughout October and November at several different GHC instructional sites. Students attending these sessions met faculty, learned about costs and how to afford studying abroad, and found out more details about the various destinations available. Members of the community are also invited to attend GHC’s study abroad trips. Visit studyabroad.highlands.edu for a schedule of information sessions and full details on study abroad opportunities at GHC.

Wyoming is where the untamed spirit of the west lives on and challenges your sense of adventure. For Georgia Highlands College students this sense of adventure is found every summer in the form of a two-week geology field course based in Wyoming. This course, which combines lab time with actual field work in Wyoming, has been part of GHC’s summer curriculum since 1997. Why Wyoming? From a geological perspective Wyoming offers a diverse landscape that brings the earth’s past alive. Field work is combined with day hikes that provide students firsthand experience with geological features, including hydrothermal activity, volcanism, ecology, stream processes, and more. The two-week trip includes stops in Casper, Thermopolis, Cody, Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks, and Fossil Butte National Monument. Students enrolled in the course earn eight natural science credit hours which is enough to complete the Area D science requirements.

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Student Travel

Experience Geology!

Student Organization Spotlight

Soccer Club kicks off new year with men’s team promoted to full membership in the SCSA When the men’s team of Georgia Highlands College’s Soccer Club took the field against Dalton State College in their first home game of the season on September 7, they did so as an official member of the Southeast Collegiate Soccer Alliance. Following a successful season of extramural play last year with a 5-3 record, the team was promoted from associate to league member. Benefits from this hard-earned membership include a schedule set by the league and team rankings. SCSA membership also means the team can qualify for the Region 2 Soccer Championship scheduled for October in Virginia. The winner of this tournament will go on to compete in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association National Soccer Championship in Texas in November. “It feels great knowing that we are an official member of SCSA,” says Amadou Touray, men’s team captain and GHC computer science student. “It gives us an opportunity to compete at a higher level of intramural soccer with the chance to play in a championship.” The women’s team of GHC’s Soccer Club is

seeking full SCSA member status this season. The team will need to have competitive season against fellow SCSA teams to qualify. John Spranza, soccer club advisor and director of student life, anticipates the women’s team joining the men’s team as SCSA members next year. “I am hopeful that we can get more women to play this year and establish a good enough record to be considered for full membership in 2020,” he says. Recruitment of new players for both teams started at the very beginning of the new semester. The GHC Soccer Club had a presence at Club Round Up events during Week of Welcome at each campus location, with team practices beginning in Cartersville soon after. “We had players from the Floyd, Cartersville, Marietta, and Paulding locations last year on both the men’s and women’s teams, so students from any GHC location are eligible to play,” Spranza says. “We are looking for experienced soccer players that played in high school or on youth select travel teams, and while recreational or occasional players are certainly eligible to come out, the level of competition is high.” Student and community soccer fans are also invited to cheer on the teams at their home games. All home games are played on the Floyd campus and are free to attend. OLD RED KIMONO LITERARY MAGAZINE RELEASED GHC’s student literary publication, the Old Red Kimono, released another issue in April 2019. The superhero-themed cover inspired several superhero receptions at each of GHC’s locations. Comics, costumes, and cake honored several student writers and artists, while also giving student creators a chance to speak about their work.

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GHC’s student newspaper, the Six Mile Post, finished the 2018-2019 academic year with a bang, bringing home awards from the Georgia College Press Association, the Southern Regional Press Institute, and the Associated Collegiate Press. This year, a new group of students and a new faculty adviser are leading the newspaper into its next volume. Editor-in-Chief Olivia Fortner, a sophomore business administration major and the paper’s returning lead editor, is looking forward to another successful year for the publication. “We hope to be an award-winning newspaper again this year,” she said. “The team we have now is competent and talented. Though many of us are new to the newsroom, the skill sets and personalities here have a lot to bring to the table.” Assistant Professor Allison Hattaway, the organization’s new adviser, thinks the Six Mile Post will improve those skill sets even more. “I believe that students really gain a tremendous amount of confidence when they participate in a student publication staff,” she said. “I’ve also seen how well a staff bonds as they work together and

friendships are formed that last lifetimes. It’s a very special and unique team to be a part of.” Like many on the student staff, this is Hattaway’s first year with the paper, as well. While she’s new to the Six Mile Post, she isn’t new to student publications. She previously advised both the student newspaper and yearbook groups at Shorter University. Hattaway is excited to bring her expertise to the Six Mile Post. “I see it as a wonderful opportunity to represent students across all campuses and to help students gain a solid journalism foundation,” she said. For students looking to get involved with the Six Mile Post, the publication is always seeking volunteer writers, photographers, and artists. Those interested can apply online at sixmilepost.com Copies of the award-winning publication can be found at each GHC location.

GHAME/BROTHER 2 BROTHER Students attended the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) Western Regional Conference in San Bernardino where they conducted two presentations. In September, the student group also participated in a networking reception at the Rome Courtyard Marriott Hotel and had the opportunity to meet and talk with area business and community leaders.

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Student Organization Spotlight

Student newspaper prepares for new year with new team

Retiree Spotlight

Four GHC employees retire with over 100 years of cumulative service Four longtime Georgia Highlands College employees, with over 100 years of service between them, retired in 2019. The retirees encompass faculty, staff, and administrators, and span four different college divisions and two instructional sites.

Dr. Kristie Kemper (40 years)

With 40 years of service, Professor of English Kristie Kemper was GHC’s most senior faculty member. She received her Master of Arts in English and Doctor of Philosophy in English from the University of Tennessee. She later completed post graduate work at the University of Southern Mississippi. Kemper began her career at GHC in September 1979 after teaching for four years in Tennessee and West Virginia. She received tenure at GHC in September 1985 and was promoted to Professor in September 1991. In addition to her invaluable work as a professor, Kemper served the college in countless ways throughout her four decades at GHC. She served on nearly every standing faculty committee, along with special committees, search committees, and the GHC Branding Team. Kemper was a founding member of the Chargers Athletics Booster Club and has led GHC’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors. She also served as the voice for the faculty as a whole as the elected faculty representative to the GHC Instructional Council. Kemper was faculty advisor to the student newspaper, Six Mile Post, for 39 years. During that time, the publication won numerous state, regional, and national awards of excellence. For 34 years, she coordinated and developed the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Trip for students, faculty, and staff, and others in the community. Additionally, she has helped with the English Majors Association, served as a student success coach, and judged speech competitions and literary meets. In 2003, Kemper was the recipient of the Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award for twoyear and state college faculty. She was selected as a participant in three National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars for college teachers. In February 2014, Kemper received the Wilton C. Scott Award for Excellence in Scholastic Journalism presented by the Southern Regional Press Institute.

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She was inducted into the Southern Regional Press Institute’s Hall of Fame in its inaugural 2016 class. She was presented with the Wesley C. Walraven Faculty Award in 2015 and was chosen as the Mace Bearer for commencement in 2019. Kemper retired in August, though she hopes to remain involved with GHC as a tutor or Chargers Athletics Booster Club volunteer. Though she says she will miss the interactions between students and faculty and staff, along with working with the Six Mile Post staff, she looks forward to having more time for reading, writing, traveling, and visiting family.

Donna Miller (29 years) Donna Miller taught and watched over 300 dental hygienists graduate and go on to provide dental care throughout the state and the country over her 29 years as Director of Dental Hygiene. She started with the program in 1990 when it was still part of the Medical College of Georgia and has managed it ever since, including through its transition to GHC in 1998. Her leadership secured accreditation for the program by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in 1997, 2004, 2011, and 2018. Outside of teaching, Miller served GHC on various committees and councils, from Environmental Health and Safety Committee to the Academic Council. She also served as the advisor for the Student American Dental Hygienist Club. In addition to work, she has served the Rome community through volunteer work. In recognition of this, she was awarded the Community Involvement – Administrator award by GHC in 2018. This award recognizes a staff member who demonstrates a passion for making a difference by sharing their spirit, positive attitude, and time with others. Miller retired at the end of May, with the class of 2019 as her 28th graduating class. She says she will

Paulette Jordan (26 years) Paulette P. Jordan began her career at GHC as a student assistant. In 1993, she officially joined the staff as a Lab Assistant. Throughout her 26 years with GHC, she continued to embrace a love of learning. She completed three associate degrees at GHC and was just a few credits shy of a fourth. She also made sure to take each and every course for which she served as the Lab Assistant. Outside of the lab, Jordan was extensively involved in faculty and staff initiatives at the Floyd campus. She planned countless much-loved luncheons as her time as an Ambassador and was a founding member of the Floyd College Choir. She also assisted with the Baptist Student Union and numerous basketball tournaments. Jordan retired from GHC in April. She said she

will miss the wonderful people at GHC that she considered her family, especially her former supervisor Jason Christian and the Physical Plant and custodial teams, who she said are the “backbone of the college.” NOTE: Paulette Jordan passed away on June 26, 2019. She will be greatly missed by her GHC family.

Phillip Kimsey (13 years) Phillip Kimsey worked at GHC as Director of Physical Plant since 2006. In this role, he carried out the division’s mission of maintaining and enhancing buildings, grounds, and the physical infrastructure in a cost-effective, safe, and environmentally responsible manner. In his 13 years of service with GHC, Kimsey led Physical Plant through several major projects. He has led the team in a complete renovation of the Heritage Hall site, the openings of both the Paulding and Douglasville instructional sites, and the expansion of the Cartersville instructional site. He has also served GHC on the Capital Expenditures Committee. Kimsey says he will miss being involved in the growth and expansion of GHC but is looking forward to traveling after his retirement in June. He also hopes to begin work in designing homes.


Every August, GHC kicks off the new academic year with an in-service. Every employee from each of GHC’s locations attends. This year was focused on “Wellness.”

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Retiree Spotlight

miss her coworkers and the sense of teamwork at GHC, along with her interactions with students. After retirement, she will be moving to South Carolina to be near family, where she hopes to continue volunteering with CASA and in the hospice field. She is also interested in working with older adults and advocating for those who need assistance with healthcare and life issues.

Faculty Spotlight

MEET OUR NEW ACADEMIC DIVISION CHAIRS Georgia Highlands College has added new Division Chairs for each academic division with the goal of increasing opportunities for faculty professional growth, innovation, and collaboration opportunities. Vice President of Academic Affairs Dana Nichols stated the added positions give academic deans some flexibility they didn’t have before. “Deans simply now have time to engage individually and effectively with their faculty and staff,” she added, “and they have additional time to research and develop innovative programs and collaborate with other Deans and community partners on worthwhile projects.” The Division Chair role also provided faculty who aspired to be administrators an opportunity to grow and learn more about the nature of academic administration, Nichols explained. Listed below are each of GHC’s new chairs and which division they serve:

HEALTH SCIENCES DIVISION As the division chair of kinesiology and wellness within the division of health sciences at GHC, Lisa Jellum oversees the college’s general education physical education classes and the newly launched recreation management degree pathway. She hopes to serve GHC in the best Jellum possible way in her new role because of her gratitude and appreciation for the college as whole. “I have been afforded the opportunity to be a part of so many things that at a larger institution would have been out of my scope of job responsibilities. This training and exposure have been invaluable for the development of my career as well as me as a person.” Jellum has a bachelor’s in health and human performance and a master’s in sport, recreation, and fitness management from Montana State University – Billings, where she played basketball. She is finishing her PhD in school improvement at University of West Georgia.

HUMANITIES DIVISION Allen Dutch hopes to ease the path to graduation for students as division chair for art, communication, music, and music business within GHC’s humanities division. “I would like to make classes readily available each semester and advising a natural part of a student’s plan, so that navigating a pathway or degree is less Dutch daunting,” he says. Dutch’s experience at GHC and educational background have set him up for success in accomplishing that goal. He has taught at GHC for seven years, enjoying the focus on teaching for faculty and direct contact with students.

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Dutch has a master’s in mass communication from University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism and a graduate certification in communication education from Minnesota State University at Mankato.


Jessica Lindberg’s journey to division chair of English, foreign languages, and journalism within GHC’s humanities division has been a long and winding path. She’s worked as bookstore manager, a caterer, an interior designer, a picture framer, and a dispatch operator – and a mother. Her time at GHC began in the tutorial center before transitioning to the classroom in 2009, where she sees her own busy life reflected in

that of her students. “Our students’ lives are complex, busy, and challenging—very few of them take their time here for granted. That inspires me to work harder on their behalf,” Lindberg says. As division chair, she hopes to build upon the care and compassion for students that she says she sees throughout GHC. “I aim to continue to serve students by offering a wider variety of classes on each campus at times that meet the needs of current and potential students. We’ve got some great ideas for new programs, classes, and opportunities, and I am excited to play a part.” Lindberg has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Earlham College and recently completed her PhD in creative writing and poetry from Georgia State University.

MATH AND COMPUTER SCIENCE DIVISION One of Camille Pace’s favorite things about her nearly ten years at GHC has been working with her colleagues in various departments and divisions to touch students’ lives and help them succeed. “I enjoy working with other Pace departments on improving the experiences our students have,” she says. As the non-STEM division chair for the division of math and computer science, she is excited to have even more of a chance to foster collaboration. “As division chair, I hope to strengthen these relationships and add my experiences as a statistician to make better data-driven choices for scheduling and retention. I am confident the division chairs will bring their different expertise together and help the college.” Pace has a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in applied statistics from Kennesaw State University and is currently pursuing a doctorate of education in leadership.

NATURAL SCIENCES DIVISION Jason Christian has taught and created numerous courses during his five years at GHC, and he’s enjoyed every minute of it. “I have loved my time here at GHC. The students are inquisitive and my colleagues treat each other like family. However, equally as important Christian to me, is that GHC has encouraged and supported innovative ideas to bring into our classroom to improve student success.” Christian hopes to expand on his history of innovation as the division chair for biology within the division of natural sciences at GHC. “As a department chair, I would like to continue to foster and encourage the division in leading the charge into new high-impact practices in the classroom and in our community. I also want to expand our pathway and degree offerings for in-demand fields in Georgia and the country as a whole.” Christian has a bachelor’s in biology from Kennesaw State University and a master’s in biology from University of Central Arkansas.


As a graduate of a community college, Erin Shufro understands and appreciates GHC’s mission as an access institution. “I love the small community feel here, and I love the supportive nature as well as the fact we have professors who really care about our students,” she says. With three years of teaching at GHC under her belt, Shufro is now taking her support for GHC’s mission to the next level as division chair for

physical sciences within the division of natural sciences. “We have lots of big plans for things we want to accomplish in science and math, including the learning assistant program, but mostly I just want to create an environment where both students and faculty can work together to succeed.” Shufro holds an associate degree in chemistry from Monroe Community College, a bachelor’s in chemistry from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree from Northeastern University.

SOCIAL SCIENCES, BUSINESS, AND EDUCATION DIVISION Sean Callahan is thinking big when it comes to his new position as division chair for business, education, and economics within GHC’s division of social sciences, business, and education. Callahan “I hope to learn how to acquire and facilitate multi-million-dollar grant projects and continue to improve the generational trajectory of the GHC community as well as the communities in our service area,” he says. And in his seven years of teaching at GHC, he’s learned that ideas, plans, and dreams will be embraced by his colleagues. “I like working at GHC because I can put my ideas into action. There is so much work to do here. When you have an idea that solves a problem, helps students become more successful, or supports GHC’s growth, everyone is supportive.” Callahan has a bachelor’s in psychology from University of West Georgia and a master’s and PhD in educational psychology from University of Georgia. Christina Wolfe began her teaching career at GHC in 2014. In the five years since, she has come to love what she describes as GHC’s vibrant academic community. “Many of our students are the first in their family to attend college and may not know what to expect in a college classroom. Still others are returning to college as adult learners or are juggling complex family situWolfe ations. I am passionate about helping my students succeed, not just in school but in life,” Wolfe says. Her passion for student success has steered her toward a new role as division chair for social sciences within GHC’s division of social sciences, business, and education. “As chair, I hope to use my skills as an educator not only to help our students achieve their academic goals but also to serve as an advocate for my colleagues as our institution grows and develops new degree programs.” Originally from south Louisiana, Wolfe has two bachelor’s degrees from Louisiana State University, a master’s in sociology and demography from Pennsylvania State University, and is working on a PhD in workforce education at University of Georgia.

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Faculty Spotlight

People say walking a mile in someone’s shoes is the best way to understand them. In that case, Jayme Wheeler truly understands her students at GHC since she’s an alumna of the college herself. “Whether our students are a first-generation college student, traditional student, or a student returning after being out of the classroom for 20 years, I feel I can make an Wheeler impact in their lives,” she says. Wheeler is hoping to make an even bigger impact at GHC as the new STEM division chair within the division of math and computer science. “Through faculty mentoring, course offerings, and commitment to the improvement of our Division, I hope to contribute to division-level impacts that will enrich the lives of our students.” In addition to her time at GHC, Wheeler holds a bachelor’s in exercise and health science and a master’s in teaching secondary mathematics from Kennesaw State University.

Student Spotlight

GHC welcomes German student through elite exchange program Georgia Highlands College pared me well for my future life as a wrapped up its inaugural year student at a university in Germany. as a host institution through I have never attended classes at this the Congress-Bundestag Youth level of education and even though Exchange (CBYX) for Young it was really challenging sometimes, Professionals. it made me look forward to my CBYX is funded by the U.S. studies,” she explains. “My overall Department of State and adminexperience as a student at GHC was istered by Cultural Vistas. CBYX just great, and I am grateful I got to is a reciprocal fellowship that spend a semester here.” gives German young professionWalter-Helk lived with Jonathan als the opportunity to live with and Amber Pewitt and their two an American host family, study sons during her time in Rome. at a local college, and complete a “She is almost like an older six-month paid internship in their daughter to them now, and is like career fields. an older sister to their two children, Lena shares a birthday with her host GHC’s first CBYX fellow two boys who are in elementary family, the Pewitts. Pictured above, was Lena Walter-Helk, a busischool and pre-school,” says GHC front row: Harrison, Lena, and Davis. ness student from Schweifurt, Professor of History Bronson Long. Back row: Amber and Jonathan. Germany, a small town in northern Walter-Helk says living with the Bavaria. Walter-Helk took a full load of courses at Pewitts has impacted her life for the better. GHC’s Floyd campus in the fall and secured a job at “They have supported me so much. They inspired WinShape Retreat in the spring. me with their openness, hospitality, and kindness,” Walter-Helk feels lucky to have been matched she says. “Experiencing such a blessing has made my with GHC, explaining that she was welcomed with desire to live a life with purpose even stronger. I hope open arms and felt safe and well taken care of as a these relationships will last a lifetime.” student. GHC will be hosting a new German student in “The professors at GHC are great and really Rome through the program in the 2019-2020 academic year. understanding. They always offer help, and I had fun talking to them about my experiences and Germany,” she explains. “Everyone at GHC seems to really enjoy what they are doing.” Walter-Helk was also happy for the chance to take part in the extracurricular activities hosted by GHC throughout the semester. Furthermore, she credits her fellow students in inspiring her to work hard in her studies “Attending classes at GHC pre- Lena is pictured here with the Pewitts and her parents, Rainer and Christina, and brother Jonas.

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It’s rare to see a grandfather and grandson working elbow-to-elbow in a college science lab for credit towards their associate degrees, but for Ron Hale and his grandson Thorne, it was just another step closer to walking in the Georgia Highlands College Commencement this year. Almost 50 years separates them in age, but at GHC’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony, at The Forum River Center in Rome, they were side-by-side receiving diplomas with other GHC graduates. Ron, 72, is an avid painter and followed his gift for the fine arts by returning to college. And although going back helps him pursue his passion, Ron says he is “doing now what he should’ve done 50 years ago.” “I went into the military straight out of high school, got married, and started a family,” he said. “I just kept putting college off. I regret not doing it when I had so many opportunities.” Ron hopes that by showing others in his life, like his grandson, that it’s always possible to achieve a goal, no matter your age, it will inspire them to do the same… and hopefully, he says, sooner than he did. “I think the biggest reason I decided to go to college after so many years is I’ve got some wonderful grandchildren and they’re all coming up and moving through school,” he said, “and by doing this I can say, ‘Look, if I can do it, if I did it, then you can do it.’ It’s all about your attitude.” Thorne, 25, also started a little later than others. When he first left high school, he took a few college classes but ultimately decided to go into the workforce instead. “I got a job and did that for a while, but it really just didn’t pan out,” he said. “I knew I had to go back and get some kind of degree. There just weren’t that many options, and I got tired of being the person on the low end of the totem pole.” Thorne started around the same time his grandfather did. His grandfather helped inspire him to start back. He thought, “If he can do it, I can go back and do it, too.” Ron said the two of them would pass each other in the hallway and cut up about being in college

together at the same time. Thorne said most people he told didn’t believe Ron was his grandfather, until Ron confirmed it. “They would always say, ‘Really?’” Thorne said. The two even shared a class. “We had geology together,” Ron said. “We were lab buddies, side-by-side. We took the class at the same time. That was Thorne’s last science class and I needed one more, so we did it together. The professor said, ‘I don’t know if I’ve ever had a grandfather and a grandson in the same class.’ We are two generations going at the same time.’” Both enjoyed their tenure at GHC, noting the community of support students get from professors and staff at the college. Ron and Thorne said going to GHC was one of the best decisions they ever made. Ron received his associate degree in art from GHC and is currently working on his bachelor’s at Kennesaw State University and hopes to continue his art with a pursuit of a master’s degree, as well. Thorne plans on pursuing a career in radio and has completed his associate degree in communications. The two walked in the May commencement one after the other. Ron went first since his name comes first alphabetically. He waited on stage after he received his diploma for Thorne to get his, so he could give him “a great big hug.” “If you think you can’t do it, I’m telling you, you can,” Ron said about his goal to inspire others to get their college degree and about getting his degree, too. “I don’t think you should ever stop learning. People talk about getting old. Well, I can’t help aging. That’s just a state of being. But getting old is a state of mind. And I don’t plan on getting old.”

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Student Spotlight

Grandfather and grandson receive diplomas at the same time

Chargers Taking Charge

MAJOR RODNEY BAILEY Field Operations Bureau Rome Police Department

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FROM GHC TO COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP Two alumni help lead the Rome Police Department

The Rome Police Department is tasked with serving and ings of being a police officer and the law. I knew I would protecting over 35,000 people in Floyd County’s largest need higher education to help me grow in these ways,” she city of Rome. Nearly 100 police officers work each day to said. “I enrolled at [Georgia Highlands College (then Floyd accomplish this goal, and two Georgia Highlands College College)] and began my education.” alumni help lead the department which houses everything Debbie said her time at GHC prepared her for her role from a detective division to a D.U.I. task force to a SWAT today. She learned a great deal about criminal justice, her team and K-9 teams. Those two alumni are Debbie Burnett potential, and was encouraged every step of the way. and Rodney Bailey. Debbie serves as the assistant chief of “GHC set me on the path to complete my higher police. In addition to her administrative duties, she finds education journey, which, in turn, set me on a path to one of the best parts of her job is having the ability to proadvancement in my career,” she said. “I was also able to vide Rome police officers with all the tools and equipment set an example for my daughter and the officers who work needed to increase success and efficiency. with me that if you set your mind to it, you can have both a Together, Debbie and Chief of Police career and an education, even if you’re Denise Downer-McKinney oversee the doing them at the same time.” Support Services Bureau and the Field Rodney Bailey, who is major and Operations Bureau which altogether oversees the Field Operations Bureau provides specialized divisions in over for the department, echoes this senti20 areas to the operation of the police ment. department. Rodney started out in the United “[It’s] challenging, ever-changing, States Air Force, serving in Operation demanding, stressful and the most rewardDesert Storm. He said he felt called to ing job anyone can have if it’s done the the field of criminal justice shortly after right way,” she said. “It’s the opportunity his tenure with the military. MAJOR RODNEY BAILEY to make a positive difference in someone’s “I have had a heart to serve since I Rome Police Department life every day, even if you don’t realize you was young,” he said. “I would describe had an impact. It’s the honor of taking an policing as the best job in the world.” oath and living up to that standard of keeping a promise to Rodney now leads over 60 officers within his branch at the people who entrust you with the authority.” the Rome Police Department. He started working toward his Debbie said she always sort of knew what she wanted position in 1995 when he decided to apply for the Criminal to do. Being both interested in the field of criminal justice Justice Foundation Scholarship and take classes at GHC. and the military, she knew she wanted a career serving and He was awarded the scholarship and didn’t waste any time. helping anyway she could. He said the professors at GHC had an impact on his “When I was younger, I had a desire to help people,” career and helped motivate him to graduate. she said. “I still have that opportunity on a daily basis, even “GHC was the start to a long and prosperous career,” after 28 years.” he said. “Connecting with students within the community When Debbie was first hired as a patrol officer, she always makes a positive impact on the overall quality of life knew she wanted to grow and climb to a leadership role in as we grow into leadership roles in our careers. GHC is her career, so she while she was working as an officer, she local and you make connections that last a lifetime. GHC also took classes at GHC. is a great option. It was the springboard to my success.” “I knew in order to lead, I had to learn both the work-


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Chargers Taking Charge

BILL FORTENBERRY Manager, Corporate Communications and Government Relations Floyd Medical Center

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A PASSION FOR WRITING BECOMES A COMMUNICATIONS CAREER IN HEALTH CARE The Floyd health care system stretches across northwas never to work as a barber or hairstylist. The goal was west Georgia and northeast Alabama as one of the always to use haircutting to pay my way through college.” region’s largest employers, with over 3,000 employees, After becoming certified, Bill started at GHC and over 300 physician specialists, and a volunteer force of began to work his way through college. over 350. “[GHC] was close to home and affordable, even if I GHC alumnus Bill Fortenberry manages internal and had to pay for it myself,” he said. “Luckily, once I got in corporate communications for this vast and extensive the door, the financial aid and student life folks helped health care network. When he was younger, he had no me discover that I qualified for assistance, lightening my idea that following his passion for writing could have taken financial burden and helping me to get a great start on an him so far. education.” “My daughter once asked me if my life had worked While at GHC, Bill spent a lot of time working with out like I had envisioned it when I was a teenager. It was the student newspaper, the Six Mile Post, where he found one of those moments that hits you hard a way to take his skills as a writer and in the heart, unexpectedly. The answer apply himself toward a professional writis yes,” he said. “Maybe the particulars ing career. He went on to work 16 years aren’t exactly what I dreamed up, but the at a daily newspaper. fact is, I set a goal to be a professional Now at Floyd, Bill looks back on his writer when I was in high school. Now, time at GHC as great formative years this is my 34th year of writing for a living, building a strong foundation in writing and it remains my absolute favorite part and developing his story-telling skills of the work that I do.” before entering the workforce. Bill explained no two days in his line His daughter, Autumn, also attended BILL FORTENBERRY of work are the same. He oversees a GHC. Floyd Medical Center communication platform used by every “I think I am most proud that my Floyd employee that literally keeps everydaughter, Autumn, saw the path that I one on the same page each and every took and decided to take the same path. day. He’s also involved in writing social media posts, phyShe made a conscious decision to attend GHC to avoid sician letters, blog posts, “Outstanding Stories of Care” student debt and enjoyed her time there,” he said. “She feature stories, and a whole lot more. completed two years and transferred to the University of Central to the Floyd health care system is the not-forWest Georgia to continue her goal of getting a degree in profit Floyd Medical Center, a 304-bed acute care hospital veterinary medicine.” and regional referral center covering over 40 medical speOutside of work, Bill is very active with his church, cialties, including three Destination Centers and five Joint serving as a deacon, elder, choir member, small group Commission-certified disease-specific programs. leader, and a mentor to others. He also occasionally still Each year, Bill takes charge of leading the effort to writes for publications. develop content for annual reports, Community Health His career has given him the means to carry out his Needs Assessments, Community Benefit Reports, and other passion for writing, and he’s the first to tell you that GHC mandatory reporting needed in Floyd’s ongoing operation. helped him get there. But long before Bill started working as the corporate “I don’t know how many thousands of students over communications and government relations manager at these years have passed through the doors of [GHC], but Floyd, he took a dream to write for a living to Georgia it’s a real honor to represent them,” he said. “My job every Highlands College (then Floyd Junior College). day is to communicate important information to people Bill is the first to admit he was brought up in a poor who need it. The audience for that information can vary family, but he wouldn’t let that stand between him and a greatly, which means I have to be able to synthesize somecollege degree. times complex topics to make it easy to understand and “Because I had no money, I took a small scholaract on. I am still in awe that God has allowed me to work ship that I won in high school and applied it to technical 34 years supporting my family through writing. I cannot school,” he said. “Rather than enter college in the fall, I imagine a career or life that does not include writing started technical college, learning to cut hair. I chose a or storytelling.” program that would get me trained in six months. My goal


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Chargers Taking Charge

VICTOR HARWOOD Hydroelectric Dam Operator Georgia Power

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HYDROELECTRIC DAM OPERATOR FOUND HIS START AT GHC A great concrete structure stretches across the Chattahoochee River in Roswell just north of Atlanta like a wall dividing the water. This concrete dam allows operators to control how much water filters through and when. At times, as the water is released over the dam, a thunderous hush dominates the area, and the still waters below are pounded by artificial waterfalls… and ultimately electricity is generated. That’s where Georgia Highlands College alumnus Victor Harwood steps in. Victor works as one of the Morgan Falls Hydro Project dam operators. The project is run by Georgia Power, the largest subsidiary of the Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. The dam project began commercially operating in 1904. Today, Victor helps operate the dam in a modified run-of-river mode primarily to generate power and to re-regulate peaking flows from the upstream Buford Dam. Right now, Morgan Falls produces up to 16.8 megawatts of electricity and supplies enough energy to power over 10,000 homes a year. “I work on a rotating 12-hour schedule, and on a typical day at Morgan Falls, it’s my job to maintain and operate equipment,” Victor said. “My most important task at work is to maintain minimum flow of the Chattahoochee River going into Atlanta.” Victor said his job keeps him on his toes, constantly learning and staying aware while monitoring all the systems related to the dam. If any of the areas go down, it’s his job to get it back online as quickly and safely as possible. “There is a large spectrum of areas that may cause a plant or unit to trip,” he said. “It can be a stressful time working to get everything back online and requires me to put forth any and all training I have to fix. But I enjoy it.” Victor is happy to be working for Georgia Power at Morgan Falls, and he’ll be the first to tell you that making his start at GHC helped him get there. Although Victor didn’t start college right out of high school, he was glad he was able to bring a maturity and hard work ethic to his studies a little later in life. He spent some time in the military before deciding to earn a college degree. He settled on Georgia Highlands College and found it to be a nice fit. “I knew that I could get my start at GHC and then pursue finishing a four-year degree from there,” Victor said. “There were many teachers [at GHC] that had an impact on my college experience. The school is a great school and offers students of all ages a good price at a quality learning environment.”

KNOW A CHARGER TAKING CHARGE? GHC alumni are Chargers! And Chargers Take Charge. Thousands of GHC alumni embody the #TakingCharge motto throughout the state and country by making a difference in their communities and making the most of their careers. Do you know other successful GHC alumni? Email us at marcom@highlands.edu and let us know, so they can join other alumni in GHC’s spotlight series “Chargers Taking Charge.”

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Foundation Spotlight


The Georgia Highlands College Foundation has supported GHC and the education, dreams, and futures of students since 1973. The Foundation relies on your support and that of likeminded donors to make this mission a reality. A scholarship of just $200 can make the difference in whether a student is able to complete their degree. Your gift, no matter the size, will make a tangible impact in the lives of students. Your contribution to the Foundation will directly support programs like: Scholarships • Athletics Foundation Camp • Food Pantry and more! Join our legacy of giving by contributing to the Foundation today. Give online at highlands.edu/givetoday or by mail at GHC Foundation, 3175 Cedartown Highway, Rome, GA 30161. To learn more about how you can take charge and change lives, contact Mary Transue, Executive Director of the GHC Foundation and VP of Advancement, at mtransue@highlands.edu or by phone at 706-802-5457.






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Hello Baby! Josh and Melissa Stovall, welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth, August 12, 2019

Luke Lester, Chairman Bond, James Bond Inc. Greg Patton, Chair-Elect Patton Financial Associates Randy Quick, Treasurer Rome Radio Partners, Inc.

The Georgia Highlands College Foundation contributes over half a million dollars to scholarships and programs each year. Thanks to financial support from our community of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, we are proud to highlight the story of two recent recipients. After deciding to go back to college at age 41, single father J.D. Chambers had only one hesitation: how to afford his education. With community support, the Georgia Highlands College Foundation was able to provide J.D. the assistance he needed with a Go Back, Move Ahead Scholarship. “Receiving the scholarship gave me the confidence to approach the future with optimism for the first time in a long time. I would like to thank the kindness of the donors that made the GHC Foundation scholarships a reality,” J.D. said. Natalie Eckert was excited to attend GHC but did not want to create a financial burden for her parents and four brothers. Thanks to GHC Foundation donors, Natalie was chosen to receive the Bobby Lee Cook Scholarship. Now, Natalie and her family were able to afford a quality education. Natalie added, “From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. You have absolutely no idea what saving that money meant for me and my family. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity!”


We want to know about your life after GHC! Whether you’ve taken one class or completed a degree, you’ll always be a part of the GHC family. Update your contact information so we can stay in touch. Also, let us know where you’re working, what you’ve accomplished, and anything going on in your life.

Mary Transue, Executive Director GHC Vice President - Advancement Dee Bishop Sarah H. Burkhalter David Caswell Melanie C. Collier Mary Louise Lever Steve Moore John Quinlivan Matt Sirmans Sue Spivey Tommy Strickland Mark Weaver Dr. Donald Green, Ex-Officio GHC President Jamie Petty, Ex-Officio GHC Interim Vice President Finance & Administration Donnie Denson, Ex-Officio Alumni Association Chairman

GHC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS Donnie Denson Chairman Harold Boyd Retiree Representative Susan Claxton Michele Crowe Caleb Freeman Dan Knowles Dr. Lynn Plunkett

Visit alumniupdate.highlands.edu to update your info now!

Steve White

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Foundation Spotlight


ChargerNews News Charger

Charger Baseball For the third consecutive year, the Chargers baseball team had a season highlighted by broken records, postseason awards, and player advancement. The Chargers finished third in the competitive GCAA with 29 victories, while shattering 21 program records along the way. Five of those records were broken by the program’s first All-American and GCAA Player of the Year, Skylar McPhee. McPhee was a one-man wrecking crew in 2019, setting new GHC records for batting average (.427), hits (79), extra-base hits (30), slugging percentage (.719), and OPS (1.214). In addition, McPhee was awarded the GCAA Gold Glove for his defense at first base. Joining McPhee on the All-GCAA team were Bryson Horne (IF), Malik Spratling (OF), and Parker Orr (C). Horne and Spratling each earned Region 17 All-Tournament spots, and Travis Sands was GHC baseball’s third consecutive GHC Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. The 2019 Chargers also made history when Stevie Szucs, Ryan Smithson, Trace Twardoski, Skylar McPhee, and Logan Ward combined to throw the first no-hitter in program history. Player advancement has been a hallmark of the Charger program under head coach Dash O’Neill, and 2019 saw sixteen GHC sophomores accept offers to continue their baseball careers at four-year schools:

Brady Barker – Georgia Southwestern University (NCAA DII) Blake Brady – Furman University (NCAA DI) Brant Brown – Eckerd College (NCAA DII) Zach Fordham – University of South Carolina Aiken (NCAA DII) Bryson Horne – Columbus State University (NCAA DII) Lee Kay – University of West Georgia (NCAA DII) Willis Kemp – Kennesaw State University (NCAA DI) Keith Lyle – Young Harris College (NCAA DII) Skylar McPhee – Murray State University (NCAA DI) Jacob Meyer – University of Cincinnati (NCAA DI) Parker Orr – Eastern Kentucky University (NCAA DI) Antonio Reneo – Tennessee Wesleyan College (NAIA) Dalton Rhadans – Wofford College (NCAA DI) Travis Sands – Emory University (NCAA DIII) Malik Spratling – Kennesaw State University (NCAA DI) Logan Ward – North Greenville University (NCAA DII)

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2019 Season Recap

Charger Softball

The Charger Softball’s 2019 campaign was highlighted by strong showings on the field and a number of individual accolades, including 5 All-Region members, a National Fastpitch Coach’s Association (NFCA) All-Southeastern Selection, an Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar, and an NJCAA Academic AllAmerican. Sophomore Sierrah Gani received the most recognition as she was named a first-team All-Region member after posting a 0.463 batting average (2nd best in conference), 0.626 slugging percentage, and reached base half of the time. Gani was named a 1st Team All-Region Member, NFCA All-Southeastern Team Member, and an NJCAA Academic All-American after taking home the Georgia Highlands Athletic Department Academic Female Athlete of the Year. Other First-Team All-Region members include Mallory Alford (0.380 average), who is now a sophomore outfielder for the 2020 team, and Mya Adams (0.367 average, 25 SB) who received a softball scholarship to play at Clark Atlanta University. Pitcher Haley Robinson (8W-4L, 3 saves), who is back with the Chargers in 2020, and first-baseman Lexi Palazzo (0.363 average, 6 HR), who received a scholarship to play for NCAA DI Presbyterian College, both received Second-Team All-Region honors. Other Chargers signing scholarships to play at four-year universities include Sydney McDonald, Emma McDonald, and Kara Kight who all signed at NCAA Division III Wesleyan College in Macon, GA. Jazzmyn Shelton was honored as a 2019 Arthur Ashe Jr Sports Scholar. Georgia Highlands as a team led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and was second in stolen bases. The Chargers graduated 8 of 9 sophomores, with another on track to graduate at the end of fall 2019. 2019 SOFTBALL ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Andria Booth (Gardner-Webb University) was named to the NCAA DI Top-50 Players of the Year watch list after leading all NCAA players in hits in 2018. Andria was also the first Charger Softball alumna invited to the National Pro Fastpitch Draft. Mackenzie McFarland started in the outfield for Georgia Southwestern as they battled to the conference championship before being defeated by eventual NCAA DII runners-up Young Harris College. Natalie Pederson accepted a graduate-studies position at Pace University in New York City where she will be studying Global Psychology. Former assistant Karlie Jarrett Worley accepted a position with Chattooga County Schools where she is now the head coach for Summerville Middle School’s softball team.

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ChargerNews News Charger

2019 Season Recap

Charger News

Women’s Basketball

Georgia Highlands College women’s basketball is led by Head Coach Brandan Harrell and Assistant Coaches Consuelo Saxton and Eric Burkhalter. The team competes in Region XVII of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1. The team is based at the Floyd campus and plays all home games at the Floyd campus gymnasium in Rome. For a full game schedule, team roster, and season updates, visit ghcchargers.com. Watch for a basketball season recap in the next issue of the Highlander.

Men’s Basketball

Georgia Highlands College men’s basketball is led by Head Coach J.J. Merritt and Assistant Coaches Greg Schiefen, Julian Reinhart, and John Williams. The team competes in Region XVII of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1. The team is based at the Floyd campus and plays all home games at the Floyd campus gymnasium in Rome. For a full game schedule, team roster, and season updates, visit ghcchargers.com. Watch for a basketball season recap in the next issue of the Highlander.

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Charger News


David Mathis selected as new Director of Athletics at GHC

New assistant director and head men’s basketball coach named Georgia Highlands College appointed David Mathis as the new Director of Athletics. Former Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Phil Gaffney accepted a position as head coach for Gulf Coast State College’s men’s basketball team in Panama City, Florida. Mathis has been with GHC for 26 years and has been instrumental in leading the athletics program from its inception, serving in an essential capacity as GHC’s assistant director of athletics. Mathis is a very well-known member of GHC and a leader in the community, as shown by his record number of awards and recognitions, including GHC Alumnus of the Year in 2012; Organization Advisor of the Year and GHC Staff Community Involvement Award in 2011; the Vivian Benton Staff Person of the Year in 2002; Floyd County School’s Business Partner of the Year in 2005; the 2012 Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority Horace Anthony Volunteer of the Year Award; the 2014 Georgia Highlands College Presidents Meritorious

Service Award; the 2017 Heart of the Community Award; and in 2019, he was inducted into the Rome/ Floyd County Sports Hall of Fame. As one of his first decisions as director, Mathis announced that the women’s basketball head coach Brandan Harrell will serve as the new assistant director of athletics. Harrell will continue to also coach the women’s basketball team. Mathis has also appointed Jonathan Merritt as the new head coach for the men’s basketball team. Merritt has been with GHC for six years as an assistant coach and has helped the men’s team reach the national stage, as well as aided a number of players on to graduate and transfer to Division 1 and Division 2 teams in the NCAA and NAIA. Merritt graduated from Shorter University in 1994, where he played basketball for a number of years. In 2009, he was also inducted into the Shorter University Athletic Hall of Fame.

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Charger Spotlight Charger News


Jahnaria Brown, a sophomore from Cochran, GA (Bleckley County High School), returns to help lead the Chargers Women’s Basketball team into the 2019-20 season. Jahnaria had a stellar freshman year, averaging 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting 45 percent from the floor. She helped lead the Lady Chargers to a 20-13 record and a GCAA Runner-Up finish. For her efforts, Jahnaria was voted GCAA Freshman of the Year. Jahnaria is one of the players that Coach Brandan Harrell is relying on to help lead the team into the new season. According to Coach Harrell, “Jahnaria has displayed tremendous growth over the past year as a student and as an athlete. She has developed into one of the best players in our conference due to her tremendous work ethic. Jahnaria has maneuvered herself to be one of our team leaders this year, and we expect her to have a great sophomore year.” That work ethic can also be seen in the classroom as well, where she currently maintains a 3.3 GPA as a criminal justice major. After graduating from GHC, Jahnaria hopes to continue her basketball career at a Division I school while pursuing a career in criminal justice.


Cahiem Brown, a redshirt freshman from Brooklyn, NY (Lincoln High School), returns to help lead the Chargers Men’s Basketball team into the 2019-20 season. Cahiem’s freshman year did not go as planned. After playing the first 7 games through foot pain, he was diagnosed with a Jones fracture in his foot, a season-ending injury requiring surgery. However, in those 7 games, playing on a broken foot, Caheim averaged 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while shooting 45 percent from the floor. He helped the Chargers to a 6-1 record and a national ranking during his time on the floor. After surgery, he was a perfect teammate as he helped give the Chargers energy from the sidelines as they reached the GCAA Championship game. According to Coach J.J. Merritt, “Cahiem has displayed tremendous growth as a person, student, and athlete. Even though there is still room for improvement, he has transformed himself into a great leader, and we expect great things from him this year. Cahiem has the ability to make a run for conference player of the year honors.” After graduating from GHC with 3 years of eligibility left, Cahiem plans on attending a mid-major to high-major NCAA Division 1 institution and put himself in a better position to take care of his family. He also hopes play basketball professionally after college.

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News Charger Spotlight

Haley Robinson


One of the players returning to lead the Chargers Softball team into the 2019-2020 season is Haley Robinson, a sophomore from Lilburn, Georgia (Parkview High School). In the pitcher’s circle, Robinson had a banner freshman season. She finished the season with an 8-4 overall record, with an even more impressive 7-2 conference record as a starter and 2 saves in relief. Robinson, recruited initially as an infielder, also batted 0.324 on the season with a grand slam, 10 RBIs, 7 runs, and 4 stolen bases. Robinson’s efforts in the circle earned her Second Team All-Region accolades as a freshman, and GHC Softball’s Carolyn Hammrick Advocacy Scholarship. Head Coach Melissa Wood stated, “Haley really stepped up for us last season.  She was recruited as an infielder, and when we had a need for her to pitch, she not only jumped into that role but became one of the best pitchers in the conference. Haley’s attitude throughout the season was unselfish, and we are excited to have her back this season as a leader of a very young team.” Haley will graduate in the spring with an associate degree in criminal justice and has a 3.05 GPA. Haley has already received many looks at the next level, and will narrow down her search in the spring. 

Hunter Moody BASEBALL

One of the key players returning to the Chargers this year is sophomore, third baseman and right-handed pitcher, Hunter Moody. Hunter served as the everyday third baseman for the Chargers last season, hitting .318 in GCAA play while playing sparkling defense at the hot corner. In addition, Moody pounded out 8 doubles, drove in 25 runs, and demonstrated his toughness and team-first mentality with a team leading 15 hit-by-pitches. Fourth-year skipper Dash O’Neill believes Moody’s attitude and toughness are critical to the team’s success. “When you’ve got a player like Hunter who puts the team before himself and attacks every task with intensity and toughness, it rubs off on the players around him. This is his third year in our program, and he’s taken some big steps forward in his development. He’s exactly the kind of player every coach loves to have on their team, and I know his leadership is going to be important for us as we head into another season of GHC baseball.” Hunter will graduate this spring with a degree in General Studies, and he carries a 3.16 GPA heading into the year. While he is unsure where he will transfer to after graduation, he is being recruited by multiple four-year schools and looks forward to continuing to play baseball at the next level.

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Thinking about going to college?

Ready to take the next step but not sure you can afford it? You can! And you don’t have to go into debt to do it. Did you know there is cash on the table that can help you pay for college that you don’t have to pay back? Or what about free textbook alternatives to avoid paying for expensive college books? There are so many ways to save! And Georgia Highlands College is here to help you learn how.



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Profile for Georgia Highlands College

Fall/Winter 2019 Highlander Magazine  

Fall/Winter 2019 Highlander Magazine