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charger The official magazine of Georgia Highlands College

Spring/Summer 2016

NATION In This Issue Two new bachelor’s programs added Listed in “Top five best state colleges” in Georgia NOW offering night, online, and weekend classes Student starts bird rescue Meet our recruiters

or f s s e l t t hip a s b n ion pio t a am N r ch e g al r a on h C ati e Th o n tw

Table of Contents

...in this issue 3

Message from the President


Campus News


Department Spotlight


Faculty Spotlight


Staff Spotlight


Student Spotlight


Alumni Spotlight


Alumni News


Foundation Spotlight


Charger News


Retiree News


In Memoriam

The Highlander is published twice a year by the Office of Advancement at Georgia Highlands College 3175 Cedartown Highway Rome, GA 30161 • 706-295-6366 highlands.edu Editor and Designer Sheila Jones Photographers Jeff Brown Nick Godfrey Writer Nick Godfrey Contributors Virginia Siler, Emily Farmer, Terri Cavender

Keep up with Georgia Highlands on social media /GeorgiaHighlandsCollege /GHCAthletics /GHCAlumni

@GaHighlands @GHC_Athletics @ChargerInCharge

ABOUT THE COVER: The Chargers dominated the basketball season this year and won the region tournament for both men’s and women’s basketball. The Rome News-Tribune stated, “Georgia Highlands basketball is no longer a Cinderella story. It is the class of its conference…” Doniel Dean was one of the leaders on the men’s team. He’s a 6’1 sophomore from Newnan, Georgia, and he sports the number 0. Dean was chosen as the GCAA Men’s DI Defensive Player of the Year. He was also given first team status and All Defensive Team status. Kayla Carter worked her magic on the women’s team. She’s a 5’7 sophomore who joined GHC from Georgia Perimeter College and sports the number 5. Carter was named All Tournament Team Most Valuable Player. She also earned the WBCA All American Honorable Mention. Read more about the Chargers’ big season on page 32.

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 5,700 students in Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama across its five locations in Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas, and Douglasville. Georgia Highlands currently offers associate degrees in over 40 areas of study, as well as a Bachelor of Science in nursing for registered nurses and a Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene, and a new Bachelor of Business Administration which will begin Fall 2017. For details on the new degree see page 4.

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Donald J. Green, Ed.D., President The Advancement Office encompasses development, public relations, marketing, digital media, graphic design, and alumni relations. Vice President of Advancement Executive Director of the GHC Foundation Mary Transue Assistant to the Vice President Mary Ann Steiner Director of Public Relations & Marketing Sheila Jones Content Coordinator Nick Godfrey Director of Digital Media Services Jeff Brown Digital Media Specialist Justin Sucre Design and Print Services Ken Davis Alumni Development Specialist Alison Lampkin

A Debt-Free College Experience is Possible

There are a lot of things that worry high school graduates like, “What am I going to do when I grow up?” Most hear the same two messages about their future: You need a college degree for career success and college is expensive. Knowing this, a student might think there is no choice in the matter: I have to go to college to obtain a solid career and I have to go into significant debt to do it. That’s not necessarily true. Although the cost of college has risen over the years, students who MEDIA TOUR - GHC President Don Green (left) met with media all make a strategic financial plan to over Northwest Georgia to discuss how college can be a low-cost complete their degree can graduor even debt-free experience. His first stop was on WRGA’s morning show “Hometown Headlines” with John Druckenmiller. ate with little to no debt. One way is making a smart start. Students who begin at state colleges like Georgia Highlands College have an advantage over those who may begin at a four-year university. Students at GHC can obtain their full two-year associate degree for less than $8,000. This affordable price is why GHC was recently named the best return on investment in the state by a 2015 federal report. Reports like these look at how much a student pays to obtain their degree from any given college or university versus the long term financial benefits of obtaining that degree. Not only that, you can pursue a Bachelor of Science in nursing or dental hygiene or a Bachelor of Business Administration in logistics and supply chain management or healthcare management (see page 4) for a total cost of around $16,000. That’s right, four-year degree: $16,000. It gets better. The lower cost doesn’t take into account the smaller class sizes, the personal attention, the savings gained from not having to pay for housing, and, at GHC, the reduced cost of textbooks as we move to more common public domain texts. (We saved students $486,000 in the fall semester). There are many more ways for students to work through a debt-free college experience. But knowing the cost and the options available are great methods for students to begin their approach on forming a clear, focused, and strategic financial plan for college. At Georgia Highlands College, we believe that all students can succeed and we are committed to ensuring that students receive a strong return on their educational investment.

Charger Champions

I had the honor of traveling to both the men’s and the women’s national tournament showings in Kansas and Texas. I can tell you our players have heart. I can tell you they fought hard against some of the best teams in the country. But what impressed me most was the teamwork each of these teams displayed. They had so much respect for each other, and they literally left everything on the court. This kind of camaraderie and determination is embodied in all of our students at GHC, and I’m glad we were able to display that on a national level. (Please read more about the basketball teams on page 32).

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From the President

Message from the President

Campus News

Bachelor of Business Administration in two more areas of study approved by USG The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved Georgia Highlands College to start offering a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Healthcare Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. These new degrees will be available Fall 2017, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. GHC Vice President for Academic Affairs Renva Watterson explained that she and GHC President Don Green commissioned a task force in 2014 to find new degree options that would meet the economic needs of GHC’s service area. After the group examined census and economic data for the Northwest Georgia region and also found that currently no other USG institution within a two-hour drive provides similar degrees, it was decided that these degree options would best fit the workforce needs of the area. “The creation of a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Healthcare Management will complement GHC’s long-established associate degree program in business and is a clear fit with the mission of the college,” Watterson said. The BBA in Healthcare Management, she explained, is the perfect precursor for students looking to have careers in Hospital Administration, Clinic Administration, Health Information Management, Nursing Management, and Rehabilitation Administration. “Georgia Highlands College’s geographic service area is very expansive, reaching Bartow, Chattooga, Cherokee, Douglas, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, North Cobb, Paulding, and Polk counties,” Watterson said. “These areas have a large number of healthcare-based employers and a Bachelor of Business

Administration in Healthcare Management would not only meet a need for a still rapidly growing job industry but would also help establish Georgia Highlands College as the destination for Healthcare Education in Northwest Georgia.” Watterson stated that the implementation of a BBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management also meets a growing workforce need for an educationally underserved industry. “GHC’s Associate of Science in Business Administration is the college’s second most popular major and produces the largest number of graduates,” she said. “By providing the BBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management students have the opportunity to continue on a business tract that complements the current associate-level business degree program at GHC.” This degree will provide a strong foundation in the key concepts of business as well as developing analytical, critical thinking, and leadership skills. It will also focus on supplier relations, transportation, materials planning, inventory, warehousing, distribution, and customer relationship management. President Green added, “With the advantage of GHC having a close proximity to Interstate 75 and the growth of the manufacturing industry in Northwest Georgia, this new BBA degree in logistics and supply chain management will be crucial to building a well-educated workforce. Both new BBA degrees will offer a quality, affordable fouryear degree in growing fields in GHC’s service area. They will provide a strong business core foundation that will develop analytical, critical thinking, and leadership skills for those graduates. As always, we are proud of our partnerships with area high schools, technical schools, business, and industry as we continue to work together to support economic development and growth throughout our region.”

KSU/GHC collaboration expands to offer Bachelor of Science in Integrative Studies at Paulding site GHC students can now take advantage of Kennesaw State University’s Bachelor of Science in Integrative Studies program at GHC’s Paulding site. The degree is currently offered at KSU’s main campus and will now be extending to the GHC site in Paulding. As part of GHC’s collaboration with KSU, students wishing to

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pursue this degree will have a much easier time transitioning into the program and gaining access to this pathway. Classes will begin being offered Fall 2016 at the Paulding site. Students interested in this program should contact Kennesaw State University directly.

Georgia Highlands College was recognized by Schools.com in its 2016 “Best Of” list as number two in the Top Five Best State Colleges in Georgia. Schools.com, which focuses on what career-minded students are most interested in, touted GHC for its transfer rate to four-year schools and its affordable tuition cost. Schools.com states, “Taking second place in the top five for its transfer rate to four-year schools and capturing the No. 2 ranking in the USG for cost of tuition, fees, and supplies was Georgia Highlands College, a medium-sized campus located in the southern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains… the college offers classes on weekends and evenings and expanded its geographical reach with additional instructional sites in Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas, and Douglasville to accommodate those who live at a distance from the main campus.” The ranking also noted GHC’s study abroad programs, saying, “Students at GHC have the option of taking trips outside the country to learn, sightsee, and participate in cultural activities designed to expand their perspective. Study abroad options in 2016 include three trips of varying length to a University of Georgia campus in Costa Rica and a summer trip to the Kennesaw State University campus in Montepulciano, Italy.” GHC joins the list alongside Georgia Perimeter College, Bainbridge State College, Darton State College, and Atlanta Metropolitan State College. “GHC has had quite a bit of success over the past year,” GHC President Don Green said. “We were rated best ‘return on investment’ for state colleges in Georgia by a federal report; we have seen a rise in enrollment with over seven percent growth for fall

and over six percent growth for spring; we recently graduated another class of bachelor students from our nursing program, which was also listed as the second most affordable nursing program in the nation; we are working more closely with students to help them stay on track and complete with our student success coach initiative; and we have seen a 21 percent increase in Latino student enrollment.” “Looking forward,” Green went on, “GHC is excited to continue developing more career associate degree options with an affordable cost of less than $8,000 for a full two-year degree.” State colleges within the University System of Georgia were ranked by Schools.com on the percentage of students enrolled in distance education; cost of attendance; student-to-faculty ratio; graduation rate; and transfers to University System of Georgia institutions. Schools.com is a leading resource for careerminded students. Featuring in-depth information about growing careers and different educational programs—both online and on-campus—the site helps job-seekers and students alike identify potential pathways to success.

Campus News

GHC ranked second in Top Five Best State Colleges in Georgia

Voted best college in Rome Each year, the Rome News-Tribune polls the city for the “Best Of” in several categories. Romans vote on everything from best restaurant to best doctor’s office. This year GHC was voted the best college in Rome. GHC received a two-page feature in the Rome News-Tribune’s newest magazine called Rome Life.

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Campus News

Spring enrollment sees increase over last year

Georgia Highlands College kicked off the new year with a jump in spring semester enrollment. Classes resumed with a noticeable increase over last year’s spring semester numbers. “Our current spring enrollment represents a 6.3 percent increase from last spring semester,” GHC Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Jones said. This increase follows a 7.1 percent increase for fall semester enrollment. According to the University System of Georgia’s “Fall 2015 Semester Enrollment Report,” GHC had the third highest enrollment increase in the state. GHC President Don Green attributes these

increases to a number of efforts by all faculty and staff in the areas of recruitment, retention, and increased marketing. Retention rates are also on the rise, Green added, which is due in part by GHC’s new Student Success Coach Initiative that was formed to help maintain and increase retention rates. The Student Success Coach Initiative gave all 2015 first-time, full-time GHC students the opportunity to work with faculty or staff members who would act as their success coach for the year. Almost 200 faculty/staff members volunteered to be success coaches for over 900 students.

New accelerated degree program crafted for working adults Georgia Highlands College launched a new accelerated adult learner program for Fall 2016. This new program gives students the opportunity to earn an Associate of Science with a focus in business administration on a two-year completion plan with flexible class scheduling that includes evening, hybrid, and online courses. The “nights, online, and weekends” or NOW program has been crafted specifically for working adult learners. “I’m very excited that GHC will be offering this pathway. There are a lot of wonderful opportunities that the NOW program offers working adults who are looking for career mobility,” NOW Coordinator Maria Lauro said. The program is designed to be completed in two years, Lauro explained, and offers courses on

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an accelerated eight-week format, which will include routine advising, periodic check-ins/coaching, and access to the GHC tutorial center to ensure student success. “The NOW program is currently offering an Associate of Science that enables students to transfer into a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration,” she said. “It’s a wonderful way for working adults to earn a degree with the most flexibility. It also positions them to go farther in their career and education.” The pilot program started on the GHC Cartersville campus Spring 2016. For more NOW admissions information, please contact NOW Coordinator Maria Lauro at mlauro@ highlands.edu or by phone at 678-872-8009. More information can also be found online at: highlands.edu/site/now-nights-online-weekends

Georgia Highlands College published a manuscript called “Voices in Protest” about the civil rights movement in Rome, Georgia. The memoir was written by Rose Esserman Levin. The book consists of two parts: narratives (collected and organized by Rose Levin) by African American students from Main High School about their participation in sit-ins and Rose Levin’s memoir of her life and time in Rome, including as an activist with her husband Jule Levin. According to their daughter Ann Levin, the book “represents [my mother’s] effort to contribute to the memory and preserve the stories of the civil rights movement and these brave young people.” The student narratives describe their experiences in March 1963 when they “began intensive and coordinated efforts to desegregate downtown Rome lunch counters” and the “resistance, intimidation, and retaliation” they faced. Many students were jailed and “in some cases convicted and punished for their

‘crimes’ of civil disobedience.” Rose Esserman Levin was born in Rome and lived there during these years. She and her husband Jule spent almost 25 years of their married life as members of the Rome community. Describing her parents, Ann Levin writes in the Foreword, “They held strong convictions about and were outspoken advocates for racial equality. They could have taken an easier and safer route and kept their politics and values to themselves. But they chose to speak out…to work for civil rights and social justice. Some of this urgency to act may have stemmed from being Jewish and understanding aspects of the minority experience. But whatever the factors and reasons, they were clear, courageous, and consistent in their efforts to advance the movement. They did this publicly as well as ‘behind-the-scenes,’ as a kind of ‘tag-team,’ in ways that are detailed in this [book].”

Campus News

GHC publishes Esserman memoir about the civil rights movement in Rome

In 1993, Ann and her husband established a scholarship fund, now housed at Georgia Highlands College, which honors the civil rights work of both Rose and Jule. The Rose Esserman Levin and Jule Levin Fund for Social Justice gives an annual scholarship to a GHC student with a demonstrated commitment to social justice and human rights. To learn more about the scholarship, please visit Georgia Highlands College or find GHC online at highlands.edu The document can be accessed electronically at: issuu. com/georgiahighlandscollege3/ docs/voicesinprotest

Student helps design first GHC police car Kendra Dee Robinson was excited to find out that her graphic design for the first GHC police car was chosen. Kendra was one of many students who submitted designs for the new vehicle. She is a pre-nursing student on the Rome campus. GHC Chief of Police David Horace revealed the new car to Kendra and gave her a gift card for being selected. “I’m thankful for all the students who participated,” Horace said. “All the designs were wonderful, and it’s a pleasure to announce that Kendra’s design is now on the college’s very first police vehicle.”

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Campus News

Nursing assistant training courses now being offered Georgia Highlands College was recently approved by the Georgia Medical Care Foundation to begin its own certified nursing assistant program (CNA). Additionally, GHC has incorporated the new CNA program as a natural progression for students wishing to join the GHC nursing program. GHC Health Sciences Advising Specialist Marjorie Frazier stated that holding a CNA gives students more career and employment opportunities when they graduate. “When finished with the course, our students are eligible to take the state certification exam as a certified nursing assistant,” Frazier said. “When certified, our students are eligible to work in long term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living. Though the certification is not required to work in

acute care, most hospitals prefer nursing assistants to have the certification.” The CNA program will be offered through GHC Continuing Education. It is a six-week course for $700 that will be held at Heritage Hall in Rome. Frazier explained that GHC will not limit admission to GHC students, but since the CNA will now be a requirement for admission to the nursing program at GHC, pre-nursing students who are ready to apply to the nursing program will be given priority. For more information about the program or to apply, please visit: highlands.edu/ce

New lab opened on Floyd campus With an influx in enrollment, Georgia Highlands College has renovated and updated a lab on the Floyd campus to accommodate more students and provide a more contemporary lab experience. GHC Laboratory Assistant Paulette Jordan explained that the lab was originally two separate classrooms, but in 1992, the wall separating the room was opened up to expand. The newest renovation, however, better utilizes the open space, she added.

Out with the old – President Green (center) joins Dean Ford, Lab Assistant Paulette Jordan, and several GHC students as Lab Coordinator Jason Christian cuts the ribbon for the newly renovated lab on the Floyd campus.

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GHC Lab Coordinator Jason Christian helped design the new lab, noting the old space was outdated. He stated that the previous space was a combination of mismatched tables and benches that were positioned so that instructors had difficulty accessing students. The room was also originally designed for two different lab rooms and had little storage space and inadequate electrical and water to run a modern lab. “When I designed the new lab, I made it as open and non-constrictive as possible. The layout of the student benches allows for more one-on-one interaction between the faculty and students,” Christian said. Natural Science & Physical Education Dean Gregory Ford said that this new lab falls in line with the division’s mission to ensure students are wellprepared for STEM careers and/or STEM transfer programs following the completion of an associate degree at GHC. “To prepare our students for these endeavors, we have to provide them a 21st century education,” Ford said. “Our investment in laboratory resources and facilities will allow our graduates to be competitive in the job market, as well as give them the skills they need to excel within the university system.” A ribbon cutting was held for the new lab in January, just in time for the spring semester.

Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) has awarded Georgia Highlands College the designation of a Top School in its 2016 MAE&T Guide to Colleges & Universities, measuring best practices in military and veteran education.  The Guide was released late December, and is available online at www. mae-kmi.com.  The Guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions, including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year, and two-year colleges. From community colleges to state universities, online universities and nationally known centers of higher learning, MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges & Universities arms students with information about institutions that go out of their way to give back to our men and women in uniform. Now in its ninth year of publishing the Guide, MAE&T was the first publication to launch a reference tool of this type. This year, institutions were evaluated on their military culture, financial aid, flexibility, general support, on-campus support, and online support services. Each school’s performance rating by category is represented by an easy-to-recognize dashboard. This enables prospective students to quickly target schools that follow best practices in military education, and then put these in context with other academic or career considerations. With input from an advisory board of educational and government experts, and criteria based on recommendations from the VA and military services, MAE&T’s Guide to Colleges and Universities provides the foundational information a prospective student would use in framing his or her educational needs. “Our goal is to be a dynamic resource for active service members and those who have moved from the military to their civilian careers, helping them find the school that best fits their plans for the future,” said Kelly Fodel, Military Advanced Education & Transition’s editor. “We think this year’s Guide is our most comprehensive to date, thanks to our newly established advisory board. The board evaluated the drafts of the questionnaire, made pages of notes and suggestions and helped to redefine questions for clarity. We thank them for their thoughtful edits and additions to our process.”

Not only is the 2016 Guide printed in the December issue of Military Advanced Education & Transition, but also published in a searchable database online. Students will have access to all the survey questions and answers provided by the schools, as well as explanations about critical issues like activation and deployment policies, withdrawal policies, scholarship and financial aid information and important support information. “While we realize that all schools are unique, we focus our annual survey on the best practices that make a true difference to service members and student veterans,” said Fodel. “These best practices have been asserted by various higher education groups and reinforced by veteran groups, and we consider our survey to be the most detailed and informative in the industry.” Visit www.mae-kmi.com for online access to MAE&T’s 2016 Guide to Colleges and Universities, or pick up a copy of the December issue of Military Advanced Education & Transition.

Campus News

GHC selected as a top school by Military Advanced Education & Transitions

Cartersville student wins $18,065 in cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune Sam Philliber had the unique opportunity of playing on the game show Wheel of Fortune. The Cartersvillle student won $18,065 in cash and prizes, including a 2015 Ford Fiesta. Philliber told reporters, “I grew up watching [the show] with my grandmother and have just always watched the show and wanted to be on it. I am a puzzle person and love solving things. One night I saw an ad on the T.V. about applying to be a contestant, so I applied.” Philliber is currently studying business management at GHC and is expected to receive his prizes in April 2016.

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Campus News

Brittany Kelchner chosen as Board of Regents Academic Day Representative It was Brittany Kelchner’s first semester at Georgia Highlands College when she found out she was pregnant. She’ll tell you that having a child while attending college was one of the hardest things she’s ever had to overcome. But she did it. Kelchner currently holds a perfect 4.0 GPA at GHC, she is an active volunteer of Green Highlands, and she aspires to one day open her own nature center to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife while teaching children about animals. One student is chosen from each college in the University System of Georgia each year to be a Board of Regents Academic Day Representative. Kelchner was chosen for GHC, due to her outstanding scholastic achievement, as well as holding the mandatory 4.0 GPA. “My father started lecturing to me at a very young age about education and its importance,” she said. “He taught me to always be learning and growing as a person. He instilled in me a passion for learning.” Kelchner is looking to continue her studies at the University of Georgia after she finishes her Associate of Science in Biology at GHC. She stated that the affordability, small class sizes and phenomenal professors are what she will miss most about GHC when she continues on.

After she finishes her studies, she explained there is still so much she wants to do. “Children are our future,” she said. “I would like to open a nature center to teach kids about the environment, as well as teach them about the math and science of the natural world.” Kelchner and the other representatives were honored in March during the Board of Regents meeting and luncheon at the University System Office. She will be recognized again during GHC’s Honor Night.

Dual Enrollment student recognized for local award GHC dual enrollment student Sydney Shultz won Distinguished Young Woman of Bartow County. Her dad, Matt, said he is positive that her dual enrollment experience at GHC played a big role in her success.

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Contributed by GHC Human Resources

Employee well-being is important to the leadership team at Georgia Highlands College. So important that in the Fall 2015, the team agreed to challenge five other USG schools to a walking competition. Using walkgeorgia.org as the tracking tool, GHC, Dalton State College, Georgia Gwinnett College, South Georgia College, College of Coastal Georgia and East Georgia State College tracked nearly 12,000 miles. GHC faculty, staff, and administrators stepped up to the challenge and won! More than bragging rights, Georgia Highlands College won something priceless: employees motivated to be healthier – and have fun doing so. What benefits did employees experience from the Fall 2015 Walk Challenge? When surveyed after the challenge, the number one response was motivation. What motivated employees? For some, it was

One more step – continued on page 17

Burkhalter meets with student organizations GHC Alumnus and Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter spoke to the Criminal Justice/Political Science Club on the Floyd campus recently about the role of sheriff in a community. He was joined by his Chief Deputy Tom Caldwell.

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Campus News

Take One More Step

the free gifts – several were excited about the T-shirts. Many found it fun, and who doesn’t want to find a way to fit more fun into their “normal life activities?” For some, it was an eye-opener, making them aware of their level of activity (or inactivity). They appreciated that the challenge got them moving, engaged, involved. Making time in our hectic lives for any activity is a challenge. One employee responded, “My schedule is so busy that I enjoyed knowing my supervisor supported my efforts to stay active and I could say, I am being challenged to walk every day!” Encouragement is a huge motivator, and many employees felt encouraged. Georgia Highlands College is a team, and its employees make up that team. In the employees’ assessment of the Challenge, many were glad to be part of a group, honored to represent Georgia Highlands College and stated that it “felt like I was part of something bigger – I didn’t feel like I was alone.” They expressed appreciation for peers at other colleges around the state who were a part of this Challenge. Many employees partnered up and found camaraderie with co-workers, several stated that they enjoyed the fellowship shared in this group event. For those, the Challenge benefited physical and emotional well-being, and strengthened a support network to promote health in the workplace. Many employees were motivated by seeing the progress others made. Awareness brings accountability. As participants logged activity, they saw how each mile contributed to the success of the group. Most found being part of a group challenge motivated them to walk more and keep track of their steps. Hopefully, that exercise opened a path to more activity, to re-working schedules to accommodate activity, to discovering a way to get on track to a healthier lifestyle. One employee

Campus News

GHC’s all-stars score some recognition Contributed by GHC Human Resources

ent of the Vivian Benton Award. The Vivian Benton As Billy Martin said, “There’s nothing greater Award is designed to recognize the staff member in the world than when somebody on the team does who consistently projects a positive image and who something good, and everybody gathers around to serves the college above and beyond the call of duty pat him on the back.” We at GHC are a team and this and actively contributes to the success of the colpast year we had the pleasure of gathering around to lege. The fact that Ken has been nominated each pat some of our team members on the back. year since the implementation of the “Caught in the Our Humanities Division Act” recognition program demwas awarded Department onstrates that Ken has a great of the Year of Fall 2015 for batting average when it comes their all-star demonstration to going above and beyond! A of teamwork and numerous quote from one of his nominacontributions to GHC and its tions, “I appreciate that when I communities. See more on go to Ken, he is always willing page 20 in their Department to help and does so patiently Spotlight. and caringly. What I was work Four GHC employees ing on might not have been were nominated and recogimportant to him, but he knew President Green presents Outstanding nized as being MVP’s: it was important to me and he Administrator Award to Dean Reaves Rob Laltrello, ITS helped me until we got through Associate CIO/CTO/Director, it.” was recognized as the GHC Maria Lauro, Enrollment Employee of the Year. A Management Specialist, was quote from his nomination, awarded the Staff Community “I have always got the feelInvolvement Award. ing that Rob is a team player. In addition to her role as Not just what would be the an Enrollment Management easiest or quickest fix, but Specialist, Maria took on what would be best for GHC. the responsibility of Adult Rob is approachable. What Concierge. As such, she has good does it do us if someone made it her mission to reach USG Service Excellence knows the answer, but does out to the community in and Award Winner Linda Corbin not share it? Anytime that I around Bartow County in purhave asked him if he could suit of enrollment, enrichment, do something, he has never and excellence for potential refused. Anytime that I have and current students, as well asked him about something as for GHC. Maria was instruand he did not know the mental in organizing commuanswer, he would find out.” nity events in Bartow County Ken Reaves, Marietta designed to reach out to underCampus Dean, was recserved students in the commuognized as Outstanding nity to offer encouragement and Administrator. Reaves was educational solutions to these noted for sharing his wisdom individuals with the hope that Dean Johnson presents Community and time with whomever they could take that first step Involvement Award to Maria Lauro needed it. Without complaint, to economic freedom offered Ken ensures that everyone by a Higher Educational degree. And while Maria receives the utmost customer service. Ken lives and is busy out in the community assisting and offering leads by the philosophy that “We will get through hope and help to our underserved, she is also just as this, look back and evaluate the pro’s and con’s busy inside the walls of GHC. Maria worked with and just remember, this is as one of life’s teachable a student who was in a desperate situation needing moments.” assistance with the essentials; housing and food and Ken Davis, Publications Editor, was the recipia way to stay enrolled in school. Maria worked with

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community organizations until this student’s needs would be met. Because of Maria’s dedication, this student is still enrolled and fully expects to graduate. This year, GHC’s scope of excellence extended beyond our six campuses as Linda Corbin, Administrative Assistant in Information Technology, was recognized in the USG Service Excellence Program. The purpose of Chancellor’s Annual Service Excellence Awards is to recognize and reward employees for demonstrating consistently high levels of performance while accomplishing normal job responsibilities as it relates to service for the past year. Linda is a team player and her desire to provide great customer service does not stop in the IT department. Linda is in a league of her own when it comes to customer service! She participates in various efforts across the institution. In one of our student outreach projects, Linda holds the record for the most student contacts. There is no doubt that Linda Corbin has positively impacted her department, her external customers, her institution and most importantly, our students.

Every day creates opportunities to catch GHC employees in the act Georgia Highlands is a team of champions, on and off the court. Our “Caught in the Act” recognition program allows students, employees, and the community to report acts that go above and beyond. Since its inception, in 2013, we have had 261 reports of our employees caring, providing excellent customer service, performing great teaching, and coming up with great ideas. Two examples of being “Caught in the Act” follow. Mike Smithson was caught in the act of caring by a co-worker who wrote “Mike is such a great coworker! He is constantly here at the campus with the alarm going off and students staying late. He deserves to receive a caring award every day for what he does going above and beyond helping the students with their cars, lost items, parking decals, etc.. I was near campus one day with a flat tire, and he came to the rescue to help me change my tire when he was already off work.” Mike has even been caught giving impromptu tours to prospective students when needed. Lauren Burkhalter was nominated for stepping up to the plate and displaying great sportsmanship in all her interactions. Lauren’s nominator explains, “I nominate Lauren for the Caught in the Act of Good Customer Service Award because any time, and every time, that I have reached out to her for assistance, she has always been willing to go above and beyond and assist me with my request. She has never acted like it was a burden or questioned why I was reaching out to her. She has not only said she would do it, but she has always done what she said she would do. Being on separate campuses makes it difficult but I always feel like Lauren is a part of the team. The GHC team. I appreciate her efforts and willingness to help.”

2015 Award Recipients Caught in the Act of Good Teaching Leslie Johnston Cynthia Davidson Steve Blankenship Carla Patterson Kristie Kemper Elizabeth Dose Hallie Eberlein Scott Flynn

Caught in the Act of Caring Nancy Applegate Becky Sims Amy Wise Richard Davis Mike Peterson Adebayo Onabule Elijah Scott Paige Presley Renva Watterson Joan Ledbetter Jacob Bryant Lauren Burkhalter Leslie Terrell-Payne Xinia Smith- Camacho David Fendley Sarah Hepler Louvonia Johnson-Boone Jeannie Blakely Theresa Kellet Susan Vines David Mathis Phil Gaffney Terri Cavender Christy Twilley Ken Davis Jonathan Twilley Jeff Patty Jeanette Eckles Melinda King Billie Saenz Sandie Davis Todd Jones Tammy Nicholson Angela Wheelus Amanda West Roseline Amobi Debby Ziegler Mary Ann Steiner Jeff Brown Justin Sucre Jade Wells Nick Godfrey Alison Lampkin Mary Transue Sheila Jones Rick Watters

Angela Spano Nivenitie McDaniel Megan Davidson Judith Norwood Bill Vinson

Caught in the Act of Good Customer Service

Laura Walton Xinia Smith-Camacho Judith Norwood Van Spivey Douglas Malcolm David Souders Jeannie Blakely Renva Watterson Sonja Wright-Smith Carole Abbott Lynzee Patrick Maggie Murphy Abraham Ortiz Terryl Mannings Tammy Nicholson Billie Saenz Ted Pence Kimberly Linek Evan Snelling Tammy Green Douglas Malcolm Fred Coble Elijah Scott Cynthia Parker Sumer Lang Jacob Bryant Lisa Garrett Jillian Petro Lauren Burkhalter Terri Kirby Ian Fleming

Jacob Broome Jeanette Eckles Christina Henggeler

Caught in the Act of a Good Idea Lauren Baus Rob Laltrello Melissa Wood Jed Gillespie Annette Maddox Connie Watjen Douglas Malcolm Outstanding Administrator Ken Reaves Vivian Benton Award Ken Davis Mace Bearer Blanca Gonzalez Walraven Award Kristie Kemper Community Involvement Staff Maria Lauro Employee of the Year Rob Laltrello Department of the Year Division of Humanities

2015 Mace Bearer Blanca Gonzalez

2014 Award Recipients highlands.edu | 13

Campus News

Georgia Highlands College’s Phi Theta Kappa program continues to impress at the annual All-Georgia Academic Team Awards Luncheon in downtown Atlanta at the Sloppy Floyd Building near the state capitol. During last year’s luncheon, GHC brought home more honors than any other college in attendance. This year, GHC earned several top honors and was boasted for having the largest All-Georgia Academic Team in the state. State Representative Keisha Waites was the Keynote Speaker and Jamie Williams from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation presented the awards. Justin Jones (GHC PTK chapter president) was selected as the 2016 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar ($2000 scholarship): The student receiving the highest All-USA Community College Academic Team application score in each state is named a Coca-Cola New Century Scholar. NominaMEDAL MOMENT – PTK members tions were Justin Jones (left) and Roy Clifton evaluated show off their medals from the on academic All-Georgia Academic Team achievement, Awards Luncheon in Atlanta. leadership, service and a response to a significant endeavor. Each Scholar’s nominating institution also receives special recognition at the American Association of Community Colleges Convention. Roy Clifton (GHC PTK VP of Campus Events) was also selected as the 2016 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar ($1000 scholarship): The Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team recognizes high achieving two-year college students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. Fifty bronze scholars from across the nation are awarded each year. The full GHC All-Academic Team consists of:

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Campus News

PTK has huge showing at the All-Georgia Academic Team Awards Luncheon in Atlanta

Roy Clifton, Justin Jones, Laura Jordan, Hollie Lung, Kaneisha Smith, Rick Twist, and Stephanie Vanas. But GHC’s PTK didn’t stop there. The group saw even more success at the 2016 Regional Conference that was held at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Their accolades included: 5-Star Chapter Status, the Chapter Officer Award (Justin Jones), the Chapter Hall of Honor Award (Christin Koutavas), the Distinguished Honors in Action Issue Award, the Distinguished Honors in Action Project Award, the Distinguished College Project Award, and the Distinguished Top Chapter Award in the Region. Justin Jones was also selected as a Guistwhite Scholar ($5000). The Guistwhite Scholarships recognize Phi Theta Kappa members for outstanding academic achievement, leadership accomplishment, and engagement in Phi Theta Kappa programs and is designed to assist in the members’ attainment of baccalaureate degrees. Additionally, Georgia Highlands College students Damaris Hunger from Cedartown; Mykayla Jeter from Hiram; and Hollie Lung from Acworth were selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship from Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society as a 2015 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. Rick Twist also won the 2015 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education last semester ($5000). Selected as 2015 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars, 207 Phi Theta Kappa members have been awarded a total of $207,000 in scholarships. Chosen from more than 1,100 applications worldwide, the scholars receive scholarships of $1,000 each to further their associate degree studies. Independent judges evaluate the applications based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential. The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program provides new Phi Theta Kappa members with financial resources to help defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are also encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in Society programs. GHC’s PTK also won scholarships to the PTK Honors Institute being held this summer at Wake Forest University and won the Regional Office position as the new 2016-2017 Presidential Chapter for the region with Mykayla Jeter as the Presidential Representative. The GHC chapter will also be hosting the Spring Regional Conference Spring 2017 on the Cartersville Campus.

The GHC student newspaper, Six Mile Post, had one of its strongest showings yet at the Georgia College Press Association’s annual contest—and against four-year institutions no less. Professor of English and SMP Adviser Kristie Kemper stated that even though SMP staffers now have to go head-to-head against many colleges with four-year journalism or communications programs due to a change in the awarding process, it didn’t stifle their drive to bring home top honors. The student newspaper took first place in General Excellence at the GCPA luncheon in Athens, beating out Georgia College and State University in third and Berry College in second place. The Six Mile Post also took first place in the General Awards category for News, Sports, and Improvement. The paper additionally found second place in Editorials. But the list doesn’t stop there. GHC student Mary Roberts Demesquita won the Impact Award, which is for the best editorial cartoonist. Other individual awards were: Stacey Moffett, second place best entertainment story category; Mary Roberts Demesquita, third place best entertainment feature; Anna Douglass, second place best column; Larry Oswalt, third place best column; Christina Goodwin, first place best editorial/feature photo; Jeremy Hoskins, second place best editorial/feature photo; Lydia Chandler, second place best feature story; and Shelby Hogland, second place best sports photo. SMP Editor-in-chief Stacey Moffett said that winning validates her staff’s hard work. “It was invigorating, because up to this point it has been stressful… and we’ve had some difficul-

ties,” she said. “It was very invigorating to win, to know that all your work is appreciated.” Kemper stated that she is very proud of what the Six Mile Post was able to accomplish against more difficult competition. “It shows a lot of hard work by the students,” she said. “And one thing that really struck me is how well our freshmen and sophomores are holding their own with freshmen and sophomores at UGA, Georgia State, and other schools. We always say at GHC that we provide a really strong first two years, and I think this shows that we really do.” To see more about the Six Mile Post, visit them at sixmilepost.com   Stacey Moffett, SMP Editor-in-Chief (left), and Taylor Barton, SMP Chief Photographer, place the newest edition of GHC’s student publication the  Six Mile Post on stands for students to pick up and read. 

New outdoor classroom at Anna K Davie Elementary School Georgia Highlands College, in partnership with Anna K. Davie Elementary School of Rome and the South Redevelopment Corporation, opened a new outdoor classroom at the elementary school in December 2015. The effort began as a joint service-learning project and the vision was to create an outdoor classroom in conjunction with the South Rome Redevelopment Corporation Community Garden in hopes

that students and parents alike would use the space for teaching and learning opportunities, including community gardening, food security, social entrepreneurship, and other STEM-related educational opportunities.   Grant funds from the Opal Apple Company supported the effort through a small grant that allowed for the purchase of an instructional greenhouse and raised beds.

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Campus News

Student newspaper takes first place in state competition and wins over 10 additional awards

Campus News

Grant helps students and community explore Latino history and culture Georgia Highlands College was recently selected as one of three recipients in Georgia to receive a competitive “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Georgia Regents University and the University of Georgia also received grants. GHC Reference and Instruction Librarian Maggie Murphy explained that more than 200 libraries, museums, state humanities councils, historical societies and other nonprofits across the country were selected to receive grants. “I worked with Amy Burger, an assistant librarian for public services at the GHC Cartersville campus, to write the grant application, which required a considerable amount of research and networking with local scholars and representatives of Latino communities in Northwest Georgia,” Murphy said. As one of the 203 grant recipients selected from across the country, GHC was given a cash grant of $3,000 to hold public programming about Latino history and culture. GHC held two events in March. The first event was a screening of “Empire of Dreams,” an episode of PBS’s Latino Americans documentary, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Stephen Blankenship, GHC associate professor. It took place on the Cartersville campus in the Cartersville Student Center. Refreshments were provided by La Parrilla Mexican Catering and two GHC student organizations (La Mano and Brother 2 Brother).

The second event, a “Latino American Identities Panel,” was hosted in the Mansour Conference Center (995 Roswell St., NE, Suite 100, Marietta). The panel discussion was about what it means to be Latino in Georgia. It featured members of the local community, as well as a special welcome from GHC President Don Green. “Latino Americans have a rich and varied history and culture,” Green said, “and I’m thrilled that GHC has the opportunity to explore this topic in our community.” GHC Reference and Instruction Librarian Maggie Murphy stated that the Georgia Highlands College Libraries will use the “Latino Americans” grant award to hold four public programs in all between July 2015 and June 2016. Key themes from the “Latino Americans” series that Georgia Highlands College intends to explore in these programs include: immigration, education and the expression of identity in Latino culture. “The programming this grant will allow us to hold complements our institution’s focus on extending educational opportunities to our underserved Latino communities by providing us a forum to host events that will promote cross-cultural understanding,” Murphy said. Latino Americans: 500 Years of History, a public programming initiative produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA), is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square.

600 pounds of refuse removed The Etowah River is a little cleaner now thanks to over 30 volunteers, including many GHC students, who participated in an Etowah River Refuse Rally. Student organization Green Highlands sponsored the event and partnered with Euharlee Creek Outfitters and Keep Bartow Beautiful. Two crews were deployed to different sections of the River. One team paddled from Douthit Ferry to Floyd’s Landing and other covered the stretch from Euharlee to Hardin Bridge. Another crew also worked to clean the river bank at Hardin Bridge.

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Georgia Highlands College’s student organization La Mano took some time in November to participate in the annual Latino Youth Leadership Conference put on by the Latin American Association (LAA). The conference attracted over 2,000 students, parents, teachers, and volunteers to the event, which was held on the Georgia State University campus. The goal of the conference was to empower Latino students to complete and continue their education. The conference provided inspiration, motivational speakers, practical tips for college, workshops, and a College and Career Fair for Latino middle school and high school students from all across Georgia. La Mano attended and volunteered at the conference. La Mano Adviser Abraham Ortiz said it was a great way for the student group to focus on its mis-

Jillian Petro, Abraham Ortiz, Michelle Edwards

sion of helping Latino students progress through school by providing academic, social, and personal support through mentorship. “La Mano members are GHC servant leaders who are inspiring and empowering future Latino generations to continue and complete their education,” he said.

One more step – continued from page 11

defied convention by acting on the suggestion that we have walking meetings when practical. This participant stated, “I also liked that I could hold a business meeting, all while walking.” During the Fall 2015 Walk Challenge, there were added demands on our time of the Holidays; did the challenge alter anyone’s traditional activities? Maybe many walked off that Thanksgiving turkey! Whenever – and wherever – participants walked, they walked! Georgia Highlands College had the highest number of employees accept the challenge, and the GHC team put in the most miles! #WeAreGHC! Many were motivated by the competition itself. Some took the challenge personally: “I increased my number of steps per day.” Some took

on the challenge to keep up with a partner or group – or maybe stay ahead of a peer from another school. Most enjoyed the fun, “friendly” challenge of competing against other colleges in the System. The Walk Challenge was “healthy” competition, indeed! So, what were the health benefits of the challenge? An increased activity level, even slightly, would begin to tip the scales favorably! Adding just a few minutes of activity each day can begin to improve fitness levels. So, yay to all 95 who took steps to fitter selves. And now, we will be challenged to take one more step to better health, to fitter lifestyle, to being part of a community dedicated to being healthier and happier.

School supply donations Several boxes of school supplies were donated to the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth to provide those in need with the resources necessary to excel in school. GHC additionally had the privilege of meeting with Latino children in the area during the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth’s collaborative community program called “Strengthening Families” to talk about the importance of education and to pass out some of the donated supplies.  

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Campus News

La Mano participates in Latino Youth Leadership Conference

Campus News

Booth Museum Photography Guild Exhibit For a limited time, the public and students at GHC had the opportunity to view exclusive art from the Booth Western Art Museum Photography Guild Exhibit. “We try to host a new exhibit each semester at our GHC Libraries, and we especially try to find local or regional artists to spotlight,” said Elijah Scott, GHC Dean of Libraries, College Testing, and Curriculum Innovation. He went on, “I think it’s important for our students to see the creative and artistic work that happens in their own communities. Sometimes we think that ‘art’ happens only in large cities, or was created only by the Old Masters, but art happens every day in the Northwest Georgia area. It is critical that our students experience the work of local artists as a way to encourage them to explore and express their own creativity.” Scott explained that the Booth Western Art Museum is a Smithsonian-affiliated, 120,000 square foot facility located in downtown Cartersville, which is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia. The museum was formed in 2010 and now has over 180 members. “I reached out to the Booth Western Art Museum in August to explore opportunities for collaboration and to host exhibits,” Scott said. “Seth Hopkins,

executive director of the Booth Museum, expressed an interest in working with the college to exhibit works from the museum.” Scott stated that hosting the exhibit at GHC serves multiple purposes, from exposing students to the local museum to giving the museum itself another outlet for exposure to the community. “Plus,” Scott added, “Many people don’t realize that our GHC libraries are open to the public and that they can obtain a library card for free. We welcome everyone from our communities to visit our libraries and to experience firsthand how GHC can be a gateway for success.”

Students collect toys for area foster kids GHC’s Brother 2 Brother saw an overwhelming need in 2015 to help the Paulding County Department of Family and Children Services give foster kids in the area gifts for the holidays. When the B2B student group found out there were over 170 Paulding County foster children, they stepped up to sponsor and manage a Secret Santa program. Over 200 toys were collected for distribution. The B2B team was led by B2B President Wesly Lahens, B2B Event Coordinator Marquis Nixon, and GHC Administrative Assistant Angela Spano. The

group collaborated with the GHC Paulding faculty, staff, students, and Vicki Randall, the Founder and CEO of Open Hearts to All non-profit organization. According to Nixon, the goal was simple. “We are very active in the community and with working with children,” he said. “Ms. Spano gave us the opportunity to lead the drive. She has a great deal of confidence in our organization and supported us every day of the toy drive. When she told us how many children we will be reaching, we did not want to let her or the children down. We know that they may not know us, but we are here to do whatever we can to help.”  Lahens added, “We have a family environment at GHC. When there is a need, we rally and do our best to support the community.”   (L to R) Paulding County Department of Family and Children Services Angie Chandler and Lauren Casey; GHAME and B2B Program Director, Dr. Jon Hershey;  B2B Event Coordinator, Marquis Nixon;  GHC Paulding Campus Administrative Assistant Angela Spano; KSU Paulding Program Manager for Recruiting and B2B Paulding Advisor Dalton Lemelle, Jr.; B2B Paulding Site President Wesly Lahens. 

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Obas and Petro join the CEC Leadership Academy Two Georgia Highlands College employees have joined the Cobb Education Consortium (CEC) Leadership Academy. GHC elected a faculty and a staff member to join the academy. Travice Baldwin Obas, who is an associate professor of communications, was chosen to represent the faculty, while Jillian Petro, a senior admissions recruiter, was picked to represent the staff. “I consider it an honor to be invited to participate,” Obas said, “and I am excited about the opportunities for service and the community interaction that the CEC offers.” Petro agreed. “I am looking forward to meeting all of the new members and strengthening my leadership skills,” she added. Participants in the Leadership Academy are chosen at the institutional level, usually through a competitive process. Obas and Petro were recommended by their direct supervisors, and confirmed by GHC President Don Green. The Leadership Academy is meant to prepare employees at member institutions for greater leadership roles in the community they serve and at the institution where they work. The first academy year provides participants the opportunity to network and experience a variety of seminars and presentations, retreats, school visits, governmental activities, guided readings and interaction with CEOs. During the second year, members tackle a community-based group project under the guidance of a committee of specialists, designed to further their professionalism and expertise. Obas and Petro joined other academy members in November 2015 for a three-day retreat in Toccoa, Georgia, where they participated in seminars and activities designed to develop stronger collaborations among educational partners. The CEC consortium is composed of public educational entities in Cobb County: Chattahoochee Technical College, Cobb County School District, Georgia Highlands College, Kennesaw State University, and Marietta City Schools. These CEC members enroll over 140,000 students from throughout their service areas.

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Department Spotlight

Humanities wins Department of the Year At the beginning of each academic year, GHC’s Office of Human Resources helps kick off the fall semester with an in-service meeting, bringing together all of GHC’s faculty and staff from each of its five campuses. This year the Division of Humanities was awarded Department of the Year. This award is designed to recognize the department which consistently supports the mission and goals of the institution by routinely demonstrating shared values and supports an environment of excellence. In its nomination for Department of the Year, Humanities was called a “well-oiled machine.” Housed under Humanities are several publications, student organizations, and more. Whether it’s prepping students for a career in journalism through the Six Mile Post, giving students a creative outlet with the Old Red Kimono, or keeping students on track to succeed with GHAME, Brother 2 Brother, La Mano, The Writers’ Collaborative, Spanish Activities Club, GHC Gaming Club, Green Highlands, That Anime Club, Students without Borders, and more, the Humanities department at GHC really does work like a “well-oiled machine.” “We are proud of these accomplishments, but in our division, students are the real priority,” the nomination said. “During Early Bird Advising, many of our faculty advise 20 or more students each semester. We’ve learned to advise outside our disciplines, because many of us are a student’s only option when they need assistance online, during evening hours, or at our smaller campuses. Our communications faculty have volunteered to have assigned advisees, so every communications major has a dedicated advisor to provide him or her with consistent mentoring during their time at GHC.”

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The nomination was filled with individual accomplishments, and milestones, however, the nominator highlighted a few of the department’s best/most recent accomplishments: this year the Humanities department celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Trip, the 5th Annual Public Speaking Competition, publication of the 42nd edition of the Old Red Kimono, and the Six Mile Post won 19 awards from the Georgia College Press Association, the Southern Regional Press Institute, and the Associated Collegiate Press. Associate Professor of English Cindy Wheeler said she loves being a member of the Humanities division. “Not only do my colleagues do an excellent job teaching a large number of GHC’s students, but they also go above and beyond,” she said. “They are the first to volunteer for projects and initiatives, to serve in leadership positions across the institution, to advise student clubs, and to support athletics and student publications. And on top of all that, they are nice people. Best of all, they will make any situation a reason to have cake. It’s all in a day’s work for them to be there for students and for each other. I am very lucky and proud to be part of the Humanities division.” Professor of Communication Travice Obas said her love for the Humanities department comes down to three words: collaboration, camaraderie, and creativity. “Our department collaborates to provide students the foundation of higher education and effective critical thinking skills,” she said. “As a discipline that encourages camaraderie, we thrive on opportunities to innovate and inspire creativity as we encourage our students to ask WHY.”

Brighten that Smile

Georgia Highlands College Dental Hygiene School - Dental Clinic Adults and Children age 3 and older appointments include: Blood Pressure Screening Oral Cancer Screening Periodontal Evaluation Cleaning & Polishing of Teeth X-Rays (if needed) Cleaning of Dentures & Partials Brushing & Flossing Instruction Sealants ($15 extra per tooth) Fees: Adults Regular Cleaning & X-rays - $55 Deep Cleaning & X-rays - $95

Children 12 and under: Cleaning & X-rays - $35

Morning & Afternoon Appointments Available 706-295-6760 James D. Maddox Heritage Hall 415 East 3rd Avenue • Rome, GA highlands.edu | 21

Faculty Spotlight

A Child of Hip Hop Sean Callahan draws a lifetime of inspiration from hip hop culture

Sean Callahan and his buddies are walking down MLK in Cartersville on a hot summer day. They are heading to the Winn-Dixie. The sun is burning on their backs, so they go inside to get some 17 cent sodas. But that’s not why they’re there. They make their way around to the back of the grocery store. The employees are throwing out cardboard boxes. Bingo! They collect as many as they can carry. Time to head back home and throw down some cardboard. Time to see who can break dance. They are the children of hip hop. These are the childhood memories lurking in Sean Callahan’s mind as he teaches psychology at the Georgia Highlands College Cartersville campus. It’s been years, but hip hop is still fresh on his mind and still a part of his style. Sean’s hair is as long as he is tall. The last time he went to the barber was in 1992. “That was the last time I had an official hair cut,” he said. “I was heavily influenced by hip hop culture. The people I was watching, seeing on screen, they wore their hair in locks. I studied hip hop primarily because I am a child of hip hop. As hip hop was growing, I was growing. As a young kid in hip hop, everybody did all four elements, if they could: break dancing, graffiti, DJing, and rapping.” And Sean’s house was the place to go if you wanted to break dance. “We were the only family with a carport that was paved,” he said, “so rain or shine, we went outside to our carport and that’s where it happened. That’s where the magic happened. That’s where you found out who could do it and who wasn’t able to do it. That was part of the culture. You didn’t have to be good at it. You just had to get out there and try it.” And despite having the best spot in town to break dance, Sean confessed, “I was one of those kids who wasn’t really able to do it.” But it didn’t stop there, Sean had a hard time moving into the other areas of hip hop culture, as well. “Breaking didn’t work out,” he said. “I was

22 | Spring/Summer 2016

quiet, shy, and I had a stutter, so I wasn’t going to be an MC. I knew better than to go around spray painting on people’s properties—my mom would’ve gave me so many beatings for that, so that wasn’t going to work out. I couldn’t afford any turn tables, so I couldn’t be a DJ, but I felt I was always hip hop.” So Sean’s appreciation and connection to hip hop changed from doing it to studying it. He says he enjoys understanding it from a different perspective. Now, Sean uses his knowledge of hip hop to study how gifted minority students who are underrepresented in gifted programs use hip hop to navigate their everyday life. He said hip hop also helps inform his understanding of psychology, an area of study he has always been very interested in. “I remember when going to get haircuts— when I got haircuts back in the day—one of the barbers said about me, ‘He doesn’t say much, but he doesn’t miss much either.’ That pretty much encapsulated my youth. I always wondered why people did what they did.” That urge to know more and get inside people’s heads to help them led him to teaching psychology at Georgia Highlands College, where he enjoys taking students through the process of learning, especially in his hometown community of Cartersville. “I love to see when the light comes on for my students,” he said. “That’s why I teach.”

“My students inspire me to be the best education Sherry Green was at her grandson’s baseball game when a former student came up to her, hugged professor I can be for them,” she said. “As the next generation of educators, they will face challenges her neck, and said she had been hired as a teacher that no previous generation has and that Sherry was the reason had to face, so it is imperative that why. “My students inspire they are well-educated and wellIt’s moments like this one me to be the best trained.” that mean the most to Sherry and education professor I Sherry stated that she lives in make what she does at Georgia Rome and has been teaching on Highlands College memorable. can be for them. As the the Cartersville campus for the She admits that as a GHC next generation of past seven years, but to meet the assistant professor of education educators, they will demand for more online professors she tears up when she sees her face challenges that no at GHC, she has begun to transition students walk across the graduaprevious generation has her typical classroom model to a tion stage or when she learns they had to face, so it is more online-friendly hybrid model. obtained the teaching career they imperative that they are “I am passionate about all of had set out to get. well-educated and the courses and course content I Sherry was recently honored teach,” she said. “Teaching future as a 2015 Cobb County Chamber well-trained.” educators is both a blessing and a of Commerce teacher of the year gratifying experience. I am humfor Georgia Highlands College. bled, honored and blessed to have been selected as “I actually began my collegiate work at Georgia Highlands College and received my associate degree the Georgia Highlands College teacher of the year.” in mental health technology in 1980,” she said. Sherry went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s in education from Berry College in 1984. Shortly after, she obtained her Educational Specialist Degree from West Georgia College. But when Sherry decided she wanted to teach college courses, it was GHC that won her heart. “Over the 30 plus years I have spent in my career as an educator, GHC has always been present in my life and the life of my family,” she said. “It is a wonderful institution to work at. Our colleagues and our administration are extremely supportive.” Sherry notes the first time she asked about introducing and teaching a “bullying in the classroom” course for students on an education track. She said that she saw a need for her students to know more about contemporary problems facing teachers. She explained why it was critical and was given all the support she needed from GHC to make it happen.

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Faculty Spotlight

Teacher of the year honored by Cobb County Chamber of Commerce

Staff Spotlight

Meet our admissions

9 s r e t i u r Rec

Georgia Highlands College admissions recruiters are on the frontlines when it comes to showing prospective students what all GHC has to offer. There is one recruiter at each of GHC’s five locations. Each day, these key players speak at events, visit high schools, conduct campus tours, and much, much more. Take a moment to have a fun look at the faces of GHC’s recruiting team. Petro hails from Canton, GA, where she enjoyed digital design and photography before finding her true passion for recruiting. She said, “Recruiting to me is all about helping students achieve their maximum potential.” Recruiting for how long? 2 ½ years Highest number of students pitched to at one time? 200 Average campus tour speed? 30 minutes Best recruiting line: GHC provides a quality education at an affordable price Describe your job: I serve as a mascot for the admissions process! I am usually the first face students see when beginning their college selection journey, so I try my best to make it as smooth and exciting as possible.

Shiflett hails from Rome, GA, where he enjoyed writing and playing music before finding his true passion for recruiting. He said, “Recruiting to me is the opportunity to help people realize their options and find practical ways to reach their max potential.” Recruiting for how long? 7 months Highest number of students pitched to at one time? Around 200 Average campus tour speed? 35-45 minutes Best recruiting line: The majority of students get a three-day weekend since most of our classes are Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday! Because of our affordable cost, this also allows the student to have more money in their pocket to enjoy that three-day weekend!

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Recruiting for how long? 2 years Highest number of students pitched to at one time? 150 plus Average campus tour speed? 20 minutes Describe your job: Meet and greet prospective students and help them explore their options in education.

Staff Spotlight

Watters hails from Plainville, GA, where he enjoyed hunting and fishing before finding his true passion for recruiting one day while speaking to young people. He said, “Recruiting to me is opening the mind of a person to the reality that formal education is not for everyone, but a form of education is for everyone!”

Van Ham hails from Norcross, GA, where he enjoyed Greek Life before finding his true passion for recruiting one day while recruiting new members for his fraternity. He said, “Recruiting to me is simply meeting new people to positively impact the lives of others for the future.” Recruiting for how long? Nearly 2 years Highest number of students pitched to at one time? Around 50. Though, my arm gets tired after about 90. Average campus tour speed? About 40 minutes or 1.2 seconds if we call the time machine expert: Doctor Who. Best recruiting line: Small, personalized, affordable, and high quality. GHC offers something for everyone from all walks of life. Describe your job: Recruiting never stops and it’s an institution-wide endeavor. However, going out of our way to serve students and get GHC on the map is what we do!

Baker hails from Villa Rica, GA, where she enjoyed event coordinating before finding her true passion for recruiting. She said, “Recruiting to me is an adventure.” Recruiting for how long? I am a rookie to the game, so a whole ten minutes. Highest number of students pitched to at one time? I haven’t stepped on the mound yet, so I am just warming up. Average campus tour speed? I’ll keep a nice pace—no Tommy John surgeries will be needed. Best recruiting line: Change your “can’t” into “can” and change your life into a plan. Join us at GHC! Describe your job: I am in Spring Training right now, but anticipating a call to the Bullpen soon!

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Student Spotlight

Future veterinarian saves over a hundred birds

Brianna Stoddard walks to her door with a parrot on her shoulder. The blue and gold Macaw inches along Brianna’s arm, sidestepping to her hand. Brianna tells BB to say, “Hi.” The parrot’s head cocks from side to side. Its gold chest feathers rise a little and it shakes off with its long blue wings. BB remains quiet, though. Inside, one of BB’s fellow Papayago Rescue House rehabilitated Macaws isn’t shy. From its cage, it calls, “Hello.” And if you ignore the introduction, but somehow make eye contact, BB’s friend repeats a little louder, “Hello.” All along Brianna’s house are large cages for birds like BB. Thirty-two birds. Three sanctuaries. Sized from finches to a hawk. Brianna has been rescuing birds since 2014, when she helped found Papayago Rescue House. “I’ve had birds since I was a little girl,” she said. “We started with 16. There’s not many rescues for birds in Georgia. We saw the need for us to step in, because birds like BB need our help.” Brianna explained that BB is a 35-year-old parrot and will go on to live until 70 or 80. Many birds like BB will have a very long life, she went on, and most of the time the bird’s living situation will not be consistent over its lifetime, causing problems with the bird’s behavior. Brianna said that BB was in that same situation

26 | Spring/Summer 2016

and when BB arrived in their care, the parrot was clearly on a poor diet and was beginning to pluck out all its feathers. “First we try to see if there is a problem we can help the current owner address, because we want to help educate people about birds,” she said. “A lot of people contact us with problems that can be fixed with training, then if the person still wants to surrender the bird, we then take the bird in, bring it here, and put it through a 30-day quarantine period. Then we begin to rehabilitate the bird.” One of the best parts of the process, though, Brianna added, is finding the bird a great, new home. Last year, Papayago Rescue House helped 15 birds become adopted. Almost 100 birds have been rescued to date. It’s probably no surprise that Brianna is planning on becoming a veterinarian with a specialization in avian medicine, but she said she has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was six years old and she’s proud to have made her start at Georgia Highlands College. “GHC has really given me a chance to make a lot of great connections. I love how one-on-one it is. The school provides so many different opportunities,” she said, “and it has helped give me the education I need to move forward.” After completing her Associate of Science in Biology, Brianna is looking forward to completing her bachelor’s and then applying to veterinarian school in the next two to three years. To learn more about Brianna’s rescue program, please visit: papayagorescuehouse.org

Michelle Edwards finds her chance to achieve her dream of a college education At 25, Michelle Edwards was a single mother living in an apartment with her son and teaching English for a living in Guatemala. She was born and raised in this third largest Central American country in 1974 as the first of three daughters. “After I graduated high school, I had the opportunity to go to college in Guatemala, but I fell in love,” she said. “You know that story…” Michelle found herself alone with her son with no outside help. “It was rough—very, very rough,” she said. “Being a single mother in Guatemala is not an easy thing. There is no WIC, no food stamps, no governmental help— there isn’t even child support.” Luckily, Michelle was able to find a job teaching English—her second language. She said in 1988 she had the chance to participate in an exchange student program through her school. Michelle traveled to West Virginia. “The only thing I could say was, ‘Hello, my name is Michelle,’” she said. “I learned English very quickly. You are forced to learn, especially when you are immersed and nobody speaks your language.” Michelle took that skill to provide for herself and her son. Some time later, Michelle was able to save up some money to take a short vacation to Miami to recharge. While she was there, she befriended someone she met while walking on the beach. “There was no attraction right away,” she admitted. “It was just a quick chat. We exchanged emails and I said I was from Guatemala. He said he was from— where? Rome, Georgia? Where is that?” Michelle said that she returned home from her vacation not expecting to ever speak to him again. “He emailed me the first time and I ignored it. He emailed me the second time and I ignored it. And the third time, I answered,” she said. “It was 10 in the morning and we talked until 5 in the morning the next day.” In 2009, Michelle married that person she met on the beach. She moved to the U.S. and never left. The two now have two kids together and each brought a child with them into the marriage. “We are all Edwards,” she said. “We are all one family.” Michelle was happily married with a full family, but felt she still needed to finish what she had never given herself the opportunity to start so many years ago. “I had my opportunity to go to college in Guatemala and I blew it,” she said. “I want to be an example. How can I tell my child you need to go to college, if I

don’t do it myself?” So Michelle did just that. She applied to GHC and was accepted. She then applied to the nursing program and is nearly completed with her associate. Next, she will apply to the bachelor’s in nursing program at GHC. “The best way to lead is by example. Opportunities don’t come to you. You have to go and look for them,” she said. “I think this is a redo for me…” Michelle added she is more than happy that she chose GHC to pursue her dream. “I feel like I am where I am supposed to be,” she said. “I love the openness of the people that work here. In most facilities trying to reach the president is impossible. Here you call Dr. Green and he’ll sit with you and have coffee. If you say, ‘I need help with this,’ they find a way to help you. People at GHC are open. The doors are open. You don’t feel restricted. You can walk into any office almost any time, and not have to make an appointment. There’s always somebody available and willing to help you. And GHC has taught me that the opportunity is there. All you have to do is go out there and find it, and they are here to help you do it.”

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Student Spotlight

A Long Journey to Openness and Opportunity

Alumni Spotlight

Becoming a Nurse

Nicholson joins some of the first to graduate GHC’s new bachelor’s program

Shelly Nicholson had three goals before she turned 50. “I wanted to finish my bachelor’s in nursing, I wanted to be debt-free, and I wanted to lose 20 pounds,” she said. She successfully completed two of those goals in December with help from Georgia Highlands College. She laughed and said, “It was not so good on the weight loss thing. I haven’t quite done that one yet.” The others, however, Shelly noted were very significant and she was proud to have accomplished them. Shelly joined 12 other students in December in completing GHC’s Bachelor of Science in nursing. A college education wasn’t always the plan, though. Shelly said that after she graduated high school she went to tech school for a while and then started working and having kids. It wasn’t until her oldest son was about to graduate from high school himself that Shelly saw her opportunity to go back. “The company I worked for offered tuition reimbursement,” she said. “That’s when I found out they would pay for my son, and they would pay for me. It took every obstacle I had about going to college out of my way. I thought, ‘Now, I have no excuses.’” Shelly admitted it wasn’t easy making that transition. “I liked my job and I made good money where I worked,” she said, “but I just had this longing to have a college education. I had a bunch of friends who were nurses. I was always in awe of their stories and how they cared for people. They were kind of my inspiration.” Shelly said that even though she was hesitant about working her way into a nursing program, her jitters all went away after her first class: anatomy and physiology. “I thought, ‘Wow, I’m hooked. I’ve got to go into something in the health field,’” she said.

28 | Spring/Summer 2016

While she was in nursing school working on her associate degree, Shelly said all the instructors encouraged her to continue on to get her bachelor’s. Shelly said she put it on hold, however, and went on to work instead. After saving some money to cover the bachelor’s portion of her studies, she returned to GHC. She said that GHC’s affordable price coupled with the caliber of its program was the main reason she returned. “GHC’s nursing program is just fantastic,” she said. “I tell people you get so much bang for your buck here.” Shelly now works as a floor nurse at Redmond Regional Hospital in Rome. “I work with cardiothoracic and vascular patients. I take care of very complex cases. We basically do everything in the chest,” she said. And although it’s one of the more stressful areas to work in the hospital, Shelly said she enjoys the process of seeing her patients get better. “When they come in, they’ve got issues and they’re scared and they do this to improve their life. And then they go to surgery and come back hurting, pale, and really sick,” she said. “But within two to three days, they’re walking. They go home. They get better. What better job can you have?” Shelly’s fellow December nursing graduates are also now currently working throughout Northwest Georgia. Those graduates and their current work location are: Floyd Medical Center Jessica Williams April Givens Cartersville Medical Center Julie Shrewsbury Grady Memorial Hospital Roselyne Ferdinand Northside Hospital Rory Marquardt Kristyn Steffers

Peachford Hospital Robert Rodgers Piedmont Healthcare Misty McClelland Redmond Regional Medical Center Rachel Mansfield WellStar Health System Dana Stephens Steve Watkins Rebecca Schultz

Alumni gathered to watch a Chargers basketball game on February 13, and to reconnect with fellow alumni. President Don Green welcomed and recognized alumni who collectively represented over 30 years of GHC graduates during a special half-time presentation. Pictured left to right: President Don Green, John Spranza, Andrew Weatherman, Mark Weaver, Randy Green, Sherry Green, Catherine King, Tony Whatley, Charlene Graham, Scotty Hancock, Maria Lauro, Corey Pitts, Demarius Morgan, Erin Herrington, Rebecca Maddox, Ben West, Mary Transue, Christie Boyd, Sara Tornincasa, Michelle Crowe, Linda Hatcher, Peri Jones, Tim Hensley, and GHC mascot Bolt.

READ what our Alumni are saying about GHC...


My entire family attended WE ARE GHC. I met my husband there in 1981, Charlie Franklin. Both of our daughters attended GHC, Lyndsay Franklin who now teaches at Pepperell Primary and our youngest daughter Georgia Highlands who now works at Harbin Clinic. I have a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration and currently teach fourth grade at Pepperell Elementary School. This is my 31st year teaching. WE LOVE GHC!

I finished my content in the summer of 1980 and then transferred to Medical College of Georgia starting that fall. However, since graduation is only once a year, I technically graduated in 1981. Funny story: Since was still in classes in Augusta College Iwhen graduation happened in May 1981, I was not able to walk. When I came home from Augusta for the summer, I went out to school to get my diploma. It was in Dr. McCorkle’s office. When I went to his office, he told me to wait just a minute. He called Dr. Walraven into Linda Swafford Franklin his office. They both had their regalia on the backs of their doors. Dr. McCorkle had both of them put on their regalia and then called I enjoyed my time at the college, I cherish the relationship I the PR person. They conferred my degree and built with Donna Mantooth in her Psychology class. She still had a graduation picture taken of me getting gives me a hug every time I see her! I appreciate Dr. Greg my diploma...my own personal graduation Sumner for all his advice and leadership throughout my time event. at GHC and I continue to call on him for advice today! Scotty Hancock

Rebecca F. Maddox

The engagement of each and every class was truly remarkable. I remember my courses with Dr. Nichols, Dr. Bishop, and Dr. Blankenship as ones that truly reinforced in me a love of critical scholarship and inquiry. Those moments of critical analysis and deep introspection have stayed with me to this day, and I couldn’t be any more grateful to these experiences with the GHC community. Christopher Yarrell

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Alumni News

Alumni Day at GHC

Alumni & Friends Updates


Alumni and friends update You are very important to us! We want to hear from you and share your news with the Charger community. Please fill out the form below to update us on what you are doing! Mail completed form to Alison Lampkin, GHC Office of Advancement, 3175 Cedartown Hwy, Rome, GA 30161 OR save a stamp, and send an email to alampkin@highlands.edu or complete the form online at highlands.edu/alumniupdates

Full name_______________________________________Maiden name _____________________ Spouse’s Name___________________________________________________________________ Mailing address ____________________________City__________State______Zip code _______ Primary phone (

) _______________ Primary email address ____________________________

(Please check one)



GHC Graduation year or year(s) attended______________________________________________ Major____________________________ Other Degrees__________________________________ Current Occupation_____________________________Employer __________________________


Floyd/GHC Retiree

Faculty or Staff (circle one) From ___________To____________


Friend of GHC

Occupation_______________________________Employer________________________________ News/updates (promotions/awards/weddings/arrivals/deaths): _____________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ Signature____________________________________________Date________________________ By signing this form, you have authorized the college to make changes to your biographical data and understand it may appear in both the print and online.

Hello Baby!

Alumni welcome new arrivals Ana Clayton and her husband Davaughn, welcome a daughter, Tegan, December 28, 2015 Ashley Evans and her husband Taylor, welcome a son, Ronan, January 1, 2016 Luis Goya and his wife LeAnn Matthews, welcome a daughter, Mia, March 25, 2016

30 | Spring/Summer 2016

GHC Foundation Board of Trustees Jeff Watkins, Chairman Jeffrey A. Watkins, P.C. David Caswell, Past Chairman Century Bank Luke Lester, Treasurer Bond, James Bond Inc. Mary Transue Executive Director Dee Bishop Sarah H. Burkhalter Melanie C. Collier

Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or just a token of gratitude, tribute gifts to the GHC Foundation are the perfect way to honor someone you care about and provide an opportunity for many students to pursue their dream of earning a college degree. An acknowledgement note of your donation will be sent to the individual you wish to honor, advising them of your gift (without a dollar amount) and an explanation that their gift will help change a student’s life at GHC. Take time to give something truly special today by contacting Mary Ann Steiner at msteiner@highlands.edu.

GIVE TODAY Fund an education. Fund a dream. Fund a future.

Give today to the Georgia Highlands College Foundation and your tax deducible gift, no matter the size, will change lives.

James Jarrett Mary Louise Lever Steve Moore Gregory F. Patton Randy Quick John Quinlivan Matt Sirmans Sue Spivey Robby Stewart Tommy Strickland Mark Weaver GHC Alumni Association Board Members Dan Knowles Chairman Harold Boyd Retiree Representative Susan Claxton

We have made it easy to give. Simply go to highlands.edu/givetoday, complete the form, and start making a difference in the lives and futures of our Georgia Highlands students. You may also mail your gift directly to: GHC Foundation Office 3175 Cedartown Highway Rome, GA 30161 Should you wish to speak to someone, please call Mary Transue at 706-802-5457.

Donnie Denson Odete Estes Scotty Hancock Tim Hensley Dr. Lynn Plunkett Hannah Smith Ann Stocks Steve White

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Foundation Spotlight

Want to give a truly special gift to someone in your life?

Charger News

Double Region

The Chargers and Lady Chargers stamp out the competition for two historic region championships and seasons The Chargers set new standard for Region The Chargers shocked the nation last year with an aggressive NJCAA Final Four run. But that winning momentum didn’t fall going into the new season. The Chargers pushed forward to win 33 straight wins, following a loss at the beginning of the season and ending with an Elite Eight loss at the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. With a basically unbeatable record, the Chargers saw their national ranking hit as high as #2. The Chargers also earned the right to host the NJCAA Region 17 Division I Championship Tournament at GHC.

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All this comes from a team that just four years ago—in its infancy—lost every single one of its games. Working toward a second region title in a row, the Chargers found themselves up against Central Georgia Tech. The two teams battled it out and went into the half tied at 37-37. But the Chargers came out swinging in the second half and earned the region championship with a final score of 78-72. In Kansas, the Chargers opened with a tournament win against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M with a final score of 83-69. Four players reached double

figures for GHC during that game. With this win, the Chargers earned a spot in the Elite Eight. The Elite Eight Chargers found themselves falling behind early in national tournament game two against Ranger College. The Chargers traded shots with Ranger in the opening minutes, tying it up at 20 at the 10:19 mark when their shooting went ice cold and Ranger heated up. Ranger extended its lead to 12 points with 3:33 left in the first half and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to go up 16, 51-35, to end the first half. Ranger started out the second half the same way it ended the first, extending its lead to 20 points in the first two minutes. That’s when a comeback effort by the Chargers started and the team cut the lead to five with 7:18 left. But it just wasn’t enough. The Chargers shot a cold 38.2 percent from the field and 11 of 39 from the 3-point arc. But the real story was at the free throw line. Ranger went to

the line 48 times compared to Georgia Highlands’ 16 and shot 12 of 16 (75 percent) from the charity stripe—ultimately losing the game to Ranger with a final score of 91-81. The Chargers ended the season with an astounding 33 wins, a second-year-in-a-row regional championship, and a second-year-in-a-row national tournament showing.

The Lady Chargers stampede through a season of wins From the start of the season, the Lady Chargers had a mission to get better each and every game. All of their hard work came to fruition when they held off top-seeded South Georgia Tech for a 65-63 win at the NJCAA Region 17 championship in Americus. The game came down to the final minute with Lady Chargers up by five. The host Lady Jets cut the champions – continued on page 34

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Charger News


Charger News

Charger Nation Accolades

Deashia Jones made the 2016 NJCAA Region 17 All Tournament Team

champions – continued from page 33

lead to two following a bucket and foul shot. The Lady Chargers in-bounded the ball and took it the length of the floor, but the shot fell short with South Georgia getting the rebound. With 14.4 seconds on the clock the Lady Jets’ shot fell short and GHC got the rebound and ran the clock out. In order to qualify for the national tournament, the Lady Chargers headed for Spartanburg Methodist College in South Carolina for the NJCAA District J National Tournament play-in game, where they took a fast start against Methodist College and won with a final score of 76-43, earning a spot in the NJCAA Division 1 National Women’s Basketball Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. The Lady Chargers opened the national tournament with a decisive win against the Lady Pronghorns, shutting down their offense at the start of the second half and keeping a strong lead for a win and a final score of 72-53. The second round of the tournament proved to be a bit more difficult for the Lady Chargers, as they were set to take on the No. 1-ranked Gulf Coast College. The Lady Chargers battled and dug deep throughout the game, keeping the game close in the first half. The Lady Chargers had their first and only lead at the 7:31 mark of the second period leading 19-17. But on the next two possessions, GHC failed to score down the stretch and the Lady Commodores pulled away to seal the win, 71-64. The Lady Chargers ended their season with a 26-10 record, the school’s first NJCAA Region 17 Championship, NJCAA District J Championship, and first NJCAA National Tournament appearance.

34 | Spring/Summer 2016

The GCAA Men’s DI Basketball coaches also selected their All-Region team, along with selecting the Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year for the 2015-2016 season. Two GHC players took top spots. GHC player Doniel Dean was chosen as the Defensive Player of the Year, and Ty’Lik Evans Coach of the Year was picked for Freshman Phil Gaffney of the Year. Additionally, GHC Head Basketball Coach and Director of Athletics Phil Gaffney was voted as the Coach of the Year. Dean was also given First Team status and All Defensive Team status. Evans joined Kyvon Davenport in the Second Team ranking and All Freshman Team ranking for the season, as well. On the women’s side, Kayla Carter was named All Tournament Team Most Valuable Player and Deashia Jones made the 2016 NJCAA Region 17 All Tournament Team. Deana Blankinship made the Second Team All Conference and joined Danyelle Blankinship, and Aurianna Broughton on the All Academic Team.

Freshman of the Year Ty’Lik Evans

Georgia Highlands College softball is led by Head Coach Melissa Wood. The team competes in Region XVII of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association of the National Junior College Athletic Association of Division 1. The team is based out of the Cartersville campus and plays all home games at Stars Field in Cartersville. Wood stated that the softball team was predicted to be the number one team to beat this season in the GCAA conference pre-season coaches poll. For a full game schedule, team roster, and season updates, visit ghcchargers.com. Watch for softball season recap in the next issue.


Georgia Highlands College baseball is led by Head Coach Mike Marra, Associate Head Coach Gil Suarez, and Special Assistant to the Head Coach Tim Havas. The team competes in Region XVII of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association of the National Junior College Athletic Association of Division 1. The team is based out of the Cartersville campus and plays all home games at LakePoint Sports Complex in Emerson, Georgia. Marra stated that this year’s pitching team is the strongest yet. For a full game schedule, team roster, and season updates, visit ghcchargers.com. Watch for baseball season recap in the next issue.

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Charger News


Charger Spotlight

Softball Women’s Basketball

ASHLEY JORDAN #22, CENTER FIELD, TAYLORSVILLE, GA When did you start playing softball? I started playing the sport softball when I was nine years old. It was my dad’s idea, and I ended up loving it. What is your favorite aspect of competing? My favorite aspect of competing would have to be as a team you step up against another good team and end up on top at the end with a win. That overall is such a good feeling, because we work so hard and having good outcomes in games is encouraging to keep working harder. What is the most memorable moment from playing softball? I was a freshman at GHC and it was during our conference season. We were playing a very good team, and we wanted to win so bad. We played a double header against them that night and we were all so hyped up and into the game. The intensity was insane and people on and off the field were excited to watch the games and see the outcome. We ended up winning both of the games by 1, and as a team we were so pumped and excited. What is the most challenging aspect of being a student athlete? The most challenging aspect would be multitasking. You have a lot on your plate as a student-athlete. You have all your school work, softball practice, weights and conditioning, traveling to games all around, missing class because of softball, etc. You have a lot of responsibility and you have to be successful in all that you do. Who or what is your inspiration? My inspiration is myself and of course my family. I would not be here without my parents, they are my rock. Another inspiration, would be to be successful in my life. Softball teaches you a lot about life. Nothing is handed to you, you have to work hard, and earn it.

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Taylor Farley #32, Point Guard, Columbus,GA When did you start playing basketball? 9 years old What is your favorite aspect of competing? Winning What is the most memorable moment from playing basketball? Winning the 2014 High School State Championship What is the most challenging aspect of being a student athlete? Balancing playing basketball while maintaining good grades Who or what is your inspiration? My family and my high school coach Where do you see yourself in five years? In another country or state playing basketball

Zach McCrum, #24, Pitcher CUMMING/SOUTH FORSYTH, GA

Doniel Dean #0, Guard Newnan, GA

When did you start playing baseball? I started playing baseball when I was five years old.

When did you start playing basketball? Started playing basketball when I was 5 years old.

What is your favorite aspect of competing? For me, I love to compete in everything I do from cards, to baseball, to academics. I love the feeling of being challenged. There is no better feeling than seeing hard work pay off.

What is your favorite aspect of competing? Winning, and trying your best are my favorite aspects of competing.

What is the most memorable moment from playing baseball? My favorite sports memory would have to be hitting a walk off double to advance to the second round of the state playoffs my junior year of high school. What is the most challenging aspect of being a student athlete? The most challenging aspect of being a student athlete is definitely time management. Being able to devote as much time to your studies as you do athletics is a major key to success in terms of academics. Who or what is your inspiration? My inspiration is without a doubt my mom. She was the first person in her family to go to college, and she has given me more than I could have asked for. I owe my work ethic and drive to her.

What is the most memorable moment from playing basketball? Hitting a buzzer beating shot my junior year in high school vs. Langston Hughes. What is the most challenging aspect of being a student athlete? Managing your time is the most challenging aspect of being a student-athlete. Who or what is your inspiration? My inspiration is my family, specifically my mom, aunt, grandmother, and daughter. Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself graduating college and playing basketball overseas, or coaching basketball.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years I see myself playing or coaching this great game of baseball.

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Charger Spotlight

Baseball Men’s Basketball

Retiree News

Yarbrough retires after 22 years of service

Fond Farewell – President Green (left) congratulates Joannie Yarbrough, GHC executive assistant, on her retirement and thanks her for her many years of service during her retirement party.

38 | Spring/Summer 2016

Joannie Yarbrough said she can remember her first day on the job in 1994 like it was yesterday. It was 22 years ago, she said, when she walked into Georgia Highlands College (then called Floyd College) and started working in her first position. “My first job at GHC was in the Public Information Office (now called College Relations),” she said. “I served as secretary and proofer in that position.” Yarbrough then moved on to various positions in GHC’s Science and Math Division, the Office of Academic Affairs, and finally in the Office of the President, where she served the remainder of her time at GHC as an executive assistant. “My fondest memory of GHC is the time I went on a college trip to tour Washington, DC, and Williamsburg, VA,” she said. “This was a nine-day trip.

We traveled by bus. Our advisors were Dr. Dave Cook (Retired, Biology Professor) and Dr. Jim Cook (Retired, History Professor). This trip could be taken for credit and/or for enjoyment. I met a lot of students and for a long time stayed in touch with them.” Yarbrough said that she has really enjoyed her time working at GHC and will miss it. “GHC is a great place to work. I believe the college offers opportunities for its employees to succeed well beyond any expectations one may have,” she said. “I will truly miss the friends I have made over these last 22 years.” Yarbrough stated that she is looking forward to her retirement, as it will give her more time to spend with her family and grandchildren.

Dr. David McCorkle was the founding president of Georgia Highlands College (which at the time of its creation was named Floyd Junior College). He started his tenure in 1970 and retired in 1991 after 21 years of service. Current GHC President Don Green said he was saddened to learn of the passing of President Emeritus McCorkle. “As many of you know, Dr. McCorkle was the founding president of this institution, and guided the college from inception through many successes until his retirement,” Green said. “Words cannot fully express my gratitude for the incredible vision and leadership Dr. McCorkle provided, creating the legacy we continue at Georgia Highlands College today. He felt strongly that students in our communities deserved access to affordable excellence in higher education, and almost 50 years later we still carry his work forward.” Georgia Highlands College is currently planning a remembrance service honoring the work and legacy of Dr. McCorkle for a later date. More about Dr. McCorkle from his obituary: Born in rural Marion County, Georgia, on March 8, 1922, the oldest child of the late S. H. and Aurie McCorkle, he grew up during the Great Depression, and at a young age held a number of jobs, including picking cotton, pumping gas and selling men’s wares. He was the first person in his family to attend college, graduating from Georgia Southwestern in 1941 with a junior college degree and a provisional elementary teachers certificate. He was serving as teacher and principal at Wesley Grammar School in Butler, Georgia when drafted in 1942. He served as a medic in the US Army Medical Corp. Although he spoke little of his time in the Army, he was proud that, during the Battle of the Bulge, none of the men under his care sustained any frostbite due to his insistence that they keep changing their socks. Upon his honorable discharge as Staff Sergeant, he attended the University of Georgia under the GI Bill where he met and later married George Hice of Cherry Log, GA, who shared his commitment to education. Shortly after they both received their B.S.’s at UGa, Dave and George, with their infant daughter Mery Lynn, drove across the US (before interstate highways existed) to Corvallis, Oregon, where he attended Oregon State,

earning a doctorate in education in 1953. Because George refused to move to a state where there was snow, Dave chose to accept employment at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, where his son David was born. After serving as Director of Student Activities and then Director of Personnel there, he became Director of Student Personnel at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson where his daughter Sari was born. In 1961 he served as the Director of Student Affairs at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where son Kenneth completed his family. Augusta is also where George caught the golfing “bug,” and gave it to Dave, so much so that after his appointment as the first President of Floyd Junior College in Rome, Georgia, he frequently identified his position there as the college’s “Golf Pro.” It was his great honor to serve as President there until 1991. Upon his retirement, he was named President Emeritus of the college (now Georgia Highlands College) and spent every day possible playing golf. He was widowed in 2007 after 58 years of marriage. He was preceded in death by his sons David and Kenneth and his brother John McCorkle. He is survived by his daughters Mery Lynn (Rome) and Sari (Atlanta), his brother S. H. McCorkle, Jr. (Buena Vista), numerous nieces and nephews and his beloved cat Lucille. His daughters would like to acknowledge and thank the invaluable help given to their father by his home care aids, especially Cindy Griffin, Brittany Crumbley, and Deborah Hillery, who enabled him to spend his last years at home enjoying the birds and numerPresident Emeritus ous wild animals in his David McCorkle backyard. December 19, 2015 *excerpt from Alea Montgomery Hometown Headlines. January 6, 2016 “Updated with obituary: (Retiree) Dr. David McCorkle, founding president of Michelle Elizabeth Gossett Georgia Highlands January 27, 2016 College, dies” (posted (Alumna) DEC. 21, 2015)

In Memoriam

Remembering our founding president

In Memoriam

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Profile for Georgia Highlands College


The official magazine of Georgia Highlands College. Spring/Summer 2016 issue.


The official magazine of Georgia Highlands College. Spring/Summer 2016 issue.

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