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HIGHLANDER The official magazine of Georgia Highlands College

Spring/Summer 2020

CHARGING AHEAD Facing unprecedented times with innovation, creativity, and resilience

IN THIS ISSUE Putting students first in the transition to remote instruction and services

GHC holds second highest enrollment among state colleges in Georgia

GHC Alumnus helps county respond to COVID-19 pandemic

Table of Contents

in this issue 3

Message from the President


Charging Ahead Together


Campus News


Student Organization Spotlight


Faculty Spotlight


Staff Spotlight

The Highlander is published twice a year by the Advancement Division at Georgia Highlands College 3175 Cedartown Highway Rome, GA 30161 • 706.802.5473 highlands.edu Editor and Designer Sheila Jones Photography Jeff Brown Nick Godfrey Mark Andrews Writers Nick Godfrey Mark Andrews Jessica Cantrell

25 Department Spotlight 25

Student Spotlight


Chargers Taking Charge


Foundation Spotlight


Charger News

ABOUT THE COVER: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted

in a global outbreak caused by a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus which was first identified in China in December of 2019. The pandemic spread to the rest of the world with more than 4 million cases reported as of this printing. By March of 2020, many states in the U.S. began quarantine procedures to help stem the spread of the virus. GHC and the other USG institutions finished the spring semester with a switch over to remote delivery for all classes and campus services. Learn more about how GHC adapted to these challenging times and what GHC alumnus Tim Herrington (pictured on the cover) had to do as the Emergency Management Director for Floyd County in this special issue of the Highlander.

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

@GaHighlands @GHC_Athletics @ChargerInCharge


Georgia Highlands College is a multi-campus, state college of the University System of Georgia. Founded in 1970 as Floyd Junior College, it now serves more than 6,000 students in Northwest Georgia across five locations in Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas, and Douglasville. GHC currently offers an associate degree in over 30 areas of study, as well as six bachelor’s degrees. Ten areas of study are offered fully online.

Donald J. Green, Ed.D., President The Advancement Division encompasses the GHC Foundation, development, communications, marketing, digital media, print services, and alumni relations. Senior Vice President of Advancement and Enrollment Management Executive Director of the GHC Foundation Mary Transue Senior Assistant of Advancement and Enrollment Management Tammy Nicholson Foundation Accountant Liz Jones Senior Director of Marketing & Communications Sheila Jones Director of Communications Nick Godfrey Director of Digital Media Services Jeff Brown Print Services Manager Ken Davis Digital Media Specialist Michael Furey Development Communications Coordinator Mark Andrews

In the wake of the unprecedented challenges we have faced as a state, nation, and world, our college community boldly navigated these times with genuine care for our students and each other. In less than two weeks, everything we did and do as a college shifted online and into remote delivery options. What immediately became clear was our faculty, staff, and students adapted to this new model and through this transition not because they had to but because they were committed to each other’s health and safety. GHC President Don Green The first days of remote classes weren’t about assignments, deadlines, or tests. Our college community’s first moments in a virtual format were devoted to well-being: How are you? How can we make sure you have the tools you need to finish this semester? How can we all Charge Ahead together? And since the moment our college community committed to charging ahead, we haven’t looked back. Georgia Highlands College’s faculty successfully converted all courses this semester to remote delivery for our more than 6,000 students. Teaching, advising, and all the ways we continue to support our students are slightly different in these difficult times, but our wonderful faculty and staff have met the challenge of continuing to provide our students the tools they need to be successful and stay on track toward graduation. We are also thankful to our students who have equally met this challenge with the same passion and resilience they started the semester with and who are on track to complete their courses with us. Please read more in the following pages about what GHC’s community is doing to tackle this difficult moment in history. And please know as GHC Charges Ahead, so can you. We are here to make sure no matter what challenges in life you or our world may face, GHC is dedicated to helping you take charge of your future today.

CHARGE! GOES DIGITAL President Green conducted his first video version of the presidential newsletter Charge! during the spring semester. Each year, President Green periodically gives the Georgia Highlands College community an update about what’s going on around the college. The format is typically delivered via an emailed digital newsletter, but this time around, President Green wanted to utilize the video conferencing software that all of GHC’s students, faculty, and staff started using during the switch to take and offer classes remotely. Green took the opportunity to first thank students, faculty, and staff at the college for continuing to charge ahead after the switch to remote delivery in the middle of the spring semester. Green also outlined all the ways GHC had adapted to these changes, including elaborating on how classes were being taught, how campus resources were still being made available, and how the focus for students to complete classes and graduate remained possible through the use of a variety of technologies.

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From the President


Charging Ahead Starting in March, GHC converted to remote delivery for all courses to help stem the spread of COVID-19. The story in the following pages reflects the changes made for the 2020 spring semester.


The classroom is empty. The chairs, tables, desks, and white board are empty. The professor’s podium is vacant. No one has shown up on campus. But Julie Kozee’s English course at Georgia Highlands College has started right on time. The assistant professor of English is sitting at home. Her computer thrums to life, lighting her face, as she opens a virtual meeting platform now used to teach each of the students in her class. On the other side of her screen are students on tablets, computers, and Kozee phones, each waiting for this new type of lecture to start, once next to their classmates in a room, now side-byside in virtual boxes on the screen. On March 30, after a two-week suspension of classes to convert everything to remote delivery in the middle of the spring semester to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, GHC courses resumed in an online format. Julie Kozee’s first virtual day of class wasn’t about

assignments, deadlines, or tests. The first day was about the students. She asked about their well-being, their confidence about finishing out the semester online, and their perception of the clarity of the online interface. “Let’s take the first day of the online class to share how we’re doing and any concerns we might have about the online classroom,” she told students. “This will give me an opportunity to make sure that everything in this class is set up in a way that best fits your needs going forward.” Kozee said this exercise allowed students to open up about how they were doing during this period. “None of my students had any concerns about our online classroom,” she said. “Mostly they were concerned with what their lives were like now.” She said it was humbling to read what students are experiencing, and it made her aware of just how resilient and tenacious GHC students are, especially when faced with such difficulty. Across the digital hallway in a math course also currently holding class remotely, math instructor Tracy Kight takes a similar approach in helping her students acclimate to the virtual classroom setting. She likes to begin her classes on a positive note. “First, we start every class with some music,” Kight said. “As we wait for students to sign in, the first part of class is spent laughing, dancing, or just getting in the positive vibe of being together in this new format.” She said students have been able to reach her from 7AM to 9PM by text, phone, email, or virtual meeting seven days a week.

GETTING STARTED The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) assists faculty with instructional support as well as scholarship and professional development. Prior to the need for campus-wide remote instruction, CETL provided one-on-one consultations and instructional programming for faculty. Topics spanned from student engagement to learning technologies to Universal Design for Learning. When GHC moved to remote instruction in March, CETL programming focused on course design decisions for distance learning using technology such as Zoom and Desire2Learn (D2L). Initially, the CETL Continuity of Instruction website was launched. The Quick Start to Teaching Online guide led to numerous resource pages for both

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pedagogy and technology. Contributions for video tutorials and documentation were provided by GHC faculty. In order to offer programming to the faculty, CETL Director Josie Baudier was assisted by knowledgeable administrators, faculty, and staff. Workshop facilitators included academic deans, division chairs, library faculty, and staff from CETL, Advising, Information Technology, Student Support Services, as well as GHC’s expert online teaching faculty. To begin preparing GHC faculty early, CETL offered face-to-face sessions the week of March 11. Then from March 16 to April 9, the sessions were facilitated virtually. There were approximately three Pop-Up Sessions per

Together day for four weeks to support faculty as they moved their courses to remote instruction. More than 100 faculty attended these instructional sessions. The content of the Pop-Up Sessions included remote instructional strategies utilizing Zoom and D2L. Other learning technologies discussed were Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor and recording lectures for content delivery. In addition, sessions were conducted highlighting course design, humanizing online learning, copyright in the online environment, and student accommodations. In addition to the numerous Pop-Up Sessions, a Tech Buddy Program was created. This program matched faculty who wanted additional support before classes resumed through the first few weeks of classes. Facilitators for the Tech Buddies were from the Library, CETL, and Advising. Part-Time Instructor of Political Science Sharon Evans worked with Dean of Health Sciences Michelle Boyce during a Pop-Up Session. “Not only did she walk me through all the technical steps of bringing a face-to-face class into our new virtual classrooms, she continues to be a sounding board for best practices,” Evans said. “It is easy and justifiable to feel alone during a time like this, but it’s a gift to realize we are not alone. At Georgia Highlands College, we are all in this together.” Evans also praised the Tech Buddy Program for providing assistance as instructors moved toward remote instruction. “The Tech Buddy Program is such a valuable program during this unprecedented time,” Evans said. To be honest I was a little overwhelmed with the idea that I had two weeks to move both of my face-to-face classes completely online. While I had always used D2L to post my syllabi and PowerPoints, there was much about D2L and Zoom that I needed to learn fast in order to feel confident as an online/virtual instructor.” HOME OFFICE – Associate Professor of Sociology Josh Stovall set up to begin teaching from home with 8-month-old daughter Elizabeth making a guest appearance. contributed photo

Q&A with Floyd County Emergency Management Director Tim Herrington (See feature story on GHC Alumnus and Floyd County Emergency Management Director in this issue on page 28)

What are some examples of goodwill that you have seen in this unprecedented time? I have seen quite a few examples of goodwill and people helping each other get through this period of uncertainty when dealing with our current COVID-19 situation. I have received many emails and phone calls from volunteer organizations, churches, and individuals both locally and out-ofstate wanting to donate needed supplies of PPE, hand sanitizer, or food to first responder agencies. I have even had individuals wanting to donate their federal government stimulus checks to local organizations to assist with purchases of supplies and other essential needs of the community. I have to say the outpouring has been very uplifting not only to the frontline heroes, but to the community as a whole. It just shows the giant hearts of people willing to step up and assist and help out during this critical time of need. In your experience, how has Floyd Emergency Management executed business continuity plans? Our agency has been very instrumental in working with city and county local government agencies as they began the process of updating their existing continuity of operation plans that were put in place back in 2009 to combat the H1N1 influenza outbreak. They were encouraged and assisted in modification of those plans to address the current COVID-19 crisis. Those modifications and updates were very effective as we moved forward during this process. What are some key elements that a small business should identify when creating a business continuity plan? A small business has to identify the essential function it provides and how to continue to do so uninterrupted. There needs to be an order of succession in the event the main decision maker becomes unavailable. In that instance the next person in line to make those business decisions needs to be identified. The business planner has to determine if the business has the capability to allow employees to telework from home and still be able to provide productive services. Q&A– continued on page 7

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Charging Ahead FROM ON-CAMPUS TO VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION contributed photo

To continue creating real-world scenarios for students, Dean of Health Sciences Michelle Boyce purchased a critical thinking game called “Ponder” which engaged nursing students, virtually, in making moment-to-moment decisions for a client in distress. “The instructor rolled the dice, pulled cards from a stack, and spun a dial which progressed the students through an unfolding case study,” Associate Professor of Nursing Paula Stover said. “They loved it. We were beaming with pride in their ability to notice abnormal findings, interpret those findings accurately, and respond Stover with correct nursing interventions.” Stover also addressed the changes healthcare workers are currently encountering due to social distancing rules and fears of exposing oneself to potential threats by entering a healthcare facility. “We created engaging online simulation labs via Zoom with one instructor enacting patients with anxiety in ‘telehealthcare visits,’” Stover said. “These activities replaced required clinical experiences with live patients.”

She continued, “We also created an online ‘post conference.’ Normally, after a day in the hospital, nursing students discuss what they learned about diseases, treatments, and their role in caring for patients. In the online version, students ‘cared for’ virtual patients and then met in the Zoom post conference to discuss their cases.” Stover said the virtual patients were challenging cases that Boyce quickly procured for students. “This technology is very high quality and fairly easy to learn,” Stover said. “The cases help students think critically, and they receive detailed feedback each step of the way – as if a nursing instructor was in the room with them. This created a fantastic solution for clinical replacement activities.” Students who acted quickly and accurately received a “Real Nurse” card – one of the goals of the game. “We will be using this game more often when we return in the fall,” Stover said. Biology instructor Brandy Rogers said her students have quickly acclimated to the “new normal” of virtual learning but may struggle with outside factors. “I have found that most of my students are not struggling with technology, but more so with finding time and space to concentrate while at home with family members, friends, pets, etc.,” Rogers said. “For my one student who does not have a computer or internet access, I assembled a packet with class notes, lab materials, video transcripts, and assessments for her to complete, so she is finishing the course on paper, the old-fashioned way.” Rogers said there have been some struggles during the transition, but she chooses to look at the bright side. “For me, the transition to online in the middle of the semester has definitely had its challenges, but if I look at the silver lining, I have learned quite a few new skills that will ultimately make me a better educator, especially in an online classroom,” Rogers said. “All in all, I’d say the experience has been good for professional growth.”

STAYING ON TRACK Health Sciences Instructor Kristin Baumann explained that in GHC’s dental hygiene program, clinical skill development and patient care are vital components of the curriculum. She said not only are skill development and patient care fundamental, but the progression of these skills is an

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essential factor in students’ success. “When the suspension of classes began, our first-year dental hygiene students were at a pivotal point in the curriculum – they were just beginning to gain confidence in their abilities to perform these skills,” Baumann said. “I did

Together not want them to lose the momentum they had gained. So, I began thinking about fun ways to engage them that would also provide a review of the material.” Baumann opted to conduct an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) through virtual means. An OSCE is a lab exercise designed to evaluate the students’ ability to perform basic dental hygiene skills and utilize problem-solving and critical thinking abilities in the performance of these skills. “Under normal circumstances, an OSCE is administered in the clinical setting,” Baumann said. “However, to adapt to our current parameters, I decided to utilize the D2L classroom software. I set the OSCE up in the format of a virtual treasure hunt where each clue is in the form of a quiz that must be completed before the directions to the treasure to be found are revealed.” The treasures are collected in the “treasure box” located in the corresponding discussion forum. Once the student finds and deposits the requested treasure, the next clue is revealed. Each “clue” leads to the subsequent “treasure box” and continues until the hunt is complete. “I created this OSCE in the form of a treasure hunt to provide an opportunity for our students to have fun, stay connected with their classmates, and stay engaged with the content,” Baumann said. “Most of the students have participated and I have received positive feedback. Several said that they had fun with the treasure hunt and cannot wait for the next one.” While all departments at GHC have an online presence, there are areas of the college that have worked to expand their offerings due to their nature of being accessed by students in person on a daily basis.

LIBRARIES The libraries are doing their part to support the move to remote instruction, including the creation of a continuity page that provides information on library communication. “Like many libraries, we support students and faculty,” Dean of Libraries and College Testing Julius Fleschner said. “When we learned of the shift to remote instruction, the libraries partnered with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to host webinars and workshops on Zoom and D2L, as well as how to use library resources in course development. We also made a website on how to record and caption video lessons.” LIBRARIES – continued on page 8

contributed photo

VIRTUAL GEOLOGY – Professor of Geology Billy Morris teaches from home as spring semester transitions to fully online.

Q&A– continued from page 5

If the decision is made to allow employees to work from home, will they be allowed to use their own home computers, or will the company provide them and ensure the networks are protected depending on the sensitivity of the business information being shared. Decide if you want to allow your employees to access your computer network remotely and review or update your virus protection if needed. What should employees be doing for themselves in preparation to work from home for extended periods of time? The employee should identify an area in their home that will be conducive to a productive workspace with no distractions. If the company doesn’t supply a computer and you have to use your home computer, you need to check the speed of your internet. They will need to discuss the computer operating system with their employer to determine if it will be compatible with the company operating systems. Can you speak of any lessons learned by Floyd County Emergency Management regarding business continuity and the COVID-19 shutdown? I think the most interesting lessons learned have to do with coordination of supply chains. Alternate supply resource contacts proved to be invaluable during this incident as seen with other states. I also think communication sharing has always proved to be challenging, especially when you’re dealing with a nationwide pandemic and information is coming from federal, state, local, and social media. Sometimes it seems like an information avalanche that needs to be sifted through and disseminated in a timely manner.

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Charging Ahead LIBRARIES – continued from page 7

To support students, the library has developed several video series. The student-focused videos demonstrate how to use Zoom, D2L, Office 365, Online Learning, and “How 2 Library.” The library is marketing these materials through the Student Inform email service and the library’s social media accounts. “I am so proud of all the librarians and library associates,” Fleschner said. “We put together all of these resources within a few days and got them out in the hands of faculty and students who could use them. All the while we have been working to refine our own information literacy instruction for remote instruction.” Currently, the library is not loaning physical books. However, that does not mean students and GHC faculty and staff are out of luck if seeking to read while at home. contributed photo “We have very strong digital collections that include scholarly arVIRTUAL LIBRARY – Acquisitions Librarian Susanna ticles, ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and so much more,” Fleschner said. Smith is available to serve students and faculty “We have also dedicated funds to purchasing pedagogically necessary remotely. materials. Our interlibrary loan network is also a real asset right now. We are able to electronically borrow articles from many libraries across the world and share them with students.” The library is staffing its phones and chat reference services remotely from 8AM to 7PM, ensuring students, faculty, and community members can get direct assistance from a librarian. “Being available by phone and chat was something the entire team felt was important, as service to others is a core belief of librarianship,” Fleschner said. Within the libraries’ physical locations operate GHC’s Writing Centers. Because most careers seek applicants with strong written and verbal communication skills, the Writing Center’s mission is to promote student success from all pathways in any stage of the writing process. Previously only accessible in person by appointment or drop in, the Writing Center’s staff recognized that students will continue to need their assistance while working toward the end of the spring semester. “We are prepared to provide online assistance for students while learning remotely,” Humanities Instructor Shannan Harrington said. “An online writing center option has been added to Navigate, and we are holding sessions via Zoom. Our hours remain the same, 11AM to 3PM, Monday through Thursday.”

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES Another facet of GHC, Student Support Services, continues to serve students during this unique time. Disability specialists with GHC and the University System of Georgia (USG) have worked on providing instructional materials to assist students with disabilities in moving to an online format. For example, students who may have been approved for a distraction-free testing environment may learn how to establish a distraction-free environment from home while working online. In another example, students who may receive additional time when testing now receive that additional time through their instructor in the online format. Director of Student Support Services Angie Wheelus said the department provides free one-hour counseling

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sessions to students on all GHC sites. To accommodate the remote learning format, the department now uses Zoom to reach these students. “We’ve taken our students that we have already been working with and have shifted them over to this format,” Wheelus said. “We are also able to help any students who have never been in our counseling before, but are struggling with some difficulties during this transition.” She said some difficulties students have discussed during the transition to online learning have been a decrease in personal finances, caring for children who are now out of school, as well as social isolation and disappointment due to certain milestones in their college career being postponed due to social distancing rules.

Together “We want to be able to offer counseling for these students in particular, so students can just email sss@highlands.edu or reach out to any of our counseling staff,” Wheelus said. Another new addition to counseling services includes the creation of group counseling Zoom video conferencing rooms orchestrated by counseling interns. The interns, who are completing their master’s degrees in counseling at Richmont Graduate University, operate three rooms on the following topics: stress and anxiety, connecting to others during quarantine, and adjusting to the new daily online environment. All rooms operate with a wellness perspective. “A lot of bonding and education really goes on within those groups, and there’s time for the students to be able to process and to share what they’re experiencing during this time,” Wheelus said. While students who seek support from the department have various reasons for doing so, Wheelus says there is a common piece of advice she shares with students as they are homebound during this time. “Something I’ve been doing is just helping the student who’s struggling and leaning into whatever their giftings are,” Wheelus said. “Maybe they haven’t had time to utilize

contributed photo

SOLID CONNECTION – Professor of Communication Travice Obas connects with her students virtually through D2L and other online resources.

those particular giftings in a while because they’ve been so busy and things have been just moving so quickly, but now things have slowed down.” She continued, “For example, if their giftings are encouraging people, then helping them find ways they can encourage someone else. If their gifting is a hunger for knowledge and thirst for knowledge, then I encourage them to gather as much knowledge as they can. In general, I want them to grow in those unique kind of ways now that they have a little bit extra time.”

ACADEMIC SUCCESS CENTER The college’s Academic Success Center moved to virtual operations March 16. Staff and faculty advisors, as well as professional tutors, quickly moved their appointment availability to online in a customized EAB Navigate platform. “Students use Navigate to easily schedule appointments with advisors and tutors. Both advisors and tutors are meeting with students via Zoom, and the meeting information is relayed in the confirmation and reminder emails to students,” Director of Academic Success Jennifer Hicks said. “This was a pretty easy move for advisors because we have been using Zoom for virtual advising sessions for our fully online students for several semesters. Using Zoom for tutoring was a new process, but our tutors spent the week of March 16 learning Zoom and practicing with each other.” Hicks said from March 16 through April 8, there were 505 advising appointments and 75 tutoring appointments. In addition to appointments, advisors hosted drop-in sessions every Monday and Thursday through May 14. The host of these sessions moves an advisor and a student into a breakout room so students are afforded privacy when they are discussing their academic records and goals.

“We have experienced some interesting sessions as we navigate this virtual world. For example, once my power went out, so I advised a student via Zoom on my phone and in the dark,” Hicks said. “During another Hicks session, the student’s camera and microphone did not work, so he could see and hear me, but I could not see or hear him. He used the chat feature in Zoom to ask questions and provide information. It was unconventional, but it worked.” She continued, “Advisors and tutors are getting creative in how we provide support to our students. We strive to make the sessions easy and convenient for each student.” Students admitted to GHC for summer and fall will participate in a virtual orientation. “The orientation committee is hard at work to transition our face-to-face Charger orientation to a virtual experience that will have the same positive impact on our new Chargers,” Hicks said.

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Campus News

GHC continues to hold second highest enrollment among state colleges in Georgia Georgia Highlands College continues to lead the University System of Georgia’s (USG) state colleges in enrollment for fall 2019 and spring 2020, according to the USG’s semester enrollment reports. GHC continues to hold the second highest enrollment for state colleges in Georgia next to Georgia Gwinnett College. GHC also had the highest percentage increase in enrollment for spring semester 2020 compared to all state colleges in its sector. According to the USG, fall 2019 enrollment in the USG’s 26 colleges and universities had an increase of 1.5 percent over the previous year. This continues a six-year trend of modest increases in student enrollment within USG. This fall also marks the fifth consecutive year of growth to reach an alltime high in the number of students enrolled in USG institutions.  “Our overall purpose is to raise attainment levels for communities across Georgia, and the students at our 26 institutions are a critical part of that effort,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “More of them than ever are enrolled on our campuses, and we have also seen a substantial rise in the number of students awarded degrees annually. Getting more Georgians through college to a degree improves not only their

SPRING INCREASE– As more students continue to recognize the tremendous value GHC has to offer, enrollment for spring semester 2020 was the highest percentage increase among other state colleges in its sector.

quality of life, but also Georgia’s economic competitiveness.” The enrollment numbers were released in the USG’s semester enrollment reports which break down enrollment by institution, class, race, and ethnicity, in-state, out-of-state and international students, as well as gender and age.

‘Late Start Classes’ launched this spring This spring, Georgia Highlands College added a variety of classes on a condensed schedule that began later in the semester. GHC’s new “Late Start Classes” offer students the opportunity to complete certain courses more quickly. The new model follows a successful pilot on GHC’s Cartersville site in fall 2019. The new “Late Start Session” began in February and concluded in May. Students could also opt to take “Late Start Classes” during a special “Second Session” that began in March and concluded in May. “Late Start Classes” condense a traditional class length’s worth of content into a shorter amount of time. All “Late Start Classes” reward the same number of credits as traditional classes. “GHC strives to provide scheduling options that are convenient for all of our students, from those just out of high school to working adults seeking to advance their careers,” Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dana Nichols said. “The new ‘Late Start’ schedules are specifically designed so that students can take a full course load and make the same progress toward graduation as those in the traditional semester schedules.” Current students and applicants interested in taking “Late Start Classes” can view the steps required to apply and the classes available at latestart.highlands.edu

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Georgia Highlands College (GHC) kicked off 2020 with a partnership with Georgia College & State University (GCSU), giving students the option to complete their associate degree with GHC before moving on to a four-year degree with GCSU. Additionally, GHC graduates transferring to GCSU will have special scholarship options available to them. The new GHC to GCSU pathways program began spring 2020.

GHC launching new pathway geared toward health and wellness industry Georgia Highlands College’s Health Sciences division will be launching a brand-new Exercise Science pathway beginning in fall 2020. “Over the past few years, a growing number of students have been requesting this pathway,” Dean of Health Sciences Michelle Boyce said. “Many students seek this degree to work with people in the fitness and wellness industry.” Boyce said graduates may qualify to work at any gym, fitness, or recreation facility in the GHC service area or around the state. Graduates also gain knowledge to prepare them to work in wellness centers or on corporate wellness teams. In addition, the pathway is also desired by students who want to continue into graduate programs such as physical therapy and occupational therapy. Once a student completes this pathway, they can continue on to GHC’s bachelor degree in health science or transfer into some of the largest degree programs at other University System of Georgia institutions.

“Undergraduate degree students learn how the human body functions and then study the different ways exercise can affect people on an individual and community level,” Kinesiology and Wellness Assistant Professor John Howard said. “The curriculum provides a scientific approach to fitness and human performance, allowing students opportunities to objectively understand the physiology of exercise as well as its benefits and results.” A Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences prepares students with an interest in pursuing advanced clinical and non-clinical healthcare degrees or career advancement. Classes give students a broad base to build upon if continuing studies in fields such as public health, exercise science, nutrition, or medicine. Students may choose an undergraduate specialty such as health and wellness educator and go straight into a job after graduation. For more information about this program, please visit the division’s website at highlands.edu by searching “Health Sciences.”

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Campus News

Partnership with Georgia College brings new pathways and scholarship opportunities

Campus News

GHC expands night class offerings In spring 2020, Georgia Highlands College began expanding classes offered at night to students attending classes at the Douglasville site. The new classes included algebra, American history, English composition, and physical science. Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dana Nichols explained that the addition in scheduling came from a collaboration between each academic division

working together to provide more options for GHC students. “At GHC, we understand that today’s students often have to balance work and other responsibilities in conjunction with earning their degrees,” she said. “Our faculty continue to design course scheduling options that are convenient and that allow students to complete their degrees in a timely manner.”

Writing centers launched at three college sites Georgia Highlands College students on the Cartersville, Douglasville, and Floyd sites now have access to an additional tool to help them succeed: Writing Centers. “I think the benefit of having a center dedicated to writing is it gives the ability to offer assistance at all stages of the writing process,” Humanities Instructor Shannan Harrington said. “The training we are developing instructs writing assistants on how to help with brainstorming and outlining in addition to revision, editing, and proofreading.” Harrington said while the majority of students who have taken advantage of the writing centers did so for help in their English classes, the centers may grow in scope regarding the assistance they provide. Because most careers seek applicants with strong written and verbal communication skills, the Writing Center’s mission is to promote student success from all pathways in any stage of the writing process.

“We want to meet students where they are in their writing process and help them navigate that process more efficiently, so they learn strong writing practices and are able to apply them in all areas of communication,” Harrington said. “It is our hope that our services will help students gain confidence in their writing abilities and become stronger writers and more effective communicators.” Harrington said over 140 students received assistance at the centers in its first two months, representing over 100 hours of individual appointments with students. She said the faculty assisting students at the centers have versatile skills to help students with what they need during the writing process. “If a student isn’t sure how to approach an assignment, we can help them brainstorm ideas. If a student has ideas but needs direction, we can help them outline,” Harrington said. “If a student has a draft but wants to make sure their writing is clear, we can help them revise for organization. If a student needs help understanding a grammar principle, we can explain it and help them identify and correct it in their own writing. We can also help with research related writing such as proper citations and finding and integrating sources.” Students can schedule appointments through Navigate, and faculty can refer students through Navigate. Students can also drop-in during Writing Center hours. HELPING STUDENTS SUCCEED

From left, Humanities Instructor Shannan Harrington assists Robin Emele at the Floyd campus Writing Center. Emele is a Human Services major who lives in Cedartown and attends classes on the Floyd campus.

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GHC hosts third annual Highlands Writers Conference Georgia Highlands College hosted the third annual Highlands Writers Conference in February at the Cartersville site. The program provided numerous opportunities for aspiring writers to learn about their craft in a variety of genres as well as best practices for publication, including workshop sessions, writing consultations, and a book fair. GHC’s Humanities Division and event organizers said the event was a success and resonated with both new and seasoned writers, adding “We welcomed writers who have been practicing for years as well as those who have not yet set pen to paper.” Attendees spent the day with several acclaimed writers, including award-winning novelist Soniah Kamal; screenwriter and indie film producer Hudson Phillips; poet and poetry editor of the New South Journal Caroline Crew; and award-winning essayist Clinton Crockett Peters. Lunch speaker Kay Powell served as obituaries editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1996 to 2009. Powell has been called the “Doyenne of the Death Beat.” She has created memorable public legacies for moonshiners, a CEO turned Kmart greeter, a model aircraft designer, the planet Pluto, and Flannery O’Connor’s peacock, among many others.

Georgia Highlands College student Haydn Turner has a perfect 4.0 GPA, and recently, she was chosen to represent GHC at the Board of Regents Academic Day in Atlanta. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) honored 26 students total who best represent the system’s highest scholastic ideals during Academic Recognition Day this month. Each of the system’s institutions selected a student with a 4.0 GPA who also reflects the system’s best qualities: “They aim to strive for excellence and have the ability to share knowledge in various areas of expertise.” Academic Recognition Day began 32 years ago as a celebration of Georgia students’ academic achievement. The honorees receive a resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives along with a letter of commendation from USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley. In his letter of commendation, Chancellor Wrigley congratulated the honorees but also focused on the magnitude of the students’ efforts: “Education has an intrinsic worth, but your accomplishment is about more than just that,” he said. “You have seized the opportunity to build upon an incredibly valuable time in your life and lay a foundation for success far beyond your chosen field of study.” Haydn attends GHC’s Cartersville site and lives in Aragon.

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Campus News

Turner chosen as Academic Day Representative

Campus News

Dental Hygiene students use skills to improve oral health beyond GHC

Civil Rights Documentary screened at GHC Georgia Highlands College screened an hour-long civil rights movement documentary at the Cartersville site for Black History Month on February 23 in the Student Center Ballroom. The documentary, called “Summer Hill: A Story of Community,” is noted by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) as “a compelling look at the influence of one small, tightly knit community– its school, churches and civic leaders– on its residents.” GPB went on to say the town of Summer Hill, which inspired the documentary, “produced many professionals, including Georgia’s first black Supreme Court justice, a famous Motown songwriter, teachers, ministers, doctors and lawyers… [and in] compelling interviews, the people of Summer Hill tell the empowering story of their community and reveal its lasting legacy of hope.” The GHC Black History Month event, called “An Afternoon on Summer Hill: A Conversation about Community, Education, and Excellence,” also included an interview with Summer Hill High School alumni Calvin Cooley and Bibby Morgan.

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Dental hygiene students at Georgia Highlands College are taking their learning beyond the classroom and into the community through service learning initiatives. These opportunities help students gain hands-on experience in the field while also promoting oral health. “Community service opportunities give us a chance to give back and to gain perspective about the oral health needs in our community which often go unnoticed,” dental hygiene student Hailey Sosa said. In August 2019, students participated in the 18th Annual Health Initiative for Men and Women (HIM+) health fair. Held each year at the Floyd County Health Department, the fair is sponsored by the 100 Black Men of Northwest Georgia and the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition. GHC students provided oral cancer screening and toothbrushes to approximately 400 attendees this year. Students continued their community service at the inaugural Live Healthy Chattooga County Health Fair in September 2019. At this fair, Chattooga County residents received multiple free health screenings, including an oral cancer screening from GHC dental hygiene students. Students also provided general oral health education and toothbrushes. Additionally, the program hosts the Free Dental Clinic of Rome one night each month. Through this event, dental hygiene students and faculty open the GHC dental hygiene clinic to provide oral health screenings and dental cleanings for the community. Other service learning initiatives include regular visits to Harbin Clinic Cancer Center and annual participation in the Floyd County Teen Maze, Bartow Give a Kid a Chance, and BLESS Weekend at the Allatoona Resource Center. “Our students’ efforts make a difference to the community,” Dental Hygiene Program Director Regina Gupta said. “We hope that when students graduate, they carry with them the desire to volunteer in similar community oral health initiatives.”

In fall 2019, Georgia Highlands College’s business administration program looked to the past to give students the hands-on experience they need to take charge of their future. For the program’s annual community service learning project, students were charged with creating a comprehensive business plan for Cartersville’s historic Bandy Building. In 1940, the tufted textile industry was booming across Northwest Georgia. Bartow County resident and business leader B.J. Bandy worked to meet the growing demand for tufted robes, rugs, and other products by expanding his business, Bartow Textiles, with the construction of what was reportedly the largest chenille factory in the world, the Bandy Building. Today, the 47,000-square-foot historic Bandy Building is owned by John Lewis of John S. Lewis Property Management. Lewis, a developer and property manager, has restored more than 30 offices and buildings in downtown Cartersville, earning him the Georgia Cities Foundation’s Renaissance Award in 2012. Lewis hopes to further renovate and repurpose the Bandy Building, which is currently home to a salon, an art studio and a photography studio. The collaboration between John Lewis and GHC came about when Joseph Slattery, founder and CEO of Slattery Company, reached out to the GHC’s business program looking for interns. Mecole Ledbetter, program coordinator, thought Slattery’s ideas would be a great fit for GHC’s operations management portion of the bachelor’s in business program. “Through our discussion, I realized that this project would require more than just an intern or

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two, but rather a full class that could adopt this as a hands-on learning and execution project,” Ledbetter said. The learning project took shape as the main focus of 2019’s operations management course at GHC led by Pro-

fessor Denie Burks. “The project allowed students to better understand the management processes and how they work together and independently,” Burks said. “It required teamwork and collaboration, communication and brainstorming, as well as patience and respect for each person’s individual opinion and input.” Trent Mull, a business student at GHC, spoke highly of the challenge presented by the Bandy Building project. He said, at the time, “It was an amazing opportunity for us as a cohort to have real-world application of the skills that we are learning in our classes. I believe I speak for the cohort when I say that we are excited, we are determined, and we are honored to be given the opportunity to hopefully give the people of Cartersville and the surrounding area a building they can be proud of.” Slattery is also hopeful that both GHC students and the Cartersville community as a whole will benefit for the innovative class assignment. “While most similar college projects are conceptual in nature, John Lewis has presented GHC with a hands-on opportunity that if effectively applied will produce benefits for the students, GHC, John S. Lewis Property Management, the city of Cartersville, and Bartow County,” he said. Learn more about GHC and the four-year business program at bba.highlands.edu

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Campus News

Bachelor’s in Business Administration students take on historic Cartersville building for service learning project

Campus News

TheaterExtreme presents ‘Introduction to Improv’ In November 2019, Georgia Highlands College partnered with local non-profit TheatreExtreme to present an “Introduction to Improv” event for students, faculty, and staff at the college’s Cartersville site. During the event, TheatreExtreme demonstrated several improv exercises. Audience members also had the chance to participate on stage in a variety of roles. “Not only is improvisational comedy a fun and challenging way to grow communication skills, but it also supports many aspects of cognitive and social development,” Associate Professor Sean Callahan said. TheatreExtreme is a non-profit performance group founded in 2014 with a mission to promote the exploration of live theatre in new and creative ways throughout the Cartersville community.

GHC students participate in undergraduate field research for hands-on learning experience In December 2019, Georgia Highlands College hosted a student research poster session showcasing undergraduate research in the field of environmental science in the student center on GHC’s Floyd campus. The session stemmed from GHC Professor Billy Morris’ ENVS 1123 course, where students spent part of their semester “doing science, rather than reading about it,” he said. Students split into teams to study the college’s Paris Lake and wetlands in Rome. Ansley Roden, a sophomore majoring in psychology, partnered with fellow student Garrett Johnson. “I enjoyed it so much,” Roden said. “It was fun to get outdoors and focus my attention on something I never knew about before. We even got to use the kayak one day to take samples in the lake.” Roden was excited to have the GHC community stop by the poster session to view their research firsthand. “My partner and I are very proud of what we have done, and the results that we found,” she said. “Our poster looked awesome and we could not wait to answer everyone’s questions and make more people aware about what we have learned.” Dean of Libraries and College Testing Julius Fleschner hopes the poster session is the first toward a full-fledged student research symposium in the future. “We hope that we will learn significantly from our first couple of medium-scale projects like this poster session,” Fleschner said. “GHC is deeply committed to enhancing high-quality teaching. One way to do that is to have faculty work directly with students on undergraduate research.”

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Solving a murder doesn’t require a Gucci sweater vest and dramatic monologues, Special Agent Audey Murphy joked. The popular forensic show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” gets some things right, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) agent said, but by and large, the real work is a long, hard, and often gritty process. GHC’s Political Science and Criminal Justice Club hosted a number of law enforcement officers in November 2019 to demonstrate how professional crime scene investigations take place in the field. Murphy was accompanied by Floyd County Police Chief Mark Wallace and Major Jeff Jones, as well as Floyd County detectives. Murphy created a mock crime scene and walked students through the process of investigating a serious case like murder. Crime Scene Specialists are required to attend ten-week programs with 170 hours of classwork and 230 hours of fieldwork. Murphy, who has been with the GBI for 21 years and working crime scenes for 17, gave a crash course on the kinds of topics covered in the more extensive program, like blood splatter analysis, technologies used in the field, and key indicators for determining how a crime happened.

Murphy explained that GBI agents use their specialized training and equipment to search for, identify, and collect evidence to examine, interpret, and preserve physical evidence discovered at crime scenes. Sometimes this includes digitally reconstructing a crime scene with specialized camera equipment or mapping out bullet trajectories with lasers or using blood drops and splatters, shoe impressions, and fingerprints to determine exactly how a crime took place. Part of Murphy’s job also sees him guest lecturing and instructing for police academies and other educational and service organizations. After the presentation concluded, students were able to use forensic field tools on the mock crime scene to practice what they had learned during the course. The Floyd County Police Mobile Crime Scene Unit was also on display for students after the course.

COMMUNITY WATCH – Dean of Humanities Jon Hershey and GHC Alumnus Greg Shropshire host a 30-minute video series titled Community Watch. The series features GHC and community members from the Rome/Floyd county area discussing current events, sports, the arts, health, and politics. Watch and subscribe at youtube.com/GHTVcommunitywatch or tune in to Comcast Channel 4 (library channel) and AT&T Uverse channel 99.

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Campus News

GBI agent presents professional crime scene investigation crash course for students

Student Organization Spotlight

Men’s intramural soccer team wins national award The Georgia Highlands College Soccer Club men’s team traveled to Round Rock, Texas, November 19 to November 23, 2019, to compete in the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Soccer Championship tournament, during which they received the association’s Sportsmanship Award. The national championship tournament, organized by the leading organization in college and university intramural sports, offers two divisions for participating institutions – the championship division and the open division. The championship division includes club teams that won their respective NIRSA regional championship, while open division selects teams through a lottery draw selecting four teams per region plus alternates. The college earned the first alternate spot for NIRSA Region 2 – also called the Southern Collegiate Soccer Alliance – and was able to claim a spot when another Region 2 team dropped out. “It’s entirely luck of the draw,” Director of Student Life and Soccer Club Coach John Spranza said, “but when I saw that the Chargers were pulled as the first alternate, I thought we’d have a good chance to nab a spot.” The other institutions from Region 2 to join GHC in the Open Division included Virginia Tech, the University of Miami, and James Madison University. A total of 24 teams from across the country participated in the Open Division, with teams being divided into six groups, or pools, for the preliminary games. Winners of each pool plus two wild cards advance to the playoff. Georgia Highlands College was selected for Pool A which included Utah Valley University, the University of Minnesota, and Xavier University. The Chargers were one of only three teams participating in the tournament for the first time ever in the men’s open division.

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Although the men’s team had previously competed in the Region 2 Southeast Collegiate Soccer Alliance fall league, the difficulty of planning practices for the players who attend four different GHC locations gave the club little quality training time as a unit. “Because everyone came from different GHC locations, all had different class and work schedules, it was near impossible to ever get the whole squad together for training,” Spranza said. “We’d have a handful of guys that could make one day, and another handful that could make another day, so it was hard to build any team chemistry and unified style of play. We would literally have guys introducing themselves to teammates at league games because we hadn’t practiced together.” After a 15-hour bus ride to get to Round Rock, Texas, the 23 GHC players finally got a full-squad practice on the evening of November 20, 2019, in SOCCER – continued on page 21

Six Mile Post earns best print and online news awards The Georgia Highlands College studentproduced newspaper the Six Mile Post recently was awarded first place for Best Overall Print Newspaper and Best Online News site by the Southern Regional Press Institute (SRPI). Overall, the outlet received a combined seven first-place awards by both the SRPI and Georgia College Press Association (GCPA) and a total of 20 combined awards. “Receiving first place in the Best Online News Site is a great accomplishment,” Six Mile Post Editor-in-Chief Olivia D. Fortner said. “Though the site redesign was outsourced as far as physically making the changes, our team worked on how we wanted our website to look and which color schemes to use. We particularly spent a lot of time communicating with a graphic designer to create a new logo for our website and print edition. The editors created the idea for the new logo and tweaked it many times, sending it back to the designers so it would be just right.” Fortner said the Six Mile Post maintains its focus of being first and foremost a news outlet. “The quality of content on the website has to be top notch to keep viewers coming back,” Fortner said. “The articles posted online go through edits and are treated with the same value as our print articles. We have talented artists, graphic designers, and photographers that contribute to our site being appealing and good quality.” Held in February in Savannah, the two-day SRPI conference features keynote speakers, multiple concurrent workshops, contests, and a job fair. According to its website, “Through its workshops and speakers, SRPI provides training for elementary, middle, high school, and college students with an interest in mass media. The workshops are instructed by nationallyrespected journalists and media professionals. From 2013-2019, the institute has hosted more than 200 professional guest speakers.” Attending the annual GCPA conference, held in February in Athens, exposes college journalists to sessions taught by experts in the field and gives them a chance to network with peers from around the state. “My biggest takeaway from the GCPA conference was that news and media is not a dying

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WINNING TRADITION – SMP continues its long tradition of bringing home many awards each year. Pictured left to right, SMP Advisor Allison Hattaway, Samantha Warner, Olivia Fortner, and Michelle Hardin. SOUTHERN REGIONAL PRESS INSTITUTE AWARDS STAFF AWARDS Best Overall Print Newspaper – 1st Place Best Online News Site – 1st Place INDIVIDUAL AWARDS: Best News Reporting – 1st Place – Nick Whitmire Best Feature Writing – 2nd Place – Samantha Warner Best Sports Writing – 1st Place – Trevor Gonzales Best Feature Photography – 1st Place – Penelope Stephens Best Feature Photography – 3rd Place – Catie Sullivan GEORGIA COLLEGE PRESS ASSOCIATION AWARDS STAFF AWARDS: Layout and Design – 2nd Place Improvement – 3rd Place Best Campus Community Service – Features – 3rd Place INDIVIDUAL AWARDS: Best Editorial or Editorial Series – 1st Place – Jonah Peters Best Editorial or Editorial Series – 2nd Place – Catie Sullivan Best Photograph-Editorial/Feature – 2nd Place – Emma Veale Best Photo Essay – 3rd Place – Penelope Stephens Best Column – 3rd Place – Mariah Redmond Best Column – 3rd Place – Nathaniel Flahardy Best Column – 3rd Place – Jonah Peters Best Entertainment Feature – 2nd & 3rd Places – Joseph McDaniel Impact Award – 1st Place – Julia Belew

career field,” Six Mile Post Copy Editor Samantha Warner said. “Although the way we consume information is changing, there’s a greater demand for reliable, unbiased sources than there has ever been. New jobs are being created in this field literally all the time. It’s part of what makes me so excited about this line of work.” SMP – continued on page 21

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Student Organization Spotlight

Woman 2 Woman come together to serve their community and one another Members of Georgia Highlands College’s Woman 2 Woman student organization recently worked to help make the winter months a little warmer for people in need by orchestrating a coat drive for Helping Hands of Paulding County. “Because it has been cold and rainy, Woman 2 Woman appreciated what coats would mean to our neighbors and held the coat drive so that we could provide to our neighbors,” Woman 2 Woman co-advisor Christina Henggeler said. Henggeler, who also serves as GHC Paulding Site Manager, added it required two vehicles to transport the coats. According to its website, “Helping Hands is working to foster a caring atmosphere for anyone experiencing temporary or emergency struggles due to a crisis situation.” Although founded in spring of 2010 with the goal to connect and support women at GHC, the organization has recently experienced a revival. “We had looked through established inactive clubs and felt that Woman 2 Woman would be a good fit for what we want to do,” Henggeler said, adding student and organization president Manoucheca Jean was instrumental in getting the club started on the Paulding site. “It provides opportunities for the students to meet weekly and talk to one another about what they are going through as college students, to get involved in service projects, and creates a platform to invite guest speakers to meetings for learning about things of concern to the members.” Henggeler said the organization, which is available to students on all GHC sites, has made a positive impact on students, faculty, staff, and the community. “I have seen positive energy generated because of Woman 2 Woman,” Henggeler said. “Each week a different member of GHC Paulding’s faculty and staff pop in to check it out, and the students are excited to have an organization where they can socialize with a purpose.”

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For example, Henggeler said a recent guest speaker shared information on resume writing and dressing for an interview, along with how to work toward being hired for one’s dream job. The organization places emphasis on developing communications skills, volunteering in the community, and the general well-being of women in group members’ lives. In addition, Woman 2 Woman promotes pride in women’s individuality while seeking to enrich their academic, cultural, and social experiences. Jean, who attends classes on the Paulding site and lives in Powder Springs, said Woman 2 Woman provides a place for students to come together, support one another, and give back to the community. “I joined this organization because the women at our college matter,” Jean said. “I’d like for students to know that our club is extremely accepting and encouraging. We are shaping ourselves into becoming fearless, bold, and influential women.” Student and Woman 2 Woman Event Coordinator Jenny Hill, who attends classes on the Paulding site and lives in Powder Springs, said she appreciates how the organization sheds light on women’s issues and helps individuals spread positivity. “I enjoy the bond we share as friends and how we relate to each other as women,” Hill said. For more information on Helping Hands, visit www.hhpcga.org

SMP – continued from page 19

Fortner praised the work of the Six Mile Post team for their ability to quickly adapt to the requirements of producing a newspaper and news site. “I am most proud of the overall improvement award,” Fortner said, referencing the outlet’s third place Improvement award granted by the GCPA. “This speaks volumes for the work our staff has put in. Most of us were inexperienced in journalism and design. We did a lot to learn the style of AP writing and building a newspaper. We worked together and produced a paper better than the last. I hope this continues and we improve with each issue.” Current faculty advisor Allison Hattaway praised the work of recently retired faculty advisor Kristie Kemper as well as the students responsible for publishing the Six Mile Post. “To walk into a program that had been run so well by one person for so many years was no simple task,” Hattaway said. “In addition, there were very few returning staff members from last year, so we really had to hit the ground running. I am very proud

of the students for jumping in and working together to maintain the history of excellence that Dr. Kemper and previous students had established.” Readers can go to www.sixmilepostonline.com to see the new look and visit Android and Apple app stores to download the free College News Source app for easier reading on mobile devices. Students interested in working for the Six Mile Post are encouraged to apply online at https://sites. highlands.edu/forms/six-mile-post-application

SOCCER – continued from page 18

preparation for the tournament. Making the trip to represent GHC were the following students: AJ Andrews, Fernando Barrientos, Sergio Blanco, Charlie Diaz-Cruz, Marvin Domingo, Santiago Franco, Anderson Lima, Jacob Mincey, Jimmy Nolasco, Kyle Patterson, Christian Richardson, John Spranza IV, and Ruandy Vasquez-Perez, all from the Floyd site; Braden Camp, Mayco Contreras, Eduardo Cortes, Jackson Laurent, Julio Medina, Jair Ramos, and Brandon Romero, all from the Cartersville site; Steven Garcia and Amadou Touray from the Marietta site; and Edwood Hilaire from the Paulding site. Even though the Chargers finished fourth in their group with 3 points, GHC was the only first-time tournament participant to win a game in the Open Division. The Chargers scored more points than schools such as the University of Miami, University of Colorado, University of Vermont, and St. Edward’s University; and had the same tournament record (1-2) as schools such as LSU, Ohio State, and SUNY-Cortland. The only other institutions from Georgia in the tournament were on the Women’s side of the Open Division, where KSU’s women finished 0-2-1 and Georgia Southern’s women finished 0-3. “I’m just glad this group could experience some-

thing like this national tournament and not only make a good showing at it, but also to open some eyes to what a great place GHC can be,” Spranza said. Regarding the Sportsmanship Award, the Series’ Sportsmanship Statement reads in part: “We wholeheartedly embrace the position that, in order for sportsmanship to prevail, coaches, student-athletes, and fans must display respect, fairness, civility, honesty, and responsibility before, during, and after all athletic contests. We encourage fans to enthusiastically support their team, recognize the outstanding performance of opponents, and always exhibit good sportsmanship in their words and actions.”

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Faculty Spotlight

Subacz honored as Teacher of the Year by Cobb County Chamber of Commerce For 31 years, Cobb County has hosted Give Our Schools a Hand, an event honoring and recognizing outstanding educators throughout the county. In October 2019, Kim Subacz, an assistant professor of biology at Georgia Highlands College, was one of the well-deserving educators celebrated with the breakfast and pep rally. “The event breakfast banquet and pep rally were just so uplifting,” she said. “I haven’t experienced anything like it. A marching band leads the teachers toward the stage. It’s like a concert. The energy level is through the roof. It’s such a humbling and aweinspiring experience.” Subacz said when she was told she had been chosen to represent GHC at the event, she was shocked. “I still find it hard to believe,” she said. “I feel like there are so many well-deserving teachers out there and I am so very thankful.” Subacz’s journey to Cobb County Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year for GHC began in 2015 as a part-time faculty member. “A coworker of mine in retail told me she enjoyed her classes here at GHC and I was looking to get back into academia,” she said. “I’m so glad I applied and will always be grateful for that first interview call. I fell in love with the atmosphere at GHC.” Her passion for GHC hasn’t faded a bit over the

years. “I love that GHC feels like a family,” she said. “This is one of the best work environments I’ve experienced. I feel like everyone here genuinely cares about each other and our students.”

SAAB/B2B hosts Southeast Regional Conference GHC hosted the Student African American Brotherhood/Brother 2 Brother (SAAB/B2B) Southeast Regional Conference in March at the Cartersville site. Regional Cluster Summits are oneday, four-hour workshops held in regions of the country where SAAB and B2B Chapters in close proximity join for fall training. SAAB Regional Cluster Summits are conducted to empower SAAB Leaders to begin the year with the inspiration and tools necessary for successful leaders to make the positive impact SAAB desires for contributed photo each chapter institution.

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Georgia Highlands College’s Associate Professor of History Shannon Bontrager recently published his first book, “Death at the Edges of Empire: Fallen Soldiers, Cultural Memory, and the Making of an American Nation, 1863-1921,” through the University of Nebraska Press. Bontrager said reflecting upon the happenings surrounding the Vietnam Unknown Soldier dedication to the Tomb of the Unknowns was an inspiration when writing the book. “It was portrayed as a moment of healing and as someone born in the shadow of the Vietnam conflict, I took great interest because it seemed no one was ready to talk about such a confusing and chaotic period of American history,” he said. As years passed, Bontrager said, he began questioning if the identity of the soldier was known. He explained that the parents of Michael Blassie, the soldier who had been buried in the Tombs of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery, were never told their son’s remains had been recovered and initially identified. “When they found out, they were able to petition the government to exhume their son’s body and use DNA evidence to verify that Michael Blassie had indeed been buried as the unknown soldier,” he said. “For me it was an incredible moment wrapped up in all kinds of emotions that brought on further confusion about the conflict. It made me interested in the idea that America was more of an empire than a republic and that tension between imperialism and republicanism could be measured by the way American citizens remembered past conflicts and how they commemorated the war dead from these wars.” Overall, the book took about five years to research, develop, and write. Bontrager said a portion of the book was part of his doctoral dissertation he defended in 2011, then spent about three years doing research at libraries and museums across the U.S. as well as at the Ministère des Affaires étrangères archives in Courneuve just outside of Paris, France. It then took about one year to implement the new content into three additional chapters and submit the manuscript to the University of Nebraska Press. Bontrager said the book takes a look at how loss of life in extensive numbers is handled in war

Faculty Spotlight


times. “For most people whose ancestors served and died in combat, they can visit their loved one’s grave at a National Cemetery somewhere in the United States or a Military Cemetery abroad,” Bontrager said. “But tens of thousands of dead soldiers, from all of America’s wars, remain unaccounted for. Today nearly 82,000 bodies remain unaccounted for just from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf Wars. My research examines how Americans recovered bodies from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, and WWI when much higher numbers of bodies were never identified, misidentified, lost forever and never recovered, or in some cases, simply left behind.” For Bontrager, a love for history and education started as a seed planted at a young age. “I lived and worked in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1994-95 right in the middle of President Bill Clinton’s attempts to help Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty. Growing up in a small town in the rural Midwest, I thought these kinds of treaties were impossible,” he said. “But now in Jordan, I was in the very place where history was happening. It was a time when I was not just witnessing history, I could feel it.” Bontrager went on, sharing a story about tourBONTRAGER – continued on page 34

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Staff Spotlight

Morgan named GCCA Couselor of the Year

Georgia Highlands College Counselor Dorothy purpose, and lost direction in their lives have found Morgan has been named 2020’s Counselor of the Year renewal, inspiration, and perspective from Dorothy. by the Georgia College Counseling Association. She Her personal qualities, techniques, and skill as a received the award in January during the organizaprofessional counselor have provided GHC students tion’s annual conference, held at the King and Prince the ability to learn new skills to cope, acquire new Beach and Golf resort on Saint Simons Island. perspective into their unique but challenging situations and the mindset to persevere.” “Most of us who do this type of work do it In addition to providing essential services to stubecause we have seen the benefits of it in lives being changed, so it is encouraging when colleagues dents through her counseling endeavors, Dorothy also recognize you for doing what you helped to establish a much-needed believe in,” Dorothy said. “I’m very food pantry for students as well “STUDENTS WHO HAVE LOST thankful.” as provided programming for area HOPE, LOST PURPOSE, AND counselors to acquire new skills. Dorothy, who has served at the LOST DIRECTION IN THEIR Cartersville site since 2013, previA licensed counselor holding a ously worked for GHC when it was LIVES HAVE FOUND RENEWAL, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and known as Floyd College and has a Master of Science in Education, INSPIRATION, AND also served as a counselor for KenDorothy also obtained her Certified PERSPECTIVE FROM nesaw State University. Professional Counselor Supervisor DOROTHY.” “I became a counselor and have certification to supervise counselANGIE WHEELUS ing interns, and she developed a continued in the field because I see Director comprehensive orientation program how our thoughts and emotions Student Support Services to help interns become a part of the drive human behavior,” Dorothy counseling community at GHC. said. “As a counselor, I get to work with people to Georgia Highlands College currently offers an help them resolve, reframe, or remove those things in associate degree in human services, which prepares their life that impacts how they see themselves and students to work toward several potential career paths. their world.” Dorothy said careers in human services are good She added, “For me, one of the most rewarding for students who are passionate about helping others. things I do is evidenced every time I’m able to provide or create a safe space where the individual feels The Georgia College Counseling Association is really heard. It’s seeing them walk away feeling more made up of counselors from colleges and universities empowered to continue their life’s journey.” within the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, Historically Black Director of Student Support Services Angie Colleges and Universities, and private institutions in Wheelus nominated Dorothy for the award. the state. For more information about GHC’s human “I have known Dorothy for several years,” services program, please visit highlands.edu. Wheelus said. “Students who have lost hope, lost

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The Academic Success Center was honored as Department of the Year during Georgia Highland’s College’s 2019 fall in service meeting. “One of the best aspects of the Academic Success Center is the dedication of the staff and their passion for helping our students be successful,” Director of Academic Success Jennifer Hicks said. “While each team member brings their own unique personalities and skill sets to the department, their ability to work as a team is what makes the Academic Success Center a vital component in keeping students on track to graduate and helping them successfully meet their academic, personal, and career goals.”

Left to right: Bethany Duvall, Lesli Terrell-Payne, Greg Minter, Laura Walton, Alonda Sanders, Jennifer Hicks, Josh Grant, Yoshe Owens, Elizabeth Tanner. Pictured above: Jillian Petro assists a student. Not pictured: LaTascha Echols.

Department Spotlight


Student Spotlight GHC student thankful to earn US citizenship Achieving American citizenship was high on Lamin Kuyateh’s list of things to be thankful for this past Thanksgiving holiday. After leaving his home country of Gambia and taking classes at Georgia Highlands College, Lamin started working toward his dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. In fall 2019, Lamin completed the naturalization application and test. The test covered speaking, reading, and writing in English and questions about civics, including U.S. history and government. He passed the test with flying colors and was invited to an official naturalization ceremony by U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services. At the ceremony, Lamin joined other immigrants in reciting both the Pledge and Oath of Allegiance. He also received his official Certificate of Naturalization. “It feels good and amazing,” Lamin said of being an official U.S. citizen. “Not only would I like to achieve the American Dream, but I would also like to express my opinion on political issues. Now, I can have the feeling of voting. I can express my opinion on political subjects and things of that nature.”

Lamin first came to the U.S. as a permanent resident in 2014. “My first goal when I came to the United States was to be able to practice my voting right and be part of a brotherhood,” the engineering major said. Lamin found that brotherhood after enrolling at GHC. In between taking classes at GHC’s Marietta site and studying to become a U.S. citizen, he has been contributed photo involved with the student group Brother 2 Brother (B2B). “B2B certainly helps students like Lamin develop the kind of confidence and leadership skills that he has needed on his citizenship journey,” Jonathan Hershey, director of Georgia Highlands African American and Minority Male Excellence and B2B said.

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Student Spotlight

GHC student and member of National Guard aids in COVID-19 fight while continuing classes Georgia Highlands College student Miguel Pizano, of Rome, enrolled in the college’s Criminal Justice program because he wants to make his community a better place to live. As a service member in the National Guard, he was recently given an opportunity to do just that. On April 9, Pizano was sent to Albany to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and branches of the Phoebe Putney Health System. He was part of Governor Brian Kemp’s authorization to activate up to 2,000 members of the Georgia National Guard to help a number of nursing homes or long-term care facilities with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Dean of Humanities Jon Hershey spoke highly of Pizano and stated he is keeping up with his classwork in the evenings to stay on track at GHC while also performing his duties for the National Guard. Pizano said he appreciates how GHC faculty have worked with him as he serves the community. “It has been a great experience working with them and their understanding of what I’m doing here in Albany with the National Guard,” Pizano said. “It has helped me realize to finally pursue my dream in criminal justice and make it my career once I retire from the National Guard.”

Although he is currently enrolled in his first semester at GHC, Pizano has experience working with the college’s Foundation Camp. The camp, which is one of several partnerships between the 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia and Georgia Highlands College, is funded by generous donors and the GHC Foundation, giving students the opportunity to attend the camp free of charge, including transportation and a breakfast and lunch. The camp focuses on academics, athletics, and enrichment courses intended to build selfcontributed photo respect and confidence, and to allow the young men to experience college. “It was a great experience for me working with the youth and teaching them how to be gentleman and to guide them on the path to college and to pick a career they will enjoy,” Pizano said. “I volunteered in 2008 and continued until 2013.” Pizano said furthering one’s education at GHC is a viable option for those who may have extenuating circumstances outside of the classroom. “All I can say about GHC is that it improves day by day to help students in any circumstance they are in,” Pizano said. “The staff is always there to help when I need it.”

GHC student hooks competitive research internship in Bermuda With the closest ocean over 300 miles away off the coast of Tybee Island, marine science might seem like an odd passion for a Georgia Highlands College student. But Isaiah Calhoun, a geology major at GHC, isn’t letting the miles of dry land come between him and his dream of becoming a marine geologist. Instead, Isaiah is taking charge of his future with a hands-on, researchfocused internship in Bercontributed photo muda. “I try to stay up to date with the latest news in science,” Isaiah said.

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One day, that search for knowledge led him to the website for the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), where he discovered their Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Research Experiences for Undergraduates hosts eight undergraduate student researchers at BIOS each fall semester, where the students work with faculty and researchers on independent scientific research projects. After a nail-biting application process, Isaiah was accepted for fall 2019. Once in Bermuda, a British island territory in the north Atlantic Ocean, Isaiah was paired with BIOS research specialist Rachel Parsons. “The BIOS Education Director and the REU Coordinator actually chose Isaiah as my intern since NSF is keen for students from smaller colleges to get research experience,” Parsons said. Isaiah said he was incredibly appreciative of his INTERNSHIP – continued on page 27

Coming from a self-proclaimed Disney family, Georgia Highlands College student Makaylah Young has been dreaming about working at Disney World since eighth grade. The nursing major’s dream finally came true with her acceptance into the Disney College Program in 2019. “The program has gained popularity over the years, so it is more competitive today. It took me four times applying for the recruiters to actually accept my application,” Makaylah said. After a long application process, including both a web-based interview and a phone interview, Makaylah was selected to participate. Through the program, Makaylah lived in Orlando near Walt Disney World where she worked and took courses for college credit. It was a busy schedule, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “Sometimes the work could be draining, but when you step into the parks as a guest on your off-day and watch your favorite nighttime spectacular, or ride your favorite attraction, or meet your favorite characters, you’re brought right back into the magic,” she said. “My favorite part about the Disney College Program was the lifelong friends I have made, and the never-ending adventures I was able to take.” And on the days she worked at the ABC INTERNSHIP – continued on page 26

time with Parsons. “I am blessed with an amazing mentor, Rachel Parsons. She definitely has taken the time to show me the ropes,” he said. “I have never worked in a lab and I’m not even a biology major, and she still shows and tells me everything!” Isaiah has been helping Parsons and the BIOS Microbial Ecology Laboratory investigate microbial succession when oxygen becomes limiting. Through this research, he has learned general lab techniques, software, and computer skills and how to count and identify bacteria with an epifluorescent microscope.

contributed photo

Commissary in Hollywood Studios, Makaylah was able to bring that signature Disney magic to life for others. “I loved being able to make magical moments for people. Seeing a child’s face light up when I gave them a free cupcake that Mickey Mouse personally made for them was a surreal feeling,” she said. “I woke up excited to go into work because I knew I was able to make guests feel just as special as I do whenever I enter the parks.” Makaylah credited her time at GHC with her success in the program, and beyond. “At GHC, I developed communication skills, reasoning skills, and problem-solving skills that I use daily. GHC helped me transition into college from high school, and now GHC is helping me transition from college into the real world,” she said. The program also makes sure student researchers leave Bermuda with soft skills necessary to continue their scientific careers. “All REU students attend workshops on writing their resumes, applying to graduate school, experimental design, statistics, professional media, scientific writing, and alternate science careers,” said Parsons. “They also gain experience of presenting their work both in a series of talks and as a virtual poster.” For Isaiah, the entire experience has been a dream come true. “Honestly, just learning more has been my favorite part,” he said. “I’m a bit of geek when it comes to marine science.”

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Student Spotlight

GHC student helps bring Disney magic to life through Disney College Program

Chargers Taking Charge

FLOYD COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR CONTINUES FAMILY TRADITION WITH DEGREE FROM GHC Tim Herrington grew up well-acquainted with Georgia Highlands College. His mother graduated from the college while it was known as Floyd Junior College, and his brother and sister later earned degrees from Floyd College. However, college was far from Tim’s mind in his younger days.

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“When I was younger, I dreamed of being a professional football player,” Tim said. “I was really enthusiastic and dedicated to achieving this goal until reality forced me to look at the number of young men worldwide that also had that same dream and only a very small percentage actually achieve the distinction.” Realizing he needed to become more responsible and self-reliant, Tim enlisted in the military. “I joined the Army, and for the next seven years I focused on that,” Tim said. After being honorably discharged, Tim returned to Floyd County where he started a career with Floyd County’s government. “I actually began my career in May of 2003 as an unpaid rescue volunteer with emergency management,” Tim said. “I was working full time with the Floyd County Public Works and volunteering on the weekends with emergency management.” His dedication to public service coupled with skills developed in the military led to a full-time career with Floyd County Emergency Management, with Tim eventually being named director of the department in 2014. “My favorite part is the community events that we participate in, which vary from the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show, balloon festivals, fireworks, Christmas parade, and summer camp programs,” Tim said. “These events afford me the opportunity to meet and interact with the community and share preparedness information, and ensure the community is prepared for emergencies that could affect our area.” After nearly 30 years of being out of school, Tim was able to follow in his family’s footsteps of attending Georgia Highlands College, with the help of a scholarship from the Community Criminal Justice Foundation. “GHC made it financially possible to go to college and make that transition after being out of school for almost thirty years,” he said. “It has given me the opportunity to demonstrate and lead by example and show the importance of education regardless of age.” Tim earned his associate degree from GHC in 2016, but he doesn’t plan to stop there. “GHC rekindled my desire to push myself and continue to explore my options in education,” Tim said. “I have since enrolled in the bachelor’s program for emergency management at Jacksonville

State University.” As an emergency response director, Tim has experience regarding preparation for situations such as COVID-19. “We actually started planning back in 2006 and that was when we were planning for the H1N1 virus that was so prevalent at that time,” Tim said. “We didn’t have any issues here stateside. In 2009 we changed over for pandemic planning for Ebola virus, and again, we didn’t have any significant issues here.” As time passed, Tim said, planning for a pandemic was set aside as the department, and nation, dealt with other issues. “Once we started seeing what was going on in China, then we kind of started to have to pull out the plan and dust it off,” Tim said. “The issue we’re having is a lot of the planning that we had for H1N1 virus and for Ebola, the plans generally incorporated some sort of vaccine being available. With COVID-19 we haven’t developed a successful vaccine yet that we’re able to release to everyone, so that’s been a struggle for us.” Tim said he has witnessed goodwill during this time as local communities have come together to face the threats associated with COVID-19. “Fortunately, we have had a lot of folks within the community to step up and donate several items,” Tim said. “I’ve had a lot of people call, email, or text me messages and tell me about different contacts they have that we’re able to access and try to acquire those resources as well. I get emails from other states, people who have businesses who have stopped manufacturing what they normally do and send out equipment to us just wanting to help.” As everyone works toward the eventual reopening of business, schools, and governmental services, Tim said the key is to continue doing what has been proven to work. “The main thing is to help get the word out and tell people social distancing is working,” Tim said. “I know it feels like you’ve been cooped up, especially with the kids. I have grandkids and they want to see their friends and they want to go and play and go to birthday parties and all that, and at some point when this is all over we hope that we’ll be able to go back to all that. But for right now, we just need to keep encouraging everyone to keep doing what we’re doing. It’s working, and at some point we’re going to get through this thing.”

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Chargers Taking Charge


For Georgia Highlands College alumnus Johnny Barnes, choosing a career in computer science was a natural progression of his personal interests. By following his passion throughout his education, Johnny was able to quickly find employment doing what he loves for a living at Home Depot. “I am currently a software engineer that is on an 80-plus person team working on our warehouse management systems,” Johnny said. “The thing I enjoy most is the change in work environment and being able to code as a job. The office environment is definitely an improvement compared to all my previous jobs. Not only are the other associates knowledgeable and helpful, I generally enjoy coding and solving issues.” Johnny said one of the most rewarding aspects of his role is seeing how his efforts make a difference in the daily operation of the business. “It feels pretty awesome when I see something I worked on appear in the app that our warehouse associates use on a daily basis,” Johnny said. While earning his Associate of Science in Computer Science at GHC, Johnny said he grew as an individual thanks to the impact of the college’s faculty and staff, as well as social opportunities available on and off campus. After transferring to Kennesaw State University and earning his bachelor’s degree in computer science, Johnny was quickly able to be hired

as a Software Engineer for Home Depot. “I’ve had a great passion for video games growing up and I wanted to learn how to create them,” Johnny said. “Once I started exploring the field, I found that CS had way more to offer than gaming, and once I completed a few school projects, I was hooked.” He said GHC laid the foundation for his academic and professional advancement. “Not only did the school help me start thinking like a programmer, it helped me develop many social and mental skills like communication and critical thinking,” Johnny said. “Because of this, whenever there was something new to learn, I felt confident enough to tackle any challenges presented.” Johnny said faculty and staff at GHC made a considerable impact on his life while he was a student and that many have remained in touch throughout his journey. “The GHC faculty and staff were amazing,” Johnny said. “If I had to pick those who had a significant influence, it would be John Spranza from Student Life for helping me manage the Gaming Club, Dr. Nancy Applegate and Frank Minor for being awesome professors and showing me the wonders of literature and the Old Red Kimono, Dr. Gregory Smith for helping me develop a more philosophical mind and becoming better at Magic: The Gathering, Susan Vines, Jeannie Blakely, and all of the librarians for

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being the most wonderful co-workers ever during my time as a library assistant.” While Johnny said he enjoyed courses related to the technical aspects of his field, the well-rounded education he received at GHC helped him expand his horizons. In particular, his human communication class with Leslie Johnson. “Before, I was a shy and reserved person that dealt with a lot of social anxiety,” Johnny said. “After taking this class, I was able to break out of my shell and make friends around campus. I took this during my first semester, and I think I can safely say that it shaped my whole experience and I am grateful I had this class.” One area of GHC life that reflected his personal interest was the Gaming Club, one of the college’s many registered student organizations. “During the first meeting, I reluctantly accepted the vice president position,” Johnny said. “After a couple of weeks of inactivity due to the President’s extracurricular activities, I decided to take over and rebuild the club. Before, it was mostly a way for people to hangout to play the card game Magic: The Gathering. After I took the role of president, I advertised the club as a spot for all gamers of all kinds to join.” Johnny’ efforts with the club earned the organization a “high score.” “Within weeks, the few members and I revamped the club and partici-

pation exploded,” Johnny said. “We began hosting tournaments of all types, reintroduced Dungeons & Dragons and similar tabletop games, board games, console games, etc. I even convinced the advisor to let us take a few trips out to Dave and Buster’s. “I helped revitalize the club from being an almost inactive group, to one of the most active on campus thanks to the advice from John Spranza and Dr. Gregory Smith.” Johnny said his time at GHC provided him with a lifetime of memories as well as relationships. “Probably the greatest thing about GHC were the friendships and relationships I built,” Johnny said. “To this day, I haven’t forgotten the countless Gaming Club meetings where we were playing an engaging game or attending the fantastic Halloween parties thrown by Old Red Kimono. Or even hanging out with the librarians working as an assistant, where we had discussions about all types of things, both serious and non-serious. Even KSU couldn’t offer anything close to having all those experiences.” He encouraged anyone who is considering enrolling at GHC, or who is currently enrolled, to take advantage of all the opportunities the college provides to its students. “GHC is a wonderful school to begin your journey into obtaining a degree and pursuing your passion,” Johnny said. “I’d advise taking a moment to try to connect to a club that interests you or finding a professor that shares your passion in your chosen career path. It is okay if you haven’t chosen exactly what you want to be, just take it one step at a time.”


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genre. When Kayla Walker first enrolled in creative This genre-bending style is evident in Walker’s writing as a student at Georgia Highlands College own tastes in fiction. She cites Jodi Picoult and Anne in 2007, she was excited to learn more about her Rice among her favorite authors. lifelong passion for creating stories. But when she “They write in totally different genres, but I love discovered she would have to read her writing to the their styles, and the combination might just perfectly rest of the class, her heart sunk. explain how my own writing style came to be.” “I was very timid and shy during my years at And Walker isn’t solely focused on writing. She GHC, and didn’t share my work with anyone but works as an elementary close friends,” Walker says. school teacher at AdairsLuckily though, the UNDER THE PEN NAME ville Elementary School course was led by Dean of while raising two children Humanities Jon Hershey. He LORELAI WATSON, with her husband Scott. created a “safe, supportive WALKER’S FIRST BOOK, Despite everything on environment” for writers “AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT THE her plate, Walker recently where Walker thrived. She wrapped up a sequel, honed her skills through DEVIL,” WAS RELEASED “The Devil’s Storm,” and the initial course and an IN MARCH 2019 BY a third and final book in upper-level advanced creLIMITLESS PUBLISHING. ative writing class, where the trilogy is plotted with she learned to apply her a goal to be finished this personal style to poetry, year. fiction and academic writing. She also contributed to Walker hopes prospective college students will GHC student publications Six Mile Post and Old Red consider GHC for their higher education like she did. Kimono. “An education at GHC holds limitless possibilities,” she said. “Your experiences in those first years Walker would go on to use those writing skills in of college will help you decide on a path. Whether earning an associate degree from GHC, a bachelor’s from Dalton State College, and a master’s from you choose to graduate with your associates and Piedmont College. And now, Walker is sharing her later work towards a bachelor’s, or if you find a certificate program that will help you launch a career, writing with the world. you can attain a solid foundation at GHC.” Under the pen name Lorelai Watson, Walker’s Walker’s first novel, “Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil,” first book, “Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil,” was released is available online through Amazon and Barnes and in March 2019 by Limitless Publishing. Noble. Locally, it can be purchased at Dogwood The novel focuses on Madeleine McCollum, a Books in Rome and General Store and Mercantile in young woman battling both mental health issues Adairsville. and marriage woes. And while a love story is certainly involved in the tale of Madeleine, Lee Atwood, For more information on Walker and to follow and his brother Adrian, Walker categorizes her deher writing career, visit Facebook.com/LorelaiWatbut book as women’s fiction instead of the romance sonBooks

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Foundation Spotlight


The Georgia Highlands College Foundation has supported GHC and the education, dreams, and futures of students since 1973. The Foundation relies on your support and that of likeminded donors to make this mission a reality. A scholarship of just $200 can make the difference in whether a student is able to complete their degree. Your gift, no matter the size, will make a tangible impact in the lives of students. Your contribution to the Foundation will directly support programs like: Scholarships • Athletics Foundation Camp • Food Pantry and more! Join our legacy of giving by contributing to the Foundation today. Give online at highlands.edu/givetoday or by mail at GHC Foundation, 3175 Cedartown Highway, Rome, GA 30161. To learn more about how you can take charge and change lives, contact Mary Transue, Senior VP of Advancement & Enrollment Management, Foundation Executive Director, at mtransue@highlands.edu or by phone at 706-802-5457. BONTRAGER – continued from page 23


ing an ancient Crusader castle called Kerak Castle in al-Karak. “I remember climbing the ruins and being overwhelmed with imagining what life might have been like for Christians and Muslims eight hundred years ago,” he said. “They lived and fought in the very spot where I was standing. It was a transcendental moment and it was electric. I decided right then and there while sitting on the top of the wall of the ruined palace that I wanted to be a historian.” Bontrager offered advice for anyone seeking to also accomplish creating a book of significant magnitude: learn how to make the most of large and

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small chunks of time, network and build social media accounts. “I hope people who read my book come to the understanding that our memories of the past are not fixed in stone but are contingent on choices that we make in the present,” adding he hopes readers will agree that people in society forget the past more than they remember it. “I hope readers will come to their own interpretations about the past based on a newfound commitment to remember by keeping the past in the present rather than doing what Americans too often have done in separating the past out of the present.”

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

APPLY FOR A FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP Incoming and current students are encouraged to take advantage of scholarship opportunities to help finance their education. The Georgia Highlands College Foundation contributes over half a million dollars to scholarships and programs each year. The scholarship criteria varies greatly and may be based on age, program of study, county of residency, and many other factors. Let our scholarship search engine do the work for you! By creating a scholarship account at GHC, the search engine will provide a list of potential scholarships for which you may be eligible. Follow the steps below to create a scholarship account: • Be admitted to GHC for the current term (must have a GHC ID number). • Complete the FAFSA and include GHC as an institution of choice. • Use your GHC email to create an account on our scholarship link. • Complete the application(s) via your scholarship account.

Explore scholarship opportunities and apply for scholarships online at highlands.edu/scholarships


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

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

Mary Transue, Secretary GHC Sr. Vice President Advancement & Enrollment Mgmt. Foundation Executive Director Dee Bishop Sarah H. Burkhalter David Caswell Melanie C. Collier Mary Louise Lever Steve Moore John Quinlivan Matt Sirmans Sue Spivey Tommy Strickland Mark Weaver Dr. Donald Green, Ex-Officio GHC President Jamie Petty, Ex-Officio GHC Vice President Finance & Administration Donnie Denson, Ex-Officio President Alumni Association GHC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS Donnie Denson President Harold Boyd Retiree Representative Susan Claxton Michele Crowe Caleb Freeman Dan Knowles Dr. Lynn Plunkett Steve White

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Foundation Spotlight


Charger News

SEASON RECAP S Men’s Basketball 2019-2020 season recap

The 2019-2020 Georgia Highlands College Men’s basketball team finished the season with a 24-8 overall record and 13-3 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) record and finished the final National Polls Receiving Votes in the National rankings. The Chargers finished the regular season tied for first place but lost the tie breaker and was the runner up in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 17 tournament. GHC was led by Second-Team NJCAA All-American, First-Team All-Region and Player of the year Trevin Wade and NJCAA Honorable Mention and Second-Team All-Region Cahiem Brown. Langston Wilson was First-Team All-Freshman, and Jamal Burke was First-Team All-Defensive Team. Wade and Brown were named to the NJCAA Region 17 All-Tournament Team. The Chargers look to have all four sophomores graduate and move on to Division 1 institution. Wade recently committed to Wichita State University; Burke is getting heavily recruited by Old Dominion University, Radford University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Eastern Michigan University; Nicolas Rene Huteau is committed Lamar University; and Taj Fraley is getting recruited by multiple Division 1 institutions like Alcorn State University and Jackson State University.

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2019-2020 season recap

The 2019-2020 Georgia Highlands College women’s basketball team finished the season with a 21-10 overall record and 15-3 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) record. The Lady Chargers finished the regular season in first place as well as the runner up in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 17 tournament. GHC was led by First-Team All-Region Jahnaria Brown. Brown was named to the GCAA All-Academic team as well. Nijeria Jordan and Tyansia Bunting were named to the NJCAA Region 17 All-Tournament Team. Ja’Lyn Reese, Alexandria Shishkina, and Brown all received GCAA Player of the Week honors during the year. The Lady Chargers will have four players move on to play at the next level. Brown has committed to Division 1 Southern Methodist University; Jordan has committed to Division 2 University of West Georgia; and Bunting and Reese are undecided.

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Charger News

SEASON RECAP Women’s Basketball

Charger News

Charger Baseball

Georgia Highlands College baseball is led by Head Coach Dash O’Neill and Assistant Coaches Brock Moss and Michael Goss. The team competes in Region XVII of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I. The team is based at the Cartersville site and plays all home games at the Prep Baseball Report LakePoint Sporting Community in Emerson. For a full game schedule, team roster, and season updates, visit ghcchargers.com.

Charger Softball

Georgia Highlands College softball is led by Head Coach Savannah Sloan and Assistant Coach Jordan Fortel. The team competes in Region XVII of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1. The team is based at the Cartersville site and plays all home games at Star’s Field located in Cartersville. For a full game schedule, team roster, and season updates, please visit ghcchargers.com.

Savannah Sloan named head softball coach for GHC Chargers Georgia Highlands College has chosen Savannah Sloan to lead the Chargers softball team. Sloan comes to GHC from LaGrange College where she has served as the assistant softball coach and recruiting coordinator since 2017. “We are excited to welcome Savannah Sloan to the Charger family. Savannah brings a tremendous knowledge of the game at the highest levels,” Director of Athletics David Mathis said. “Savannah’s experience and her commitment to academics will ensure the success of our student athletes.” Sloan holds both a bachelor’s degree in exercise sci-

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ence and wellness and a master’s degree in physical education from Jacksonville State University (JSU). As a player at JSU, Sloan was a four-year starter, primarily playing catcher. She was part of teams that captured regular season and conference tournament championships. She was a two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference first team selection. She has also played professional softball the last three summers in Germany. “It is truly an honor to be chosen as the head softball coach at Georgia Highlands College,” Sloan said. “Upon stepping on campus for the first time, it instantly felt like home. I am excited to be surrounded by an already outstanding staff.” Sloan continued, “I am incredibly excited to work with this group of student athletes. I can’t wait to see what this program can accomplish.”

Thinking about going to college?

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



GHC GEORGIA HIGHLANDS COLLEGE University System of Georgia



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Profile for Georgia Highlands College

Highlander - Spring2020  

Highlander - Spring2020