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C Sunday February 12, 2012

Gwinnett Daily Post



A wealth of post-secondary opportunities abound in Gwinnett


spotlight on


Staff Photo: John Bohn

Ryan Smith, right, a student at Georgia Gwinnett College, is a resident assistant at his dorm. Smith shares a spacious dorm suite with Parker Stone, 19, center, of Lawrenceville and Josh Randall, left, of College Park and several other students. Smith and Stone regularly play action games on the supplied flat screen television in the largest room of the dorm suite, the game room.

‘Real world crash course’ Students find independence through life in post-secondary education By Frank Reddy

Staff Writer

LAWRENCEVILLE — Parker Stone still visits his parents from time to time. The 19-year-old freshman at Georgia Gwinnett College knows home-cooked meals are only a five-minute drive away. And washing laundry there is free. Other than the occasional trip home, the young man has grown accustomed to life in his dorm room at Georgia Gwinnett College, a space he shares with other students at the college who are getting their first taste of independence. Students at GGC and beyond sometimes struggle — and sometimes thrive — in an environment they will come to call their new domain as they begin a post-secondary education. College students say they do a number of things to put their personal stamp on living quarters: plastering posters on their walls, piping familiar music through the rooms and hooking up video game systems can all help to make it feel a little like home. Stone, an information technology major, is liking life in the dorm. Whether it’s hitting the books in his room, heating dinner in the microwave or taking a PlayStation 3 study break with roommate Ryan Smith, living on his own is starting to feel pretty good.

t “Everything was planned out for you when you were in high school. In college, it’s all about how you manage your time personally, finding a good balance of your time and accomplishing all the things you’d like to accomplish within that time frame.” University of Georgia student Students walk to and from class at Georgia Gwinnett College.

Smith said a big part of being independent for the first time is learning the importance of dependence on peers. “Once you get into college, you should immediately go out and start meeting people, start talking, mixing, finding common ground with others,” said Smith, a 20-yearold student who shares living quarters with Stone. Smith said that from what he’s seen

File Photo

it generally takes fellow students about a month or less to get acclimated to the new lifestyle. The college’s acting vice president agreed. “Research shows that when a student comes to college, if they can get involved, get to know their faculty get to know others around them, they tend to do better,”

Mallory Davis

Lois Richardson said. “We have mentoring, clubs and organizations, and they’re each in place to help these young people who are out on their own for the first time.” Local college student Danielle Penton said getting involved is what helped her as she transitioned from high school. •See Independence, Page 5C

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spotlight on preparing for college

A wealth of post-secondary opportunities call Gwinnett home

LAWRENCEVILLE — When it opportunities. Locals seeking a career Nearly a dozen institutions make any career or trade one might want to comes to post-secondary education in that requires a college education need their home in Gwinnett County, offer- pursue. Gwinnett County, there are a wealth of look no further than their own county. ing a variety of choices for just about — Frank Reddy

GWINNETT’S POST-SECONDARY EDuCATION AT A GLANCE Ashworth College The Norcross-based institution offers diplomas in high school, college prep, specialized career and certification as well as associates, bachelors and master’s degrees. According to its website, Ashworth is “a worldwide leader in comprehensive, nationally accredited online education.” The college offers more than 115 career-relevant online programs. Nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, the institution aims for a “lifestyle-friendly curriculum that lets you learn when, where and how you want.” For more information, visit, or call 1-800-957-5412. Ashworth College is located at 6625 The Corners Parkway, Suite 500, Norcross. Brenau University’s Evening and Weekend College Located in Norcross, the North Atlanta campus offers undergraduate degrees in the fields of education, interior design and business. In addition, master’s degrees in occupational therapy and nursing are offered at the local campus. Programs are designed for people who work, and classes are offered in an accelerated format. According to its website, Brenau aims to “challenge students to live extraordinary lives of personal and professional fulfillment. “As students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees or non-degree programs at Brenau campuses and online, each prepares for a lifetime of intellectual accomplishment and appreciation of artistic expression through a curriculum enriched by the liberal arts, scientific inquiry and global awareness.” For more information, visit or call 770-446-2900. Brenau University’s North Atlanta Campus is located at 3139 Campus Drive, Suite 300, Norcross. DeVry University Duluth Center Located next to Gwinnett Place Mall in the Koger Center complex, DeVry University Duluth Center offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in some of today’s fastest-growing career fields. In close proximity to Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, major financial institutions, and Atlanta’s thriving business and high-tech community, DeVry University Duluth provides access to possible career opportunities in a wide variety of industries. The Duluth Center offers spacious classrooms, a fully wired computer lab, and a commons area. Once enrolled at the Duluth Center, students may also take courses at Atlanta-area locations or online. For more information, visit or call 770381-4400. Georgia Campus—Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Located in Suwanee, Georgia Campus—Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine aims to train students from Georgia and nearby Southern states to practice osteopathic medicine and encourage them to locate locally upon completion of programs. Enrollment at the college is projected at 687 for the 2011-2012 academic year, compared to 86 students in attendance when the campus first opened in 2005. In total, 228 first-year medical and pharmacy students at Georgia Campus-PCOM were presented their white coat jackets in November during a ceremony at the Gwinnett Center for the Performing Arts. Georgia Campus—Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is located at 625 Old Peachtree Road NW, Suwanee. For more information, visit or call 678-225-7500.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman

Students work in a microbiology lab at the Life Science building at Gwinnett Technical College. Georgia Gwinnett College Still a new college, the institution continues to grow. Georgia Gwinnett College opened its doors on Aug. 18, 2006, as the nation’s first four-year public college founded in the 21st century and the first four-year public institution created in Georgia in more than 100 years. Since 2006, the college has grown from 118 students to nearly 8,000. According to its website, the college aims to “provide access to targeted baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region.” For more information about Georgia Gwinnett College, visit, or call 678-407-5000. Georgia Gwinnett College is located at 1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville. Gwinnett College The mission of Lilburn’s Gwinnett College is to provide diploma and associate degree higher education programs. These programs of high quality are designed to prepare a diverse student population to meet the needs of employees in the legal, medical, and business fields. GC has its goal of preparing students academically, intellectually, personally, and professionally for successful careers and advancement. With day and evening classes available, students can get associate degrees in business, legal administrative and medical assisting. Students can also become certified in accounting, massage therapy and computer operations. For more information, visit or call 770-381-7200. Gwinnett Technical College Since opening in 1984, the local technical college has sought to provide career-focused education and training that support economic and workforce development in the community. During its history, Gwinnett Tech has expanded its campus to include a variety of new facilities, including the new life sciences center, the corporate training center, environmental horticulture center, the computer training facility and the George Busbee International Center for Workforce Development. For more information, visit or call 770-962-7580. Gwinnett Technical College is located at 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville.

Saint Leo University Saint Leo University’s Gwinnett County location at 3555 Koger Blvd., has served the educational needs of adult learners in Atlanta for more than 30 years, offering bachelor’s degree programs for working adults. Based in Florida, the Duluth satellite of this Catholic university offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in several subjects such as criminal justice, teaching and business administration. Rooted in the 1,500-year-old Benedictine tradition, the University seeks balanced growth in mind, body and spirit for all members of its community. According to its website, Saint Leo University aims to create a “student-centered environment in which love of learning is of prime importance. For more information, visit University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus The local satellite of University of Georgia aims to be “a highly accessible and vibrant center of advanced learning for non-traditional and working professionals in greater Atlanta and northeast Georgia.” The campus offers 11 master’s degrees, four educational specialist degrees, three doctoral programs and three graduate certificate programs. The full-service campus facility offers IT support, student affairs, a library, UGA Bookstore, security guards, 21 state-of-the-art programs, 60,000 square feet of learning space and computer labs. The campus is located at 2530 Sever Road, Lawrenceville. For more information, visit or call 678-985-6800. University of Phoenix Gwinnett Learning Center The University of Phoenix Gwinnett Learning Center in Duluth caters to adults who need to balance their educational needs with professional and family commitments. It’s facilities are focused on those who are considering changing jobs or want to advance within their current company, or are considering going back to school to earn a bachelor or master’s degree. The local University of Phoenix location largely focuses on business and nursing degrees, but it also offers degree programs in technology, psychology and criminal justice. The campus is located at 2470 Satellite Blvd., Duluth. For more information, visit or call 678-731-0555.

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4C • Sunday, February 12, 2012 •

spotlight on preparing for college Planning ahead key in applying to college Gwinnett Tech, GGC open By Frank Reddy

Staff Writer frank.reddy

LAWRENCE V ILLE — Applying for a post-secondary education can be an arduous affair with heaps of paperwork. However, a local college official said planning ahead is the key to navigating the application process. “What we try to stress to prospective students is to apply early,” said Tee Mitchell,

director of admissions with Georgia Gwinnett College. Students who apply in October of their senior year of high school are more likely to have “wiggle room” for any potential hold-ups in the application process. The following is a check list of things to consider when applying: • Apply early and apply to multiple schools. Narrow it down to a list of three prospective institutions in case anything falls through.

• Visit the campus. Mitchell said campus visits are the “number one conversion rate during the decision-making process. It’s one thing to apply and another to actually go on to the campus and see what it has to offer with your own eyes.” • Get financial aid squared away early, preferably in tandem with the application process. Said Mitchell: “We try to stress it’s critical that January of each year is when students should

complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).” • Choose an orientation date. Use the event to get acquainted with clubs and organizations as well as faculty members. The orientation will provide facts about the college and registration information for classes specific to each institution. For more tips and insights into the college application process, visit

high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. Paid federal financial aid can cover expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies and transportation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are four federal categories of student financial aid. • Grant money generally does not have to be repaid. Most U.S. Department of Education grants will be based on financial need. • Scholarship-U.S. Department of Education money is awarded based on student’s

academic success and does not have to be repaid. • Work-study money is earned by students through a job on or near campus. The job is held while attending school. It also does not have to repaid. • Federal loan money must be repaid with interest. For more about federal financial aid, visit At the state level, financial aid is available through Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally, or HOPE, Georgia’s scholarship and grant program. The grant “rewards students with financial assistance in de-

gree, diploma, and certificate programs at eligible Georgia postsecondary institutions. For more information about HOPE, visit According to Tee Mitchell, director of admissions with Georgia Gwinnett College, “financial aid and admissions go hand in hand when students apply in October.” Added Mitchell: “We try to stress that it’s critical that students complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, each year. It’s an important component of the college admissions process for those seeking financial aid.”

It does, however, help to become familiar with the organization and structure of the tests before taking them. SAT practice tests are available at www.collegeboard. org, and ACT samples can be viewed at The SAT tests mathematics, critical reading and writing skills, while the ACT grades based on English, mathematics, reading and science. Many colleges will often use the SAT tests for admission, course placement and to advise students about course selection. Some colleges will specify

the SAT and ACT subject test or areas that they will require for admission or placement. It takes three hours and forty-five minutes to take the SAT test, and it costs $49. Possible test scores range from 600 to 2400, combining results from three separate 800-point sections. It costs $34 to take the ACT, and it lasts about four hours to take. A composite score and test score can range from 1 to 36. The composite score is the average of all four test area scores, rounded to the nearest whole number. For more information or to find out how to register, visit

Financial aid available to students in need By Frank Reddy

Staff Writer frank.reddy

LAWRENCEVILLE — A wide range of financial aid is available for students who need funding help in order to get into college and get their degree. At the federal level, the most basic eligibility requirements for financial aid are that students must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen, have a valid Social Security number, and students should be able to prove that they have qualified to obtain a postsecondary education with a

Tips for students looking to take standardized tests By Frank Reddy

Staff Writer frank.reddy

LAWRENCEVILLE — Most colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT for student admission. Some students will fare better on the SAT, while others do well on the ACT, according to the College Board. Many high school students will take prep courses for one or both of the college readiness exams. The best way to prepare for either of these exams is to take challenging courses, according to academic experts.

new buildings in 2011 By Frank Reddy

Staff Writer frank.reddy

LAWRENCEVILLE — Two of the county’s largest colleges had cause for celebration in 2011 as they opened new major facilities on campus, marking milestones for both institutions. Students, teachers and legislators came out in September to mark the grand opening of the new 78,000 square-foot life sciences center at Gwinnett Tech. The center, which opened for fall semester classes in August, serves 3,000 students annually, enabling the technical college to accept additional life sciences and health care professionals. Combined with its existing facilities, the college now has more than 140,000 square feet in two buildings on campus dedicated to health science education. Fellow college officials over at Georgia Gwinnett College celebrated the opening of a new 24,000-square-foot instructional laboratory facility on campus in Au-

gust. The state-of-the-art building serves an estimated 900 biology majors. Funded by the University System of Georgia, the $7 million structure features modern, multi-disciplinary laboratories and an instrumentation core. Georgia Gwinnett College is located at 1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville. The institution opened its doors on Aug. 18, 2006, as the nation’s first four-year public college founded in the 21st century and the first fouryear public institution created in Georgia in more than 100 years. Gwinnett Technical College is located at 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. During its history, Gwinnett Tech has expanded its campus to include a variety of new facilities, including the new life sciences center, the corporate training center, environmental horticulture center, the computer training facility and the George Busbee International Center for Workforce Development. For more information, visit www.gwinnetttech. edu or • Sunday, February 12, 2012 • 5C

spotlight on preparing for college

Participation is key to establishing new relationships in college By Frank Reddy

Staff Writer frank.reddy

LAWRENCEVILLE — Going to college can often mean moving away from family and friends and other loved ones. A lack of involvement in college can mean unnecessary isolation during a time when support structures and lifelines are of the utmost importance.

Tomas Jimenez, dean of students at Georgia Gwinnett College, said students need look no further than their peers for that kind of support. “A key component of being successful in college is getting involved,” Jimenez said. “That includes being engaged as early as possible in student organizations and associations.” He said the first year

spent in college “is such a critical time. If students can find a program or two or student organization or two to be a part of, it’s very helpful.” Added Jimenez: “It allows students a comfort level to feel like they have a place they can call their own. Developing that connection helps with process. That means starting something new, making sure you’re in a place where

you know some people.” Involvement during the college experience can extend to forming and cultivating relationships with faculty. According to the College Board’s website, most professors “enjoy talking to students who show a genuine interest in their subject, and some of the best teaching occurs in after-class discussions.” Forming or joining af-

ter-class study groups with fellow students can boost grades and form bonds to bolster post-secondary success. According to the College Board, group study offers other advantages in addition to gaining a deeper understanding of the class material. “Members often have common goals, such as good grades. Each person’s work affects the oth-

er members, which results in making members supportive of one another.” Student organizations and associations may include student government, intramural athletics, academic clubs as well as faith-based groups. Jimenez said it’s “very beneficial to get involved with others during the college experience ... it’s one of the most important things you can do.”

Independence •From Page 1C Penton, 20, said she would “greatly encourage new college students to get involved ... it helps them out, and it gives them more pride in their college. It’s also an opportunity to meet more people. Once I got involved, I developed better study habits.” Penton said she would encourage new college students to develop good study habits as well. “You have to get into a new routine and stick with that routine,” she said. Students should expect their teachers to be more hands-off in encouraging those good study habits, she added. “It’s all up to you how well you do in college,” Penton said. “You’ve got to learn how to study and study hard.” Mallory Davis, a University of Georgia student from Grayson High School,

said that more than any other time in a student’s academic career they are “on their own” in college. “Everything was planned out for you when you were in high school,” said Davis, who is currently president of the Student Government Association at UGA. “In college, it’s all about how you manage your time personally, finding a good balance of your time and accomplishing all the things you’d like to accomplish within that time frame.” Added Davis: “You’re away from your parents, and in many cases, it’s the longest you’ve ever been away from home. You have to start learning how to budget, how to cook, how to do your laundry.” “It’s a real world crash course,” Davis said. Stone agreed. “It’s a little Staff Photo: John Bohn interesting at first, but once Ryan Smith, a student at Georgia Gwinnett College, is a resident assistant at his dorm. Smith shares a you get the hang of it, it’s a spacious dorm suite with other students. Smith enjoys having a large closet in his room to house his clothes and a large collection of shoes. great feeling.”

Find more news from local schools at

6C • Sunday, February 12, 2012 •

spotlight on preparing for college

As colleges obsess over rankings, students shrug By Justin Pope

AP Education Writer

When US News & World Report debuted its list of “America’s Best Colleges” nearly 30 years ago, the magazine hoped its college rankings would be a gamechanger for students and families. But arguably, they’ve had a much bigger effect on colleges themselves. Yes, students and families still buy the guide and its less famous competitors by the hundreds of thousands, and still care about a college’s reputation. But it isn’t students who obsess over every incremental shift on the rankings scoreboard, and who regularly embarrass themselves in the process. It’s colleges. It’s colleges that have spent billions on financial aid for highscoring students who don’t actually need the money, motivated at least partly by the quest for rankings glory. It was a college, Baylor University, that paid students it had already accepted to retake the SAT exam in a transparent ploy to boost the average scores it could report. It’s colleges that have awarded bonuses to presidents who lift their school a few slots. And it’s colleges that occasionally get caught in the kind of cheating you might expect in sports or on Wall Street, but which seems especially ignominious coming from professional educators. The latest example came last week at Claremont McKenna, a highly regarded California liberal arts college where a senior administrator resigned after acknowledging he falsified college entrance exam scores for years to rankings publications such as US News. The scale was small: submitting scores just 10 or 20 points higher on the 1,600-point SAT math and reading exams. Average test scores account for just 7.5 percent of the US News rankings formula.

The Associated Press

Students walk through the campus of Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. When US News & World Report debuted its list of “America’s Best Colleges” nearly 30 years ago, the magazine hoped its college rankings would be a gamechanger for students and families. Arguably, they’ve had a much bigger effect on colleges themselves. A senior administrator at Claremont McKenna, a highly regarded California liberal arts college, resigned after acknowledging he falsified college entrance exam scores for years to rankings publications such as US News.

Still, the magazine acknowledged the effect could have been to move the college up a slot or two in its rankings of top liberal arts colleges. And so it was hard not to notice Claremont McKenna stood at No. 9 in this year’s rankings, which to people who care about such things sounds much sweeter than No. 11. “For Claremont, there is, I would think, a psychologically large difference between being ninth and 11th,” said Bob Schaeffer of the group FairTest and a rankings critic. “We’re a top 10 school,’ (or) ‘we’re 11th or 12th’ — that’s a

big psychological difference. It’s a bragging rights difference.” If it was an effort to gain an edge, it backfired badly. Another popular list, Kiplinger’s “Best College Values,” said Friday it was removing Claremont McKenna from its 2011-12 rankings entirely because of the false reporting. The college had been No. 18 on its list of best-value liberal arts colleges. Competitiveness may be naturally human, but to many who work with students, such behavior among fellow educators is mystifying. Contrary to widespread per-

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ceptions, they say, students typically use the rankings as a source of data and pay little attention to a school’s number. “When I started in this business, I thought, ‘The rankings are terrible,’” said Brad MacGowan, a 21-year-veteran college counselor at Newton North High School outside Boston. “But spending all this time with students, I just don’t hear that much about them. I’m sure it’s colleges that are perpetuating it.” It’s hard to know how common cheating like that reported at Claremont McKenna is, given

that while US News cross-checks some data with other sources, it relies largely on colleges themselves to provide it. Modest forms of fudging through data selection are undeniably common, especially in law school rankings. The most high-profile case of outright cheating involved Iona University in New York, which acknowledged last fall submitting years of false data that boosted its ranking from around 50th in its category to 30th. •See Rankings, Page 7C • Sunday, February 12, 2012 • 7C

spotlight on preparing for college Rankings •From Page 6C But most rankings critics say by far the most pernicious failure of colleges isn’t blatant cheating, but what they do more openly — allowing the rankings formula to drive their goals and policies. Colleges, they argue, have caved to the rankings pressure in a range of ways. A big one is recruiting as many students as they can to apply, even if they’re not likely to be a good fit, just to boost their selectivity numbers. And they’ve showered financial aid on high-achieving, and often wealthy, kids with high SAT scores. In the mid-1990s, roughly one-third of grant aid, or scholarships colleges of all types awarded with their own money, was given on grounds other than need (typically called “merit aid’). A decade later, they gave away three times as much money — but well over half was based on merit. Yes, some colleges recruited better students, but there was a price to be paid. Consider a 2008 study by The Institute for College Access and Success that examined the $11.2 billion annually four-year colleges were awarding in grant aid. Of that, $3.35 billion was awarded as merit aid. That would have easily covered the $2.4 billion in unmet needbased aid that the colleges said their low-income students still faced. Rankings critic Lloyd Thacker, founder of the group Education Conservancy, calls that a shift in financial aid from “charitable acts to competitive weapons.” Or, as Schaeffer describes it, “they end up giving the money to rich white kids.” The vast majority of students attend college within three hours of home, so national rankings have little meaning. What matters? Usually more

The Associated Press

Claremont McKenna, a highly regarded California liberal arts college, is at the center of the US News & World Report college ranking scandal when a college official resigned after acknowledging he falsified college entrance exam scores for years to rankings publications.

mundane or subjective concerns. One student who went to MacGowan’s office last week for a college planning meeting, junior Bridget Gillis, said she’d yet to even see a college ranking guide. Her criteria: “If they have my major, if it’s a nice campus, how big it is, if they have the sport I want to play in college (field hockey).” The latest version of a huge national survey of college freshman conducted annually by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute asked students to list various factors affecting their choice of college. Rankings in national magazines were No. 11 for current college freshmen, with roughly one in six calling them very important, well behind factors such as cost, size and location.

Those findings may be somewhat misleading. The leading factor cited, by almost two-thirds of students, was their college’s “academic reputation,” which can be hard to disentangle from its ranking. A reputational survey ranking accounts for 25 percent of a college’s score in US News, and fame from a high US News rankings contributes to reputation, even if students say the ranking itself wasn’t a factor. Such circularity is one of many things critics dislike about the US News methodology. But the survey data do suggest students generally heed the magazine’s advice not to use the rankings to make finegrained distinctions between schools. “As someone who is asked

every year to comment on the rankings, it seems to me that who cares most is the media,” John Pryor, who directs the UCLA survey, wrote in a blog post last year. “Second would be college presidents and development officers. Way down the list seem to be those who are actually trying to decide where to go to college.” Thacker says the rankings do have negative psychological effects on students, though usually only the top 10 to 15 percent who are applying to competitive colleges. But it has affected a much broader swath of colleges that have been unable to suppress their competitive urges for the educational common good. “It has more an impact on

colleges, presidents and trustees than it does on students,” Thacker said. “The colleges have shifted resources and changed practices and policies that were once governed by educational values to serve prestige and rank and status.” That effect, he says, is dishonorable, even if some colleges at least feel guilty about it. More than 80 percent of college admissions officers surveyed for a report last fall by the National Association for College Admission Counseling felt the US News rankings offered students misleading conclusions, and roughly the same proportion agreed they caused counter-productive behavior by colleges. Yet more than 70 percent said their schools promoted their

ranking in marketing materials. The fact that the highly regarded dean apparently involved in the scandal at Claremont McKenna may have been driven to submit inflated test scores is an indicator of the scale of pressure that surrounds the rankings, said David Hawkins, director of public policy and research at NACAC, the counseling group. That pressure comes from all corners of the university — trustees, alumni, presidents, even politicians, “It’s clear from the (Claremont McKenna) story that admission offices are under pressure,” he said. “The key question is, how do you stop the madness?” Bob Morse, who oversees the US News rankings as director of data research, says many of the behaviors the rankings have incentivized in colleges are benign. He points to universities like Northeastern and Southern California that have moved up in recent years through concerted efforts to improve their stats in variables that go into the formula — but which also are good for students. Things like more small classes, programs to boost retention, higher faculty-to-student ratios. And why, Morse asks, should colleges be criticized for casting a wider recruiting net? But even Morse, who says colleges paid the rankings little attention when they debuted in 1983, says he’s been shocked by how seriously they now take their standing, and the lengths they go to move up. “None of those things when we first started we had in mind would even happen or even could happen,” he said. “It’s evolved in ways that have taken on a life of their own. To us, it’s proof people are paying attention.”

8C • Sunday, February 12, 2012 •

your community Students attend highway safety event

community calendar Community calendar prints periodically and as space permits. Send items for the Community Calendar to or the Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046. The fax number is 770-339-8081. Please include event name, time and date, location, with address, phone number and cost. Deadline is two weeks prior to the event.


Journey Into Black History The United Ebony Society of Gwinnett County Inc. is preparing for their annual Black History Month Exhibit titled B”lack women in American Culture and History” through Feb 29 in the Gwinnett County Administrative and Justice Center. Exhibits will be open daily, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 770-822-4046 or visit Petticoats and Slide Rules Petticoats and Slide Rules, a historical exhibit on women in engineering from the Society of Women Engineers, will be on display at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center through April 1. Living in Space The Gwinnett Environ-

mental and Heritage Center is proud to announce that the Living In Space exhibit will continue its orbit at the GEHC through March 3. The exhibit is included with GEHC admission. For more information about this exhibit, visit Aurora Theatre’s ‘A Body of Water’ Aurora Theatre will be presenting “A Body of Water” today. For more information, visit auroratheatre. com or call 678-226-6222.


Ken Gohring presents program on Native Azaleas The Mountain Shadow Garden Club will host Ken Gohring to present his program on “Native Azaleas” at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Eastminister Presbyterian Church on 5801 Hugh Howell Road in Stone Mountain. For more information, call 770934-4726.


The Gwinnett County Soil and Water Conservation District monthly meeting The Gwinnett County Soil and Water Conservation District monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the GJAC Building, 75 Langley Drive, 2nd Floor, Conference Room A, Lawrenceville. For additional

information call 770-7613020.

Feb. 24

Taste of Collins Hill The 8th Annual Taste of Collins Hill will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. February 24 at the high school, 50 Taylor Road in Suwanee. Ticket cost is $10. For more information, visit or to order tickets online, email

Feb. 28

Capturing the Light The Buford Artists’ Group will host the Capturing the Light exhibit at 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. MondayThursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Feb. 28 in the George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Ga. Highway 23 N.E. in Suwanee. For more information, call 770-932-4423.

March 2

North Metro First Baptist Church Mops Consignment Sale North Metro First Baptist Church MOPS Spring Consignment Sale will be held 9 am to 8 pm March 2 and 8 to noon March 3 at 1026 Old Peachtree Road in Duluth. For seller, volunteer or advertising information and registration visit www.northmetro. net/mops.

ATLANTA — Students from Brookwood High School came together Feb. 3-4 to join the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety at the 2012 Youth and Young Adult Leadership Conference at Callaway Gardens. The conference, which was attended by about 400 students and advisers from nearly 60 high schools and colleges across Georgia, was designed to bring together student advocates of highway safety and focus on new ways to communicate life-saving ideas to their fellow high school and college students. “We were proud to include the students from Brookwood High School in this year’s Youth and Young Adult Conference,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “We lose far too many young people to crash deaths every year and we went directly to the source to discuss new ways of saving the lives of our teen and young adult drivers.” GOHS launched the annual youth safety conference concept nearly 10 years ago to spread the message of buckling up, slowing down, not drinking and driving and eliminating texting while driving. For more information,

Special Photo

From left, Sarah Chico, Obum Imonugo, Amber Simmons, Yohanna Hailegebriel, Selam Tesfamariam and Malahkai Pizarro attended a highway safety conference Feb. 3-4.

Good news from schools frank reddy staff writer

visit www.gahighwaysafety. org. Lanier Cluster gets grant for eReaders SUGAR HILL — The Lanier Cluster Education Foundation was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from Insperity, a consulting firm based out of Kingwood, Texas, to purchase eReaders

for Lanier Middle School. The LCEF provides grants to teachers and schools that support the academic programs of the schools in the Lanier Cluster. The foundation promotes community awareness and participation in the life of the cluster schools. Funds provided through the Insperity Grant will be used to purchase eReaders and eBooks to promote reading to students. The eReaders will be used to target students who struggle with critical reading skills and need additional support. For more information, visit Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.

military notes Marine Corps Kristin E. Chow was promoted to her current rank while serving with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton in Los Angeles, Claif. She is the daughter of Zobeyda and Jose V. Chow of Norcross and a 2010 graduate of Meadowcreek High School. Marine Corps Randy L. Rogers graduated from the Marine Corps Basic Combat Engineer Course at Marine Corps Engineer School, Marine Corps Base in Camp Lejeune, N.C. He is the son of Sandra L. Scruggs af Loganville and Roy. L Rogers of Morrow. He is a 2009 graduate of Grayson High School. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Eren C. Villa was promoted to his current rank while serving with Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Detachment A in Okinawa, Japan. He is the son of Annabela Villa of Lawrenceville and Fidel V. Martinez of Lawrenceville. He is a 2010 graduate of Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville.

at the U.S. Naval Acad- ated from the U.S. Coast emy. She is the daughter Guard Recruit Training of Dinh and James Yau of Center in Cape May, N.J. Dacula. Army National Guard Navy Midshipman Pvt. Trevor A. HolChristopher E. Joseph brooks graduated from completed Plebe Summer Basic Field Artillery Cantraining at the U.S. Naval non Crewmember AdAcademy. He is the son vanced Individual Trainof Debra Joseph of Snell- ing at Fort Sill in Lawton, ville and Darryl Joseph of Okla. He is the son of Conroe, Texas. Fred Holbrooks of Cumming and Angie Page of Navy Midshipman Suwanee. Charles P. Jordan completed Plebe Summer Navy Fireman Aptraining at the U.S. Naval prentice Andrew L. Academy. He is the son of Bullock participated in Eleni Jordan of Norcross. detainee handling training aboard the USS New Navy Midshipman An- Orleans in San Diego, Cadrea R. Howard complet- lif. He is the son of Susan ed Plebe Summer training Mcdanal of Sugar Hill at the U.S. Naval Acade- and Peter Bullock of Sumy. She is the daughter of wanee. Marleen Kooker of Norcross and Steven Howard of Atlanta. Navy Midshipman Anna E. Dilks completed Plebe Summer training at the U.S. Naval Academy. She is the daughter of Lori and Darrell Dilks of Lawrenceville.

Army Pfc. Rotrisha L. McGee graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood in Waynesville, Mo. She is Navy Seaman Appren- the daughter of Darlena tice David C. Griffin and Robert McGee of DuHall was promoted to his luth. current rank upon graduation from recruit training Army Pvt. Kenidee at Recruit Training Com- DeVentura-Benitez gradmand in Great Lakes, Ill. uated from the Multiple He is the son of Gayle D. Launch Rocket System Griffin of Tulsa, Okla., Operations/ Fire Direction and Corey R. Hall of Dac- Specialist Advanced Indiula. vidual Training course at Fort Sill in Lawton Okla. Navy Seaman Garrett He is the son of Hilario C. Burroughs recently and Elizabeth Ventura of completed U.S. Navy Lawrenceville. basic training at Recruit Training Command in Army National Guard Great Lakes, Ill. He is a Pfc. Kevin A. Contre2005 graduate of Brook- ras graduated from Basic wood High School in Combat Training at Fort Snellville. Sill in Lawton, Okla. Navy Midshipman Kristy A. Yau completed Plebe Summer training at the U.S. Naval Academy. She is the daughter of Dinh and James Yau of Dacula.

Navy Seaman Charles Liu completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. He is the son of Georgia Chen and Frank Liu of Lawrenceville.

Navy Midshipman Michelle K. Yau completed Coast Guard Seaman Plebe Summer training Karen A. Little gradu-




• 4 Great Seats to the Saturday, April 14th Game • 4 Gwinnett Braves Caps

MAIL COMPLETED ENTRY TO: Gwinnett Daily Post/Gwinnett Braves • P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 or visit to enter at

Name _____________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________ City _____________________________ State ______________ Zip _________ Phone ___________________ Email ___________________________________

YES! Please send me more information on the Gwinnett Braves! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Void where prohibited & restricted by law. Sponsor’s employees and their dependents are ineligible. Entries must be received by February 29, 2012. Winners will be notified.


Right to Hike to host inagural fundraising golf tourney • Sunday, February 12, 2012 • 9C

your community gwinnett gab The cost is $125 per golfer and the organization is looking for sponsors at various levels. Registration and a putting contest will begin at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start slated for 10. Dinner and awards are scheduled for after the tournament. For more into or to register, visit www. For questions and sponsorship information, send emails to brent@righttohikeinc. com.

New fees for mountain bikers at state parks

Arbor Day tree plantings scheduled in Norcross

existing $3 trail fee at Fort Mountain State Park will not change. By Camie Young At the four parks that Senior Writer ATLANTA — The require mountain bike trail camie.young Georgia Department of fees, riders without an The Right to Hike InaNatural Resources has nual pass will be required NORCROSS — Norgural Spring Golf Classic announced new mounto check in at the park ofwill be held at the TPC at tain bike trail fees and fice during regular hours. cross activists will plant a tree this week in honor of Sugarloaf on March 26. passes at three state parks, Arbor Day. Proceeds from the tournaincluding Fort Yargo in Gwinnett Gab appears ment will benefit Right The turkey fig will be Barrow County. Beginin the Thursday and Sunto Hike, a local charity ning March 1, a $2 daily day editions of the Gwin- planted at the site of the that supports causes and or $25 annual pass will nett Daily Post. To submit city’s community garden provides college scholarbe required at Fort Yargo, an item to Gwinnett Gab, near the welcome center, ships in honor of the late Hard Labor Creek and email gab@gwinnettdaily- an email from the NorMeredith Emerson. cross Tree Preservation Unicoi state parks. The Board said. The planting is schedmilitary notes uled for 11 a.m. Friday, which is Arbor Day, and refreshments will be Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Colorado Springs, Colo. He Columbus. He is the son of ning in Columbus. He is served afterward in the Casey L. Shoptawhas been is the son of Debra and Eu- Syed-Muzuffar and Bibi A. the son of Sharmin Barton welcome center. mobilized and activtated at gene Glenn of Lilburn. Ali of Lawrenceville. of Norcross. Joint Base Dix-McGuireAir Force Reserve AirLakehurst, N.J., in prepaAir National Guard ration for deployment to man Christopher Bauer Airman Alexander C. Litserve in support of either graduated from basic mili- man graduated from basic Operation New Dawn in the tary training at Lackland military training at LackIraqi Theater of Operations Air Force Base in San An- land Air Force Base in San or Operation Enduing Free- tonio. He is the son of Mel- Antonio. He is the son of dom in Afghanistan and the anie Smith of Lawrencev- Dana Litman of Suwanee. Southwest Theater of Op- ille. erations. She is the daughter Navy Seaman Thea of David and Lisa Shoptaw Army Pvt. Jingxin C. Marie B. Ritchie Haughof Dahlonega. Perkins has graduated from ton completed U.S. Navy Basic Combat Training at basic training at Recruit Matthew J. Izzo entered Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla. Training Command in Basic Cadet Training at the She is the stepdaughter of Great Lakes, Ill. She is the U.S. Air Force Academy in Michael S. Larson of Lil- daughter of Sharon M. and Colorado Springs, Colo. He burn. Edward Haughton of Stone is the son of Thomas and Mountain. Pattie Izzo of Lilburn. Army National Guard Pvt. Syed-Momin Ali Army Pvt. Mark W. Eugene Glenn III entered graduated from the Infan- Barton graduated from the Basic Cadet Training at the tryman One Station Unity Infantryman One Station U.S. Air Force Academy in Training at Fort Benning in Unit Training at Fort Ben-

“Trees are a very important part of our city and the Norcross Tree Preservation Board is excited to be adding another beautiful tree to our town,” said an email from board members Martha Scarbrough, co-chair, Jane Remaley, co-chair, Dick Bare, Robert Forro and Blake Manton. On Saturday, another tree will be planted in honor of the holiday. That event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the Norcross Cooperative Ministries on Mitchell Road and will include giveaways for children.

10C • Sunday, February 12, 2012 •

family record engagements

West — Leathers Dr. and Mrs. John E. West of Grayson, announce the engagement of their daughter, Kathryn Lee West of Grayson, to Jonathan Paul Leathers, of Covington, son of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Leathers of Covington. The bride-elect is a 2009 graduate of Valdosta State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. She is pursuing a master’s degree in education from the University of Georgia. She is employed with Rockdale Public Schools. The future groom is a 2011 graduate of Georgia College and State University, where he received a

Jonathan Leathers and Kathryn West

bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is employed with Quarry Services. The wedding is planned for May 19 in Auburn.

military notes

Fields — Custer John and Annie Fields of Lawrenceville announce the engagement of their daughter, Katelin Olivia Fields of Lawrenceville, to Gregory Scott Custer of Warner Robbins, son of Scott and Connie Custer of Warner Robbins. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Lindsay and Diane Wilson of Sandwich, Mass. She is a graduate of Collins Hill High School and is pursuing a degree in English and English education from the University of Georgia. The future groom is a graduate of Houston

Gregory Custer and Katelin Fields

County High School and is pursuing a degree in biomechanical engineering from the University of Georgia. The wedding is planned for June 2 in Suwanee.


Five generations Pauline McGee of Lawrenceville recently completed five generations with the birth of her great-great grandson Braylon Bowers on Jan. 10. McGee, center holding Braylon, is shown here with her granddaughter Kim Bowers, on left, her daughter Carolyn Smith, son Blake Bowers, back, on right, and great-grand- all of Lawrenceville.

Five generations Katie Simpson of Buford celebrated five generations for her family. Simpson, front row sitting, is shown here with her granddaughter, Katie Keneipp of Buford,(second row left to right), great-great granddaughter, Annabelle Taylor Potts, great-granddaughter Katie Potts of Winder, and daughter Ruth Keneipp of Buford.

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Air Force Airman Roie I. Felix recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. He is the son of Tywona Speller of Snellville. Air Force Airman Louis A. Ramos recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. He is the son of Louis and Ronilynn Ramos of Suwanee.

Air Force Col. Phillip B. Barks became commander of the 18th Air Support Operations Croup at Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, N.C. He is the son of William and Julie Barks of Norcross. Air Force Airman 1st Class David H. Linke recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. He is the son of Dave and Debra Linke of Norcross.

Air Force Reserve Airman Hannah L. Rice recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. She is the daughter of Eric and Lisa Rice of Duluth.

Air Force Airman Jessica L. Carson recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. She is the daughter of Theresa Liaguno of Lawrenceville.

Air Force Airman Sherilee A. Edwards recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. She is the daughter of Arlene Graham of Queens Village, N.Y., and Ericardo Edwards of Buford.

Navy Seaman Apprentice Justin D. Johnson recently completed a 10-month shipyard availability aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. He is the son of Bonnie and Frank E. Johnson.

Air Force Airman Jon T. Clines recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. He is the son of Jon Clines Sr. of Lilburn. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric R. Foster recently completed Navy Legalman Accession Training at the Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I. He is a 1999 graduate of Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain.

National Guard Specialist Aaron Findley is mobilizing to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with the 170th Military Police Battalion, G.A. Army National Guard, to support the Global War on Terror.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alvin K. Lee was promoted to his current rank while serving with the Marine Air Control 18, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma, Japan. He is the son of Sara S. and Jim K. Lee of Norcross. • Sunday, February 12, 2012 • 11C

your community Spring Green Festival announces activities Southeastern Railway By Meghan Kotowski Staff Writer meghan.kotowski

LAWRENCEVILLE — Considered the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Gwinnett County, the annual Spring Green Festival will be hosted by New Lawrenceville on March 17. This year, the organization has added a 5K run to the mix, which starts the daylong party. At 7 a.m., participants can register for the Chick-fil-A 5K Race Series. At 8 a.m., the 1-mile fun walk begins and is followed by the road race. People can register

in advance for the event at The rest of the celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. where attendees can troll around the vendors surrounding Gwinnett County’s Historic Courthouse. There will be food, art, crafts and other various products for sale, plus several local businesses will be available to talk to the public. Organizers didn’t forget to include the children. There is a Kid’s Corner with sand art, tie die, bounce houses and face painting to keep the little ones entertained throughout the day.

After the festival ends, New Lawrenceville hosts a free concert at 6 p.m. on the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse lawn. Local bands and performers from around the county will be front and center throughout the evening, putting on a St. Patty’s show. New Lawrenceville is raising money for three charities with this event, which include the Lawrenceville Police Departments Benevolent Fund, the Special Needs of Gwinnett and Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. The money will come from some of the funds raised by purchasing booths,

various sponsorship levels, advertising space or running in the 5K. There are still vendors booths, sponsorship and volunteers opportunities available. For more information, visit www. or contact Wendy Ryoul at or 678-4695667. New Lawrenceville is a nonprofit organization of volunteers in the city of Lawrenceville dedicated to “bringing community together and never using tax payers’ dollars for promoting the city of Lawrenceville.”

Barrow County’s Skywarn program a big hit By Josh Green

Staff Writer

WINDER — In a given year, the National Weather Service counts 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and some 1,000 tornadoes across the United States. So hefty is the load of potential catastrophes, the weather pros often need help. Which is where the Skywarn program comes in. Introduced in the 1970s, Skywarn trains emergency personnel and regular folks to become spotters for all types of weather hazards — and to report back to NWS officials. The volunteer program counts nearly 300,000

trained spotters nationwide. They are the first line of defense against severe weather, the NWS says. And the program is gaining steam in Barrow County. Fifty-six students attended a recent two-hour Skywarn training class put on by Barrow County Emergency Services in conjunction with Barrow County Skywarn. “Class participants learned the basics of thunderstorm development,” said Barrow County Emergency Services Emergency Management Coordinator Penny Clack. “They also learned the fundamentals of storm structure, how to identify

potential severe weather features, what information to report and other topics.” Since the program started four decades ago, the information provided by Skywarn spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods, according to the NWS’s website. In Barrow, the class was taught by Barry Gooden of the NWS. Attendees included regular Barrow County citizens, Barrow County employees, members of the Barrow County Community Emergency Response Team, per-

Sugar Hill residents offered weather alerts via text messaging, email By Tyler Estep

Staff Writer tyler.estep

SUGAR HILL — Sugar Hill residents can now sign up to receive weather alerts via text and email. The city recently announced the service, which will relay local alerts from the National Weather Service to registered users. In order to receive the texts, emails or both, interested residents must read a disclaimer posted on Sugar Hill’s website — www. — and complete a form before turning it in at Sugar Hill City Hall. The form must be signed and returned in person to be processed. Registrants should allow up to 30 days for the information to be processed. The offering comes on the heels of Sugar Hill activating a series of severe weather sirens throughout the city. When residents hear those sirens, they are urged to seek shelter and listen to the radio or TV for

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updates on the active severe weather action. Those sirens are also connected to the National Weather Service.

sonnel from the Oconee County Fire Department and others. “We were very pleased with the attendance of this class and the knowledge the participants received,” said Barrow County Emergency Services Chief Dennis Merrifield.

Museum recognizes Black History Month

DULUTH — The Southeastern Railway Museum will recognize Black History Month by hosting a program called: “From John Henry to Rosa Parks: African American influence on Transportation History” on Feb. 18. The program will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and visitors can set their own pace on the self-guided tour that will inform about some of the black who changed transportation history. Among the topics to explore are black inventors who were important to transportation and

freed slaves and how they helped build the railroad. The tour will feature three interactive stops, including a Jim Crow era passenger car. There will also be crafts and other special activities during the event. Cost is $6 for children, $9 for adults and $7 for seniors, which includes admission to the museum and all activities. Train rides are also available for a cost of $3 per person. For more info, call 770495-0253, ext. 2, or go to — From staff reports

Visit us online at

12C • Sunday, February 12, 2012 •


From Paris with love: More unique ideas for Valentine’s A few days ago, I got another email from my old friend Monsieur Nicolas Garreau, the Parisian gentlemen whose company Apoteo Surprise offers a variety of different “romantic scenarios” for Valentine’s Day. You may remember that I told you about some of these a couple of years ago. The only catch is that you have to go to Paris, but if you have the time and money, M. Garreau can definitely help you orchestrate a, um, unique experience. For example, did you know that it’s possible to “say I love you with


by Apoteo Surprise, as expressed by M. Garreau: rob jenkins “Say I love you with a delivery man.” (You know, I think that’s how my neighbors got divorced.) “Say I love you with a dove.” (Yes, but will it still respect me in the morning?) “Say I love you with a human heart?” That’s a bellboy.” (Note to self: right — but only in Paris, When in Paris, keep wife or maybe on the set of away from fancy hotels.) “Indiana Jones and the “Say I love you while Temple of Doom.” (Turns flying with a poem.” (I out it’s a guy, or maybe used to fly with poems even a Guy, dressed up in all the time, until the a giant heart costume.) airlines started charging Here are some other me extra for them.) possible Parisian ro“Say I love you on an mantic scenarios offered advertising van.” (Will it

Does anyone out there have inventive ideas? I’ll bet everyone reading this has invented something. Or at least improvised, innovated or improved something. Really, is there anyone out there who’s never gotten out of a jam with a twisted paper clip? Actually, inventing is usually the easiest part of the process. The patenting, manufacturing and marketing are where the trouble comes in. Enter the Inventors Association of Georgia which meets at Ryan’s Restaurant in Norcross the fourth Saturday of every month. Inventors from all over the state gather to share connections, resources, advice and knowledge about inventors’ needs. “We provide guidance and websites loaded with information for beginners,” longtime member Dave Savage said. And there are always experienced inventors willing to mentor, like Jan Janicek of Stone Mountain. Janicek, the most senior member of the group who has been paying his dues since 1967, has only one patent to his credit. “It was for a homestyle soft drink dispenser, but it was too expensive to manufacture,” Janicek said, noting that he knows the ropes from both ends. For many, the old adage “Necessity is the mother of invention” was the driving force in their creations. Terry Dellinger of Lilburn holds five patents for inventions related to computers and construction he created while working in each of those fields. Members don’t all have degrees from places like Georgia Tech, either. Carlyen Cumbie, also of Lilburn, left home in 1949 at age 16 to make it on his own. After working for 50 years as a plumber, he retired to pursue his first love in life, inventing. For years Cumbie made miniature farm wagons

viewpoints susan larson

be parked or moving?) “Say I love you on the wings of an airplane.” (But will anybody be able to hear me over the wind? And hey, can I at least bring my poem?) “Say I love you in a drive-in theater.” (Are we talking about the Paris in France or the one in Texas?) “Say I love you with a laser.” (I know that’s always been a dream of mine: “Oh, Sweetheart! I love you so—AHHH! AHHH! AHHH!”) Apparently the big seller this year, however, involves “saying I love you by projecting under the Eiffel Tower.” I’m

thinking that might go something like this: “Well, honey, here we are, right under the Eiffel Tower.” “You’re afraid of commitment, aren’t you? AREN’T YOU??” “Calm down, honey. I think you’re projecting.” OK, this “scenario” actually involves having your photograph, along with “a personalized message of love,” projected onto the bank of the River Seine, directly underneath the famous landmark. Consider the following anecdote from Apoteo Surprise’s promotional materials (yes, I’m

on their mailing list): “Michel, 32, was totally astonished when he suddenly saw his photo appearing on Seine banks with the message ‘Michel, you are the man of my life, I love you more than all.’ With emotion, the young man kissed his lady-love while the yacht crew cheered and served champagne to the two lovers.” I suppose it could have been worse. The crew could have broken out the lasers. Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and college professor. Email him at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo. com.


and received a patent for a lock he designed for a retainer pin in a miniature tractor. “Details like that make the difference between these things being worth a few dollars or a few hundred dollars,” Cumbie said. Today he focuses on inventing devices to make life easier for people with disabilities. “When I see people struggling to do something, I want to do what I can to help out,” he said. “A Vietnam vet told me how it’s impossible to wheel a chair and hold an umbrella at the same time, so I invented an umbrella holder for his wheelchair.” Larry Woods of Norcross never set out to invent anything. “I stumbled into the world of packaging when I was young and discovered it’s a field of continuous invention,” Woods said. His company, South-Pak, Inc., can custom mold cases for anything anyone ever invented. These “Everyday Edisons” as some members call themselves, always welcome newcomers like Victor Speight, a real estate agent from Lawrenceville, who visited IAG to sound out some experts on an idea he had in his head regarding recording studios. If this column has put any ideas in your head, visit www.GAinventors. org. Susan Larson is a writer who lives in Lilburn with her husband, who has several patents. Email her at


Airfare (air transportation for 4 from Atlanta, GA to Daytona Beach, FL) & 3 Nights Accommodations at El Caribe Resort & Conference Center!

PLUS Passes for four to Daytona Lagoon Water Park, Ice Skating at Daytona Ice Arena, The Marine Science Center, Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and tickets to see the Daytona Cubs play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark! AND A $75 gift card for Aunt Catfish’s on the River! Name ____________________________________________ Address __________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Daytime Phone ___________________________________ Email _____________________________________________ I agree to contest rules (required)

Yes! Send me more information on Florida & Daytona Beach!

Mail completed entry to Kidsville News!/Daytona Beach P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 or visit to enter at

ENTER BY FEBRUARY 29, 2012! Rules: No purchase necessary. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Sponsors and their families are not eligible. All entries must be completely filled out to be eligible. Trip winner is responsible for any and all taxes and/or liabilities associated with the value of the trip package which is estimated at $1,919.80 and which must be claimed as income in the 2012 tax year. The Gwinnett Daily Post is required by law to furnish a federal form 1099 to the Internal Revenue Service and this form will state the $1,919.80 value of the trip package. Trip certificate is valid for one year and black out dates apply. Winner’s acceptance of prize also grants permission to publish the winning entry information in future Kidsville News! and/or Gwinnett Daily Post publications. Once winner is notified, they have three days to accept the trip. If confirmation of acceptance is not made, a new winner will be drawn.


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GDP Special Section - Spring Education Guide  

GDP Special Section - Spring Education Guide