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NORTH GEORGIA 2011, Vol. 2



President Jacobs

North Georgia’s 17th president

The Rising Costs of Education Need for student support grows

The Fiddleheads

Homegrown music group represents North Georgia on national stage The magazine for alumni and friends of North Georgia College & State University

The Campus Connection Bookstore

opened in August on Chestatee Street. The building features a Starbucks, Student Health Services, and retail space.





Welcome, President Jacobs

The 17th president builds on a tradition of excellence.


The Rising Cost of Education

With the rising costs of education, North Georgia is committed to educating tomorrow’s leaders

Fiddleheads Take 20 The Center Stage Hometown musical group makes national debut on America’s Got Talent

North Georgia Leader

Published semi-annually for alumni and friends of North Georgia College & State University.

Editorial Staff Kate Maine, editor Edie Rogers, writer Lacey Pyle, designer Britta Hallberg, ’12, editorial intern

Contact Information

E-mail: Mail: University Relations P.O. Box 1599 Dahlonega, GA 30533 Phone: 706-864-1950


President’s message Dr. Bonita Jacobs

4 Around Campus University news and announcements


North Georgia People


Schools News highlights from each of the university’s four schools

12 Corps of Cadets 13 Saints Sports 22 Alumni Association News 24 Class Notes 29 Foundation News 33 Upcoming Events 2011, Vol. 2


Letter from the Editor Greetings from North Georgia! As this issue of the Leader goes to press, the campus is clothed with the red, orange and yellow leaves of fall. Though the campus has changed over the decades to include new facilities, like the bookstore and dining hall that opened this fall, it remains a beautiful campus where lives are transformed. This issue features President Bonita Jacobs and her thoughts from her first few months on campus. Please be sure to visit her blog online at for more frequent updates from her. One of the major challenges impacting our students and their families right now is the change to financial aid they may have received in the past. That, coupled with the state budget reductions the university has had over the past few years, have increased students’ financial burden to attend college. While this is happening at many colleges and universities across the country, we wanted to share with you the impact at North Georgia. We all enjoyed watching North Georgia’s Fiddleheads on America’s Got Talent this summer as they progressed from the auditions in Atlanta to the Los Angeles stage. I know you’ll enjoy reading about their experience and what the future may hold for this group of young alumni. Finally, if your household is receiving multiple copies of this publication, please let us know so that we can correct our records. Be sure to send us your class notes and letters for inclusion in future issues! We really enjoy hearing from you! Warmest regards from North Georgia, Kate Maine Director of University Relations


North Georgia Leader

Introducing... North Georgia Releases iPhone App The North Georgia College & State University app is available at the App Store, just search for on your iPhone/iPad. In recognition of its release, we asked students, alumni, faculty, and staff on campus,

What’s your favorite app? Dr. Thomas Cooper, assistant mathematics professor: Reluctantly admitted that Facebook is his favorite app.

Kyle Martin, freshman from Dalton, Ga.: Without a doubt, his favorite is the ever-popular Angry Birds.

Jordan Miller, freshman from Lula, Ga.: Narrowed down Songify as her current favorite, but it made her day when she learned of the new North Georgia app. She immediately downloaded it from the App Store. J.D. Rusk, ‘89, ‘10, instructor in the Mike Cottrell School of Business: The two most used apps on his Android smart phone are Gesture Search and Swiss Army Knife, both free apps.

Shauna Chisholm, Career Services specialist: She’s currently loving Words with Friends because it gives her a chance to connect with other people from across campus and across the country. Dr. Toni Barnett, head of Department of Nursing: Her favorite is the free app My Fitness Pal, which is loaded with features to help you keep up with calorie intake and exercise to maintain or lose weight. It even allows users to scan product bar codes to get the calorie counts.

Dr. Bonita Jacobs Help us become even stronger I’ve described to people that my first few months as president at North Georgia College & State University have been a bit like peeling back the layers of an onion: there is something new to learn each day, and it just gets better and better. We are all proud that this university attracts some of the most academically capable students in the University System of Georgia. In fact, for the fifth consecutive year, our first-time freshmen have the third-highest GPAs (only slightly behind Georgia Tech and UGA) among the system’s 35 schools. North Georgia offers exceptional leadership experiences for all of its students, with the Corps of Cadets being the most prominent of these opportunities on campus. Our military program consistently is among the top in the nation and has a powerful and positive influence in our campus community. This spring, we will use my inauguration as a means to celebrate the university’s tradition of excellence and the promise the future holds for this great school and our students. Activities will highlight our mission of academics, service and leadership and provide opportunities to raise funds for student scholarships. Clearly, North Georgia is a great institution, and you can help make it even better! As alumni and friends of North Georgia, you already know that this university has had a transformational impact in the lives of generations of students. Our campus community is committed to preserving the educational environment we enjoy here, and you, too, can play an important role in sustaining the opportunities and educational experience North Georgia provides its students. This year, North Georgia was ranked 18th among public universities in the South on the annual ranking by U.S. News & World Report. While this is a strong ranking, I believe it can be stronger with your help. The ranking process examines several indicators of university strength, and one of the items that North Georgia can improve upon is the alumni giving rate, which is used to measure the level of commitment and pride alumni have for the institution. North Georgia’s alumni giving rate consistently averages 5 to 7 percent. This is lower than our peers, and

we need to create a culture of giving that demonstrates the level of passion that our alumni have for this school. For context, the South’s top 10 regional public universities, led by The Citadel, have giving rates that range between 8 and 29 percent. Further, while North Georgia’s alumni giving rate is currently 5 percent, the other five senior military colleges have rates of 13 to 36 percent. As we seek to enhance our reputation and gain support for North Georgia, I hope that you will contribute to the NGCSU Foundation at a level with which you are comfortable. Additionally, I encourage you to join your Alumni Association to become engaged with university activities. Your financial contributions provide much-needed support for students, but your participation is an equally important factor in demonstrating to others what a great institution North Georgia is. Looking toward the future, know that I am committed to continuing the great work of North Georgia and promoting strategies that enhance the high quality educational experience that students find here. I appreciate the warm welcome that I have had from the alumni and friends of North Georgia, and I look forward to meeting more of you!

In August, MG George M. Johnson, USAF retired, joined President Jacobs and NGCSU Foundation officials in signing an agreement to create the Flag Officers Presidential New Ventures Fund to provide early funding for worthwhile new projects and programs not anticipated in the university’s annual budget plans. General Johnson invites his fellow North Georgia flag officers and others to join him in support of this program through their giving. Pictured are, seated: University President Bonita C. Jacobs and MG Johnson; standing, left to right: Christine Church, development officer for the School of Science & Health Professions; North Georgia Foundation Chairman George Coleman Jr. ‘53; and Vice President for Advancement Andrew Leavitt.

2011, Vol. 2


Students, faculty and staff, & community commemorate 9/11


undreds of students, faculty and staff, and community members gathered on William J. “Lipp” Livsey Field on Sunday, Sept. 11 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America and to pay tribute to the victims of the attacks and soldiers who have fought in the War on Terrorism since then. The ceremony was particularly poignant for the university, as many members of its Corps of Cadets and alumni have served in the military operations resulting from the 9/11 attacks. Cadet Col. Sergio Rolon, brigade commander for the Corps of Cadets, noted during his remarks that hundreds of lieutenants have been commissioned through North Georgia College & State University in the decade since the 9/11 attacks. Seven students and alumni have been killed in military action in that time. Col. Michael Pyott, the university’s professor of military science and an alumnus, was the event’s featured speaker. He noted that the names of those alumni and students killed in action are inscribed on a memorial on campus to serve as a reminder of the sacrifice they made for our country. Pyott also asked participants to remember the unity the nation experienced following the 9/11 attacks. The brief ceremony concluded with a solemn 21-gun salute, the playing of Silver Taps and a candlelight ceremony in memory of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and the military personnel who have lost their lives in service to our country, mirroring the university’s response to the attacks a decade ago.

North Georgia ranked among South’s best colleges by U.S. News


orth Georgia College & State University is ranked regional university, North Georgia is compared to peers in the 18th among the South’s public regional universities in South that offer undergraduate and master’s-level programs but the 2012 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group. few, if any, doctoral programs. The 2012 Best Colleges guidebook provides Additionally, North Georgia was the secondan examination of how 1,378 accredited fourranked regional university in the South for the “Our comparatively year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely least amount of debt load for the class of 2010. low tuition, our low accepted indicators of excellence. Among the “This highlights the incredible educational many factors weighed in determining the value that North Georgia provides its students student/faculty ratio, and the region,” said President Bonita C. Jacobs. and our academic rankings are: peer assessment, graduation “Our comparatively low tuition, our low student/ rigor combine to and retention rates, faculty resources, student faculty ratio, and our academic rigor combine to financial resources, alumni create an exceptional selectivity, giving, and, for National Universities and create an exceptional academic environment academic environment National Liberal Art Colleges, “graduation and experience.” rate performance” and high school counselor Though North Georgia is ranked 18th, it is and experience.” —President Jacobs ratings of colleges. among 25 public universities placing at that level For the past five years, the average high school or higher in the report. In the lists published by U.S. News Media Group, schools that tied in the rankings were grade point average of North Georgia’s entering freshmen has given the same place-number designation. For instance, two been the third-highest among all 35 schools in the University schools tied for fifth place are listed as No. 5; the next school System of Georgia. Similarly, the SAT scores for its entering in the rankings is listed as No. 7; there were several ties in the freshmen are consistently among the highest in the state. “Our six-year graduation rate is at about 50 percent and is top 25. Over the past two decades, the U.S. News college rankings, much higher than the average of 34 percent for other state which group schools based on categories created by the universities in Georgia, and our retention rate of 81 percent Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has is exemplary,” Jacobs said. “We have outstanding students and grown to be commonly used research tool for students and a world-class faculty and staff that contribute to an excellent parents considering higher education opportunities. As a academic reputation.” 4

North Georgia Leader

University receives federal flagship status, funding for Chinese instruction for cadets


orth Georgia College & State University has been awarded $720,000 in federal funds and designation as a “flagship” university for Chinese instruction for cadets. The announcement was made by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) at the Department of Defense. Two other schools, Arizona State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, also were awarded 2011 grants and Chinese flagship status. Only a handful of schools, most research institutions and Division I universities, have been granted flagship status since the program’s inception in 1991. “This is very exciting news for North Georgia, and it will reap great rewards for our students,” President Bonita Jacobs said. The mission of NSEP’s Language Flagship program, to help students gain high-level proficiency in strategic foreign languages and culture, meshes well with North Georgia’s strategic goal — educating students for life and leadership in a global community. Strategic languages identified by NSEP are Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Swahili, four of which are taught at North Georgia. Largely driven by student interest, North Georgia’s Chinese program has grown swiftly since the university first began offering Chinese classes in 2006. Since then, a minor has been added and, last year, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) approved a major in Chinese for North Georgia. “We’ve come a long way in a short period of time,” said Dr. Chris Jespersen, dean of North Georgia’s School of Arts & Letters. “Our program is being recognized specifically for our efforts with the cadets, and although our funding will be focused on the ROTC students, all students will benefit

from this support for the Chinese friends now, and from around the program.” world.” As the university’s Chinese language Multiple critical languages are offered program has grown, North Georgia through North Georgia’s Strategic also has forged a growing partnership Language Intensive Program. Students with Liaocheng University in China. in the program take two semesters of In recent years, administrators, faculty only intensive foreign language courses and students from North Georgia have and spend a third semester overseas. visited and studied at Liaocheng and The Flagship Program will require their Chinese colleagues have done the cadets pursuing Chinese to study for a same at North Georgia. year in China. Ryan Cooke, a sophomore from North Georgia also offers two Dacula, Ga., is a member of the language programs in the summer, the university’s Corps of Cadets majoring Federal Service Language Academy for in Chinese and international affairs. In high school students and the Summer 2010, Cooke spent the summer before Language Institute for college students. his freshman year at North Georgia Each offers course credit in one of studying Chinese in the university’s several languages. intensive Summer Language Institute. North Georgia currently offers only After spending fall 2010 semester minors in Arabic, German, Korean on campus, Cooke spent spring and and Russian and majors and minors in summer semesters studying in China — Chinese, French and Spanish. Approval a total of six months. The experience from the Board of Regents for a major gave him a deeper understanding of the in Arabic could come this year. Chinese language and culture. “I realized just how similar Chinese college students are to American college students, mostly because it is a much more globalized world,” Cooke said. His studies in China sparked his decision to add Chinese to his international affairs major when he returned to North Georgia for fall semester. “Part of my heart’s in China. Ryan Cooke, a sophomore in the university’s Corps of Cadets, spent six months I have so many studying in China earlier this year. The experience led him to declare a double major great Chinese — Chinese and international affairs.

2011, Vol. 2


Classrooms across campus get technology upgrades The Information Technology division has upgraded more than 120 classrooms and learning spaces on campus with the latest presentation and multimedia technology to support learning and instruction. The new hardware has “green” control technology that can automatically turn projectors off overnight or when not in use. Upgrades also included several new lecture-captureenabled Polycom rooms. Also during the summer, IT updated all computers on campus to Windows 7. Several new student projects also were started fall semester thanks to collaboration from Student Government Association. “In addition to offering centralized support and management of all classroom technology, our new controls allow faculty to interact seamlessly with standardized classroom technology in any building, provide for better security, and enable the easy addition of other new technologies,” says Bryson Payne, Ph. D., North Georgia’s chief information officer.

Recent technology upgrades in classrooms across campus included interactive hardware and software.

Storytelling, art, & photography part of Appalachian history project The Georgia Appalachian Studies Center at North Georgia College & State University received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of its project, “This Land; These People: The Art of Storytelling in Words and Pictures.” This community arts education grant provided opportunities to experience exemplary Appalachian storytelling and craft narratives from family folklore or local history photographs. The project also included the creation of a Story Room at the Center in Dahlonega to record memories about Appalachian folk traditions. Please visit www.northgeorgia. edu/gasc or 706-864-1540. 6

North Georgia Leader

Photos courtesy of Geo

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Temples wins national advising award

Associate Professor Thomas Temples, Department of Health & Physical Education, has been selected by the National Academic Advising Association(NACADA) as an Outstanding Advising Award winner in the Faculty Academic Advising category as part of the 2011 annual awards program. The category includes those whose primary responsibility is teaching and who spend a portion of their time providing academic advising services to students. Since 1983, NACADA has honored individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. The Academic Advising Association boasts some 10,000 members whose goal is to promote excellent advisement services for students in higher education. Temples will be honored and presented with this award this fall in Denver, Colo., during the NACADA annual conference.

Erbele, former SGA president, wins USG award

Martin Erbele, who was president of the Student Government Association at North Georgia College & State University for two years, received an award this spring from the University System of Georgia. As a member of the university system’s Student Advisory Council, which represents the more than 311,000 students, he was chosen by his USG peers to receive the Willis Potts Award because of his leadership, commitment and dedication to the council. He is only the second recipient of the award. Erbele is from Cleveland and graduated in spring with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. The award is named for Regent Willis Potts, immediate past chairman of the Board of Regents. A resolution from the SAC members about the creation of the award credits Potts “for his strong support and involvement with SAC students.” Potts, of Rome, was appointed in 2006 by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue to represent the Eleventh Congressional District on the Board of Regents.

Payne chosen for North Georgia Network board

Dr. Bryson Payne has been elected as a representative to the North Georgia Network (NGN) Board of Directors by North Georgia Network’s Community Advisory Board. Payne will serve on the NGN board as a non-voting member, functioning as a political, business and community liaison, relaying community input to the NGN Board of Directors and supporting NGN’s efforts to educate and inform its stakeholders. He will also guide the Community Advisory Board in evaluating,

recommending and coordinating grants and projects in keeping with the network’s roles in supporting improvements in healthcare services, educational opportunities, workforce development and job creation.

Housknecht selected to national committees

Julie Housknecht, Library Technology Center, was recently appointed to three national committees of the Association of College and Research Libraries: Distance Learning Section’s Instruction committee; Instruction Section’s Discussion Group Steering committee; and the Reference and User Services Association History Section’s Instruction and Research Services committee.

McGinnis, Barlett recognized for undergraduate research

Dr. Michael McGinnis and student Becky Bartlett have been selected to receive the Philbrook Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and the Outstanding Undergraduate award, respectively, from the NE Georgia section of the American Chemical Society. In the past forty years the Philbrook Award has only been received by two other North Georgia faculty members.

Women’s Rugby player competes on national and international teams

Chole Harper, captain of the women’s rugby club at North Georgia College & State University, spent the summer playing for the USA Rugby under-20 team in national and international competitions. Harper, who is majoring in education with a psychology minor, joined the team for the Collegiate National All Star Championships in Pittsburgh, Pa. Harper also represented the United States in the 2011 U-20 Nations Cup Tournament, hosted by USA Rugby this summer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. North Georgia’s women’s rugby club team was started in 2007 and is one of only a handful of rugby club teams playing on the collegiate level in the state.

Dr. Byrne honored as March of Dimes’ 2010 Nurse of the Year Dr. Michelle Byrne, professor of nursing and coordinator of the master’s in nursing education program at North Georgia College & State University, was named a Georgia March of Dimes’ 2010 Nurse of the Year. Byrne was one of 14 nurses from various specialties honored during an awards gala and banquet held at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta. Byrne, who has been teaching at North Georgia since 2001, was honored in the area of education. “Throughout my career, I have received many cards and e-mails thanking me for my students’ success, preparedness, and happiness in their new role as teacher,” she said. “That is a source of pride and the ultimate evidence of my success.” Byrne, who lives in Acworth, holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing, specializing in nursing education. She has contributed to many

publications, including textbooks and peer-reviewed journals. Byrne also was awarded the Excellence in Education award from Sigma Theta, Tau Chapter and was recognized as the North Georgia Alumni Association’s 2011 Distinguished Professor. The award was presented at the association’s annual banquet, held each spring during ParentAlumni Weekend.

2011, Vol. 2


School of Arts & Letters

Summer language academy gives students insight into foreign service

Three North Georgia students, Nicholas Parker, Kathryn Proctor and Rushing Marchette, are studying abroad during the 2011-2012 academic year after receiving prestigious Gilman scholarships. Parker and Proctor are studying Korean language and political science in Korea, while Marchette is studying Arabic language and political science in Morocco. The scholarship is awarded to qualifying U.S. undergraduate students and covers expenses for up to a full academic year for students who otherwise might not have been able to study abroad because of financial limitations. Chelsea Gibson, the 20102011 Presidential Fellow from North Georgia, was the recipient of the James R. Moffett Award, given by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress for the most original paper on the presidency or Congress at the group’s 44th annual awards dinner. Her paper drew comparisons between President Woodrow Wilson’s rhetoric and policy on immigration and the Obama Administration’s challenges in this area. Chelsea’s paper will also be a part of the group’s annual publication that highlights the research and writing of the Presidential Fellows. For the second year in a row, North Georgia has received a $5,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation as part of the national “1 for All” campaign to conduct programs to raise awareness of the First Amendment and the fundamental freedoms it protects. One of the activities supported by the grant included reading famous banned books like 1984 and the Grapes of Wrath. The Basics of American Government, a digital textbook written and edited by faculty members in the Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice, was released during fall semester by the University Press of North Georgia. Edited by North Georgia political science professors, The Basics of American Government is a collaborative effort of eight current and one former North Georgia faculty member. The book offers a no-frills, low-cost, yet comprehensive overview of the American political system for students taking introductory courses in American national government.


North Georgia Leader

Students use workbooks, dictionaries, and classroom activities and discussions to learn the entire beginning high-school level Arabic course in just 21 days.

Nearly 100 high school students spent the summer on the campus of North Georgia College & State University to learn Arabic, Chinese or Russian. More than 350 applications were received for 96 slots in the Foreign Service Language Academy (FSLA), according to Dr. John Wilson, language education program developer and assistant director for the Center for Language Education at North Georgia. The students chosen came from 17 different states across the nation, including Hawaii. During the intensive, 21-day camp, students focused on one of three languages and cultures identified as strategic for military or foreign service careers, such as the CIA, FBI, Department of State or armed forces. Representatives from each agency visited during the camp. Students earned Georgia high school course credit and also got a jump-start on college-level foreign language or international affairs studies. The seven-day-per-week schedule kept students busy, and they were expected to spend their time in and out of class immersed in the language they’ve chosen to study. Students started each morning at 6:30 with physical training and spent a total of eight hours learning each day—six hours in the classroom and two hours in the evening participating in study groups or other language activities. During the session each class took a language-specific field trip as part of the co-curricular activities. Such intensive learning was a challenge for the teachers, too. They used interactive learning strategies like role-playing and a Pictionary-style game in Arabic to keep students motivated. Xiajun Zou, is from Guilin, China, and teaches Mandarin Chinese at a high school in Whitfield County, Ga. This summer was the first time she’s ever had to teach the same group of students for an entire day. “The challenge for the teachers is that we need to maintain that motivation and interest for six hours every day,” Zou said. “We teach the students to start talking right away. This is the importance and the big difference from the regular high school classes. Even students who have never learned this language, they can start talking right away. That’s exciting for students to see and hear.” Rafik Misak, a native of Alexandria, Egypt, teaches Arabic at an elementary school in Charlotte, N.C., and was the Arabic instructor for the program. He agreed that the intensive atmosphere is tough, but thinks it is important to help high school students understand Arabic language and culture despite the challenge. “Critical languages are really important right now, especially Arabic with what’s going on in the Middle East,” Misak said. “I’m glad I’m here and hopefully the program will continue because I think this is really, really important, especially for high school students, to learn something they’ve never heard about before.” Anastasiya Lakhno, a native of Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, who was hired to teach Russian language and culture at North Georgia after the summer program, also was one of the program’s instructors.

Students gain international business experience through German internships

Mike Cottrell School of Business

A new internship program in the Mike Cottrell School of Business sent four students overseas to work in Germany for three months, providing experience the students say was invaluable for their future careers in an increasingly global marketplace. The U.S.-Germany internship program, sponsored Chris Leming, left, poses with Sebastian Steinbach, owner of Steinbach by the American Chamber of & Partner in Stuttgart, Germany. Commerce in Germany and German and Atlanta-based BridgehouseLaw, is only in its second year and North Georgia is one of only six schools in the state that is part of the program. Unlike a study abroad program, students have to submit resumes and go through an interview process with their prospective German employers, Ruben Boling, North Georgia management instructor, said. The goal of the program is to create opportunities for North Georgia business students to get hands-on international experience. “Business and commerce is not just in the United States or North America anymore, but has become international. With technology, the ability to expand our markets beyond our borders has become easier and more accessible,” Boling said. “This program is a structured, real-life program. They get paid and work a regular job.” Chris Leming, of Lawrenceville, Ga., who has a degree in management and is also pursuing a marketing degree at North Georgia, said it was that chance to get international experience that drew him to the program. He worked for Steinbach & Partner, an executive placement company in Stuttgart, Germany. “When I first heard of the Germany internship opportunity, I jumped on it. I knew that having international experience would increase my chances to find a suitable career. Also, I knew that it would become one of the best summers of my life,” he said. “All of this has come true. My time spent in Germany has become one of the most memorable, and hopefully, the most beneficial time I could have spent anywhere. The things I learned during my time in Germany could not have been learned anywhere else.” Oran Cape of Locust Grove, Ga., graduated this summer with a bachelor’s degree in accounting after spending three months working for Marriott in Hamburg, Germany. Like Leming, Cape said he took part in the program because he wanted international work experience in his major. The difficulty of learning the language notwithstanding, Cape said he feels better prepared for the job market after the internship. “I think the international exposure has taught me how to adapt to a different culture,” Cape said. “With the business world becoming more international most companies have to start working on an international level. This exposure has helped me prepare for that.” Stephen Sutton worked at Porsche near Stuttgart, Germany, during his internship and said he also overcame the challenge of learning the culture and language to earn invaluable experience. “The hardest part of the program was getting used to a completely different culture and language. Something as simple as ordering food at a restaurant took some getting used to, so you can only imagine how difficult it was for other things such as setting up a bank account and figuring out public transportation,” Sutton said. “While I gained a lot from working, I also benefitted just from living in Germany. Things didn’t always work out in our favor and we had to deal with numerous issues, but being able to think on our toes has greatly contributed to our problem-solving skills.” Jack Jackson of Oakwood, Ga., graduated this summer with three bachelor’s degrees, accounting, finance and marketing, and worked with Sutton at Porsche during the threemonth internship. Boling said the university plans to continue its involvement in the German program, and hopes to expand internship opportunities for business students into countries such as Korea and Turkey. Boling said the international experience gained by North Georgia students also will provide a valuable resource for the growing number of international companies coming to the U.S. “If you look at the number of international companies locating here in north Georgia, it’s pretty extensive,” he said. “What we want to do is to help build a base to provide resources for those who have located here and get other international businesses to come here as well.”

The Mike Cottrell School of Business drew standingroom only crowds for its third annual executive speaker series. Featured executives included Stuart Kronauge, senior vice president of marketing, Coca-Cola Trademark Brands; John Allison, distinguished professor of practice, Wake Forest University, and retired chairman and chief executive officer of BB&T Bank; Carla Cooper, president and chief executive officer, Daymon Worldwide; Mike Higley, a North Georgia alumnus and managing director, U.S. International, FedEx Express; and John Trautwein, president and chief operating officer, Source Support Services, and co-founder of The Will to Life Foundation. Dr. Geoffrey Dick, a visiting professor of management and quantitative studies in the Mike Cottrell School of Business, is working with colleagues at the University of New South Wales and Saint Louis University on “Raising Awareness of Business Ethics in the Classroom: How Important are Gender and Religion?” The study has produced a series of scenarios for consideration by students in a classroom, an exercise intended to have students think about these real-life issues before being exposed to them either in the workplace or their personal lives. Papers concerning the study have been published at the 2010 International Conference on Information Systems in St. Louis, Mo., in the Journal of Information Systems Education, and at a conference on business ethics in New York City this fall. Kelli Crickey has been named director of the Mike Cottrell School of Business’ MBA program. The MBA program, a two-year program designed for working professionals, holds classes in Cumming, Ga. In fall 2012, the program will move into the new University Center | GA 400, which is a collaborative project between North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College.

2011, Vol. 2


School of Education

The School of Education is expanding a Professional Development School partnership with area school systems that places North Georgia interns in classrooms during their junior and senior years. The partnership began in 2008 with Hall County’s World Languages Academy, an elementary-level language immersion school. North Georgia interns’ “fellowships” begin with the local school system’s calendar, with field placements beginning a month before their campus-based peers and continuing through May, three weeks longer than their campus-based peers. The education majors in the program receive their own courses at the schools where they are interning, and the interns and their professors are involved in helping develop curriculum, teacher workshops and charter applications. The program has since expanded to include other schools in Hall County and in Forsyth and Dawson counties. School of Education faculty are working with Lumpkin & Forsyth County Schools to to further expand Professional Development programs. In spring, 16 North Georgia teacher candidates spent four weeks teaching and living with families in communities in Costa Rica under the guidance of North Georgia faculty members Dr. Elizabeth Combier, Modern Languages, and Dr. Linda Reece and Megan Nason from the School of Education. This program helps the candidates with fluency in the Spanish language and gives them valuable teaching experiences.


North Georgia Leader

Grant fuels education partnership, innovation Thanks to federal Race to the Top funds, North Georgia College & State University and three area school systems are working together to create a regional technology charter school that serves students in Hall, Lumpkin and White counties. A $50,000 grant from the Race to the Top Innovation Fund, which was awarded in August, will fund the costs of planning and designing a highimpact regional charter school with specific focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Planning includes drafting a charter petition for the academy, which will target 400-600 students a year. North Georgia serves on the planning leadership team for the academy and will assist in curriculum development. Other members of the leadership team include the superintendents of the three school systems in Lumpkin County and neighboring Hall and White counties, and three high school principals in those school systems. The academy will be located at North Hall High School and accept A student teacher from the School of Education at North Georgia College students from Lumpkin and White & State University teaches a science lesson to Hall County elementary counties as well. The opening of the school students. Thanks to federal Race to the Top funds, North Georgia will be helping school systems in Hall, Lumpkin and White counties in the school is scheduled for August 2014. planning of a regional charter school that will focus on STEM subjects — Because of the influx of high-tech science, technology, engineering and mathematics. industry in the region, one goal of the academy is to create an “engineering pipeline” in northeast Georgia to prepare students to pursue additional education, internships and careers in technology, according to the grant proposal. A second goal of the academy is to make new opportunities available for economically disadvantaged students in the area, many of whom will be firstgeneration college students. The Regional Charter STEM Academy isn’t the first collaboration between the university and area school systems, according to Dr. Bob Michael, dean of the School of Education. “Our science education faculty members have been working closely over the past two years with several Hall County elementary schools in support of their science programs,” Michael said. “This work includes providing professional development workshops for teachers and placing North Georgia’s early childhood and special education majors in these schools with special focus on science, integrating science education course work with the curricula of the schools.” Hall County already has eight charter schools and White County is a charter system; Dawson began the process of becoming a charter system a year ago. Michael called the creation of a multi-county partnership like the Regional Charter STEM Academy “very rare” and wasn’t aware of another in existence. “The Race to the Top Innovation Fund is a unique opportunity to fuel the innovative ideas of education leaders from across the state,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in announcing the grant. “The projects selected for awards during this first round represent truly innovative and collaborative approaches to educating students.” The Race to the Top Fund is a $4 billion federal grant opportunity to support new approaches to improve schools, encouraging states that are concentrating on reform and innovation.

FUSE supports undergraduate research with supercomputers Two North Georgia College & State University undergraduate researchers and their professor are using supercomputers to identify materials to be used for solar cells. Students Deborah Leman, a senior chemistry major, and Alden Ryno, a junior majoring in chemistry and math, along with Dr. Aimée Tomlinson, an assistant professor of chemistry, conducted research in solar and renewable energy as a part of this summer’s Faculty-Undergraduate Summer Engagement program (FUSE). This is the first year for the university’s FUSE program, which is an initiative of North Georgia’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA) and is funded by the School of Science & Health Professions. The program is designed to allow students to work on research proposals in various fields with the assistance of a supervising professor. “It was nice to have a time solely dedicated to the research compared to having to focus on classes as well. I also enjoyed hearing other students discuss their projects in detail and being a part of a community in the process,” Leman said. Tomlinson and her students were granted 200,000 supercomputing units on the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) network, a resource made possible through 17 partner sites and the support of the National Science Foundation. The units act as a sort of timeshare to enable research of possible chemical structures for use in organic, hydrocarbon-based solar cells. XSEDE is a cluster of supercomputers used to compute calculations that are beyond the capacity of a standard desktop computer. According to Tomlinson, quantum mechanical computations that could take as long as a week to solve on a typical computer can be solved in as little as an hour using processors on the XSEDE network. Access to this resource makes research more efficient and has helped the researchers identify potential polymers to make the construction of solar cells more effective and reduce their environmental impact, she said. Since gaining access to supercomputers in fall 2010, several students working on the project have presented research at two conferences and written three papers, including one that has been accepted for publication. Students will continue to present their findings gathered with this grant in additional papers to be submitted for publication titled “An Evaluation of Hybrid Density Functional Methods when Applied to Benzobisazoles” and “Improving the Optical and Electronic Properties of Benzobisoxazoles via Aryl Substitution.” This fall, Ryno continued work on the research project and was awarded an honorable mention that included a one-year membership to the American Chemical Society during the 6th Herty Medalist Undergraduate Research Symposium (HMURS). Four faculty members and eight students from North Georgia attended the symposium.

School of Science & Health Professions

The Department of Nursing recently acquired an $80,000 patient simulator named iStan. The new high-tech simulator gives nursing students of all levels at North Georgia the chance to hone their skills without the fear of harming a live patient, experience that professors say is invaluable. He talks and has a measureable pulse and reactive pupils. He is as physiologically correct as possible and even can emit realistic fluids -- sweat, tears and urine -- in addition to various bodily sounds that can be programmed.

The Department of Physical Therapy’s Gold Dust Riders Hippotherapy Camp, in collaboration with HEART Equestrian Center, enables students to serve disabled children and adults with hippotherapy. The department’s Russell’s Racers is also growing and continues to provide opportunities for adults with disabilities to participate in 5 k races and 1 mile fun walks with support of the physical therapy students. A $1.8 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will allow North Georgia’s Appalachian Nurse Practitioner Clinic to continue serving patients in its campus clinic and expand satellite clinic locations. The clinic provides health care to those who cannot afford insurance or are underinsured.

Dr. Aimee Tomlinson, standing, looks over research results with two students in her undergraduate chemistry classes. Steven Thrasher, center, and Alden Ryno have been working on projects since January 2011.

2011, Vol. 2


Corps of Cadets

Nathan Turk, assistant director of cadet admissions, and Jordan Gomolak, both former members of the university’s Corps of Cadets, graduated from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School on Aug. 5. Turk currently serves as an infantry officer in the Georgia Army National Guard in addition to his position at the university. Army Ranger School is taught in three “phases.” Students spend three weeks at Fort Benning, three weeks in the mountains at Camp Merrill in Dahlonega, and nearly three weeks in the swamps at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Pictured with Turk are Dr. Terry McLead and LTC (retired) Keith Antonia.

North Georgia turned out in force to donate blood for the Armed Services Blood Program. The goal of the blood drive was to have 200 units of blood donated, and that goal was met and exceeded. Army personnel from North Carolina also helped with the drive, since their local blood drives had been cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. The blood drive is held annually at North Georgia College & State University. The university is helping to launch the Cadet English Language Training Team (CELTT), an initiative through U.S. Cadet Command that will involve ROTC cadets from North Georgia and around the country. The idea is that American cadets will teach English to their foreign military counterparts, providing an opportunity for a service learning project for the Americans and an exchange of languages and cultures for all those in the program. The first team had training at Fort Knox, Ky., this summer and then spent several weeks in Tanzania, largely to begin planning and preparation for the program.


North Georgia Leader

Two North Georgia cadets post top scores at LDAC, earn high rank on Order of Merit List Two members of the university’s Boar’s Head Brigade distinguished themselves at this summer’s U.S. Army Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) by placing in the top two of their respective regiments. Also known as Operation Warrior Forge, LDAC is the capstone training and assessment exercise for the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. This summer, about 7,000 Army ROTC cadets from more than 1,100 colleges and universities attended Operation Warrior Forge, held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Cadet Matthew Upshaw, of Aiken, S.C., received the ComTek Leadership Award for being the top cadet in the 13th Regiment. He also received the AUSA Leadership Excellence Award and the Bank of America Coin for the achievement. For being the top cadet in his company, Upshaw also received the Warrior Forge Commander’s Leadership Award. Cadet Katherine Register was recognized as the No. 2 cadet in the 7th Regiment, earning the LTG Sinclair L. Melner Award. Register also received the Warrior Forge Commander’s Leadership Award, presented to the top cadet in each of a regiment’s two companies. She was the 7th Regiment’s top female cadet in all three portions of the Army Physical Fitness Test for an overall score of 342-just 9 points behind the 7th’s top male cadet. Register also was the top-ranked North Georgia Cadet Katherine Register from North cadet on the 2011 National Order of Merit list, at Georgia College & State University 124. Cadet Joanna Schell was the second-highest receives the LTG Sinclair Melner ranked North Georgia cadet on the OML, at 180. Award from COL Charles Evans during Thirteen North Georgia cadets were ranked in graduation ceremonies on Joint Base the top 20 percent and 73 total cadets from North Lewis-McChord, Wash. Georgia were among the 5,643 cadets from across the nation who were ranked on the list. In addition to the recognition for Upshaw and Register at LDAC, several North Georgia cadets were given the Platoon Leadership Award this summer. The top cadet in each of 10 platoons for all 14 regiments is recognized and those from North Georgia earning honors were: Ashleigh Isaacson, 12th Regiment, Alpha Company, 2nd Platoon; Paul Johnston, 12th Regiment, Alpha Company, 4th Platoon; Michael Galanis, 12th Regiment, Bravo Company, 2nd Platoon; Lamaren Taylor, 7th Regiment, Bravo Company, 2nd Platoon; Joanna Schell, 8th Regiment, Alpha Company, 5th Platoon; Benjamin Nycum, 5th Regiment, Alpha Company, 4th Platoon; James Webb, 4th Regiment, Bravo Company, 1st Platoon. Cadets at Warrior Forge are tested on their physical stamina, endurance, ability to navigate over difficult terrain, and their team-building and leadership skills. The course is required of all contracted Military Science III cadets, those who will be commissioning into the U.S. Army upon their graduation Retired LTC Wes Williams presents Cadet Matthew from a senior military college. Since Upshaw from North Georgia College & State University 2007, North Georgia has bested all with the ComTek Leadership Award for being the top cadet in 13th Regiment during graduation ceremonies five other senior military colleges in at Joint Base Lewis- McChord, Wash. U.S. Army photo the number of cadets receiving an by Al Zdarsky “excellent” rating at LDAC. Register and Schell also were recognized as Distinguished Military Students (DMS) in September. DMS recognition is based on outstanding qualities of leadership, high moral character, academic excellence, and a definite aptitude and interest in the military service.

North Georgia athletes lead division in raising funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation The Department of Athletics at North Georgia College & State University has topped every NCAA Division II institution in the country for the most funds raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation during 2010-11. After finishing fourth in the country just last year, the Saints have been on a mission and nearly doubled their funds raised with nation-leading $10,265 during the 2010-11 academic year. “This is a testament to the dedication the student-athletes at North Georgia have taken to improving the lives of others,” Hilary Cox, North Georgia Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president and softball player, said. “Our Student Athlete Advisory Committee has From the efforts of student athletes a year ago, done a phenomenal job raising money through a local wish was granted to 16-year-old Brittany the years. Hopefully we can continue to improve West, who is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia. our totals each year, which will allow us to help Brittany and her family flew to Hollywood last more children in the future.” year to meet Miley Cyrus and enjoy a vacation at Not even a depressed economy can stop Universal Studios. Division II’s Make-A-Wish fundraising efforts. Despite facing the most difficult financial climate in decades, Division II student-athletes across the country raised $405,752 for Make-AWish in 2010-11, almost matching the record of $407,683 set the year before. “North Georgia is definitely an example to Division II at large,” Nathan Kafer, Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee chairman, said. “We’re glad that this is sort of taking off for different schools, and I’m really proud of North Georgia for their effort.” North Georgia is granting wishes in the local community in addition to raising money. From the efforts of student athletes a year ago, a local wish was granted to 16-year-old Brittany West, who is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Brittany and her family flew to Hollywood last year to meet Miley Cyrus and enjoy a vacation at Universal Studios. In April, Brittany was an honorary captain at a North Georgia softball game and was recognized for bravery as she continues to fight leukemia. “North Georgia’s commitment to Make-A-Wish is a direct reflection of the commitment Division II has taken through the years,” North Georgia Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves said. “This is a wonderful partnership and we are thankful to have the opportunity to participate.” The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Born in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the foundation is Top 5 Institutions now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 66 chapters in the United States 1. North Georgia $10,265.00 and its territories. 2. Texas A & M-Kingsville 8,005.78 With the help of generous donors and more 3. Abilene Christian 7,907.34 than 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish 4. Massachesetts Lowell 7,132.63 Foundation grants a wish every 40 minutes 5. Pittsburgh-Johnstown 6,370.00 and has granted more than 171,000 wishes in the U.S. since inception. Make-A-Wish and NCAA Division II entered into a partnership Top 5 Conferences in 2003. The Northeast-10 Conference led the 1. Northeast-10 $30,653.00 way nationally for Division II conferences, 2. Penn. State Athletic 24,799.61 raising $30,653. They were followed by the 3. Peach Belt 24,169.72 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference at 4. Lone Star 24,151.73 $24,799 and the Peach Belt Conference, which 5. South Atlantic 20,489.85 includes North Georgia, with $24,169.72.

Saints Sports North Georgia’s women’s soccer team got off to a great start this fall, opening the season ranked No. 20 in the nation. The team has climbed higher into the national ranks through the season. Emily Dover also was recognized during the season as a Peach Belt offensive player of the week. The team is led by head coach Chris Adams and assistant coach Stacey Balaam.

A new student initiative offers the chance to get free stuff while cheering on North Georgia College & State University athletics. “Loyal Blue” was designed to reward students for their commitment and support of the 11 athletic programs and nearly 200 studentathletes at North Georgia. Students who attend North Georgia athletic events earn points in their Loyal Blue account with each visit. Fans with the highest point totals at the end of each month are rewarded with gifts like official Saints apparel, gift certificates, free food at athletic events and Saints fan gear.

Division II

North Georgia’s Intercollegiate Rifle team selected Tori Kostecki to assume the full-time role of coach, beginning immediately after her graduation in May. The team returns to NCAA Division II and varsity status, having hired a full-time head coach.

2011, Vol. 2


Pr e si de n t

Bonita Jacobs Building on a Tradition of Excellence W

hat attracted Dr. Bonita Jacobs to seek the presidency of North Georgia College & State University? That’s an easy answer for her: the university’s academic strength and reputation, the beauty of the area, and the Corps of Cadets. Jacobs took office as the university’s 17th president on July 1, 2011. She is North Georgia’s first female president and only the second woman to lead one of the nation’s six senior military colleges. Jacobs hit the ground running in July and hasn’t stopped since. She has met with alumni groups around the country, visited the Army’s Leadership Development Assessment Course (LDAC), has met with state and community leaders, has met with students, parents, faculty and staff, and helped open new campus facilities. LDAC, held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, is one of the Army’s largest annual training exercises and is designed to evaluate cadets’ leadership skills. This summer, about 7,000 thirdyear cadets from around the country participated. With nearly 100 cadets attending from North Georgia, it was the largest

President Jacobs met several North Georgia alumni during her visit to the Army’s LDAC this summer.


North Georgia Leader

contingent from a single school. “I was very impressed with what I saw and learned at LDAC,” Jacobs said. “From those I talked with and met, it was clear that North Georgia has a stellar reputation for producing first-class military officers.” The native Texan earned her doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University and while there learned what a positive influence a Corps of Cadets can be on a college campus – particularly in terms of instilling respect, building community, and developing traditions. “Most universities can boast quality in one or more of three A’s: academics, arts and athletics,” Jacobs told a group recently. “North Georgia is exceptional because it excels in all three of those areas and a fourth A – Army ROTC.” Jacobs came to North Georgia from the University of North Texas, where she served as the executive director of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students, professor of counseling and higher education, and vice president for student development. With an extensive background in student development and student access, she connects with North Georgia’s student-focused college experience. Regent Richard L. Tucker, who served as the chair of the Special Regents’ Committee for the presidential search for North Georgia, said, “Dr. Jacobs’ focus on helping students adjust to the college experience and preparation for the future is a perfect fit for North Georgia, which specializes in leadership training and producing leaders.” In a period where higher education nationally is facing enormous public scrutiny to prove its value, Jacobs is determined to garner support for North Georgia’s mission. “As president, one of my top priorities is to ensure the financial stability of the university and one key to that is to bring national attention to North Georgia’s academic excellence, leadership development opportunities, and our unique campus community that blends military training and liberal arts education.”

She is driven by the university’s need to develop financial resources to offset dwindling state economic support, but also to remind alumni, community members and legislators what an asset North Georgia is to the state. “Our state allocations have been reduced by about 40 percent since 2009, and only about 40 percent of our operating budget comes from state resources,” she said. “As an institution that was already very lean, we have reduced costs in every conceivable way while trying to minimize the impact on students. With no room left to cut, we have to develop the resources to Accompanied by her help students reach their husband, Glenn, President educational goals.” Jacobs served as the In sharing that vision with honorary Grand Marshal in community members and Dahlonega’s Independence civic groups, Jacobs is quick Day Parade. to point out North Georgia’s academic strength and accomplishments. “North Georgia is a great university with outstanding students and a world-class faculty that contribute to an excellent academic reputation and enviable results, including the state’s third highest grade point average for entering freshmen,” she said. “That is the best predictor of academic success, and it shows that North Georgia attracts high caliber students who are focused on attaining a strong education.” Further, Jacobs welcomes the prospect of new state funding models based on performance measures like graduation and retention rates. “Our graduation rate is significantly better than the average for state universities in Georgia, and our retention rate of 81 percent is high based on national trends,” Jacobs said. “Those achievements place North Georgia among the top institutions in Georgia.” Jacobs knows that strong cultural opportunities and athletic programs complement the university’s academic and leadership programs, and that they also serve as a bridge to the local community. “A university plays an important role in bringing quality arts programs to its community, and we will explore opportunities to enhance the community’s tremendous cultural assets in ways that also benefit the university and our students,” she said. “Similarly, athletics is a really important part of the college experience and helps build community; North Georgia’s athletic

program is excellent, and we need to develop more support for it.” The new president has noted that, as a community of scholars, the university’s mission to serve students and to develop and educate leaders for today’s global community is the catalyst for everything it does. “I am inspired by North Georgia’s mission and the President Jacobs with possibilities that we provide for University System of students to achieve their dreams,” Georgia Chancellor she said. Hank Huckaby. Jacobs will be formally installed as president on March 23, and the investiture ceremony will be part of a weeklong inauguration celebration that highlights the university’s mission and values. Activities will feature academics, service, and military education. “I strongly considered not having an inauguration, given the current economic climate, however, this is a rare opportunity to highlight our institutional mission and identity, to build community, and to raise money to increase the amount of student scholarships we are able to provide,” Jacobs said. The inauguration will be supported through sponsorships and private funds and will culminate with a scholarship ball to generate funds for talented students with high financial need. “As we consider our heritage and our future as a university, there is a lot of positive momentum at North Georgia,” Jacobs said. “We have a strong tradition of excellence, and I am honored to be part of this dedicated community.” —Kate Maine To learn more about President Jacobs, visit

President Jacobs with Bob Babich and the Alumni Council.

Changes to HOPE increase need for scholarships tudents at North Georgia College & State University and across the nation are struggling from two opposing trends — increasing enrollment is causing operational costs to rise and funds from federal, state and private sources are dwindling. Kirsten Dennis, an Eatonton, Ga., junior studying business management, took out loans and started work-study this year to supplement the Montgomery GI Bill and a U.S. Army Tuition Assistance grant. She’s a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, but having a guaranteed job when she graduates doesn’t keep Dennis’ worries at bay. “The more student loans I take out, the more I have to pay back and I don’t ever want to go into default. I don’t want to start off with bad credit,” Dennis said. “I’m just trying to hurry up and graduate so I won’t have to worry too much about the increase in tuition.” Student Government Association President Patrick Pickens, a junior from Cumming, Ga., said paying for school is students’ biggest concern. “I would say the most important issue from a student perspective is finding the means to come to college,” Pickens said. “The students at North Georgia clearly value higher education, but if you can’t pay for it, then it becomes very difficult.” To right an economic ship that has been sailing in troubled waters since 2008, local, state and federal cuts targeted all sectors, including higher education. In 1995, state funding paid 75 percent of the expense of higher education for each student. Today, state funding covers a little more than half, and Georgia’s spending per college student has dropped to 1994 levels. “It really becomes an issue of whether it is a priority in Georgia to fund education,” Mac McConnell, North Georgia’s vice president for business and finance and a 1979 graduate, 16

North Georgia Leader

said. “If it is, then we need to find ways to increase funding and increase state support of public institutions of higher education.” In fiscal year 2009, the state legislature cut University System of Georgia (USG) funding 11.25 percent. The USG budget has been cut every year since, totaling nearly 38 percent in reductions. In fiscal year 2012, for the first time since the higher education funding formula was created, the legislature did not fund the formula. The formula is designed to fund colleges and universities for comparative year growth in credit hours generated. In 2010, Pickens was among hundreds of students who went to Atlanta to voice opposition to stiff budget cuts and HOPE scholarship changes proposed by the legislature. Pickens studies biology and chemistry at North Georgia and $












1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012


Source: University System of Georgia

North Geo r Rate of 59 gia’s Graduation highest am.73% ranks 2nd universities ong the regional among all and 4th highest USG Instit utions.

Instruction Expenditures as compared to other USG Institutions

receives the Zell Miller HOPE Scholarship, the Nathaniel Hansford Leadership Scholarship and a private scholarship. He said cuts to the HOPE scholarship were “eye-

1. University Medical College of Georgia 2. Middle Georgia College 3. Gordon College 4. North Georgia College & State University 5. Macon State College 6. Dalton State College 7. Gainesville State College 8. Georgia Highlands College 9. Armstrong Atlantic State University 10. Darton College

58.56% 56.78% 54.72% 54.43% 52.73% 52.73% 51.99% 50.80% 50.18% 49.75%

opening for a lot of students.” North Georgia has strived to avoid cuts in the classroom, McConnell said, cutting support staff and maintenance budgets instead. North Georgia has one of the lowest perstudent expenditure rates for administration and one of the 34. Waycross College 35.35% highest per-student expenditure rates for instruction in the 35. University of Georgia 35.02% university system. System-wide Total 42.79% A student body that has increased 53 percent in the past 10 years is making it difficult to make up falling state funding Source: University System of Georgia with cuts alone, McConnell said. As public institutions absorb enrollment growth, more facilities, services, college without financial aid. programs and faculty are needed for the additional “Our parents are not affluent, and, just students. like it was for my older brother, they said “We’d very much like to slow the rate of that I was going to have to get a scholarship increase on tuition, but to do so because they couldn’t afford to pay for my T A will require an increase in both S college education,” senior cadet MAJ Josh s ’ eorgia nks 3rd G state support and philanthropic Middleton said. h t r ra No 7 l 0 a support,” McConnell said. 1 n The Georgia Military Scholarship, 1 o i f o Score among the regighest Pickens feels traditional available only to North Georgia cadets h t funding sources for higher who commit to the Georgia National highes ities and 5th tutions. i s t education are going away. “With r s e Guard, pays all tuition, fees, books and n v i i un USG l l HOPE funds drying up, I think a living expenses. In addition, students g n amo that we’re going to strongly rely on like the Middletons also get drill pay alumni and other forms of revenue and funds from the GI Bill as members of the Georgia for scholarships.” National Guard. Across the country, cuts in higher education have Grace Middleton, a freshman, said unlike some of her been coupled with cuts to financial aid programs. In Georgia, friends, the scholarship means she can concentrate on many watched closely as the state legislature made changes to studying and corps responsibilities, not paying for school. the HOPE scholarship to keep the program solvent. “When you’re in the corps, that takes up so much of your On average, changes to HOPE meant students had to time,” she said. “The corps tells you to focus on your grades come up with an additional $736 per semester, Financial Aid Director Jill Rayner said. Recent changes to federal financial aid programs have also impacted students. “Though we tried to warn students and tell them what was happening, when they saw what their financial aid was going to pay out of their invoice, it was a stark reality,” Rayner said, noting one student lost $7,000 in aid due to program changes or cuts. At North Georgia, 92 percent of students receive some financial aid, from a full scholarship to a student loan. Many families are seeking help for the first time as they find themselves in financial crisis from the economic downturn, Rayner said. After putting aside money for 18 years, some parents had to dip into their child’s college fund to pay for the family’s basic living expenses. Siblings Josh and Grace Middleton, both members of the Corps of Cadets who attend North Georgia on the Georgia Kirsten Dennis, an Eatonton, Ga., junior studying business management at North Georgia, answers phones in the Financial Aid Office. In addition to receiving multiple Military Scholarship, say they wouldn’t be able to attend forms of financial assistance, Dennis has had to take a part-time job to pay for school.

2011, Vol. 2


caption needed here Grace Middleton goes over her assignments with older brother Josh Middleton. The siblings, both members of the Corps of Cadets, say they couldn’t afford to attend college without the Georgia Military Scholarship.

and focus on growing in your leadership, so you really don’t have time for a job. The military scholarships make it where school is your job, which I really think is the way it should be.” Increasingly, families have been getting private loans to pay for college, an option Rayner considers “a last resort” because of higher fees and interest rates. In the 2010-2011 academic year, North Georgia students had $850,000 in private loans; this fall alone, students have $707,000. According to the 2012 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group, North Georgia still was the second-ranked regional university in the South for the least amount of debt load for the class of 2010. Future changes and cuts to financial aid programs could include eliminating federally subsidized loans for graduate students, reducing military benefits for education, lowering Pell awards and eliminating the year-round option for Pell, Rayner said. McConnell hopes the worst economic troubles are behind for Georgia. Gov. Nathan Deal has established the Education Finance Study Commission to consider bringing back formula funding in 2013 — with changes rewarding schools for performance, not just growth. “If they add back the formula funding in 2013, that will help support the enrollment growth we’ve had,” McConnell said. “And, if they add performance components to the formula, that will be good for North Georgia, too, because we’re at the top of the class in many performance measures.” The message that Pickens wants lawmakers to hear from students is that higher education is a valuable asset to Georgia. “Statistics show that if you go to college in Georgia, chances are you’re going to stay in the Georgia economy and contribute more in taxes,” he said. “Higher education is important not only to the university itself, but to the entire community.” —Edie Rogers 18

North Georgia Leader

Instruction Operations/Maintenance

Institutional Support Student Services Academic Support Source: North Georgia College & State University Office of Budget & Finance

Support scholarships, a specific sport, special projects, or the general fund with your contribution. The Saints Club is the fundraising arm of North Georgia College & State University Athletics. Our mission is to support more than 200 student athletes and their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.

Saints Club Annual Giving Opportunities For more information, contact the Advancement Office at 706.867.2873 or visit

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Thank you for supporting the North Georgia Fund. Your gifts to the North Georgia Fund - each and every year - are vital to the continued success of our programs and traditions. Every gift is important. Contact Jeff Boggan, Director of Development, 706-864-1999 or

The Fiddleheads still are scratching their heads over how they ended up on national television, but they agree the group wouldn’t exist without North Georgia College & State University. “There’s no other school probably where this group would have come together,” said Michael Wallace, a senior at North Georgia and guitarist for the band. The group, made up of North Georgia students and alumni, spent a whirlwind summer competing on the reality television show America’s Got Talent. The Fiddleheads made it through tryouts in Atlanta and Las Vegas to be part of live broadcasts from Hollywood, but didn’t advance to the finals. Zak McConnell, a 2011 North Georgia graduate who started The Fiddleheads, said his experiences at the university helped him keep a level head throughout the competition. “North Georgia helped me be more humble, so when I went out there in front of all the people I still kept my head,” he said. “I knew that as a band we’re good and individually we’re good musicians, and we should be proud of it, but we shouldn’t be egotistical.” 20

In 2007, McConnell started a to high school with McConnell and bluegrass ensemble in the university’s attended Gainesville State College with Department of Performing Arts. The Adam Kersh, lead vocalist and former group fizzled in fall 2009 when members North Georgia student, and had just got too busy or graduated. McConnell, transferred into North Georgia’s music the band’s mandolin player, and Jake education program. He rounded out Larios, a banjo player who was a freshthe first version of The Fiddleheads -- a man at the time, decided to form a new quartet that performs contemporary band. music on traditional bluegrass instru“I applied here because I already ments. knew about the bluegrass ensemble, They performed off and on for several through my brother who graduated from months, including a pre-Valentine’s Day North Georgia in 2010,” Larios, a memshow in 2010 at which Kersh briefly ber of the Corps of Cadets, said. “And took the stage with ve and Tryg it’s a good area for this kind of music, so l Wallace e am a d h A ic t. M n L arios, Got Tale I ended up coming here nell, Jake ood of America’s n o cC M , Zak Hollyw d. from left cast from nd, is not picture and that’s why I leheads, ve broad a li b a e The Fidd g th n f o ri u continue playing ad singer erform d Myers, p Kersh, le music.” Their search for musicians led them to Wallace, who had played a bit with the original ensemble. “I was already on the JV team and Zak pulled me up to varsity,” Wallace said with a laugh. Trygve Myers went

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by: Trae ads Photo e Fiddlehe Pictured: Th

C/NB Patton/NB

Bank CU Photo

McConnell to sing a couple of love songs. Then, opportunity found them. In January, the band landed a VIP audition for America’s Got Talent through a radio station contest, thanks to a video submitted by Wallace’s dad. Their VIP slot sent them to the front of the line, passing hundreds of people who had camped overnight for the chance to spend 90 seconds in front of show producers. The Fiddleheads got a positive response, but were advised to find a The Fiddleheads share a common love for ma singer and submit videos. king music. Photo pro vided by Brian Wallac e. McConnell contacted Kersh, who was singing and leading worship as a youth 48 acts chosen to come from different backgrounds and minister when called about joining the perform on live television in Los Angebring their varied musical tastes to the band. “I didn’t think we’d make it very les. An estimated 42,000 to 45,000 acts mix, but share a common love for makfar, but I thought it would be a blast,” from across the country tried out for the ing music. Kersh said. show. “We weren’t there yet and we’re still Three months after sending four, In Hollywood, producers gave The not,” McConnell said. “We’re still trying 90-second videos to show producers, Fiddleheads a new look -- swapping to figure each other out and figure out McConnell got the good news -- The their jeans and button downs for shiny what sounds good and what everybody Fiddleheads had been chosen for the pants and skinny ties -- and encouraged wants to do.” first city audition round, which would them to dance around. All five agree that one thing they rebe in front of the judges and would be “The main idea was trying to make us ally want to do is write their own music, televised. McConnell asked where the look like a super star, rock band,” Myers and Kersh said they started bonding as a auditions would be filmed. said. “The producers had our best interband when they started creating. “In the back of my mind, I was like, ests at heart; they were just wrong.” “When we started writing together, it ‘If it’s at the Fox Theater, I’m literally Though The Fiddleheads were among seemed that in about 30 minutes we had going to pass out right here in this the top five vote-getters in their group flown, musically and lyrically, almost all chair,’” McConnell said. “For musicians, of 12, the judges eliminated the band on the way through the song,” Kersh said. the Fox Theater is the holy grail. The the July 13 show. The group was invited “We were playing off of each other and greatest of all time have played there to return as a “wild card” act to perform it felt good.” and I’ve watched many of them.” on a second live broadcast on Aug. 16, Myers, too, is excited about the mateIt was, but he didn’t pass out. but was not chosen to advance. rial they’re working on: “We’re really Despite eventually going to Las Vegas McConnell credits the support of enjoying it and we’re writing pretty and Hollywood and appearing on live their friends, family, hometowns and hard.” television, The Fiddleheads agreed that university with getting them to HollyTheir path depends on what comes performing on stage at the Fabulous Fox wood, however brief their stay may have out of those songwriting efforts. McTheater in Atlanta was the highlight been. Connell said their different musical of the entire experience. The April 12 “Dahlonega and really Georgia carbackgrounds are influencing the unique audition was also the first time The ried us there. They are the reason that sound they’re creating as they work on Fiddleheads performed in public as a we were there, and we owe them everywriting their own music. quintet, but family and friends went to thing,” McConnell said. “That’s why we “Adam started singing with us origithe audition, waving signs and cheering got as far as we did and why we were as nally for purposes of the show, but now, them on. successful as we were.” post-show, we’re looking at different “In Atlanta, the crowd response really The end of the competition meant things and experimenting with making helped us,” Larios said. returning to school and work, but not music to see what happens,” McConnell The next step, a July 5 tryout in Las an end to The Fiddleheads; instead, said. “If you find a group of guys that Vegas, was a lot tougher because it may have been only the beginning. you like and you mesh with and you they played only for the three The America’s Got Talent experience perform well with and you enjoy playing celebrity judges, no screaming left little time for the newly formed music with, that should be the goal, to audience. But The Fiddleheads Fiddleheads to bond as a band and find create something new and unique.” advanced again, and were among their identity. All five band members —Edie Rogers 2011, Vol. 2


Association Increases activity and value


t has been a very busy summer for North Georgia! We welcome our 17th president to campus. Dr. Bonita Jacobs has been very busy getting Bob Babich ’85 up to speed on campus and President, with alumni. NGCSU Alumni Association She has been to several alumni gatherings in Texas, Washington state, South Carolina, and Georgia. While in Washington, she took the time to see our cadets in action at LDAC. She participated with them and fired the M-60 machine gun! Welcome to North Georgia, Dr. Jacobs! We are glad to have you on board and look forward to your leadership. Congratulations to North Georgia! The 2012 US News & World Report rankings for Best Colleges were recently published and North Georgia ranked 18th among the South’s public regional universities. Congratulations to our Corps of Cadets! They did a great job at LDAC this summer and ranked among the nation’s best cadets….AGAIN! Congratulations to our North Georgia softball team. For the third year in a row, they won the Peach Belt Conference. They ended up fourth in the nation this year! If you have not been to a Saints sporting event lately, you are missing some great athletic talent and competition. Support our teams when you are in the area or when the teams might be in your area. North Georgia’s teams include baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, and rifle! The Council and Alumni Association have been busy supporting many events to meet and engage alumni. 22

North Georgia Leader

Here are a few events that have drawn great feedback: Huntsville, AL area meeting, North Atlanta area meeting (The Fiddleheads played and were very well received. You may have seen them perform this summer on America’s Got Talent), Young Alumni Board meeting, Family Weekend, the first annual Legacy Luncheon, the Distinguished Military Student Luncheon, reunions for the Classes of ’66, ’71,’76 and ’85. October brought a Buckhead-area meeting, the annual Gold Rush Alumni Association Reception, and a new Young Alumni Reception. The next six months looks to be just as busy with Homecoming on Jan. 28, the Athens-area gathering in February or March, a South Carolina-area gathering in March, the Presidential Inauguration in March, and Parents-Alumni Weekend, April 20-22. We would love to see you at some of these events! We have heard many comments from our alumni about increasing our activity and have done just that. In an effort to reach the next level of support to you, our alumni, and the university, we have made the tough decision to raise dues. Dues have not been raised since the early 1980s. We have continued to cut our budget during these tough economic times, and have evaluated raising dues over the past four years. The Council spent the last year evaluating the dues structure again, and unanimously passed a new structure. Dues have increased slightly, and we have offered options for paying for your Lifetime memberships in installments, and offered a Senior Level for Lifetime dues. This went into effect in August, and we are happy to report that August and September have been great months. Thank you for your continued support! Here are a few values that you get for your membership that you may not be aware of today: • NEW medical and insurance plan coming soon

• 25% discount on The Dahlonega Nugget delivery • 15% discount on all merchandise in the new bookstore located on Chestatee Street • 10% discount off Saints Club Membership (all levels) The economy is indeed a tough one today. Our alumni, both young and old, are finding it more and more difficult to gain and maintain employment. Along with this issue is the increasing challenge to get insurance at affordable rates. Over the past three years, the Alumni Council has engaged subject matter experts and invested a lot of time and energy evaluating and deciding what, how and when to offer a plan to our alumni. I am proud to announce that the North Georgia Alumni Association has teamed up with Marsh U.S. Consumer to offer carefully selected insurance programs from some of the nation’s leading insurance carriers, which are designed to meet a variety of needs at various stages of life. Marsh is well known for providing a competitive advantage in the marketing and servicing of alumni association insurance programs. Alumni choosing to participate will get group rate discounts. This won’t be for everyone, but alumni we have polled are excited about this offering. More details coming soon! Please feel free contact council members to let them know what you would like to see in the future. We are here to represent you, and are trying to add more value to your membership. Let us know what is important to you by reaching and engaging with a member today! Please come by campus this fall when you are out enjoying the fall colors. Our campus today stands tall with many new buildings and improvements. We are offering our students a first-class college experience to which many of you have contributed! Thank you for your continued support of North Georgia and your Alumni Association! 2010, Vol. 2


Alumni Association seeks award nominees Elizabeth Rhodes

The Awards and Scholarships Committee of the NGCSU Alumni Association needs your help with nominations for the awards that will be presented at the Parents Alumni Weekend Banquet on April 21, 2012. Please consider nominating someone you know for the following awards. Alumni Hall of Fame This award is presented to alumni who have distinguished themselves through outstanding professional careers and/ or contributions to community service. Distinguished Alumnus This award is presented to alumni who have an extraordinary record of service and support to North Georgia.

ALUMNI COUNCIL Robert J. “Bob” Babich, II ’85, president Elizabeth Rhodes ’66, vice president Alan Ware ’77, secretary Chris Kemp ’90, treasurer Brad Barton ’94 Ben Clark ’75 Nancy Clark ’54 Amy Jarrard Coffee ’97 Jason Cox ’01 Greg Smith ’76 Matt McRee ’89 Roger Waldrop ’60 Bernex E. Richardson ’08 Andrea Strickland ’69 Tommy Thomas ’82

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS Dr. Bonita C. Jacobs NGCSU President Frank “Mac” McConnell ’79 NGCSU VP Business & Finance Dr. Andy Leavitt NGCSU VP Institutional Advancement COL Tom Palmer ’73 Commandant of Cadets

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Phil Collins ’75 Director of Alumni Relations

Young Alumnus Award This award is presented to alumni who are within 20 years of their graduation and who have distinguished themselves through outstanding professional careers or outstanding contributions to community service. Ralph Colley Spirit of North Georgia Award This award is given to an alumnus who has experienced adverse circumstances in his or her life and has risen above those circumstances to live an exemplary life. Please write a paragraph about why you are nominating the North Georgia alum. Please include any contact information that you have on the nominee and send it via email to Elizabeth Rhodes at Elizabeth.rhodes@ by December 31.

Alumni Association On-Going Projects The Alumni Association is sponsoring two important programs of benefit to all alumni.

North Georgia College & State University Alumni Today is a must-have source of information for every alumnus. During the summer, Harris Connect, LLC, our publishing partner, began a systematic direct mail, E-mail and telephone campaign to contact each North Georgia alum for the purpose of updating their information. This massive effort will result in the publication of the first print directory of alumni since 2006. The directory will be available for shipment during the first quarter of 2012 and can be purchased in variety of styles and combinations including hard & soft covers, CD/ROM & Reunion Edition CD/ROM. The new format of this directory will feature photos and short stories submitted by alumni. Insurance Programs - Marsh U.S. Consumer is the Alumni Association’s choice to offer all North Georgia Alumni carefully selected insurance programs from some of the nation’s leading insurance carriers to meet your needs at a various stages of life. Marsh is well known for providing a competitive advantage in the marketing and service of alumni association insurance programs. Among the insurance offerings for alumni through the affiliation with Marsh will be Home & Auto with Liberty Mutual, Long Term Care, Short Term Medical, Individual Major Medical, Small Group Major Medical, Dental Indemnity & PPO, Dental HMO, Dental Schedule of Benefits Plans, Dental Discount Cards, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D & Medicare Supplement. *Availability of these products depends upon your state of residence. Watch your mail and E-mail for updates on these programs. 2011, Vol. 2


1960s Victoria RidgewayGillis ’68 joined the University of Wyoming - College of Education as the second Wyoming Excellence Endowed Chair of Literacy Education this fall 2011.

1970s LTG (R) Randy Mixon ’75 has accepted a new position with General Dynamics Information Technology in Orlando, FL as Vice President for Integrated Simulations and Training Solutions.

Iraq Alumni Lunch North Georgia alumni currently stationed in Taji, Iraq gathered for an alumni lunch in May. Hosted by LTC Dwayne Wilson ‘03, around 20 invitations were sent out to known contacts resulting in this fine group of 15 officers. Classes from 1986 to 2006 were represented!

1980s County, Georgia. Nix has worked for the county since 1984 and will also continue his role as public safety director.

COL Pete Hoffman ’81 completed a 30-year Army career and is now teaching high school math at Scott Alternative Learning Center. His wife Joanie Harris Hoffman ’81 and daughter Rebecca Hoffman ’08 reside in Savannah, Ga. Rebecca is a nurse at Memorial Hospital. Army Reserve COL Allan W. Elliott ’84 was nominated for promotion to the rank of brigadier general and for assignment as deputy commanding general, 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training), Charlotte, N.C. Elliott is currently serving as assistant chief, G4 plans, operations and force projection (individual mobilization augmenter), Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G4, U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Ga. Marty Nix ’84 was appointed as the assistant county administrator for Hall 24

North Georgia Leader

1990s Christian Kirby ’98 is now the principal of Little River Elementary School in Woodstock, Ga., after serving as assistant principal at both Oak Grove and Avery Elementary Schools.

2000’s Karen Treleven Schulze ’02 just celebrated her first wedding anniversary with husband David. She works at Riverside Military Academy

in Gainesville, Ga., as the donor relations coordinator for the school’s development office. Shannon Smith ’02 and her husband Michael Smith welcomed their first child, Harper Grace, on July 29, 2011. Dr. Caroline Fenley ’04 is teaching anatomy at the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee University. CPT Colin Sattler ’06 took command of Delta Company, 1-229th Aviation Regiment in January 2011. He and wife Erin (Martin) Sattler ’05, are stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, where she is serving as the

FRG Leader for the company. Colin is currently deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn. They have one son, Micah. James Parks ’06 is now chief deputy clerk of Forsyth County’s Clerk of Superior Court. He previously worked for the county parks and recreation department for 11 years. Kevin Skinner ’07 was voted Officer of the Year by his peers with the Suwanee Police Department, where he has worked as a patrol officer for the past three years.

CPT John A. Rogers ’07 is currently serving with the Army Ranger Training Battalion at Camp Merrill in Dahlonega. Since graduating and commissioning as an Infantry 2LT, John completed Ranger School, and a tour of duty with the 82nd Airborne Division, Pathfinder Company, Fort Bragg, NC. This assignment included a one-year deployment to Afghanistan. While at Fort Bragg John was selected for his present assignment – training Army Rangers at Camp Merrill. John is married to the former Laura Honeycutt of Fayetteville, NC, and they reside in Dahlonega.

Callie, J.J, and Samuel

Callie Wingo Wiley ’04 and her husband, J.J. Wiley, welcomed their first child, Samuel Paul Wiley, on Oct. 1. The couple resides in Gainesville, Ga. 

Kara Matter ’10 joined the Gainesville Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce staff in July 2011. She serves as membership coordinator and is responsible for chamber membership recruitment and retention programs.

General officers promoted MG James L. Terry, a 1978 graduate of North Georgia College & State University, has been nominated for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general, a rank that carries three stars. The announcement was made in August by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. The promotion includes assignment as the Commanding General, V Corps, U.S. Army, Europe and Seventh Army, Germany. He is currently serving as Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division (Light)/Commander, Regional Command South, International Security Assistance Force, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Afghanistan. He also is commander of Fort Drum in New York. He previously served as assistant professor of military science at North Georgia and as assistant commandant of cadets. MG Terry received his ROTC commission as an Infantry

second lieutenant in June 1978 from North Georgia and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He earned an MBA at Webster University and also attended the following military schools: Basic Airborne School, Army Ranger School, Infantry Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms and Services Staff School and the Command and General Staff Officer Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the National War College. MG Terry’s awards include the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal and the Expert Infantryman Badge. His wife, Julie, also is a 1978 graduate of North Georgia. They have three children, and two of them, Jared and Julianne, graduated from North Georgia as well. Additionally, BG Steve G. Fogarty (‘84) and BG Steve Townsend (‘82) both have been nominated to be promoted to the rank of major general, which carries two stars. Fogarty is serving as deputy chief of staff of intelligence for the International Security Assistance Force, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). Townsend is serving as director of the Pakistan/Afghanistan Coordination Cell, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.

2011, Vol. 2 25

Jarrard appointed deputy adjutant general of Ga. Army National Guard Gov. Nathan Deal appointed LTC (Ret.) Joe Jarrard as deputy adjutant general for Georgia’s Army National Guard and he began his new command Sept. 30. Jarrard is a 1988 graduate of North Georgia and served on active duty for more than 20 years. He retired a lieutenant colonel in April 2009 and has served in Afghanistan after that, most recently with the Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team, formerly under the command of Gen. David Petraeus. While on active duty, Jarrard served at numerous duty stations including Germany, Fort Stewart, Fort Riley, Fort Bragg and was deployed to Iraq twice. In 2003, he deployed as the battalion executive officer of 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2005, he deployed to Iraq as the deputy brigade commander of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade (Airborne) in support of the 101st Air Assault Division. Jarrard’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal. Jarrard currently resides in Dahlonega with his wife Susan, and their three sons, Ben, Will and Joseph. As deputy adjutant general, BG Jarrard is the Georgia Army National Guard Commander and is responsible for directing, coordinating, organizing and stationing the Georgia Army National Guard to ensure readiness to perform state and national missions. The Georgia Army National Guard makes up more than 75 percent of the Georgia National Guard. Jarrard will serve under the command of Adjutant Gen. Jim Butterworth, whose parents are North Georgia graduates. His father, Jim, is a 1965 graduate, and his mother, Sandy Brown BG Joe Jarrard (right) takes command of the Georgia Army National Guard. Butterworth, graduated in 1966.

Share your Class Notes!

The North Georgia College & State University Alumni Association and your classmates would like to hear from you! Simply send your updates via e-mail to, or fill out the form below and mail to: Office of Alumni Relations PO Box 1599 Dahlonega, GA 30533 Full Name: Contact phone:



North Georgia Leader

Photos, if submitted, must be 300 dpi.

Graduation Year:

Roberts leaves legacy of history Dr. Bill Roberts, former faculty years removed. His infectious joy at member and author of Georgia’s Best teaching history is not unlike a man Kept Secret: A History of North Georgia who loves to tell a good joke. We all College, passed away in August at the know just such a character. One who age of 89. Dubbed “Wild Bill” by his relishes the telling of the tale with students, Roberts was a professor of such delight that we are as much or history at North Georgia from 1949 more amused at the telling as we are until 1989. At his retirement, he was of the tale itself,” wrote Ralph Colley homecoming named Professor Emeritus of Social ’ Sciences for the University System of If you would like a free copy of Georgia. Roberts’ book about North Georgia, “For anyone who never sat under Dr. please contact the Office of Alumni Roberts, let me attempt to explain one Relations at alumni@northgeorgia. facet of the professor that contributes edu or by phone at 706-864-1545. to such lasting memories these 40 plus

In Memoriam North Georgia College & State University extends sympathy to the family and friends of the following alumni and friends, They are listed by class year with their date of death. Mr. Cecil C. Corry, Jr. ’37 Mr. Charles G. Crawford ’38


Mr. James H. Ponder ’50



MG Emory C.Parrish ’50


Mrs. Mary Daniel Baynes ’39


Mr. William E. Covington ’50

Mrs. Alma Dickerson Brown ’40


General William H. Harrison ’59

Mrs. Ramelle Eberhart Cason ’41


Mr. William Douglas Puryear ’61

5/8/2011 8/19/2011


Mrs. Sarah Willoughby Bryan ’70 7/6/2011

Mr. George H. Lipscomb ’41


Mr. Orris H. Burroughs ’42


MAJ (R) Christopher G. Cheek ’73 4/12/2011

Mr. Charles G. Lyle ’42


Mr. John R.Gilstrap’75


Mr. Joe Alfred Glosson, Jr. ’77


Dr. Robert J. Shankle ’43


COL Hugh H. Riddle ’43


Mr. Robert E. Evans ’43


Mr. Joseph W. Turner, Jr. ’43 Mr. Herschel R. Broxton ’44

Mrs. Vicki Shewbert Hix ’78


Mr. Stephen M. Pendergrass ’79



MAJ John W. Cooke, Jr. ’80



Mrs. Noel Floyd Howell ’02

3/17/2011 5/19/2011

Mr. William C. Bell, Jr. ’44


Ms. Mariana Spahija ’02

Mr. Matt Walter Kuhn ’47


Mrs. Marie Jones Bridges (Former Faculty)


COL Thomas J. Mathews ’48


Mr. Fred I. Blackmon (Friend)


Mr. Wesley H. Brower ’49


Mr. Roger E. Ash ’49


Mrs. Margaret Cobb Trice ’49


Mr. Joe H. Morgan (Retired Faculty) Dr. William P. “Wild Bill” Roberts (Retired Faculty)

8/17/201 8/28/2011

2011, Vol. 2


North Georgia College & State University shares values I hold dear, and I wanted to show my gratitude for the difference the univerity has made in my life and the lives of future generations.� J.T. Morgan earned a business degree in 1950 from North Georgia. A Distinguished Military Graduate, his time spent at North Georgia taught him organization, tolerance, and compassion, but mostly how to plan and prioritize. Through a planned gift to the NGCSU Foundation, J.T. will support the Mike Cottrell School of Business with the establishment of

Planned Giving

an endowed faculty chair in finance and real estate.

m ak ing th e gift of a lif eti m e To begin your Planned Giving initiative, contact Jeff Boggan, Director of Developent. 706-864-1999 •

Inauguration to raise funds for student scholarships

Dr. Andrew J. Leavitt Vice President for Advancement & Executive Director, NGCSU Foundation, Inc.

In accordance with the tradition of the Board of Regents and University System of Georgia, North Georgia College & State University will hold a Presidential Inauguration this spring. Dr. Bonita C. Jacobs will be formally installed as our 17th president in a ceremony on March 23 on our campus. All alumni and friends are invited to attend. The inauguration will be a special time for our community to reflect on the extraordinary history of North Georgia, celebrate our unique mission and traditions, and bring attention to this incredible institution. We have much to celebrate including the strength and excellence of our Corps of Cadets, the high quality of our academic programs, and the valuable impact our students, faculty and staff make on this region and the state through service and leadership. There will be many events held during this time to feature each of these components of North Georgia’s mission. It’s important to note that no public funds will be spent on the inauguration.

Given Dr. Jacobs’ focus on students, she has asked that the emphasis be placed on the students. To that end, this presidential inauguration will raise much-needed funds for student scholarships. We are asking all members of the North Georgia family to participate through sponsorship of inauguration events. These sponsorships will be made available through a separate mailing. By planning a conservative event, proceeds will be able to be used to fund student scholarships in the coming year. Student scholarships matter more than ever. With the changes in the HOPE Scholarship Program, a great many parents and students are finding paying tuition, fees, room and board more challenging than ever. Today, as has been the case for generations, North Georgia’s emphasis on leadership development and academic excellence, and its low cost in comparison to other institutions represent a tremendous educational value for our students. I invite you to participate in the inauguration and at the same time support the students this institution is committed to educating.

“...this presidential inauguration will raise much-needed funds for student scholarships.”


George E. Coleman, Jr. ’53, chairman Mary Helen McGruder ’68, vice chairman E. Paul Stringer ’53, secretary H. Dwight Mathews ’66, treasurer


William S. Chapman ’59 Dr. James A. Crupi ’70 Dr. Sherman Day Dr. Conrad H. Easley ’62 James Faulkner Leslie Fowler ’81 BG (R) David L. Grange ’70 Joe M. Hatfield ’85 COL (Ret.) T. Haines Hill ’56 Christopher H. Kitchens ’70 Ronald G. Larson Nick Massengill ’81 Robert S. Mathews ’71 J.T. Morgan ’50 Brooks M. Pennington, III Patricia Powell ’72 Janice H. Van Meter ’59 Barbara E. DeMarco Williams ’73


BG (R) Josiah Blasingame, Jr. ’54 Mike Cottrell GEN (R) William J. Livsey ’52


Dr. Bonita C. Jacobs, NGCSU President Bob Babich ’85, NGCSU Alumni Association President Don Nading, NGCSU Saints Club President Jonathan S. Miner, Faculty Representative Frank J.McConnell ’79, NGCSU Vice President for Business & Finance


Dr. Andrew Leavitt, Vice President for Advancement

2011, Vol. 2


Celebrate North Georgia highlights donor generosity August 6, 2011, was an exciting day on the North Georgia campus, as several “firsts” were observed as part of the annual “Celebrate North Georgia” event. This event was the first public event held at the new dining Guests at this summer’s Celebrate North Georgia event look over one of two Golden Steeple Socieities donor hall on campus, recognition walls installed at the university’s new dining including a hall. reception on the patio with a dramatic view of William J. Livsey Field and dinner in the new banquet hall. It was also the first major public event for North Georgia’s 17th president, Dr. Bonita C. Jacobs. The event also featured the public unveiling of a new donor recognition wall, located on the dining hall patio. Comprised of two sections, mounted on walls on opposite sides of the patio, the donor wall provides public recognition for those donors who have committed $10,000 or more of charitable giving on behalf of the university.

the obs talk s with a guest at President Bonita C. Jac right, At nt. eve Nor th Georgia August 2011 Celebrate l facility. hal ing din new the ng guests chat while enjoyi


North Georgia Leader

Donor names are listed according to levels of giving from $10,000 to $10 million. Also recognized on the wall are those who have notified the NGCSU Foundation of their provision for gifts to North Georgia in their estate plans, who are listed as members of the William Pierce Price Society. Special recognition is afforded to those who have made significant gifts to the Corps of Cadets and to North Georgia athletics programs, as well as to members of the now-closed Lifetime President’s Club. Donors whose lifetime giving was $5,000 or more were notified in March of their opportunity to be included on the donor wall. In response to this project, the NGCSU Foundation received new gift commitments totaling nearly $1.5 million. “This is a fantastic response from our most generous benefactors,” Dr. Andy Leavitt, vice president for advancement, said. “It gives us great confidence about the future of philanthropy at North Georgia, and we are grateful to the many alumni and friends who share their financial resources for the benefit of current and future students.” The donor listing on the wall will be updated annually, as warranted by additional gifts. —Jeff Boggan

For information about the Golden Steeple Societies donor recognition walls, contact Jeff Boggan, director of development, at 706864-1999 or

Ginn Brothers share their success North Georgia’s Ginn brothers – Jim and Jerry – are twins who graduated from North Georgia in 1964. They were both in the Corps of Cadets, both served in Vietnam, both are service-disabled veterans, both were Army aviators, and both retired from the Army as colonels. As many things as they have in common, they are also very different people. They have different personalities and interests. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, while Jerry earned his in physical education. After Jim left the Army, he worked for a company who required him to write a proposal for a government grant. His proposal was not funded, but it was so well written that the government agency gave the document to the company who had won the grant. Jim soon went to work for the other company, and he later became a consultant to both companies and others as well. Later, Jim started his own company to ensure his ability to retire at the level he wanted. Jerry joined him the in the business, and today The Ginn Group, Inc. is a successful group of companies, with Jim as president and chief executive officer, and Jerry as chief operating officer. The Ginn Group is categorized as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, which provides a variety of manufactured goods and services to corporate and institutional clients, including several government facilities. In some ways, parts of their business have been recession-proof, and the Ginn brothers are enjoying their business success. In late 2010, they began to have conversations with Development Officer Chris Church, to discuss ways in which they could give something back to their alma mater. As they

Seated, left to right, are: North Georgia Foundation Chairman George Coleman Jr. ‘53; Jerry Ginn ‘64; University President Bonita C. Jacobs; and Jim Ginn ‘64. Standing, left to right, are: Vice President for Advancement Andrew Leavitt; Christine Church, development officer for the School of Science & Health Professions; and COL (R) Tom Palmer ‘73, North Georgia’s commandant of cadets.

began to plan for the future of The Ginn Group, they also wanted to plan to share their success. Two of Jim’s children work in the family business, one as assistant CFO and one in the IT department. Jerry’s son Patrick, a 1991 North Georgia graduate, is a career Army officer and is not involved in the business. After several months of conversations, and weighing all of their options, the Ginn brothers decided to provide scholarships for members of the Corps of Cadets at North Georgia. In August, in a private ceremony, Jim and Jerry joined President Bonita Jacobs, Chris Church and NGCSU Foundation leaders to sign an agreement to establish the Ginn Group, Inc. Cadet Scholarship Fund. This scholarship provides funds for educational expenses of students who are currently enrolled in and in good standing with Corps of Cadets. The scholarship will be awarded to deserving cadets by the Commandant of Cadets according to the highest standards of the corps. The brothers have pledged to add significantly to

this fund each year, so long as their business success enables them to do so. In addition to their generous financial support, Jerry Ginn has expressed a strong interest in helping cadets who will soon receive their commissions to understand the need to plan their military careers with retirement in mind. Sharing that wisdom, in many cases, may prove to be as valuable as the financial support from a scholarship, and may help another alumnus to make a similar gift to North Georgia in the future. The generous financial commitments from Jim and Jerry Ginn, and others, gave North Georgia folks lots to celebrate at the event later that August evening in Dahlonega. It also provides a model that can be followed by others who feel they owe a debt of gratitude to North Georgia, the campus community where they got their start in life.

—Jeff Boggan

2011, Vol. 2


Morgan gift establishes faculty chair

Foundation launches new monthly giving options

J.T. Morgan (center) has committed $1.5 million to fund a faculty chair in finance and real estate in the Mike Cottrell School of Business. Pictured are: Mike Cottrell, Nancy Morgan, J.T. Morgan, Dr. Jacobs, and Dean Max Burns.

After receiving several requests from alumni and others, the NGCSU Foundation now offers an opportunity for automatic, recurring gifts to the Foundation. Gifts can be automatically drafted on a monthly schedule from either bank accounts or credit cards. The new monthly giving option allows donors to spread their gifts throughout the year. In an effort to limit transaction fees involved in posting each batch of these gifts, the program currently only allows drafts on the 7th and the 25th of each month. For more information about this monthly giving option, or to set up a recurring gift, please contact Pam Stoffel at 706-867-2873 or pstoffel@, or Julie Zeidler at 706-867-3574 or

Student callers make a difference Every year, several North Georgia students sign up for very important work – student caller for the North Georgia Fund Phonathon. The work is hard, often difficult, and sometimes really fun – and always an important part of maintaining contact with our alumni and friends. Potential callers are screened through an application and interview process. Once selected, they undergo introductory and ongoing training to help them be more effective as representatives of the university. They report to the calling center each Monday – Thursday to make calls between the hours of 6 and 8:30 p.m. These calls have several important objectives. First, they help the university keep in contact with alumni by gaining updated personal and contact information. This is critical since, in any given year, as many as one-third of our alumni change addresses or phone numbers or email addresses. The second purpose is to have conversations to provide campus updates to alumni and to learn about the person being called and their relationship with the university. This is the really fun part of the job, and callers enjoy hearing stories and remembrances of life on campus in earlier years. Finally, the callers invite alumni and friends to consider making a charitable contribution to the NGCSU Foundation to benefit students or university programs of interest to the individual donors. Most people assume that this is the only reason for the call, and end the conversation before they hear about what is going on at North Georgia today. This is the frustrating part for most callers – missing the opportunity to make a meaningful connection. 32

North Georgia Leader

Jessica Harris is a student phonathon caller.

Callers have been busy during nine weeks of the fall semester, and will resume calling in January for the spring semester. When you get a call, please answer and be kind to the student callers. You may be surprised when the purpose of the call is not about asking for money, but rather about getting out information about a class reunion. North Georgia derives great benefit from the efforts of our student callers, and you can enjoy the calls, too. We look forward to speaking with you on the phone! —Jeff Boggan



Have you made your 2012 class reunion plans? Now is the time to begin forming committees and to start planning your reunion in 2012. Next year, class years ending with either 2 or 7 will be eligible for major milestone celebrations. The Alumni Relations Office has all the tools you need to make your reunion a success. Call 706-8641545 today to schedule your date, as the prime weekends go fast!

University events

Alumni events

Visit for details Jan 1-23 Exhibition Georgia Art Educators Jan. 26-March 8 Traveling exhibit, Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War Jan. 27 Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner Jan. 28 Homecoming March 5 Hoag Lecture March 12-13 Forensic Symposium March 23 Presidential inauguration March 24 Admissions Open House April 13-15 National Leadership Challenge Weekend May 19 North Georgia at the Holly, presenting Second City Comedy Tour

Visit for details Dec. 3 Area gathering -- Washington, D.C. Jan. 7 Area gathering -- Fort Bragg, N.C. Jan. 28 Homecoming March 3 Area gathering -- Athens, Ga. April 20-22 Parents-Alumni Weekend April 27 Class of 1962 Reunion

Celebrate with North Georgia College & State University

The Alumni Association & the Saints Club invite you to join us for the 2012 Homecoming Celebr ation

January 28

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with old friends! The Homecoming day activities are planned around afternoon match-ups between the North Georgia Lady Saints and Saints Basketball teams vs. Flagler College. Spend an afternoon with us in Memorial Hall and enjoy seeing current and former coaches, athletes, classmates and friends.

• Meet President Bonita Jacobs

• Congratulate the Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees

• Visit the Hospitality Suite with hors d’oeuvres and drinks

• Honor the Homecoming Court presentees

Mark your calendar and join your classmates!

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage


Office of Institutional Advancement P.O. Box 1599 Dahlonega, GA 30533

Gold Rush Weekend

North Georgia alumni enjoy the annual Alumni Association member reception on the patio of the new dining hall, overlooking William J.Livsey Field.

The North Georgia Leader, 2011 Vol. 2  
The North Georgia Leader, 2011 Vol. 2  

The magazine for North Georgia College & State University alumni and friends, published twice a year.