FOCUS Fall 2021

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Spotlight on the Academic Power of Piedmont

2021

A Story with Legs Piedmont University Assistant Biology Professor Dr. Rebecca Godwin has identified more than 30 previously unnamed spider species, discoveries that garnered national attention.Pg.14



“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” —John Muir

An offhand remark during a project management presentation about capital improvements on Piedmont’s Demorest campus last spring led to the creation of a nature trail. Pictured on the trail are, from left, Heidi Lopez, Michael Mack, Connor Moranos, business professor Sandra Maughon, and Leah Higginbotham. All of the students are seniors and Higginbotham is the lead on the project.


Highlights

FOCUS

2021

ON THE COVER Dr. Rebecca Godwin identified 33 previously unnamed spider species, and when the news hit the web in April, it went viral.

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Features 06

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A New Era in Education

Online Programs

A Place to Be Himself and Grow

College of Education celebrates several accomplishments

Online programs remove barriers for students

Student finds support on path less traveled

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Never Give Up

Expanded Degree Offerings

Accolades & Affirmations

Nursing graduate is persistence personified

Piedmont adds new degrees

Faculty and student accomplishments

President Dr. James F. Mellichamp

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Dean of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences Dr. Julia Behr

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost Dr. Daniel K. Silber

Dean of Libraries & College Librarian Bob Glass

Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Dr. Steve Nimmo

Vice President for Administration & Finance Brant Wright

Dean of the Walker College of Business Dr. Kerry Waller

Vice President for Advancement Craig Rogers

Dean of the College of Education Dr. Mark Tavernier

Director of Marketing & Communications Rachel Pleasant

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Design Manager Regina McCormick ’08

Published by the Office of University Advancement

Project Manager Adam Martin

Send Address Changes to: Piedmont University University Advancement P.O. Box 429 Demorest GA 30535 Or piedmont.edu/update-info

Contributing Writers Rachel Pleasant Terrie Ellerbee ‘95 Contributing Photographers Kasey Brookshire Randy Crump

Piedmont University @PiedmontGA @PiedmontUniversity


United, Undaunted, and Now a University

W

hat a

intend for the communication science program to be the first

year

step toward establishing a master’s-level speech-language

it has

pathology program at the university in the near future.

been

— a year of pandemic challenges, community resilience, and the launch of a new era as our esteemed institution renamed itself Piedmont University. Through

We have also sought to expand the availability of a Piedmont education by creating new online undergraduate degree completion programs for adult learners in areas such as management, criminal justice, and digital marketing. Our graduate-level online offerings continue to grow as well, beyond the conversion to online graduate courses in the College of Education last year, to include the Walker College of Business’s new fully online MBA program launching this fall.

it all, Piedmont’s

Beyond the ongoing work in program creation, we are proud to

faculty and students

share the achievements of our students and recent graduates.

persevered,

We are inspired by those who have succeeded despite facing

creatively adapting

significant hardships and challenges, such as Jasmine Sanchez,

to the demands of social distancing by embracing a mixed

a single mother of three, who prevailed over many obstacles

face-to-face and Zoom videoconference format for larger

to graduate with her BSN degree this year. Also featured are

classes. The Piedmont community’s response to COVID

graduates who have taken less conventional paths toward their

was disciplined and effective, resulting in very low infection

career goals, including Bryce Stout, an aspiring physician. We

rates at both the Demorest and Athens campuses, and we

also recognize the staff of The Roar student newspaper, which is a

were thus encouraged to hold our first May commencement ceremony to which guests were invited since the outbreak

finalist for the prestigious College Media Association’s Pinnacle Award. It is the first national-level recognition for the publication.

of the pandemic. At the same time, while the Piedmont community rallied by returning to face-to-face teaching and

I hope you will enjoy reading about the work of our

learning at the undergraduate level, the pandemic accelerated

students and faculty as you peruse this latest issue of

other efforts that had already been underway to move the

FOCUS. As their accomplishments in different fields

majority of our graduate programs to an online format in

bear out, Piedmont has truly evolved into an academic

order to better accommodate the needs of working adults.

community most fittingly termed a university.

This issue of FOCUS features highlights of our accomplishments over this past year. Our cover story is devoted to the exciting discovery of new spider species by our own biology professor, Rebecca Godwin. Other recent news includes the addition

Daniel K. Silber, Ph.D.

of several academic programs. At the undergraduate level we have launched a degree in special education as well as

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost

a degree in communication sciences and disorders. We

F O C U S 2021

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A New Era in Education College of Education Secures Reaccreditation, Launches New Degree in Special Education By Rachel Pleasant through the GaPSC every seven years. The reaccreditation process ensures programs meet GaPSC standards in every aspect of their operation, from curricula to student outcomes on state licensing exams. “This is a very gratifying outcome for all involved,” said Special Projects Manager Daniel Smith, who led the reaccreditation effort. “Current and future students of the College of Education can be assured that when they choose to study education at Piedmont, they will graduate prepared to succeed as educators.” NEW DEGREE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION The reaccreditation coincided with the College of Education’s launch of a new Bachelor of Arts in Special Education program. “Nationwide, we are experiencing a critical shortage of teachers, but this is especially true

From left, Piedmont University College of Education Dean Mark Tavernier, Associate Professor Elias Clinton, and Special Projects Manager Daniel Smith. Right: Elias Clinton in class.

I

t’s the start of a new era for Piedmont University’s College of Education, with recent reaccreditation from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) and a new bachelor’s degree in special education.

“Piedmont University has a long history of producing highly trained, highly effective educators — and we continue to build on that legacy every day,” said College of Education Dean Dr. Mark Tavernier. In August 2021, the GaPSC reaffirmed the quality of education Piedmont delivers to aspiring teachers by renewing its accreditation for another seven years. In Georgia, educator preparation programs undergo reaccreditation

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in the field of special education,” said Associate Professor of Education Dr. Elias Clinton, who led the creation of the program. “Piedmont has long offered master’s degrees in special education, but by adding the bachelor’s degree, we saw an opportunity to help with the teacher shortage and to give those who are

#1

IN TEACHER PLACEMENTS IN GEORGIA

passionate about special education — like I am — a path for pursuing their career as early as their freshman year of college.” According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about one in six children have at least one developmental disability or delay. At the same time, the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services reports that 98 percent of the nation’s school districts face a shortage of special education teachers. “The shortage has been exacerbated by the pandemic. We

GOVERNOR’S OFFICE ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENTS

Piedmont University Has Highest Teacher-Placement Rate in State of Georgia

were already understaffed, but the pandemic led to more

Piedmont University places teachers at a higher rate than any

retirements and fewer people entering the field,” Clinton said.

other education preparation program in Georgia, according to

Local school districts are hailing the creation of the special education bachelor’s degree program. “As school districts continue to meet the diverse needs of our students, it is more important than ever to have teachers well

a report from the Governor’s Office on Student Achievement. “Providing high-quality teacher preparation has been at the heart of Piedmont University since our founding nearly 125 years ago,” said President James F. Mellichamp.

prepared to meet those needs. We often find teachers adding on

“Principals know that when they hire a Piedmont

special education certification at the master’s level or beyond.

graduate, they are hiring someone who can effectively

The challenge with not having an option at the undergraduate

lead, teach, and inspire their students from day one.”

level is twofold: One, it prevents teachers from building content knowledge and experience through multiple degrees. Two, it also impacts the time at which students are graduating from universities with the credentials essential to serve students with disabilities,” said Heidi Hill, executive director of special education and behavior supports for the Clarke County School District. “Local universities that offer a bachelor’s degree program in special education will better equip school districts with individuals who are ready to meet the needs of these learners.” The baccalaureate-level program will prepare undergraduates for teaching certification in the state of Georgia, with courses in pedagogy, human growth and development, special education policies and laws, teaching students with disabilities, and specialized behavior intervention techniques. Through the duration of the program, students will have the benefit of learning from educators with extensive experience in Georgia. “All of our professors have been public school special education teachers in Georgia,” Clinton said. “We will (Continued on page 23)

The 2020 Georgia K-12 Teacher Retention report examines placement and retention of teachers. Piedmont has the highest teacher placement rate in the state, with 91.2 percent of its graduates being hired, well above the state’s overall placement rate of 80.7 percent. College of Education Dean Dr. Mark Tavernier attributed Piedmont’s ranking to a number of factors. “Piedmont has long-standing and close relationships with most of the school systems in North Georgia. We invest the time, energy, and resources to mold students into teacher-leaders. Also, all of our undergraduate faculty, and many of our graduate faculty, come from a K-12 background,” Tavernier said. White County Schools Superintendent Laurie Burkett described Piedmont as a “go-to for high-quality teachers”: “Piedmont graduates come to us ready to teach. They are grounded in curriculum, grounded in sound instructional practices, have real-world experience, and are able to move from theory to practice with ease.” F O C U S 2021

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ever Give

Up

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Jasmine Sanchez Overcame Challenges to Earn Nursing Degree By Rachel Pleasant

P

iedmont University promises students a

Through her pregnancies and the exhaustion that comes

personalized educational experience, marked

with raising young children, Sanchez continued to pursue her

by small class sizes and close relationships

education and her goal of one day working in healthcare. She

with their instructors. Jasmine Sanchez ’21 is

also clung to her childhood dream of attending Piedmont.

proof of just how powerful that combination can be.

“Growing up, every time we drove by the Demorest

“My life changed here at Piedmont. I learned to never give

campus, I would tell my mom, ‘I’m going to go there

up, and I learned it’s OK to ask for help,” said Sanchez, who

one day. That’s my school,’” Sanchez said.

graduated with her Bachelor

Several years ago, Sanchez

of Science in Nursing degree

decided to go into nursing.

and was recently hired as an ICU nurse at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. “I am thankful for the people I met here who helped me get where I am today.” Sanchez’s path to Piedmont was winding and difficult. As a high school student, she became pregnant with her first child, a daughter who is now 10.

She applied to two programs

Growing up, every time we drove by the Demorest campus, I would tell my mom, ‘I’m going to go there one day. That’s my school.’

and got accepted to both,

—Jasmine Sanchez ’21

would pose challenges unlike

I thought my life was over,

the people who will judge me?’ She told me that didn’t matter, that I had to keep going for my family.” Sanchez enrolled at Mountain Education Charter High

Sanchez was no stranger to adversity, but she soon realized that the nursing program, combined with her personal responsibilities,

Sanchez worked in

D’s forever,” Sanchez said.

education,” said Sanchez. “I said, ‘But what about all

Piedmont,” Sanchez said.

To pay for her education,

and that I’d work at Captain

“She told me I wouldn’t drop out, that I would get an

“Of course I was coming to

any she’d previously faced.

“I really thought I was done.

Her mom, Georgina, had other plans.

but her choice was easy.

Piedmont’s Graduate Admissions Office and helped her mother, a certified nursing assistant, care for her patients. In addition to working two jobs, she also played a huge role in raising her brothers and sisters, and of course, she’s a mother to three children of her own. In her second semester at Piedmont, the pressure almost proved too much for Sanchez.

School, where she earned her high school diploma. In the

“I was having a lot of breakdowns,” Sanchez said. “I

years that followed, she became a mother twice more.

was trying to have a tough shell and hold everything inside, but I reached a breaking point.”

Jasmine Sanchez had three children before graduating with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Piedmont University in 2021. Despite the challenges that came with juggling her studies and motherhood, she persisted. Now, she is eager to provide a better life for her kids.

Thankfully, three key individuals noticed Sanchez was struggling. One was Graduate Studies Coordinator Ashley Clouatre, (continued on page 23) F O C U S 2021

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PIEDMONT UNIVERSITY’S

ONLINE PRO By Rachel Pleasant

Piedmont’s Online Programs Offer Practical Alternative

S

ticking true to the “practical” portion of its

“Students sometimes have to put their degrees on hold.

promise to students, Piedmont University

The reasons could vary from medical issues, transportation

continues to expand its online programs.

problems, or any number of other unforeseen difficulties.

“We recognize that we have students who are

working toward degrees while also balancing their careers

help students finish what they started,” Silber said.

and families. We continue to look for ways to serve our

In addition to online undergraduate programs, Piedmont

nontraditional population and remove as many barriers

offers a growing selection of fully online graduate programs

to educational attainment as we can,” said Senior Vice

tailored to fit the needs of working professionals.

President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Dan Silber.

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Our online undergraduate programs are designed to

“Piedmont has been, and always will be, deeply committed

Piedmont’s online options include baccalaureate-

to understanding our students, meeting their needs, and

level programs geared toward those seeking to

doing everything we can to help them reach their academic

complete their degrees. Students in these programs

goals. You’re seeing that commitment demonstrated by

must have at least 30 hours of college credit.

our growing selection of online programs,” Silber said.

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Piedmont Expands Course Offerings Through Innovative, Yet Personal, Approach

P

iedmont University is defined by delivering

institutions, one of LCMC’s initiatives is the development of

highly personalized educational experiences,

collaborative majors.

and now it has a new way of doing exactly that — online, and in partnership with nearly

100 other institutions that are part of an organization called the Lower Cost Models Consortium. “We often hear the term ‘win-win,’ and I would put LCMC in that category. Students are receiving enhanced academic opportunities with leading subject matter experts, while still receiving that unique Piedmont experience,” said President James F. Mellichamp. LCMC helps private colleges and universities share resources and information, and develop joint initiatives, all aimed at lowering their operating costs, thus helping to keep tuition costs lower for students. Encompassing more than 100 member

“The way these majors work is this: Students take the majority of their classes through their college or university, but they also take a small number of classes online in a specialized field, with faculty members from other LCMC institutions,” said Dr. Steve Nimmo, dean of Piedmont’s College of Arts and Sciences. “The collaborative majors initiative allows Piedmont to offer emerging majors that we couldn’t afford to offer otherwise.” Piedmont is using the LCMC to offer courses in actuarial science, computer science, digital marketing, engineering, and neuroscience. It is looking to expand offerings using LCMC in the future. LCMC provides instructional designers that help to ensure

GRAMS

all courses are utilizing best practices, thereby creating an optimal experience for students, Nimmo said. Piedmont, meanwhile, assigns faculty members to be advisors for students taking LCMC courses. “We’re combining the expertise LCMC offers with Piedmont’s distinct personal touch,” Nimmo said. “It makes for the best of both worlds for our students.”

ONLINE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

• Master of Arts in Elementary, Middle Grades, and Secondary Education

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

• Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary, Middle Grades, and Secondary Education — planned for fall 2022

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology — launching fall 2022

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology — launching fall 2022

ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS •

Education Specialist-Curriculum and Instruction (EdS)

Master of Arts in Business Administration

Master of Arts in Gifted Education

• Master of Arts/Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education

ONLINE EDUCATION ENDORSEMENTS • Autism Education Endorsement (undergraduate, graduate) • In-field Endorsement in Gifted Education (undergraduate, graduate)

• Master of Arts in Professional Counseling — planned for spring 2022

F O C U S 2021

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A Natural By Terrie Ellerbee ’95

F

our Piedmont University seniors are learning about project management by building a nature trail. The idea sprang from an offhand remark made

by Fred Bucher, the now-retired assistant vice president for facilities management and safety. Last spring, he spoke to Sandra Maughon’s project management students about capital improvements on the Demorest campus, including a new athletic complex planned for 80 acres Piedmont purchased in 2019. It will encompass 12 tennis courts, state-of-the-art track and field facilities, a softball field, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and ample spectator seating and parking. Bucher mentioned it would be nice to incorporate a nature trail. Leah Higginbotham, a business major whose concentration is accounting and finance, and Heidi Lopez, whose concentration is marketing, are using the trail idea to learn how to run a project. Higginbotham stepped up to take on the role of project manager. Joining them are another business major, Connor Moranos, whose concentration is in management,

and Michael Mack, a political science major and president of the Student Government Association.

Heidi Lopez, Leah Higginbotham, and Michael Mack walk onto one of two meadows along the trail. Higginbotham took the lead as project manager. F rom left, Professor Sandra Maughon, Connor Moranos, Leah Higginbotham, Heidi Lopez, and Michael Mack stand with a banner created by Hannah Oliver ’21 for the inaugural Stress Less Quest. 12

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Fit

Project Management Class Presentation Leads to Nature Trail Creation

After a planning session, the group was ready to get started. For two months, the quintet raked and clipped to clear the

A MOSAIC OF MARSH, BEAVER PONDS, AND BOTTOMLAND FOREST

trail. Bucher suggested using foot power to move the project

Strips of yellow and orange barrier tape mark the trail,

along, so an organized walk was planned. The inaugural

which starts near the New Bedford residence hall. The

“Stress Less Quest” was held during finals week in May.

meandering loop is approximately 1.5 miles long. It crosses

Approximately three dozen people took part. Among them were Piedmont University President Dr. James F. Mellichamp,

what looks to be a creek but is actually a lakebed. Biology professor Dr. Carlos Camp said it was once Lake

and Kerry Waller, dean of the

Demorest, originally formed

Walker College of Business.

in the late 1800s by the

“It was a really nice walk,”

impoundment of Camp Creek.

multi-distance labyrinth of

The trail will maximize Piedmont’s expansion and allow everyone to see the progress as we move forward with the new facilities.

trails that will fully integrate

— Jame Carney, Cycling Coach

said Higginbotham, who spent time over the summer getting estimates on improvements for the trail. “We are so grateful to have all the support.” The trail is the first phase of an ambitious plan. The project will ultimately be a multi-use,

with the completed sports complex. It may also include picnic areas, study gazebos, and at least one dog park. “Students have talked about having a dog park for service animals,” Lopez said. “We have plenty of space for it.” Mack is on the cycling team and approached Head Cycling Coach Jame Carney about the trail project. “The trail will maximize Piedmont’s expansion and allow everyone to see the progress as we move forward with the new facilities,” Carney said. “It’s a great piece of property with tons of potential.” Moranos, a cross-country runner and avid hiker, took the lead as Maughon and the students mapped out the trail. He said they “followed where the land took us.”

The lake was drained in 2008, leaving behind what Camp called a mosaic of marsh, beaver ponds, and bottomland forest. Future signage will include an explanation of the ecological feature along with directional markers and security information for the trail. Moranos and Higginbotham are reaching out to fellow art students to leverage their creative talents for that aspect. Hank Knight, who

succeeded Bucher as assistant vice president for facilities management and safety, said that once the route is finalized, the trail will be forestry mulched. The reach across departments and disciplines teaches the value of networking and collaboration. Another important lesson in project management is succession planning. As the four seniors graduate, new students will be needed to continue the work. All those involved in the project hope the trail will be enjoyed not only by Piedmont students, faculty, and staff but also by residents in the communities around the Demorest campus.

F O C U S 2021

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A Story D with Legs

r. Rebecca Godwin’s revision of the New World members of the trapdoor spider genus Ummidia was about 10 years in the making, including the time it took her to earn a Ph.D. No one had taken a close look at the genus in at least 50 years.

In her 200-page revision, the taxonomist, arachnologist, and Piedmont University assistant biology professor identified 33 previously unnamed trapdoor spider species. A story about one of them hit the web in April and went viral. “The internet did what it does, and I had people calling from the U.K. and CNN,” she said. “It was insane.” That now-famous spider was found in Florida by a Zoo Miami staff member. It didn’t match records for known species in the region. An image of the spider eventually reached Godwin, who confirmed that the arachnid was indeed previously unidentified. Zoo Miami published a news release about its involvement in the

Godwin’s taxonomic revision of the Ummidia genus hits the web and goes viral By Terrie Ellerbee ’95

discovery. The story was picked up and amplified by Florida media outlets. Godwin was interviewed by the Asheville Museum of Science and for the podcast New Species, but versions of the story also ran in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Post, People, Wired, and Newsweek, as well as the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail, among others, some with click-baiting headlines about a “terrifying” “venomous spider” that “can live for over 20 YEARS.” It was significant hoopla for a project whose genesis was considered tedious, at best, even by other scientists. Godwin’s research on the Ummidia genus began

PHOTO CREDIT ZOO MIAMI

with her undergraduate research at Auburn University. A biological sciences professor, Dr. Debbie R. Folkerts, had a side interest in arachnology. “She had me sort her

The internet did what it does, and I had people calling from the U.K. and CNN. It was insane. — Dr. Rebecca Godwin, Assistant Professor of Biology

spider collection, which I was not really excited about, but the more I learned about them, I realized that they were more than just super leggy things that hung around doorways and on trees,” Godwin said. The trapdoor spiders she later became enamored with are collected by crawling around moist hillsides. The hunt took Godwin to Costa Rica, California, and the Mediterranean, among other locations. Specimens were also sent to her by other collectors, but most 14

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were in museums, with many at the Museum of Natural History in New York. Trapdoor spiders can be elusive partly because they are not colorful. Most are brown or black and less hairy than a tarantula, a close relative. Ummidia’s living conditions make them nearly impossible to find. Unlike

Dr. Rebecca Godwin holds a freshly excavated trapdoor spider’s burrow in San Diego, California. The spider that built it is the genus Bothriocyrtum, but in the same family, Halonoproctidae, as Ummidia.

tarantulas, trapdoor spiders burrow into the

What’s in a name? Godwin and revision co-author Jason Bond, professor in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of California, Davis, named the 33 new species. The process acknowledged others who assisted them, but they had a little fun with some of the names. Newly named trapdoor species include:

Ummidia brandicarlileae Named for singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile because it was found in Yucatán, Mexico, where the annual Girls Just Wanna Weekend is held.

ground to build their

Ummidia frankellerae

home and close it with

Named by Bond for Fran Kellera, currently a professor

a “very precise” door,

at Folsom Lake College, who led a bioblitz—finding

according to Godwin.

and identifying as many species as possible in a

“These spiders basically spend their entire lives underground in an 8- to

specific area over a short period of time—in Belize that recovered one of the previously unidentified species.

10-inch space,” she said. “Depending on where they live, the

Ummidia neilgaimani

door can even be beveled, so it fits exactly in a hole, and the

Named for British fantasy and horror author Neil

top of it is covered with soil. It can become very cryptic.”

Gaiman, who wrote American Gods, which Godwin said

Because they live underground, they can’t see well, so they slide

she “listened to on repeat throughout my Ph.D.”

their tarsus (toes) out the door to sense and catch passing prey.

Ummidia bessiecolemanae A burrowing trapdoor spider matures in five to 10 years and

Named for Bessie Coleman, the first African American

only then leaves the mother’s burrow. The mature spider

woman and Native American to obtain a pilot’s license.

walks a little distance and immediately makes its own burrow. Adult males then leave their burrows and set about finding

Ummidia rongodwini

a mate. Females mate and lay eggs every year. Godwin

Named for Godwin’s husband, Ron. They

said it is unclear how long males live after mating, but the

married while she was in graduate school. (It

lifespan of the female can be 20, 30, or even 40 years.

is considered bad form to name a species after oneself, so there is no rebeccagodwini.)

While many an arachnophobe might shudder at the thought of spiders that live for decades, Godwin

Godwin ran into an ironic problem around names when

considers them “beautiful,” and frets for their future.

she tried to collect specimens in the Everglades. Because the trapdoor spiders had not yet been named, officials

She viewed media interviews as valuable opportunities

declined her request for a permit to collect. She could

to spread the word about the spiders.

only offer the genus, not the name of the species.

“Taxonomy doesn’t get a whole lot of press most of the

That is why the Zoo Miami specimen was such an

time,” she said. “I thought it was exciting that anybody

important find. The zoo waited more than five years

might, at least for a minute, think about these trapdoor

to publish the press release that started Godwin’s

spiders, especially those in the Pine Rocklands habitat in the

path to overnight sensation. That species ultimately

Everglades, because it really is an endangered habitat.”

became Ummidia richmond, named for Naval Air Station

Richmond, a former military installation near Miami. F O C U S 2021

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Expanded Degree Offerings Open Doors for Students By Rachel Pleasant

Piedmont Launches New Degree Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders

I

n August 2021, Piedmont University added a Bachelor

be in place by the time the first class of baccalaureate students

of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. A

is ready to begin graduate studies. A master’s degree is required

master’s degree program in the field is planned for 2023.

to become a certified, licensed speech-language pathologist.

“Nationwide, there is a shortage of speech-language

Piedmont is also creating a clinic on the Demorest

pathologists. Piedmont saw an opportunity to design and develop

campus that will provide treatment to area residents

a unique program that will address workforce needs,” said Dr.

and real-life learning opportunities to students.

Julia Behr, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Communication Sciences and Disorders. Bellon-Harn holds

treating, and helping to prevent communication and

a doctorate in Communication Sciences and Disorders

swallowing disorders. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor

from Louisiana State University. She previously worked as

Statistics, the number of jobs available in speech-language

chairperson of Lamar University’s Department of Speech

pathology is expected to increase by 25 percent through

and Hearing Sciences, which serves more than 200 students

2029, which the BLS describes as much faster than average.

in undergraduate and graduate programs and the regional

The bachelor’s degree will prepare students to continue straight into Piedmont’s master’s degree program, which is expected to

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Leading the program is Monica Bellon-Harn, director of

Speech language pathology involves assessing, diagnosing,

| F O C U S 2021

community through a speech and hearing clinic.


Piedmont to Offer Online Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling Beginning Spring 2022

P

iedmont University will launch a fully online master’s degree in Professional Counseling in

Spring 2022, a program that responds to both student demand and the rise of technology within the field. “During the pandemic, counseling services have been in high demand, and because of the health risks of face-to-face contact, there’s been an increase in demand for virtual counseling services. We’ve designed

Our classes will be very small. This will allow the faculty to engage with their students and invest in them 110 percent. —D r. Kathy Robinson, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Professional Counseling master’s degree

our program to prepare students to work in both an in-person and online setting,” said College of Arts and

added that the online format of the program will

Sciences Dean Dr. Steve Nimmo.

provide another layer of preparation for students.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

“It gets them comfortable with the online setting

predicts jobs in counseling will grow by 25 percent through

and with communicating effectively through

2029, which it describes as “much faster than average.”

the use of technology,” Robinson said.

Designed to be completed in 2.5 years, Piedmont’s Master of Arts

However, students will still receive personal

in Professional Counseling-Clinical Mental Health Concentration

attention and opportunities for interaction.

program will include required coursework in telemental counseling. Other programs often offer such courses as electives.

“Our classes will be very small. This will allow the faculty to engage with their students and invest in

An American Psychiatric Association survey found that

them 110 percent,” Robinson said. “We want this to be

COVID-19 has forced a dramatic shift toward virtual counseling.

one of the best degree programs in the country.”

Prior to the pandemic, more than 63 percent of survey respondents were not offering any type of virtual counseling.

The program will also provide students with in-depth study of

Two months into the pandemic, 85 percent of respondents

frequently used counseling techniques and modalities, such as

were seeing at least a portion of their patients virtually.

cognitive behavior therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

“Including this course in our curriculum is intentional and

“In some counseling programs, students receive an overview

strategic. Students must learn how to do virtual counseling

of commonly used therapies,” Robinson said. “We’re going

safely, ethically, effectively, and legally,” said Dr. Kathy

to go deeper, so that our students can go into their future

Robinson, program coordinator for the new master’s degree.

practices with confidence using these modalities.”

Robinson, who holds a doctorate in Counselor Education

Piedmont’s program will prepare students

and Supervision from Auburn University and is a

for licensure in the State of Georgia.

Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Georgia,

F O C U S 2021

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For Graduate Bryce Stout, Piedmont Was a Place to Be Himself— and Grow By Rachel Pleasant

H

is whole life, Bryce Stout ’21 never fit into any of the usual “boxes.” By kindergarten, he was reading the newspaper. By middle school, he’d already

“As a dual-enrollment student, I could only earn so many credits.

earned dozens of college credits. By 15, he’d decided on

My parents, Brian and Jennifer, worked so hard to find a school

a career in medicine, but a major in political science.

for me to go to after dual enrollment ended,” Stout said.

At Piedmont University, he found a place

“One day, my dad picked me up from school and told me I

to finally be himself — and to grow.

could go to Piedmont. I was ecstatic, almost to the point

“When I visited Piedmont and met my professors, I knew right away that I would learn so much here, and that I would become

of tears. Piedmont has a great reputation, but I didn’t know if it would ever be possible for me to go here.”

a better person, and I have,” said Stout, 18, who graduated

During the summer before he started classes at Piedmont, Stout

in July 2021 with his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

volunteered at the Evan Oglesby Foundation’s summer camp,

A native of Orlando who moved with his family to

18

From left, Bryce Stout ’21 and Dr. Tony Frye.

where he discovered his life’s passion: working with children.

Clarkesville when he was 11, Stout always excelled

Having been homeschooled, Stout said he didn’t have

academically. At age 13, he’d already skipped two grade

many opportunities as a child to make friends. He often

levels and began taking dual-enrollment courses at North

felt awkward, like he was lacking certain social skills. At

Georgia Technical College. After earning more than 40

the summer camp, he was in a position to support and

credits, Stout applied and was accepted to Piedmont.

encourage children who didn’t quite fit in either.

| F O C U S 2021


He was making it possible for her to take that class over the summer. He ended up doing the same for me in 2021,” Stout said.

I’ve been taught to look for those interconnections and how they affect human beings. That will make me a better physician, and that was only possible because I came to Piedmont. — Bryce Stout ’21

Frye recalled sharing with Stout that he had a contact who’d majored in political science and gone on to medical school. “I encourage students to pursue their academic interests because in doing so, you gain an understanding of your field, discipline, and possible career paths,” Frye said. “You might change your mind, or you might develop new interests along the way, or like Bryce, you might intend all along to pursue a career in a different field. That is not a bad thing. It’s all part of the growing experience and realizing what you want to do with your life.” Throughout his time at Piedmont, Stout encountered numerous other individuals “fervently dedicated to meeting the needs of every student.” As a result of their support and encouragement, as well as small class sizes, Stout experienced great personal growth during his time as a Lion. “I am not as shy, nervous, and soft-spoken,” said Stout, who also credited youth basketball with his personal growth.

“I remember this one kid who was being bullied while playing dodgeball,” Stout said. “He was really down on himself. I

“At Piedmont, I never had more than 20 people in my

pulled him aside and told him about myself. Just over the

classes. In that environment, you get to know people.

course of that one week, I saw a lot of growth in him.”

I’m a lot better at making friends than I used to be.”

With that experience, Stout’s mind was made up: He

As he celebrates his graduation, Stout is also grateful for

would become a physician, specializing in either family

a college experience that will serve as a solid foundation

medicine or pediatrics, and dedicate his life to helping future

for further studies and his future career. He is currently

generations of children grow and develop healthily.

in the process of researching medical school options.

“I thought about majoring in biology or psychology. I

For his senior capstone project, Stout studied the levels of trust

kept going back and forth between those two majors

voters in various countries have in their political systems and

because those are the ‘usual’ majors for someone who

candidates, and how their levels of trust are affected by

wants to go to medical school,” Stout said. “But I wanted

economics, culture,

to broaden my horizons and pursue something I enjoy

personal experiences,

at Piedmont, and for me, that was political science.”

and other factors.

Stout has no doubt he would have been

“I’ve been taught

dissuaded at larger universities.

to look for those interconnections

“At Piedmont, my advisor and professors helped me see that

and how they affect

it was possible to major in political science and still become a

human beings,” Stout

doctor,” he said. “They helped me navigate the right path for me.”

said. “That will make

Political Science Professor Dr. Tony Frye was particularly supportive, Stout said. “The very first time I met him, he told me he was working to

me a better physician, and that was only possible because I came to Piedmont.”

accommodate a student who needed one class to graduate. F O C U S 2021

| 19


What’s New in Mass By Terrie Ellerbee ’95

Moss Recognized as Founder and Nurturer of Mass Communications Department

T

eaching was always her first love, but Dr. Janice

Her arrival was the seed that would grow into programs that

Moss was interested in journalism as a teenager. She

now include print, radio and television journalism, website

interned at several radio stations in North Carolina

management, social media, public relations, advertising, and more.

and later worked

“Dr. Moss came to Piedmont at

in the news departments

a time when, frankly, there was

for stations there

not really very much here to be

and in Louisiana.

excited about. But we are very

At Piedmont University’s

grateful that she took a chance

Welcome Back Assembly

on Piedmont developing

in early August, Moss

a mass communications

was the story.

program,” Mellichamp said.

President Dr. James F.

The department was

Mellichamp unveiled a

established in 2000 and

bronze commemorative

moved into the Swanson

plaque to mark her role as

Center for the Performing

Founding Faculty Member

Arts and Communications

of the Department of Mass

when that facility opened in

Communications. She

2007. The department now

received a standing ovation.

encompasses a newsroom, editing suites, a TV studio, and

“I was completely

two radio stations alongside

surprised,” Moss said. “It is

performing arts facilities,

wonderful that the program

classrooms, and offices.

has been such a success over the years. It has made

‘PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR’

me so happy to see that the vision I had so many years ago came to fruition.

Moss has continued to

It is just a great feeling.”

STARTED FROM SCRATCH

D r. Janice Moss holds the bronze commemorative plaque that will hang not far from her office in the Swanson Center.

There was no mass communications department when Moss

20

teach public speaking. After the mass communications degree program rolled out, Piedmont added

a debate practicum, which Moss also teaches.

came to Piedmont in 1994. The only related course was public

In 2003, she created the Piedmont University Debate and

speaking, which she taught in the basement of Daniel Hall.

Forensic Team and has since then served as its coach and advisor.

| F O C U S 2021


Communications In 2015, Piedmont hosted the Georgia Parliamentary Debate

Dale Van Cantfort, mass communications professor,

Association state tournament, which brought powerhouse teams

said Moss has been a positive influence on hundreds of

from Emory, Morehouse, and Georgia Tech to the campus.

Piedmont alumni and is to be credited for nurturing the

Her bronze plaque will hang in the Swanson Center

once-fledgling mass communications program as it grew.

not far from Moss’ office and just across from two

“The guidance and persistence she has shown over the

cases filled with awards the team has won.

past 27 years has allowed our department to develop and

“For 27 years, she has helped students find their own ‘voice’ in public speaking classes. And she has built one of the most impressive debate teams in the entire region,” Mellichamp said.

flourish,” said Van Cantfort. “Dr. Moss is a true professional educator. I look forward to her continued success at Piedmont University. It is an honor well earned.”

Who knew? In the 1990s, a “grand convergence of the media” was underway. Traditional print and broadcast outlets increasingly merged their operations with online technologies. Dr. Janice Moss used that phenomenon as the organizing principle when she proposed both the mass communications minor and major. Piedmont faculty approved them both unanimously.

Tingle Elevated to Associate Dean

D

r. Melissa Tingle

and Canvas. She brings extensive experience in online and

has been named as

hybrid programs to the role, having taught in multiple formats

the third Associate

before her move to Piedmont University four years ago.

Dean of the

College of Arts & Sciences. The assistant professor continues to teach while also serving as

She was also involved in assessment for Piedmont’s fiveyear Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

co-chair of the Department

“Dr. Tingle has become involved in many different projects since

of Mass Communications.

arriving at Piedmont in 2018, not only as a faculty member

As part of her new responsibilities, she will liaise between the Office of Academic Technology and the College of Arts & Sciences faculty, as well as assist with the support of online programs

and advisor in Mass Communications, but also in her roles as a QEP fellow and most recently an instructional designer in our Office of Academic Technology,” said Dr. Dan Silber, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “Her strong academic background, professional experience, and unusually

F O C U S 2021

| 21


broad set of technical skills made her a great choice to serve

Sciences, and Mathematical Sciences. The School of Fine

as an associate dean in our College of Arts & Sciences.”

Arts remains under the purview of Dr. Wallace Hinson.

The promotion is in part a result of Piedmont’s transition

“Structurally we are making these changes so that the

from college to university. Among other changes, the College

administration of the schools becomes more efficient as

of Arts & Sciences was split into two schools: the School

the university grows and adds more programs within the

of Fine Arts and the School of Humanities & Sciences.

College of Arts & Sciences,” Tingle said. “It also helps create

Dr. Steve Nimmo continues to be dean of the College. Dr.

an even greater familial feel amongst faculty, who are

Steve Jacobs remains Associate Dean with responsibilities

banded together with like interests in their subject areas.”

supporting the Social Sciences, and Humanities programs, while Tingle mainly supports Mass Communications, Natural

Piedmont University’s Roar Receives First-Ever National Recognition

P

iedmont University’s student newspaper, The Roar, is a finalist for the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Award, the most prestigious national award for individual work in collegiate journalism.

The Roar is one of five finalists for the CMA’s Best Editorial Award, vying against entries from Appalachian State, Baylor University, UCLA, and Vanderbilt. The Roar was nominated for an editorial, “Graduation: An Empty Ceremony is No Ceremony at All,” that published in April 2021. In the editorial, student staff writers implored Piedmont’s administration to allow guests to attend the May 2021 graduation ceremony. As vaccinations became more widespread and threat levels diminished, Piedmont adjusted its graduation protocols, allowing two guests per graduate. The Roar is consistently competitive at the state level — most recently receiving a 2nd Place General Excellence Award from the Georgia Press Association in 2020 — but has never before earned national recognition. Award winners will be announced in October 2021 at the National College Media Convention.

22

| F O C U S 2021

The Mercer University alumna said she was “completely surprised” by the promotion and thrilled to take on her new roles.


College of Education (continued) (continued from page 7)

degree program creates a new pipeline for getting our

use their experience to help us tailor our instruction

graduates into Georgia’s special education classrooms.”

to ensure our graduates are highly prepared.” The Bachelor of Arts in Special Education will be offered at For Clinton, who holds a doctorate in special education from

both the Demorest and Athens campuses. In Athens, online and

the University of Georgia and worked as a special education

evening courses are available to assist those who are working

teacher in the Clarke County School District, adding the

or raising families in addition to pursuing their education.

bachelor’s degree program was a passionate endeavor. That flexibility is why Samantha Foster enrolled as one of the “Every child with special needs has the ability to learn and

first students in the program. Foster is currently working as

succeed. To see a student with dyslexia learn to read, or a student

a special education paraprofessional in Madison County.

with autism who shies away from social interaction begin to start initiating conversations, it’s incredible,” Clinton said.

“The job and the children are my entire heart, and I can’t fathom doing anything else except for finally having my

“These students need educators who are determined,

own classroom,” she said. “Piedmont is close to me, and the

patient, and skilled problem-solvers. Those are the kind

classes are geared toward working adults. This program

of educators we produce at Piedmont. The bachelor’s

will allow me to do what I love at a higher level.”

Jasmine Sanchez (continued) (continued from page 9)

“I also learned that it’s OK to ask for help. It doesn’t

who supervised Sanchez’s work; one was Associate

make you weak or different,” she said.

Nursing Professor Jennifer Kelley; and the other was Associate Nursing Professor Karen Greilich.

With so many struggles behind her, Sanchez is now fully focused on her very bright future. She plans to buy a house,

Greilich provided much comfort and support,

and she will be able to afford for her children to participate

Clouatre encouraged Sanchez to see a Piedmont

in football and cheerleading. She also plans to continue her

counselor, and Kelley made the actual referral.

education and eventually become a nurse anesthetist.

“Here at Piedmont, our class sizes are small — the student-to-

Wherever life takes her, Sanchez’s Piedmont family

faculty ratio is 11 to one. Faculty members are able to really

will be cheering her on every step of the way.

get to know our students and their struggles, and we are able to intervene when our students need help,” Kelley said.

“I hope when others meet Jasmine and hear her story, they know that they can come to Piedmont and get an education,” said

“I got into nursing to help people, and then I discovered

Clouatre. “Whether they’re a first-generation college student,

I could help people through teaching, too. To know

or they have children, or whatever their circumstance, they

I was able to help Jasmine and play a small part in

can come to Piedmont and be supported 100 percent. That’s

her success, it makes me feel really great.”

what we’re here to do — for Jasmine and all our students.”

With counseling, Sanchez learned how to better manage her many responsibilities.

F O C U S 2021

| 23


Faculty Honors Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award

Outstanding Advisor Award

Dr. Jan Witherington

Jeff Bowers

Associate Professor, Education

Assistant Professor, Spanish

to an outstanding undergraduate faculty member who

S

demonstrates strong academic skills in the classroom and

an exceptional manner the qualities essential for sound advising.

T

he Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award was awarded to Dr. Jan Witherington during Piedmont University’s May 2021 Commencement. It is presented annually

provides leadership and support in other areas of campus life.

panish professor Jeff Bowers received the Piedmont University Outstanding Advisor award during Commencement in May. The award is presented annually

to an undergraduate academic advisor who has demonstrated in

Bowers advises “explorers,” those students who are

Honorees are nominated by fellow faculty members.

undecided on a major.

“It was a complete shock, and I am honored to work

“I like that term because that’s what they’re doing.

at Piedmont doing what I love most — teaching,”

They are trying to find and seek out what will

Witherington said about receiving the honor.

give them a fulfilling life,” Bowers said.

Witherington brought 35 years of teaching experience

Bowers does not rush students to choose a major. His goal is

to the university in 2017 when she took on a part-

to guide them to the intersection of their talent and passion.

time position as a Piedmont cohort instructor. In 2018,

He said he helps students believe in themselves, gives them

she moved into a full-time elementary education

room to dream, and most importantly, listens to them.

professorship at Piedmont’s Athens campus.

“We believe in them and care about them. I am

The award is sponsored by the Vulcan Materials Company

genuinely interested in their success, and not just here

through the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges.

at Piedmont,” he said. “I’m invested in their success because they are part of my story as well.”

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| F O C U S 2021


Accolades & Affirmations Faculty Dr. Ben Andrews Assistant Professor, Education

Dr. Jaydn DeWald Assistant Professor, English; Director, Creative Writing Published the cross-genre book The Rosebud Variations, Broken Sleep Books, in September.

Published “College Costs and Credit Cards: How

Had his short story “Overture” featured on the

Student Credit Card Use Influences College Degree

Father’s Day episode of the Micro podcast.

Attainment” in Research in Higher Education in January. Had poems from his upcoming book, GRID, published in

Dr. Carlos Camp Professor, Biology

and Eli Stancel ’00 Manager, Engineering Training, Norfolk Southern Railway Co-authored Walls of Iron, which was published by Argus Books in April.

Dr. Windy Charles Professor, English

and Dr. Jessica Eagle Professor, Biology

the Yalobusha Review (University of Mississippi), Denver Quarterly, Witness, and Annulet: A Journal of Poetics. Published an essay, “Don’t Erase, Don’t Discard,” that appeared on the Kenyon Review’s blog in February.

Dr. Kate Guthrie Assistant Professor; Qualitative Research Methodologist Presented the paper, “Rethinking data analysis through artistic inquiry in the research classroom: Collective perspectives from the educator, student, and scholar,” at the 2021 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (virtual) in May. Published “Qualitative inquiry with adolescents: Strategies

Served as judges for the 2020 Council for

for fostering rich meaning making in group interviews” in the

Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

American Journal of Qualitative Research, in December.

District III Writing: Series or Collection contest.

Dr. Hugh Davis Professor, English; Chair, Humanities

and Sarah Sumners Assistant Professor, Education Presented “Promoting creativity in the classroom:

Was featured on the podcast Tenn in 20 on “The Making

Connecting theory to practice with the Torrance Tests”

of James Agee” (Summer 2020) in June 2020.

at the 2020 National Association for Gifted Children’s Annual Conference (virtual) in November.

Published “Roman Virtus and Machiavellian Virtú in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather” in Studies in Popular Culture (Spring 2020), in May 2020. Published “‘Monkey Meat’ and Metaphor in Shohei Ooka’s Fires on the Plain” in Exchanges: Special Issue on Literal and Metaphorical Cannibalism across

Tyler D. Mann Former Assistant Professor, Art

and Regina McCormick ’08 Director of Marketing & Communications, Admissions

Disciplines (Winter 2020) in February 2020. F O C U S 2021

| 25


Accolades & Affirmations and Jenna Wendel ’21

Dr. Greg Ryan

Studio Arts Major

Associate Professor, Health Sciences

Led Piedmont University’s rebranding, which has received

Was the lead author on two poster presentations and co-author

the Award of Excellence in the University & College

for three other presentations at the 2021 National Strength

Designers Association’s (UCDA) 2021 design competition.

and Conditioning Association National Convention in July at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort in Orlando.

Susan H. Phillips Professor, Education Published a fourth children’s book, Dallas Goes to School, in a series featuring her dog, Dallas, in April.

Dr. Margaret Ryder Associate Professor, Business Completed training to be a Registered Neutral with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution in July.

Dr. Perry Rettig Distinguished University Professor, Education, College of Education

Presented at the International Atlantic Economic European Conference (virtual) in May.

Presented at the International Conference on Learning at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, in July.

Dr. Julia Schmitz

Published Enrollment Management, Rowman

Associate Professor, Biology, and Director QEP

& Littlefield Publishing, in July. Presented on “Microbiota in Your Gut: Good Published The Quantum University,

or Bad?” for the Asheville Museum of Science

Rowman & Littlefield, in January.

Ask a Scientist Program (virtual) in June.

Was a keynote speaker at the Critical & Creative

Presented “Using Fun Activities to Learn About the

Thinking Conference, presenting “Critical Leadership

Functions of Organelles” at the Human Anatomy &

in Critical Times” at the University of South

Physiology Society Meeting (virtual) in May.

Florida, St. Petersburg, in September 2020. Presented “Strumming through the QEP: Assessing High-Impact Published Making Shared Governance Meaningful,

Practices” at the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Rowman & Littlefield, in August 2020.

Commission on Colleges Annual Meeting (virtual), in December.

and Dr. Julia Schmitz

Dr. Melissa Tingle

Associate Professor, Biology, and Director QEP

Assistant Professor, Mass Communications; Associate Dean,

and Dr. Melissa Tingle Assistant Professor, Mass Communications; Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences; Co-Chair, Mass Communications Co-authored a chapter on High-Impact Practices in

26

College of Arts & Sciences; Co-Chair, Mass Communications

and Dr. Julia Schmitz and Dr. Perry Rettig

Enrollment Management: Practitioners Describe

Published “QEP is HIP: A Case Study Implementing an

Successful Approaches with Dwindling Numbers,

Institution-Wide Undergraduate Research Community of

published in July by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Inquiry for a Small Private College Setting” in the Journal

| F O C U S 2021


of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in May.

Dr. Douglas Torrance Associate Professor, Mathematics Presented “The Chow-Waring problem” at the University of Idaho Mathematics Colloquium in April (virtual presentation).

and Hadley Cottingham ’21 English Major Served as assistant editors for COMP: An Interdisciplinary Journal, an annual publication of Piedmont University’s undergraduate Creative Writing Program.

Cameron Verona ’21

Published “All secant varieties of the Chow variety are

Mass Communications Major

nondefective for cubics and quaternary forms” with

Won a Bronze Telly Award for his short film, “Left

Nick Vannieuwenhoven from Katholieke Universiteit

Alone,” which was shot entirely on an iPhone.

Leuven (Belgium), in Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, Volume 374, in April. Presented “Enumeration of Planar Tangles” at the Mathematical Association of America Southeastern Section Meeting in March (virtual presentation). Published “Enumeration of Planar Tangles” in Proceedings - Mathematical Sciences, Volume 130, in August 2020. Presented “All secant varieties of the Chow variety are nondefective for cubics and quaternary forms” at the

Chris Barker ’22 Mass Communications Major

and Conner Creedon ’23 Sports Communication Major

and Tyler Goins ’22 Mass Communications Major

and Caleb Rogers ’22 Mass Communications Major

American Mathematical Society Southeastern Section Fall Meeting in October 2020 (virtual presentation).

and Aaron Palmer ’22 Sports Communication Major

Dr. Dale Van Cantfort Professor, Mass Communications

and Johnny Goodwyn ’23 Theatre Arts Major

Received the David. D. Stovall Rotarian of the Year award from the Habersham County Rotary Club for “outstanding

Won a Silver Telly Award for “Overtime,” a trailer

leadership and dedication to the ideals of Rotary.” Van

produced collectively as part of a class project. Founded

Cantfort has represented Piedmont University with the

in 1979, the Telly Awards is the world’s largest honor

civic organization for nearly two decades. He and his wife,

for video and television content across all screens.

Tara, have hosted many international students as part of the Georgia Rotary Student Program, which allows international students to study at a college in Georgia for an academic year. Students hosted by the Van Cantforts attend Piedmont.

Student-Athletes

Students

Cameron Earls ’21

Anna Melton ’21

and Madison Hatfield ’21

Marketing Major

English Major

History & Sociology/Anthropology Major

and Cole Cline ’22

Were named CoSIDA (College Sports Information

English and Psychology Major

Directors of America) All-Americans for their combined performances in athletic competition and in the classroom. F O C U S 2021

| 27


PO Box 10 Demorest GA 30535

Focus is an annual publication spotlighting Piedmont University’s academic achievements. Many of those achievements would not be possible without donors who support Piedmont’s endowed scholarship funds. Recently, Piedmont University asked students to write thank-you notes to our donors. The impact of their generosity is best understood by reading their words. Financial contributions to academic and need-based scholarships enable Piedmont to deliver on our promise of providing a personal educational experience that is both passionate in application and practical in impact to the greatest number of students each year. For more information on how to support Piedmont’s scholarship funds, contact Craig Rogers at 804.840.9109 or crogers@piedmont.edu today.

#1

PRIVATE COLLEGE IN GEORGIA

JAMES MAGAZINE

100% First-time, full-time students receiving financial aid

96% Students receive financial aid

12.5 million+

$

IN SCHOLARSHIPS & GRANTS awarded by Piedmont each year.

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| F O C U S 2021


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