Issuu on Google+




NEW STUDENT CENTER Construction is underway for a long-awaited new student center at the Demorest campus.

SUMMER 2013 | Volume 6 Number 1



journal President Dr. James F. Mellichamp Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement William S. Loyd Director of Public Relations David Price Graphic Design Specialist Regina Fried Associate Director of Institutional Advancement Justin Scali

This is a drill!

2 4


Singers off to London

Rettig Named VPAA Dr. Perry Rettig of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to head Academic Affairs.

Connecting Past to Present

22 It’s Debatable


Training for the Unthinkable


A Year of Theatre

Published by the Office of Institutional Advancement Third class postage paid at Gainesville, Georgia Published Semi-Annually

8 Postmaster

Send Address Changes to: Piedmont College Institutional Advancement P.O. Box 6 Demorest GA 30535




Marion Hunt’s career in music took him across the U.S. and back.


Students making mark in debate tournaments across the Southeast.

Student nurses put their classroom knowledge to the test in annual countywide disaster drill..

From Anything Goes to Mother Hicks to She Stoops to Conquer, PCT captivated audiences all year.

Memorable Music 22  Music ensembles were busy all year and the Piedmont Singers are not done yet, with a trip to London set for July.

Going Up! The center of the Demorest campus is moving to the new Commons, a student center with style.

First PERC

What Friends Are For 22  Sandy Adams (EDS ’07) starts a movement for special students in Elbert County.

Educators gather at Piedmont for first renewal conference.

Your COMPASS 14  Follow Students can gain credit for work outside the classroom under new program.

27  Sports 30

Alumni News

President’s Message

looking forward


Dr. James F. Mellichamp

holds the architect’s drawing of the the new student center.

ollowing several non-stop weeks of honors, awards and graduations, the Piedmont College campus is slowing down just a bit for the summer. Now is a good time to reflect briefly on the past and look forward to the future. In this edition of the Journal, we catch up with some Piedmont College Alumni and learn where they are now. Marion Hunt, a 1955 graduate, relates his years as a music teacher in California and Oregon. Marion currently resides in Athens and remains a close friend of Piedmont College. We visit with several other alumni also. The 2012-2013 academic year was a success in many ways. Our talented theater students entertained and regaled audiences with their top-notch productions and our musical students and faculty delighted the campus and community with stellar performances. The 2013 Religion and the Liberal Arts Conference on the Athens campus was an intriguing and thought-provoking event as was the first PERC Conference sponsored by the Education Department. More than 170 teachers and future teachers from across northeast Georgia enjoyed a day of learning and inspiration. In athletics, the women’s Lacrosse team had a successful first season and the women’s softball team is heading to the national tournament! Piedmont College alum, Greg Neeley is our new men’s basketball coach, and following a successful recruiting effort the team is looking forward to a winning season. After a national search, Piedmont College welcomes Perry Rettig as the new Vice President for Academic Affairs on July 1. In response to student and workplace demand, the College is adding three new majors, and the Faculty Senate approved a new experiential learning program called Compass that will help distinguish Piedmont graduates from all the rest. We recently broke ground for the long-anticipated student center on the site of the old Grill. This facility will bring the campus together for dining, recreation, conferences and study groups in one central location. Thank you for your continued support of Piedmont College. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our rich legacy and our spotlight on the college’s dynamic and exciting future!

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal


Perry REttig New Vice President for Academic Affairs


r. Perry R. Rettig, a professor and administrator with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has been named Vice President for Academic Affairs. Rettig takes over the position formerly held by Dr. James F. Mellichamp before he was named president of the college in May 2012. Mellichamp said that Rettig’s selection concludes a national search by Piedmont for a new VPAA who will have primary responsibility for issues related to faculty and academic staff. “I am particularly excited about Dr. Rettig’s previous background and experience as a public school teacher and principal,” Mellichamp said. “This complements the excellent programs in our School of Education, which place an emphasis on real-world experience as well as academic leadership. His positions at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh have provided him with a broad range of insight into comprehensive institutions of higher education like Piedmont.” Rettig began his academic career as a middle grades literature and English teacher in Pulaski, Wis., in 1984. He later served as principal at U.S. Grant Elementary School in Sheboygan, Wis. After teaching educational administration at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., he joined the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh as an associate professor in 1998 and in 2005 was named the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. He also continued to teach at UWO and was named a full professor in 2011. A 1984 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Rettig earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a minor in psychology. He earned a master’s degree in administrative leadership from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1988 and a Ph.D. in leadership and supervision from Marquette University in 1994. He was named a Marquette

University Distinguished Scholar in 2002 and 2004. Rettig is the author of two books and numerous articles on education and administration, and he has made presentations on school reform, minority teacher recruitment, and brain research at national and international symposiums. Rettig, who will begin July1, said he was pleased to accept the Piedmont position, and as VPAA his focus would be on “the values of quality, diversity, and transparent shared decision making.” “Our number one goal in creating a learned citizenry for our democratic society is access for all,” Rettig said. “To do this, we must begin and end with quality in all that we do. We must recruit and retain the highest quality faculty and staff. We must do all we can to support their teaching excellence, their research interests, and their service to the community and their profession. This in turn will help us recruit and retain a diverse student population, providing access for all to a quality education.”


The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

CONNECT + GIVE + GROW Join Piedmont College this year as we focus on connectivity between Alumni, Students, Faculty, Staff, and Friends. With your commitment, we can work together to ensure Piedmont College will continue to grow into the future. ANNUAL GIFTS Piedmont College uses your annual gift to support numerous programs and facilities at Piedmont College, and to help fund more than $8 million annually in student scholarships. Without the generosity of our donors, we would be unable to provide a Piedmont education to the number of students we currently serve.

ALUMNI SUPPORT Thanks to our alumni, our giving percentage has nearly doubled from 3.80 to 6.57 percent over the past two academic years. Help us continue this upward trend as we strive for 10 percent. Any alumni gift, no matter the amount, counts towards our percentage.

OPPORTUNITY The higher our alumni giving percentage is, the more opportunities Piedmont College has to obtain grants from corporations and foundations that support higher education. You can give a gift today by using the enclosed envelope, or visiting us online at

Individual commitment to a group effort— that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. ~ V. Lombardi (1913-1970)

For questions about the Piedmont College Annual Fund, 2013 | The piedmont college journal contact the Office of Institutional Advancementsummer at 1-800-868-1641.



Marion Hunt’s 48-year career in music began with


The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

As a high school student in Hartwell, Georgia, in 1949, Marion Hunt had an interest in playing the piano, but where could he get the training he wanted for a career as a musician and teacher?

Piedmont professors

As it turned out, he needed to look no farther than 50 miles up the road to Demorest, where that same year he enrolled at Piedmont to study piano and music with professors Walter Westafer and Aurelia Townes. Westafer, a noted Brahms scholar, was later a longtime professor of music at LaGrange College and Elon University. Townes also had a long and successful career as a choral teacher and director in California. Hunt’s connection to Piedmont actually goes back even farther. In 1909, his mother, Ellie, attended Piedmont Academy, which was the elementary and high school branch of the College. Her roommate was a young girl from China named Soong MeiLing, who years later would be known to the world as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and the two remained lifelong friends. For two years Hunt studied with Westafer and Townes and worked his way through college in the then-new E. Louise Patton Library, which stood where Stewart Hall is today. And while there were only about six other music majors enrolled, Hunt said he was pleased by the level of

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal


MUSIC MAN! instruction of the Music Department, which shared an old Victorian house with Martha Fort Anderson’s Art Department. “The house was located where the Chapel is today,” Hunt said. “Downstairs was a large room where the orchestra, all six pieces, and the choir held classes. There was a little listening room where we had to spend so many hours per week listening to records. Some people were known to have others do their listening for them. Upstairs were the piano studios. There were two grand pianos in Westafer’s studio and the other had an old upright. The practice rooms were in the old Chautauqua Hall. There were three tiny rooms about six feet by nine with pianos. On the best of them, I think 90 percent of the keys worked.” Westafer left Piedmont in 1951, and so did Townes, after marrying future Nobel Prize-winning physicist Arthur Schawlow, co-inventor of the laser. (Remarkably, Townes’ brother, Charles, also won a Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the microwave laser, or maser.) Hunt left Piedmont as well in 1951 to work at the Third Army Finance Department at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, but in two years he was back and ready to finish his music degree. The only problem was, he was now the

Hunt told President James served as the vice president and then Walter that he planned to transfer if president of the Protropian Literary he could not get the instruction he Society and was vice president of his needed, and Walter hired a new music senior class of 1955. He also served as teacher, Mary P. Hoffman, who was like a breath of fresh air for the department. A Wisconsin native, Hoffman had begun teaching music in 1915 and had built a national reputation as an instructor and author of numerous articles for Music Educators Marion Hunt, second from left, at Journal. HoffInterlochen with Van Cliburn, second from man’s repeated right. thesis was that music teachers were needed in the rural areas of America more than piano accompanist for music students, in the urban centers. “Not all of us including his friend Charles Cho, now can swim in the big ponds,” she wrote a Piedmont Trustee Emeritus living in in 1948. “…But if we are interested in California. “Not a lot of people know serving others, we can be important this, but Charles is quite a singer,” ducks in some very interesting and Hunt said. pleasant little ponds. Whether or not The next chapter in Hunt’s life your was also a direct result of his Piedmont pond days. In 1950, professors Westafer and happens Townes somehow lured one of the bigto be gest frogs in the music pond to come small, to Demorest to perform a concert in mediumthe old Chautauqua Hall. The 125th sized or anniversary of the birth of Stephen large—be Foster was approaching, and Westafer proud of wanted to direct a tribute to the comit, and poser of Oh! Susanna, Camptown Races, make it and Beautiful Dreamer. Meanwhile, proud of internationally famed composer Percy you.” Grainger had written several pieces When Hoffman arrived at based on Foster’s choral works. Hunt Piedmont in 1954, Hunt’s studies says he never heard how Westafer contook off. “She was a lovely lady and vinced Grainger to come to Piedmont, totally adopted me,” he said. “We but on the appointed day the famous had class five days a week and on composer arrived by train from Atlanta Saturdays.” Between studies, Hunt at the Cornelia depot.

There were three tiny rooms about six feet by nine with pianos. On the best of them, I think 90 percent of the keys worked.” only piano major on campus. Worse, he did not like the new music professor. “His idea of holding class was to meet in the morning at the Coffee Cup in Demorest to have several cups of coffee and cigarettes,” Hunt said.


The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

MUSIC MAN! Born in Australia in 1882, Percy Grainger had been a rock star of classical music since the early 1900s. Celebrated for his brilliance as a virtuoso

pianist and as a composer, Grainger was also known for his eccentricities, the least of which included a flowing mane of white hair, a vegetarian diet, and his habit of running from town to town while on tour. “We went to pick him up in Westafer’s new black Pontiac convertible—that car was the cat’s meow,” Hunt said. “And the first thing Grainger wanted to do was go to the hardware store to get cow bells.” Hunt explained that one of the sections of the Foster medley involved cow bells, and—long before Saturday Night Live made the expression famous—Percy Grainger needed “more cow bells.” “We went to the hardware store and bought all the cow bells they had and some string to tie them all together,” Hunt said. “Then Grainger decided that he wanted to walk back to Demorest. So there we are, walking up Highway 441, he in his black suit and long white hair below his shoulders, and both of us with strands of cow bells.”

Hunt said the look of alarm on the faces of the “little old ladies sitting on their front porches” was memorable, and it is no wonder that someone reported this strange parade to the sheriff’s office. “An officer pulled up and asked us what we were doing,” Hunt said. “It was kind of hard to explain, but I told him he could call Piedmont to verify who we were. He wound up taking us back to the college in the patrol car.” The Chautauqua Hall was packed, and the concert was a success, Hunt said, as people came “from near and far” to see and hear Percy Grainger in Demorest. Westafer and Grainger even performed a four-hand piano piece, a form that Grainger had helped popularize. After graduating, Hunt moved to White Plains, N.Y., for two years to study piano with Grainger, who also was teaching at The Juilliard School in New York City. Hunt then moved to Claremont, Calif., where he began teaching piano in the public schools and as a private tutor. He later moved to Berkeley, Calif., in the late ’50s, just as the counterculture revolution began to take off. “I can’t even describe what that was like,” he laughed. At Berkeley, Hunt earned a master’s degree in music from the University of California. He wrote his master’s thesis on four-hand piano literature and later conducted numerous lectures and master’s classes on the duet form. While in California, Hunt was offered a position in 1959 to teach piano at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Founded in 1928 as a national music camp, Interlochen is known world-wide for its art, music, theatre, and writing summer camps for high school students.

To get from Berkeley to Interlochen, he needed an affordable car with good gas mileage, and so he decided to buy a new foreign car that had just come on the market in the U.S.—the first of the Volkswagen Beetles. “There were no interstates then, so I got some mighty strange looks driving that car across country,” he said. When he arrived at Interlochen, Hunt was surprised to be assigned to the same cottage where Percy Grainger had taught many years before. For 18 summers Hunt taught piano classes at Interlochen, helping future musicians develop their playing technique and music reading skills. It was also there that he met many other notable music teachers and pianists, including the late Van Cliburn, who at the age of 23 had astounded the classical music world in 1958 by winning the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow during the height of the Cold War. Cliburn played annual concerts at Interlochen for 18 years, beginning in 1961. In 1989 Hunt moved from California to Ashland, Ore., where he continued to teach private piano lessons and also began a second career restoring Victorian-era homes. Active in the Oregon Music Teachers Association, he served as president of the Rogue Valley Chapter and served as treasurer and state ensemble chair for the OMTA. He also holds certification from the National Music Teachers Association. In 2005 Hunt retired to Athens, where he lives today, not far from his home turf of Hartwell. Thinking back on his days at Piedmont, Hunt said that success in any skilled profession depends on training, personality and motivation. “The level that a student works at is determined largely by training and interest. My professors at Piedmont provided all of these elements for me, and I have treasured them through the years. Thank you, Piedmont!”

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal


Fireworks provided by the Piedmont Theatre Department capped a ground breaking ceremony at Piedmont College on Wednesday as officials marked the beginning of construction on the college’s new student center. Pictured from left are Judy Taylor of the Habersham County Chamber of Commerce, Piedmont Student Government officers Sam Thomas and Courtney Benson, President James Mellichamp, Board Chairman Thomas A. ‘Gus’ Arrendale, Mike Grizzel of Scroggs and Grizzel Contracting, and Demorest Mayor Malcolm Hunnicutt.


At Last!

The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

Students will experience the latest in dining, rec and meeting facilities.

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal



commons Breaking ground on a 58,000-square-foot, $14 million student center that will be the new focus of the Demorest campus. 10

The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013


hile plans for a new student center have come and gone over the past decades, a new building that will be the focal point of the campus is finally under construction at the intersection of Georgia Street and Laurel Avenue in Demorest. Piedmont President James Mellichamp, members of the Board of Trustees, and representatives of construction firms involved in the project held a ground breaking ceremony on May 1 to formally begin work on the 58,000-square-foot, $14-million project. Mellichamp said construction of a student center was badly needed, given the recent growth in enrollment and increase in the number of dormitories on campus. The college can currently house some 650 students on campus. “I think it is going to have an impact on our ability to recruit students—

it will be equal to—or better—than student centers at larger colleges in the Southeast,” he said. The two-story building will include dining facilities, a fitness center and gymnasium for intramural sports, group study rooms, a banquet and conference area, bookstore, and offices for student services and student organizations. The atrium will feature a rock climbing wall. Construction of the student center is being financed largely by Community Bank & Trust through the use of a revenue bond passed through the Habersham County Development Authority and guaranteed by the College, said John Misner, Executive Vice President for Institutional Resources and Dean of the School of Business. “This is a good time to begin construction since loan interest rates are low, as are construction costs.”

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal



PERC A Success






The first Piedmont Educator Renewal Conference (PERC) is in the books and more than 170 teachers and future teachers attended the inaugural event March 23 at the Swanson Center. Developed by the School of Education and Pioneer RESA, the oneday conference focused on timely issues and trends in education, including the national Common Core State Standards Initiative. Established by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the first Common Core Standards in mathematics and English were released in 2010. The standards are designed to give parents and educators a clear understanding of academic goals for grades kindergarten through high school. PERC gave educators in the northeast Georgia area the opportunity to share information on innovative and effective practices and recent research in education, especially where it applied to the core standards, said Dr. Don Gnecco, Dean of the Piedmont College School of Education. In addition to workshops on the new standards, the conference included breakout sessions and poster presentations with information about motivating students, technology in the classroom, the Foxfire approach to teaching, and supporting culturally diverse populations. “We expect this to be an annual event and a good way for educators in the area to pool information,” Gnecco said. “Sessions were conducted by Piedmont faculty and recent graduates from our master’s, specialist, and doctoral programs, who shared information that they have collected through their capstone or dissertation research.” Educators who want to receive information about next year’s conference should contact Dr. Judith Perry at


The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

1 Dannette Flint,

an Athens-based commediene and motivational speaker shared her experiences as a classroom teacher.

2 Current Piedmont

doctoral students Nicole McQuilken, Mary Welch and Vickie Grant study the event program.

3 Education professor

Dr. Susan SmithPatrick led a workshop on elementary school classroom management for student teachers.



4 Dr. Kenyon Brown led a workshop on how to evaluate mobile applications for classroom use.

5 Education students

and staff servings as hosts included (front, from left) Elizabeth Farmer, Laura Goodwin, Dekota Lego, Ethan Miers, (back) Kay Beavers, Lisa Brookshire, Tiffany Collins, Kathleen Anderson, Nancy Gnecco, and Caleb Cochran.



6 Participants register

for the start of the conference, which was held at the Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Communications.



summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal




A program of

distinction recognizing work outside the classroom


t a recent assembly, the Piedmont College faculty approved a new co-curricular program that will record students’ experiential learning. Starting in fall 2013 under the new “Compass Program,” students at the Demorest and Athens campuses during their four years of undergraduate studies will take part in a variety of learning experiences outside the classroom. The six points of the Compass include creativity and innovation, social ethics, leadership, cultural awareness, vocation, and service-learning. Piedmont Chaplain Ashley Cleere said the experiences will encompass a wide assortment of projects, including science experiments, athletic pursuits, internships, travel, volunteerism, entrepreneurial activity, and artistic expression. “Many of our students are already involved in projects suited for the Compass Program,” Cleere said.


The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

“The creation of this program formalizes the process so that work outside the classroom garners recognition.” Cleere said students’ achievements through the Compass Program will be included in their official college transcripts, making it easier for future graduate programs or employers to judge the value of their co-curricular efforts. Each of the Compass endeavors will be approved by a faculty or staff sponsor who will oversee the work, Cleere said. At the end of each project, students will reflect on what they learned from the experience. “The role of the Compass Program is to acquaint students with individuals and contexts they may not otherwise encounter and to develop an avenue for them to set goals, as well as reflect on insights gained and challenges faced,” Cleere said. The program is being implemented gradually, with the upcoming fall freshmen being the first involved.

Paws for a Cause Like a Frisbee-seeking missile, superdog Quinn flies through the air as Marni Brown of the Greater Atlanta Dog and Disc Club puts him through his paces at the second Paws for a Cause April 6 on the Quad. The event, which included discount rabies vaccinations, “peticures,” and raffles, raised more than $500 for the Habersham Humane Society. Event sponsors included the Biology Club, honor societies Kappa Pi and Psi Chi, and members of the Resident Assistance staff.

Become a member

Many people have played key roles in the transformational growth of Piedmont over the last decades—and many more will be needed in the future. The Legacy Society is a circle of valued friends who have made Piedmont part of their estate plans and who wish to encourage others to follow their example. There is no minimum gift amount, and you may request anonymity. If you have already designated Piedmont as a beneficiary of your estate or if you would just like more information, contact Bill Loyd at 706-778-8500, extension 1170, or email The Legacy Society is one way to show your commitment to Piedmont’s future and its mission of academic excellence within a culture ofcollege community and service. summer 2013 piedmont journal 15 | The

Piedmont debaters Rusty Crumley (left) and Ethan McGowan strategize during the preliminary round of Piedmont’s Mayflower Classic Debate Tournament.

Debate T

he Piedmont Debate Team has been bringing home trophies from competitions across the Southeast this year, and for the first time the team gave away trophies at a multi-college debate tournament held at the Demorest campus. Some 13 teams from institutions in Georgia and Tennessee participated in the “Mayflower Classic,” a novice parliamentary debate tournament held in Stewart Hall on April 6. Schools represented included Mercer University, Oglethorpe University, Middle Tennessee State


The piedmont college journal

| SUMMER 2013

Sarah Smagur, above, and Katheryn Knarr qualified to compete in the 2013 National Forensics Association Championship Tournament at Marshall University.

Team hosts first intercollegiate contest

University, and the University of North Georgia. PC’s Augusta Gailey and Jacob Reed advanced to the semi-finals and placed third in the tournament, while Ethan McGowan and Rusty Crumley won three debate rounds and advanced to the quarter-finals. Piedmont also won the second-place team sweepstakes award. In addition, the top 10 debaters received speaker awards for their argumentation skills. Piedmont debaters Ethan McGowan, Rusty Crumley, and Augusta Gailey ranked fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively. The Mayflower Classic tournament marked the 10th anniversary of Piedmont’s debate

team, established in 2003 under the direction of Dr. Janice Moss, professor of mass communications. The members of the Piedmont debate team include president Bethany Murley, Sarah Smagur, Katheryn Knarr, Augusta Gailey, Brandon Callahan, Ethan McGowan, Rusty Crumley, Sam Thomas, and Jacob Reed. In February, the team took nine public speaking awards at the Georgia Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Championship Tournament held at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta. Forensics refers to a variety of oratorical prowess, in addition to debate. Piedmont debater Knarr

The Piedmont Debate Team members include, from left, Ethan McGowan, Sam Thomas, Augusta Gailey, coach Janice Moss, Katheryn Knarr, and Brandon Callahan. Not pictured are Bethany Murley, Sarah Smagur, Rusty Crumley, and Jacob Reed.

advanced to the finals in three events and placed second overall in editorial impromptu speaking. She also received a third-place pentathlon award for her public speaking skills. Smagur also advanced to the finals in three events, placing fourth in impromptu and editorial impromptu speaking. Knarr and Smagur teamed up for a third place finish in dramatic duo, and took the third-place forensics team sweepstakes award. Knarr and Smagur qualified to compete in the 2013 National Forensics Association Championship Tournament at Marshall University in Huntington, W.V., to be held April 18-22. This will be Knarr’s

second time representing Piedmont at nationals. She competed in impromptu speaking at the 2012 NFA Championship Tournament in Athens, Ohio. Also in February, the Piedmont Debate Team took second place at the 2013 Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association State Championship Tournament at Mercer University in Macon. Callahan and Smagur received a semi-finalist award and advanced to the semi-final round. Callahan won the best debate speaker award, and Smagur took fifth. Knarr and Gailey won a semi-finalist award. Knarr won the second best debate speaker award. Thomas and Reed

Bethany Murley is president of the Piedmont Debate Team.

won two debate rounds and received an octa-finalist award. McGowan and Crumley won a hard fought debate round that greatly contributed to Piedmont winning the second place team sweepstakes award. In addition, Dr. Janice Moss, Piedmont’s debate team coach, was elected Vice President of the Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association for 2013-2014 at the tournament. She will become President of the Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association in 2015. Piedmont College was also selected to host the Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association State Championship Tournament in 2015.


| The piedmont college journal


Senior student nurses Anna Stapleton, left, and Casi Best attend to one of the ‘injured’ during this year’s disaster drill.


The piedmont college journal

DISASTER | summer 2013

From left, Samantha Ramey, Tonnica Sasanas, Myriame Samson, Amanda Curry, and Johnna McCurry transport a patient to a waiting ambulance. Patients were taken to Habersham County Medical Center, where the drill continued.

Disaster Drill grows each year, as does School of Nursing and Health Sciences.


Each year the Piedmont College Daniel School of Nursing and Health Sciences works with local emergency services agencies to stage a mock disaster to help train senior student nurses from the Demorest and Athens campuses. The students never know when or what type of emergency they will have to face. The junior student nurses played the role of victims in this year’s drill, which simulated an accidental lab explosion, and the PC Theatre Department ensured that injuries were as realistic as possible. Dr. Linda Scott, Dean of the Daniel School of Nursing and Health Sciences, said thanks go to Habersham Medical Center and all of the local agencies for making this year’s drill an educational success.

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal




3 1


J eremy Douylliez as Moonface Martin terrorizes the passengers aboard the USS America in a scene from Anything Goes.

The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013


The large cast of Anythng Goes filled the prow of the cruise ship set, which was built out into the first three rows of the audience.


 atie Robinson comforts K Krista Baker in a scene from Mother Hicks.




5 4

6  eter Davis as the Captain with P Garrett Holloway as Billy and Alexandra Mahoney as Reno in Anything Goes.


The cast of Mother Hicks included (front) Tamara Rainwater, Melissa Rice, Tyler Dale, Moleek Simmons, Katie Robinson, Jacob McKee, (back) Peter Davis, Ben Cisse, Justin Gilleland, Krista Baker, Ryan Robinson, Oliver Merritt, Monique Leaphart, Sky Ross, and Kiki Thompson.

6  Alexandra Mahoney, Jeremy

Douylliez, and Jacob McKee settle their differnces in She Stoops to Conquer.

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal



music to Remember



Music ensembles at Piedmont had a busy year as Cantabile, The Piedmont Singers, Piedmont Chorale, and the Wind Ensemble performed at home and on the road. The Piedmont Singers, formerly known as The Chamber Singers, sang for the second year at Spivey Hall in Morrow, presenting a program of music from the Renaissance to the 21st Century entitled Glorious Things. This summer, the 40-voice ensemble led by Dr. Wallace Hinson will perform at the annual meeting of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches in Orlando, Fla., and at the International Congregational Fellowship meeting in London, England. In April, the Piedmont Singers joined with the Chorale and Piedmont Orchestra, led by Dr. Lauren Ringwall, to present Frostiana, a collection of works by Randall Thompson based on the poetry of Robert Frost. They were joined by the Dawson County High School Chamber Singers, led by Spencer Wright of the Class of 1998. The spring concert by the Wind Ensemble held a special meaning for band students who studied under Dr. Archie Sharretts during his 35 years in public and private education. Director Vickie Pinson invited all former students of Sharretts to the concert and to a reception afterward. Sharretts, who has taught at Piedmont, Truett-McConnell and Toccoa Falls colleges, was the longtime band director in Stephens County from 1956 to 1987. He was conductor of the Toccoa Symphony Orchestra for 24 years, beginning in 1976.

4 1 The Piedmont Singers will head to England July 27-Aug. 6 for a series of concerts at the International Congregational Fellowship meeting.


2 From left, Brianna Foley, Olivia Scoggins and Jeremy Douylliez.

The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

3 Storm Tipton and

Moleek Simmons.

4 Annelise Millwood, front, and Katie Robinson.

religion conference ‘Religion in the Public Square’ Athens campus hosts annual symposium



Religion in the Public Square


tate Representative Stacey Abrams and CNN writer/producers John Blake and Jessica Ravitz were among the presenters who conducted workshops at the Piedmont Conference on Religion and the Liberal Arts held at the Athens Campus in February. “Faith and Citizenship: Religion in the Public Square,” was the theme for the college’s sixth annual Religion and the Liberal Arts Conference, which featured addresses by professor of religion Barbara Brown Taylor and by David P. Gushee, director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. Abrams represents the 89th House District and serves as Minority Leader in the General Assembly. Blake and Ravitz both cover religion and politics for CNN Digital. Also heading up the workshops were Thomas G. Camp, Spiritual Director for the Samaritan Counseling Center of Northeast Georgia; Plemon T. El-Amin, Imam Emeritus at the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam; and Jeffrey Selman, Atlanta Chapter President of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “While last year’s presidential election served to focus issues, the debates do not end once votes are cast,” said conference organizer and Piedmont Chaplain Ashley Cleere. “Concerns about justice, privacy, hospitality, neighborliness, and compassion occupy both religious and political discourse.” In the workshops, participants examined the role religion plays in questions such as, “Who may be married? Is torture ever right? How much responsibility do humans bear for climate change? When does life begin? When is prayer appropriate in public settings? Under what circumstances are immigrants to be welcomed? How are health care needs to be met?” In the keynote speech, Gushee recounted his experiences after writing an article in 2006 for Christianity Today on the issue of torture. Gushee is a professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer, where he also chairs the Mercer Lyceum initiative on rebuilding democracy. He is the author of several books on ethics, including “The Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust,” and he serves on the board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In his article, Gushee proposed five reasons for why torture is always wrong. Not only does torture violate the dignity of the person being tortured, he said, it exploits the vulnerability of prisoners. Gushee wrote that authorizing torture places too much trust in the government because of the lack of accountability. Finally, he said, torture dehumanizes the torturer and erodes the character of the nation that tortures. Gushee noted that Senator John McCain, who endured torture as a prisoner in Vietnam, said, “It is not about who they are. It is about who we are.” Gushee said he was surprised by the torrent of mail he received from people opposed to his conclusions, as well as from those who agreed. The article placed him in the center of the debate on torture as it applied to the 2008 presidential election, and led to his cofounding Evangelicals for Hunan Rights, an organization that seeks to broaden the anti-torture coalition to include more evangelical Christians. (Continued on Page 25)

Barbara Brown Taylor

This year’s conference covered topics such as... “Who may be married? Is torture ever right? How much responsibility do humans bear for climate change? When does life begin? When is prayer appropriate in public settings? Under what circumstances are immigrants to be welcomed? How are health care needs to be met?”

Jeff and Sandy Adams, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, and Representative Tom McCall.

Sandy Adams, left, and FHF Founding Officers Abby Jordan, Carmen Flores, Hannah Starrett, Katie McCall with Representative Tom McCall at the Capitol. Friends Helping Friends is dedicated to the memory of the late Bud McCall, Katie’s brother and Tom’s son.

Friends Helping Friends One student’s wish sparks a phenomenon in Elbert County Sandy Adams (EDS ’02) has been appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the nine-member Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, but she admits the person truly responsible for her new post is a former student at Elbert County High School. The GVRA is a new agency to assist Georgians with disabilities to become employed and live independently. As part of the executive branch, the agency’s governing board reports directly to the governor and is responsible for establishing policy and determining funding allocations with a budget of $20,184,533. Adams has taught in Elbert County since 1984 and is currently the Adapted PE teacher and PE Department Chair. During her years of teaching, she has been named Beaverdam Elementary School Teacher of the Year and was named the Georgia Teacher of the Year by the United States Tennis Association. Adams


The piedmont college journal

received her HPERD Masters Degree from the University of Georgia and her Education Specialist Degree from Piedmont. She is the first teacher in Elbert County to obtain Georgia Master Teacher Certification and is also a National Board Certified Teacher. She and her husband, Jeff, who retired in 2011 from teaching Biology at Elbert County High School, spent three summers as fitness instructors for the Governor’s Honors Program at Valdosta State University. But that is only part of the reason Gov. Deal selected Adams for the statewide post. Adams is the founding sponsor of a club at the Elbert County middle and high schools called Friends Helping Friends (FHF), which provides trips and special events for students who have special needs. Remarkably, since its founding in 2009, the club now has 300 members—more than a third of the students at ECHS—who donate

| summer 2013

their time to provide students with extra special needs the opportunity to attend events such as the FHF Beauty Pageant, Special Olympics, basketball assemblies, field days, summer camps and a list of activities that grows every year. To qualify for FHF membership, students must have good attendance, good grades and good behavior. Many students work diligently to improve their grades so that they will qualify for FHF membership! ‘I know you think I’m kidding’

Sandy said the club got started in 2009 when one of her high school students, Katie McCall, repeatedly asked if she could go with her to Blackwell Elementary to help teach an adapted PE class. “Katie said, ‘Mrs. Adams, I know you think I’m kidding, but I’m totally serious. I really do want to go with you to Blackwell to help you with your students. I love those kids and that’s what I want to

do some day. I want to teach children with special needs.’ I told her that I wished that I could let her go, and went on my way, but throughout the day I kept thinking about what Katie had said and how sincere she was. So, I talked to our principal and asked him if there was any way that Katie could go with me and work with my students at Blackwell. He agreed, and Katie encouraged a few other freshmen to go with us.” “Then, something amazing happened,” Adams said. “Our precious students, who have so many special needs, began learning new activities at a much faster rate. Students who would barely talk or participate started interacting with the high school students and soon began talking, laughing, and performing better in physical activities! Blackwell students fell in love with these girls. And of

course the high school girls absolutely fell in love with the students at Blackwell. This created a wonderful opportunity for our children who have many challenges, but it also did something extraordinary in the hearts of the young ladies assisting them.” Four years later, what started with one student who had a strong desire to help children with special needs grew into the Friends Helping Friends Club, the largest service club at ECCHS, and new this year, at ECMS as well. “One of the positive results of our school trips and special events is that several of the Friends Helping Friends members decided to become Student Interns, who spend a block of their school day assisting students with special needs as part of the Work Based Learning Program,” Adams said.

With her new post on the board of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, Sandy will be able to focus her enthusiasm for special needs students statewide. “I am humbled and consider it an honor to be part of this new agency, to be given the exciting opportunity by Representative McCall and Governor Deal to offer assistance to Georgians with disabilities,” she said. “I am so excited about sharing Friends Helping Friends and the Vocational Rehabilitation program to schools across the state. Helping children and adults with extra special needs puts things into proper perspective and changes lives forever! It has certainly given purpose to my ‘job,’ which I consider to be a very special privilege.” For more information, go to www. to view videos and pictures.

religion conference story continued (Continued from Page 23) Speaker Barbara Brown Taylor has been an Episcopal priest since 1984 and is the author of 12 books including the New York Times bestseller “An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith.” She has taught religion at Piedmont College, where she holds the Butman Chair in Philosophy and Religion, since 1998. In her welcoming address, Taylor talked about how her students of various faiths have helped her and other students overcome the “single story” that is often presented by Hollywood about people around the world. “The danger of a single story is that it creates stereotypes. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are entirely untrue, but that they are incomplete,” she said. “They make one story the only story. And the single story robs people of their dignity. Show a people as one thing—only one thing—over and over again, and that is what they become. The good news is that we are living in a country where single stories are breaking down. Iraqi war veteran Tulsi Gabbard is sworn into office with her hand on the Bhagavad Gita. Protestants in Congress make way for Catholics and Jews. … Democrats and Republicans both learn that we are not as keenly discerning of our opponents’ faults as we thought we were.” She talked about one student from Serbia, who “single handedly defeats stereotypes about Muslims among 26 of his classmates at a small liberal arts college in northeast Georgia. With news stories like these popping up all over the place, it may not be long before we all discover that we are more similar than we think. That we are capable of feelings more complex than patronizing pity. … That there is still a real possibility of connection as full lively human beings. The more stories we are willing to hear and tell both about ourselves and our neighbors, the more free we are to see each other for who we really are—beautiful complex souls whose lives can never be reduced to a single plot line.”

summer 2013

Jeffrey Selman, Atlanta Chapter President of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, chaired a workshop at the conference.

| The piedmont college journal


Piedmont Letter Club inducts three to Hall of Fame New Piedmont Athletic Hall of Fame members (from left) Rob Weisel and Katie O’Brien-Chapman with Letter Club President Michael Williams. Not pictured is Jacque DeMarrais.

The Piedmont College Letter Club inducted three new members to its Sports Hall of Fame during Alumni Weekend in May. This year’s class includes volleyball standout Jacque DeMarrais (’07), volleyball coach Katie O’Brien-Chapman (MBA ’01), and soccer goalkeeper Rob Weisel (’04). As a freshman in 2003, Jacque DeMarrais of Lawrenceville was thrown into the starting position of middle hitter, filling the shoes of Hall of Fame member Katie Gibbs (’03, MA ’07). Voted “Most Improved” by her teammates that season, DeMarrais was named the Great South Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. A GSAC Player of the Week multiple times during her career, DeMarrais was on the AllConference Team as a sophomore, junior and senior. Twice she was voted one of the top three players in the GSAC by coaches throughout the conference. DeMarrais was named to the GSAC All-Academic Team all three years in which she was eligible and was a Dean’s Scholar each of her years at Piedmont. After graduating with a degree in biology, she earned a doctor of physical therapy degree


The piedmont college journal

from North Georgia College and State University in 2010. She and her husband, Dr. Jordan Young, live in Greenwood, S.C., and have a daughter, Adelyn. A standout volleyball player at the University of Iowa, Katie O’Brien-Chapman was named head volleyball coach at Piedmont in 2000, notching the team’s first winning record at 18-16 her first year. In six of her eight seasons as the head coach, the Lady Lions finished with 20 or more wins. In 2007, she guided the team to its first-ever NCAA Division III National Tournament appearance, along the way capturing a pair of GSAC tournament championships, one in 2007 and the other in 2001. She was twice voted GSAC Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2007. During Coach Katie’s career at Piedmont, her players were also known for their success in the classroom as her teams’ cumulative grade-point average was 3.32 over the eight years of her tenure. In 2006-07, her team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) Game Plan Academic Team Award with a 3.42 cumulative GPA. Currently O’Brien-Chapman is the head

| summer 2013

volleyball coach at the University of Montevallo, a Division II school in Alabama. She and her husband, Freddie Chapman, live in Calera, Ala. As one of the Lions’ most respected and feared goalkeepers, Rob Weisel helped his men’s soccer team to a 71-23-3 record, the winningest four years in the club’s 20-year history. Starting in every game, Weisel led the Lions to their first Great South Athletic Conference title in 2000 and was named Tournament MVP for his efforts in goal. The title would be the first of three conference crowns that Weisel experienced. Originally from Orefield, Penn., Weisel holds the first (0.95 in 2001) and second (1.00 in 2003) ranked spots all time for goals allowed. He is also first in career shutouts with 36 and holds the second through fifth spots for shutouts in a season. He is second in all-time saves, with 467 over his four seasons. An All-Freshman in 2000, he was named to the All-Conference team and the AllAcademic team for three years. Rob and his wife, Anne, have two children and he is currently an admissions officer at Savannah College of Art and Design.


Former assistant coach Greg Neeley takes the helm of the Lions basketball team

Men’s basketball looks to rebuild The men’s basketball team has some rebuilding to do and a new coach with a familiar face to do the job. Greg Neeley (MBA ’09), who served as an assistant coach from 2007-10 has been named the new head coach, Athletic Director John Dzik announced in March. Neeley comes to Piedmont from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C., where this past season he led the Owls to their most successful record ever. Finishing on a 12-game winning streak, Warren Wilson qualified for the USCAA national tournament and stunned the field, winning the National Championship with four wins in as many days. Prior to that position, Neeley also built a winning program at Ancilla College in his home state of Indiana, taking the Chargers to the NJCAA District 8 tournament in his first year. “Greg is a perfect fit for Piedmont College,” Dzik said. “He brings proven successful head coaching

experience to our situation. Moreover, his knowledge of Piedmont and his ability to successfully recruit student athletes of high academic and athletic ability are key ingredients to building a winning basketball program.” Neeley joins the program after the Lions cancelled the second half of the 2012-13 season when injuries and suspensions left the team with just six able-bodied players. “Piedmont College has always felt like home to me, and I am privileged to return and lead the men’s basketball program.” Neeley said. “I want to thank President James Mellichamp, Dr. John Misner, and Coach Dzik for the opportunity to come home. I look forward to recruiting and working with student athletes who are a great fit for Piedmont and the basketball program.”

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal





4 1



J osh Bailey of Conyers adds to his .497 slugging percentage. The Lions finished at 22-22 on the year and 1311 in the USA South Conference.


 idfielder Sumner Gantz of Ball M Ground looks for an opening. The men’s lacrosse team finished its second season with a 6-9 record. The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

Freshman Taylor Mitcham of McDonough looks for the green. The Piedmont women finished first, second and third in their final three tourneys of the year.


 egan Kesler of Colbert takes M a turn behind the plate. The Lady Lions made a run at the NCAA National title, dumping #4 ranked Emory twice before falling to the eventual winner, Salisbury, in the Regional finals. They finished 34-10 on the year and 19-3 in the USA South.



7 5

 egan McDowell of Fayetteville M was Piedmont’s number two scorer on the season, behind Alexis Narducci of St. Johns, Fla. In their first year, the team finished 12-4 and 5-3 in conference play and advanced to the semifinals.



Chelsea Prince of Kingsland finished the season at 12-6 as the tennis women finished 9-9 and 8-3 in the conference.



William Jarrard of Dublin finished the season with an average score of +8 on the year.

Sophomore Nick Hallberg of Dacula. helped the tennis men to a 12-6 record as they advanced to the quarterfinals of the USA South tourney. summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal


CLASS NOTES Elliott Eggleston (’56) of Birmingham, Ala., and his wife, Jeanne, are celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary and enjoying the retired life. They have three daughters, eight grandchildren and one great grandson. Elliott says classmates can contact them at

Susan Thomas Hoover Delpit, who attended in 1962, is retired after a 25-year career in nursing. She and her husband, Warren, live in St. Augustine, Fla.

Robert S. Davis (’78) has received his second National Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society for his newly revised book, Georgia Research. Robert, who teaches history and genealogy at Wallace State College, has published some 40 books and more than 1,000 articles on research and history. He was recently featured by the Associated Press in an article about his work with archaeologists in Washington, Ga., to locate the Revolutionary War site known as Carr’s Fort.

Atha Dalton (’96) of Baldwin was elected to the Banks County Board of Education in 2012. Atha also enjoys Civil War historical reenacting and presents living history and educational presentations for schools and organizations with a group called the Ladies of Distinction. “We bring to life stories of women who made significant contributions to both the Union and Confederate sides during the Civil War. We recently worked


The piedmont college journal

| summer 2013

with the Georgia Division of Tourism at a picnic to welcome the new Caterpillar Company to Watkinsville, and are often special guests at the historic Eagle Tavern also in Watkinsville.”

Lara Goodman Still (MA ’00, EDS ’03) has been named

Dr. Lee Smee (’96) is an

Terry L. Hill (’01) of

associate professor in the Department of Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, and recently was in the news for a three-year study that could have a large impact on the worldwide oyster industry. With oyster reefs on the decline because of overharvesting and poor water quality, Smee and colleagues at Texas A&M began studying the behavior of free-swimming larval oysters. They discovered which types of oyster reefs the larvae prefer and which types they avoid, which could help aquaculturists prevent the demise of these reefs.

David Redmond (’98) has been named the head baseball coach at North Murray High School in Chatsworth. Redmond has been an assistant coach the past two seasons. A mathematics teacher, he was recently named North Murray’s Teacher of the Year. Redmond grew up in Murray County and pitched for the Murray County High School Indians. Dr. Dionne M. Rosser-Mims (’99) has been granted tenure status and promoted to associate professor in the College of Education at Troy University. Dionne earned her PhD and MPA at the University of Georgia.

assistant principal at Colman Ferry Elementary School in Watkinsville. Lara has been teaching for 23 years.

Tallahassee, Fla., has been named Chair of the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) Sponsorship Committee. He was also recently named Chair of the Florida State University Family Connection Advisory Council (FSU FCAC) Development Committee.

Jessica Howell-Edwards (’02) and C. Tyson Edwards announce the birth of a daughter, Clara Elizabeth Edwards in March 2013. Jessica works as a freelance copywriter and creative strategist in Atlanta.

Meredith Kisgen (’06) is in Los Angeles, where she worked with the production team of American Idol and this year will be working with a production company in Burbank, Calif., on a new show for MTV. After graduating from Piedmont, Meredith spent a year in the Peace Corps in Swaziland, earned a second BA degree in film, and worked as an associate story producer for 10 episodes of My Big Redneck Vacation. Ric (’97, MAT ’06) and Melinda Johnson Wallace (’01) live in Sautee with their three children. Melinda, who earned an MA degree in physical education and coaching from Ball State University, and Ric both teach at South

CLASS NOTES Habersham Middle School. Ric is also the men’s head soccer coach at Habersham Central High School, where he has been named Coach of the Year six times. His teams have won six region championships and made seven state playoff appearances, two in the final four.

Daniel Funt (’07) jumped from one Piedmont to another. After graduation, the Carlisle, Penn., native went to work as a science teacher at Piedmont Academy, a college preparatory school in Monticello. He also coaches middle and varsity softball, baseball and wrestling and is the strength and conditioning coach.

Rachel Holland (’07) of Athens earned a Master of Science in Nursing/Nurse Practitioner degree from Georgia Regents University in May 2013.

Jacque DeMarrais Young (’07) and her husband, Jordan, announce the birth of a daughter, Adelyn Marie Young, April 23, 2013.

Branden Mayweather (’08) has been named head boys basketball coach at Central Gwinnett High School. He spent the past four seasons as a coach at Archer High School in Gwinnett County.

Joanna Moye Williams (’08) graduated from Vanderbilt University in May 2013 with a Master of Science in Nursing degree. She and husband Kallan (’06) live in Clarkesville.

Mary Elizabeth Hood Ogletree (MAT ’09) has been named Teacher of the Year at Columbus High School.

Tiffany Scott (’09) is a graphic artist with Central Label Products in Athens. She has also started a graphics business in Athens, called Heavenly Creations.

Liat Faver (’10) of Demorest is enrolled in a creative writing MFA program at Converse College. She is active in local theatre, including the recent Sautee Nacoochee Community Association’s performance of Jo Carson’s Daytrips. Jenna Sutton Hinkel (MA ’10) of Clarkesville and her husband, Brent, announce the birth of a son, Noah Gordon Hinkel, Feb. 5, 2013. Noah joins siblings Makenzie, 2, and Gabe, 11.

Many alumni are familiar with Susan Mills, who for 15 years was the “face” of the Piedmont College Alumni Office. Susan retired in December and now she and her husband, Lloyd, are both enjoying gardening at their home near Cleveland. Susan still keeps track of Piedmont alums in the news and emails us with updates for Classnotes.

Timmy McCormack (MAT ’10) has been named Director of Athletic Communications at Piedmont College.

Laura Puckett (’10, MBA ’12) is the new Recreation Coordinator at Bethlehem First United Methodist Church in Bethlehem.

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal


Where Are They Now? TONY WOLFE ’88 Tony is now in his 17th year as a social sciences teacher and coach at Buford High School, where he served as an assistant football coach for 10 years and was a part of three State Championship teams (2001, 2002, and 2003) and a state record 47-game winning streak. He was also head baseball coach all 17 seasons, winning more than 300 games and the 2011 AA State Championship. In 2007, he became head softball coach, winning a string of six straight State Championships and racking up a 190-31 record. Tony and his wife, Kim, have been married 23 years and have two daughters, Whitney, a sophomore softball player at Piedmont, and Peyton a freshman at Buford High School. “I still have many friends from my days at Piedmont and enjoy visiting several times a year to see my daughter. I know I wouldn’t have had the success I have enjoyed without the opportunity to attend Piedmont College,” Tony said. EDWARD BELL ’04 Ed Bell is a regional sales manager for Allstate Benefits in Atlanta and living in Glenwood Park. He is also a member of the National Association of Heath Underwriters, an advocacy group for health care and health insurance industries. When he is not working, Ed plays soccer with an Atlanta Silverbacks park league and


The piedmont college journal

softball. He also helped organize Atlanta Chess Mess, which now boasts some 230 members who meet twice a month at Manuel’s Tavern. As the name implies, it is a fun way to mix food, beverage and chess in a fun atmosphere. An art major at Piedmont, Ed said he finds graphic design has been a big help in designing communications pieces for work, and he also does a little graphic design on the side, creating fliers and logos. MICHAEL SANTOWSKI ’06 Michael lives in Cumming with his wife, Mattie. He is currently a vice president, principal banker in the Atlanta Business Banking Group of Wells Fargo, with an office in Duluth. Shortly after graduating, Mike began his career with Habersham Bank, where he completed a management training program that exposed him to many areas of banking. During his tenure, his focus was on credit analysis and commercial lending. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, playing golf, traveling and exercising. He and his wife are regular attendees of North Point Community Church and are members of several small groups/Bible studies. “In the near future,” he said, “we plan to add to the family to carry on the Santowski name!”

| summer 2013

MALLORY DUMAS ’08 After graduation, Mallory moved to New York City for a summer fellowship with the International Radio and Television Society. Through IRTS, she interned at Sharp Entertainment and worked on a Food Network show. “I was mostly a production assistant, which means I did a lot of running around to make sure everything was where it needed to be.” In September 2008 she was hired by Food Network and is now an associate producer. “I work full time on writing and producing promos for Food Network and Cooking Channel. A normal day for me involves screening shows, writing scripts, searching for music tracks and much more. I love working in short form video and the people I work with everyday,” she said. In her free time, Mallory volunteers with the Learning Ally, recording textbooks for the blind and dyslexic. “I also swim, read and go to museums. I love living in the city and try to enjoy it as much as possible on the weekends. I’m not sure I’ll be in New York forever, but my career is here and that’s fine by me!” SPENCER WRIGHT ’98 When Spencer was hired right after graduation as director of the choral program at Dawson County High School, the program had about 25 students. Since then it has grown to nearly 225 students,

CLASS NOTES almost a fourth of the enrollment. The DCHS Chamber Singers are a select group out of the program and have traveled all over the Southeast singing for many different events. Spencer and his wife, Lora Whitfield Wright (’98) have been married for 15 years and have three children. “I love spending time with my family,” spencer said. “ My older girls play Club Soccer for United Futbol Academy and we spend a great deal of time on the road watching them play. I am the Worship Pastor at Harbor Worship Center in Dawsonville. I play guitar, bass, drums and piano. My life revolves around God and my family. I am blessed beyond measure.” DR. MARTHA KELLY CANTRELL ’80 True to the tradition of being a lifetime learner, Martha earned her EdS degree in 2010 and recently completed her doctorate in education at Piedmont. She teaches AP calculus at Habersham Central High School and is the Gifted Program Coordinator for the school system. Martha and Jon (’81) have three married children and will celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary this year. While teaching at Tallulah Falls School, Martha’s class won a national competition to name the Space Shuttle Endeavour, which first launched in 1992. When the shuttle was retired last year, Martha and her family were invited

to Kennedy Space Center for a private tour to see Endeavour one more time before it was transported to the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center in Los Angeles. ANTHONY BALDRIDGE ’96 After graduating in 2006, Anthony Baldridge pursued graduate studies as a Presidential Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he studied the green fluorescent protein chromophore and received a Ph.D. in chemistry in 2011. While at Tech, he served as the graduate student body president from 2010-2011, taught high school chemistry one day a week, and made research trips to Portugal and England. Anthony is now doing postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley , and has been awarded a National Institutes of Health fellowship to research cancer imaging. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends, being a “foodie” both at home and at restaurants, and his hobby of coin collecting.

KATIE SAWHILL ’10 Katie moved to Wilmington, N.C., as one of the founding members of the Greater Wilmington Church, and she is teaching musical theatre and chorus at a local charter school, the Cape Fear Center for Inquiry. Katie is staying active in area theatre, recently playing Maria in The Sound of Music and Ethelene in The Dillinger Dilemma. She also appeared in May in The Hallmark Channel movie, The Confession, with Katie LeClerc and Sherry Stringfield. Our Katie played Alexis, the roommate of LeClerc, who plays Katie Lapp, an Amish girl in search of her real mother. Katie is also promoting and working on an accompanying text for her one-woman show about the Old Testament’s King David. You can find out more at The Nights of the King Facebook page.

Even women of the Old Testament have to fill up now and again.

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal


Alumni Association award winners include, front from left, Gary Coker, Pat Taylor, and Linda Arnold, with associate director of Institutional Advancement Justin Scali. Not pictured is Alex Pyron.

Piedmont alumni honor four for service 34

The piedmont college journal

The Piedmont College Alumni Association singled out 4 graduates for special honors during the annual Alumni Weekend awards banquet held May 4 in Demorest. Dr. Gary Coker (’63) of Greensboro earned the group’s Distinguished Alumni Award, while Pat Taylor (’71) of Demorest was honored with the Excellence in Education Award. Linda Arnold (’90) of Mt.Airy received the Alumni Service Award, and Dr. Alex Pyron (’04) of Washington, D.C., was tapped for the Pacesetter Award. After graduating from Piedmont in 1963, Dr. Gary Coker earned a master’s degree from Western Michigan University and a PhD from

| summer 2013

Vanderbilt. He has taught at the Sewanee University and served as president of Brandon High School for learning disabled students and headmaster of Charlotte Christian School. Dr. Coker has served as a teacher, principal and administrator in Tennessee and as an adjunct professor and associate researcher at Vanderbilt. He has been an educational consultant for 37 schools across the U.S. During his career in education, Dr. Coker has been the keynote speaker for state, national and international conventions on exceptional children, including the Helen Keller National Symposium in Massachusetts.


Soccer alums got together in April to boot the ball and reboot old times. Front left to right: James Thomas, Chris Baker, Daniel Robles, Steven Kuzicki, Melvin Montoya, Matt Desing, Codi Schutz, Rojelio Navarette, Diego Montoya, Paul Mitchell, Keith Cowart. Back: Hugo Tello, Justin Whitaker, Cameron Williams, Stephen Andrew, Kenny Hearn, Jimmy Stephens, Keller Street, Connor Lockridge, Stephen Sherfy, Vincent Thomas, Sidney Smith, Jeremy Beaton, Garrett Holloway, Robert Williams, Daniel Jazrawi, Brendan Lister, Billy Beguhn, Brian Gaid, and Parker Young.

The Excellence in Education award winner, Pat Taylor, taught government and economics at Habersham Central High School from 1976-2005, where she also sponsored the debate teams and conducted European tours with high school students. She was named the Habersham County Teacher of the Year in 1988, and has received education awards from The Northeast Georgian, the Mountain Judicial Circuit Bar Association, and the VFW GrantReeves Post. Since 2007, she has served on the Habersham County Board of Education. Also at HCHS, Taylor founded and coached the golf team, and she has served many

years on the Piedmont Alumni Association’s Coach Cave Golf Tournament committee. After graduating from Piedmont in 1990, Linda Arnold began working in the college Business Office, and helped organize a campus organization called Patriots of Piedmont. The group began by provide Christmas stockings for a handful of overseas soldiers and has since expanded to provide stockings and gift boxes for military personnel and children in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Last year, the group began sending children’s books to the troops so they could use Skype to read to their own children at home.

The Pacesetter Award is given to young alumni who exhibit outstanding achievement early in their careers. Pyron, who enrolled at Piedmont at age 12 and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology at age 16, earned a PhD in biology from The City of New York University and now teaches biology at George Washington University, where he heads the Pyron Lab for Systematics and Evolution, through a joint affiliation with the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institute. Since 2008, he and his team have published some 35 papers in several areas of evolutionary biology while studying a variety of reptiles and amphibians.

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal


1930s | Blanche Truelove

Bowen (’38) of Cornelia, Ga., died April 17, 2013, at age 96. Born in White County, Mrs. Bowen was the widow of L.G. Bowen Jr. She earned an associate’s degree from Rabun Gap Nacoochee Junior College and a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Piedmont. She began the Language Ministry at First Baptist Church of Cornelia and taught Sunday School and Bible School for a number of years.


| Edward Balus Akin (’46, BS ’49) of Toccoa, Ga., died Jan. 15, 2013, at age 90. Born in McCaysville, Mr. Akin was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Merchant Marine and the U.S. Navy. He taught and was principal of Toccoa Elementary School for many years. He was a longtime member of the Toccoa Lions Club, where he served on numerous committees, including chairman of the Sight Conservation Committee.

1950s | Kathleen Samples

Lewallen (’53) of Homer, Ga., died Feb. 23, 2013, at age 96. A lifelong resident of Banks County, she retired after teaching 38 years in the Banks County School System.


| John L. (Johnny) Merritt (’62) of Cumming, Ga., died March 10, 2013, at age 76. While at Piedmont, Mr. Merritt was president of the Protropean Society, The InterClub Council, and the Canterbury Club. After graduating, he enlisted


The piedmont college journal


in the U.S. Air Force and served as a skilled weapons controller at Custer Air Force Station in Michigan and at Da Nang AB in Vietnam. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal at the end of his service. He later attended Mercer University School of Law, obtaining his Juris Doctorate and a Master in Business Administration from Georgia State University. He served in the Georgia Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve and received a second Air Force Commendation and the Meritorious Service Medal. He served 28 years in active duty and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He practiced law with Lipscomb, Johnson, Merritt and Gualt and also as a civilian attorney in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Robins Air Force Base. He later taught economics at Georgia Military College and Macon State College. He was a certified Georgia Public School Teacher in the areas of history, English, geography, business education and economics.

Catherine Jackson Porter (’69) of Demorest, Ga., died Dec. 23, 2012, at age 93. Originally from Winder, Mrs. Porter was the widow of Royce Leonard Porter Sr. After raising her children, she enrolled at Piedmont at age 50 and after graduation worked as a teacher and librarian at Demorest Elementary School. She was a lifelong member of Demorest Baptist Church.

| summer 2013


| John Franklin Stinespring Jr. (’85) of Eastanollee, Ga., died March 5, 2013, at age 64. Born in Stephens County, Mr. Stinespring was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and worked for Georgia Power Company for 20 years. He was the owner of Stinespring Accounting and Tax Service.


| Charlene Jones Jenkins (’00, MBA ’03) of Mt. Airy, Ga., died Jan. 24, 2013, at age 77. Born in Robbinsville, N.C., Mrs. Jenkins was the widow of Houston L. Jenkins. She was the office manager for Piedmont Automotives in Clarkesville for many years.


W. “Papa” Dean Middleton of Mooresville, N.C., died Jan. 27, 2013, at age 77. Mr. Middleton and his wife, Sandra, were longtime managers of the dining hall services during the early and mid 1990s. He served as a Sunday School teacher, Cub Scout Master, president of Midway Merchants Association, owner of Middleton’s TBA Sales and Service, and worked at Reeves Bros. in Cornelia. Randy Frank Elmore, 70, of Athens, Ga., died April 26, 2013. Mr. Elmore was retired from Kennesaw State University as a Professor of Education and taught at Piedmont College in Athens as an adjunct professor from 2000-2004. He previously taught at the University of Georgia and Georgia Southern University.

Mrs. Mary Norris Carter, 91, of Ehrhardt, S.C., died April 12, 2013. Born in Hartwell, Mrs. Carter attended Hart County and Madison County public schools and Piedmont College. Early in her life, she

worked in the dietary department of the tuberculosis sanatorium at De la Howe, S.C. After World War II, she moved to Walterboro, S.C., where she worked as a waitress at the Lafayette Grill, where she met the

love of her life, Jacob H. A. Carter Jr., her husband of 40 years. She was a member of the Ehrhardt Baptist Church and a life member of the Daughters of American Revolution.

Michele Gaglio ’06

of Wiley, Ga., died May 2, 2013, at age 41. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Michele earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre and was active on stage and behind the scenes in numerous productions. She had recently returned to Piedmont to study theatre education. She is survived by her partner, Damon Gregory, and a son, Lennon Salvatore Gregory, born April 16, 2013.

Michele in the 2005 PCT production of ‘Rumors’ with Eric Mathews (‘07).

Michele holding newborn son, Lennon.

Michele, Suzanne Doublestein (‘05) and Danielle Bailey Miller (‘07) at the PC Theatre Department holiday party, 2005.

summer 2013

| The piedmont college journal


Non-Profit U. S. Postage PAID Gainesville, GA Permit #47 Office of Institutional Advancement P. O. Box 6 | Demorest, Georgia | 30535


Piedmont College


2013 SUMMER SCHEDULE SATURDAY, JUNE 13 6PM The John King Band Arrendale Amphitheater

JUNE 20,22 & 28 7:30PM, JUNE 30 2PM 1940s Radio Hour North Georgia Theatre at Piedmont Swanson Center

JUNE 21,27 & 29 7:30PM, JUNE 23 2PM My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra North Georgia Theatre at Piedmont Swanson Center

SATURDAY, JULY 13 7:30PM Mama’s Blue Dress Arrendale Amphitheater


STUDENT ACTIVITIES CAMPUS EVENTS The piedmont college journal | summer 2013

Natalie Crawford, 706-778-8500 x1050

Piedmont Journal Summer 2013