Issue 3: December 2019


GSW business students present to Jacksonville Jaguars HR executives

Six students from Georgia Southwestern's College of Business and Computing traveled to Jacksonville, Fl. in November to present human resource management solutions to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Martin Bech of Svendborg, Denmark, Christian Bostick of Camilla, Ga., Andrew Carter of Sylvester, Ga., Raquel Kenyon of Aguada, Puerto Rico, McKenzie Simmons of McDonough, Ga., and Tucker Smith of Leesburg, Fl. met with the Jaguars’ Vice President of People Development and Administration Jessica Jones and Manager of People Development Victoria Croy at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. As part of their Performance Management class, the students were tasked with improving Jaguar employee retention season-to-season.

Read more about the project and the students’ trip to Jacksonville here.

students at Jaguars football stadium

GSW commencement ceremonies to be held December 13

GSW will hold its Fall 2019 Commencement ceremonies Friday, December 13 in the Convocation Hall of the Student Success Center. The undergraduate ceremony will be at 11 a.m. and the graduate ceremony will be at 3 p.m., with 285 students receiving degrees across both ceremonies.

Approximately 135 undergraduate students will be recognized at the morning ceremony for their academic achievements. The commencement speaker will be Georgia State Senator Freddie Powell Sims.

The afternoon ceremony will recognize 150 graduate students, with GSW’s Dean of the College of Business and Computing, Liz Wilson, Ph.D., serving as commencement speaker.

Read more here.

Sims and Wilson

Georgia Southwestern is effectively preparing new teachers for the workforce according to new GaPSC measures

GSW's College of Education is effectively preparing new teachers for the classroom according to the 2019 Teacher Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures (PPEMs) published by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC).

The PPEMs assess how well education programs across the state are preparing teachers for the classroom. The primary purposes of the PPEMs are to provide programs data to inform improvement, to provide accountability for the quality of teachers produced by each program, and for public transparency regarding quality of teachers produced by education programs.

“I am proud of the work of the faculty and staff in the College of Education,” said Dean Rachel Abbott, Ph.D. “We focus on continuous improvement and will use this data to make informed programmatic decisions to ensure we continue to produce quality teachers in the state of Georgia.”

Read more about GSW's education program and its PPEM rating here.

student teacher in classroom with Pre-K children


Don Porter and Neal Weaver hold checkGeorgia Power Foundation grant supports Southwestern Promise Scholarship program for SOWEGA students

A recent grant award from the Georgia Power Foundation helps fund Georgia Southwestern State University’s (GSW) Southwestern Promise Scholarship Program that specifically targets high school students in a 56-county area of Southwest Georgia. Students with an 1100 SAT or 22 ACT and a 3.0 GPA will earn a $1,000 “Blue” scholarship each year for four years, and students with a 1200 SAT or 25 ACT and a 3.0 GPA will earn a $2,000 “Gold” scholarship.

Don Porter, local manager for Georgia Power, recently presented the check to GSW President Neal Weaver. The Georgia Power Foundation is a consistent supporter of higher education and a valued partner of Georgia Southwestern.

Learn more about the grant here.

GSW’s Undergraduate Research Symposium seeking projects

Georgia Southwestern will once again host the Undergraduate Research Symposium this spring. The symposium features students across many majors and disciplines and highlights the research they do. Prize money is awarded to students giving the best talk or best poster. Students are encouraged to work with their faculty mentors to prepare projects and presentations for this year’s Symposium. The deadline for abstract submission is March 13, 2020. The Symposium itself will be held May 1, 2020.

For more information on the Undergraduate Research Symposium, please visit the website here.

Advancement staff groupGSW Advancement team attends GEAC conference

Members of GSW’s Division of University Advancement recently attended the 2019 Georgia Education Advancement Council (GEAC) Conference at Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, Ga. With over 200 Georgia advancement professionals attending, the conference included track sessions on topics including advancement services, alumni relations, development, and marketing and communications.

Angela Smith was awarded a scholarship to the conference and was recognized at the GEAC awards dinner. The scholarship, provided by University System of Georgia (USG) Foundation, covered conference registration fees and accommodations.

Those attending were (pictured L to R) Alumni Engagement Specialist Angela Smith; Public Relations Assistant Sydney Scott; Leah Snyder; Assistant Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the GSW Foundation Stephen Snyder; Annual Giving Specialist Kim Comer; Development Officer Signe Coombs; and Web Content Strategist Valerie Hines.

Registration reminder and upcoming payment deadlines

If you have not already registered for classes, there is still time to do so! Registration for continuing students is now open for Winter Intersession, Spring, Maymester and Summer. If you have questions about registration, contact the Office of the Registrar at or at (229) 928-1331.

The payment deadline for those enrolled in Winter Intersession courses is January 2, 2020. Student enrolled in Spring courses should have their accounts paid by January 15, 2020. If you have any questions about the payment process or payment plans, contact the Office of Student Accounts at or at (229) 931-2013.

Chick-fil-a closed for renovations through January 6, 2020

GSW’s Chick-fil-A location inside the Storm Dome will be closing for renovations Friday, December 13 at 8 p.m. The renovations are expected to take 3-4 weeks, with Chick-fil-A scheduled to reopen on or around January 6, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact GSW Dining Services Director John Tankersley at Thank you for your patience as we work to update campus facilities!

GSW Alumni Association hosting GSW Night at the Atlanta Hawks

GSW alumni & friends are invited to Atlanta to watch the Hawks take on the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020!

The GSW Office of Alumni Affairs has reserved Tower 212 at State Farm Arena. Your ticket will get you a seat in the stadium, snacks, beverages, and space to mingle with friends. Ticketholders also receive early admission at 5:15 p.m. before gates open to the public at 6:15 p.m. Seating is limited, so reserve your ticket today!

For more information, visit or contact Angela Smith at

Click here to purchase tickets ($40 each).

Student Recognitions

Celia presenting at conferenceCelia Del Castillo Torres presents marketing research at national conference

Celia Del Castillo Torres, a senior Marketing major in GSW’s College of Business and Computing recently presented a research paper that was accepted by the Society for Marketing Advances (SMA) for its annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dr. Suzanne Conner is the marketing professor who guided Celia in her research project which culminated in the paper which was presented and will be published.  According to Conner, “As an educator it is always exciting to meet with colleagues and hear the latest research taking place in your field.”  Sharing that experience with a student was a special one for Conner, who said, “I hope this work and her experience at the SMA conference will encourage her to pursue an PhD in Marketing; she would be an asset to the field.”

As for Del Castillo, the project began as an honors supplement in a Marketing course.  Dr. Conner worked with her to polish the work for entry into the GSW Undergraduate Research Symposium where Del Castillo won the best poster presentation.  They continued working on the research, finally submitting the paper which was accepted for presentation at the SMA conference.  “After presenting my research project, I realized this is something I might want to do in the future, which would start by pursuing a PhD in marketing.  “I want to thank Dr. Suzanne Conner for believing in my ideas and pushing me to the next level, and the College of Business and Computing and GSW Foundation for making this experience possible.”

Psychology students present research posters

The Department of Psychology and Sociology held its first annual Student Research Presentation Day on December 5, 2019. Fifteen students in Dr. Judy Orton Grissett's Experimental Psychology course gave poster presentations on research projects they designed. As a course assignment, all students developed a research question that addressed a campus or community need. They then developed and administered a survey, analyzing, summarizing and then presenting their data in a poster format. The event was well attended with more than 40 faculty and student attendees. GSW faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to come view the posters, as they will be kept up throughout the winter break.

students hold certificatesPsychology students inducted into Psi Chi

On December 4, 2019, four psychology students were inducted into Psi Chi, The International Honor Society in Psychology. Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose shall be to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology. Those inducted (pictured L to R) were Leila Hamed, Kirsten Roach, Maci Lawhorn, and Asia Pittman (not pictured).

Amber Moore named 2020 kickstART artist by Huss Foundation

The Huss Foundation recently announced Amber Moore as the 2020 recipient of its kickstART program. For the next year Moore will have the full support of the foundation’s resources in order to grow as an artist and learn crucial skills to continue her work into a career that gives back to the community, the press release said.

Moore is in her senior year at Georgia Southwestern State University as a fine arts major and is currently vice president of the Artists United GSW chapter. She is originally from Moultrie and has remained involved in her local community there during summer breaks from GSW.

Read more about Amber and the kickstart program from the Moultrie Observer.

Georgia Southwestern fraternities collect over $1,250 in food pantry donations

Members of GSW's Interfraternity Council (IFC) recently collected over $1,250 worth of items for the Canes Harvest Food Pantry. Members of Sigma Chi, Kappa Sigma and Chi Phi gathered most of the donations from fellow students, who donated "flex cash" from their meal plans to the food drive. IFC members then purchased non-perishable items from the Provisions On Demand convenience store on campus. Items were purchased at a reduced price for the drive, thanks to Aramark Food Services.

The Food Pantry, located on the third floor of the Student Success Center, is open to all GSW students. For more information about the Pantry or to make a donation, contact the Division of Student Engagement and Success at (229) 928-1387.

brothers stand with food donations

GSW students attend history conference

Ten GSW students attended the Middle Georgia State University History Conference on Nov. 16th, making the largest contingent from any campus. Eight of these students read original research papers on diverse topics including African American slave narratives, the Vietnam War, Koinonia’s regional history, art education in China, and Christian youth activism in the 1960s. The trip was supported through GSW’s High Impact Opportunity Grant program. Participants included Dr. Susan Bragg, Ekele Kamalu, JR Jones, Christian Abercrombie, Chasity Higdon, Makayla Graham, Nikki Kadima, Nicole Marchand, Taylor Potter, Jonah Dodson, and Carlos Sanchez.

students at conference


book coverKutzler releases book in Civil War America series

Assistant Professor Evan Kutzler, Ph.D., recently published a book, Living by Inches: The Smells, Sounds, Tastes, and Feeling of Captivity in Civil War Prisons, this month. The book is part of the prestigious Civil War America series at the University of North Carolina Press.

From battlefields, boxcars, and forgotten warehouses to notorious prison camps like Andersonville and Elmira, prisoners seemed to be everywhere during the American Civil War. Yet there is much we do not know about the soldiers and civilians whose very lives were in the hands of their enemies. Living by Inches is the first book to examine how imprisoned men in the Civil War perceived captivity through the basic building blocks of human experience--their five senses. From the first whiffs of a prison warehouse to the taste of cornbread and the feeling of lice, captivity assaulted prisoners’ perceptions of their environments and themselves. Evan A. Kutzler demonstrates that the sensory experience of imprisonment produced an inner struggle for men who sought to preserve their bodies, their minds, and their sense of self as distinct from the fundamentally uncivilized and filthy environments surrounding them. From the mundane to the horrific, these men survived the daily experiences of captivity by adjusting to their circumstances, even if these transformations worried prisoners about what type of men they were becoming.

Dave publishes chapter and book review

Associate Professor and Writing Center Director Anish Dave, Ph.D, recently co-authored a book chapter titled "The Conflict of Genre: Disciplinary Terminology and Conceptual Overlap in the Context of the Annual Report" in Communication and Conflict Studies: Disciplinary Connections, Research Directions edited by Adrienne P Lamberti and Anne R Richards. Dave’s co-author for the chapter is Dr. Marcy Leasum Orwig, Associate Professor of Business Communication at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The chapter textually analyzes annual reports of two major automobile manufacturers for evidence of cognitive dissonance. The book was published in 2019 by Palgrave Macmilan.

Dave also published a book review of The Textbook and the Lecture: Education in the Age of New Media by Norm Friesen in The Liminal: Interdisciplinary Journal of Technology in Education this year.


Bryan presents paper at Atlanta conference

GSW Professor of English Dr. Genie Bryan recently presented a paper at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) in Atlanta. Her paper was titled “’Sins So Sweet’”: The Dark Ladies and the Dark Vision of In the Valley of the Sun.

Fisk presents at meeting in Canada

Professor of Psychology Dr. Gary Fisk presented two posters at the Psychonomic Society meeting in Montreal, Canada on November 16. These included:

Fisk, G.D. (2019). The effective use of PowerPoint presentations in education. Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society, 24, 231.

Haase, S.J., & Fisk, G.D. (2019). Congruency effects in shape identification across different masking and crowding conditions. Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society, 24, 259.

Gary Fisk with poster

Wynn at conferenceWynn discusses Center for Chinese Bie-Modern Studies in Shaghai

Keaton Wynn, Professor of Fine Arts, recently gave a presentation in Shanghai, China for the "Social and Aesthetic Forms, Fifth Modern International Academic Seminar" held at Shanghai Normal University from November 18-19, 2019.  His presentation centered on his work with the Center for Chinese Bie-Modern Studies. 

According to its website, Georgia Southwestern State University's Center for Chinese Bie-Modern Studies (CCBMS) is devoted to facilitating communication between eastern and western scholars concerning the unique contemporary cultural context in China. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the CCBMS places an emphasis on the support of rigorous teaching and research practices, while also promoting diversity and the awareness of cultural differences and similarities.

In 2018, Georgia Southwestern hosted the first annual Center for Chinese Bie-Modern Studies Conference. GSW will host the second annual conference in the first week of October 2020. For more information about the conference, including ways to become involved, please contact Keaton Wynn at

New Hires, Promotions & Retirements

Sherreyal SafoSherreyal Safo retires from the English department

Ms. Sherreyal Safo, a Senior Administrative Assistant in the Department of English and Modern Languages, will be retiring at the end of December. During her long tenure with the department, Sherreyal has worked for five departmental chairs and has helped numerous faculty members, students, and others. She joined the department of English and Modern Languages in 2006. Before that, she worked in the Registrar's office as a Records Coordinator. Sherreyal is also a veteran and retired from the U.S. Army in 1997 as a Sergeant First Class. She served in the U.S. Army between 1976 and 1997, including in Germany; South Korea; Fort Benning, GA; Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN; and Fort Jackson, SC. Sherreyal will leave a lasting impression on the Department of English and Modern Languages, where her dedication, kindness, and effectiveness will always be remembered. The department would like to wish her the very best as she begins a new chapter of her life.

Milestones, Birthdays & Life Events

Brandon and Jenna MooneyMooney & Eason wedding

On November 9, Brandon Mooney, son of Senior Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the College of Business and Computing Janie Mooney, married Jenna Eason, daughter of College of Arts and Science Administrative Assistant Marnie Eason.

The couple was married at the Plains Community Center and took a weeklong Caribbean honeymoon cruise before returning home to Macon. Brandon works for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and Jenna works for the Macon Telegraph.

baby Lincoln CollinsCollins family welcome baby Lincoln

Chelsea Collins, Director of Marketing and Communications, and her husband Logan welcomed a baby boy into the world yesterday. Lincoln Steel Collins was born on November 7, 2019 at 5:44 a.m. weighing 6 lb 9 oz and measuring 20" long. Lincoln joins big sister Kynslee (9) and big brother Keller (3).

Past Events

RCI hosts national conversation about caregivers

On November 2, the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) hosted Caregiving in the 21st Century: A National Conversation in Atlanta. The day-long event brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, from clinicians to advocates to philanthropists to corporate leaders and, of course, caregivers.

The conversation focused on caregivers and the new strategic vision of RCI – one driven by data, programming, and partnerships. It was a great occasion to recognize November as National Family Caregivers Month. You can read more about the event below, and see some of the press coverage it garnered here and here.

Among the speakers to take the stage was writer and actress Lauren Miller Rogen, co-founder of Hilarity for Charity, an organization that provides caregiver support and hopes to inspire the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates. Miller Rogen spoke about her personal journey as a caregiver and anchored the day's discussions around the importance of caring for families who provide care, and in doing so shed light on how diverse the caregiving journey of individual caregivers can be.

Dr. Patrice Harris, president-elect of the American Medical Association, spoke about the serious health implications providing care can have on family caregivers, who by and large are untrained and trying to navigate the health care system as individuals. Without the same knowledge base and stress management skills that registered nurses and other care professionals acquire over years of training and practice, Dr. Harris emphasized the importance of creating support systems for family caregivers in order to improve not only caregiver health but also the quality of care they provide for loved ones.

The clinical perspective was far from the only one represented at the event. Corporate leaders, like Allison Ellison, the head of Home Health for Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness, spoke to the importance of corporate responsibility in providing for caregivers.

Ellison spoke about the ways in which partnerships between corporations and private initiatives could leverage expertise and resources at a large scale, and thus improve health outcomes for the caregiving population.

Of course, caregivers also took center stage the event. Lisette Carbajal, a millennial caregiver who became an advocate for an end to Alzheimer’s disease when her father was diagnosed during her third year in college, and Abby Maslin, who became a best-selling author after writing a book about how her husband’s traumatic brain injury turned her into a full-time caregiver, both spoke to the unique challenges – and sources of inspiration – they discovered on their journey of caregiving.

In describing the future trajectory of RCI during the event, Dr. Olsen emphasized the “three pillars” that guide RCI’s approach to supporting caregivers: data, programming, and partnerships. By utilizing burgeoning partnerships with Duke University and Sesame Workshop to improve evidence-based programming and leveraging strategic partnerships from the corporate and philanthropic worlds, we will be able to transform the caregiving landscape in real and impactful ways.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter also spoke at the event, reflecting on her personal journey as a caregiver as a young woman. It was her own experience that inspired the founding of RCI over three decades ago, and since then, she explained, RCI has pushed for an improved support system for America’s caregivers. RCI was honored to have such an accomplished and dedicated gathering of stakeholders, diverse in its backgrounds and expertise, and RCI remains grateful for what was learned by all who attended.

The conversation may have begun on November 5, but RCI is determined for it to continue. Bringing everyone together in Atlanta was another step on the path toward better supporting the more than 40 million family caregivers in America. Guided by the three pillars, RCI will continue to lead the charge in bringing groundbreaking support systems to the largest care delivery system in the United States: our caregivers.

Upcoming Events

  • December 13: Fall Commencement
  • January 2: Winter Intersession begins
  • January 2: Payment deadline for Winter Intersession
  • January 15: Payment deadline for Spring semester
  • January 17: Winter Intersession final exams
  • January 21: Spring classes begin

Find more events on the GSW academic calendar and on CanesConnect.