Issue 5: February 2020


GSW Homecoming 2020 activities kick off Feb. 17

GSW will celebrate Homecoming during the week of Feb. 17-22. The theme of the week is “The Roaring ’20s” in celebration of the new decade. Students, faculty, staff, members of the community and GSW alumni are encouraged to attend Homecoming events, bring their family and friends and enjoy a week of Hurricane pride. Events open to the community include a Fashion Show, Chili Cook-Off, and food trucks at the annual Homecoming Tailgate.

For additional information and the full schedule of events, click here or visit

Homecoming graphic

Library hosting POW exhibit from Andersonville National Historic Site

The James Earl Carter Library is hosting “Victory From Within: The American Prisoner of War Experience” through the end of March.

The 1,200 square foot traveling exhibit was developed by Andersonville National Historic Site and illustrates four aspects of the Prisoner of War (POW): Capture, Prison Life, Those Who Wait, and Freedom. The Library invites the GSW students, the community and school groups to view the exhibit during Library hours. The installation includes artifacts used by POWs, video, illustrations, and text to tell the POW story.  The Library was the original installation site for the traveling exhibit in 2014. Since that time, it has been exhibited across the United States.

The Library will host an open house for the exhibit on Tuesday, Feb. 18 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

For more information or to set up a group visit, contact the Library at or at (229) 931-2259.

POW exhibit


Wi-Fi upgrades made across campus

GSW’s Office of Information and Instructional Technology (IIT) recently replaced all 240 Wi-Fi Access Points on campus with new models. The new Access Points, which provide Wi-Fi access in each building, make it easier for students, faculty, and staff to connect personal devices to the campus network using CanesNet credentials. The new units were installed throughout January with the help of IIT and Physical Plant staff.

In the summer, IIT will also be upgrading the network in the residence halls. With new Access Points, students will be able to get a better Wi-Fi signal and will be able to connect video game consoles, smart TVs, Alexa devices, and more to the residential Wi-Fi for the first time.

nursing faculty with food donationsSigma Theta Tau & GSWANS participate in food drive

Before the holidays, GSW’s Mu Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and the Georgia Southwestern Association of Nursing Students (GSWANS) collected 1 pound bags of rice for the Harvest of Hope Food Pantry for Christmas boxes.

Harvest of Hope distributed approximately 700 boxes of food to needy families during the holiday season. Mu Pi and GSWANS collected 110 bags of rice.

Students encouraged to participate in annual Research Symposium

The deadline is approaching for participating in the 3rd Annual GSW Undergraduate Research Symposium. Students from all disciplines who are doing research on campus are encouraged to present their work on May 1, 2020. Students wishing to present their research projects in the Symposium should fill out the Abstract Submission form and send it to their faculty mentor. Faculty mentors can then upload the completed forms into GeorgiaView. Abstracts must be submitted by the end of the day on March 13, 2020.  Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to contact Dr. Anne Jacobs at

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

Zeta Tau Alpha to celebrate 50th anniversary

GSW’s Eta Alpha Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha is inviting alumni to the 50th anniversary celebration the weekend of April 18! There will be several events throughout the weekend, with the main celebration being held at the Windsor Hotel that Saturday evening.

nursing faculty with awardSigma Theta Tau receives award for chapter excellence

GSW’s Mu Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society received the outstanding chapter key award at the Sigma Biennial Convention in Washington, D.C.

This is the first time Mu Pi has received this award. Mu Pi is only the second chapter in the state of Georgia to receive this award.

RLs win Best Roll Call Video

GSW Resident Leaders (RLs) recently attended The Georgia Resident Assistant Saturday Seminar (GRASS) and tied for the Best Roll Call Video at the seminar. Each attending institution was asked to submit at roll call video to represent their schools.

Three GSW RLs hosted presentation at the seminar. Kelsey Booker and La’Tisha Butcher did a presentation to help relieve stress as a resident assistant titled “#Rezchella.” They had an activity and allowed for open discussion.

Nicole Marchant hosted a presentation to speak about a program idea for Hispanic Heritage titled “Tostada Tuesday.” This was a civil engagement presentation on how to use programs to engage resident and allow them to learn of different cultures.

GRASS is held annually with support from the Georgia Housing Officers (GHO). The conference provides the opportunity for student-staff members to learn from each other across the State of Georgia and share best practices in residential education and services. Attendees of the day-long seminar participate in 4 different sessions hosted by other residential assistants from different schools. Session themes range from academic progression and the high school to college transition to personal wellness & growth and career readiness.

residential leaders


Kutzler continues local history pieces with new article on Rosenwald School

Dr. Evan Kutzler, assistant professor of history, recently continued his local history series in the Americus Times-Recorder with “On New Era Road: A Rosenwald School’s Decline.” There were once more than 5,000 African American “Rosenwald Schools” in the South. Today there are fewer than 500 standing, and Sumter County stands to lose its last one to demolition by neglect.


Kutzler interview airs on South Carolina Public Radio

Dr. Evan Kutzler, assistant professor of history, recently sat down for an hour-long radio interview on “Walter Edgar’s Journal,” a production of South Carolina Public Radio. The interview aired on February 7, 2020 and covered Kutzler’s newest book, Living by Inches: The Smells, Sounds, Tastes, and Feeling of Captivity in Civil War Prisons (University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

Kutzler gives talk at Andersonville National Historic Site

Dr. Evan Kutzler, assistant professor of history, gave a talk titled “Finding Freedom: Reconstruction and the Sumter School at Andersonville” at Andersonville National Historic Site on February 3, 2020. This talk was part of an ongoing project to document and interpret African American history at Andersonville National Historic Site.

Read more about Kutzler’s talk from WALB here.

Nursing faculty present at Washington, D.C. convention

Joy Humphrey, assistant professor of nursing, and Michelle Dykes, associate professor of nursing, (pictured at right) did a poster presentation at the at the Sigma Biennial Convention in Washington, D.C. The poster highlighted Nursing Careers in Health Informatics. GSW’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences currently offers an MSN in Healthcare Informatics as well as a Health Informatics certificate program.

Teresa Teasley, associate dean and professor, and Dykes (pictured at left) also did a podium presentation at the conference. Their presentation was titled “Technological Competency as Caring in Nursing.”

nursing faculty at conference

New Hires, Promotions & Retirements

Gayle AlstonGayle Alston retires from RCI

Gayle Alston (pictured at right) began her relationship with the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) as a Governor’s Intern when she returned to college as a non-traditional student in 1989. Upon receiving her undergraduate and then graduate degrees, her professional pursuits took her away from Georgia for a few years. When she decided to move back home to be near her mother, she declared, “I’m going home to help out my mama and to get a job with the Rosalynn Carter Institute.” And that is what she did when she was hired as the Director of Community Initiatives in 2007. In 2008, Gayle lead the project to translate and disseminate the RCI REACH program, which now serves caregivers across the nation. Gayle eventually became the Director of the RCI Training Center for Excellence in 2013. Her final accomplishment has been developing and disseminating the Dealing with Dementia Program across the nation serving thousands of dementia caregivers. Retirement unfolds before Gayle as an opportunity for new and intriguing adventures. She plans to focus more on her ministry as a Lay preacher for the Parrott United Methodist Church and the Mt. Olive United Methodist Church. To continue to meet her need to make a positive difference in the lives of others, she is actively considering options for repurposing the old Parrott Motel to address the challenges of senior isolation in rural southwest Georgia. One thing Gayle knows for sure, whichever path she follows… the best is yet to come.

Leann Miller joins Student Financial Aid

Leann Miller, former Manager of the GSW Bookstore, has transitioned to a position in the Office of Student Financial Aid.  Financial Aid Counselor

Leann worked in the Bookstore for 17 years. She began as Textbook Manager 2002 (taught school in Terrell County in 2006/2007) and left the Bookstore on January 31, 2020 as GSW’s Bookstore Manager when I knew we would be outsourced. Leann also worked in 3 different departments on campus during her undergraduate time at GSW and graduated in 2001.  

She has been married 18 years to her husband Matt (also a GSW grad) and has 2 children: Maddox, 12, and Kayden, 7.

Leann is also a 4th generation Hurricane. Her great-grandfather Ralph Bernard Heath graduated from GSW in 1912, back when the school was known as the Third District Agricultural and Mechanical School.

“I’m very proud to continue to call GSW my home,” said Leann. “I’m excited about this new chapter in my life in Financial Aid, where I still get to help students, just in a different capacity.

Sonia Slomba joins Student Financial Aid

Sonia Slomba, Interim Director of Financial Aid, began in early February and will be with GSW Mondays through Thursdays for 8 weeks while the search for the permanent Director is underway.

Upcoming Events

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