Issue 10: July 2021


Ian Wynn named 2021 GSW Outstanding Scholar

Ian Wynn, a senior from Plains, Ga., was named GSW's 2021 Outstanding Scholar, the university’s highest academic honor. Wynn, along with other top scholars from University System of Georgia (USG) institutions, represent the system’s highest scholastic ideals and best qualities.

Wynn, a double major in geology and mathematics with a minor in chemistry, is at the top of his class with a near-perfect GPA and represents superb scholastic achievement. At just 19 years old, Wynn has completed over 160 credit hours – earning 90 of those credits hours while still in high school.

“I am honored to represent GSW as an Outstanding Scholar and am thankful for the acknowledgement of all my hard work,” said Wynn. “I am especially grateful to GSW’s geology department and STEM programs and the academic traditions they represent. I’m just doing what I love, and doing it well I suppose.”

Wynn anticipates to graduate in Spring 2022 and transition into graduate school, possibly at Cornell University, with aspirations of becoming a professor.

“I plan to use both of my degrees conducting research in graduate school,” stated Wynn. “I just finished my senior project that I’ve been researching for a couple years now and am working on getting it published.”

Read more about Ian here.


Georgia Southwestern contributes nearly $90 million economic impact on region

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is an essential economic powerhouse for the region, contributing $89.7 million to Georgia’s economic output in fiscal year 2020.

The University System of Georgia (USG) and its 26 institutions served as a significant source of stability and played a critical role in the state’s recovery with an $18.6 billion statewide economic impact. While the USG’s economic impact was up 0.6 percent from fiscal year 2019, Georgia Southwestern’s was down slightly at 1.2 percent from last year’s total.

The new detailed report released by the USG revealed that GSW generated 1,091 full- and part-time jobs, and GSW-related spending produced nearly $87.4 million.

“Georgia Southwestern’s economic ripple effect is significant for Southwest Georgia,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “By generating jobs, boosting businesses, and graduating career-ready students, we are proud to play such an important role in the growth of our regional and state economy.”

The annual study, conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, reported most of GSW’s $89.7 million economic impact consists of personnel and operating expenses, budgeted expenditures and spending by students.

students walking on campus

Student Recognitions

Himani Ahir
Canes Spotlight announced for July

Canes Spotlights highlight Georgia Southwestern students who hold leadership roles, are involved in extracurricular activities and/or excel academically in their degree programs.

The July Canes Spotlight was senior computer science major Himani Ahir.

As a transfer student, Himani chose GSW for its affordability, closeness to home, and familiarity. Even though GSW didn't offer the same program she'd been pursuing at her previous institution, Himani discovered a new passion. "I’m glad I decided to go with IT Multimedia because I love art and am also every interested in computers, so it worked out perfectly for me." Himani plans to graduate this summer with a degree in multimedia information technology.

Canes Spotlights are nominated by GSW faculty and staff.

92 Hurricanes on PBC Presidential Honor Roll

GSW placed 92 student-athletes on the 2020-21 Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll recently released by the league office.

The Presidential Honor Roll presented by Barnes & Noble College recognizes all student-athletes at the 12 Peach Belt member institutions who had a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher for the academic year.

The Georgia Southwestern baseball program had the largest number of Hurricane student-athletes on the list with 23. Softball was two shy of baseball with 21 honorees, which was an astounding 95.5 percent of its roster.

The women's tennis team led all GSW sports with the highest percentage of its roster on the Honor Roll as all seven members of the program earned distinction.

Learn more about this distinction here.

Trio of Hurricanes receive PING All-America Distinction

GSW men's golfers Chase McLain, Saksit Jairak and Jack Tharrington have received 2021 NCAA Division II PING All-America distinction from the Golf Coaches Association of America.

McLain was named to the All-America Third Team while Jairak and Tharrington received Honorable Mention as Georgia Southwestern, coming off a national runner-up finish, placed three on the list for the second consecutive season.

GSW has placed ten golfers on the All-America list over the past nine seasons. This year's group joins Simon Estrada (2020), Vincent Norrman (2018-20), Ethan Chamineak (2016, 2017), Nick Ward (2015), Nate Gahman (2013), Craig Gibson (2012) and JP Griffin (2012) as Hurricane golfers to receive the honor.

Read more about the players and distinction here.


Irina TotevaToteva publishes in marketing journal

Assistant Professor in the College of Business and Computing Irina Toteva, Ph.D., recently published a research article in the “Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services,” a professional marketing journal. The full abstact for Toteva’s article, titled “The Curious Case of Productivity Orientation: The Influence of Advertising Stimuli on Affect and Preference for Subscription Boxes,” is below:

“This research evaluates the interplay of emotion, cognition, and individual differences such as productivity orientation. Two experimental design studies using Mturk participants test the proposed effects of curiosity evoked by advertising stimuli with mystery on positive affect and preference for curated subscription boxes. The results show that advertising stimuli with mystery can have a negative influence on positive affect unless people feel high curiosity. We further demonstrate that people with high productivity orientation are more likely to experience high positive affect and to prefer “curated for you” items compared to low productivity-oriented people, after viewing advertising stimuli with mystery.”

Learn more about Toteva’s article here.

Kutzler continues local history series

In his most recent local history article, Assistant Professor of history Evan Kutzler, Ph.D, answers the title question: "Why did the Callaway House Cross the Street?"

The Victorian home on S. Jackson St. in Americus was built in 1889 and was originally set to be demolished to provide more green space for the church next door. Local preservationists worked together to have the home lifted and moved to an empty lot across the street earlier this summer.


Grissett presents as part of USG webinar series

Judy Orton Grissett, GSW’s director of Experiential Learning, joined co-presenters Josie Baudier, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Georgia Highlands College, and Susan Hrach, director of the Faculty Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Columbus State University, in leading a webinar titled "Student Readiness, Returning to Campus" as part of the USG Office of Faculty Development 2021 Summer Webinar Series.

To view this and other webinar recordings and to register for upcoming webinars, please visit the USG Office of Faculty Development website.

Goulding presents poster on snail research

Assistant Professor of Biology Morgan Goulding, Ph.D., presented a poster at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology, July 12-16, 2021. The program abstract was “Probing requirements for zygotic transcription in early embryos of a winkle, Phrontis vibex.”

All of the results presented were obtained at GSW's International Snail Station (ISS). Students interested in a research internship with the ISS should contact Dr. Goulding.

Kaus presents at Boston conference

Assistant Professor of English Alaina Kaus, Ph.D., presented a paper at the annual conference of the American Literature Association in Boston on July 8. Her paper was titled "Expanding the Definition of a Refugee in Héctor Tobar's The Tattooed Soldier."

Awards & Grants

Goulding receives award for ongoing invasive species research

Assistant Professor of Biology Morgan Goulding, Ph.D., received an award of $700 from Conchologists Of America to support ongoing research on polymorphic shell development in an invasive population of apple snails (Pomacea insularum) in Albany, Ga.

New Hires, Promotions & Retirements

Jamie KinsleyJamie Kinsley named director of Student Accounts

Jamie Kinsley joined the Office of Student Accounts on July 15, 2021 as the new Director of Student Accounts as of. In this position, Jamie is responsible for directing the University’s student accounts operations. 

Jamie comes to Georgia Southwestern from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) where she served as the Assistant Director of Student Accounts. She received her Associate in Business at ABAC and is currently finishing up her Master's of Business Education and Information Technology at Valdosta State University. Jamie says she is thankful for the opportunity to be a GSW Hurricane, and she looks forward to working with the campus community.

Willa Dyer joins biology lab

Willa Dyer was hired as Student Research Assistant in the International Snail Station (Goulding Lab, Biology). During Fall Semester 2021, Willa will be carrying out experiments aimed at combating schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that has likely killed many more people than COVID-19. Don't worry, the disease agent itself is not going to be anywhere near Americus, Ga.

Milestones, Birthdays & Life Events

Michele-McKie.pngMcKie earns doctorate

Michele A. McKie, assessment director and assistant professor in the College of Education, successfully defended her dissertation, titled “A Qualitative Case Study to Explore the Intern as Teacher Model in South Georgia” on June 29, 2021. As a result, McKie will be awarded an Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Adults and Learning from Valdosta State University. Although the commencement exercise for hooding will not be until December 11, 2021, McKie is considered a Summer 2021 graduate for the Ed.D. degree.

McKie previously earned both her BSED with Special Education Certification (2005) and M.Ed. in Learning Disabilities (2007) from GSW. McKie moved to Americus, Georgia in 2001 where she has lived for the past 20 years. She has worked at GSW since August 2014.

Hurricane Gratitude

Submit a thanks to other members of the GSW community for their outstanding dedication, commitment, or support. Email at any time or during the monthly call for Breeze submissions.

“Willa Dyer went the extra mile during June-July 2021 to care for 150 snails in the International Snail Station (Goulding Lab, Biology). Good work Willa!” 

– Morgan Goulding, Assistant Professor of Biology

Upcoming Events

  • July 23: Storm Day
  • August 3: Storm Day
  • August 5: Thunder Camp Move-In Day
  • August 6-8: Thunder Camp
  • August 11-17: Southwestern Week
  • August 13: Freshman Move-In Day
  • August 14-17: Freshman Orientation
  • August 17: Freshman Convocation
  • August 18: First day of Fall classes
  • August 18-27: Welcome Week
  • September 2: Under the Lights

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