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Issue 8: June/July 2023


students use exercise science equipmentSchool of Health Sciences adds new exercise science programs

The School of Health Sciences will offer two new stand-alone exercise science programs beginning Fall 2023, in addition to the existing bachelor’s degree in exercise science, based on feedback from the regional workforce in the health sciences field.  

The Exercise Physiology Endorsement, a 9 credit-hour program, is designed to encourage a deeper understanding of exercise physiology, including both the fundamentals of the science and the application to various healthy and clinical populations.

The Exercise Science Certificate, an 18 credit-hour program, supports educational development in the growing area of exercise and wellness, providing an overview of current science and an introduction to the foundations of practice in the field. With topics including exercise physiology, kinesiology, nutrition, and prescription, this program builds a deeper understanding of the body's responses to exercise and training.

Read more about these new programs here.

GSW Alumni Association names new officers, board members and lifetime members

The GSW Alumni Association recently elected new officers for the 2023-2025 term. Andrea Ingram ’91, ’94, ’15 will serve as the incoming president with Ryan Garnto ’13 serving as vice-chair and Cheryl Fletcher ’93 as treasurer.

Two long-serving board members earning Lifetime Board Member status include Dwayne Myles ’02 and Kathleen Lang Tucker ’00. Both served on the board from 2013 through this year, with Tucker serving as president of the board from 2019 to 2021. Lifetime board membership is extended to those board members who have rendered faithful and committed service for a period of ten years to the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association.

Additionally, there were seven new members elected to the board of directors: Mark Blalock, Billy Bolton, Timothy Brooks, Jonathan Hobbs, Renee Mays, Robert Moss and Katherine Tondee.

Read more about the new members here.


Georgia Southwestern undergraduates showcase student research

Georgia Southwestern hosted its 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium featuring student research on topics such as politics and history, marketing, psychology, biology, and issues in nursing in May 2023.

Students from a variety of majors and fields shared their research projects with oral presentations and poster presentations. The research projects provide an opportunity for students to actively collaborate with their professors and peers, investigating real-world challenges within their chosen fields of study. 

“GSW’s Undergraduate Research Symposium is a definite highlight of our academic year,” said Jill Drake, Ed.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “It's a special forum that shines a spotlight on the dedication of our exceptional faculty and students to academic excellence. Aligned seamlessly with our strategic plan, the symposium exemplifies the integration of people, purpose, and profession. Every paper and poster presented represents the beautiful convergence of mentorship and scholarship, resulting in a truly transformative experience.”

Find the full list of project award winner here.



Psychology program saves students $1 million in textbook costs

According the the Spring 2023 Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) report, GSW's psychology program has now saved students a cumulative total of one million dollars in textbook costs by utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER). This milestone was met by faculty opting for no- or low-cost materials.

Across campus, the OER savings for students have hit $2,018,799. In addition to psychology, several other programs across the Colleges participate as well.

2023 soccer schedules released

Both the men's and women's soccer schedules have been released for 2023.

Fifth-year head coach Eric Crawford and the men's soccer team finalized their 2023 schedule with 16 matches, including seven to be played at Hurricane Field. GSW will play six of their seven home contests under the lights.

Third-year head coach Kerry Edwards and the women's soccer team finalized their 2023 schedule with 17 matches, including eight to be played at Hurricane Field. GSW will start four of their eight home contests under the lights with starts at 7 p.m.

The Lady Hurricanes open their season with consecutive home dates starting with Albany State on Aug. 31. Opening night will include the annual "Under the Lights" promotion with a pre-match street party adjacent to the field and a post-match fireworks show. 

Find the full schedules for men's soccer here and women's soccer here.

Students volunteer at Andersonville

GSW students Michael Hooks and Jordan Waiden participated in the Volunteer Service Day at Andersonville National Historic Site on June 10 as part of Service Learning Experience associated with Dr. Stephanie Harvey’s BIOL 1500 Applied Botany course. The students worked with the site’s arborist to clean up limbs, spread mulch around the trees and remove general debris around the park. Their attention was focus on the National Cemetery.

The National Cemetery, located 300 yards north of the prison site established in 1864, is an integral part of the significance of Andersonville Prison Site. The 12,920 men who died at the prison camp are buried in the cemetery. Following the end of the Civil War, the burying ground for the prison was designated a national cemetery on July 26, 1865. The cemetery is a 27.15-acre site, approximately 300 yards northwest of the prison site. Since the 1870s approximately 7,000 American servicemen and their families have joined the prisoner burials and made Andersonville National Cemetery their final resting place. The beauty and peaceful nature of the site, with its majestic oak trees and fragrant magnolias, provides a tranquil space for reflection on the past and contemplation of the future.

If you are interested in volunteering at this National Historic Site or with other opportunities, contact  Harvey at

student spread mulch

Student Recognitions

headshot of Zoe WillisWillis named Player of the Year

Junior Zoe Willis was named 2023 TUCCI/National Fastpitch Coaches Association DII Player of the Year. 

Willis, a first-team NFCA All-American at second base, had one of the best offensive seasons in PBC history. The two-time PBC Player of the Year finished the season batting .447 with 25 home runs and 67 RBI. Willis led all of NCAA Division II in home runs and home runs per game (.45), setting both a program and conference single-season record.

Along with home runs, Willis topped Division II with a .993 slugging percentage and finished in the top six in total bases (151), on-base percentage (.563) and RBI. She also helped out in the circle. Willis finished 14-3 with a 2.54 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 104.2 innings of work.

Read more here.

headshot of Paul HegemanHegeman earns GSW's first ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award

GSW first baseman Paul Hegeman has been named one of nine NCAA Division II recipients of a 2023 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Gold Glove Award as announced Wednesday evening.

Hegeman, a junior from St. Simons Island, Ga., started 51 games at first base this spring in his first season with the Hurricanes. He transferred to Georgia Southwestern from Chattahoochee Valley Community College after completing his prep ball at Glynn Academy. Hegeman did not commit an error with 381 total chances, made 18 assists and was involved in turning 25 double plays in 2023 to become GSW's first Gold Glove Award winner.

Read more about this award here.

89 Hurricanes on PBC Presidential Honor Roll

GSW placed 89 student-athletes on the 2022-23 Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll released recently by the league office.

The Georgia Southwestern baseball program had the largest number of Hurricane student-athletes on the list with 21. Women's soccer was two shy of baseball with 19 honorees. The department reached 20 or more gold honorees for the second consecutive year and only the fourth time in school history.

The Presidential Honor Roll presented by Barnes & Noble College recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of Peach Belt Conference student-athletes who compete in the league's 16 championship sports both at full member institutions and associate member institutions. The Presidential Honor Roll honors all Peach Belt student-athletes who had a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the academic year. 1,577 student-athletes were recognized on this year's list from the league's 11 core institutions, giving the PBC 1,000 or more for the 13th year in a row.

For a full list of scholars, read more here.

McCollum and Euson garner ABCA All-Region First Team honors

Two GSW players were awarded spots on the NCAA Division II All-Region baseball teams by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings.

Starting pitcher Nick McCollum was awarded first team all-region and had an incredible season with a 9-3 overall record and a 3.01 earned run average. A sophomore from Richmond Hill, Ga., he started 15 games with 113 2/3 innings pitched, 115 strikeouts, and a PBC-best four complete-game shutouts against conference opponents.

Pitcher Rijnaldo Euson was also awarded first team all-region. The sophomore from Haines City, Fla., finished the season with a 9-1 overall record and a 3.03 earned run average. Euson started 15 games with 98 innings pitched and three complete game shutouts against conference opponents which included a no-hitter against Claflin University.

It's the first time in program history GSW has placed two players on the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region First Team.

Read more here.

McLain and Escobar receive All-American Honors

Men's golfers Chase McLain and Nicolas Escobar have received 2023 NCAA Division II PING All-America distinction from the Golf Coaches Association of America.

McLain earned third team honors for the second time in his career. The native of Leesburg, Ga., posted Top 10 finishes in five tournaments during the 2022-23 season. His best result came at the 17-team Spring Kickoff in February at St. John's Golf Club in St. Augustine, Fla., where the senior tied for sixth place leading the Hurricanes to a tournament runner-up finish. In addition, he led GSW in the postseason at the NCAA South/Southeast Super Regional and at the NCAA National Championship with 11th place finishes at both events. McLain closed the season at No. 25 in the NCAA Division II Golfstat computer rankings. He posted a 72.09 scoring average through 34 rounds.

Escobar earned honorable mention from the GCAA. The native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, posted Top 10 finishes in six tournaments during the 2022-23 season. His best result came at the Peach Belt Conference Championship in April at Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., where the junior won the event to lead the Hurricanes to their first conference title. Escobar closed the season at No. 42 in the NCAA Division II Golfstat computer rankings. He posted a 71.58 scoring average through 31 rounds.

Read more about the honors here.

headshot of Kalvin AlexanderAlexander selected Valley League All-Star

Senior catcher Kalvin Alexander was selected as a 2023 Valley League All-Star and represented the Charlottesville Tom Sox in the midseason showcase played Sunday at Bing Crosby Stadium in Front Royal, Va.

Alexander was one of five Tom Sox players named to the South team, but the only non-NCAA Division I representative joining teammates from Wofford, Rice and Old Dominion. He is the third 'Sox returner to be named an all-star, serving as one of the league's top catchers. Alexander has made 77 outs this summer without recording an error or a passed ball and hit his first double of the season last Saturday in addition to a home run on June 9 against Harrisonburg.

A native of Lakeland, Fla., Alexander led GSW in home runs (10) this spring and had 12 multi-hit games as the Hurricanes won their first-ever Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament championships.

Read more here.


University of Verona exteriorDahlgren presents in Italy and Oregon

Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and Professor and Chair of English and Modern Language Paul Dahlgren, Ph.D., presented research in two venues this summer. First, he presented at the 16th annual meeting of The Arendt Circle in Verona, Italy on June 29, 2023. His presentation, “Arendt’s Hamlet and the Rhetorical Power of Genre,” explored the way the philosopher Hannah Arendt drew on Shakespeare’s most famous play in her discussions of democracy and totalitarianism in the 1950s and 60s. The event was hosted by the Hannah Arendt Center for Political Studies at the University of Verona (pictured here).

His second presentation was on July 13 in Corvallis, Oregon where he discussed a Reacting to the Past style game he is writing to teach basic literary theory to undergraduates. Reacting to the Past is an immersive role-playing game used to simulate historical scenarios by having students read historical documents and assume the role of historical personages. This award-winning pedagogy was originally developed at Barnard College and is used in a variety of universities across the world in a variety of different educational contexts including first-year seminars, advanced courses, and capstone experiences. Dahlgren’s game Understanding English is about the rise of New Criticism in the mid-twentieth century.

In addition to discussing this work in progress, Dahlgren participated in playtests on games about the Texas redistricting in 2003, the Great Trek in South Africa, and the challenges of being a caregiver in the contemporary United States.

Moir presents in Canada

Professor of English Michael A. Moir, Jr. presented a paper titled "All Work and No Play Makes Jack Hallucinate Evil Monkeys: Sectarian Difference as Contagion in Sheridan Le Fanu's 'Green Tea'" at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies in Ottawa. The conference ran from May 31 to June 3, 2023.


Wang advice featured on WalletHub

Associate Professor Qian "Maggie" Wang, Ph.D., was recently featured on the credit and personal finance website WalletHub. Wang's expertise on credit cards for those with bad credit was featured in an “Ask the Experts” column.

Read the full piece here.

Mukkavilli and Yemelyanov publish and present paper

The paper titled “Applying Smart Assistants in Express Decision for Insurance Choices”, by Sai K. Mukkavilli, Alexander M. Yemelyanov and Rahul Sukumaran was accepted for presentation and publication at 14th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2023). The conference was held in San Francisco, Calif. from  July 20-24, 2023.

Mallett publishes book

Director of Institutional Research Brian Mallett published a book titled "How Faint the Whisper – A Parable."  This work resulted from participation in a writer’s retreat held here at GSW.

Awards & Grants

Neal Weaver accepts awardGSW leads PBC in 2022-23, earns third Presidents' Academic Award

GSW was named the winner of the 2022-23 Peach Belt Presidents' Academic Award at the league's annual awards dinner on Tuesday night. This is the third Presidents' Academic Award for GSW, the first in 2008 and the second in 2018. The award is presented by Barnes & Noble College.

The award recognizes excellence in academics concerning all of an institution's student-athletes.

At the end of the academic school year the Peach Belt Conference asked each of the league's 11 members to submit an average GPA for the undergraduate student body and a GPA for all student-athletes. These two numbers were used to determine each institutions' GPA ratio that identifies which school's athletes are performing most ahead of the curve in comparison to the student body. The schools are not measured against one another, just their athletes to their students.

Georgia Southwestern student-athletes had an average GPA of 3.01 for the academic year while the undergraduate student-body had a 2.75. That is a ratio of 1.0945 which is the highest in the conference this year. Overall, 10 of 11 Peach Belt members had student-athlete GPAs that were, on average, higher than the undergraduate student body. Ten institutions also had an average student-athlete GPA over 3.00.

Dr. Neal Weaver is pictured here accepting the award from Rob Heller, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Barnes & Noble College.

Read more here.


students and teachers ride trolleyGSW Pre-K awards summer transportation grant

This summer, GSW Pre-K was awarded the Summer Transition Program (STP) by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, otherwise known as Bright from the Start. This is the third consecutive summer GSW Pre-K has been awarded this grant. The purpose of STP is to offer high-quality instruction with a focus on language, literacy and math that is designed to reduce the achievement gap. This grant is for rising kindergarten students only.

The STP allows for two teachers, one transition coach and fourteen children to participate in a five-week program that emphasizes the necessary skills for being successful in kindergarten. Each grant awarded classroom is provided with 3 HATCH laptops that are used from instruction. The STP grant also provides breakfast and lunch for the children each day of the program. Teachers, as well as the transition coach, participate in training prior to the beginning of the program. The transition coach is the parent liaison for the STP. The transition coach completes all summer registration, provides weekly take home family activities for each participating family, and builds the STP kindergarten material packets that are given to each child at the end of the program to help ensure a successful beginning of kindergarten. All staff members of GSW Pre-K participated in the 2023 STP.

Tara Rix served as the lead teacher, Dawn Busbee served as the assistant teacher, and Tricia Furgeson served as the transition coach. Jessica Woodard, who served as the transition coach the first summer of participation, also volunteered to assist with the HATCH installation and setting up the REMIND communication app for each family. Pictured are the GSW Pre-K 2023 STP program teachers (Ms. Tara and Ms. Dawn) and children as they ride the Americus Trolley to the Sumter County Recreation Center.

Nicki Levering speaks at podiumLevering selected for NCAA Administrators Pathway Program

GSW Senior Women's Administrator and Assistant Director of Athletics Nicki Levering has been selected to participate in the 2023-24 NCAA Pathway Program. Levering will join 20 other administrators from all divisions of the NCAA to participate in a yearlong initiative designed to prepare senior-level athletics administrators for the next career step as directors of athletics or conference commissioners.

Levering is completing her sixth year as senior women's administrator, assistant director of athletics and head softball coach at GSW. Under her leadership, the athletics department has reached record highs in community service hours. In a 2021-22 NCAA Division II report developed by Helper Helper, GSW ranked No. 1 in the nation in volunteer hours recorded and had a total of seven teams ranked in the Top 10 for service hours recorded this past school year. Along with her community service efforts, Levering has broken records with her team in the classroom and on the softball field. The overall team GPA increased by 15 percent after her first season as head coach, reaching a team record high of 3.4 GPA. 

Read more here.

Employment Updates

headshot of Jalisa MitchellJalisa Mitchell named assistant coach for women's basketball

Jalisa Mitchell comes to GSW after spending the 2022-2023 season as the Director of Basketball Operations at Northeastern University. The 2022-2023 season was historic for NU as the Huskies captured the Colonial Athletic Association regular season championship for the first time in program history, finished the season with a nine-game win streak, and notched the most CAA wins in program history with 13.

Current Lady Canes coach Hana Haden speaks highly of Mitchell and had this to say: "I'm extremely excited about Jalisa joining us in Americus. Jalisa has been a huge part of the success in my previous head coaching stops, first in her playing days, and then as a coach. She will be a phenomenal mentor to our student-athletes and will make our program better in every aspect."

Mitchell will also serve as the head coach for men's cross country.

Read more about Mitchell here.

Kathryn Early joins the College of Education

Kathryn Early is a new lecturer in the College of Education. She graduated from Columbus State University with her Ed.S. in Secondary Mathematics Education and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. She has 14 years of experience in secondary education and is excited to begin her new role with GSW.

Her research interests include mathematical modeling, statistics education, and equitable teaching practices. She looks forward to collaborating with the faculty and strives to create a vibrant community of educators that will flourish in the future.

Jason Dobbs and Travis Goodman join Physical Plant

Physical Plant welcomed Jason Dobbs to the team as the new Assistant Plant Director on July 10, 2023. His twelve years at the Housing Authority have prepared him for this role.

Plant also welcomed back Travis Goodman as general maintenance and locksmith apprentice on June 5, 2023. Goodman previously worked in Plant as a painter from 2020 to 2022.

New Hires

Tiara Key joined the Department of Residential and Campus Life as Coordinator of Student Activities on June 1, 2023.

Skyler Trussell joined the Department of Residential and Campus Life as Coordinator of Residential Living and Student Activities on June 1, 2023.

Wade Jackson joined the Department of Residential and Campus Life as Coordinator of Residential Living and Student Activities on June 15, 2023.

Chelsee Wright joined the Office of Public Safety as a public safety officer on July 1, 2023.

Karradyne Carter joined the Office of Recruitment and Admissions as Admissions Specialist on July 10, 2023.

Kristin Frantz joined the Department of Residential and Campus Life as Coordinator of Intramural & Outdoor Recreation on July 24, 2023.

Latonya Ingram joined the Office of Purchasing as a buyer on July 24, 2023.



Jennifer Christie, Admissions Specialist in the Office of Recruitment and Admissions, left that role on May 27, 2023.

Cassi Bass, Admissions Counselor in the Office of Recruitment and Admissions, left that role on June 9, 2023.

Marianna Baykina, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Sociology, left that role on July 20, 2023.

Irina Toteva, Assistant Professor of marketing in the College of Business and Computing, left that role on July 31, 2023.


Promotions & Title Changes

Several title changes in the Department of Athletics went into effect with the new fiscal year, including:

  • Signe Coombs: Senior Associate Director of Athletics
  • Nicki Levering: Associate Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Development, Senior Women's Administrator, and Head Softball Coach
  • Keith Michlig: Associate Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing
  • Eric Crawford: Associate Director of Athletics for Business and Operations and Head Men's Soccer Coach
  • Kerry Edwards: Assistant Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Services and Head Women's Soccer Coach

Paul Dahlgren was named Interim Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences to Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences on July 1, 2023.

Phong Minh Diep was named Instructional Technology Support in the College of Business and Computing on July 10, 2023. He was previously a computer and imaging technician in the Office of Information and Instructional Technology.


Weavers welcome first grandchild

President Neal and Kristi Weaver welcomed their first grandchild at the end of June. Leighton Lucia Weaver was born to their oldest Austin and Christina on June 29, 2023 at 12:21 pm. Leighton arrived weighing 7 lbs. 15 oz. and is already decked out in Hurricane gear. Congratulations to the Weaver family!

baby Weaver

Jennings passes electrical exam

Physical Plant is proud to announce that Trevor Jennings recently passed the state electrical certification exam, bringing the number of licensed electricians on campus to three.

Hurricane Gratitude

I would like to give a shout out to Tammy Carpenter for her willingness to assist to fill in the gaps (and missing information) as I come across them in the alumni database. I am very appreciative of her help!

- Angela Smith, Alumni Engagement Specialist

Past Events

Camp Read-A-Lot is a success

The College of Education hosted its Camp Read-A-Lot, its summer reading camp, the week of Jun 26. The camp was led by teacher candidates with assistance from several GSW faculty and staff members throughout the week. The week wrapped up Camp Read-A-Lot yesterday with a picnic on the front lawn of the Education Center. The camp 

Upcoming Events

  • August 6-8: Thunder Camp
  • August 9-15: Southwestern Week
  • August 11: Freshman Move-In Day
  • August 12-15: New Student Orientation
  • August 16: Fall classes begin
  • August 31: Under the Lights

Find more events on the GSW academic calendar, on CanesConnect, and on the Community Events webpage.