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Issue 4: January 2022


Georgia Southwestern receives nearly $900K in GEER II funding to support critical need for more nurses

Georgia Southwestern State University will receive $866,723 from the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER II), which will be used to cover the cost of all new state-of-the-art patient simulators and a complete biology lab renovation.

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp announced earlier this week a total of more than $47 million in emergency assistance funds would be earmarked to support K-12 and higher education entities as they continue to address the disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Georgia Southwestern is one of only three University System of Georgia institutions to receive funding in this area, including Fort Valley State and Middle Georgia State.

“We are extremely pleased to be a recipient of this funding as GSW works to expand the existing nursing program and graduate more nurses,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “Our local and regional health care partners, including long-term care and acute care institutions, have reported the need for more registered nurses with both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, and we are working to make that happen.”

Read more about GEER II funding here.


GSW Homecoming festivities kick off first week of February

Georgia Southwestern State University will celebrate 2022 Homecoming, themed “Alice in Wonderland,” the week of Monday, Jan. 31 – Saturday, Feb. 5. The campus community, alongside alumni and the community, are invited to attend events throughout the week to show their support and Hurricane pride.

Find the full schedule of Homecoming activities at



Georgia Southwestern hosts 42nd annual MLK Convocation

Georgia Southwestern hosted its 42nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation in the GSW Student Success Center Convocation Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. with Dr. Myron Pope, vice president for Student Life at The University of Alabama (UA), serving as keynote speaker. This year’s theme for the convocation was “Building A BOLD Dream in Reality: ‘Who You See vs. Who I Am.’” The ceremony also included performances from GSW's Gospel and Concert Choirs.

The MLK Convocation is sponsored by the African American Male Initiative (AAMI), GSW’s Division of Business and Finance, GSW MLK Convocation Committee, GSW Gospel Choir, National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), Strong United Assertive Virtuous Educated Women (SUAVE), Division of Student Engagement and Success (SES), and Student Government Association (SGA).

A recording of the event is available on GSW's YouTube channel, and photos are available on GSW's Facebook page.

Hailstorm set for May 6

Join GSW Athletics on Friday, May 6, 2022 at Providence Springs Plantation for the 3rd Annual Hail Storm. This fundraiser has become a fan-favorite with its signature golf ball drop from a helicopter. Golf balls may be purchased in advance for $100 each. Closest to the target takes home the first prize of $25,000. Second closest gets $10,000 and the balls coming in third through ninth win $1,000 each. There's even a $1,000 prize for the ball that rests farthest away.

You do not have to be present to win, but included with your golf ball purchase is a ticket to that evening's reception. Enjoy food from The Canterbury Kitchen, complimentary drinks - including beverages provided by our local partners Wolf Creek Plantation and Thirteenth Colony Distilleries - and music performed by The Answer Band. The reception runs from 6-10 p.m. with the Hail Storm (ball drop) taking place around 7:20 p.m.

Visit to register and for more information.

AAMI to welcome Willie Green in February

GSW’s African American Male Initiative (AAMI) will welcome Willie Green on February 15, 2022. Green’s speech, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” will discuss Black history and how it is built on culture despite hard times. Green will speak in Room 135 of the Wheatley Administration Building.

A Trailblazing 'Cane Turns His Tassel!

It’s not unusual for Hurricanes to develop close bonds with each other. Georgia Southwestern’s relaxed, tight-knit community encourages this. But one student has taken it upon himself to strengthen what has been established before he leaves the campus with a degree in his hand and Hurricane pride in his heart.

James “Jamey” Fowler is a graduating student from Camilla, Georgia who began his education at GSW as a high school student. During the summer of 2016, while attending high school at Baconton Community Charter School, Jamey took an Intro to Psychology class, a course that served as his introduction to Georgia Southwestern and made him a Hurricane. After this, Jamey continued relying on GSW’s faculty for his dual enrollment courses, thankful for the time and money the program had saved him. When it was time to officially begin school as a college student, Jamey had racked up an impressive amount of class hours, enough to classify him as a second semester sophomore just shy of being a junior.

Although Jamey entered the Hurricane community earlier than most, his path to officially making GSW the place of his college career had one big twist. Georgia Southwestern wasn’t his first choice – he had his sights fixed on another school. But when riding down the streets of Americus, Jamey felt like he was home, and after taking a semester to adjust to college life, he began using his love of people to fuel his endeavors in campus involvement.

Read more about Jamey’s story here.


Student Recognitions

Students present at Symposium for Teaching, Learning, and Research

Hannah Holloway, Michaela Reed, and Bethani Griggs, students in Anish Dave's Teaching and Tutoring Writing class in Fall 2021, presented in person at the 2022 Georgia Gwinnett College Symposium for Teaching, Learning, and Research on January 12, 2022 in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Their presentation was titled "Teaching a Grammar Course at a Small Public University: A Case Study." The presentation briefly discussed desirability of a grammar course in colleges and universities. The presentation mentioned a potential grammar course that is being considered by the Department of English and Modern Languages at GSW.

Ava Jones and Lars Nilsen Named Top Performers in December

Women's basketball guard Ava Jones and men's basketball guard Lars Nilsen have been named the Georgia Southwestern State University Department of Athletics top performers for the month of December.

Ava, a 5-foot-7 junior from Carencro, La., averaged 16.3 points over four games for the Lady Hurricanes, who went 4-0 for the month. She connected on 63.4 percent of her shot attempts, had 2.3 steals per game and 2.5 assists while averaging 26.5 minutes of action. Ava scored 28 points on Dec. 30 to lead Georgia Southwestern to a 97-40 victory over Thomas University. Ava currently ranks second in the Peach Belt Conference in field goal percentage (59.1), fifth in steals per game (2.7), sixth in scoring average (15.1) and 16th in assists per game (2.5).

Lars, a 6-foot-4 freshman from Skien, Norway, averaged 12.8 points over four games for the Hurricanes. He connected on 51.4 percent of his shot attempts, including 50 percent from beyond the arc, while averaging only 18 minutes of action. In Lars's first game of the season with significant playing time, he scored 19 points in 21 minutes on Dec. 7 at Fort Valley State. Lars closed out the month strong with a career-high 21 points in the Storm Dome against Middle Georgia State University on Dec. 31. Overall, he made 10 of 20 from long range in December, 5 of 6 from the free throw line and grabbed nine rebounds during his 72 minutes on the floor.  

Read more about Ava and Lars here.

Levay and Rankin

Student-athletes named to PBC Teams of Academic Distinction

The Peach Belt Conference has released the 2021 Teams of Academic Distinction, presented by Barnes & Noble College. The team is a part of the PBC's larger initiative to celebrate the academic achievements of PBC student-athletes and is modeled on the CoSIDA Academic All-America program.

GSW student-athletes named to the teams were women’s cross country runners Megan Strickland and Brianna Zupko, men’s cross country runner Daniel Iordanov, women’s soccer players Geraldine Alvarez and Laura Duran Blanco, and men’s soccer players Jack Malleret, Cole Davison, Will Carter, and Grant Auer.

To be eligible for the team, a student-athlete must 1) participate in at least half of his/her team's events and be either a starter or significant contributor; 2) achieve a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) and 3) completed at least one full academic year at his or her current institution and has reached sophomore athletic eligibility. The Peach Belt Conference Sports Information Directors oversee the program.


Dave presents at Symposium for Teaching, Learning, and Research

Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center Anish Dave, Ph.D., presented in person at the 2022 Georgia Gwinnett College Symposium for Teaching, Learning, and Research on January 12, 2022 in Lawrenceville, Ga.

The title of his presentation was "Crisis-Induced Illumination: Focusing on Student Learning Above All." The presentation briefly outlined Dave’s new pedagogical strategies in Composition I. The strategies emerged partly from reflection during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also shared data from a student survey that affirmed their effectiveness.


Carter co-authors article on Budapest protests

Assistant Professor of Communication Jonathan Carter, Ph.D., co-authored an article with Jamie L. Downing that was recently published in the Western Journal of Communication. “Budapest’s Living Memorial and the Reperformance of Countermemory” includes a study of protests around a historically problematic WWII memorial in Budapest, Hungary. Carter and Downing’s research shows how protest can remake a site of public memory and challenge forgeries of history.

Mark Laughlin at pianoLaughlin releases new album

Music Professor and Chair of the Department of Music, Communication, & Emerging Media Mark Laughlin, D.M.A., released a new album of the works of Claude Debussy.

“Debussy: Suite Bergamasque and Children’s Corner" is part of a four-album collection of Debussy’s music that will be released each month during the spring semester (January, February, March, and April).

The new album, along with Laughlin's other albums, "The Music of Enrique Granados" and "Poulenc: Improvisations and Nocturnes," is available on most streaming services, including Spotify and YouTube.

New Hires, Promotions, Retirements, & Farewells

Alma De La Paz joins Human Resources

Alma De La Paz recently joined the Department of Human Resources as a Human Resource Specialist on January 10, 2022. In this role, she will process new faculty, staff, and student hires, facilitate the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and assist with other HR needs.

Prior to joining GSW’s HR, Alma served as an Administrative Assistant for the Regional Director in Region 4 of the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) for 16 years. She was responsible for all DFCS reports, handling HR-related duties associated with hiring and off-boarding, and creating requisitions to post positions and tracking through the hiring process for the 12 counties in Region 4.

Alma is a Texas native but has been a long-time resident of Georgia. She is graduate of South Georgia Technical College in Americus, Ga., where she obtained her Associate Degree in Computer Information Systems. She looks forward to helping and serving the staff and students on campus.

ErvinAnderson.jpgErvin Anderson named Senior Lecturer Emeritus

Ervin D. Anderson, a spring 2019 retiree of GSW’s Department of Mathematics, was honored with the title of Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Fall 2021.

His name and new title will be engraved and included on the perpetual plaque that list all GSW Emeriti which hangs in the Wheatley Administration Building.

Mr. “A,” as he is known on campus, taught for 34 years and says he enjoyed every day he came to teach, mentor and support all aspects of campus life. He is still employed part-time as the Executive Director of the African American Male Initiative (AAMI), in which he mentors young men in academics and social responsibilities. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the GSW Alumni Association and is a member of GSW Athletics’ Canes 360.

Jim Aller named MBA Director

Associate Professor Jim Aller, Ph.D., has been named Director of the MBA Program within the College of Business and Computing. Aller is taking over this role from Associate Professor Carol Bishop, D.B.A., who has overseen the MBA program for the last 10 years.

College of Education welcomes new faculty

The College of Education welcomed four new faculty members as of January 1, 2022, including:

  • Meredith Murray, part-time instructor
  • Alanna Bowie, part-time instructor
  • Cheryl Fletcher, part-time instructor
  • Angela Smith, part-time instructor

Glenn Robins named Department Chair

Professor Glenn Robins, Ph.D., has been named Department Chair of the Department of History and Political Science. Robins is taking over this role from Professor, Brian Parkinson, Ph.D.

College of Nursing and Health Sciences welcomes new faculty

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences recently welcomed three new part-time faculty members as of January 1, 2022, including:

  • Sara “Brook” Shelnutt, part-time instructor
  • Schieloh Wolfe, part-time instructor
  • Caitlyn Cooper, part-time instructor


LaToya Stackhouse, Director of Residential & Campus Life, left that role on December 31, 2021 and has begun her new position at Florida State University’s Panama City Beach campus.

Gena Wilson, Director of Human Resources, left that role on January 14, 2022 and has begun her new position at Fort Valley State University.

Awards & Grants

two people hold large checkSumter EMC Foundation awards grant to GSW Foundation

The Sumter EMC Foundation recently awarded the Georgia Southwestern Foundation a $5,000 grant for the annual scholarship fund. Two worthy students at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) will be the recipients of the scholarship. The students (or family) should reside in the Sumter EMC service area and have achieved junior or senior status in the area of science, education, nursing, business or accounting.

“Through this grant from our Foundation, Sumter EMC is proud to provide scholarship funds to deserving students. One of the seven guiding principles that govern the way Sumter EMC operates is the involvement in the communities we serve. Sumter EMC is committed to being a part of the effort to support the education of our future community leaders,” said Andrea Walker, Sumter EMC Chairman. Walker is pictured her with GSW Foundation Executive Director Stephen Snyder.

Learn more about this grant here.

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.

Dr. Bishop,

Thank you for your service to [the MBA] program over the last 10 years. I am sure it has been very fulfilling for you to see students come through the program and advance in their careers. I have thoroughly enjoyed this program so far and frequently brag about it to my friends and colleagues.

I wanted to share one of my favorite stories from the program so far. I was taking Dr. Fathi's Business Strategy class and while he was giving his introduction, he mentioned that he started his teaching career at Brewton Parker College (where my mom went to college). I asked my mom about him, and she not only had him as a professor, but she had a close relationship with him and his wife while they were at BPC. They had not talked in over 30 years, and after the semester was over, they were able to get on a Facetime call and reconnect. It was so cool to have a professor my mom had. Another reason I am glad I decided to do this program!

I wish you the best as you continue to teach and impact lives through your instruction.

Jordan Robins, MBA student


Thank you so much for your great support throughout this MBA program, Professor Carol [Bishop]. One of my reasons for joining the GSW was that you were very responsive to all my inquiries at that time. Later, I learned you work hard to administer the MBA and even take an Advance Accounting class. I have no clue how many hours you have in a day to manage all the workload. I think I am one of those students who pay attention to the professor's comments on the individual and group reports for the course; in most cases, they are copied & pasted as they are written generically. However, I was amazed that your comments on our reports were so detailed and to the point, reflecting genuine suggestions/errors. You are indeed a great leader who inspires so many students like me! Thank you for all the support you provided me and others, and I wish you all the best! God bless you always!

Dr. Jim Aller - an excellent and deserving replacement of you! I took Labor Management Relation course with him. He was also available to quick chat on a short notice about the challenges I was facing to understand some of the course concepts. I enjoyed a few professors' courses more than others, and Dr. Aller is one of them. His knowledge of labor-management relations is unmatchable. Again, thank you, Dr. Carol and Dr. Aller, for everything you taught us.

- Syed Hamid Bari, MBA student from Calgary, Canada

Upcoming Events

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