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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.

Jamey was amazed by the number of organizations GSW has for students to join and quickly found himself gravitating towards those which have the duty of serving others. In the summer of 2020, Jamey joined the Student Engagement team, a dynamic and diverse group that, despite their differences, found a way to work together for the benefit of others. It was this group that taught Jamey how to work with people who have a different way of thinking than he does.

During that same summer, GSW launched Thunder Camp, the university’s extended orientation program. Jamey was eager to join in the making of a new tradition, becoming a Thunder Camp Counselor and working again with a team whose varied backgrounds did little to hinder their desire and ability to work together towards the same goal. Now that he is graduating, Jamey is proud to look at the impact of this ongoing first-year program, which uplifted the campers and Jamey’s confidence in himself.

There were others in the community that saw the potential that Jamey has for leadership. When the school year started in the following fall semester, Jamey’s University 1000 instructor Dr. Gaynor Cheokas recommended him to be a student leader, prompting him to become a Storm Spotter. This was followed by Jamey’s time as a Zephyr and a Student Marshal. With all of this experience under his belt, Jamey set out to undertake his greatest endeavor yet – running for Student Government Association president.

Though he was running against older, more experienced Hurricanes, Jamey was confident that his devotion to the student body would lead him to victory. “What can I do for the students,” is the one question that drove Jamey throughout the race. Even before knowing the results, he understood what it means to be in such an influential position. “You advocate for the students as a whole,” said Jamey. “You are the voice of the students.” Jamey became that voice when he was sworn in as Student Government president in May of 2021. And he didn’t have much time to be shocked by his new position. The challenge had begun, and Jamey was willing to do whatever it took to make the GSW community even tighter.

It’s unsurprising that Jamey’s love of helping others translated to his choice of academics. “I’ve always been the one to solve problems for other people,” he said. And after exploring the options Georgia Southwestern offers, he realized that a degree in human resources was the right fit for him.

According to Jamey, human resource managers are the “firefighters” of the working world that “put out fires” for others. They are the ones that come together to make the dream team, a natural talent of Jamey’s that he has nurtured during his time at Georgia Southwestern. But it’s not just about talent. A person also needs passion, said Jamey. “When you love what you do, it’s not a waste of time.”

Jamey attributes his dedication to teamwork to three people: his two sisters and his nanny, the latter of which is his biggest inspiration and greatest encourager. She told him to chase his dreams and refuse to settle until he gets what he desires. It took him a few years to understand what it is that he wants, but now that Jamie is graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources, he is ready to take on the world and put out fires.

“Everyone has a purpose,” said Jamey. “You just have to find it.”

Because of dual enrollment, Jamey has graduated from Georgia Southwestern in the span of only two years and is now working towards a master’s within GSW’s Double Canes program. He has also been offered a full-time job in the staffing department of Atrium Health Navicent in Macon, Georgia.

“I’ve been very thankful for everything,” said Jamey. He stated that his time at GSW has been a journey, and the people he worked with and for have made him confident that the Hurricane bond will continue as a legacy for years to come. “You don’t think that you have that power,” said Jamey, “but it was impactful, and that’s all you can ask for.”