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FeaturesDedicationNicholas Smarr and Jody Smith Memorial Building dedicated

The home of Georgia Southwestern State University's Department of Public Safety officially received a new name in February when the University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved the "Nicholas Smarr and Jody Smith Memorial Building" moniker. On April 27, the University, the Smith and Smarr families and the community held a dedication ceremony and unveiled the new lettering on the building. Read more >>

FeaturesAwards2017 Honors and Recognition Ceremony recognizes faculty, staff and students

Georgia Southwestern State University held its Spring 2017 Honors and Recognition Ceremony Monday, April 24 in Jackson Performance Hall.

To see a list of the faculty, staff and student award winners. Read more >>


ScholarshipJillAlford, Hohnecker certified as facilitators for Advancing Sumter, Chamber Champions

Charlise Alford, administrative assistant in the GSW Health Center and Jill Hohnecker, director of Community and Student Engagement were recently certified as facilitators for the Advancing Sumter leadership class and Chamber Champions through the Americus Sumter Chamber of Commerce.

Advancing Sumter is a community-based leadership development program focused on equipping citizens with skills to enable them to be future leaders in our community through their churches, homes, jobs, civic organizations, appointed board positions and elected roles. Chamber Champions Youth Leadership program is an initiative targeting second semester high school sophomores and provides students with educational and hands-on experiences in areas such as self-presentation & customer service training, time & stress management and Robert’s Rules of Order, personal and business finance, how to start a business, marketing a business and a product, and higher education exposure. Both curriculums are from the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development out of the University of Georgia.

ScholarshipKathyDefenseBarnetson defends dissertation, will graduate with Doctor of Education in May

On April 6, 2017, Kathy Barnetson successfully defended her dissertation, “Novice Teachers: Using Professional Development to Discover Whether They Continue to Use the Behavior Management Strategies Taught in the Undergraduate Program.” She will graduate with her Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Leadership from Columbus State University on May 12, 2017.

Dave’s English 4050 class completes community internships

In Spring 2017, the students of ENGL 4050, Writing and Civic Engagement, taught by Dr. Anish Dave, assistant professor of English, worked on part-time unpaid internships with community organizations.

Zachary Price worked as an unpaid intern for Americus Times Recorder. In her evaluation of Zachary’s work, Beth Alston, the editor and publisher of the newspaper, described Zachary’s work as follows: “He wrote several feature stories as well as some government stories for publication.” Zachary Price’s news stories include the following: “February’s First Friday offered special ‘kick’” (published February 16, 2017), “Local business reaps benefits from city’s facade grant” (published March 13, 2017), “Local couple celebrates 70th anniversary” (published April 3, 2017), “Spoken word poet headlines GSW Bell Convocation” (published April 19, 2017), “GSW hosts National History Day” (published April 27, 2017), and the like. Zachary has been asked to write columns for the newspaper on veteran affairs, in part because he is a former veteran himself.

Taylor Fisher, Neferteria McCaskill, and Brandon Mable worked as unpaid, part-time interns with Americus Main Street organization. All three were guided and supervised by Mr. Patrick Kay, Main Street/DDA Director. The three students worked on documents such as press releases, user guides, newsletter, and so on. The students attended meetings, contributed to events, and interviewed citizens of the city, including businesses. Mr. Kay was so impressed with the performance of Taylor Fisher that he is asking his supervisor to start a “paid summer internship program.”

Erica Faircloth worked as an unpaid, part-time intern for the city-based Koinonia Farm. Having been previously acquainted with the organization, Erica enjoyed her time working for the organization. She helped with improving documents, creating brochures, and so on.

Dr. Dave would like to thank Ms. Angela Smith, executive assistant to the president, and Mr. Josh Curtin, director of Campus Life, for setting up two of the internships. He would also like to thank the participating organizations and their personnel for their kindness, as well as the students for their hard work and dedication.

Crumpton presents poster at KSU

Undergraduate senior in psychology, Quint Crumpton, recently presented his poster, "Students' Perceptions of Free Online Textbooks" at the Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology (GURP) conference held at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Judy Orton Grissett, assistant professor of psychology, was Crumpton's faculty sponsor.


AnnouncementsStepanekScholarshipApplications open for Military Caregiver Scholarship

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) is pleased to open nominations for the 2017 Mattie J.T. Stepanek Caregiving Scholarship. The Stepanek Scholarships provide financial assistance to military caregivers who have demonstrated a commitment to caring not only for their loved ones, but also for themselves. Five $2,000 scholarships will be awarded at the RCI’s 30th Anniversary Summit in Americus, Georgia, Oct. 25-27, 2017. All military caregivers who have completed our free Operation Family Caregiver (OFC) program by the application deadline of August 31, 2017 are eligible. Caregivers still have time to sign up and complete the 16- to 24-week program in order to apply for the scholarship. If you or someone you know are interested, click here to complete and send a referral form to our national office.

Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving’s 30th Anniversary Submissions

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) has had the privilege of serving thousands through their 30 year history; partnering with the finest organizations, training countless professional, volunteer and family caregivers, working alongside the best researchers in the field, and collaborating with brilliant speakers across the country. If you happen to be one of these individuals/organizations and the RCI has had a positive impact on your life, please share with us. Learn more >>

GSW Summer Hours start May 8

Georgia Southwestern will observe Summer Hours this year beginning May 8 and ending on August 4. This means that some departments will be able to close at 12:00 p.m. on Fridays during this time. Departments that are required to remain open until 3:00 p.m. on Fridays may consider developing a rotating schedule to allow employees an opportunity to take turns leaving at 12:00 p.m. As always, employees are still expected to work a full 40 hour week and should coordinate their summer schedule with their immediate supervisor.

Past Events

PastEventsSiroccoStaffSirocco Celebrates Publication of Its 2017 Issue

Sirocco, Georgia Southwestern State University’s literary and arts magazine, celebrated the publication of its Spring 2017 issue at its annual launch party and awards ceremony on April 25 in the Marshall Student Center.

This year’s Literary and Visual Arts Awards went to the following contributors:

  • Editor’s Choice: Victoria Nahley, “Oblivion”
  • Poetry Prize: Caitlin Victory, “The Deconstruction of a Rainbow”
  • Sirocco Cover Prize: Sunni Zemblowski, “Science”

Sherreyal Safo, senior administrative assistant for the English department, was also honored for her efforts in helping the issue come to fruition. This year’s issue is dedicated to her.

The staff of Sirocco would like to thank everyone who contributed their work and who provided assistance to make this year’s issue possible.


Canes Cancer Fighters raise $1,130 at Relay for Life

GSW’s Relay for Life team, Canes Cancer Fighters, raised $1,130 at the American Cancer Society’s 2017 Relay for Life event in Sumter County.






PastEventsChamberSingersAtArtsReesParkApril2017The GSW Chamber Singers and Dr. Julie Megginson, director, performed at Arts in Rees Park on April 22, 2017









PastEventsConcert ChoirAlbanySymphonyMarch2017

GSW Concert Choir and Southwest Civic Chorus and Dr. Julie Megginson, director, performed the Duruflé Requiem with other local choirs and the Albany Symphony, March 25 & 26, 2017.

Upcoming Events

  • National Travel & Tourism Week in Americus & Sumter County, starts May 5
  • GSW Baseball postseason begins May 10:
  • Bike to Work Day, May 19EventsBiketoWork
    • On May 19, GSW will participate in Bike to Work Day along with the City of Americus. At noon, GSW bikers can meet in front of Wheatley Administration Building and Bike with the Mayor to Rylander Park. Contact Anna Champion if you have any questions.
  • GSW Athletics summer camps for basketball, soccer and softball are coming up. Visit for more information.
  • GSW Sports and Science Camp is scheduled for June 12-16, 19-23 and 26-30. Contact Dr. Catalina Carasu or Dr. Nedialka Iordanova for additional information.
  • Paint the Town Blue, June 17
  • EventsWindsorClassicThe Windsor Classic, June 24
    • The Windsor Hotel is partnering with Americus native and GSW junior, Joshua Cherian, to host The Windsor Classic on June 24, 2017. Up to 100 participants from all over the country will come participates in the event. They will be solving puzzles with their feet and blindfolded. There will also be a mosaic with over 500 cubes. For more information, visit:
  • Next year’s Preview Days will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017; Saturday, January 27, 2018; and Saturday, April 7, 2018
  • GSW Homecoming 2018 is scheduled for February 17

President's Letter


The rate of change around higher education is becoming faster with every

passing year. Albert Einstein said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” You can be the change, or adapt to change, but change is inevitable.

The last two years have been transformative for Georgia Southwestern State University. During this time, the campus community and countless stakeholders have played an active role in determining the future for the Institution. The University strategic plan marks a new beginning with a Vision towards being a progressive and inclusive University that serves as a vibrant center of learning, culture and economic development for Southwest Georgia and beyond. The strategic plan calls upon the campus community to become more connected to our surrounding communities and to advance the development of civic-minded students. An accompanying institutional enrollment management plan provides measurable, long-term goals for ensuring sustainable and diversified enrollment growth. These guiding documents are fundamental to the University’s identity and help articulate strategies to generate resources to meet current and future demands.

We have been blessed to experience record enrollment growth over the last two years. While we have navigated the difficulties that come with increased demands for limited resources, it is this enrollment growth that has provided critical resources and sustained the Institution. In the short-term, we have emerged from this period as a stronger and more visible University, worthy of our classification among other state universities and proud of our 110-year legacy. New academic programs are under development. Strategies aimed at supporting student retention and completion are making national headlines and our academic programs continue to be ranked among the nation’s best.

In years to come, this growth and visibility will benefit the entire campus community and help support economic prosperity for the region. As our new mission statement affirms, the University is a collegial community that values collaboration and community engagement with an emphasis on faculty, staff and student interactions.

By nature, a mission statement should summarize the aims, culture and values of an organization. Collaboration, community and collegiality truly describe Georgia Southwestern. I have been fortunate to be part of such a place, building friendships that will last.

At Georgia Southwestern, we call this being “Part of the Storm.” It has been a sincere pleasure for me to serve this great University and I am honored to have been Part of the Storm.

Dr. Charles E. Patterson
Interim President

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