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Breeze Logo 2019


Early indications show GSW enrollment eclipses 3,000 for first time since 2011

Early returns show that Georgia Southwestern State University’s Fall 2016 enrollment has increased by 5.9 percent (169 students) from the enrollment this time in Fall 2015 (2,870). As of today, Georgia Southwestern’s total stands at 3,039 students – 2,635 undergraduate students and 404 graduate students


Hohnecker named director of Community and Student Engagement

Jill HohneckerGeorgia Southwestern State University (GSW) announced that Jill Hohnecker, Residence Life coordinator, will serve as the university's new director of Community and Student Engagement.

"I am excited about this new position and the opportunity to work to unite the college and the community together," Hohnecker said.

Hohnecker has served in the role of Residence Life coordinator since May 2014 where she has been responsible for the overall supervision and training of the Resident Assistant (RA) Program and advancing student activities among freshmen residents. In her new, expanded role, Hohnecker will also serve as the primary point of contact with local leaders to promote student engagement between the campus and community. This is a new position within GSW's Division of Student Affairs.


Aldridge named special assistant to the president

Tristam AldridgeOn August 1, Tristam Aldridge joined Georgia Southwestern State University as Special Assistant to the President for Organizational Development. In this role, Mr. Aldridge will be working across the University to lead and support optimized enrollment strategies, predictive analytics, and student-centered services to support the University’s short- and long-term enrollment goals. This will include domestic, international and out-of-state students, ensuring integrated practices among the many campus divisions.

“Tristam hit the ground running in August, meeting with many individuals throughout campus and identifying ways we can support our existing students, as well as leverage our recent growth in enrollment,” said Interim President Dr. Charles Patterson. “In addition to developing a platform for analytics to measure institutional growth and sustainability, Tristam will also be filling a previously identified need for additional counseling support within the Office of Counseling Services and providing assistance to Ms. Alma Keita.”

“I feel especially honored by the opportunity to serve at GSW. I don’t know that I’ve ever been associated with an institution, as an employee or a student, whose core values are so clearly revealed by its stakeholders on a daily basis,” stated Aldridge. “We have truly been overwhelmed by the kindness of the GSW family.”

Aldridge has served as Director of Graduate Admissions at Georgia Southern University since 2012. He formerly served as the Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment at Clemson University and has prior experience as an advisor to international scholars and students in the Office of International Affairs and as the Director of Admissions at Clemson. Aldridge earned his Bachelor of Science from Toccoa Falls College, having majored in Christian Counseling. He holds a Master of Education from Clemson University where he is a PhD Candidate in Educational Leadership. He and his wife, Janelle have two sons: Bryce (age 12) and Levi (age 10).

Inaugural FNP class passes national certification exam

FNP classThe first six graduates of Georgia Southwestern’s inaugural Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) master’s program have all passed their national certification exams. Learn more about these students.


New Hires

Cathie MorrisCathie Morris is the newest GSW Foundation employee. She is training for the Executive Assistant position and will move into that position after MaryLen Walker's retirement in November.

Cathie comes most recently from Columbus, Georgia. She has a BA Degree in Communications from Georgia State University. Cathie has worked in marketing, public relations, and event planning for state agencies and non-profit organizations in Atlanta and Columbus. She is married to Jem Morris and they have a 12 year-old son, Candler.

Jennifer Griffin

Jennifer Griffin
began duties August 15 as access services supervisor at the James E. Carter Library. She is in charge of all front desk operations, supervising student workers, and circulation needs. Jennifer has a Masters in Library Science from VSU.


Tatiana Baeva is the new Web Developer at GSW. She is going to be responsible for the GSW website, directory enhancement and updates.

PreK Staff
Lauren Vann
 is the new lead teacher at GSW's Early Childhood Development Center and Jenny Alford is the new assistant teacher. They join Jessica Woodard and Heather Tyler.


Marianna BaykinaThere are two new faculty members in the Department of Psychology and Sociology.

Marianna Baykina joins GSW as an assistant professor of psychology. Baykina received her PhD from Texas Tech.

Leigh Laughlin
Leigh Laughlin
has joined GSW as a lecturer in criminal justice. Laughlin completed her M.S. at Arizona State University and her M.A. at Michigan State University.


Jennifer Ryer
Jennifer Ryer
was hired as a lecturer in the English and Modern Languages Department. Before she came to GSW, she taught English classes as a special lecturer at the University of Connecticut while I earned my Ph.D.


Ke WangKe (Kelly) Wang is the new Data Manager at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI). In this role, Ke oversees the Institute's data systems development, statistical analysis of the Institute's intervention programs, and statistical training for RCI staff and program site personnel.

Ke completed her doctoral degree in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in 2014. Before joining the RCI, Ke worked as an analyst at the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego (UC San Diego), a teaching assistant at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), and a research assistant at Marquette University. She has recently moved to Americus with her husband who teaches as an assistant professor at GSW, and her twin children and parents.


Angela BryantAngela Bryant completed her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Policy & Administration from Walden University. Her doctorate was issued on June 21, 2016.


Judy GrissettDr. Judy Orton Grissett recently presented at the 2016 Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Denver, CO. Her talk "Experiences for children to learn about nature at a community garden: An ethnographic case study" was part of the symposium titled "Conceptualizations of Nature."

Upcoming Events

POW/MIA Convocation

Georgia Southwestern State University and Andersonville National Historic Site will host the 11th annual Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Convocation on Wednesday, September 14 at 11 a.m. in Georgia Southwestern’s Student Success Center. Derek R. Mallett, Ph.D., will be the speaker. The event is free and open to the public.


Chamber Concert Series


The 2016-2017 GSW Chamber Concert Series will present six concerts this season, beginning September 20 with Emily Levin, Harpist. Jackson Performance Hall will be the venue for all of the concerts this season. GSW Faculty and Staff may purchase season tickets for $50 for all 6 concerts ($10/concert at the door). You may also become a patron of the GSW Chamber Concert Series for as little as $75, which includes one season ticket, your name printed in each program, and an invitation to post-concert receptions to meet the musicians. You may return your subscription letters and checks to Julie Megginson, Dept. of Music, Jackson 121. Please make checks payable to: GSW Chamber Concert Series.

RCI National Summit

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) will host its 29th Annual National Summit on Friday, October 21st right here on the beautiful campus of GSW. This one-day conference, with a networking reception the night before, will explore caregiver needs who are caring for others with diverse chronic illnesses and disability across the lifespan. Chances are you or someone you know – either a friend, relative, or neighbor - is a caregiver. We have some amazing speakers lined up to address topics that are on the top of every caregiver’s mind.

You can find more information about the Summit, the links for registration, as well as the agenda at Registration deadline is October 7th. We would love to have you join us in October!

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