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GeorgiaTrendAdJan17 smallGSW, Americus/Sumter County featured in Georgia Trend

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) and Americus/Sumter County were recently highlighted in the Georgia Trend publication. In the feature titled “Made in Americus,” GSW and Americus are lauded for their efforts in educating an innovative workforce and growing an entrepreneurial economy.








Cubing comes to campus

The Rubik’s Cube was invented in Hungary in 1974. On January 7, 2017, the first Rubik’s Cube tournament in Americus was held on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW). Americus native and GSW junior, Joshua Cherian, is a “Cube” enthusiast. He organized the competition held in the Student Success Center Conference Rooms.



New Hires

AllisonFleetAllison Fleet joins GSW as the Registrar Support Specialist/ Transfer Coordinator. She is a native of Albany, Georgia, and currently resides there. Allison is a 2015 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management. Currently, she is enrolled in the M.Ed. Higher Education Administration program at Georgia Southern University. She began her career in higher education as a student assistant in Georgia Southern University’s Admissions Office for four years. After she graduated, Allison worked as a Financial Aid counselor in GSU’s Financial Aid office. Over the years, she has developed a deep love for the field of higher education because of the field’s complexity and she looks forward to working with GSW's students, staff and faculty.  



Benjamin Meador joins GSW as an assistant professor of exercise science in the School of Education. After a bachelor's in rhetoric, Dr. Meador completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2010, specializing in striated muscle pathology. Before coming to GSW, he was the developer and co-founder of a dietetics technology startup and a research analyst with Abbott Nutrition R&D. He is generally geeky and happy to talk shop with anyone about anything.




MatthewHarperMatthew Harper was just hired as the new RCI REACH Caregiver Coach under a grant at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in collaboration with the Rosalynn Carter Institute. Matthew is from Orlando Florida, and moved to Georgia when he was younger with his family after his father was given orders for Ft. Benning. Matthew's mother is from Germany, and while he is not as fluent in this area as he would like, German was actually his first language. Matthew has dedicated most of his time working in the HIV prevention and education field as an early intervention specialist. He has received several certifications including being able to administer HIV and HEP c tests, as well as suicide and crisis intervention and prevention. He serves as a volunteer for the GREATER THAN AIDS organization doing community outreach, spreading awareness, and providing education to the community. Matthew studied and continues his education in applied sociology as he feels it keeps his mind open and passionate about helping others. He has put down the torch for HIV prevention and education and picked up the torch for caregivers to assist in their journey as they help their loved ones who are suffering from dementia. He is passionate in this field after seeing the strain the disease put on his family after his grandfather was diagnosed years ago. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys white water rafting, hiking , swimming and spending quality time with his family.

SchielohWolfeSchieloh Wolfe was just hired at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) as the Training and Implementation Specialist for Operation Family Caregiver, a military caregiver support program. Schieloh is originally from Palm Beach, Florida, and came to Georgia by way of the military. Schieloh served seven years in the Army on active duty in the infantry as a squad leader, survival & combat tracking instructor and a battle-mind specialist (suicide intervention). He has continued his military service in the Army National Guard where he is currently an intelligence analyst. Upon leaving active duty, Schieloh then went on to work as a police officer with the Columbus Police Department as a CIT officer (Crisis Intervention Team). Recognizing the need and value of a good interventionist, Schieloh decided to expand on his training and education in Forensic psychology concentrating on crisis intervention/negotiation. Schieloh left the police department and became a caregiver interventionist with the RCI REACH program at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center to help caregivers whose loved ones suffer from dementia. Schieloh enjoys hockey, gardening, woodwork, and is also a scuba diving instructor (PADI). He volunteers with the Sumter County Fire Department as an underwater criminal investigator and as a search and recovery diver.

The Department of Theater, Communication and Media Arts is pleased to welcome Scott McElhaney as our new Technical Coordinator.

A native of Monticello, Georgia, Scott McElheney has been working on and off-stage since high school. Scott earned a BS in Print Journalism from Georgia College in 1992, despite spending more time in the theatre than in class. He also holds an MFA in Theatrical Design and Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi and has worked professionally as a theatrical designer, director, and technician since 1997. Prior to coming to GSW, Scott taught at Middle Georgia State University, where he was an assistant professor of Theatre and director of MGA Theatre. He has also taught at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Middle Tennessee State University, Camden County High School, and Rockdale County High School. He designed the lighting for the American premiers of several plays at Burning Coal Theatre in New York and Raleigh, North Carolina (PENTECOST, WINDING THE BALL), served as technical director and lighting designer at the renowned Chester Theatre in Chester, Massachusetts (SIXTEEN WORDS FOR WATER, THE ROAD TO MECCA), and designed the lighting for two seasons at the outdoor drama THE LEGEND OF DANIEL BOONE. He also works as a theatre consultant and has been active in the preservation of historic theatre spaces. Scott is an avid golfer and is looking forward to hitting the links at Griffin Bell.


Honors & Recognition

KirboAwardRCI receives Kirbo Foundation Award

As a new recipient of the Kirbo Foundation Award, the RCI plans to use the funds to deliver their ‘Dealing with Dementia Behaviors’ program at no cost to faith-based communities and churches. Learn more about the RCI and their programs here:


KellerNew baby

Chelsea Collins, communication specialist for the RCI, and her husband, Logan, welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Keller Wayne Collins, into the world on November 8th. Keller weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz. and was 19 in. long. Big sister, Kynslee, is very proud of her new brother. 


GabrielleVojtechJudyGrissettGrissett, Vojtech co-publish article together

Judy Orton Grissett, assistant professor of psychology and sociology, and Gabrielle Vojtech, a recent graduate of psychology, recently published an article titled, "Student Perceptions of College Faculty Who Use OER" in The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning.



Laughlin CD CoverLaughlin releases CD and presents at multiple conferences

Mark Laughlin, associate professor of music, released his first CD, Poulenc: Improvisations and Nocturnes. The recording contains all of Poulenc’s known improvisations and nocturnes composed for the piano, and is available through In the upcoming weeks Mark will be presenting at the Florida and Alabama Music Educator’s State Conferences. His presentations discuss how music educators can utilize video games to meet the National Standards of Music Education.

Upcoming Events

  • MLK speakerThe Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation will be held on Wednesday, January 18 at 11:00 a.m. in the SSC Storm Dome. The theme for this occasion is “Realizing King’s Dream in the Urgency of Now”. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Jerry L. Hardee, Special Assistant to the President (Retired) Life University, and lifelong educator.


  • HomecomingHomecoming Week festivities will begin on January 29th and end on February 4th. This year’s theme is “Survival Games: Hunting Down the Competition.” Stay tuned for a complete schedule of activities.

  • The Alumni Association will be hosting their Homecoming Reunion, the Southwestern Sweetheart Dinner and Dance, on Friday, February 3rd. GSW Sweetheart couples who met or married while at GSW will be recognized. For more information, visit: Events

  • Run Flyer 2017Join the Alumni Association for the 2017 Homecoming Fun Run on February 4th at 8 a.m. The run is $15 for alumni, friends, faculty and staff, and $10 for students and children. For more information, visit: Events

  • The next Preview Days will be held on February 4th and April 1st.

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