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Over 1,000 visitors expected in Americus Feb. 6 - 10 for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) the Department of Theater, Communication & Media Arts, and the Rylander Theatre will host the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region IV’s 50th anniversary festival from February 6 - 10, 2018. Over 1,000 students, faculty, guest artists and presenters from colleges and universities in the ten-state region will travel to Americus for the event, along with special guests and dignitaries from across the nation.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) was founded in 1969 and is a national theater program designed to encourage, improve, and celebrate college theater programs. Dozens of workshops, exhibitions and performances will take place during the five-day festival, most of which are juried events to select participants for the national festival at the Kennedy Center in April.

GSW last hosted this festival in 2007. At that time, the University President’s office calculated the economic impact of the event for the Americus area at $750,000.

This year’s festival is expected to have a similar boost to the local economy. The influx of visitors for the festival coincides with the #MyAmericus campaign. Using this hashtag on social media, locals and visitors can help Americus in its bid to be featured on Season 3 of the TV series "Small Business Revolution.” This opportunity could provide the community with $500,000 should Americus be selected as the winner.

The Rylander Theatre’s managing director, Heather Stanley agreed that this event will be beneficial for the local economy.

“From a community aspect, the economic impact of the festival is very impressive,” said Stanley. “These festival attendees are contributing to the local economy - they're staying in our hotels, they're dining in our restaurants, they're buying gas and supplies while they're here, and that has a significant impact over a very short amount of time.”

“We are thrilled to help host KCACTF again and hope wonderful new memories are made while they are here with us,” Stanley said.

GSW’s Jeffrey Green, professor and Chair of Theater Communication & Media Arts, serves as the Immediate Past Chair for KCACTF Region IV and is the local events coordinator for the festival this year.

“Americus is a great town for conferences of this size,” Green said. “This will be the fifth one [our department] has secured for the campus and community.”

GSW has a number of students whose work was selected for inclusion in the festival, based on their work in juried productions on campus during the fall semester. Alexa Whitaker, Jamie Green, Joey Hamilton, Robert Ladimer and Seth Zarandona were all selected to present in the Irene Ryan scene showcase auditions. Their partners will be Bri-Anna McDonald, Raquel Eplin, Olivia King, Hannah Pendergrass and Lily Ingle, respectively.

Mark Culpepper was also selected to present in scenic design, and Di’Jon Dupree was selected in sound design. Kasie Ware and Rachel Holder were both selected for their work in stage management. In addition, Micky Snow, Autumn Banks, Cara White, Jessika Marlow, Jay Daniel and Sofie Glumer, along with many of the previously listed performers, will present in the Devised Theater category. In all, over 60 GSW TCMA majors and Theater Appreciation students will actively participate in the festival.

“Festivals like this serve to heighten the visibility of the campus and community across the multi-state southern region and nationally,” Green added.


TCMA students in a scene from the S.S. Glencairn Cycle in November 2017. Pictured left to right are Joey Hamilton, Matt Thornhill, Seth Zarandona, and Jamie Green

GSW Homecoming 2018 activities kick off Feb. 11

Now in its 112th year, Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) will celebrate “Homecoming” during the week of Feb. 11-17. Activities will begin with a baseball matchup between the GSW Hurricanes and Ohio Dominican University from Columbus, Ohio.

The theme of the week is “Winter Olympics,” as the 2018 Winter Olympics will be taking place in Korea during GSW’s events. Homecoming week festivities begin in earnest on Monday, Feb. 12 with student events hosted by Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, GSW Residence Life and GSW Artist Associated.

A community-wide blood drive in memory of Dr. Jay Cliett and hosted by GSWANS from the School of Nursing will take place Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Success Center Conference Rooms.

On Friday, Feb. 16, the GSW Alumni Association will host the “Crazy 8’s Reunion,” with special recognition for alumni with class years ending in “8.” However, this event is open to all GSW alumni and friends.

On Saturday, Feb. 17, the Alumni Association will host a 1 mile run/walk and 5K run at 8 a.m., followed by GSW baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball and a step show hosted by the GSW National PanHellenic Council (NPHC) later that night. For additional information and a full schedule of events, visit


KostovKostov presents paper in San Diego

Dr. Svilen Kostov, Associate Professor of Physics in the Department of Geology and Physics, took part in the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) National Winter Meeting in San Diego, California from January 6-9. He presented a paper on the history of physics entitled “The Non-Warrior Paradox: A Search for Pacifist Physicists from WWI Until Our Present Day.” Dr. Kostov was also appointed as a member of the AAPT Committee on History & Philosophy of Physics with a two-year tenure.


Grissett and Baykina receive Textbook Transformation Grant

Dr. Judy Orton Grissett, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Dr. Marianna Baykina, Assistant Professor of Psychology, recently received an Affordable Learning Georgia Textbook Transformation Grant worth $10,800 to support the transformation of two upper-level psychology courses, Abnormal Psychology and Cross-Cultural Psychology. The transformation is expected to save 210 students more than $29,000 a year. For more information about the Affordable Learning Georgia initiative, please visit, or contact Mrs. Ru Story-Huffman, ALG Campus Coordinator, or Dr. Judy Orton Grissett, ALG Campus Champion.

Early spring numbers suggest that GSW has enrollment increase for 9th straight semester

After the first few weeks of classes, early figures indicate Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) has an enrollment increase for the ninth consecutive semester. At this point, Spring 2018 numbers – 2,861 students - show enrollment has increased by approximately 3 percent over this time last year.

“We are delighted that early figures suggest our enrollment trend continues to be on the rise with an increase for the ninth straight semester,” said GSW President Neal Weaver. “In providing quality education, our objective as a campus community is to prepare students from this region for success in life and in their careers. We are glad that a growing number of students are choosing GSW.”

“The excitement on campus is evident as more students become ‘Part of the Storm,’” added Gaye Hayes, vice president for GSW enrollment management. “The continued growth of the GSW student body is a testament to the hard work of our Admissions staff and every faculty and staff member on our campus. Their commitment is appreciated.”

The final count for Spring 2018 enrollment will be published by the University System of Georgia later this semester.

GSW to host 44th annual Math Tournament Feb. 9, over 500 students expected

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) will host its 44th annual Jay Cliett and Bill Kipp High School Mathematics Tournament (formerly the High School Mathematics Tournament) on Friday, Feb. 9. Over 500 students from across the state are expected to travel to Americus for the tournament.

This year’s event will be the first named in honor of Professor Emeritus Bill Kipp, Ph.D., and the late Professor Emeritus Jay Cliett, Ph.D. Both Kipp and Cliett have been instrumental to the success of the tournament since its inception in 1974.

Team and individual awards will be given to schools in GHSA (Georgia High School Association) classifications and to schools in GISA (Georgia Independent Schools Association) classifications from around the state.

In each classification, first place, second place and third place trophies will be awarded. Awards will also be presented to the three individuals in each classification with the highest scores on the written examination.

The annual GSW Junior Mathematics Tournament, for students in grades 3 through 8, will take place Saturday, March 3 at GSW.

The tournament is coordinated by GSW’s Department of Mathematics. For more information, call Kailash Ghimire, Ph.D. at (229) 931-7350.

Upcoming Events

  • February 6-10: Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
  • February 7 at 7:30 p.m.: Chamber Concert with cellist Sophie Chao
  • February 9: Jay Cliett and Bill Kipp High School Mathematics Tournament
  • February 11-17: Homecoming Week
  • February 14 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Blood Drive in Memory of Dr. Jay Cliett, 2nd floor SSC conference rooms
  • February 15-16: Momentum Year Taskforce presentations
  • February 17 at 8:30 a.m.: Alumni Association 5K/1 mile Fun Run
  • February 19: Scholars Day
  • February 22-23: Griffin Bell Convocation

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