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GSW hosts 42 Georgia high schools at 44th annual high school math tournament

Over 500 high school students, teachers, and sponsors from 42 Georgia high schools traveled to Americus on Feb. 9 to compete in Georgia Southwestern State University’s (GSW) annual Jay Cliett and Bill Kipp High School Mathematics Tournament. Hosted by the School of Computing and Mathematics for its 44th consecutive year, the tournament is the longest-running competition of its kind in the state and is one of the largest each year.

Kay Barnes of Flint River Academy has been participating in the tournament since it was first organized in 1974, winning 26 times in her division. Barnes, who attends many math tournaments each year, praised GSW’s as one of the best in the state. From the set up to the test formats, “they know how to run a tournament,” said Barnes.

North Oconee High School senior Wesley Henderson also attended this year’s tournament, competing at GSW for the second time. Henderson said that he enjoys the team-building element of the tournament, as well as the opportunity to learn new things. Henderson also commended the tournament’s organization, noting that the event was “well put together” and hosted “on a beautiful campus.”

Teams competed in written and ciphering problem-solving exams. Winners were recognized in six Georgia High School Association (GHSA) divisions and two Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) divisions.

First place in the team competition was awarded to Tattnall Square Academy (GHSA-A), Thomasville High School/Scholars Academy (GHSA-AA), Oconee County High School (GHSA-AAA), North Oconee High School (GHSA-AAAA), Veterans High School (GHSA-AAAAA), Houston County High School (GHSA-AAAAAA), Mountain View High School (GHSA-AAAAAAA), Brandon Hall School (GISA-AA), and The Heritage School (GISA-AAA).

Locally, Southland Academy (GISA-AAA) placed second.

This year’s event was 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. Georgia Southwestern will also host middle school students from across the state as they compete in the Junior Mathematics Tournament, which will be held on March 3, 2018.

math Tournament

GSW hosts over 2,500 at annual Junior Math Tournament

The annual Junior Math Tournament brought over 2,500 students, parents and faculty to campus on March 3. Students from 60 schools across the state attended, with some even traveling from Alabama and Florida for the tournament. Students in grades 3 through 8 were eligible to compete.

Local students from Schley County Middle attended the competition, taking home two trophies in 1st and 3rd place. Schley County math teacher Leslie Reese is a graduate of GSW and is proud to come back to his alma mater every year for this tournament. Reese's daughter is currently a GSW student.

Numerous GSW faculty and staff volunteered their time to help make this year’s Junior Math Tournament a success. Thank you to all volunteers and to Dr. Kailash Ghimire and the School of Mathematics for organizing the annual math tournaments.


New Hires

JoyHumphreyHumphrey promoted & granted tenure

Dr. Sandra Daniel is happy to announce Dr. Joy Humphrey has been promoted to Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and was granted tenure.

Connie HammackHammack joins School of Nursing

Connie Hammack joined the School of Nursing as the Student Services Coordinator. Hammack is a 1999 GSW graduate with a BS in Geology. She is married to Mike Hammack and has three children and two grandchildren. We welcome Connie to the School of Nursing.


TCMA1TCMA students & faculty present at Georgia Communication Association Conference

Assistant Professor Dr. Joseph Watson chaired a panel of student presentations and work from the Department of Theatre, Communication, and Media Arts at the 88th Georgia Communication Association conference at Columbus State on Feb 15, 2018.

The students involved in the panel were Imani Bennett, Darlene Brock, DJ Dupre, and Chance King. They presented and discussed their video mash-ups inspired by the Netflix television show "Stranger Things" from the class COMM 4080 "Studies in New Media."


 Green receives Kennedy Center award for direction


Professor and Chair of Theater, Communication & Media Arts Jeffrey Green received a Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Meritorious Achievement Award for “Excellence in Direction” of the GSW production The Glencairn Cycle. Juried review of the production by outside respondents from KCACTF occurred in November 2017.



Dr.WuWu presents at state and national conferences

Dr. Chuchu Wu, associate professor of Early Childhood Education, gave an oral presentation titled “Fun with Tangram Puzzles: Geometric Transformation” at the Georgia Association for the Education of Young Children (GAEYC) on October 7, 2017. The presentation showed how Early Childhood Education teachers can teach young children geometric concepts using tangram puzzles.

Wu also presented a paper titled “Exploring Grade K-5 Curriculum and Assessment Practices in Southwestern Georgia” at the 2017 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on November 17, 2017. The presentation showed data of in-service teachers’ perception about curriculum mapping, data driven instruction practices, and collaborative panning and data analysis as well as assessment practices in their classrooms.




GSW students & faculty travel to Tuskegee University for history conference

Eight GSW students traveled with Dr. Susan Bragg to participate in Tuskegee University’s History Research Symposium in February 15-16. This was a great opportunity to participate in a diverse schedule of panels devoted to African American history while touring the historic campus of Tuskegee, including the George Washington Carver Museum. Bragg also presented a paper from her ongoing research in 20th century civil rights activism, “’Girls’ Work:’ Young Women’s Expanding Activism in the Early NAACP.” Student participants were: Sefunmi Adebanwo (Nursing), Flora Twumasi Ampofo (Nursing), Chelsea Black (Sociology), La Tisha Butcher (Nursing), Jessica Clark (History), Charlon Cochran (Psychology), Zaria Greene (Nursing), and Ekele Kamalu (History). The students were great travel partners and represented GSW well while at Tuskegee.


Jenkins presents at registrar and admissions conference

David Jenkins, assistant director of Admissions, recently attended the Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (SACRAO) conference in Nashville, Tennessee. This year’s event was held Feb. 11-14, 2018.

Jenkins presented at the conference with co-presenter Selena Magnusson from Georgia Northwestern Technical College. The presentation was titled “The Dual Enrollment Experience.” They discussed the experiences of dual enrolled students and how dual enrollment impacts a student’s decision on where the matriculate after high school.

During the conference, Jenkins also served on a panel discussion titled “Admissions Event Planning 101.” Topics included event planning for campus tours, scholarship events, open house events, receptions, and guidance counselor luncheons. Joining Jenkins on the panel were Erin Chadwick from Augusta University and Patrick Frazier from Western Carolina University.

Jenkins formerly served as the President of the Georgia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (GACRAO).

Laughlin to present at six conferences

Dr. Mark Laughlin, associate professor of Music, will present at six different conferences this semester on the gamification of music pedagogy and curriculum development of improvisation in group piano. The conferences include the South Carolina Music Educator’s State Conference, College Music Society Southern Regional Conference, International Critical Media Literacy Conference, National Youth-At-Risk Conference, Tennessee Music Educator’s State Conference, and the University System of Georgia’s Teaching and Learning Conference: Best Practices for Promoting Engaged Student Learning. Dr. Laughlin’s teaching approach to improvisation and video game music has been featured at over 50 blind peer reviewed conferences.


Oris Bryant Book Scholarship winners announced

Please join GSW Staff Senate in congratulating the recipients of the Spring 2018 Oris Bryant Book Scholarship: Allison Fleet, enrolled at Georgia Southern University; Rachel Griggs, enrolled at Georgia Southwestern State University; and Michele McKie, enrolled at Valdosta State University.

The purpose of the scholarship is to support currently employed Georgia Southwestern State University staff members in their pursuit of higher education.

Each recipient was awarded a $50 book scholarship. This scholarship fund is named in honor of the late Oris W. Bryant, Jr., affectionately known as “Chief.” Oris Bryant was an active member of the GSW community, where he served as Director of Public Safety. Scholarships will be offered again at the beginning of Fall 2018 semester.

The GSW Staff Senate thanks you for your continued support and hopes to see you at a program in the near future. The Staff Senate can be contacted at or online. Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. in the SGA Conference Room.


Five GSW faculty awarded mini-grants totaling over $10,000

Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) recently announced its Round 11 Textbook Transformation Grants awardees. Of the 35 total grants awarded, four mini-grants were granted to five GSW faculty for a total of $10,800. Mini-grants are intended to support faculty for their development of original open educational resources (OER) and ancillary materials.

Grant awardees include Dr. Gary Fisk, Professor of Psychology, who received a $2,000 grant for his work on replacing the proprietary statistical software package, SPSS, with the free and open alternative, PSPP in PSYC 3301: Psychological Statistics. This replacement will save the university time and money, while increasing accessibility for students, particularly those living off-campus who are unable to purchase the expensive software for their personal computers. A link to Dr. Fisk's grant proposal can be found here.

Dr. Ellen Cotter, Professor of Psychology, was awarded $2,000 for the development of a Human Growth and Development open textbook. To date, few textbook options exist for this area of psychology, despite it being a highly popular psychology course. Dr. Cotter will adapt existing open educational resources to create an enriched resource for all faculty teaching the course. A link to Dr. Cotter's grant proposal can be found here.

Dr. Judy Orton Grissett, Assistant Professor of Psychology, was awarded $2,000 for the development of ancillary materials to accompany the open textbook Research Methods in Psychology. Materials will include test banks, slide presentations, lecture guides, and handouts. A link to Dr. Orton Grissett's grant proposal can be found here.

Ms. Ru Story-Huffman, Dean of the Library, and Mr. John Wilson, Reference Librarian and Government Documents Coordinator, were awarded $4,800 for the expansion of the OER currently used for LIBR 1101. Newly created and curated materials will accommodate the course as it changes from a one credit-hour course to a two credit-hour course. A link to their grant proposal can be found here.

If you are interested in learning more about Affordable Learning Georgia, including the Textbook Transformation Grant program, please visit You may also contact Ms. Ru Story-Huffman, ALG Library Coordinator, or Dr. Judy Orton Grissett, ALG Campus Champion.

Windows to the World event celebrates Chinese Lunar New Year

On February 12, 2018, over 200 people attended the Windows to the World event celebrating Lunar/Chinese New Year 2018 (the Year of the Dog). At least 75 people attended the reception following the event.

The presentations were excellent, both in explaining the holiday and what the holiday meant to each presenter on a personal level. Dongmei Wu, Qian “Maggie” Wang, Ke “Kelly” Wang, Alwen Yeung, Chuchu Wu, Bokshim Fox, and Anh-hue Tu each gave presentations on how the holiday is celebrated in their countries.

The students who attended the event left with a better idea of the holiday’s meaning and celebrations in different countries, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Thank you to all faculty, students, and staff for their hard work, generosity, and support of 2018’s Chinese Lunar New Year event!

W2W 1
W2W 2
W2W 3

Staff Senate announces winners of 2018 Homecoming decorating contest

GSW’s Staff Senate organized this year’s sixth annual Homecoming decorating/spirit contest. The 2018 Homecoming theme was “Winter Olympics.” Numerous campus offices participated in the contest, including Student Affairs, Athletics, Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid, Academic Resource Center and Student Accounts. Dr. Sheryl Venable, Courtney Harmon, and Jonathan Hobbs served as judges.

The winners are: 

  • Gold Medal: Student Affairs
  • Silver Medal: Athletics
  • Bronze Medal: Registrar’s Office

As this year’s winners, the Student Affairs Department will keep the spirit stick and will be treated to a pizza party sponsored by Staff Senate. Also a special thank you to our judges: Thank you to all the participating offices and judges!

Registrars Office
Student Affairs


Laura Bauer 2018Laura Bauer set to retire March 30

After 20 years of service at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, Laura J. Bauer, MPA, will be retiring on March 30, 2018. She is also celebrating her 61st birthday on March 28.

Laura and Mrs. Carter

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