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Breeze Logo 2019


GSW realigns Colleges to meet workforce needs of region and propel student success

GSW recently implemented institutional changes to the school’s academic structure in an effort to improve student success, better align with Georgia’s current and future workforce needs and increase efficiency.

The reorganization has been under development since December 2018 and was designed to enhance the quality of the University's academic programs and programming.

“As a prominent university in the Southwest Georgia region, we wanted to organizationally align ourselves with the local economy and the workforce needs of our region,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “We want to be efficient, all while providing high-quality educational opportunities for students, keeping tuition low and ensuring faculty and staff are appropriately organized and supported.”

Learn more about the changes to the areas of business, computing and mathematics here.

Business building web

GSW business students take worldwide competition by storm, finishing 1st place

A team of three GSW senior business students received high accolades for their performance in the Business Strategy Game (BSG) over summer term when their "company", Catalyst Kicks, tied for first in the entire world out of 1665 teams from 131 colleges and universities.

The athletic footwear company, Catalyst Kicks, was managed by online students Baylie Lane of Brunswick, Jessica Sparkes of Linwood, Michigan, and Wessley Sutton of Cordele.

The BSG is an integrated and comprehensive computer simulation which requires senior students in the capstone Strategic Management course to manage a worldwide manufacturing company a total of 12 "simulated" years of operation.

Learn more about the team and the BSG here.


GSW to host theater conference in OctoberTheatre Conference 2019

Georgia Southwestern and Rylander Theater to host Georgia Theater Conference State Convention on October 16 – 20, 2019.

This event will bring over 1,200 participants to the GSW campus and Americus community, including 600 high school students. Over 30 high schools from around the state will present one act plays in two play festivals. College and university students will participate in Southeast Theater Conference screening auditions.

The Convention will also include Community Theater, Theater For Youth performances and numerous workshops and conference sessions.

Learn more about the Georgia Theater Conference State Convention here.

Save the date for Give Southwestern & Day of Giving

This year’s Give Southwestern Faculty and Staff Fund Drive will take place throughout the month of September. Give Southwestern team members will contact faculty and staff as the dates fund drive approaches.

We’re also looking forward to GSW’s inaugural Day of Giving, which will bring the region together as one community to raise money and awareness for our University and its students during a 24-hour giving challenge. We hope to inspire people to give generously in support of GSW, thus making our region stronger and creating a thriving community that benefits all.

For more information on Give Southwestern and Day of Giving, contact Kim Comer in the Office of Annual Giving at or (229) 931-2149.

Give Southwestern 2019 Square     Day of Giving logo

Fisk presents book to library

GSW Professor of Psychology Gary Fisk, Ph.D., recently presented a copy of his book, Slides for Students: The Effective Use of PowerPoint in Education, to the James Earl Carter Library. The donation was a "thank you" to all of the librarians who assisted with collecting books and articles throughout the writing and editing stages. It was also a "thank you" to everyone in the GSW community who supported the project.

Slides for Students is published by the University of North Georgia Press and is available for purchase at numerous online retailers. An online resource that accompanies the book is also available at

Fisk book donation


Yemelyanov chairs section, makes presentations, and presents new book at International Conference in Washington

Alexander Yemelyanov, Ph.D., D.Sc., professor of computer science in the College of Business and Computing, was a chair of a section at the 10th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2019) that was held July 24-28 in Washington, D.C.

He presented two research papers, “Self-Regulation Model of Decision-Making” and “Performance Evaluation Process and Express Decision” (together with Alla Yemelyanov, Ph.D. in Management Information Systems, IIT), and new co-authored book “Applied and Systemic-Structural Activity Theory: Advances in Studies of Human Performance”, CRC Press, 2019 (LCCN 2019004434, Library of Congress).

Yemelyanov AHFE

MC Whitlock SSSIWhitlock presents paper in New York

MC Whitlock, assistant professor of sociology, recently presented her paper "The Myth of Progress: Disputing Trans* Feminisms" at the 2019 Annual Meetings of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction on August 11th in New York, NY.


Kutzler to write monthly history articles for local paper

Evan Kutzler, assistant professor of history, has agreed to write a monthly public history article for the Americus Times-Recorder. These articles reexamine local history with an eye toward big themes in our regional and national history. His first article, “Till death, not distance: the separation of reunion of Peter and Catherine August,” recovers a local example of family separation during slavery and the quest for reunification in the first years of freedom. His second article, “Listening to Early Americus” follows the years of Americus’s first newspaper editor in the nineteenth century.

New Hires, Promotions & Retirements

Signe Coombs and Tara Bennett join GSW FoundationSigne Coombs web

The GSW Foundation recently welcomed two new Development Officers to the team. These newly formed positions will assist in the Foundation’s fundraising efforts and work to cultivate meaningful relationships with community members, corporate partners, and current and prospective donors.

Signe Coombs (pictured) comes to GSW from Oklahoma Panhandle State University, where she worked as head volleyball coach, athletics compliance coordinator and academic resource center coordinator. “I am grateful to Stephen Snyder and President Weaver for the opportunity to join this team and campus community,” Signe said. “I look forward to working alongside leadership, faculty, staff, alumni and donors to continue building on the growing success at GSW.”

Tara Bennett is also beginning a new position at GSW but is no stranger to campus. She has been an adjunct instructor of management in the College of Business and Computing since 2015 and taught on campus in Spring 2019. “I am thrilled by this unique opportunity to be a part of an exciting time at the University,” Tara said. “I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders as we continue to build upon the wonderful tradition and community outreach that is here at GSW.”

Tara is a native of Mobile, Alabama and currently resides in Eufaula, Alabama with her husband, GSW Professor of Management Robert Bennett, and two sons, Harris (16) and Rhodes (13). She is passionate about travel, antiques, historical dramas and mysteries and loves to cook, especially gulf coast favorites such as gumbo, jambalaya, and white chocolate bread pudding.

GSW welcomes new faculty

GSW’s Division of Academic Affairs has welcomed 12 new faculty in all four colleges this year. They are:

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Lysa Chizmadia, Associate Professor of Geology
  • Alaina Kaus, Assistant Professor English
  • Beau Palmer, Limited Term Lecturer of Music
  • Debra Palmer, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Daniel Zarzutzki, Lecturer of Mathematics

College of Business and Computing

  • Allen Brown, Assistant Professor of Management
  • Mohammed Deehzooei, Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Dawn Hart, Senior Lecturer of Accounting

College of Education

  • Michael Crosby, Lecturer of Education
  • Melanie Thornton, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Education

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Brittany Mellinger, Lecturer of Nursing
  • Laura Stanley, Lecturer of Nursing

Alaina Kaus joins Department of English and Modern LanguagesAlaina Kaus

Alaina Kaus recently joined GSW as an Assistant Professor of English. Her fields of expertise include 20th- and 21st-century American literature, transnational American studies, and comparative ethnic studies with emphases on immigrant and refugee narratives and human rights. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Connecticut in May 2018.

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