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Breeze Logo 2019


We're throwing it "Back to the 90s" for Homecoming 2019

GSW’s Homecoming is right around the corner during the week of February 24 – March 3, 2019. The theme for this year is Back to the 90’s and festivities will include a super fly parade, fresh step show, rad tailgate, full slate of athletic events, and much, much more!

Individual event details and sign-ups will be forthcoming on Canes Connect and social media, so stay tuned. In the meantime, be sure to like the following pages so you don’t miss out on the latest news.

Check out the full schedule at

Homecoming 2019 logo

GSW to honor Carter legacy with new President Jimmy Carter Leadership Program

Carter at graduation webGeorgia Southwestern State University (GSW) plans to honor the legacy of GSW alumnus and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter with the new President Jimmy Carter Leadership Program set to launch in Fall 2019. The program consists of two pathways, an Undergraduate Research Track and a Service Track, that exemplify Carter’s lifetime of leadership in education, politics and community service.

“I have always had a close attachment to Georgia Southwestern, and I am honored to be associated with their new leadership program,” said Carter. “They invested in me as a student over 75 years ago, and I want to do the same for the future leaders in our region. I’m very proud of the partnerships that continue to be made at my favorite college.”

During his time as an undergraduate at GSW in the 1940s, Carter was one of four student leaders chosen to sign their names in the newly poured concrete of the Wheatley Administration Building driveway. Today, Carter’s 1942 signature etching is installed in GSW’s Presidential Plaza alongside a similar etching made by President Carter during the Plaza dedication in 2017. In sharing his name with GSW’s new leadership program, President Carter is making a permanent impression on countless students in Southwest Georgia.

Read more about the Carter Leadership Program here.

 GSW announces Nursing program expansion to address South Georgia’s critical nursing shortage

GSW recently announced an expansion of their Nursing program that will effectively double the number of students entering the program each year to help address the critical shortage of nurses in the state of Georgia.

Beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, GSW’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences will open a second nursing enrollment period that will allow an additional cohort of students to enter the program during Spring semester. Currently, a single enrollment period each fall admits 40 students into the nursing program. The second enrollment period will double the number of enrolled students and nursing graduates.

“This is an exciting time for aspiring nursing students to come to GSW,” said College of Nursing and Health Sciences Dean Sandra Daniel, Ph.D. “By creating a culture and momentum for success, we anticipate more applicants to and graduates from our nursing program who will be instrumental in addressing the nursing workforce needs in our region and across the state.”

Read more about the expansion and Georgia’s nursing shortage here.

Carter 1 Nursing



School of Education recognizes Teachers of the Week

The School of Education Teacher of the Week program recognizes teachers and partners for their outstanding contributions to the School of Education. Each teacher has been recognized at a GSW home basketball game and presented a certificate. Teachers of the Week include Mrs. Judy Parks of Furlow Charter School, Ms. Tracy Wilson of Americus-Sumter High School, Mrs. Many Butler of Furlow Charter School, Mrs. Amy Hall of Schley County Elementary School, and Ms. Phoenecia Cummings of Americus-Sumter High School.

TotW Hall     TotW Wilson     TotW Parks

Laughlin’s karate competition team sweeps tournamentTitan Competition Team

For the fourth year and eighth consecutive tournament, Mark Laughlin’s (Associate Professor of Music) karate competition team, Team Titan, has placed in every division they have competed in since the inception of Titan Karate Academy.  The team competed at the Southern Open National Martial Arts Championships in Columbus, GA., and competed against dojos from throughout the Southeast. (Pictured from left to right are, front row, Justin Manning, Ginny Calhoun, Shaw Pinnell, and Lee Pinnell; back row, Mark Laughlin)

Competitors and divisions are as follows: Justin Manning (Ellaville) placed 1st in Sparring; Ginny Calhoun (Macon) placed 1st in Weapons and Kata; Shaw Pinnell (Americus) placed 2nd in Weapons; and Lee Pinnell (Americus) placed 1st in Weapons, Kata, and Sparring.

GSW puts the “Community” in Community Theater

It’s not unusual for members of the GSW community to be represented in Sumter Players shows, but this spring’s upcoming production of Peter Pan has an exceptional number of GSW connections. A thorough rundown of GSW affiliations is impossible to list here, but the Peter Pan cast and crew contains an impressive array of alumni and employees as well as several students. For example, Dr. Michael Moir, Associate Professor of English, plays a starring role as Captain Hook, with Dramatic Arts alumnus Donavan Smalley as his first mate Smee. Emily Fondren DeVane, another GSW alumna, plays Mrs. Darling, and both she and Smalley enjoyed performing with Sumter Players while enrolled at GSW. Ensemble member Savannah Varnum, a dual enrollment student, has stated that she will most likely attend GSW after completing high school.

“GSW has always enjoyed a productive relationship with Sumter Players,” says Wade Barr, current Sumter Players president. “We’re particularly fortunate that some people who initially started with Sumter Players have gone on to become active at GSW and vice versa.”

Many of the younger members of the cast Peter Pan webare the children of GSW employees or alumni. For example, Logan Everett, who plays the role of Michael Darling, is the son of alumni Kelly and David Everett, and Lost Child Emmalyn Snyder’s parents Leah and Stephen Snyder are also alumni in addition to Stephen being employed as the Special Assistant to the President. Emmalyn is also a graduate of GSW’s pre-K program. In some cases, participation is a family affair. Amy Stewart Dennard, who plays a pirate, is a GSW alumna, and her daughter Katie, who has several ensemble roles, is a dual enrollment student.  Lost Child Cole Parkinson is the son of Ms. Alwen Yeung, Lecturer in Music, and Dr. Brian Parkinson, Professor of History, both of whom have assisted with set construction and, in Ms. Yeung’s case, music rehearsals. In all, over a dozen cast members have attended or worked for GSW or are the children of people who have. 

GSW is thoroughly represented among the technical crew as well. Dr. Elizabeth Gurnack, Professor of Chemistry, is co-directing the show with assistance from Dramatic Arts alumnus Richard Thornton. Kalynn Partridge VanLandingham, Music Director, received her B.A. in Music from GSW, and Technical Director Kevin Mournighan completed the Alternative Preparation Teaching Program in the School of Education. Several GSW faculty members (such as Dr. Anne Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Dr. Gary Fisk, Professor of Psychology) can often be found constructing or painting scenery on Saturday mornings or helping move props and furniture during shows.

Peter Pan will show at the Rylander Theatre from March 7-10, 2019. The Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances are at 7:00 p.m., and the Sunday performance is a 2:30 p.m. matinee. For ticket information, please visit the Rylander box office online at or call 229-931-0001.

“This has been so much fun, I’d feed my other hand to a crocodile to do it all over again,” says Moir.

Rhonda Slocumb MLK ServiceSlocumb volunteers during MLK Day of Service

Rhonda Slocumb, SON faculty, volunteered alongside GSW's clinical practice partners, Phoebe Health Systems at Harvest of Hope Food Pantry's MLK Day of Service. This highlights one of our many efforts of faculty involvement in the community with a practice partner.

RCI to host free Dealing with Dementia Workshop

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving will host a FREE Dealing with Dementia Workshop Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Pre-registration is required. Call (229) 931-2786 or email Carrie Harris to reserve your spot today!





Kostov chairs session at Texas meeting

Between January 12th and 14th, Dr. Svilen Kostov attended the National AAPT Winter Meeting in Houston, TX, where he chaired the session ‘100 Years of Experimental General Relativity’ organized by the Committee on The History and Philosophy of Physics. He also presented his paper entitled ‘Gamow, Hoyle, Popper, and The Big Bang.’

Kostov at Texas meeting

GSW faculty participate in the 2019 Georgia Association of Historians Conference

Three members of the History faculty at GSW recently attended the Georgia Association of Historians conference in Columbus, Ga. On Friday, Feb., 3rd, Dr. Susan Bragg presented a paper entitled, “Integrating Literature: Exploring Race Relations in Mid-Twentieth Century Children’s Literature.” She also chaired “Race & Gender in American History, a panel that included discussions of the American suffrage movement, late 19th c. African American leadership politics, and an exploration of the “1952 panty raid phenomena” in Georgia.

On Saturday, February 4, Dr. Evan Kutzler chaired the panel, “The Long Civil War,” with panelists from Fort Valley State University, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and Georgia College and State University. He commented on three papers with topics ranging from the religious schisms over slavery in the 1840s to the experiences of enslaved people in southwest Georgia and conflicting memories of the war.

Dr. Glenn Robins has served this past year as the president elect of the GAH and he was responsible for reviewing all conference paper proposals and organizing all conference sessions. The 2019 GAH included presenters from Arizona State University, the University of Notre Dame, Florida State University, the University of South Alabama, Tuskegee University as well as a number of institutions in Georgia. Dr. Robins will now serve as president of the GAH through its next annual meeting in Augusta in 2020.

Student Recognitions

February Canes Spotlights announced

Canes Spotlights highlight Georgia Southwestern students who hold leadership roles, are involved in extracurricular activities and excel academically on campus. The February Canes Spotlights were senior Nursing and Psychology double major Beau Millwood and senior Human Resource Management major Meionne “MeMe” Harvey.

Canes Spotlights are nominated by GSW faculty and staff.

Beau Milwood square       MeMe Harvey square

Hallie Turner one of six to receive Georgia Association of Broadcasters scholarship

Hallie Turner, a rising junior at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW), was one of six students from across Georgia to receive the 2018 E. Lanier Finch Scholarship from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters (GAB).

“I am extremely thankful and blessed to receive this scholarship,” said Turner. “I have wanted to be a broadcast journalist from the time I was a little girl so this scholarship is very humbling.”

The $1,500 scholarship, named after GAB President Emeritus the late “Lanny” Finch, provides financial assistance to deserving students who will carry on the tradition of excellence and professionalism in Georgia’s broadcasting industry.

There were a “record number of applicants this year” said a spokesperson from the GAB Scholarship Selection Committee, consisting of participating member stations, who looked at scholastic records, extracurricular activities, community involvement and leadership potential.

Read more about Hallie and the scholarship here.

Hallie Turner web

Kameisha Smith places in National American Miss PageantKameisha Smith places in pageant

Kameisha Smith recently competed in the National American Miss Pageant system and won 2nd Runner Up in Talent. Kameisha also received Above Average scores in the overall competition. She will be running for the NAM Miss Georgia State Title this year.

RHA places third at annual conference

RHA recently placed third in the Most Spirited Delegation at the Georgia Residence Hall Organization (GHRO) annual conference. The conference, which was held at Georgia College in Milledgeville, united RHAs from all over the University System of Georgia (USG) to learn how to improve life for on-campus residents. GRHO is a student-led organization that promotes leadership training, honoring diversity and engaging student leaders. GRHO pledges to support and advocate the interests of USG college and university residents. When you see these young leaders, please commend them on proudly representing our university. Pictured (L-R, back row) Alexis McGarvey, Rachel Masters, Natalia Sok, Kayla Minutillo, Erin Eubanks and (front row) Amberlyn Koenig, Jared McAllister, Ryan Young.

RHA places 3rd

RAs attend state seminar

Resident assistants from GSW residence halls gained some professional development experience and learned some new ways of making the on-campus experience enjoyable for students.

Ten resident assistants (RAs) attended the Georgia Resident Assistant Saturday Seminar (G.R.A.S.S.) hosted by the Georgia Housing Officers on Jan. 26. The seminar offered paraprofessional staff development by attending different sessions throughout the day offered by other RAs or professional staff.

The annual program provides the opportunity for student-staff members to learn from each other across the State of Georgia and share best practices in working with residents and network with fellow student-staff members.

Students who attended the program had an opportunity to submit program proposals for the seminar to present on a topic. RAs Chris Avery, Andrea Brown, and Tamia Hunter had the opportunity to present about dealing with stress and pet peeves they faced in their RA role.


Ashley Thompson named Chamber Ambassador in Laurens CountyAshley Thompson

Ashley Thompson, a senior at GSW, was recently selected as a 2019 Ambassador for the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.  Ambassadors are carefully selected and as a result, the group is comprised of motivated and respected individuals in the business community. Ambassadors have a prominent position of responsibility in the business community. They act as the Chamber's primary liaisons for new and existing members and are highly visible at Chamber events. Ambassadors often move on to participate in other chamber and civic leadership roles as a result of their involvement in this critical member service role. Spots are very limited for this program and there is often a waitlist for applicants. Therefore, it is quite an honor to be selected as a representative of the Chamber.

Ashley will graduate in the Spring with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is majoring in Management.

Watson and Samuel Named Top Performers in January

Men's basketball player Devin Watson and women's basketball player Jamesha Samuel have been named the GSW  Department of Athletics top performers for the month of January.

GSW coaches nominate athletes and vote for the recipients of the award each month.

Read more about Watson and Samuel here.

Chris Avery named 2019 Top Male Collegiate Athlete

Senior Chris Avery was recently named 2019 Top Male Collegiate Athlete by the Atlanta Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. The award is presented to those who exemplify good character and athletic achievement. Chris will be honored at the Peach of an Athlete Role Model Banquet on March 19.


New Hires, Promotions & Retirements

Mike Crosby joins School of EducationMike Crosby web

SOE welcomed new hire Mr. Mike Crosby. Mike has over 26 years of experience as an educator. He will serve as the SOE’s science educator for the elementary and middle grades programs. Mike is working on his doctoral degree in curriculum studies from Georgia Southern. Mike and his wife recently celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. They are the parents of two children and five grandchildren. The SOE faculty and staff are excited to have Mike on campus this semester!

Eric Crawford named Head Men’s Soccer Coach

Georgia Southwestern State University director of athletics Mike Leeder has hired Eric Crawford to be the school's next head men's soccer coach. Crawford comes to Georgia Southwestern from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., where he served for three seasons as an assistant coach for the RiverHawks.Eric Crawford

"We are very excited to have Eric join the Hurricane family as our new head men's soccer coach," Leeder said. "Eric's success as both a player and assistant coach at the NCAA Division II level stood out as we were identifying candidates, and his passion and plan to build a winner here at GSW stood out throughout the interview process."

In addition to his time on the coaching staff, Crawford was a four-year letterwinner at Northeastern State. He becomes the third head coach in GSW men's soccer history, replacing Warren Russ, who announced in October he was stepping down after 12 seasons at the helm. 

"I am very excited to take over as the head men's soccer coach at GSW," Crawford said. "The program has a lot of potential and I am thankful to Coach Leeder for giving me the opportunity to lead the team into the 2019 season and beyond."

Read more about Eric here.

Past Events

RCI Open House a success

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving hosted an Open House on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. They were thrilled to welcome Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the local community and several members of the GSW family including students, faculty, staff and administrators. Attendees were greeted by representatives from each RCI caregiving program to learn more about the organization and the evidence-based programs they develop. The event also included delicious refreshments, raffles and prizes.

RCI Open House 1     RCI Open House 2     RCI Open House 3

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