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College of Nursing and Health Sciences makes campus history with first ever White Coat Ceremony

For the first time in Georgia Southwestern State University’s history, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences held a White Coat Ceremony on Tuesday, February 26 to recognize 40 junior nursing students’ transition from the classroom to the clinical setting. The white coat signifies their role and status as a healthcare professional.

“This is a historic event as it is the first for our university, and I know that it will become a time honored tradition as we move forward,” said College of Nursing and Health Sciences Dean Sandra Daniel, Ph.D. “White coat ceremonies have long been a ritual for medical students, and such ceremonies now encompass other healthcare professions including nursing.”

During GSW’s inaugural ceremony, nursing students recited an oath, signed the honor pledge and were cloaked in the iconic white coat embroidered with the GSW School of Nursing logo, all before their family and friends.

Bonnie Simmons, Ph.D., recently retired professor of Nursing, served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. After having been a member of GSW’s nursing faculty for the past 25 years, she could attest to the commitment of earning a white coat. “It’s a badge of honor showing the result of many hard hours of work and dedication,” she said.

Read more about the White Coat Ceremony here.


Junior nursing students web

GSW senior Chris Avery recognized as Top Male “Peach of an Athlete” Role Model

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) student-athlete Christopher Avery was recognized as the Top Male “Peach of an Athlete” Role Model by the Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. Each year, the “Peach of an Athlete” Role Model Award is presented to athletes, both amateur and professional, who exemplify good character and athletic achievement.


Avery, the first student from GSW to receive the award, was honored at the 35th Annual Peach of an Athlete Role Model Banquet on Tuesday, March 19 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The banquet serves to honor outstanding “Role Models for Youth” in athletics, academics, community service and scouting. 

“I shall forever remain grateful for this recognition,” said Avery at the banquet. “This award represents achievement on and off the field. It would not have been obtainable without the support of my parents, family, mentors and friends who have helped me become a better role model.”

A native of Tyrone, Ga., Avery is a graduating senior who was recently named GSW’s 2019 Homecoming King alongside long-time girlfriend, Rachel Cochran, who was named Homecoming Queen. Avery is majoring in Dramatic Arts with an emphasis in Communication and Media Arts with a minor in Information Technology. He has managed to maintain his place on the Dean’s List for four years as well as membership status in Gamma Beta Phi Academic Honor Society and on the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll.

Learn more about Chris and his achievements here.

Chris Avery Award web





Registration to begin March 25

Registration for summer and fall courses open on March 25. Students should check for holds on their accounts, meet with their advisors and look over class offerings before registration begins.

If you have questions, contact your advisor, the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Student Financial Aid or the Office of Student Accounts.

Family Weekend set for early April

GSW will host a Family Weekend from April 12-14. The weekend will allow parents and families a chance to discover more about their student's life on campus. Throughout the weekend, families and their students are encouraged to attend the Student Leadership Awards, the Family Breakfast and the many sporting events going on around campus. Families are also encouraged to explore Americus and Sumter County by attending the fun and exciting happenings around town.

Find the full schedule online at

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 Coach Carl Willis of Sumter County Schools, Mrs. Liz Holloway of Sumter County Schools, Mrs. Ashton Cleveland of Lee County Middle School, and Mr. Martin Mitchell of Sumter Intermediate School.

GSW students and faculty attend Tuskegee History Conference

Seven GSW students participated in Tuskegee University’s 3rd annual History Research Symposium on February 15th.  Senior History student Jaden Terry presented a paper completed in Fall 2018’s US Social History with Susan Bragg, Ph.D.  In “Children’s Literature and Racial Politics,” Terry assesses the historical significance of late 20th c. children’s books featuring rural African American characters.  She focused specifically on books such as Sounder and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, published in the late civil rights era.  Larry Carrol (Computer Science), Erin Eubanks (English), Angel Griffin (Psychology), Chasity Higdon (History), Natalie Hill (History), and Hope White (History/Education) also joined in the trip organized by Bragg (History & Political Science). 

The conference was a great opportunity to engage with African American history and meet undergraduate and professional scholars from around the region.  Students participated in panel discussions on a wide variety of topics in African American history, toured the historic campus, and explored the George Washington Carver Legacy Museum and Booker T. Washington’s home, “The Oaks.” 

School of Business Administration updates conference room, will be featured on Vaddio website

The School of Business Administration will soon be featured on Vaddio’s website as part of a trial run of their new conferencing products. The School was looking to update their conference room with a more flexible phone conferencing system. Vaddio, a company that designs, develops and manufactures professional audio-visual equipment for businesses, upgraded the technology in the room to include Vaddio’s RoboSHOT® In-Wall Smart Glass Recessed Camera, a OneLINK Bridge extension system, an EasyUSB MicPod I/O with two CeilingMIC microphones, and other AV equipment. The conference room is now able to live stream events, including club activities, between campuses so all students can participate.

“The system is frequently used to record special lectures and has also worked well for interviewing candidates,” said Jonathan Hobbs, Manager of IT and Faculty Support. “Special software is no longer required. Remote users simply get a link to jump in and join the event,” said Hobbs.

The flexibility of the system has allowed teachers and administrators to use any software they prefer. “Our professors can also record sessions to put onto learning management systems like Desire to Learn and Brightspace,” Hobbs added.

“Because it is USB-based, we are ready for whatever software will come out next,” said Hobbs.

SOBA Vaddio





RCI staff speaks at California conference

On March 8, the Southern Caregiver Resource Center hosted a conference for military and veteran families in San Diego, California. The Southern Caregiver Resource Center is a partner site for RCI’s Operation Family Caregiver program, working with military families in southern California.

The one-day conference taught families practical caregiver skills to support their veterans who suffer from TBI, PTSD, and physical disabilities. RCI’s Training and Implementation Specialist, Katherine Nance (pictured below), was a keynote speaker. She shared how Operation Family Caregiver helps families of returning service members and veterans adjust to the “new normal” by coping more effectively with problems they never imagined.

RCI conference in CA web

Student Recognitions

Canes Spotlights Announced

Canes Spotlights highlight Georgia Southwestern students who hold leadership roles, are involved in extracurricular activities and excel academically on campus. The March Canes Spotlights were senior Marketing major Celia del Castillo and senior Music major Leah Anglin.

Canes Spotlights are nominated by GSW faculty and staff.

Celia del Castille web square     Leah Anglin web square

Andy Moore named Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week

GSW designated hitter Andy Moore was named the Peach Belt Conference Baseball Player of the Week by the league office Tuesday afternoon.

Moore becomes the first Hurricane to earn PBC Player of the Week honors. GSW has produced five PBC Freshman of the Week winners, including Moore's teammate Hunter Foster earlier this month, and two PBC Pitcher of the Week honorees.

Learn more about Andy and his season so far here.

Vincent Norrman & Aimee Oglesby named Athletes of the Month

Men's golfer Vincent Norrman and softball player Aimee Oglesby have been named the Georgia Southwestern State University Department of Athletics top performers for the month of February.

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

Learn more about Norrman and Oglesby here


New Hires, Promotions & Retirements

Karl Bond joins RCIKarl Bond web

Karl Bond joined the RCI team on March 1 as the Grants Coordinator. In this role, Karl will assist with securing grants, as well as monitoring all funding opportunities that help the RCI support caregivers.

Karl joins RCI from the Perry Wellness Center, where he served as a Peer Support Specialist Coordinator. In this role, he ensured programs were development properly and assisted with scheduling and billing procedures.

During his time as a program coordinator, Karl led his team through several successful accreditations and program billing audits, resulting in some of the highest scores in the state. Through this process, Karl developed an intimate understanding of record keeping and tracking to ensure both the continuity and effectiveness of care provided.

Karl graduated from GSW with a degree in English in 2013.

Coach Kelly Bristsky steps down

After 12 years at the helm of the Georgia Southwestern State University women's basketball program, head coach Kelly Britsky has decided to step down from her coaching position. Britsky is just the second head coach in the program's history as a NCAA Division II member and helped transition the program from the NAIA level into the Peach Belt Conference.

"After dedicating over a decade of my life to GSW athletics it is time to see what's next," Britsky said. "I have always been proud of my teams both on and off the court. The young women that have played in the Storm Dome have made friendships and memories for a lifetime and have gone on to be successful each in their own way. With the boost from President Neal Weaver, GSW athletics is on the rise and the best is yet to come."

Learn more about Britsky’s coaching career and time at GSW here.


Past Events

Business students visit Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Students enrolled in sports marketing and marketing communications with Professors Irina Toteva and Suzanne Connor embarked on a field trip to the Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta, only ten days after Super Bowl 53, which took place at the venue. The trip was organized to allow students to experience marketing in the real world. The group received a special presentation by a marketing and events manager and learned about marketing strategies related to fan engagement, sponsorship, ticket sales, and operating the facility. The group also toured the stadium, visited the private quarters of the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, and got to witness the brand new kit of Atlanta United FC before its official reveal to a selected group of premium club members that same night.

SOBA Trip 2     SOBA Trip 3     SOBA Trip 1

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