News and Notes

March 20, 2012

News and Notes

Hershey Presents Program on Black Author At Coastal Georgia

Dr. Jon Hershey

Dr. Jon Hershey

Dr. Jon Hershey, dean of the Humanities Division, presented several guest lectures on The African-American author Rudolph Fisher at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick on Thursday, Feb. 16 as part of Black History Month.  Fisher was a medical doctor and an African-American detective and mystery writer who wrote during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 30s.   He was well known in his time, but few know him now.

Hershey’s presentation was part of a series of lectures related to Coastal Georgia’s Big Read, a community project much like Rome’s One Book, Many Voices community read.  The college chose Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.  Hershey’s presentation on Fisher and his book the Conjure-Man Dies focuses on Fisher’s experiments with the clue puzzle format that dominated the Golden Age of detective fiction in the 1920s and early 1930s.  Hammett’s writing also uses this device.  In his remarks, Hershey explored the tradition of the African-American mystery/detective, including Chester Himes from the 1950s and 60s and Walter Mosley from the 1990s and early 2000s.

While Hershey concentrated in contemporary American literature while earning his degrees, he has recently focused on African-American works.

GHC Faculty Members Attend GCA Conference

Travice Obas accepts the gavel from Bill Price of Georgia Perimeter College.  The pair of pliers is also given to the new president, and is amusingly referred to as the tool that will loosen the will of unbending members

Travice Obas accepts the gavel from Bill Price of Georgia Perimeter College. The pair of pliers is also given to the new president, and is amusingly referred to as the tool that will loosen the will of unbending members

Renva Watterson, vice president for academic and student affairs, recently accompanied three members of the GHC communication faculty to the Georgia Communication Association meeting at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.  Meredith Ginn, assistant professor, and Leslie Johnson, associate professor, sat on a panel to discuss “Communication and Film Courses in the Learning Community Course.”  Each shared information and experiences about the methods they have used in teaching a learning community class.  Ginn also presented innovative teaching strategies for speech classes, which she titled Great Ideas for Teaching Speech, or GIFTS.

Travice Obas, associate professor, was inducted as president of the organization for a two-year term.  During the current year, Obas planned and organized the conference and its agenda, secured sponsors and booked the keynote speaker.

Watterson, a past president of GCA, was recognized for her past service and continued support.

GHC Participates in USG Faculty Development Workshop

Meredith Ginn, associate professor of communication, and Shea Mize, lecturer in political science, recently presented a workshop on learning communities as part of the University System of Georgia Professional Development Series. The January 20 workshop took place in Athens, and focused on important themes of learning community formation such as course pairings, enrollment numbers, aligning content and assignments, teaching format, and rationale. Current research and student testimonials rounded out the session.

Entering its third year, the Professional Development Series is sponsored by the University System of Georgia Office of Faculty Development, which promotes faculty and student success by encouraging the use of 21st Century teaching and learning pedagogies. The office further supports success by helping institutions assist their faculty to be more effective in their teaching, scholarship and service.

GHC Faculty Discuss Interdisciplinary Teaching at State Conference

Pictured (L-R): Lisa Blumke, Bronson Long, Shannon Bontrager, Laura Beth Daws, Steve Blankenship and Jayme Feagin

Pictured (L-R): Lisa Blumke, Bronson Long, Shannon Bontrager, Laura Beth Daws, Steve Blankenship and Jayme Feagin

Six faculty members recently led a discussion about interdisciplinary teaching at the annual Georgia Conference on College and University Teaching, held in early February at Kennesaw State University.  The gathering has been taking place since 1993.  Representatives from all University System of Georgia institutions attend, as well as those from other colleges and universities in the region.  The conference features a number of topics related to teaching techniques and emerging issues in higher education.

Each member of the GHC panel had become interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the classroom because of individual research projects they conducted.  Such an approach allows students to experience subject matter from multiple perspectives, and demonstrates how, for example, the arts were influenced by the politics or social mores of a particular period.  By understanding this big picture perspective, they can look at the ways our culture, politics and national character are influencing the kind of people we become.

The presenting panel included Steven Blankenship, associate professor of history; Shannon Bontrager assistant professor of history; Lisa Blumke, assistant professor of biology; Laura Beth Daws, assistant professor of communication; Jayme Feagin, assistant professor of history and Bronson Long, assistant professor of history.  Alan Nichols, assistant professor of philosophy, helped develop the presentation.

GHC Named a Top Military-Friendly College

Georgia Highlands College has been included in the 2012 Guide to America’s Top Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities published by the Military Advanced Education Journal.  GHC was listed as one of 300 institutions throughout the United States that implements policies to assist and support veterans.  Eleven institutions from Georgia were included in the list, eight of which are University System of Georgia colleges and universities.  Very few two-year or community colleges were included.  GHC is the only one from Georgia.

The publication based inclusion on a number of criteria, and Georgia Highlands made the cut because it provides several key services to veteran students.  The college has designated one person specifically to deal with veterans’ affairs.  Amy Wise, enrollment management specialist at the Cartersville campus, is completely versed in the benefits, scholarship possibilities and financial aid packages available for military personnel, veterans and their dependents.  GHC also has a substantial distance learning program, creating more options for this population.  There are counselors at each GHC site trained to deal with issues facing the military, and there’s a liberal withdrawal policy when armed forces personnel are called to active duty or deployed.  Add to this the attractive tuition rates and the fact that GHC waives mandatory fees for Georgia National Guard and reservists such as the student activity, institutional, data card, athletics, technology and parking fees as mandated by the Board of Regents, and the college offers a very attractive reason to choose Georgia Highlands.

In Georgia there are several financial aid and scholarship opportunities available for members and veterans of the armed services, especially for Georgia National Guard and military reservists.  The HERO Scholarship is available through Georgia Student Finance to Georgia National Guard, reservists or their spouses and children.  Recipients are eligible for up to $2,000 a year.  The My Career Advancement Accounts, or MyCAA, is paid by the Department of Defense to spouses of members of the Georgia National Guard who have spent 181 consecutive days or longer in a combat zone.  These awards amount to as much as $4,000 a year.

Other Georgia colleges and universities cited in the guide were North Georgia College and State University, Augusta State University, Valdosta State University, Darton College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Southern University, Albany State University, Ashworth College, South University and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.

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