A Unit of Institutional Advancement
points of pride
In America's Best Colleges 2008, U.S.News & World Report ranks North Georgia College & State University as No. 20 in the South among public universities offering undergraduate and master's programs. North Georgia is listed at No. 50 among both private and public universities in the South.
NGCSU's regional economic impact was $145.7 million and 1,443 jobs during Fiscal Year 2007, according to a recent report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. The report showed that the economies of six Georgia counties - Lumpkin, Hall, Dawson, White, Forsyth and Union - directly benefited from the university's impact on the region.
Two new building projects will be completed on campus this fall - the Library Technology Center and the Recreation Center and Parking Deck. The renovation of the historic Education building, renamed West Main Hall, was completed in August.
Dahlonega's historic Vickery House was donated to the university and is now the home of the Appalachian Studies Center and the Office of Regional Engagement.
Divisions and Departments
North Georgia's Community Counseling program had its accreditation extended to 2014 by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Started in 1999, the graduate program established the university's fifth master's degree.
North Georgia was one of eight U.S. colleges and universities to receive a federal grant from the Reserve Officer Training Corps Language and Culture Project, designed to promote education programs for languages that are not commonly taught within higher education. NGCSU received $240,000 to strengthen its Chinese language studies program, which started in 2006.
Sixteen students participated in and graduated from the new Chinese Summer Language Institute, six-week summer immersion program focused on Mandarin Chinese.
The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents awarded NGCSU's Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities $25,000 to support faculty, staff and student research in all disciplines during the 2008-2009 academic year.
The new Predator Beetle Lab, funded through the Georgia General Assembly and located on the NGCSU campus, was designed for researchers to raise beetles to help preserve the hemlock tree population from an adelgid infestation in north Georgia. Founded by Dr. Robert Fuller, director of the NGCSU Environmental Leadership Center, it is only the third such lab in the state.
The University Press of North Georgia released its second publication, "Dahlonega's Gold" by alumna Anne Dismukes Amerson.
The university's new Master of Business Administration degree program will begin classes in August 2008 on the fourth floor of Cumming City Hall. The program was approved last spring by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents based on a growing regional need for a graduate-level business program.
NGCSU organized the Cumming/Forsyth County Community Advisory Board to provide assistance and counsel from the citizens' perspective as North Georgia plans and implements additional educational offerings in that region.
The Office for Regional Engagement was established to promote collaboration between North Georgia and larger communities - Dahlonega, northeast Georgia and the world - for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
Twenty-two NGCSU faculty members were recognized by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Office for Regional Engagement for their engagement in service-learning, which shifts the focus of learning from the classroom to external settings on and off-campus.
The Georgia Appalachian Center for Higher Education at NGCSU awarded 10 competitive grants totaling $72,100 to area high schools. This past academic year, the schools implemented programs designed to assist and encourage students to finish high school and pursue post-secondary education.
The Appalachian Studies Center was selected as one of 12 sites to host the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, "Key Ingredients: America by Food." The exhibit will be on campus in February 2009.
Honor societies at North Georgia donated $2,000 to establish Lumpkin County's new 2-1-1 help line. County residents may dial the three-digit number to reach an operator who will refer them to an agency that will help with chronic health problems, financial assistance for food or shelter, or other social service needs.
Physical Therapy students established Russell's Racers to provide opportunities for older individuals with developmental disabilities to participate in community events, such as 5K and 1K runs.
The Department of Physical Therapy's Gold Dust Riders Hippotherapy Camp, held in cooperation with the HEART Equestrian Center, assists children with disabilities and their families in local counties and has expanded its services to provide physical therapy and nursing students with opportunities for leadership development through camp organization and interaction with community volunteers.
The Teacher Education program has developed an intensive Spanish concentration to support an effort to graduate teachers who are bilingual.
The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission recommended full reaccredidation for the RN-BSN Program, and the Department of Nursing received $189,320 in funding from the Board of Regents Nursing Education Task Force. The nursing programs at North Georgia had the largest enrollment in the history of the department in the 2008-09 academic year.
NGCSU Appalachian Nurse Practitioner Clinic, which serves uninsured and low-income citizens in surrounding communities, received the third year of grant funding in the amount of $295,000. The clinic is now open five days a week and patients have increased from 200 to over 600 this past year.
The Georgia Public Administration Academic Conference was held at NGCSU in March 2008. Ten of the university's Master of Public Administration students presented research papers at the event.
The Department of Information and Instructional Technology expanded the wireless Internet network to include the major of the campus by this fall.
Corps of Cadets
In fall 2007, 246 FROGS (Freshmen Recruit Orientation Group) participated in FROG Week and more than 90 percent of them graduated, growing the Corps of Cadets to 680, the second-highest enrollment in the past 30 years.
In fall 2007, more than 35 cadets wore combat patches and most were combat veterans who had been deployed the previous year with Georgia's 48th Mechanized Brigade.
After an absence of 18 years, the National Society of Scabbard & Blade has returned to North Georgia as the official honor society of the Department of Military Science.
The Blue Ridge Rifles placed third in the National Precision Drill Competition in New Orleans.
The university's shooting sports program, sponsored by the Department of Military Science, expanded to include air rifle, shotgun, service rifle and pistol categories.
North Georgia's Pistol Team was ranked top 10 in the nation at the Intercollegiate Pistol National Championships this year, the team's first year of existence.
The NGCSU Rifle Team won first place in the Novice, Open and Overall categories in the Fort Benning Rifle Championship. Cadet Henry Markham won the post rifle championships. Sean-Paul Adams won the U.S. Army Infantry Center Team Championship. Cadets Markham, Adams, Michael Smolucha and Paul Strella won the U.S. Army Infantry Center Team Championship.
The NGCSU Small Arms Team (high power rifle and pistol) was the overall top cadet team at the All Army Small Arms Championship at Fort Benning, Ga. Michael Smolucha won "First Place Cadet" and Henry Markham won "Second Place Cadet." Sgt. 1st Class Eric Lead, military science and the team's coach, won the "Open Class" championship.
Cadet Kevin J. A'Hearn, a political science major, was the No. 1 ranked graduate in his class at the U. S. Army's Mountain Warfare School in Jericho, Vt. At North Georgia, he also was awarded Outstanding Squad Leader - 1st Battalion and Superior Sophomore Cadet this year.
North Georgia's intercollegiate sports teams competed in their first year of full membership in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, with teams taking full advantage of the opportunity to compete in postseason play.
The Saints baseball team won the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship, the first-ever for any program at North Georgia.
Junior Rob Flanigan, baseball, made history after his record-breaking season at first base and was named to the PBC All-Conference team, First-Team All-Region, and was the first North Georgia athlete to be named an NCAA First-Team All-American after setting the single season school mark for home runs with 20. Flanigan was taken in the 29th round of the Major League Baseball Draft before signing a professional contract with the San Francisco Giants in mid-June.
North Georgia's softball team had a runner-up finish in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and accepted an at-large bid to play in the NCAA South Atlantic Regional. After winning three straight games at the school's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, the Saints dropped a pair of one-run contest in the championship to come up one win short of a College World Series birth. During the season, head coach Mike Davenport picked up his 300th career victory with a 3-2 extra-inning win over Lander University.
Laura Voyles was named a Louisville Slugger third team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. She received this award after leading the softball team to the South Atlantic Regional Championship game for the first time in school history.
Tiffany Blackburn, softball, was named PBC Freshman of the Year.
Both the men's and women's basketball teams advanced to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and picked up first-round victories with Jakirra Millsap and Syretha Marble being named to the All-Tournament team.
NGCSU broke through to #20 in the nation the week of Jan. 14 this year after burying nationally ranked USC Aiken. This marks the first time in university history the Lady Saints basketball team has appeared in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Poll.
The men's soccer program finished up an exciting season with a trip to the "final four" of the Peach Belt Conference soccer tournament after scoring two goals in the final twelve minutes in the opening round against USC Aiken, including the go-ahead goal with 37 seconds left, to notch a 2-1 victory.
The cross country programs made a strong showing with Emmy Lawalin being named PBC All-Conference after her eighth-place finish in the championship event.
North Georgia began a track team in 2008 and crowned a pair of champions at the South Atlantic Regional. Dillon Bowers soared to victory in the high jump, while Alan Schmitz raced to victory in the 800-meter event after being ranked #2 in the country midway through the season.
The men's and women's tennis teams advanced to the Peach Belt Conference tournament before eventually falling to a pair of NCAA Tournament teams.
Faculty and Staff
Drs. Brad Bailey and John Holliday, math and computer science, were awarded a $19,850 mini-grant from the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics at Brigham Young University to support undergraduate research in the math and computer science fields. The Brigham Young program is supported by the National Science Foundation. Four undergraduates - Dusti Nisbet, Lauren Prill, Amanda Peck and Joshua Crunkleton - will be involved in the initial research projects conducted under the direction of Bailey and Holliday.
Dr. Lee Barrow, fine arts, received a $5,000 grant from the Forsyth County Arts Alliance and a $2,000 grant from the Georgia Grassroots Arts Program, in support of a performance by the North Georgia Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Michelle Byrne, nursing, has been elected as the president-elect through 2009 and then president through 2010 for the Competency and Credentialing Institute in Denver, Colo. The CCI is the leading provider of certification and competency assessment and competency-based education to surgical healthcare professionals and is one of the world's largest specialty nursing credentialing bodies.
Loretta Delargy and Dr. Elaine Taylor, nursing, received a $50,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration to fund an outreach program for disadvantaged students, especially Hispanic high school students. Dr. Grace Newsome, nursing, also received $41,000 in HRSA grant funding for graduate student traineeships.
Dr. Leo Downing, political science and criminal justice, was elected chair of the Board of Regent's Academic Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice for the upcoming year. He also was elected president of the Criminal Justice Association of Georgia for 2007-08.
Dr. Sarah Formica, physics, won the 2007 Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology at the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning.
Dr. Donna Gessell, regional engagement, completed a week-long Engagement Academy, sponsored by Virginia Tech's Center for Organizational and Technical Advancement. Leaders from over 30 higher education institutions were chosen for this first-ever opportunity to benefit from intensive interaction with key leaders in university and community engagement. The experience focused on strategy development and implementation for engagement in the context of each participant's institution's overall strategic plan. Gessell also was selected as chair for the University System of Georgia's Administrative Committee on Graduate Studies.
Bruce Howerton, advancement, and Dr. Donna Gessell, regional engagement, were selected to participate in the Georgia Academy for Economic Development for Region 2. They graduated after learning about topics ranging from community development, economic development, and leadership skills. The academy is led by representatives from the Georgia EMC, Georgia Power, and Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Elizabeth McIntosh, student disability resources, received re-certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
MiHyun Kim, fine arts, received an Award of Excellence in the Design competition from the University & College Designers Association for designing the first publication by the University Press of North Georgia, "Billy Roper: Visual Storyteller."
Dr. Eric Link, English, was awarded a Fulbright grant through the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program to teach American literature during a five-week residency at Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University in Lutsk, Ukraine.
Dr. Grace Newsome, nursing, received funding for a second year from the Health Resources and Services Administration for the Appalachian Nurse Practitioner Clinic at North Georgia. The $235,752 funding helps support the clinic, which serves uninsured and low income individuals in Lumpkin County and the surrounding area.
Dr. Judy O'Neal is helping prepare primary through secondary education math teachers for the challenge of teaching under the new Georgia Performance Standards through the National Science Foundation Math & Science Partnerships program. O'Neal, and Drs. Robb Sinn and Dianna Spence, math and computer science, are working through the Pioneer Regional Educational Service Agency in Cleveland to create professional development content for area math educators. This is O'Neal's third NSF Math & Science Partnerships project and the second supported by the NGCSU School of Education. The NSF grant is funded directly through RESA for $492,000 over three years.
Jill Rayner, financial aid, is the chair for the Board of Regents' Administrative Committee on Student Financial Aid.
Dr. Alice Sampson, teacher education and director of the Appalachian Studies Center at NGCSU, was selected to serve a three year term on the community-based Advisory Board established by the Northeast Georgia Health System to facilitate a broad-based information exchange on health related issues impacting Gainesville-Hall County and the northeast Georgia region.
Tommye Scanlin, professor emerita of art, and art major Meredith Dahle had their collaborative tapestry, "Land," selected for an international invitational exhibit at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
Dr. Robb Sinn, math and computer science, was named the 2008 NGCSU Alumni Association's Distinguished Professor.
Derek Sutton, political science, was elected as the Student Initiatives Director to the American Democracy Project South Executive Council for 2008-2009 at the ADP South Conference at Kennesaw State University.
Billy Wells Jr., executive assistant to the president, was named the 2009 Advisory Councils on Military Education Presidents Representative to the Council of College and Military Educators Board. Advisory Councils on Military Education exist to serve the educational needs of the military community who reside within their state.
Dr. Linda Williams, English, was named the 2007 Georgia Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Williams was selected from more than 300 top professors in the United States.
Students and Student Organizations
NGCSU Habitat for Humanity members partnered with 30 student leaders and 1,100 first-semester undergraduates, who were involved in the new Principles of Leadership course, to organize the annual Shantytown event. About 300 students spent the night on the drill field in self-constructed cardboard shanties to raise awareness of substandard housing conditions in the local community. The event raised $3,500, which was donated to the Lumpkin County affiliate for Habitat for Humanity.
Twenty art majors volunteered their time by hand-painting and donating more than 30 skateboards for the non-profit Appalachian Skate Klub's Paint a Deck project in Lumpkin County.
The NGCSU Symphonic Band performed as a featured guest at the Walt Disney World Resort, along with Orlando flutist, Michelle Territo.
The student-run television station NG-TV, airing on Alltel Ch. 15, began operations and provides campus event coverage, public service announcements and advertising.
Civilian students Cheryl Roberts and Tori Kostecki competed in the final round - top eight - at the Junior Olympics Pistol National Championship held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Two physics majors participated in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates 10-week program this summer. Eric Pooser worked at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory at Duke University and Anthony Licata worked at Texas A&M University.
Desmond (Desi) Villalba, a senior physics major, and sophomore physics majors Michael McManus and Jessica Easley were granted funding for summer research through the Pigg-Yager fund and the NGCSU Department of Physics. Villalba and McManus worked with Dr. Sarah Formica and Dr. Mark Spraker to build an X-ray analysis facility in Rogers Hall, and Easley worked with the two professors on a physics education research project