GC alumna first-ever female police captain in Lilburn, Georgia

  • Christy Nebel Wentzell, ’01, was announced by Police Cheif Bruce Hedley as Lilburn, Georgia’s first-ever female captain on July 25.
  • Wentzell will manage the department’s Operations Division including: community outreach, fleet management and uniform patrol.
  • Prior to joining the force in Lilburn, the 14-year law enforcement veteran served the Henry County Police Department and the Montgomery-Robertson County Community Corrections in Montgomery County, Tennessee. She was just 21 when she began policing with the Henry County Police Department and would work there for 14 years.
  • Quote: “I am proud to have Captain Wentzell join my management team,” said Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table and will certainly compliment my command staff. Captain Wentzell was chosen from scores of applicants who applied for this position from across Georgia. She rose to the top because of her can-do positive spirit, professional demeanor, education, experience and ability to think fast on her feet.”
  • Initially, Wentzell aspired to become a teacher. However, while waiting tables in college, a co-worker advised her to consider a career in law enforcement. She suggested for Wentzell to ride in a patrol car with her husband who was a Gwinnett County Police Officer.
  • Quote: “The very first time I was allowed to sit in the police car, I was hooked,” said Wentzell. “I started doing a few ride-a-longs every month and fell in love with everything that policing encompassed,” she said. “Much to my mother’s dismay, I switched my major to criminal justice and am thankful every day that I did.”

Recent alumnus wins Award for Excellence in Student Research

  • Russ Gardner, ’15, received the 2016 Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records. Gardner graduated from Georgia College last December with a degree in history. He was recognized for writing “Music in Macon, Georgia in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: the Foundation for the ‘Song and Soul of the South.’”
  • “Gardner surveyed an extensive number of primary sources on his own initiative,” according to Dr. Lauren Acker, lecturer of history at Georgia College, who nominated Gardner and advised him on the senior thesis he submitted for the award.
  • “He actively searched out Georgia newspaper repositories and other resources, and his resulting paper makes use of an array of primary sources,” Acker wrote in her nomination. “Overall, Mr. Gardner’s enthusiasm for primary-source research is commendable and remains unmatched among the undergraduates I have instructed at Georgia College.”
  • Gardner explored “Macon’s claim to a unique musical heritage” and its residents’ “yearning for a lively soulful type of music,” according to a paper summary. The study “delivers a lucid understanding of the influence of black performers and the circumstance of a city open to publicly enjoy and praise black genres of music during racially turbulent times.”
  • A native of Gray, Georgia, Gardner’s been invited with his family and professor to attend a reception and awards ceremony in October at the Georgia Archives in Morrow. More than 30 awards were given this year by GHRAC, a 12-member council appointed by the governor to bring awareness to issues of historical preservation and promote educational use of state and local archives.

Accounting graduate receives major scholarship

  • Larrentis Thomas, a GC alumni with a bachelor’s in accounting, was selected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to receive a $10,000 scholarship to finance his graduate degree.
  • The PCAOB selects institutions on a rolling basis and once selected, an institution will not be considered for selection for the next five years or until all institutions in the respective group has been selected, whichever occurs first. This is the first time Georgia College has been selected.
  • Nominated by faculty, he is the first Georgia College student to receive this scholarship.
  • Thomas will pursue his master’s degree at GC, and has a full-time position ready upon completion of the degree.
  • Quote from Dr. Catherine Whelan: “Larrentis is known within the department as an incredibly hard-working and dedicated student with a great attitude toward school and life in general,” said Dr. Catherine Whelan, chair of the Department of Accounting.

Honorary Alumnus gives back to GC with new cloud app

  • Anthony Tony, ’09, served as CEO of one of the earliest private-labeled broadband Internet and communications services companies and established the first Intellectual Capital Partnership Program in technology for higher education in the State of Georgia. Tan has served as an Advisory Board member to the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business and as a Trustee to the Georgia College & State University Foundation.
  • Today, Tan is leading StoAmigo, a company he founded that is going to set the standard in cloud storage innovation. Having already been featured in Forbes magazine for the Cloudlocker personal cloud storage device, the company’s new development is called Tack App.
  • Tack App will turn any computer or Android device into a cloud server.
  • Tan and his company StoAmigo will give back to Georgia College through a new Tack App. When activating, free of charge, the Tack App,use the promotional code Bobcats4Biz to begin sharing files, and StoAmigo will contribute funding to support student organizations in the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business.

Student researchers coordinate project to track music of 2016 presidential campaign

  • Several Georgia College students and faculty members are coordinating a project through which, for the first time, a presidential campaign will be documented by the beats and lyrics played on the trail.
  • From Bernie Sanders’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” to Donald Trump playing “Eye of the Tiger” at his rallies, the students track the music to add to  Trax on the Trail’s growing database.
  • Kitts and McClain are also working with faculty to co-author research papers for the site.
  • Creating quite a buzz since its launch in December 2015, the Trax on the Trail project has been featured by media outlets including the Boston Herald and Atlanta Business Chronicle, among others.
  • For more information, visit traxonthetrail.com.

History major becomes first GC student to study abroad at Oxford

  • Anna Democko, a history major, became the first Georgia College student to take advantage of this new partnership between Georgia College and Oxford during the fall 2015 semester.
  • During her time at Oxford, she impressed faculty with her dedication and work ethic.
  • Quote from Dr. Elliot-Gower: “The Regents Park, Oxford Program is, with its focus on tutorial-style teaching and learning, very reading- and writing-intensive,” said Dr. Steven Elliot-Gower, director of the Georgia College Honors Program. “Anna apparently adapted very well to the demanding style of instruction at Oxford University. Her dons wrote glowing reviews of her work.”
  • Her time studying across the pond gave her new experiences both in and out of the  classroom.
  • Quote from Democko: “I met a lot of really great students there that I’m still in touch with, and working with my tutors over there I learned a lot,” said Democko. “I was also fortunate to see a lot of really great speakers that came to Oxford. I saw Elton John, Vanessa Redgrave, Eva Longoria, just a lot of different people. It was really cool.”

Senior’s volunteer hours create $27,000 impact

  • Jennie Pless is a double major in psychology and liberal studies, as well as two minors in women’s studies and health education and an active member of A.N.G.E.L.S. (AIDS Now Grasps Every Living Soul).
  • She has volunteered a total of 1,173 hours at various on and off-campus organizations. Using the nationwide value of volunteer time, as estimated by the Independent Sector, those hours equate to a $27,061 economic impact.
  • She had the largest economic impact in relation to her volunteer hours.
  • Pless has also performed undergraduate research focused on sexual health. The research assessed condom embarrassment, self-efficacy and acquisition among GC students. The research will be presented in the annual GC Women’s Studies conference.
  • Quote from Jennie Pless: “A large part of why I volunteer is because of how my mom raised me,” said Pless. “She was a teacher, and she always showed me how important it was to help other people.”