Thompson receives Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

  • Dr. Anita Thompson, sociology lecturer, within the Department of Government and Sociology,  recently received a short-term Woodrow Wilson National Career Adjunct Faculty Enhancement Fellowship.
  • The Fellowship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provides each Fellow with a research stipend and guidance from/access to an assigned mentor and a small professional network of former Fellows.  A total of two Adjunct Faculty Fellowships are awarded each year.
  • The Career Enhancement Fellowship Program seeks to increase the presence of minority junior faculty members and other faculty members committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in the arts and humanities.



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.”

Grant from National Institute of Health funds brain research at Georgia College

  • Ashok Hegde, Ph.D., the William Harvey Professor of Biomedical Sciences,
    recently scored Georgia College a $381,357 grant from the National
    Institute of Health (NIH).
  • It’s the first time Georgia College has received a grant from that federal agency. It’s unusual too, because competition’s fierce even among larger, research schools. Less than 15 percent of applications each year get funded.
  • Quote from Dr. Indiren Pillay, chair of biological and environmental sciences: “This is an immense achievement. Not only does it put us in the forefront of doing cutting-edge research; it also serves as a great platform for our undergraduate students to get involved in neuroscience research,” Pillay said. “For me, getting the grant is one thing. But what the grant brings is opportunity for our students. And that’s what will enhance our program. That’s what it’s all about.”
  • The university had to provide the government evidence its research will work. This included preliminary data, innovation, introduction of new concept, methodology and proper description of plans. Hegde also had to show his past history, publications and contribution to science.
  • The grant is being used to purchase special machinery, chemicals, microscopes and computer software to analyze data. Money will also pay the salary of a postdoctoral Research Fellow and stipends for undergraduates to continue their work in the summer.
  • Four students currently work with Hegde. Senior biology major William Anda of Peachtree City said he’s excited to join Hegde’s team, because the research is “completely unique.”
  • Students will study the brains of mice, which have largely the same gene composition as humans. They will examine pathways that turn on genes in nerve cells and measure changes in electrical communication along pathways between nerve cells.

Ken McGill lands first patent for GC

  • U.S. Patent #9,441,993 was issued Tuesday, Sept. 13, giving Georgia College ownership of McGill’s new theory: the “Conduit Bound Propagation Separation Model.” The method will lead to constructing a better flow-meter to measure fluids in interstate pipelines worth trillions of dollars a day.
  • The patent brings a new level of distinction to the university, showcasing success in its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, said Kenneth J. Procter, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Over the years, undergrads constructed “bits and pieces” of the flow-meter, pushed buttons when directed by computer code and got “just a glimmer of how things work” by graduation. Five students currently collect data. They’ll help write findings in science publications and co-author anything McGill publishes.
  • About half of all U.S. interstate commerce travels through pipelines. Industries like petroleum, pharmaceutical, chemical and mining must know precisely when materials begin and stop flowing. Businesses can’t afford to lose a single drop of expensive commodities like gasoline, oil, coal slurry or water.
  • McGill’s students started building a flow-meter in the basement of Herty Hall. They connected microphones to the outside of a pipe, hooked by cables to an elaborate system of knobs, voltage meters and amplifiers that measure sound waves.

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.

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.”