GHC to distribute CARES Act funds to students affected by semester changes

Georgia Highlands College will begin distributing $2,110,118 in CARES Act funds to students affected by changes due to COVID-19.

The CARES Act establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and allows institutions of higher education to use funds they receive to cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.

As soon as funds are made available to GHC for disbursement, an email will be sent out to notify all students with an expected funding date, and GHC will distribute those funds to affected students.

Right now, funding will only be available for those who have completed a 2019/2020 FAFSA application before June 30, 2020. Students in the Dual Enrollment program, transient students or students who started the semester in online-only classes will not be qualified for these funds.

Additional eligibility requirements may be found at caresact.highlands.edu

You may also read more about CARES Act and these funds by visiting the US Department of Education website.

 


Students at GHC can now join the rapidly growing film industry in Georgia

Students will now have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to work in one of the fastest growing film industries right here in Georgia with a new pathway offered at Georgia Highlands College. Starting this fall, GHC students in the new film pathway will choose between a Film Studies or a Film Production track putting them on the path to join any one of the hundreds of productions currently being filmed in Georgia for movies like Marvel’s “Avengers” series or Netflix shows like “Stranger Things.”

“The ability to tell a story is a fundamental skill that proves useful in many modern career paths,” Humanities Chair Seth Ingram said. “Visual media is now more than ever a common tool of human communication. The skills acquired in our film studies program not only focus on the art aspects of film but also on film as a vocation.”

Since the State of Georgia’s creation of the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, Georgia has established itself as a leading production hub for both feature films and television productions.

“This act has created a workforce need on film sets across Georgia,” Ingram said. “The Georgia Film Academy (GFA) was established to serve this demand by training students to be set ready upon completing the program. The GHC and GFA partnership will provide students choosing a path in production to be workforce ready while allowing the student the option to continue their education towards a higher degree. The GFA Production Track capstones by offering students the opportunity to apply for an onset internship on a major production. The internships are focused within specific departments of the film production.”

The Georgia Film Academy is a collaboration of the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia created by state leadership to meet education and workforce needs for high demand careers in Georgia’s film and creative industries.

The GFA higher education program offers rigorous professional training, and may lead to union-covered film and television production craft internships and placement in creative industries apprenticeships and jobs.

The Film Studies Pathway will prepare students to enter a baccalaureate program for film or media studies. Completion of the second pathway, Film Production, will earn graduates an associate degree, preparing students to jump immediately into an on-set film career.

The courses will be taught by Ingram as well as Assistant Professor of Humanities Amy Gandolfi.

Ingram, a film scholar, has been with GHC for years working in technology while also working independently as a writer, director and producer for the film and television industry. He is well known in the Rome community as the director of the Rome International Film Festival (RIFF), which will celebrate its 17th year this November.

Gandolfi, also a film scholar, taught the courses Film History, Film Aesthetics and Analysis, and Media, Ethics and Society at Georgia State University. Among other courses within the GHC’s Communication Department, she has been teaching Introduction to Mass Communication at GHC since 2014.

In addition to instructors with a history in film, Georgia Highlands College has a track record of graduating students with undeniable talent in the field. For example, alumnus Keitravis Squire co-owns the independent production company Imprint Studios and has received numerous accolades and awards for his work. His short film, “Midnight Blue,” won numerous awards, including Best Film Noir Short, Gold Award in the April 2018 Independent Shorts Awards, Special Mention in the 2018 Global Shorts competition and recognition as a Semi-Finalist in the 2018 Los Angeles CineFest.

“The Film Studies Pathways at GHC have already been met with an overwhelming response and the classes are filling up fast for the fall of 2020,” Ingram said. “As the program continues to grow, GHC hopes to expand the offerings and the program in the not-so-distant future.”

For more information on the Film Studies Program, please visit https://sites.highlands.edu/division-of-humanities/film. Interested parties can register for a virtual information session on June 16 at 10AM by visiting this link.

 

PICTURE: Students working in a class at the Georgia Film Academy. GHC has a partnership with GFA that provides students choosing a path in production to be workforce ready while allowing students the option to continue their education towards a higher degree.


GHC business competition draws creativity and strategy from students

Some of Georgia Highlands College’s best and brightest students have worked together to propose products and ideas to help make the world a better place. In the vein of the popular television series “Shark Tank,” GHC launched the Charger Innovation Challenge (CIC) this spring, with a virtual competition being held in late April.

“The Charger Innovation Challenge is very similar to the television series ‘Shark Tank,’” Social Sciences Curriculum Coordinator Patrick Manna said. “The only difference is that we are not asking students to create a business or marketing plan. One of the primary objectives is for teams to identify a void in the marketplace or a need that could be filled by an innovative product or service. Everyone knows ‘Shark Tank,’ so the general idea is to create a real-world experience pitching to real-world practitioners and to answer questions on their feet as well as encourage critical thinking. We want teams to be innovative and the bring us their ‘Big Idea.’”

Manna said the CIC is based on the Bulldog Business Bowl he created while teaching at the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. It was then modified by Social Sciences Assistant Professor Lucinda Montgomery specifically for GHC students.

“We have a unique student population at GHC, and my goal was to tweak what worked at the Citadel and format it in a way that would provide our student body the opportunity to present their ideas,” Montgomery said.

Manna said the CIC is a new venture modeling format and that the questions that need to be answered through the presentations are about the potential market need and the big idea to fulfill that market need.

“Only the student’s imagination will limit the ideas we receive,” Montgomery said leading up to the competition. “The ideas presented could be anything from solving a problem they have encountered or even an idea to improve on something that is already in the market. The sky is the limit.”

Some say that in business there are only detours, not roadblocks. This concept rang true as GHC converted to remote operations in March.

“I do not think the words ‘cancel’ or ‘postpone’ ever came to our minds when GHC moved to remote delivery,” Montgomery said. “The question that came up in conversations between Pat and I was, ‘How do we pivot and continue the competition for students? We go digital.’”

The creation of the CIC allowed students to draw from their classroom experience and translate it to a real-world scenario.

“We hope to provide a real-world experience, enhance student’s critical thinking skills, engage local business leaders and provide an opportunity for students to show everyone what they are made of,” Manna said. “All of this allows us to expand the GHC brand while engaging businesses and entrepreneurial leaders.”

For a competition of such high caliber, only the best judges were recruited.

“Our judges were business practitioners with decades of experience,” Montgomery said. “We have a vice president of marketing and customer solutions, a retired member of the New York Stock Exchange, the president of a media company, as well as a franchisee who operates high-traffic restaurant locations in the metro-Atlanta area.”

This year’s winner is Team Thayer, composed of students Scott Thayer, Nathaniel Carr and Brady Smith.

Smith, who attends the Cartersville site and is majoring in GHC’s Bachelor of Business Administration Logistics and Supply Chain Management program, said the team’s proposed product aided safety, convenience and sustainability.

“We proposed a disposable product that would be inexpensive to produce and easy to recycle that would allow those working in car shops and hangar’s an added benefit of safety and convenience,” Smith said. “Safety comes from the ability to immediately dispose of the product after coming into contact with oil or grease, as well as being made from a slick-proof material itself. Convenience, in that it allows those working in the shop to get into customers cars, as well as walk back inside the shop without risking tracking oil grease.”

Smith said Thayer presented the idea to the group, and the creative process grew from there.

“As someone that watches ‘Shark Tank’ weekly and loves the idea of investing into companies, this was a great opportunity,” Smith said. “Unlike ‘Shark Tank’ where I am looking at the show from the point of view of the investor only, I was able to look at our pitch from start to finish as the investor as well as the one with the product. So, while we weren’t concerned with selling part of our company, we were concerned with selling our idea, which is the first step to any entrepreneurial beginning.”

He said the Charger Innovation Challenge had a direct correlation with what he has learned in the classroom.

“Marketing, procurement, outsourcing as well as our assignments on company strategies has taught me the ways many businesses have been able to begin as an idea, and how to coherently come up with a strategy to get a business off the ground,” Smith said.

The long-term goal of the CIC is to evolve into a full-fledged business plan competition that would take place over a full academic year.

PICTURE: From top left to bottom right: Scott Thayer; Nathaniel Carr; Robin Seikerman (Vice President Marketing and Customers Solutions at The Shippers Group); GHC Social Sciences Curriculum Coordinator Patrick Manna; Brady Smith


May 21 Update – Virtual Commencement Details

We wanted to update everyone on the upcoming virtual graduation planned for July 25th. The virtual graduation will be aired on July 25th via YouTube and Facebook. More information will be shared by email and social media as we get closer to that date. While this approach is different than a traditional ceremony, it is a great opportunity to honor and celebrate our 50th graduating class.

Here are some important items regarding graduation:

Herff-Jones Cap and Gowns

Any student who ordered regalia online should read the attached document and make a selection. Regalia will be shipped to you free of charge or you can request a refund. If you have already completed the form and made your selection, you do not need to do this again. Students who placed an order prior to today should be receiving their orders within the next couple of weeks if they haven’t already.

As far as refunds, please know that we are processing those refunds as quickly as possible. Herff-Jones has built and implemented a new system as of last Friday to greatly speed up this process and are now processing about 1,000 refund requests a day.

If you would still like to order a cap and gown, you can do so through June 30th and it will be shipped at no additional charge directly to you. You will need to do so through this website: https://herff.ly/georgiahighlands

Diplomas

The mailing of diplomas will depend on when we are able to return to campus. Ideally, May graduates should all be awarded by mid-June; therefore, those diplomas will be mailed in early August. Summer graduates will not be awarded until early September and diplomas will not be mailed until late September. Please reach out to the GHC Registrar’s office should you have any questions at registrar@highlands.edu.

Photo Submission for Virtual Graduation – Deadline is Friday, June 19th

It’s time to celebrate your success at GHC! By visiting commencement.highlands.edu and clicking on “Photo Submission” at the top, then completing the form and submitting a photo, your friends and family will get to see your face during GHC’s Virtual Commencement ceremony on July 25th.

Send us a picture that showcases who you are and what you’ve accomplished at GHC. Submit your best cap and gown selfie or a picture in your favorite GHC shirt. We want to celebrate you by giving everyone a chance to see your face during the virtual commencement! Submissions will be accepted through June 19th.

Video Yearbook Submissions – Deadline is Friday, May 22nd

New and special to this 50th graduating class, GHC is putting together a 50th Celebration Video Yearbook featuring you, the Class of 2020! These videos will be showcased on our commencement website and become part of GHC’s history. You are invited to join your fellow graduates by submitting a personal video by visiting classof2020.highlands.edu or through the 50th Celebration Video Yearbook submission form. Submissions will be accepted through May 22nd.

Please continue checking your student email account for further updates on the 2020 commencement ceremony.


GHC student’s love for music leads to unique final project

Georgia Highlands College student Josie Maddux, of Trion, pulled a leaf from her family tree in a creative approach to the final project of her Latino Literature class while wrapping up the semester remotely this spring.

The daughter of country music singer/songwriter Derry Maddux, from the country music duo Buck and Duke, Maddux teamed up with her father to set some of her favorite poems from the course to music and posted the videos to YouTube.

“I knew that I wanted to do something music related for this project because music has always been what has inspired me the most,” Maddux said. “Since my dad has been a country music singer my whole life, I only found it fitting that he helps me with this project by singing the poems for me.”

Maddux selected poems she felt were inspirational and were relatable to her personally.

“My dad and I both are very passionate, loving people, and I think that you can tell this by our selection of poems,” Maddux said. “For instance, ‘The Rose’ by Gabriela Mistral has a very beautiful story, referring to one’s heart as the rose, saying to keep it open and scatter it everywhere. We loved this poem because that is how we try to live our lives as well.”

Maddux, who is majoring in Psychology and attends classes on GHC’s Floyd site, said she chose to take Latino Literature because she is interested in other cultures.

“This whole course has been truly intriguing. I love the fact that we were able to have a project-based learning experience,” Maddux said. “My classmates have been great the whole semester with giving positive feedback on everyone’s projects along the way.”

Georgia Highlands College moved to remote operations in March. Maddux said this change has not had a negative effect on her experience as a student.

“Professor Lindberg has done a phenomenal job during this transition to [remote delivery],” Maddux said. “She has made the transition for us go very smoothly, and personally I haven’t had a single issue – it honestly hasn’t been that different for me. The transition went very smoothly, and I would like to thank my professors for making that happen. They were very up-to-date and informative with every assignment so I never had an issue.”

Maddux said the Latino Literature class is an excellent option for students, and she appreciated the opportunity to take a unique approach to close out the semester.

“One of the main things I loved about this class was the fact that we learned a lot about the Latino culture through poems, some short stories, and classroom discussions about the readings,” Maddux said. “It was an overall great course and I am glad that I took it.”

She added, “As for my project, I’ve enjoyed going on that adventure with my dad and being able to learn in a way that interests me. If you’ve been hesitant about doing [classes remotely], don’t be. The GHC staff is amazing, and they do everything in their power to make your experience go as smoothly as possible.”

Picture: From left, Derry Maddux and daughter Josie Maddux. Josie worked with her father to create musical renditions of poems for her final project in her Latino Literature class at Georgia Highlands College.

Maddux introducing her project:

 

Maddux’s dad, Derry, singing one of the poems:


May 15 Update – Commencement, CARES Act, & Plans for Summer and Fall

We want to start by thanking you again. Our students are well on their way to completing the spring semester. Our faculty continue to work closely together to carry on with the tradition of quality instruction GHC is known for. Our staff continue to find new and exciting ways to ensure all campus resources are available remotely.

Thank you to our students. Thank you to our faculty. And thank you to our staff.

 


GHC student and member of National Guard aids in COVID-19 fight while continuing classes

Georgia Highlands College student Miguel Pizano, of Rome, enrolled in the college’s Criminal Justice program because he wants to make his community a better place to live. As a service member in the National Guard, he was recently given an opportunity to do just that.

On April 9, Pizano was sent to Albany to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and branches of the Phoebe Putney Health System. He was part of Governor Brian Kemp’s authorization to activate up to 2,000 members of the Georgia National Guard to help a number of nursing homes or long-term care facilities throughout the state with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Dean of Humanities Jon Hershey spoke highly of Pizano and stated he is keeping up with his classwork in the evenings to stay on track at GHC while also performing his duties for the National Guard.

Pizano said he appreciates how GHC faculty have worked with him as he serves the community.

“It has been a great experience working with them and their understanding of what I’m doing here in Albany with the National Guard,” Pizano said. “GHC has helped me pursue my dream in criminal justice and to one day make it my career once I retire from the National Guard.”

Pizano said furthering one’s education at GHC is a viable option for those who may have extenuating circumstances outside of the classroom.

“All I can say about GHC is that it improves day by day to help students in any circumstance they are in,” Pizano said. “The staff is always there to help when I need it.”


Remote learning expands student newspaper’s focus to stream news in a podcast

Georgia Highlands College’s student newspaper the Six Mile Post (SMP) has moved into streaming.

From politics to school news and Netflix, the SMP’s recent podcast series ran the gamut on hot topics as people everywhere had to acclimate to a new world of social distancing.

Students Carson Graham and Scout Hodgins, who both attend the Floyd site and are majoring in communications, created a new platform for the GHC community to be educated and entertained during this unique time.

Originally designed as an extension of the student newspaper, the podcast quickly grew in popularity as all students, faculty and staff at GHC moved to remote delivery starting on March 30 to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

“We started discussing the possibilities of a podcast in late February, but the first episode didn’t air until March,” Hodgins said. “We have recorded our final episode for the semester and ended with nine episodes overall.”

A podcast is a digital file posted online that often includes both audio and video. Podcasts serve as a medium for information and entertainment in the digital age, similar to radio broadcasts.

While both students say they have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of creating and hosting the series, the work they have done also translates to their future careers in communication.

“I’ve learned a lot of production work. Carson and I both have planned and edited episodes,” Hodgins said. “I also composed the intro and outro music for the podcast, so learning to record and edit audio has been a big part of the learning process. I learned that I like to research topics heavily before I speak on them and I hope that I’ve gotten better at research. I also learned that I do like broadcasting and that maybe I should continue to be involved with broadcasting in some sense in the future.”

Graham said she enjoys doing the podcast because they are an extension of the SMP newspaper but can be more personal.

“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from students and faculty,” Graham said. “The most important lesson I have learned is that despite circumstances, like the quarantine, it is still very important to keep busy with projects like podcasts to keep our mental health up.”

Graham and Hodgins were encouraged by faculty to create the podcast based on their talent and educational abilities. Both students spoke during the 90th Georgia Communication Association Conference, held in February at GHC’s Cartersville site, and were approached by Assistant Professor of Humanities and SMP Faculty Advisor Allison Hattaway about starting the podcast.

Graham said she was intrigued by the idea of having an extracurricular activity.

“I have always just been going to school, work, then home,” Graham said. “I was very excited and am very grateful to have something meaningful to do with my time.”

Graham and Hodgins each had favorite episodes they have produced.

“The first one that comes to mind is Episode 8, where we interviewed GHC President Don Green,” Hodgins said. “He’s a down-to-earth guy and I enjoyed talking to him about what’s going on at Georgia Highlands College.”

Graham said her favorite episode was one of the first.

“My favorite episodes were the ones toward the beginning when the U.S. presidential election was beginning to heat up,” Graham said. “I love talking about politics, so it was a great time to research and discuss the current events.”

Graham and Hodgins both said they appreciate the opportunity to work with the podcast. Hodgins said his experience with SMP has helped him to understand more what his future will be like in communications.

“It’s been great for me because now I have a better idea of what I may want to pursue as a career in the future,” Hodgins said. “I think that the community should know how much work goes into Six Mile Post productions. The staff takes pride in its work, and that shows.”

The podcasts are available by visiting https://sixmilepostonline.com/category/podcasts/

PICTURE: From the Six Mile Post’s “Starting a Podcast: A How To Guide,” Scout Hodgins and Carson Graham are the creators of the Student Spin Podcast: A Six Mile Post Production. (Photographer: Georgia Hamby)


First ever virtual signing highlights transfer partnership into a GHC four-year degree

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) made history this month after holding a virtual signing for an articulation agreement with Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC).

Students who earn an associate degree in applied sciences from GPTC will now have the option to transfer seamlessly into a bachelor’s in health science at GHC. In order to make this new transfer agreement possible for students without delay, GHC and GPTC participated in their first ever virtual articulation agreement signing.

“We are so excited to be completing this articulation agreement,” GHC President Don Green said in the virtual signing. “It provides great instruction at a low cost and a tremendous opportunity for students to get a pre-professional bachelor’s degree that allows them to move on to graduate school as well as the workforce.”

GHC Provost and Chief Academic Office Dana Nichols; GPTC President Tavarez Holston; and GPTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Cheree Williams also joined President Green on screen to express their eagerness to provide this new opportunity to students at both institutions.

“It’s a great way for our students, for when they complete their chosen pathway, to make a very seamless transition to another one of our great Georgia institutions,” President Holston said in the virtual signing. “I’m so excited about this opportunity for our students.”

The agreement is set to start in 2020.

Both institutions will work together to identify, recruit and select students who clearly demonstrate academic and personal competencies required to function as successful students and future health professionals, as well as facilitate the transfer of all viable college courses as required in the University System of Georgia core curriculum.

Students will take at least 61 semester hours of general education core curriculum and occupational courses in health track that are provided at GPTC, which includes receiving an Associate of Applied Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Health Track) degree upon completion.

Students will then complete an additional 61 hours of BSHS curriculum at GHC for a total of 122 hours that is required to receive a Bachelor’s of Science with a major in Health Sciences degree.

For more information, please visit highlands.edu and gptc.edu today.

 


GHC continues STEMFIT “math boot camp” virtually this summer

Following two successful years, Georgia Highlands College will again offer the STEMFIT “math boot camp” this summer, except this time in a virtual format.

The aim of the camp is to help incoming high school dual enrollment students or college freshmen start at a collegiate mathematic level of precalculus or higher.

“Over the past two camps, we have had a 100-percent pass rate for those who have completed the camp and took the exemption exam for college algebra,” Mathematics Division Chair Jayme Wheeler said. “Several of those students have chosen to also take the MATH 1113 Precalculus exemption exam.”

The online camp will be available June 15 to August 18. The course is built in the D2L online learning management system. Various dates will be available for students to take the exemption exam, and the exam will be given in D2L and proctored by a GHC professor via video conferencing software.

The course is available for any potential GHC student eligible to take the GHC College Algebra exemption exam. There will be no fee for STEMFIT this summer for students enrolling in fall 2020.

Sometimes students enter at the lower college algebra-level but can take an exemption exam if their SAT/ACT scores are high enough to start in precalculus instead.

“Participating in STEMFIT can save STEM students time and money by being able to begin at precalculus or higher,” Wheeler said.

STEM is an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. STEM relates to academics and careers focused in corresponding fields.

“Students will have the opportunity to engage with college faculty while participating in activities to review concepts covered in the College Algebra course,” Wheeler said. “This year, we are excited to offer STEMFIT online, as we are hoping that it gives more students the ability to take advantage of our camp.”

The flexibility of the online “boot camp” will allow students to work at their own pace to complete the review material.

“Now that we have an online format, we hope to continue offering this camp year-round in both online and face-to-face formats for students enrolling in any semester,” Wheeler said.

The camp will continue to enroll students throughout the summer, and the last day to test for fall enrollment is August 18. If you have questions or would like to register, please contact STEMFIT@highlands.edu.