GHC hosting a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier exhibit in Rome on September 11 and 12

Georgia Highlands College will be hosting a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier exhibit on the Floyd campus in the Lakeview Building Art Gallery on September 11 and 12 with presentations and information sessions given between 8AM and 530PM.

The display is open to the public.

The Student Veterans of America Club is sponsoring the visit and members of the Rome Exchange Club have volunteered to present and hold information sessions.

The exhibit belongs to the Exchange Club of Rome and was constructed entirely in Rome by The Phillip Burkhalter Builders. Local Rome artist Chuck Schmult created the artwork, both the sculpturing and painting, to make it appear as marble.

The replica is 50 percent the size of the real one in every respect.

The exhibit has been shown to 10,215 people including students, veterans and church groups, including a tour throughout the country at the Eisenhower Museum in Kansas, as well as in Alabama, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, and Tennessee.

The replica is based on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified. The bodies of many American soldiers killed in World War I could not be identified. To honor them, the remains of one soldier was brought to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state, and on Armistice Day of 1921, it was ceremoniously buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The tomb bears the inscription “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.” Congress later directed that an “Unknown American” from subsequent wars – World War II, Korea, and Vietnam – be similarly honored. Located just behind the tomb are the three crypts that hold the remains of the World War II and the Korean War.  The third crypt is now empty with the identification of the Vietnam War service member in 1998.

Longtime faculty member retires from GHC with 25 years of service

Being labeled a “professional student” might be considered a jab to some, but for Carla Patterson, it was a goal… sort of.

Although the slang term, which often labels students who perpetually take classes for many years with no desire to finish, might not be an exact definition for Carla, it does help describe her philosophy on teaching and developing her skills over the course of 25 years at Georgia Highlands College.

“Working at GHC means being part of a learning team, of course among students, but also among colleagues,” she said. “Yes, our focus is to help students realize their full potentials via academics, but to do that, faculty and staff must achieve their full potentials by learning all they can about what they do.”

Carla started at GHC (then Floyd College) in 1993 with that same mentality, beginning as a part-time Instructor of Developmental English.

She then served as Extended Learning Academic Specialist and as Director of Extended Learning where she started the Georgia Highlands Television station (then Floyd College Television) with George Pullen (former professor of history and founding member of the college), which ran programming 24/7.

In 1999, she began teaching again while serving as Director of Extended Learning, and then in 2001, she assumed a full-time Instructional Technology and English position. She earned tenure track status in 2004, was awarded tenure in 2008 and attained Professor rank in 2016.

She was awarded the Wesley C. Walraven Faculty Award from GHC at the 2018 graduation.

“I always said that I wish I could be a student my whole life. As I look back at my GHC career, I know I was.”

As can be expected of an English teacher, Carla has collected a number of red pens over the years. She started collecting her expired pens about four years ago and plans to create a makeshift clock out of them.

In addition to her clock, Carla has plans to travel, including trips to St. Louis, Albuquerque, Cumberland Island, and football tailgating weekends at her alma mater of Jacksonville State University.

Carla is set to retire from GHC with 25 years of service to the college.

GHC starts new semester by honoring faculty and staff, welcomes 14 new full-time faculty members

ghc employees

Georgia Highlands College kicked off another academic year by honoring its faculty and staff from each of its locations for the 2017-2018 academic year at its annual in-service meeting.

GHC also welcomed 14 new full-time faculty from varying educational experiences and backgrounds.

The 2017-2018 awards and recipients were:

Outstanding Administrator Award  Julia Areh

This award is designed for administrators who consistently project a positive image and who serve the college above and beyond the call of duty. This award recognizes an administrator who actively contributes to the success of the college and his or her staff. Areh is the site director for Douglasville.

Vivian Benton Award  Katie Bridges

This award is designed for staff members who consistently project a positive image and who serve the college above and beyond the call of duty. This award recognizes a staff member who actively contributes to the success of the college. Bridges is an instructional designer.

Community Involvement Award  Paula Stover, Donna Miller

This award is designed to recognize individuals who significantly impact our community. This award recognizes a faculty/staff member who demonstrates a passion for making a difference by sharing their spirit, positive attitude and time with others. Stover is an assistant professor in Health Sciences. Donna Miller is the director of dental hygiene.

Employee of the Year  Karen Yerkes

This award is designed to recognize individuals who consistently support the mission and goals of the institution by routinely demonstrating our shared values and supports an environment of excellence. Yerkes is an administrative assistant at the Cartersville location.

Department of the Year  Human Resources

This award is designed to recognize the department which consistently supports the mission and goals of the institution by routinely demonstrating our shared values and supports and supports an environment of excellence.

New full-time faculty include:

Erna Anderson holds a master’s degree in systems engineering from George Mason University and joins GHC as an instructor of mathematics.

Mahirah Baker holds a master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology from Michigan State University and joins GHC as an instructor of biology.

Marc Dawson holds a master’s degree in creative writing from National University and joins GHC as an instructor of English.

Marlene Goodrum holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Kennesaw State University and joins GHC as an instructor of mathematics.

Charles Grimm holds a doctorate in English rhetoric and composition from Georgia State University and joins GHC as an instructor of English.

Lisbeth Hyde holds a master’s degree in nursing education from Western Governors University and joins GHC as an instructor of nursing education.

Lucinda Montgomery holds a master’s degree in logistics and supply chain management and joins GHC as an assistant professor of logistics and supply chain management.

Mesrop Najarian holds a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Oxford and joins GHC as an instructor of English.

Ejiroghene Ogaga holds a master’s degree in biology from Georgia State University and joins GHC as an instructor of biology.

Shannan Rivera holds a master’s degree in professional writing from Kennesaw State University and joins GHC as an instructor of English.

Matthew Summerlin holds a doctorate in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and joins GHC as an instructor of chemistry.

Tara Suswal holds a master’s degree in secondary mathematics from Kennesaw State University and joins GHC as an instructor of mathematics.

Shanika Wright Turner holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Florida Institute of Technology and joins GHC as assistant professor of business administration.

Sean Zearfoss holds a master’s degree from Kennesaw State University and joins GHC as an instructor of English.

GHC’s Continuing Education Department launches Health Careers Training Institute

nursing students

Clinical Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and Phlebotomy Technician Programs Added for Spring 2019

Georgia Highlands College Center for Continuing and Professional Education is pleased to announce the launch of its Health Careers Training Institute. Beginning spring 2019, GHC will introduce three new programs: Clinical Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Technician and Phlebotomy Technician.

The new programs are offered in partnership with Career Training Solutions, a Georgia company, which specializes in allied health certificate training.

Director of Continuing Education George White recognized the need for affordable, short-term allied health training in Bartow, Cobb, Cherokee, Douglas, and Floyd Counties after examining the programs at other local colleges.

“What sets GHC’s Health Careers Training Institute apart from other local training programs is the affordability.  The tuition for each program is between $1,599 and $2,399.  Also, through our partnership with CTS, students will have the option of enrolling in an interest-free payment plan.”

White continued, “Additionally, tuition for all three programs includes externships, where students will receive hands-on, realistic, on-the-job experience.”

These three new programs will join the already successful Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program.

“The success of the CNA program is due to its affordability and the fact that CNA certification is a pre-requisite to enter the highly-selective nursing program at GHC,” stated White.

Beginning in January, allied health career training programs will be offered at the Cartersville and Douglasville locations and at Heritage Hall in Rome.

Anyone interested in learning more about the GHC’s Health Careers Training Institute and its programs is invited to attend a free open house on Thursday, September 13th at 6 PM at GHC’s Cartersville location, 5441 Highway 20 NE.  For more information, or to register for the free session, call (888) 308-0737.

President’s & Dean’s list announced for summer semester 2018

students walking on path

Georgia Highlands College has announced students named to the 2018 summer President’s List and Dean’s List. To achieve President’s List status, students must earn a 4.0 grade point average and attain a minimum of nine semester hours of credit. To make Dean’s List students must complete a minimum of nine semester hours and achieve at least a 3.5 average.

The following students were named to the President’s List for summer semester (by county):


Stephanie Kemp, Opelika, AL



Christopher Armour, Cartersville

Angelica Gallegos, Cartersville

Abigail Green, Cartersville

Miriam Hibbard, Cartersville

Victoria Jacobs, Cartersville

David Kindred, Cartersville

Thacker Lively, Emerson

James Sims, Adairsville

Dalton Swanson, Cartersville



Victoria Whitaker, Villa Rica



Melonie Craven, Ringgold



Austin Brown, Canton

Rebecca Chandler, Canton

Erin Stewart, Canton



Mandy Dao, Athens



Lauren Daws, Kennesaw

Jose Pacas, Austell

Asia Sams, Austell

Justice Smith, Acworth

Caroline Southern, Powder Springs

Zachary Spears, Acworth



Laura Isbel, Martinez



Susan Freeman, Newnan



Yaneila Camacho, Douglasville

Wendy Harvey, Rome



Laura Falls, Mineral Bluff



Daniel Alvarado, Rome

Rajohnae Hames, Rome

Amanda Maxwell, Rome

Kinsley Padgett, Rome

Laquisha Pillow, Rome

Madison Poole, Summerville



Ashley Barr, Ellijay



Alicia Belcher, Calhoun

Madison Price, Fairmount



Skylar Smith, Snellville



Kannon Madden, Buchanan



Elizabeth Fisher, Stockbridge



Elisa Borgese, Acworth

Madison Jett, Dallas

Lyndsey Jones, Dallas

Eden Reynolds, Hiram

Patricia Weatherwax, Hiram

Melissa Williams, Dallas



Tammie Cornejo, Cedartown

Kaleb Johnston, Cedartown

Logan Maddox, Cedartown

Macie Mobley, Cedartown



Billie Jones, Dalton


The following students were named to the Dean’s List (by county):



Ronald Altamirano, Cartersville

Jordan Beringause, Adairsville

Ian Buttrum, Cartersville

Eric Camron, Cartersville

Jocelyn Greene, Adairsville

Braden Harris, Cartersville

Johanna Maserjian, Taylorsville

Cecilia Reyes-cruz, Cartersville

Sadie Westberry, Cartersville



Eric Reid, Macon



Megan York, Villa Rica



Lisa Rose, Canton

Ashleigh Stafford, Canton

Madison Wheatley, White



Alison Mcfarland, Athens



Alleyna Alleyne, Kennesaw

Rebecca Browne, Kennesaw

Catherine Cooper, Marietta

Brooke Costner, Powder Springs

Jacob Green, Marietta

Jackie Sims, Acworth

Emmett Taliaferro, Kennesaw



Kristen Wells, Decatur



Miriam Claudia Graham, Eastman



Daniel Melton, Douglasville



Vanessa Cornejo, Rome

Stephanie Hill, Rome

Matthew Huff, Rome

Kallie Minter, Armuchee

Jordan Mitchell, Rome

Merissa Rood, Rome

Ryan Shaw, Rome



Cecely Cedars, Plainville



Shirgarlyn Haygood, Stockbridge



Ty Glassier, Dahlonega



Brandon Moore, Dallas

Kyler Paris, Hiram

William Pendley, Douglasville

Keily Perla, Dallas

Taylor Shipp, Dallas

Alexandra Smith, Dallas

Brooke Smith, Temple

Sara Smith, Dallas



Kane Popham, Cedartown

GHC names Dana Nichols vice president for Academic Affairs


Georgia Highlands College has appointed Dana Nichols as the new vice president for Academic Affairs.

Nichols will oversee the deans in each academic area, including Health Sciences, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Physical Education, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Education and Libraries and Testing, as well directors for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Academic Success and New Student and Retention Programs.

Nichols comes from Chattanooga State Community College (a college spanning three campuses and two time zones) where she served as vice president for Academic Affairs.

She began her academic career at Gainesville State College serving first as a tutor in the Foreign Language and Writing Labs and then as associate professor of both English and Spanish.

Nichols has also served as the assistant vice president and dean of Academic Affairs at Lanier Technical College.

Nichols holds a doctorate in English from Georgia State University, dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish from Mercer University and two associate degrees from Gainesville College.

She was recently one of only 40 selected nationwide to take part in the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, as well.

“I am looking forward to working with an outstanding group of faculty, staff and administrators, to helping students unlock their potential and to charging forward into a bright future,” Nichols said.

Nichols stated she plans to focus on retention and graduation efforts at GHC by having a strong commitment to student success strategies, creating new degree programs and certificates that complement local workforce needs and pursuing strategic scheduling across GHC’s five locations in Rome, Cartersville, Dallas, Douglasville and Marietta.

For more on Academic Affairs at GHC, please visit:


Date set for GHC’s new academic building Ribbon Cutting and Open House

Georgia Highlands College will be opening its new academic building at the Cartersville location in October during a Ribbon Cutting and Open House event.

The event will take place on October 16 from 4-6PM and is open to the public. To R.S.V.P. to the event, please visit:

The 52,000-square foot building has a full slate of classes planned for spring 2019 and will be focused on STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) areas of study.

GHC pursued funding for the building and was approved under the fiscal year 2017 state budget which was approved by Legislature and signed by Governor Deal.

“We would like to especially thank our legislators for all they do to support GHC, the USG and education in the state,” said Vice President for Advancement Mary Transue, who also serves in GHC’s Government Relations role. “Without their tireless support and dedication, this venture would not have been possible.”

GHC received a total $22.5 million in state funding to advance the project: $2.2 for design, $17.7 for construction and $2.6 for equipment.

The new academic building was designed by the Stanley Beaman & Sears architecture firm and is being constructed by Juneau.

“The addition of this new academic building will include spaces for laboratories, classrooms, a lecture hall, study rooms and more,” President Don Green said. “This increases GHC’s ability to directly impact and support the community workforce through STEAM-based degrees, and it allows GHC to better serve as the University System of Georgia’s primary access institution in the region.”

Green added that the building will also contribute to raising GHC’s nearly $150 million economic impact in Northwest Georgia. GHC has five locations across Northwest Georgia in Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas and Douglasville. He stated that the building also strengthens and broadens GHC’s ability to maintain a strong relationship with K-12 school systems across Northwest Georgia.

GHC accreditation reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools


Georgia Highlands College’s accreditation has been officially reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The reaffirmation continues GHC’s accreditation for a 10-year period through 2028.

The SACSCOC visited GHC in 2017 for its review.

“All the time, effort and collaboration leading up to the SACSCOC review team onsite visit culminated in a three-day review at GHC that ended with a great deal of praise,” said GHC President Don Green. “They were impressed with our ‘one campus culture,’ stating that astoundingly we have developed a cohesive ‘one college’ and ‘one mission’ mentality across our multiple locations.”

GHC currently serves over 6,000 students across five locations in Rome, Cartersville, Dallas, Douglasville and Marietta.

In addition to reviewing the college overall, the SACSCOC reviewed GHC’s new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which describes a course of action for enhancing educational quality that focuses on student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning.

GHC’s QEP is called “Quest for Success” and places advising at the forefront of student academic and personal success. “Quest for Success” aims to increase the value of the student experience at GHC by emphasizing advising as a core component of learning in a two-pronged effort where students receive ongoing, goal-focused advising and faculty and staff advisors receive intensive training.

Once the review concluded, President Green extended his thanks to everyone at GHC and to all the chairs, committee members, reviewers, writers, logistic teams and everyone involved in working with SACSCOC throughout the process.

“SACSCOC said GHC was a ‘dynamic, vibrant community’ that is open, enthusiastic, displays mutual respect between faculty and staff, encourages open dialogue between students and employees and overall has a ‘commitment to students and to the mission of the college,’” Green said. “I can’t help but think of our common mantra that continues to resonate with students, faculty and staff today: We are GHC.”

GHC was given Level II status by SACSCOC in 2012, allowing the institution to begin offering four-year degrees. GHC currently offers over 30 areas of study with associate degree and bachelor’s degree options. GHC offers a Bachelor of Science in both nursing and dental hygiene and a Bachelor of Business Administration in both healthcare management and logistics and supply chain management.

To gain or maintain accreditation with the SACSCOC, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the Commission. The Commission applies the requirements of its Principles to all applicant, candidate, and member institutions, regardless of type of institution (public, private for-profit, private not-for-profit).

To learn more about the accreditation process, please visit:

To learn more about GHC, please visit:



Pilot GHC STEMFIT ‘math boot camp’ counted a success

ghc logo box

Georgia Highlands College’s pilot STEMFIT “math boot camp” is the first of its kind in the University System of Georgia. Its aim is to help incoming high school dual enrollment students or college freshmen be prepared to start at a collegiate mathematic level of pre-calculus or higher.

“In order to complete a STEM pathway in a timely manner and maintain momentum toward graduation, students should at a minimum start with pre-calculus,” Dean of the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science Melanie Largin said. “Often times, students enter at the lower college algebra-level but can take an exemption exam if their SAT/ACT scores are high enough to then get to pre-calculus.”

Largin explained that the pass rate for the college algebra exemption test is historically low due to those topics being covered early in a student’s high school career. To combat low pass rates, GHC developed a week-long “math boot camp” to prepare students for the first years of college and to pass the college algebra exemption test.

This is particularly advantageous for freshmen entering STEM fields, Largin added.

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

The pilot program was free and is sponsored by the GHC Center for STEM Learning and a University System of Georgia STEM Initiative grant.

Five students completed GHC’s first camp. Three went on to pass the college algebra exemption test and will be registered for pre-calculus in the fall. Two went further and passed the pre-calculus exemption test, as well, and will be registered for calculus in the fall.

“We are excited that this effort will help to propel these students forward,” Largin said. “We look forward to continuing to expand this effort through our STEM grant, to utilizing some of the lessons used during the camp in our ongoing college algebra classrooms at GHC and to presenting our results to our colleagues across the state.”

The camp will continue next summer and expand to more students. The camp and the in-house exams are free.

For more questions or to register for the next one, contact or call 678/872/8099.


GHC study abroad trip concludes yearlong academic focus on China

china trip

Students, faculty and one member of the local business community spent nine days in China this summer on a “Business and Culture” study abroad program.

The group visited the cities of Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, including historical and cultural sites such as the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden Palace, the Terracotta Army museum and the Shanghai Tower.

“Our trip to China was a great success,” said Associate Professor of History Bronson Long, who is also the director of global initiatives and study abroad. “It was a tremendous learning experience for everyone who participated.”

Additionally, the group visited a hospital in Shanghai called St. Michael Hospital.

CEO and President of Floyd Medical Center Kurt Stuenkel, who joined the GHC group as a business traveler, met with the CEO of St. Michael Hospital.

“China has a large public health care system that addresses the needs of most all of the residents, with large urban facilities and clinics as well as providers for rural areas,” Stuenkel said. “China also has other providers, some of whom have ownership and collaboration with organizations from other countries. We visited such an organization in Shanghai. It is a smaller hospital and it caters to visitors, hotel guests, and to some residents from the area. It was interesting to learn more about how medical care is delivered in this facility and to learn about Chinese health care.”

The trip concludes a yearlong academic focus on China for GHC.

“We decided to have a whole host of China-related events at GHC locations during the 2017-2018 academic year,” Long said. “In essence, this made China our ‘theme country.’”

Activities for students included creating a bamboo garden, watching the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company perform, learning how to cook Chinese cuisine with Chef Egg and more.

In addition to these events, Long stated that GHC also hosted a major academic conference in October, which featured guests/attendees from across the University System of Georgia and the northwest Georgia business community, as well as speakers on China from several prestigious institutions.

To learn more about study abroad opportunities at GHC, please visit: