Georgia Perimeter College Newsroom

News In Brief

Decatur JAG named top organization in Southeast

The  Decatur Campus Jaguar Activity Group recently received the "Organization of the Year"  award during the  2015 Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities Southeast Conference.  In addition, Keundra Coleman, JAG Decatur chief programming officer, received the association’s Student of the Year award.

JAG members recognized were Keundra Coleman, JAG chief programming officer; Jordon Thompson, JAG Publicity; A’Ronnie Mathenia, JAG Special Events; Emmanuel Andrews, JAG Wellness; Jada Brown, JAG Service; Tiara Hill, JAG Lyceum and a host of volunteers.  JAG Advisors are LeKeisha Jackson and Stephon Rivas.  Johnny Tooson is director of Student Life on the Decatur Campus. The JAG Decatur also was recognized as a finalist for the Organization of the Year award at the 2015 Celebration of Excellence.

GPC ranked No. 2 'Best for Vets' among nation's two-year colleges

Georgia Perimeter College was designated No. 2 in the nation as "Best for Vets" among two-year colleges in the Military Times magazine's annual ranking.

In its sixth year, the rankings factor in the results of Military Times’ annual survey, the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement.

As with all Best for Vets rankings, Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families. More than 600 colleges took part in this year’s detailed survey.

"We are certainly honored and thrilled to have been selected as a top Military Times/Best for Vets school," said Mark Eister, director of GPC's Military Outreach program. "Every one of GPC's Military Outreach Center staff works very hard in serving our more than 1,200 military-connected students each semester. We recognize the sacrifices that our military and their families have endured. They had our backs while serving the nation, now we have theirs."

“It’s been amazing to witness how colleges all across higher education have embraced service members and their families,” said Amanda Miller, editor of Military Times’ Best for Vets rankings and special editions. “Over the past six years of our surveys, we’ve seen so many schools first begin to foster – through new policies, services and dedicated facilities—and then nurture these wonderful communities.”

Military Times’ annual Best for Vets: Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to meticulously document a tremendous array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties; and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense Departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

“We award the Best for Vets designation to the very best—the colleges that really are setting the example,” Miller said.

For the full Best for Vets: Colleges 2016 rankings, go to:

Georgia State Names Dean of Perimeter College

Peter LyonsATLANTA--Peter Lyons, Georgia State University's associate provost for institutional effectiveness and a professor of social work in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, will become the first vice provost and dean of the new Perimeter College after the Board of Regents approves the consolidation of Georgia State and Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) in January.


“Peter brings a wealth of academic and administrative experience to this position,” said Risa Palm, Georgia State provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.


Lyons has spearheaded the university’s move to a single authoritative data system, redesigned the academic program review and administrative unit review processes and led the university through various accreditation-related initiatives. He was interim dean of the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions and developed and coordinated the consolidation plan for GPC and Georgia State.


“Peter is passionate about Perimeter’s mission and looks forward to working with his colleagues to make this consolidation a stunning success,” said President Mark Becker.


Lyons joined the Georgia State faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor in the School of Social Work and became a full professor in 2011.


He received his Ph.D. in social work from SUNY Buffalo, and earned his master’s degree in social work and advanced diploma in education at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.


With the vote of the Board of Regents in January 2016, Perimeter College will officially become an academic unit within Georgia State. The Regents approved consolidation of the two institutions in January 2015.



Andrea Jones
Associate Vice President
Georgia State University
Office: 404-413-1353



Zombies take the stage for 'spooktacular' musical

Zombies, teen love and a 1950s-music combine for the Theatre Arts Guild's latest production opening Friday, Oct. 30.

Just in time for Halloween—it’s Zombie Prom time.

Take a 1950s-style musical, and a comic book love of all things zombie. What you get is the Theatre Arts Guild’s fall production of the “spooktacular” musical, “Zombie Prom,” which opens Friday, Oct. 30 at Georgia Perimeter College's Cole Auditorium on Clarkston Campus. And, in the spirit of the season, theatergoers are encouraged to dress in their favorite costume to compete in a costume contest for the Oct. 31 performance. (Zombie attire is encouraged, but not required.)

Directed by J. Ashley Butler, "Zombie Prom" centers on the relationship of a pretty high school senior and her “bad boy” boyfriend, who takes his motorcycle for a spin into the town’s nuclear waste dump, and comes back to her “glowing.”  He still wants to take her to the prom.  

In her director's notes, Butler says, "What do you get when you combine the paranoia of the nuclear '50s, the myopic view of teenage love and the inconvenience of turning into a zombie right before prom? You get "Zombie Prom."  We hope you'll enjoy our little romp through musical madness as we unfold the story of Jonny and Toffee and their ill-fated romance. And remember, zombies are people, too.  Or at least, they were."

The production is based on the off-Broadway play based on a story by John Dempsey and Hugh M. Murphy, with music by Dana P. Rowe. The GPC production is choreographed by Misty Barber, with music directed by Patrick Hutchison.

The play is at 8 p.m. Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 7, with 3 p.m. shows Sunday, Nov. 1 and Nov. 8. Tickets are free for GPC ID holders, with general admission tickets $20; $15 for 55 and over, and $5 for non-GPC students. The production is suggested for children ages 8 and older. Neither infants nor toddlers will be admitted.

The Cole Auditorium is in the Fine Arts Building, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston.

For tickets, call 678-3572, or email

Mural, films depict stories of human trafficking victims


Georgia Perimeter’s Dunwoody Campus will be the first stop in metro Atlanta for a compelling artistic exhibit on human trafficking. The exhibit, “What You See is Not Who I Am” is a 12-panel work of art and information on modern day slavery, developed by student artists in the Groundswell Community Mural Project in New York City who learned how human trafficking is not something that only happens in other places.  With its substantial immigrant and refugee population, Georgia is considered a major destination for U.S. human trafficking, according the Center for Public Policy Studies.

The mural will be on view outdoors on the Dunwoody Campus quad Thursday, Nov. 5 through Tuesday, Nov. 10. The traveling mural comes to the college as part of a partnership with the International Human Trafficking Institute and Art Works for Freedom

There will be a screening of two short films on human trafficking Thursday, Nov. 5 from 2:30 p.m. to 4 NC1100. The films, “Fields of Mudan” and “Beyond Borders,” will be shown. A representative from the International Human Trafficking Institute will speak about their work and answer questions.

The International Human Trafficking Institute supports and collaborates with student groups in their preparation for and execution of direct action to end all forms of human trafficking. They are affiliated with the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.  You can see a video of how the mural was made on the last slide at this link

For information about the exhibit and the films, contact Lisa Alembik at

GPC Newton symposium features talks on politics, media trends and poetry


The Georgia Perimeter Newton Campus will feature a four day symposium “Looking Behind, Marching Forward” Nov. 2-5, featuring talks on presidential politics, public policy, media trends, poetry and an interactive workshop on art. All programs are free and open to the public; and will be in the 2-N auditorium, with the exception of an interactive drawing session Thursday, Nov. 5 in 1-N. For information, contact Julie Langley,

Students celebrated during scholarship luncheon

From left are recipients of the Karla Lynn Moody Nursing scholarship: Simone Notice, Karla Moody, donor, and Nkemdilim Anizor. (photos by Bill Roa), Scholarship recipients from left, Deepa Singh Thakuri, Declan Broyles and Sri Rajasekaran attended the lunch., Students met their scholarship donors at the event.
From left are recipients of the Karla Lynn Moody Nursing scholarship: Simone Notice, Karla Moody, donor, and Nkemdilim Anizor. (photos by Bill Roa), Scholarship recipients from left, Deepa Singh Thakuri, Declan Broyles and Sri Rajasekaran attended the lunch., Students met their scholarship donors at the event.
From left are recipients of the Karla Lynn Moody Nursing scholarship: Simone Notice, Karla Moody, donor, and Nkemdilim Anizor. (photos by Bill Roa), Scholarship recipients from left, Deepa Singh Thakuri, Declan Broyles and Sri Rajasekaran attended the lunch., Students met their scholarship donors at the event.

Student scholars were celebrated during a Georgia Perimeter College scholarship luncheon in October.

Jasmine Musgrove, GPC biology student and scholarship recipient, spoke at the event, which also featured talks by Dan O'Leary, chairman of the GPC Foundation Board of Trustees, and Rob Watts, GPC interim president.

More than 30 students met their scholarship donors during the GPC Foundation event on the Decatur Campus. In 2015, 282 GPC students have received scholarships totaling more than $159,300

National Guard MOU improves educational access for students

Members of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and Technical College System of Georgia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Army National Guard to improve educational access for military-related students. The event was hosted by GPC's Military Outreach Center.(photo by Leita Cowart)

The Military Outreach Center at Georgia Perimeter College recently hosted a Memorandum of Understanding signing between the Georgia National Guard,  the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and the Technical College System of Georgia. The memorandum will open up “quality educational opportunities for members of the guard and also allow both systems’ military outreach personnel access to National Guard posts across the state,” said Col. Kevin Berkman, director of personnel for the Georgia Army National Guard.  The Georgia National Guard already provides tuition assistance for eligible students. National Guard members are among the 1,200 active military, veterans and dependents who are students at Georgia Perimeter’s five campuses and online, said Mark Eister, Georgia Perimeter’s director of military outreach.

Career conversations panel encourages women in STEM fields

There will be 250,000 science technology engineering and math (STEM) jobs between now and 2020 and not enough people trained to fill them.

Getting women prepared to fill those STEM fields is one of the reasons Lizann Gibson, Learning and Tutoring Lab supervisor, started a Career Conversations for Women in Technology on the Alpharetta Campus.  Women active in a variety of STEM fields are invited to speak with students about educational pathways and job opportunities.

The most recent session featured panelists Belinda Clark, independent program manager; Chris Owens, Coca Cola Telecom expense manager, and Rocchu Shah,  founder of TeamLogic of Norcross.

 “Even on a slow October Friday, 29 students, four professors, two advisors and three panelists came in the rain to our event,” Gibson said. The panelist discussed the roles of women in technology and answered students’  questions.

The next Women in Technology Lunch and Learn at Alpharetta is Friday, Oct.  23. For information, contact Gibson at 678-240-6085.

Georgia Perimeter Dunwoody to host Asian Film Festival


The 11th annual Atlanta Asian Film Festival – the metro-wide film festival celebrating Asian-Pacific culture and films--will screen several films at the GPC Dunwoody Campus in the next two weeks.  On Thursday, Oct. 15, the film, “Flowers of Taipei” will be shown at 6 p.m.   On Saturday, Oct. 24, filmgoers will be treated to several films:  “Midnight Diner,” at 2 p.m., followed by two film shorts at 4 p.m. “American Hikimori” – just 20 minutes long-- and “Jinju,” which is 10 minutes long.  At 4:30 p.m., the last film of the day is  “Pieta,” the winner of the Golden Lion Award during the 2012 Venice Film Festival.

The films are sponsored by the GPC Dunwoody Chinese, Korean and Japanese Clubs, and admission is free for GPC students, staff and faculty with ID.

All films will be in shown in the Dunwoody Auditorium, Building NC, Room 1100.  The GPC Dunwoody Campus is located at 2101 Womack Road, Dunwoody, Ga.  For information about the film festival and other showings in metro Atlanta, go to

Math professor gets grant to help students learn statistics

Georgia Perimeter College’s Dr. John Weber, who uses songs to make his statistics classes fun and the lessons stick, now has secured a grant to expand the technique.

The $54,698 two-year National Science Foundation grant funds the imaginative program he helped develop for an introductory statistics course called SMILES: Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs. It is a collaborative research grant award with partner schools Pennsylvania State University and the University of Texas at El Paso. 

Weber uses interactive songs, whereby students fill in key blanks in an online song focusing on an important introductory statistics learning objective. These songs challenge students to construct examples or context, foster statistical literacy and reasoning skills and can reduce statistics anxiety and achieve learning gains.

Judge, law professor headline campus Constitution Day events

A county judge, a university law professor and an attorney will weigh in on U.S. Constitution issues as Georgia Perimeter College observes the national celebration of Constitution Day on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Decatur Campus: DeKalb County Juvenile Court Judge Vincent Crawford will speak on Decatur Campus from 10:15-11:10 a.m. in Room SB 1190. Crawford is a member of the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges and the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges. In 2011, he was appointed chairman by the Supreme Court of Georgia for the Juvenile Court Improvement Initiative. The Decatur event is organized by the Civic and Political Awareness Club, Student Government Association and the Department of Business and Social Sciences. 

Dunwoody Campus: Georgia State University law professor Eric Segal will speak about recent constitutional decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court at 11 a.m. in the Dunwoody Campus auditorium. Segall teaches federal courts and constitutional law and is the author of the book, “Supreme Myths: Why the Supreme Court is not a Court and its Justices are not Judges.” He is a commentator on the national XM Radio show, “StandUp.” The Dunwoody SGA also is sponsoring a voter registration drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day.  

Alpharetta Campus: Carlos Vilela, attorney and GPC and Georgia State graduate, will speak at the Alpharetta Campus on the “The Constitution: A Work in Progress.”  The event will be from 1-2:15 p.m. in AA-1140. While at Georgia Perimeter, Vilela served as a campus SGA president.

Award-winning film “Kudzu” shown at GPC Dunwoody Campus

Dunwoody Screens will present the 40th anniversary screening of the 1977 Academy Award-winning documentary short, “Kudzu,” on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Georgia Perimeter College Dunwoody Campus Auditorium.

“Kudzu” is an entertaining film about the vine that grew wildly out of control across the South when it was transplanted to try to control soil erosion. The film, produced and directed by Marjorie Short, also features poet James Dickey and former President Jimmy Carter.

The free film will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Short, who is coming from Boston for the occasion.

For information, contact Megan Levacy at 770-274-5583.

Show your GPC spirit at college’s final Fall Convocation Sept. 11

GPC Decatur bookstore employee Mary Vaughn shows GPC spirit shirts that faculty and staff can purchase at a discount to wear to convocation Sept. 11. (photo by Rebecca Rakoczy)

Georgia Perimeter faculty and staff are asked to don GPC shirts or other spirit wear at the college’s final Fall Convocation on Friday, Sept. 11. The program will start at 10:30 a.m. in the Clarkston Campus gymnasium. Attendees are encouraged to carpool to the event. 

Dr. Mark Becker, president of Georgia State University, will be the featured speaker. Other Georgia State leaders also may attend and be introduced. The program is expected to end by noon and be followed by a lunch cookout on the grounds.

Dress is casual. Georgia Perimeter’s bookstores are offerng regular-priced GPC imprinted merchandise at 25 percent off for all faculty and staff Sept. 4-Sept. 11.

Staff employees will receive instructions from their budget managers about work assignments following lunch. Some departments are using the afternoon to hold departmental meetings. 

Click here to download the Convocation program 

 For those with a smartphone, a downloadable mobile app of the program is  available on Yapp App.  Go to  


Flu shots available at health clinics and mobile clinics

Flu shots are available now at no cost to Georgia Perimeter College students—and to faculty and staff for $10. The GPC Student Health Center will administer the vaccines on a walk-in basis through Sept. 18 and then again in October for a couple of weeks. 

“We’re hoping to use all of them,” Suzanne Wetter, GPC Student Health Center director, says of the 700 flu vaccines Georgia Perimeter has in stock.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine to everyone six months of age and older, noting that it’s difficult to predict severity levels for any flu season. Still, Wetter stresses it’s best to err on the side of caution. “Not only are you protecting yourself, but you’re protecting other people around you,” she says.

This year’s flu vaccine is aimed at guarding against the most common viruses: influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and influenza B. The CDC estimates that manufacturers will provide between 171-179 million doses of vaccine for the U.S. market during this flu season, which peaks December through February.

Although Georgia Perimeter will administer more shots in October, Wetter says getting immunized in September is best. “Flu season starts in October and it takes two weeks for you to develop immunity,” she says. 

Visit the GPC Student Health Center website for a flu vaccine schedule, which includes health center mobile unit visits to Alpharetta, Decatur and Newton campuses and clinic times at Dunwoody and Clarkston.

Veterans will be honored during “Give Them 20” challenge

Stephen Colbert did it.  Jon Stewart did it. 

Now everyone at Georgia Perimeter is encouraged to do 20 sit-ups, push-ups or jumping jacks in recognition of military veterans. On Wednesday, Sept. 9, faculty, staff and students at GPC can participate in the national “Give Them 20” fitness challenge in support of military veterans. 

The event will take place at the Dunwoody Campus student quad at 11:30 a.m. in front of the library, rain or shine. From 11:30 a.m. until noon, everyone will be filmed during the challenge, and the video will be posted on the national “Give Them 20” site.

The event is part of the GPC Dunwoody Fitness Challenge and is sponsored by the Student Government Association, Student Life and the Student Veterans Association.

Georgia Perimeter STEM Initiatives finalist for state STEM Education award

Georgia Perimeter College’s Office of Stem Initiatives was a finalist in the post-secondary outreach category for the 2015 Georgia STEM Education Awards. The awards were coordinated through the Technology Association of Georgia and the TAG Education Collaborative.

GPC’s science technology, engineering and math initiative activities include college-wide, peer-led undergraduate tutoring sessions, a STEM study center, online STEAM talks that incorporate the humanities in STEM, high school visitation days and serving as a postsecondary partner to four K-12 schools. 

GPC was one of six finalists named in the post-secondary category; others were Georgia Institute of Technology, the Atlanta Science Festival, Columbus Technical College, Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, and the Savannah River Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization.

“Being selected as a finalist is significant because it recognizes the hard work of a dedicated team of GPC faculty, staff and students who volunteer many countless hours to co-curricular activities and outreach,” said Dr. Cynthia Lester, the college’s STEM Initiatives executive director. “It acknowledges their efforts to promote and support STEM education while also inspiring others to become involved in building interest in STEM among the next generation of students.”

“It is so gratifying to see STEM education gaining momentum throughout the state of Georgia,” said Michael Robertson, executive director of TAG-Ed. “The programs selected as finalists are leading the way in this effort and sharing best practices that will prepare our students for the challenges ahead.”

The Atlanta Science Festival, in which GPC participates, won in the post-secondary outreach category. Winners in all categories were announced Aug. 28.

GPC poets on Java Monkey stage at Decatur Book Festival

Georgia Perimeter College faculty members and the Chattahoochee Review staff will be out in force as part of the 10th Annual AJC Decatur Book Festival Sept. 4-6.

GPC English faculty Michael Diebert, Charles Fox, Louise McKinney, Marissa McNamara, Gregg Murray, and Katherine Perry will recite their poetry at 12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6 on the Java Monkey stage. Members of the Chattahoochee Review staff will have a table at the festival to distribute copies of the literary magazine.

Volunteer opportunities are still available for the festival. To volunteer, contact or the Decatur Visitors Center at 678-615-0915.




Decatur Campus parking lot work expected to be completed before classes begin

The Decatur Campus areas under construction and closed are Lots 2 and 3 and the eastern and western drives. (photo by Bill Roa), The $800,000 project will replace an estimated seven acres of paving. (photo by Bill Roa)
The Decatur Campus areas under construction and closed are Lots 2 and 3 and the eastern and western drives. (photo by Bill Roa), The $800,000 project will replace an estimated seven acres of paving. (photo by Bill Roa)

Georgia Perimeter College Decatur Campus faculty, staff and students will need to pay special attention to parking signs and directions the week of Aug. 10. A massive regrading and resurfacing project of all the lower parking lots will limit parking options on campus.

But the project should be completed before classes begin on Aug. 17, says Todd Cook, GPC interim director of planning and projects.

The areas currently under construction and closed are Lots 2 and 3 and the eastern and western drives, with entrances on Clifton Springs Road. Parking during this time is available in Lot 1 in front of the SF building and in Lot 5, near the GPC Botanical Gardens off of Panthersville Road.

The $800,000 project will replace an estimated seven acres of paving, says Cook.

“We anticipate that the first phase of the project will be completed before the first day of fall semester classes,” Cook says. “If this goal is achieved, there will be more than ample parking for students, faculty and staff. In the event that the first phase is not completed, a contingency plan has been devised and will be implemented to provide the additional spaces needed for parking.”

The project should also improve storm water drainage with the goal of no ponding water after a rain storm. In addition, the tennis courts, which are currently in a state of disrepair, will be replaced with grass, creating a new green space on campus.

GPC Reads event with John Lewis to be live-streamed

The 2015-16 GPC Reads selection is the graphic novel, “March: Book One,” by U.S. Congressman John Lewis, along with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell.

This black-and-white graphic novel is a first-hand account of the beginning of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story from childhood, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Lewis and Aydin will speak about the book at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Cole Auditorium on Georgia Perimeter College’s Clarkston Campus. A book signing and reception will follow the event, which is free and open to the public. The Office of Information Technology is also arranging for the program to be live-streamed to the Decatur Campus in SF 2100, the Dunwoody Campus in NB 2100, and the Newton Campus in 2N 1100.  Overflow for the Clarkston event will be in the JCLRC Auditorium.

While supplies last, a free copy of the book will be available to faculty members who agree to use the text in at least one of their classes and share student work from the class/classes for assessment purposes. A faculty resource guide also is available to any faculty member who requests one by emailing

Send us your “Best of GPC” memories

As Georgia Perimeter College moves toward a consolidation with Georgia State University, we’d like to gather your thoughts about the special moments, people, places, activities, programs or memories that you feel exemplify “The Best of GPC.”

For students and alumni, it could be the instant you realized you would indeed succeed in college or the rush of joy you felt at that realization. It might be a teacher or advisor who helped you master calculus or complete a term paper.

For faculty and staff, perhaps it’s a student who inspired you by persevering against all odds. Or a colleague who worked miracles clearing the way for student success.

It might be a favorite site -- the botanical gardens at Decatur, backstage at Clarkston’s Cole Auditorium or inside the observatory at Dunwoody. What about the winning athletic teams over the years, Marvin Cole’s performances of Mark Twain or Rob Watts’ bowties?

Whatever it is that stands out most to you as being the best part of this college – we want to hear about it.

Please email your comments to by July 31. Some of the responses may be included in a feature article in the fall issue of The Chronicle magazine.

Workshops planned to help employees with upcoming consolidation

As the consolidation of Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia State University moves along, employees from both schools are getting the chance to participate in seminars aimed at easing the dynamics of change. The human resources departments at both GPC and Georgia State will host a number of “Change and Transition” workshops between now and late August.

Some of the sessions are designed to guide managers and supervisors through the process of leading during change and connecting with disengaged staffers—while others, targeting non-management employees, will address managing stress and thriving during change and transition.

“We would like to fill each session,” says Patrice Masterson, GPC human resources director.

The sessions will be held in various locations at Georgia State and on each of Georgia Perimeter’s five campuses and its Lakeside Center. Workshops are free, and participants can attend sessions anywhere they’re offered. Employees are asked to register at least three days before the class they wish to attend.

GPC alumnus raising funds to rebuild schools in Nepal

April’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed the inside of this school, visited by a local resident in northern Nepal. The walls will be rebuilt using concrete, instead of its original mud and stone. (photo courtesy of Gangadhar Timilsina)

Georgia Perimeter College alumnus Gangadhar Timilsina is progressing with plans to rebuild schools in his home country of Nepal, where a major earthquake damaged property and killed thousands in April. Within days, Timilsina—an Atlanta software engineer and Georgia Tech grad student—had launched a fundraising campaign to begin the process of reconstructing shattered schools, including one in the north central Nepalese village of Chapakot.

“The reconstruction work has started, where necessary items like cement, sand, bricks, rods, windows and doors [have] reached the location,” Timilsina says.

To date, the campaign has raised $17,000 of its $100,000 goal. “With the current budget, we can only construct one school,” he says. “But we would like to rebuild many more.” Timilsina encourages more people to make a tax-deductible donation through the Greater Atlanta Vedic Temple relief campaign.

“Temple’s members have strong connections in Nepal and can guarantee that every penny will directly reach those in need,” he says.

Those preferring to donate offline can mail checks or money orders to Greater Atlanta Vedic Temple, 492 Harmony Grove Rd, Lilburn, GA, 30047, with a notation to apply the donation to the Help for Nepalese fund.

Student Justin Beaudrot premieres play

Georgia Perimeter student Justin Beaudrot’s play, “In Memory,” will premiere at the Lionheart Theatre in Norcross on May 30. His play is part of a collection of four 10-minute short plays produced through Onion Man Productions.

Beaudrot says he began writing after taking a creative writing class taught by GPC Professor Mike Hall and that “In Memory” is his first play.

“The inspiration for this play came from the workshop I attended to produce it. It is a ten-minute play about how our memories affect us and the toll of familial loss and the possibilities for reconciliation,” says Beaudrot. “That sounds like a lot, and I hope that is what I have conveyed in this play.”

Tickets are $6. Beaudrot’s play also will be shown as part of the four-play collection on June 6. The playhouse is located at 10 College Street in Norcross. Check the website for more information.

Spring Commencement is GPC's last before merger


Georgia Perimeter College’s 50th and final graduation under the GPC banner will take place Friday, May 8, at 10:30 a.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. The college expects to become a unit of Georgia State University next January.

The 2015 Spring Commencement includes students who will complete their course requirements during the spring 2015 semester, as well as students who finished their requirements during the summer and fall 2014 terms.

Shelley Nickel, the University System of Georgia’s vice chancellor for strategic planning and implementation, will be the guest speaker for the graduation ceremony.

Faculty or staff members who are scheduled to participate in the commencement program will require a ticket for entry. Volunteers who are assisting with the ceremony will not need a ticket.

The event will take place in the GWCC’s Hall C3 at 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta. Parking is available for $10 per vehicle in the GWCC parking decks. Park in the Blue or Yellow lots. Carpooling or the use of public transportation is encouraged.

Interested in returning to college? Workshop offered

Adults who started college but did not complete their degrees are invited to a special program at the Georgia Perimeter College's Clarkston Campus.

The “Go Back, Move Ahead” Adult Learner Workshop is part of a statewide effort to get former students to complete their degrees. The program will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 25, in the CN building, 555 N. Indian Creek Road, Clarkston, Ga.

 The free information session includes a panel of GPC representatives who can discuss and answer questions about many topics, including:

—What it takes to be admitted

—How to apply for financial aid

—What to expect in a classroom

GPC’s program is part of a statewide campaign by Gov. Nathan Deal to encourage the more than 1 million Georgians who have completed some college to return and finish their degrees. “Go Back. Move Ahead" provides resources for prospective students and makes it easier for Georgians who have started college to go back to school and earn a degree or certificate.

“Go Back. Move Ahead” is part of the state’s “Complete College Georgia” initiative, which launched in 2011. It is projected that by 2020, more than 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require a college certificate or degree. Presently, however, only 42 percent of the state’s young adults have earned a college credential—creating a need for an additional 250,000 graduates.

 For information, call 678-891-4129.


Science, theatre, converge in 'An Experiment with an Air Pump’

GPC Theatre Arts Guild actors cross two centuries with the play “An Experiment with an Air Pump.” (photo by Mike Post)

Does the end result of greater scientific knowledge justify the means used to get there? That’s the question implied during Georgia Perimeter College’s Theatre Arts Guild production “An Experiment with an Air Pump,” which opens this weekend.

Written by playwright Shelagh Stephenson, the play deals with scientific discovery and how scientists in two different centuries handle the ethical challenges they face during their scientific inquiry.

[The play] “offers a whole series of moral problems across two centuries, for it is simultaneously set in the same room at the end of 1799 and the end of 1999, switching from one date to the other as New Year’s Eve approaches,” says Sally Robertson, GPC theatre professor and the play’s director. “The simultaneous staging of similarity and difference, past and present, light and dark results in a drama that grapples with issues of ethics and belief and requires its audience to do the same. This is a play that gathers momentum as a drama and poses questions that each person must answer for themselves.”

Following the April 19 show, Robertson, along with nursing instructor Debra Gogatz and physics and astronomy professor Dr. Jim Guinn, will lead a discussion of the ethics of the science presented in the play.

Shows are 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, April 10-11 and April 17-18 and 3 p.m. on Sundays, April 12 and 19.

The play is suggested for teens 16 and older. Neither children nor infants will be admitted. It will be presented on stage in studio seating in the Cole Auditorium in the Clarkston Campus Fine Arts Building, located at 555 N. Indian Creek Road, Clarkston. Reservations are strongly suggested.

General admission tickets are $15 or free with GPC ID. For tickets, call 678-891-3572, or go to



Libraries plan displays, programs during Money Smart Week

The libraries at Georgia Perimeter College will host educational displays on financial literacy during Money Smart Week, April 18-25.

The displays will include relevant information from the individual campus collections and/or brochures from the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

In addition, the Dunwoody Campus library is coordinating with Student Life to host a Money Smart Week Program on April 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Center. Guest speakers will discuss investing, saving, financial aid/students loans, identity protection and more.  

GPC librarians are in the process of developing a LibGuide to provide information on print and electronic library resources on financial literacy.

Take Back the Night event takes a stand against sexual violence

Georgia Perimeter College students will stand against sexual violence as part of an international awareness campaign called Take Back the Night (TBTN).

GPC’s LAMBDA Triangle and Feminati clubs are sponsoring the event on Tuesday, April 14, from 5:30-8 p.m. on Dunwoody Campus.

"During our TBTN celebration, we will also join with two GPC clubs and two community organizations to advocate for a safe and respectful educational environment for all women and queer-identified people," says Jasmine Hutchison, LAMBDA Triangle president. "This includes transwomen and undocumented women, too."

According to the TBTN website: "By raising awareness of sexual street harassment, assualt and other forms of sexual and dating violence, Take Back the Night creates a common mission of ending sexual violence in al forms everywhere."

Colleges, domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers throughout the United States and internationally take part in Take Back the Night activities annually. Participants for the Georgia Perimeter gathering are asked to meet in front of the Dunwoody Campus library at 5:30 p.m. From there, they’ll walk to B building, where laypersons and representatives from Women Healing Women, Inc. will lead a discussion on domestic partner violence and street harassment.

Part of the mission for both the GPC Feminati and LAMBDA Triangle clubs is working to reduce bigotry and discrimination against people of different sexual and gender orientations.

'Conviction' screening part of GPC Reads events

Students may have missed the author visit for the GPC Reads book, “Picking Cotton,” but they can view a film that relates to the themes of the book.

At 1 p.m., Monday, March 30, GPC Reads and Georgia Perimeter's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) office will present “Conviction: The Incredible True Story of Betty Anne Waters.” The film stars Hilary Swank.

The screening will be on the GPC Newton Campus in 2N1100.

Workshop offered for adults wanting to return to college

Adults who started college but did not complete their degrees are invited to a special program at the Georgia Perimeter College Decatur Campus.

The “Go Back, Move Ahead” Adult Learner Workshop is part of a statewide effort to encourage former students to complete their degrees. The program will be at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, in the SC building, 3251 Panthersville Road, Decatur.

The free information session includes a panel of GPC representatives who will discuss and answer questions about many topics, including:

--  What it takes to be admitted

--  How to apply for financial aid

--  What to expect in a classroom

Interested adults can RSVP to or call 678-891-4129.

GPC’s program is part of a statewide campaign by Gov. Nathan Deal to encourage the more than 1 million Georgians who have completed some college to return and finish their degrees.

It is projected that by 2020, more than 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require a college certificate or degree. Presently, however, only 42 percent of the state’s young adults have earned a college credential — creating a need for an additional 250,000 graduates.

The program provides resources for prospective students and eases the way forany Georgian who has started college to go back to school and earn a degree or certificate.

An additional “Go Back, Move Ahead” Adult Learner Workshop will be held Saturday, April 25, on GPC’s Clarkston Campus. The session will be 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. in Building CN. RSVP by April 17 to or call 678-891-4129.



Dunwoody Campus lecture to explore dystopian future

(original art work by Megan Levacy)

Dystopian themes in works like “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent” and “The Maze Runner” portray dark, dehumanizing and terrifying possibilities for the future of humanity.

In an upcoming lecture, Georgia Perimeter College professors Hank Eidson and Dr. Eric Morton will explore why these dystopian worlds have become a major part of our popular culture over the past few years. They’ll also delve into why the idea of a dystopian future continues to strongly fascinate audiences today.

Georgia Perimeter’s Sarah Larson Lecture Series will host the “Dystopian Futures Now: Anxiety in an Age of Uncertainty” event on Thursday, April 9, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. on the college’s Dunwoody Campus.

Eidson is an associate professor of English at GPC, where he has taught for more than 20 years. He completed his master’s at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and continued his English studies in the doctoral program at Georgia State University. Due to the overwhelming popularity of young adult novels focused on dystopian futures, Eidson has been examining how these examples of popular culture can shape the expectations and thoughts of readers and viewers who watch and read the genre.

Morton is a GPC assistant professor of philosophy. He completed his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University and joined the Georgia Perimeter faculty in 2010. Morton’s research focuses on naturalistic, anti-foundationalist epistemological approaches, as well as select figures from the history of philosophy connected with dystopian futures.

The lecture is free and open to the public in the GPC-Dunwoody auditorium, 2101 Womack Road, NC building, room 1100.

For additional information, contact Megan Levacy, at or 770-274-5583.

GPC and its DECA program celebrating Early High School College Week

It’s Early High School College Week, and the DeKalb Early College Academy is celebrating with some impressive results.

DECA, a joint venture between Georgia Perimeter College and the DeKalb County School District, is one of ten such programs operating across Georgia and will graduate its sixth and largest class yet this May.

“We have 86 graduates in the class of 2015,” says program coordinator Kathryn Hall. “Thirty of those students are on track to earn their associates from GPC, and all 30 will participate in GPC’s commencement ceremony." 

DECA enables college-ready high school students from underrepresented groups to spend their first two years of high school at the academy in Stone Mountain and their final two at Georgia Perimeter’s Clarkston Campus.

Academy students earn high school and college credits simultaneously through dual enrollment. This means they can graduate from high school and earn a college associate degree at the same time. Statistics found at the Jobs for the Future website show early college graduates enroll in college at a higher rate than non-early college students.

Hall notes that DECA receives continual aid enabling direct support to help students succeed. For example, she cites the $1 million Fitzgerald Foundation grant that Georgia Perimeter received last year for various GPC student success initiatives.

“Through the Fitzgerald Foundation, DECA offers tutorial time five days a week in economics, chemistry, biology, math, English and social science and runs a summer college boot camps for rising DECA 11th graders who will be enrolled at GPC in the fall,” Hall says.

Georgia Perimeter will celebrate Early High School College Week by hosting 10th graders on campus for a “Taste of GPC.” They'll take their COMPASS college entrance exams this week and then sit it on a college class.

Play, poetry and panels part of 2015 Daffodil Fest

Daffodils are blooming across metro Atlanta; and that means Daffodil Festival time on the GPC Newton Campus.

 The annual  two-day festival, March 31-April 1, opens at 10 a.m. and includes a performance of “Macbeth,” a discussion of poetry on the campus walking trail, and music on the lawn by the group, Coyote Bones.

 At 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, a panel discussion on how the criminal justice system sometimes fails—and how citizens can help effect change--will feature Aimee Maxwell, executive director of the Georgia Innocence Project. That event will be followed by “Poetry on the Trail,” with GPC professor Ted Worozbyt.

 Health and stress will be the focus of the events on Wednesday, April 1, when GPC psychology professor Diana Fuller presents “Health, Stress and Happiness” at 10 a.m., followed by the group “Georgians for a Healthy Future” at 11:30 a.m.  Wednesday’s offerings also include a presentation by students who are working to make a positive difference in their communities and student leaders who have developed a campaign, “It’s On Us,” to combat sexual violence.

 The walking trail is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

For information, contact Amanda Boone at


Green Expo planned April 6 at Alpharetta Campus

Environmentally Green Organization members take a break after participating in a storm drain awareness activity sponsored by the City of Alpharetta. From left are Alex Kerr, Autumn Clark, Juanita Barr and Alex Gordon. (photo courtesy of Alex Gordon)

Natural resource and sustainability issues will be hot topics during The Green Expo scheduled for Monday, April 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Georgia Perimeter College’s Alpharetta Campus.

Presenters and participants are asked to ponder the conference theme: “What is the greatest environmental problem of the 21st century and what is your solution?”

The event, spearheaded by students in the Environmentally Green Organization (EGO), is open to public.

“There are all kinds of events and celebrations of different sorts but none for the environment,” laments Georgia Perimeter student Alex Gordon. “This is a gathering of local professionals and experts from sustainability and natural science fields collaborating to share information, network and demonstrate their practices and to carry out the necessary change for the future.”

Organizers have appealed to those manning expo booths and leading presentations to create activities that are “fun and interactive” for participants. Lunch also will be provided.

Additional information and registration is on the EGO website. GPC’s Alpharetta Campus is located at 3705 Brookside Parkway.

March 26 forum to address concerns of immigrant students

Georgia state Rep. Pedro “Pete” Marin will visit Georgia Perimeter College Thursday, March 26, to discuss changes to the laws governing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). 

Georgia Perimeter’s Latino Connection Club and the GPC Educational Achievement Program (GEAP) will sponsor the “DACA and DAPA Executive Action Forum and Info Session” at the college’s Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road, from 9-11 a.m. in NB 2100. GEAP is a retention program for Hispanic and Latino students.

“The forum is going to help our students understand how changes in the law are affecting them,” says Cathlene Cruz, GEAP project director.

Local attorney Charles Kuck also will be on hand to answer DACA and DAPA legal questions.

“We’re helping them understand their options,” Cruz says, while also noting some students are concerned about whether the pending consolidation of GPC and Georgia State University, along with their immigration status, could impact their ability to attend college. Cruz has been reassuring students that they will continue to be able to attend GPC, but this event will allow more dialogue about that topic.

The forum, supported by student government funds, is free and open to the public, as well as GPC students, faculty and staff. Latin-inspired food and drinks will be served.

“Picking Cotton” co-author returns for GPC Reads events

Jennifer Thompson, co-author of the 2014-15 GPC Reads selection, “Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption,” is returning to Georgia Perimeter College March 18 for two talks.

Thompson will speak at 1 p.m. on Dunwoody Campus in NC-1100. That event will be followed by a student reception and book signing at 4:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium on Clarkston Campus. Then, also at Clarkston, she will give a talk, followed by a question-and-answer session, at 7 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium.

“Picking Cotton” is about Thompson and Ronald Cotton, who was wrongly convicted of Thompson’s rape and served 11 years in prison. Thompson chose Cotton in a photo lineup, resulting in his wrongful incarceration until DNA evidence exonerated him. The two later became friends and collaborated on their book.

Other scheduled GPC Reads events include multiple screenings of the film, “Conviction: The Incredible True Story of Betty Anne Waters,” all at 1 p.m. on the following dates: March 25, NC-1100, Dunwoody Campus; March 26, SF-2100, Decatur Campus; and March 30, 2N-1100, Newton Campus.

Also scheduled is a March 31 visit by Aimee Maxwell, executive director of the Georgia Innocence Project, as part of the Newton Campus Daffodil Festival. The non-profit Innocence Project works on exonerating prisoners wrongfully incarcerated through DNA evidence.


Consolidation committee meets to discuss organizational structure

The 42 members of the Georgia Perimeter/Georgia State Consolidation Implementation Committee had their second meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the University System of Georgia offices. Topics of discussion included a consolidated mission statement, leadership responsibilities and an organizational structure to unite the two institutions.  

The group also reviewed the overall functional areas, from which committees will be created. The committees, along with sub-committees under them, are where most of the work of the consolidation process will take place.

The CIC also is addressing the 900-plus responsibilities identified on the USG’s Consolidation tracker and coming up with an expected timeline to complete tasks for the consolidation, which is expected to take place in 2016.

The next CIC meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 26. Come back to the GPC Newsroom for more updates. View story on GPC’s consolidation committee members.

Students presenting stage production to observe Black History Month

A student-led stage production will round out the final week of Black History Month activities at Georgia Perimeter College.

Theater student Jeremiah Davison will direct a group of 17 students as they recite and perform poetry and speeches from black social reformers and writers such as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King Jr.

“Uniting Nations Interracially to Explore Diversity,” or UNITED, will be staged Feb. 25 at the Jim Cherry Auditorium on GPC’s Clarkston Campus. The program will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Admission is free.

“The sole purpose of this show is to highlight cultural unity,” Davison says.

Georgia Perimeter staff and students have hosted a number of black history events and activities throughout the month on all five campuses. GPC’s Newton Campus will sponsor a screening of the movie “Selma” at 1 p.m., also on Feb. 25.

“Elixir of Love” to be staged by Peach State Opera at GPC March 1

Ivan Segovia, left, as traveling con man Dr. Dulcamara and Pedro Carreras as the desperate Nimorino in “Elixir of Love.”

The Peach State Opera will stage Gaetano Donizetti’s “Elixir of Love” at Georgia Perimeter College on Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium on Clarkston Campus.

Opera connoisseur Carter Joseph will lead a 2 p.m. pre-show talk, similar to those he facilitates for The Atlanta Opera.

Peach State Opera, a touring company that serves small communities in Georgia and surrounding states, has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Georgia Perimeter, including often partnering with faculty from the college’s vocal music department. Dr. Brian Bonin, head of vocal music at GPC, serves on the organization’s board of directors, while Georgia Perimeter’s former vocal music coordinator and current adjunct voice instructor Evelyn Hughes is the Peach State Opera conductor and artistic director.

“We want to build our audience at GPC,” says Nancy Martin, the opera’s publicity volunteer and a GPC Prime Time student. “We want to take the snootiness out of opera productions—the idea that it’s just for some people.”

“Elixir of Love” is described as an “operatic masterpiece of beguiling arias and intoxicating duets” on the Peach State Opera website. General admission tickets are $22 and only $5 for GPC faculty, staff and students. Visit to learn more about the production and to purchase tickets.


Political Science students will meet with Andrew Young

Twenty of Dr. Crystal Garrett’s political science students will get to meet civil rights icon Andrew Young on Feb. 24.

The students will participate in a live broadcast at Atlanta’s KISS 104.1 studios, where they’ll visit with Young and then attend a catered lunch following the 11 a.m. broadcast on the Sasha the Diva show.

In addition to his activities during the Civil Rights Movement, Young also served as a member of Congress, mayor of Atlanta and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

The students attending are among those taking Garrett’s American Government honors and Global Issues classes at Georgia Perimeter’s Dunwoody Campus.

“I would like them to meet Andrew Young so they can get firsthand information from a civil rights activist who worked directly next to Martin Luther King,” Garrett says.        

DSO premieres new work for 50th, welcomes violinist Helen Kim

Helen Hwaya Kim will perform with the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra Feb. 17.

The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra will present violinist Helen Hwaya Kim as the featured soloist for its Feb. 17 concert. The evening also will premiere a new work by Atlanta composer and Georgia Perimeter alumnus Kendall Simpson, in honor of the college’s and the symphony’s 50th anniversary.    

Kim’s career highlights include winning the prestigious Artists International Competition in New York and, as a result, giving debut recitals at Carnegie Weill Hall and the Aspen Summer Music Festival. She is the recipient of more than 100 national and international awards. Kim will be performing Bach’s“Violin Concerto No. 1” and Sarasate’s “Introduction & Tarantella.”

The concert also will feature the world premiere performance of “Within Reach” by Simpson, who is an Atlanta composer and music director of the Emory Dance Program. This commissioned composition was written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Georgia Perimeter College and the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra.

Also on the program are Symphony No. 1 (“Spring”) by Schumann and “Handel in the Strand” by Grainger.

The concert will be at 8 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium in the Fine Arts Building of Georgia Perimeter College, Clarkston Campus. The public is invited to meet the composers at a pre-concert conversation held at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time by calling the DSO Box Office at 678-891-3565 or at Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

The DSO’s March 24 concert also will feature a new work commissioned for GPC’s 50th anniversary.

GPC Theatre Arts Guild stages “The Secret Garden” Feb. 6-15

The GPC Theatre Arts Guild presents the musical, “The Secret Garden,” opening Friday, Feb. 6.

Based on the beloved children’s book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The Secret Garden” tells the story of 11-year-old Mary Lennox. Orphaned in India, she returns to Yorkshire, England, to live with her embittered, reclusive Uncle Archibald and his invalid son, Colin, on a huge estate.

The estate’s many wonders include a magical garden which beckons the children with haunting melodies and the “Dreamers”—spirits from Mary’s past who guide her through her new life.

The production features a full orchestra and a cast of students and community members from the greater Atlanta area.

Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6, 7, 13  and 14 and at 3 p.m. on Sundays, Feb. 8 and 15 in the Cole Auditorium located in the Fine Arts Building on Georgia Perimeter’s Clarkston Campus.

Tickets are $20 with discounts available for students and faculty and staff with GPC I.D. For information go to  or call the box office at 678-891-3572.

Immunization records now kept by Student Health Services

Beginning Jan. 26, Georgia Perimeter’s Student Health Services will become the clearinghouse for all student immunization records. Students will still be able to upload their immunization records online, but instead of doing so through the GPC Admissions site, they will be directed online to the Student Health Services secure site. The change will help keep up with student immunization compliance and keep all records in one place, says Patrice Smith, immunization coordinator for the  GPC Student Health Services. 

Students are required to have up-to-date vaccination records if they were born after 1956. The vaccines are for MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella), Varicella (Chickenpox) and Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis).  Students 18 years old and under are required to have  the Hepatitis B series of immunizations.  Students born before 1980 do not have to have proof of a varicella shot, but titers are available at the student health clinic, which can indicate whether you had chickenpox as a child, says Smith.

Students can receive immunizations at the Student Health Centers at both Clarkston and Dunwoody campuses or at the mobile health clinic. Immunization fees vary, but student health services visits are free. 

Contact Smith at 678-891-3866 or visit the immunization website for more information on submitting, updating or receiving necessary immunizations.

There's still time to contribute to Faculty/Staff Campaign

The clock is ticking on 2014, but there’s still time to make a donation to the annual Georgia Perimeter College Faculty/Staff/Retiree Campaign.

Contributions, so far, are nearing the halfway mark for the campaign’s $75,000 goal.

Although the campaign officially ends Dec. 31, Erica Hart, Institutional Advancement, says pledges will be accepted after the first of the year and beyond.

“Our goal is to get as many pledges as possible committed by the end of this month, but we absolutely welcome donations of any amount at anytime,” Hart says. “Already, a number of participants have contributed with consideration for our Pledge $5 initiative, where we asked people to consider pledging five bucks on a monthly basis.”

Monies contributed through one-time gifts or monthly payroll deductions support student scholarships, in addition to faculty/staff development and academic programs. Patrons also are able to designate their gift to a specific department or scholarship program.

“However or whatever you choose to give, just know that your gift will make a difference at GPC,” Hart says.

Individuals can pledge online or by filling out and returning the gift forms delivered via mail.

Contact Erica Hart with any questions: 678-891-2559 or

New issue of The Chronicle magazine looks at past and future

During this, Georgia Perimeter College’s 50th anniversary year, there is much looking back, sharing of memories and marveling over how things have changed.

The new issue of GPC’s The Chronicle magazine not only takes a look back via stories on the Living History video project and anniversary events, but also looks forward.

What will college be like in another 50 years? What should we expect to see in 2064? Take a look at some of the thoughts compiled in “College of the Future” in your new fall issue of The Chronicle.

The issue also features a story on “The Value of an Associate Degree” plus a wide range of articles about students, faculty, staff and alumni plus GPC programs and athletics.

GPC named ‘Best for Vets College’ by Military Times

Student veterans are honored at GPC Veterans Day event. (photo by Bill Roa)

Georgia Perimeter College has been named a “Best for Vets College” by Military Times. GPC was among 140 colleges nationwide achieving this distinction.

“Best for Vets: Colleges 2015” is an editorially independent news project that evaluates the many factors that make an organization a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families.

Mark Eister, GPC's Military Outreach director, was pleased by the ranking. “Our goal is to offer our student veterans ‘A to Z’ assistance, from the first time they call or visit inquiring about the college, to preparing to graduate GPC.  We are here to help them apply for and use their VA benefits, advise them on what program of study and courses they should take, get tutoring help, assist them in searching and applying for a job – you name it.  We’re here to help them with whatever they need to be successful, both inside and outside the classroom."

In its fifth year, the ranking is the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military students’ success rates. The Best for Vets survey requires schools to meticulously document an array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to military and veteran students and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on a campus.

“We factor in what is, to our knowledge, the most detailed school-by-school data on veteran students’ academic success anywhere, including graduation, retention, persistence and course completion rates,” says Amanda Miller, editor of Bets for Vets. Two years ago, only 11 percent of the hundreds of schools surveyed could provide that level of detail. This year, that figure is up to 45 percent. “By recognizing only the schools that do the most, we believe we’re helping to raise the bar in veteran student services.”

For the full Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 rankings, go to:

The rankings are published in full in the issues of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times on newsstands the week of Nov. 10; in the November issue of Military Times EDGE magazine; and online at,,, and

Military Times’ series of Best for Vets survey-based rankings includes: Colleges, Career & Technical Colleges, Business Schools, Franchises, Employers and Law Enforcement.

GPC Reads authors of “Picking Cotton” memoir to speak Nov. 12

What does it mean to be accused of a crime you didn’t commit? And could you forgive the person who put you in prison?  Ron Cotton did.

Cotton, who spent more than a decade in prison for rape before being exonerated through DNA evidence, will speak with his “accuser” Jennifer Thompson-Cannino on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The two, now friends, are the authors of the GPC Reads 2014-15 selection, “Picking Cotton—Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption.”

Cotton will speak on the Georgia Perimeter College Dunwoody Campus at 10 a.m., in room NC-1100. Both Cotton and Thompson-Cannino will speak at 2 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium on the Clarkston Campus. They will sign books after their Clarkston talk.

Both events are free and open to the public. For information, go to

Launching a business? Attend Nov. 7 seminar at GPC Dunwoody

Aspiring and existing entrepreneurs are the focus of an upcoming seminar designed to motivate and educate Georgia Perimeter College students, faculty and staff.

“Bringing a New Business to Life” is being held in conjunction with National Entrepreneurship Week this Friday, Nov. 7, from 8 a.m. to noon at Dunwoody Campus, NC 1100.

The event kicks off with registration and continental breakfast and includes a success story presentation from young entrepreneur Josh Austin Sr., director of engineering for Ionic Security and founder of software development company.

Georgia attorney John Sours, administrator for the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, will provide insight on unfair and deceptive business practices and offer advice to new and prospective business owners.

“We have two very dynamic speakers, each coming from very different aspects of the business world—one as a business professional with legal perspectives and the other as a successful business owner and manager,” says Ellie Shaw, event coordinator.

Nearly 300 participants already have signed up for “Bringing a New Life to Business,” which is sponsored by the Dunwoody Business Club and Alpha Beta Gamma. Shaw believes students in particular are drawn to the idea of being able to control their financial destiny, especially during periods of economic volatility.

“The information presented gives them knowledge and ideas to explore, and raises new questions that can be researched, in order to make better decisions for their future career track,” she says.

Seminar reservations are required. Students can sign up in a business class or by visiting NE 2408 at Dunwoody Campus. Faculty, staff and students can register by contacting Ellie Shaw at The registration deadline is Thursday, Nov. 6, at noon.L

Volunteers sought for Nov. 1 clean-up Dunwoody event

The annual Clean, Shine and Fix-Up Dunwoody volunteer event is approaching, with a call for help from Georgia Perimeter College.

“This is a very important initiative for GPC and the city of Dunwoody; any support you offer will be greatly appreciated,” says Theodora Johnson, Dunwoody Student Life director.

Volunteers will assist with planting trees and general maintenance at Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park located at 4770 North Peachtree Road on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. until noon.

Interested participants can register online and should arrive at the park by 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Johnson encourages students, faculty and staff and their families to get involved. T-shirts, breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Newton program to explore future impacts of lifestyle and financial decisions

“Choices and Consequences” will be the topic of a three-day event Oct. 27-30 on Georgia Perimeter College’s Newton Campus.

The program will explore how the lifestyle and financial decisions we make today both can positively or negatively affect our futures. The event is part of the Newton Campus Executive Speakers series.

Featured speakers include Aimee Maxwell of the Georgia Innocence Project at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, and Rockdale County Judge Nancy Bills and Rachel Sands of the Georgia United Credit Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Also, a special costume contest is planned for 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30.

Program speakers will discuss the consequences of life outside prison after being wrongly accused of a crime; the price to society of those who make poor life choices; and how financial decisions made today can affect your future lifestyle.

The program also features the documentary film, “After Innocence,” on Monday, Oct.27, at 11:30 a.m. 

For information, contact Leila Lawlor at

Halloween eve program promises to be spooky

Photos by, from left, Anna Fischer, Rachel Cobcroft, Trey Ratcliff and Sam Javanrouh

Dr. Kathryn Crowther and Paul Boshears will discuss two contemporary popular interests, steampunk and zombies, Oct. 30 at Georgia Perimeter as part of the college’s Sarah Larson Lecture Series.

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology.

The lecture, “Steampunk and Zombies: What Makes Pop Culture Popular?” is free and open to the public and will take place from 1 to 2:15 p.m. in the Dunwoody Campus auditorium, NC1100, 2101 Womack Road.

Crowther and Boshears will answer questions such as: “What puts the ‘pop’ in pop-culture?” “Why do steampunks wear brass goggles?” and “Why is ‘The Walking Dead’ set in Atlanta?” The lecture will explore what popular trends in television, film and performance culture “cos-play” might tell us about contemporary issues and concerns. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Crowther is an English professor at Georgia Perimeter. She earned her Ph.D. from Emory University where she specialized in Victorian novels and nineteenth-century print culture. She has done research on steampunk and disability studies and has a forthcoming essay on representations of disability and prosthetics in steampunk.

Boshears is co-founder of the journal continent. He is an Americorps VISTA alumnus and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. His recent publications include an analysis of zombies in contemporary American society.

For additional information, contact Megan Levacy, at or 770-274-5583.

GPC nursing alumna and professor plan mission trip to Venezuela

Catherine Norton with children on earlier mission trip to Guatemala.

A Georgia Perimeter College nursing graduate  and a nursing faculty member are among a small group traveling to Venezuela Oct. 18 to provide healthcare assistance at a medical clinic.

Along with their luggage, the nurses are bringing boxes of donated items—from tongue depressors to disinfecting wipes—collected through GPC’s nursing students, faculty and friends.

Catherine Norton, who graduated from GPC’s nursing program in 2012, and GPC professor Jeanette Crawford will bring their medical expertise to a new clinic in Barquisimeto in northern Venezuela. The two will work at the clinic for a week before returning to Atlanta.

Norton, a nurse in the medical telemetry department at Gwinnett Medical Center,  is co-founder of the nonprofit Christian group, Identify the Mission. Crawford specializes in mental health nursing and will be working with a local psychologist at the clinic.

Currently, one of the Barquisimeto clinic’s most urgent needs is acetaminophen to tackle the country’s rampant Dengue fever, says Norton. The mosquito-borne illness creates flu-like symptoms and is “very hard on the elderly and small children,” she says. The clinic does not have access to the fever-reducing drug—and many other needed everyday items—due to political unrest in the country. There is no vaccine against the illness.

Through her Identify organization, Norton is seeking partnerships for healthcare service-learning opportunities for GPC nursing students in Central and South America.  

“I received the best nursing education at GPC, and I want to support the school and its nursing students in any way I can,” she says.

 Medical items are still being collected. For information, contact Crawford at

Annual Georgia Women’s Conference at GPC seeking submissions

Are you an effective presenter with an interesting topic? If yes, the Georgia Women’s Conference may want to hear from you.

The Diversity Alliance at Georgia Perimeter College is gearing up for its spring event, with an official call for 2015 presenters. Coordinators for the annual conference are seeking a broad range of speakers and workshop facilitators who can address topics related to its theme: The Female Perspective in Art, Politics and Scholarship.

“We welcome all submissions that speak to our theme and aim to empower, educate and inspire,” says Tiffany Del Valle, Georgia Women’s Conference president and Diversity Alliance assistant coordinator. 

Topics based on the following are welcome:

  • Dissertations
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Panel Discussions
  • Papers
  • Performances
  • Poetry
  • Political Panels
  • Workshops

Click here to submit your proposal(s) before the Nov. 6 deadline.

GPC Dunwoody hosts National Broadcast Day event

Members of the Dunwoody Campus Society of Leadership and Success show off books signed by Stephen Bardo., Theodora Johnson and speaker Stephen Bardo.
Members of the Dunwoody Campus Society of Leadership and Success show off books signed by Stephen Bardo., Theodora Johnson and speaker Stephen Bardo.

Georgia Perimeter students, faculty and staff participated in a first-ever event for the college on Oct. 7.

GPC’s Dunwoody Campus served as the host site for a national, satellite broadcast of inspirational speaker and former NBA player Stephen Bardo.

Theodora Johnson and speaker Stephen Bardo“Mr. Bardo was excellent, he was energetic, insightful and motivational as our speaker; and most importantly he connected with the students—they loved him,” said Theodora Johnson, Dunwoody Student Life director.

Bardo spoke as part of The National Society of Leadership and Success’ National Broadcast Day series, which is available to students at its 434 member colleges and universities.

Johnson, faculty sponsor for the Dunwoody Campus Society of Leadership and Success, says hosting the event is a big honor for GPC since venues selected for the live broadcast are typically at larger schools.

“GPC Dunwoody had a packed house including both Mercer and DeVry campus faculty, staff and students,” Johnson said.

Bardo’s career included stints with the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons. He talked to Dunwoody attendees—and those tuning in via satellite—about leadership and overcoming adversity. He then took questions from the audiences and signed copies of his leadership book.

The National Society of Leadership and Success—with nearly 40 Georgia chapters—has been around for 13 years, with the goal of shaping college students for leadership roles throughout their lives. Johnson calls the organization an exceptional leadership opportunity for the students. 

 “Each student member is encouraged to bring something to the table in terms of how they personally want to change, grow or gain leadership skills,” she said. “So it is ideally supposed to be a personal growth opportunity for each participating member.”

Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post is among the remaining broadcast series speakers. GPC students will be able to participate in that and other presentations via satellite.

Members of the Dunwoody Society of Leadership and Success show off books signed by Stephen Bardo.

Sign up for Dunwoody 5K race to support GPC scholarship


Georgia Perimeter College is recruiting faculty, staff and students for this year’s RunDunwoody 5K race, spearheaded annually by the Rotary Club of Dunwoody.

GPC is a strong supporter of the charity race which raises money to fund Dunwoody area public safety and education initiatives, including an annual scholarship awarded to a Georgia Perimeter allied health student. The college is seeking volunteers and race participants for the Oct. 19 benefit.

“In honor of our 50th anniversary, it is our goal to get 50 members of the GPC community to support this event by joining our team and wearing GPC spirit wear the day of the event,” says Montrese Adger Fuller of the college’s Institutional Advancement department.

The 5K begins at 8 a.m. at Perimeter Mall. It is certified as a qualifying race for the 2015 Peachtree Road Race.

There also will be a 1-mile fun run starting at 9 a.m. and a tot trot at 9:15 a.m.

Participants can register by visiting the RunDunwoody site.  When signing up, register as an individual, then select “yes” for the 2014 Dunwoody Team challenge. Choose Georgia Perimeter College from the “Do you want to join Team Challenge – Schools?” drop-down menu. 

Registration is $25 until Oct. 9, then $30 until Oct. 18 and $35 on site the day of the race. Contact GPC race coordinators Tina Philpot or Montrese Adger Fuller for more information.

GPC to host open houses for new students and families in October

Potential college students hoping to explore a new career path, learn about classes for their major or find out about student clubs and organizations can attend a Georgia Perimeter College open house this month.

Open houses are scheduled on all campuses and virtually online. Students who register online at will have their $20 application fee waived.

“Coming to an open house is a great opportunity for students to explore a career path, connect with our current student leaders, and visit with professors,” says Keith Cobbs, GPC Newton student services dean. All campuses will be offering tours as well as sessions on financial aid.

GPC open house dates are:

Clarkston Campus: Saturday, Oct. 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Decatur Campus: Tuesday, Oct. 14, 5 to 7 p.m.

Newton Campus: Saturday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dunwoody Campus: Tuesday, Oct. 21, 5 to 7 p.m.

Alpharetta Campus: Saturday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Online Campus: Tuesday, Oct. 28, 5 to 7 p.m.

Tobacco-free activities planned Oct. 1 as new policy begins


Student life and student activities groups on all campuses are leading the charge to help Georgia Perimeter College go tobacco free on Wednesday, Oct. 1, in support of the University System of Georgia ban on all tobacco products.

From lollipops and gum at Alpharetta Campus to dancers “stomping out smoke” at Newton Campus, the activities will vary with each location. Smokers will find materials to help the stop smoking, and non-smokers can enjoy a day full activities and information on each campus.

Wednesday activities include:

--Alpharetta: Smoking cessation pamphlets, chewing gum and lollipops will be distributed.

--Clarkston: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., “Tobacco Trivia Wheel” giveaways plus distribution of smoking cessation pamphlets. In addition, the office of personal counseling will give away stress balls and give tips for managing stress. Activities will be held outside the Student Center.

--Decatur: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students will get the tobacco-free word out with a special “Puff-Puff, I Pass” event in the student center, SC-2100.

--Dunwoody: Students will staff a table with smoking cessation materials in the Student Center.

--Newton: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Jagg Illusions campus dance team, along with mascot Jaggy, will offer a “Stomp Out Smoke” performance. Free “Stomp Out Smoke” t-shirts will go to the first 200 visitors.

For information on other tobacco-free activities and resources, go to

Innocence Project speakers to discuss DNA evidence Oct. 1 at GPC Clarkston

Georgia Perimeter students, faculty and staff are invited to a special GPC Reads discussion, “Proving Innocence after Conviction: The DNA Key,” featuring Aimee Maxwell of the Georgia Innocence Project and Jeff Brickman, Atlanta criminal defense attorney. The event will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, on Clarkston Campus in Room 0100 of the Fine Arts Building.

Maxwell and Brickman will discuss DNA evidence and its role in helping determine the innocence of convicted felons, as well as the role of the Georgia Innocence Project in the state.  DNA evidence was instrumental in overturning the conviction of Ron Cotton after he served 11 years in prison. Cotton is one of the authors of the 2014-15 GPC Reads selection, “Picking Cotton.”

The Georgia Innocence Project  is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit by securing post-conviction DNA testing for Georgia and Alabama inmates where DNA analysis could prove guilt or innocence and adequate DNA testing was not available at trial. For information, go to

GPC gets three finalist nods for University System service awards


Georgia Perimeter College has been named a top finalist among all 31 University System of Georgia institutions for three Chancellor’s Service Excellence Awards.

The finalists are:

--Institution of the Year and President  (Rob Watts)

--GPC’s Student Health Services Team, for Student Improvement Initiative

--Fran Mohr, for Service Excellence Ambassador of the Year

Finalists will receive either a first-place gold, second-place silver or third-place bronze award during the Chancellor’s Annual Service Excellence Awards program to be held Oct. 10 at Kennesaw State University.

The annual awards recognize employees for demonstrating consistently high levels of performance while accomplishing normal job responsibilities as it relates to service for the past year.

Other GPC areas and individuals nominated for customer service awards were: financial affairs vice president Ron Stark, for Service Excellence Leadership; the Personal Counseling team, for Service Excellence Team; the Office of Budgets and Strategic Planning, for Service Excellence Team; Mark Eister of the Military Outreach Center, for Service Excellence Individual; Logistical Services, for Improvement of Processes; the Learning and Tutoring Center for Improvement for Students and the 15 to Finish initiative led by Clarkston student dean Matthew Robison and professor Elizabeth Thornton, for Improvement for Students.

Award-winning journalist to discuss book on death commemorations

Kate Sweeney

Atlanta writer and GPC alumna Kate Sweeney will discuss her book, “American Afterlife,” in a public lecture at Georgia Perimeter College on Thursday, Oct. 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Dunwoody Campus auditorium, NC Building, room 1100.

“American Afterlife” explores the intricacies of death and memorial customs for those who have passed. Through compassionately collected stories and research, Sweeney creates a moving, frequently humorous and, overall, hopeful portrait of past and present memorial practices in America.

During the lecture, Sweeney will talk about her writing and research processes, read book excerpts and answer audience questions. A book signing will follow.

Sweeney is the winner of four Edward R. Murrow awards, as well as a number of Associated Press recognitions for her radio stories which broadcast on Atlanta’s NPR station, WABE.  Additionally, her writing has appeared in multiple magazines—and she is the curator of the popular bi-monthly nonfiction reading series called “True Story,” which Atlanta Magazine voted a Best Literary Event of 2012. Creative Loafing Atlanta named Sweeney an Author to Watch in 2013. The Atlanta resident currently is pursuing a graduate degree at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Sweeney’s lecture is hosted by Georgia Perimeter’s Sarah Larson Lecture Series. For more information about the author and book, visit: The event is free and open to the public at GPC-Dunwoody Campus, 2101 Womack Road.

For additional information, contact Megan Levacy, at or 770-274-5583.



Botanical Garden at GPC hosts lectures and tours of garden

"Swamp" sunflowers are fall bloomers in the Native Plant Botanical Garden at GPC’s Decatur Campus. (photo by Carol P. Lynn)

Plant aficionados and others can get in on the two-day Fall Lunch and Wildflower event at Georgia Perimeter College on Fridays from now until late October. In addition, plant sales are also planned.

The activity, sponsored by the Native Plant Botanical Garden at GPC-Decatur Campus, features guided garden walks, plant sales and free lectures led by botanists, gardeners and arborists.

Mary Lou Cannamela will lead the one of the first sessions taking place on Friday, Sept 12, at 10:30 a.m. “We have a very large selection of ferns in the garden, so Mary Lou will highlight some of the outstanding ones,” says George Sanko, the garden’s chief executive officer.

At noon that day, Malcolm Hodges will speak on the topic, “Are We Doing Enough to Protect Rare Plants in Georgia?”

“We need to learn what we can do to help save the rare plants in Georgia,” Sanko advises. They begin in room SH-1100 at GPC Decatur Campus, 3251 Panthersville Road. Visitors are encouraged to bring their lunch.

A Ferntastic Plant Sale will take place in conjunction with the walk-and-talk sessions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Friday and select Saturdays throughout September and October. The sale includes 35 varieties of ferns, along with perennials, shrubs, hydrangea and native azaleas, among other plants. Cash and checks are accepted.

For more information, including inclement weather plans and a complete schedule, visit

Take time to remember 9/11 on GPC’s 9/12 and 9/13 service days

Georgia Perimeter students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of service projects for the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. The service days are actually Friday, Sept. 12, and Saturday, Sept. 13, this year.

Many of the projects are close to a GPC campus, and all provide a way to give back to community. For instance, volunteers can help prepare “crate gardens” as part of the Atlanta Veterans Farmers’ Market in the Castleberry Hill area, work with elderly patients at the Mountain View Personal Care Home or clear brush and do projects at the Dunwoody Nature Center or Blue Heron Nature Preserve. On Saturday, there will be an opportunity to work with horses at the Special Equestrians site in Alpharetta.

The projects are coordinated through the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan office and are designed to improve student learning by engaging students both inside and outside the classroom, says Mary Elizabeth Tyler Boucebci, service learning coordinator. Faculty members who want to include a day of service as part of their courses should contact Boucebci at

To sign up for the September day of service, go to the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance information site.

Other days of service during the 2014-15 academic year are Make a Difference Day on Oct. 24, MLK Day of Service on Jan. 19 and Global Youth Service Day on April 17.

Campus tobacco-free policy to become effective Oct. 1


You may have seen the signs around campus: “GPC is Tobacco Free.”

Now Georgia Perimeter College’s tobacco-free policy is taking shape. The policy, which bans all forms of tobacco products, becomes active Oct. 1.

The college executive team moved to align their Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus policy with the University System of Georgia’s policy, which bans all forms of tobacco products on campus property.

GPC’s policy now states: “The use of all forms of tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented, in the possession of, or in any way used by Georgia Perimeter College is expressly prohibited. ‘Tobacco Products’ is defined as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes and any other smoking devices that use tobacco, such as hookahs, or simulate the use of tobacco such as electronic cigarettes.”

There will be a six-month grace period during which Public Safety officials will issue warnings to repeat offenders. After April 1, 2015, individuals not abiding by the policy will receive a warning for their first offense, a $10 fine for their second offense, a $20 fine for their third offense, and a fine plus disciplinary action from their campus student dean or department supervisor after the fourth offense.

An integral component of implementing the tobacco-free policy is the inclusion of tobacco cessation programs, says Julius Whitaker, who is overseeing the project at GPC.

Georgia Perimeter is offering a variety of tobacco cessation programs free of charge to students and employees through the GPC Student Health Clinics. They include low-cost and free nicotine patch, gum and lozenge replacement products. Prescription medications, including Bupropion SR generic (Zyban) and Varenicline (Chantix), are available through the Student Health Center for students with an appointment.   

Visit the Student Health Center site for a full list of tobacco-cessation programs and services. Additional information on smoking cessation can be found on the Tobacco Free GPC website.

John Clower serving as interim student affairs VP for 2014-15

Dr. John Clower chats with student as the new academic year gets underway. (photo by Bill Roa)

Georgia Perimeter College has named Dr. John Clower as interim vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. Clower temporarily replaces Dr. Vincent June, who was named a 2014-15 ACE Fellow and will be stationed for the academic year at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio.

Prior to coming to GPC, Clower served as vice president of student affairs at North Georgia College and State University from 2007-11. He also was director of residence life and student judicial affairs at the University of West Georgia for more than 17 years.

A Smyrna, Ga. native, Clower received his undergraduate degree in biology at North Georgia College (now University of North Georgia), his master’s in Student Personnel Services at Northwestern State University of Louisiana and his doctorate in Higher Ed Administration from Florida State University.

While Clower directed residence life at West Georgia, he says there are “more challenges” for a college without student housing like GPC. “You don’t have a ‘captive’ audience 24/7 like you do with a residential college,” he says. “But student affairs is so much more than housing—we’re all educators. We’re trying to enrich student lives through programming and activities outside the classroom.”

The enrollment services team also will report to Clower. “At this point I am learning a great deal about the unique challenges GPC faces in this area. I look forward to working with the ERS team as we continue to improve services in that area.”

GPC 50th celebration to kick off at Sept. 5 Fall Convocation

USG Vice Chancellor Dr. Houston Davis will be guest speaker.

1964. It was a big year. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act into law. The Beatles landed in New York City for their first U.S. tour. And the DeKalb Board of Education officially opened DeKalb College, the first and only public two-year college in the state controlled by a local school district.

Twenty-two years later, DeKalb College joined the University System of Georgia; and in 1997, the USG Board of Regents changed the name of the college to Georgia Perimeter College to reflect its expanding mission and its service throughout the metro Atlanta area. The GPC moniker became official in the fall of 1998.

Today, Georgia Perimeter has five campuses—Alpharetta, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody and Newton County—plus the state university system’s largest online program. GPC currently serves more than 21,000 students and during its history has helped more than 350,000 students toward their dream of earning a college degree.

On Friday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 a.m., GPC faculty, staff and retirees will kick off the college’s 50th anniversary celebration at Fall Convocation in the Clarkston Campus gymnasium. Special guest speaker will be Dr. Houston Davis, USG executive vice chancellor. Interim President Rob Watts will give the annual state-of-the-college address, and Academic Affairs Vice President Ron Stark will provide a college update. 

The business part of the day will be followed by a picnic. The faculty/staff parking lot 1 (between buildings CA and CB) will be blocked off for that purpose.

Friday classes will be held, and libraries and bookstores will be open; however, campus departments will be closed.

Human Resources added to 3-Year GPC/GSW business degree programs

GSW President Dr. Kendall Blanchard, left, and GPC President Rob Watts sign agreements to renew and expand the colleges' partnership programs. Pictured standing, from left, are Shannon Perry, Dr. Liz Wilson, Dr. Brian Adler, all of Georgia Southwestern, and Phil Smith, Georgia Perimeter's academic affairs vice president. (photo by Bill Roa)

In a special ceremony at Georgia Perimeter College, Rob Watts, GPC interim president, and Dr. Kendall Blanchard, Georgia Southwestern State University president, renewed a three-year Fastrac business administration transfer program for GPC business graduates.

The online accelerated transfer program allows GPC associate of business degree graduates to transfer to GSW and earn their BBA degrees in management, accounting or marketing in three years. 

The two presidents signed a Memorandum of Understanding, officially adding a BBA in human resources.

Seventy-two GPC students have graduated from the program since it began in 2011, says Shannon Perry, GSW director of external programs. There are currently 115 GPC students enrolled in the program for the fall.

Perry also noted that one quarter of all GPC graduates are honor graduates. In May 2014, former GPC student Laura Gaines graduated magna cum laude from program.

 Lee McKinley, GPC business professor, is the current faculty advisor for GPC students.

Beginning this fall, the two colleges also will offer a three-year program in Information Technology.

Fitzgerald grant funds DECA students’ summer college studies

A number of DeKalb Early College Academy students spent part of their summer taking college courses, thanks to the Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation.

Fitzgerald-funded scholarships enabled nine DECA students to attend summer school at Georgia Perimeter and move toward graduating from high school and college simultaneously. 

Award recipient Blaine Allen Jr. is an aspiring lawyer. “My plan for achieving the associate’s degree in criminal justice is becoming more and more of a reality with each course that I take and successfully pass,” Allen says.

The Fitzgerald scholarship covered tuition and fees for students taking summer classes online or face-to-face on Clarkston Campus. DECA students normally take college classes only during the academic year.

Earlier this year, the Fitzgerald Foundation awarded GPC its first $1 million private gift as part of an ambitious plan to increase access and boost retention, transfer and graduation rates among some of the state’s most underserved students.

DECA, a joint venture between GPC and the DeKalb County School District, enables college-ready high school students from underrepresented groups to spend their first two years of high school at the academy in Stone Mountain and their final two at Georgia Perimeter’s Clarkston Campus.

“Grades officially come out on July 28, but many students have reported that they did very well in their summer classes,” says Kathryn Hall, DECA director.

Political Science students get lessons while visiting state capitol

GPC Newton Campus students pose with Gov. Nathan Deal while visiting the Georgia Capitol.

Georgia Perimeter College professor Barbara Robertson took her show on the road this summer when her “Introduction to American Government” students took a field trip to the Georgia State Capitol.

The goal of the trip was to make learning about Georgia government more tangible and more applicable to the students’ lives, said the Political Science instructor.

“My lesson on Georgia’s Constitution and Georgia’s government was given at the state capitol as we visited the various legislative chambers and offices and the many artifacts to be seen,” said Robertson. “For example, we discussed the office of the governor while standing in his office, [and] we discussed the constitutional requirements of the state legislature while standing in the House and Senate galleries.” 



Dental Hygiene students perform volunteer screenings

GPC dental hygiene students Thu Pham, left, and Eun Choi give a fluoride treatment to a Cox Elementary School student in Moultrie, Ga.

Georgia Perimeter College dental hygiene students have been busy volunteering this spring and summer.

In May, 22 students, along with dental hygiene program chair Cherie Rainwater, and dental hygiene instructor Pam Cushenan, provided dental care to Special Olympics participants as part of the program’s Special Smiles event. 

In June, three students traveled with Rainwater and Cushenan to Moultrie, Ga., to provide patient education, fluoride treatment and dental care for 230 school-aged children. They also offered head and neck cancer screenings and fluoride treatment for farm workers and for the children’s parents.

The Moultrie trip was part of an initiative to provide health and dental care for migrant workers and their families.

Beggs will delay MLB career to stay in school and pitch for University of Ky.

Dustin Beggs, the Georgia Perimeter College baseball ace who was selected in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, has decided to delay his professional career and transfer to the University of Kentucky to continue his college studies and pitch for the Wildcats.

Beggs, who hails from Roswell and Centennial High School, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 17th round of the June draft.

Sporting an outstanding 1.65 earned run average this season, Beggs won 11 games and lost 4 and led the National Junior College Athletic Association with 125 strikeouts. He was selected to the NJCAA Division 1 All-America Third Team.


Math Academy makes measurable difference for prospective students

The goal of attending college is closer for a number of prospective Georgia Perimeter College students who participated in the Compass Academic Review and Enrichment (C.A.R.E.) Program Math Academy this spring.  The academy—sponsored through a $1 million gift from the Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation—enrolled 72 participants who had fallen shy of passing the math portion of the Compass entrance exam.

After eight weeks of one-on-one, intensive math instruction and tutoring on the Clarkston, Decatur and Dunwoody campuses, the potential students had the opportunity to re-take the Compass and gain admission to GPC. Of the 59 participants re-testing, well over half—63 percent—passed.

“Most of the students that completed the spring math academy and then passed the Compass, will enroll for the fall,” says Marian Adomakoh, Advising, Counseling and Retention Services, Clarkston.

A post survey revealed that all of the participants rated their math skills as ‘weak’ or ‘very weak’ upon beginning the tutoring and instruction program, while the vast majority described their math skills as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ after participating in the eight-week academy.

According to one participant: “It helped me get a basic understanding of college math in a short time.”

“We’re so pleased with the program’s effectiveness, given students’ reported rate of improvement in their math skills,” Adomakoh says. “While all the participants rated their math skills as weak prior to the academy, 80 percent stated their skills improved as a result of attending the spring Math Academy.”

Georgia Perimeter ranked mostly ‘excellent’ in customer service

More than 80 percent of the customer service surveys filled out at Georgia Perimeter College during spring semester rated GPC as “excellent” in service.

Fran Mohr, director of GPC’s Office of Customer Service, tallied up the results of 230 surveys received during that period. She reported that “excellent” responses were up by about 6 percentage points over fall 2013 semester.

Survey respondents rated GPC employees they interacted with on the attributes of courtesy, knowledge and friendliness and whether the employees listened attentively and addressed questions and concerns.

There was also a place for written-in comments. One student praised his professor: “She helped me through a tough moment when I almost quit. But she talked me off the edge and back into the classroom. I appreciate her patient, kind spirit. She is awesome! Thank you!”

Fall Convocation will be held later this year; faculty will still meet in August

This fall, Georgia Perimeter College faculty and staff will have two different events to mark the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year, which just happens to mark the college's 50th year of existence.

The college's traditional Fall Convocation event will shift from the second week in August to Sept. 5 this year--and it won't be so traditional after all. The welcome-back event for all faculty and staff will not only kick off the new academic year but also will kick off the college's 50th anniversary celebration.

The day will include a picnic cook-out on Clarkston Campus, followed by music and fellowship. “This will be a fun event,” says Jennifer Jenkins, Fine Arts, who is co-chairing the event with Wendy Davidson, Math chair.

On Monday, Aug. 11, faculty only will meet on the Clarkston Campus for an academic update by Phil Smith, Academic Affairs vice president. Discipline breakout meetings will follow in the afternoon.

Staff will report to their respective campuses Aug. 11, and the college will be open to help students register for classes, check on financial aid and other matters. The first day of the class for the fall term is Aug. 18.

Plans are currently underway for both events. Check the GPC Newsroom for updates.

Going to college makes good financial sense, says alumna

When Sherry Savage graduated from college, her parents gave her an option: a car or college.

“I did not pick college,” she says. “That was my biggest mistake.”

Now 52, Savage is trying to rectify that mistake by finally getting her associate degree at GPC. A budget analyst with the Coca-Cola Company, she spoke to students at Decatur Campus about some of her own financial lessons learned.

Savage was the keynote speaker during the Decatur Campus’s Financial Responsibility Day. The Decatur Business Department, the Alpha Beta Gamma Business Club and Decatur Student Life sponsored the event.

“Your choices are not just for now; what you decide to do with your money affects your tomorrow,” Savage said. “Leave a legacy that you can pass down. Invest while you are young and make an investment in your financial future.”

During the day, students also learned about creating a budget for personal success, credit and credit scores, and banking and investing from Al Parker from the Society of Financial Literacy and Professional Development.

Financial Responsibility Day is just one of many events held across the college to educate students about healthy financial practices.  Upcoming events include:

Friday, April 18, Accounting Awareness program sponsored by the Dunwoody Business Department, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Dunwoody Campus in NC-1100.  

Wednesday, April 30, “Basics of Money Management” presented by the GPC Alumni Association at 12 p.m. on Newton Campus in 1N 2230. To register for the Newton event, go to 


Document upload system launched for applying and current students

New applicants and current students at Georgia Perimeter College can now use a new system to upload documents on both their computers and smart phones. The upload system, at, has been added to the site, .

“Once a student has logged on with their GPC ID, last name and birthdate, a student will be able to 1) select the type of document they are uploading, 2) select a file to transmit or snap a picture of it using a smartphone, 3) upload that document to GPC immediately and 4) immediately see and track the status of that document as it works its way to the admissions checklist,” says Richard Beaubien, GPC’s director of information technology communications.

“This will allow for faster processing for most admissions documents, as long as we receive legible copies,” says Beaubien. The site is not for sending original documents, such as birth certificates, test scores, high school or college documents.

Forms that can be uploaded are:

  • Change of major forms
  • Change of personal information forms
  • Change of status forms
  • DD214—Military Students
  • Dual Enrollment Parental Consent Forms
  • Georgia Driver’s License/ID card
  • Immunization documents
  • Legal name change documents
  • Prime Timer/Try College forms
  • Copies of Social Security cards
  • Transient letters
  • Copies of U.S. Passports

Twelve earn bachelor degrees through GPC/GSW business program

Laura Gaines, left, pictured with GSW's Dr. Liz Wilson, graduated magna cum laude.

Twelve students enrolled in Georgia Perimeter College’s Fastrac business administration partnership with Georgia Southwestern State University received their bachelor degrees from Georgia Southwestern on May 10.

The three-year program enables students who complete their associate of science business degrees at GPC to complete their bachelor degrees with an additional 30 online credit hours from GSW.

Introduced in 2011, the Fastrac BBA program has grown from one student during its inaugural year to 135 students in 2014. Lee McKinley is Georgia Perimeter’s advisor for the program.

Students can earn their BBA degrees in management, accounting, human resources or marketing. Beginning this fall, the two colleges also will offer a three-year program in Information Technology.

 Spring 2014 graduates include: Andrea Arterburn, Joy Beckner Borland , Jessey Clark, Laura Gaines (magna cum laude), Lurwaner Harding (magna cum laude),  Jared Kranendonk , Tucker Martin (cum laude), and Jessican Renner, all in Management; Sharlmane Brown in Human Resource Management; and Margueriete Gates, Sabrina Ross  and Tiffany Turner, all Accounting.

Dental Hygiene students achieve 100 percent pass rate on national exam

The Georgia Perimeter College dental hygiene program is on a winning streak.

For seven years in a row, every single student preparing to graduate from the program this spring has passed the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, or NBDHE.

Instructor Pam Cushenan attributes the 100 percent pass rate to sharp students and effective teaching.

“This reinforces how important a well-oiled faculty, staff and adjunct faculty team are to the success of our students,” Cushenan says, noting the NBDHE is an eight-hour, comprehensive licensure exam.

This year, 23 students passed the national exam, she said. A few days ago, those same students took a required regional dental test. Results will be available in a few weeks.

The students also are preparing for their third and final step before becoming dental hygienists. They now must apply for state licensure, which includes an exam focused on dental laws and rules respective to individual states.

Cushenan is confident the students will continue to test well.

“I couldn’t be happier,” she says of their preparedness.


Students’ Clothesline Project brings attention to violence against women

Students create messages on t-shirts which were then displayed around Dunwoody Campus.
Students create messages on t-shirts which were then displayed around Dunwoody Campus.

Georgia Perimeter College students brought bring attention to the issue of violence against women during this spring’s Clothesline Project at Dunwoody Campus.

Participating students drafted colorful messages on t-shirts, which were then displayed on “clotheslines” and in buildings.  

Students in Dr. Dana Wiggins’ Women in American History class coordinated the activity, asking participants who had experienced violence, or knew a woman who had, to decorate shirts.

“We then displayed the shirts as visible symbols of the number of women who have experienced domestic, sexual or sexuality-related violence,” Wiggins says. “This project lends itself to the goals of the class and feminism in general by giving women survivors voices and also allowing volunteers to work with activism outside of the classroom.”

MPR renamed Office of Marketing and Communications

The college’s Office of Marketing and Public Relations is changing its name to the Office of Marketing and Communications.

The office recently undertook an audit to better understand all the ways in which it supports the college, according to Barbara Obrentz, director of the office, which will now go by the acronym MarCom.

“What we discovered was that we create so much more than media releases,” says Obrentz. “We produce speeches; write departmental video scripts; design invitations, posters, flyers, brochures and logos; plan and promote events; design advertising campaigns, and work with others to promote the college on social media -- plus so much more.” 

The name Marketing and Communications is more representative of the office’s functions, she says.


Secure on campus: GPC is among nation’s safest schools

Georgia Perimeter College ranks as one of the nation’s safest colleges, with no significant crime problems, according to a report by American School Search. Out of five possible stars, American School Search gave GPC 4 ½, or a B+ rating, based on crime and safety information compiled from data released by the United States Department of Education for 2012.

Specifically, the report analyzes categories of violent and non-violent crimes committed both on-campus and off-campus over the last three years at all GPC campuses.

While Georgia Perimeter Public Safety Director Nicholas Marinelli Jr. is pleased with the favorable ranking, the public safety team will strive to improve that ranking.

“The mission of the GPC Public Safety Department is to provide a safe and secure learning and workplace environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors through a strategically trained, tactically equipped, fully staffed public safety department,” Marinelli says.

Three GPC professors win national teaching awards

Three Georgia Perimeter College professors have been recognized with a national teaching excellence award for their work with their students, colleagues and the community.

Dr. James “Jim” Guinn, a GPC physics professor; Slava Prudchenko, a music professor; and Mary Helen O’Connor, an English instructor, are the 2014 recipients of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Awards. All three faculty teach on Georgia Perimeter’s Clarkston Campus.

The Texas-based NISOD Excellence Awards recognize college professors each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues.

“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” says Dr. Edward Leach, NISOD’s director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”

Created in 1978, NISOD is a consortium of community and technical colleges that share a commitment to supporting excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership.

DECA students to speak before USG Board of Regents

DECA students Britney Pitter and Naud Ghebre receive presentation pointers from Dawn Cooper, left, the USG’s director of College Readiness, and Kathryn Hall, DECA director. (photo by Bill Roa)

Two DeKalb Early College Academy students will speak before the University System of Georgia Board of Regents meeting May 20.

Britney Pitter and Naud Ghebre will share their experiences as early college students at Georgia Perimeter.

DECA, a joint venture between GPC and the DeKalb County School District, enables college-ready high school students from underrepresented groups to spend their first two years of high school at the academy in Stone Mountain and their final two at Georgia Perimeter's Clarkston Campus. Academy students earn high school and college credits simultaneously through dual enrollment, which means they can graduate from high school and college simultaneously.

Ghebre and Pitter are graduating May 12 from Georgia Perimeter and will earn their high school diplomas in addition to their associate degree. Pitter has been accepted to Georgia State University, and Ghebre will transfer to Georgia Tech.


Military Appreciation Day, collection drive are part of service learning project

Political Science students in Dr. Crystal Garrett’s classes are holding a Military Appreciation Day April 10 as part of their military service learning project.

The project also involves students collecting supplies for military members, a drive that is ongoing at Dunwoody Campus through the end of April.

The students first research the needs of active duty military members, their families and veterans. They then share their findings through presentations to other classes on Dunwoody Campus and urge students, faculty and staff to participate in the donation drive, which partners with Project Mail Call.

During Military Appreciation Day, Garrett’s students will man tables where students, faculty and staff can write thank-you letters to troops on active duty.


GPC leads ‘15 to Finish’ regional USG meetings

Two Georgia Perimeter College employees are guiding a segment of the University System of Georgia’s Complete College Georgia efforts. Elizabeth Thornton, a GPC English professor, and Dr. Matthew Robison, Clarkston Campus dean of students, are leading the state’s regional meetings and conference for "15 to Finish" Feb. 21 through March 21.

The meetings, which are open to USG faculty, advisors and administrators, are being held at Georgia Southwestern State University, Middle Georgia State College, University of North Georgia and Georgia State University.

Designed to encourage graduation in four years, “15 to Finish” promotes a 15-credit per semester academic load for students. It is a component of Complete College Georgia designed to retain, promote and graduate students.

Over the past decade, the emphasis on taking at least 15 credit hours per semester has faded, says Thornton. Many students take only 12 credits, the required amount to receive federal financial aid. “We want to change the norm,” she says.

Helping students identify their majors early on is one of the objectives of the program, says Robison. Many times, students take a collection of courses that don’t apply to a specific major, Robison says. “They often exhaust their financial aid and then incur serious debt in student loans—and to top it off, don’t graduate.”

Program of study “maps,” earlier academic advising and the statewide Degree Works software course-tracking program are all components of “15 to Finish.”

Both Robison and Thornton note that not all components of “15 to Finish” will work for the part-time students who make up a large portion of the student body at GPC and other commuter-heavy institutions.

‘Lying in Bed’ play staged at Dunwoody Campus

A play written by a GPC student and employee will be staged at Georgia Perimeter College’s Dunwoody Campus on Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium, NC 100.

The Lambda Triangle Club will present “Lying in Bed,” written by Cole Thomas and directed by Tamicka "TeeJay" Johnson. Thomas works at the Dunwoody Learning and Tutoring Center.

“Lying in Bed,” appropriate for ages 16-plus, portrays several couples and one widowed character whose lives intertwine through crises in health and celebrations of love. Nontraditional relationships and gender identity orientation are among the issues explored.

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