GC Journeys Newsletter

MARCH 2021

GC Student Research Conference Goes Virtual

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The 24th Annual GC Student Research Conference, hosted by the Mentored Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (MURACE), on March 26th was a resounding success. Using the GatherTown, over 120 people in attendance.

The winner for the best research poster went to Jenna Bryson, a senior Graphic Design major and Marketing minor from Loganville, Georgia, who was mentored by Dr. Abraham Abebe, an Assistant Professor in Art, Graphic Design. Ms. Bryson started her undergraduate research on SEIZURE: A Safety Protocol & Data Collection Application in the Fall of 2020. The idea for this research stemmed from her personal experience battling epilepsy. Her mobile application design is two-fold: (1) it focuses on a straightforward data collection system for seizure-related information and (2) it provides a built-in timer and safety protocol list to keep seizure patients safe.

The winner for the Best Oral Presentation went to Katie-Rose Borrello, a senior, graduating this May with Bachelor's degrees in English Literature and Spanish Language and Culture. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Katie Simon, an Associate Professor of English. Ms. Borrello has specialized in studying British Romanticism and Flannery O'Connor. Both student winners will receive a check for $75.

Additionally, the following students were chosen to represent Georgia College at the COPLAC Conference: Ruth Hagler, Jenna Bryson, Sidney Johnson, Katie-Rose Borrello, Lillian Daniels, Catherine Boyd, Zachary Leffler, and Savannah Webb. Congratulations to these students and their mentors.

Georgia College Hosts Noted Sustainability Educator

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On Tuesday, March 23rd, Georgia College Leadership Programs hosted Dr. Rae André, noted sustainability educator and environmental activist for the Inspire! Forum on Leadership. Additionally, Dr. André also led a workshop for educators from across the country on “Teaching Climate Leadership.” Georgia College hosted both events in partnership with the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) and the Management & Organizational Behavior Teaching Society, of which André is past president.

André, who is professor emeritus at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, is the author of Lead for the Planet: Five Practices for Confronting Climate Change.

André stresses the urgency for “team humanity” to act fast in our efforts to minimize global warming. The most effective and time-sensitive way to produce change is to focus on innovation, according to André. In Lead for the Planet, she lays out five practices for individuals and organizations to combat climate change.

  1. Get the truth.
  2. Assess the risks.
  3. Weigh the stakes.
  4. Define the business of business.
  5. Engage global leadership.

“We need all the leaders we can get. We must acknowledge human being's strengths and weaknesses as decision-makers,” says André. “We need to focus on what we can do for climate change.”

André urged participants to think deeply about the businesses they support. To students in particular, she encouraged them to consider how their own values might comport with potential employers. “Are businesses pursuing weak sustainability (for their organization) or strong sustainability (for the planet)?” asked André. “Work for a company that values what you value for sustainability.”

André’s forum marks the final in the Inspire! series for the 2020-21 academic year. Next year’s series will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Inspire! Forum on Leadership is Georgia College’s presentation-discussion series on leadership for the public good. Presenters are distinguished executives in private enterprise or hold leadership roles in the public sector and share the university’s commitment to leadership for the public good, whether in business, the non-profit sector, or public affairs.

For more information, please visit gcsu.edu/inspire. A video-recording of André’s forum is available online.

Apply For the 2nd Annual Summer Virtual GC Journeys Course

The 2nd Annual Summer Virtual GC Journeys Course, which focuses on Incorporating Transformative Experiences into the classroom, is a professional development opportunity sponsored by GC Journeys and hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning. It will provide faculty with the opportunity to engage with expert guest speakers on incorporating or enhancing elements of essential learning outcomes, high-impact practices, principles of excellence, authentic assessment, and signature student work into current GC courses.

This year's course will feature Dr. Michael Crafton, former president and provost of UWG, and current AAC&U Fellow. The course will be offered entirely online and meet June 7th, June 9th, June 14th, June 16th, and July 21st from 2 pm to 5 pm.

All course completers are eligible to receive $300 professional development funds! Apply here by May 15th.

For more details, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at 478-445-2520 or ctl@gcsu.edu.

GC Faculty Present on Service Learning

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On April 9th, Dr. Kelley Ditzel, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, and Dr. Karen Berman, retired Professor of Theatre, will be featured alongside faculty from University of Georgia and College of Coastal Georgia in a statewide webinar on Service Learning.

The webinar is part of the University System of Georgia's HIPs Implementation Teams initiative, in partnership with AAC&U's LEAP. The webinar will cover best practices in service learning and feature Q&A, attendance will include faculty from across the state of Georgia.

National GC Journeys Webinar A Success

Over 800 people registered for the AAC&U Webinar, Building and Scaling an Institutional HIPs Initiative, which focused on GC Journeys. The webinar, which featured Drs. Costas Spirou, Jordan Cofer, Cynthia Alby, and Hasitha Mahabaduge, focused on how Georgia College uses GC Journeys to embed High-Impact Practices throughout the curriculum.

According to Cofer, the webinar has had a major impact. "Since the webinar, I've been contacted by everything from regional universities to community colleges and have conducted multiple zoom sessions with schools reaching out for advice." GC is hoping to continue working with AAC&U on it's focus on both transformative experiences and essential skills.

Upcoming GC Journeys Sessions

4/1/2021 @ Noon

Developing Student Critical Thinking Through Higher-Order Questioning - Dr. Simeco Vinson

Research has shown that Higher-Order Questions (HOQs) require advanced cognitive demand and help students develop critical thinking skills. Higher-Order Questions (HOQs) are questions that students cannot answer with a yes or no response or by providing information quoted from a textbook. Instructors can use HOQs to help students build critical thinking skills. This session explores ways to create higher-order questions for students using AAC&U's Critical Thinking Rubric as an integral component. These materials will help you develop a set of content-specific questions to use with your students to help them build questioning patterns that lead to thinking critically.

You can register for each of the workshops by visiting our Registration Link.

Apply for GC Journeys Project Mini-Grants

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2020-2021 GC Journeys Transformative Experiences Mini Grant

Are you leading a transformative learning experience (whether virtual or online) and need a little money to complete it? Apply for the 2020-2021 GC Journeys Transformative Experiences Mini-Grant.


These small mini-grants, offered on a rolling basis, can be used to complete/fund transformative learning experiences (First Year Experience, Capstone, Undergraduate Research, Leadership, Community based Engaged Learning) that you are leading.


These are state funds, so there are limits on how it can be spent and must be expended by June 2021. A committee made up of faculty and staff will review the applications monthly and make the awards.

To apply:

Fill out the application here.

GC Journeys Annual Report

The GC Journeys Annual Report is now available on the GC Journeys webpage. The annual report includes participation information, highlights and news stories, as well as assessments for GC Journeys. The Annual Report can be found here.