GC Journeys Newsletter


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The University System of Georgia (USG) awarded its “2021 Regents’ Momentum Year Award for Excellence in Teaching and Curricular Innovation” to GC Journeys—a program where every Georgia College student participates in at least five transformative experiences in their college years.

“We strongly value the success of our students and realize the impact of the intentional and supportive opportunities a program like GC Journeys offers to their college experience,” said Dr. Costas Spirou, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

“We are dedicated to providing all our students access to these high-impact practices,” he said, “and will continue to nurture and develop GC Journeys so our students are career or graduate school ready.”

In a congratulatory letter announcing the award, Dr. Tristan Denley, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer for USG, wrote: “We received many outstanding nomination portfolios this year and each was thoroughly reviewed by a panel of faculty and administrators from across the University System. When the review committee met to discuss the nominations and finalize their recommendations, they voted unanimously to recommend GC Journeys program as this year’s winner.”

Read more about this award here.

GC Journeys sponsors Winter Adopt-a-Stream Service Project

Georgia College students spent their winter break being "citizen scientists" by adopting local streams in a community-based learning experience. This unique co-curricular program was a collaboration by Dr. Allison Vandevoort, Ruth Eilers, Dr. Harold Mock, Erin Weston, Kendall Stiles, and Dr. Jordan Cofer.

50 students, ranging in majors from Mass Communication to Chemistry, took a four hour course and test to become certified to visually assess and chemically test local water samples. Then, these students were able to apply what they learned by taking these skills back to their hometowns.

During the Winter Break, these students were able to monitor streams from 26 different counties. They shared their findings in the state's online database and gave a report to city leaders. This program also fulfills one of the five "transformative experiences" every student needs to complete the Georgia College Journeys requirement.

Students from all different majors participated in the program.

Read more Frontpage or WMAZ

Georgia College students monitor local water health

First-Year Students Plan their GC Journey

As the Fall 2020 semester came to a close first-year students developed personalized plans for their GC Journey. Students spent time learning more about the GC Journeys Transformative Experience options through their first-year seminar course. Armed with the knowledge about the Transformative Experience options each student then created their individual GC Journeys plan. In these initial plans students selected the two Transformative Experiences they are most interested in pursuing during their time at GC. They identified which semester they would like to complete these Transformative Experiences and developed next steps towards completion. Students indicated interest in every one of the transformative experience options, with Internships and Study Abroad garnering the most interest from first-year students. These GC Journeys plans were shared with the students’ academic advisors, who will connect with students about their GC Journeys progress during academic advising appointments.

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Students Connect With Faculty To Learn About Research Opportunities

With over 60 people in attendance, students were able to connect virtually with faculty from all different disciplines to learn about research opportunities across the campus.

In it's third year, the Undergraduate Research Circle, a student-led club, hosted the event which connects students interested in research opportunities with faculty who are leading these experiences. Although the event was virtual, and held at the end of the Fall semester, the event had a record turnout. In fact, it was so popular, many students requested the club to repeat the event in the Spring semester.

Faculty Mentors in Attendance:

1. Dr. Allison Miller, Professor of Management

2. Dr. Amy Pinney, Associate Professor of Theater

3. Dr. Doreen Sams, Professor of Marketing

4. Dr. Katie Stumpf, Assistant Professor of Biology

5. Dr. Kel-Ann Elyer, Associate Professor of Accounting

6. Dr. Kelly Massey, Associate Professor of Exercise Science

7. Dr. Mary Kay Rickard, Assistant Professor of Marketing

8. Dr. Stephanie Jett, Assistant Professor of Psychology

9. Dr. Tsu-Ming Chiang, Professor of Psychology

10. Dr. Karen Berman, Professor of Theatre

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CTL/GC Journeys Upcoming Programming

The Science of Learning - Dr. Cynthia Alby 1/27/2021 @ 3:30

When I teach students about Research-based methods for goal setting, note-taking, reviewing, and test taking, they always ask me, “Why didn't anyone tell me this years ago?!” Get students off on the right foot this semester by introducing them to these cutting-edge methods.

Transformative Learning Experiences & Essential Learning Outcomes - Drs. Cynthia Alby & Simeco Vinson. 1/29/2021 @ 2:00 to 4:30

I hope this e-mail finds you well. I wanted to bring to your attention some programming that many others have participated in and found it to be very beneficial. Every year, the Center for Teaching and Learning and GC Journeys offers a series of workshops that are directly applicable to teaching in a liberal arts college. The two workshops are Transformative Experiences (February 12, 2021 @ 2:00) and Essential Skills (February 12, 2021 @ 3:15).

Last year, most of our faculty attended this two-part series designed to help get everyone on the same page for the university's GC Journeys Program. The program is already getting nationwide attention, but it will take a village to bring it to fruition. If you would like to participate, please register today. The sessions are highly interactive and designed to help you make the classes you teach (and the programs you teach in) more transformative for students and more meaningful for you.

Developing Relationships in a Digital Environment - Dr. Simeco Vinson. 2/2/2021 @ Noon

Relationship building is one of the main goals for engaging students in a digital learning environment. Several research studies have found a positive correlation between level of student persistence and success in an online learning environment and students' perceptions of social presence. There are various tools and techniques that can improve social presence in an online environment which include discussion boards, personalized grading feedback, building collaborative teams, the use of synchronous sessions, and the use of faculty created videos that link to course content. This session will provide participants with information on how to develop relationships with students as well as some of the benefits of the suggested options.

Sign Up Here

24th Annual Student Research Conference is Virtual


Faculty and Teaching Staff

Are you willing to take on the challenge of helping prepare for the GC SRC 2021 Virtual Conference? Presentations will be through Gather Town (this was successfully used at the Research Roundup Nov. 2020). We, at MURACE, would love to have your assistance in planning the sessions. This opportunity is a low commitment way to serve the university to provide undergraduates a safe opportunity to present their research during a Pandemic. Please contact us at urace@gcsu.edu if you are able to spare a couple of hours in January and February to assist.



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.

Georgia College Academic Advising Update

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Our advisors are here! As partners, together we'll explore all the options you are considering. The Academic Advising Center assists students in developing and implementing individualized academic paths, and in identifying how to access the many opportunities available through GC Journeys, as well as other co-curricular activities on campus. Academic Advisors work with students to monitor their academic progress while providing support and assistance. We are committed to guiding you to think critically and work to empower you to make informed decisions as you define and achieve academic success.

The Academic Advising Center is available by phone at 478-445-2361, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. Academic Advising link: https://gcsu.zoom.us/my/gcadvising

We will check email account throughout the day, and will respond to your message within one business day.

You can schedule an appointment online using the “Schedule an Academic Advising Appointment” link in UNIFY.

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.