GC Journeys Newsletter



by Margaret Smith

Amphipods might have never crossed your mind before because although they are minuscule in size, they are in fact a huge deal. Amphipods are crustaceans that can be found in almost every environment; they are key indicators in determining the health of their surroundings. Their presence or absence can tell you a lot about their habitat, which is helpful in our current ecological climate. They allow you to have a record of what’s there before it changes, so as a society, we can make changes before the environments are gone.

You must be thinking, why all the talk about Amphipods? Because now one more species has been added to the list. Earlier this year, Georgia College’s very own Assistant Professor of Biology, Dr. White, and junior Environmental Science major, Sally Sir, discovered a never before identified species of Amphipod while investigating a sample from White's own collection she acquired during her postdoctoral studying in Okinawa, Japan.

The sample had laid dormant on White’s shelf until she decided to bring it out so Sir could start the examination process as an undergraduate research project. Two months later, after further investigation and sending it off to be finalized, they got the results back confirming that it is in fact a new species of Amphipod. The sample is now back in review having the details finalized, and after publication, the name of the new species will be released. While the team awaits these results, they have some exciting news to share with their fellow Bobcats on their latest endeavors in the world of science. They have added a new member to the team, sophomore Biology major, Elizabeth Durham.

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With Covid-19 travel restrictions being lifted recently, the team has had the chance to travel abroad to Panama to do their own field work and implement the tools they’ve learned in the classroom. Dr.White says, “It feels really nice to be teaching a new taxonomist how to do this. This is really a great example of the undergraduate research that we do here and a really nice way to show that students really are involved in research, and they’re not just washing dishes in the lab”.

The trip to Panama was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation whose goal is understanding biodiversity through taxonomic training, teaching students to identify, describe, and understand how species are related to each other, focusing on the Smithsonian in Panama. There, they worked collaboratively to obtain a sample of their own, which they have sent off to the lab and are expecting its arrival in the next couple of weeks. Durham describes her time working with Amphipods, “I have been surprised at all the different aspects of studying amphipods: you use microscopes, drawings, and you're using the imaging system. Gaining perspective about how different every research project is and that's why I think I enjoy it, so much because it's very unique and I'm always learning something new. I would never have the opportunity to go to Panama without research, it was my first time out of the country”. They cannot wait for their fresh material to get in so they can start identifying, and hopefully find yet another new species to add to the list of Amphipods. Sir noted that, “There is so much to learn in the world in science and overall, I didn't even know this was something I didn't know before I started it".

GC Journeys Symposium (10/29) Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Liberal Arts Mission

On October 29th, the GC Journeys (Virtual) Symposium will host a panel focused on celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Georgia College's Liberal Arts mission, as well as programming to support faculty leading various transformative experiences. The opening panel will feature speakers from Georgia College, as well as experts on the importance of the liberal arts, such as Cole Woodcox, Director of COPLAC, as well as, Debra Humphreys, author of Making the Case for Liberal Education.

Register here [First 25 to register will receive a complimentary copy of Learning That Matters].

Tentative Schedule (Schedule Subject to Change):

Career Planning Milestone Re-Design

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In an effort to create more collaboration between curricular and co-curricular career development planning, and to increase the number of students who complete the Career Planning Milestones, the program underwent a re-design. During the Spring and Summer 2021 semester the Career Center worked with a diverse advisory board comprised of both on-campus and employer stakeholders to plan the revision. The program was implemented this semester, and under the revised plan, students have a variety of ways they can satisfy the requirements of each milestone.

The Career Center is still collecting information on courses and/or programming that have learning objectives tied to career development. If you have a course, assignment, and/or assist students in engaging in co-curricular activities that cover one or more of the following milestones: self-awareness and career exploration, professional networking and engagement, resume writing skills, or interviewing skills, please submit information here.

For more information on the Career Planning Milestones re-design initiative, contact Lauren Easom at lauren.easom@gcsu.edu

Upcoming GC Journeys Programming

October 5th @ Noon- Transformative Experiences through Backward Design & TILT - Jaclyn Queen & Simeco Vinson

October 14th @ Noon- Engaging Students in Collaborative Learning and Critical Thinking with Technology - Si Zhang & Jaclyn Queen

October 25, 3:30 - 5 pm- Transformative Experiences - Cynthia Alby & Simeco Vinson

Directly applicable to teaching in a liberal arts college, this highly interactive two-part series is designed to help everyone be on the same page for the university's GC Journeys program. We will provide you with information to help you make the classes you teach and the programs you teach in more transformative for students and more meaningful for you.

October 29th 12:00-3:00- GC Journeys Symposium

November 1, 3:30-5:00- Essential Learning Outcomes- Cynthia Alby & Simeco Vinson

Part two of the two-part series, we will provide you with information to help you make the classes you teach and the programs you teach in more transformative for students and more meaningful for you.

Sign up for sessions here.

Employer Engagement and Networking Opportunity

As employers and organizations inquire about different ways to engage with Georgia College students and build relationships, interactions within the classroom setting have become a greater topic of interest. Recruiting employers and organizations seeking to connect more with students, and requests to come into the actual classroom setting and visit/facilitate information on various career related topics have grown. As the Career Center seeks to gauge if faculty members are open to employers/organizations visiting and/or presenting during their lecture times, a survey was created to better understand if this would be something our faculty members support. It is also convenient for faculty members to have these scheduled visits in their absences, so they don't have to cancel class(es).

**Dates/topics for these events would be determined by the employer partner, the Career Center and professor/class schedule. Topics could range from professionalism, resume/cover letter writing, interviewing skills, Linked In Profiles, Networking, Job Searching, trends within the workplace, information on the employer/organization, opportunities available, application instructions, etc.)**

Faculty are encouraged to complete the survey linked HERE by the Career Center. For additional questions and concerns, please contact Brittany Archer at brittany.archer@gcsu.edu.

GC Journeys Publishes Annual Report

For the second straight year, GC Journeys has published an annual report to help chart the progress of the GC Journeys Initiative.

This year's report includes data on:

  • GC Journeys participation (and comparisons to previous years)
  • Highlights from GC Journeys News
  • GC Journeys Assessment Reports

View the 2020-2021 GC Journeys Annual Report

GC Journeys Class Visits

If you're interested in having one of our GC Journeys Champions come to your class and talk about GC Journeys, please email to schedule a visit.

Need Capstone Advice?

Do you feel like your capstone experience needs to rethinking? Could you benefit from a brainstorming session? Contact Dr. Stephanie M. McClure for Capstone Design Questions.

Communities of Practice

GC Journeys is organizing Communities of Practice around high-impact practices, such as Community based Engaged Learning. These will be faculty-led groups that will meet regularly to explore the best ways to lead experiences.

For more information, please contact Dr. Stefanie Sevcik

MURACE Undergraduate Research Circle Meeting on Oct 6th @ 5:30

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