Farewell to Another Mentor

In September of 2004, I walked into a classroom of a man who quite frankly scared me to death. I hated math, but was still faced with a college algebra course my first term in college. To say I was terrified does not begin to describe my emotion. I would like to say that Dr. John S. Robertson was quick to alleviate my fears, but this is not the case. The more he lectured, the more terrified I became. This was a man whose brilliance was as intimidating as his bold red suspenders were distracting.

I still hate math. But, over the course of the next two years, and with the benefit of retrospect, I learned so much more from him than I ever imagined. He demonstrated to me how to manage a classroom. He showed me how to reward students who make an effort. He strove to reassure me that it was possible to be both a man of science and logic while being a man of faith. He introduced me to the world of Biblical apologetics. While we did not share the same denomination, we did share the same faith and he taught me the importance of being able to defend and describe what I believe.

He was also the faculty advisor for the GMC Amateur Radio Club, of which I was the only member. On the occasions where we would have meetings, we would sit together long after formal adjournment and discuss things related to radio, to science, to faith, and to life. Without realizing it was happening, I was being given a model of the liberal arts experience.

Dr. Robertson and I fell out of touch after his retirement, which is something I hate. But, I can still see his influences each time I stand before a classroom, each time I engage in a theological discussion, and each time I am trying to make sense of a math problem. He had a tremendous impact on my life, as I am sure he has on countless others during his years of teaching at the United States Military Academy, Georgia College, and Georgia Military College. He passed away last week; I didn’t find out until the funeral was in progress. Since I was not able to pay my respects in person, on behalf of all of his former students, I say thank you. You will be missed.

Obituary

I don’t have a picture of us together, but this is pretty close. If I remember correctly, he took this picture while we were operating a Special Event Station at the GMC Business Office.

Welcome to CSS, Nadirah

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A shot of Lanier Hall I grabbed while I was walking back from lunch today.

Today, we welcome a new colleague to Lanier Hall, the Center for Student Success, and the BA Corner. Nadirah Mayweather begins today as advisor for departments of English and Rhetoric, Theatre, Modern Languages and Cultures, and Undeclared students. She will also be assisting with incoming Music students.

Nadirah is no stranger to Georgia College. She is an alumna of the university as well as a former employee in the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Nadirah, welcome back to Georgia College. I look forward to working with you and getting to know you. Best of luck as you begin this new chapter in your professional life.

GMC Mothers’ Day Parade

It has been a long time since I attended a parade at Georgia Military College. When I was a student, I would go to most of them. Now that I have a full-time job across town, it is a bit more difficult to get them, especially since most are held in the afternoons. But, a few weeks ago, there was a parade which I would not miss.

The Mothers’ Day Parade is one I had never attended. There was never a reason for me to do so. But, this particular parade, they were also celebrating the retirement of a lady who has influenced my life a great deal. GMC is my alma mater, which literally means “nourishing mother.” While there, like many students who have gone before me and quite a few after, I gained a second mother.

Ms. Brenda Brown’s official title is Community Service Coordinator, but she did much more than that. She worked (during my years) in the student activities office, which given my involvement with student government, led to a lot of interaction. She was always quick to inspire and encourage, and like any good mother-figure, not afraid to deal out the correction when necessary (not that I ever needed it, of course…).

She had a tremendous impact over countless students over the years, as was evidenced by the people at the parade. Just about everyone I spoke to – at least those who didn’t work at the school – had driven into town (well over 800 miles) for her. Not for the parade, but for her. One couple, who now works at a living history museum, was there in full 1800s costume. When I asked why they were dressed like that, the answer was simple. “Ms. Brown asked us to do it. And when she asks for something, you don’t really tell her no.”

So, here are a few pictures from the parade. I also was able to get a video (from where I was standing, it’s more like audio only) of the Col. Fred Van Horn presenting her with her retirement saber.

The cadets entering the parade.
The cadets entering the parade.
The Regimental Colors with a detail to be recognized with academic awards.
The Regimental Colors with a detail to be recognized with academic awards.
Ms. Brown receiving her saber from Col. Van Horn. Source: Georgia Military College Public Relations
Ms. Brown receiving her saber from Col. Van Horn. Source: Georgia Military College Public Relations

The Next Steps: Making the Transition to a Four-Year Institution

Before SpringFest last Saturday, I – along with fellow GMC and PTK alum Shayne Williams –  had the opportunity to lead a panel on moving from a 2 year school to a 4 year university for the the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Regional Conference. Luckily for me, the conference was in Milledgeville, hosted by Georgia Military College, so I could make both events. You can view the slides here, or look over the outline below.

The Next Steps: Making the Transition to a Four-Year Institution

About Us

Daniel R. Simpson, MPA

  • Academic Advisor at Georgia College
  • MPA (‘10) and BA – Political Science (‘08) from Georgia College
  • AA – General Studies (‘06) from Georgia Military College
  • Alpha Omicron Epsilon Chapter VP (‘05-’06)

Shayne Williams

  • Mass Communication/PR and Political Science student at Georgia College
  • AA – General Studies (’12) from Georgia Military College
  • Alpha Omicron Epsilon Chapter President

Top Ten Tips

Complete your Associate Degree

  • Credit transfers more easily if the degree is awarded
  • If no degree is awarded, the follow institution can pick and choose by class
  • If everything does not transfer, you may fall behind

Find YOUR best fit

  • The best college in the world is worthless if you do not like it there
  • Find one that has the program you need
  • Find one you can afford
  • Find one where you will be happy

Plan Ahead

  • If you know where you want to transfer, incorporate their requirements into your current degree plan
  • If your follow on program has prerequisites, go ahead and take them if possible

Do not be shy

  • Maintain an open dialogue with your transfer admissions representative
  • Once you are admitted, contact your academic advisor to discuss course selection
  • Visit campus and find your way around before the first day of classes

Choose a major

  • By the time you transfer, you will mostly be in your major classes
  • Because of this, you will need to have selected a major

File all the necessary paperwork

  • Do not forget your final transcripts
  • Make sure to have them sent AFTER the degree posts, not just final grades

Take Care of Financial Aid

  • You will need to include the new institution information on your FAFSA
  • Look into specialized scholarships for transfer and ΦΘΚ students
  • Also check major based scholarships

Attend Orientation

  • Will help you find your way around your new campus
  • Will let you know what resources are available
  • Will give you a chance to meet important contacts

Stay Focused

  • Your classes will be tougher; meet the challenge
  • Remember the basics of academic success
  • Ask for help when you need it

Make Use of Your New Resources

  • Your Academic Advisor
  • Tutoring Center or Supplemental instruction
  • Organizations especially for transfer students

For More Information

Daniel R. Simpson

  • daniel.simpson@gcsu.edu
  • wb4doj.org/danielrsimpson
  • (478) 445-6294

Shayne Williams

  • emily.williams2@bobcats.gcsu.edu

References

  • Hyman, Jeremy S., and Lynn F. Jacobs. “10 Tips for Transferring From Community College.” U.S. News and World Report, 2009. http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2009/09/16/10-tips-for-transferring-from-community-college.

SpringFest 2013

Every spring, Georgia College hosts SpringFest for students who have been admitted, but may have not made up their mind about attending. The advisors take over a computer lab and assist students completing their course preference selection (known in Bobcat land as POUNCE).

Here are some pictures from today.

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The Library and Information Technology Center had a large display to welcome the incoming students.
The path to the POUNCE lab was well marked.
The path to the POUNCE lab was well marked.
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Elena, who advises the pre-education majors with Leeann, who advises biology and environmental science.
Nikki (Psychology) tried photobombing Chris (English, Foreign Language, Theatre, and Music) but he turned it around on her.
Nikki (Psychology) tried photobombing Chris (English, Foreign Language, Theatre, and Music) but he turned it around on her. Chris is approaching retirement and working on his “get off my lawn” face. 🙂
I had to present at a conference this morning, so I was wearing a vest and bowtie. Bad decision... It was far to hot for me to be wearing a sweater.
I had to present at a conference this morning, so I was wearing a vest and bow tie. Bad decision… It was far to hot for me to be wearing a sweater.

So, for all the incoming Bobcats, welcome to Georgia College!