GMC All Hail!

Georgia Military College has seemingly always been part of my life. Although I was home schooled, I spent most of my teenage years going to their prep football games. My boss’ son was the quarterback, so I had a good excuse to be there. As time moved on, I graduated high school and spent a year at the local vocational school. Finally, once summer day when it was 128 degrees in the electrical lab, I decided that I really didn’t want to be an electrician. I talked it over with my parents, and I started getting everything together for my admission to GMC.

GMC is a large institution, but the Milledgeville campus at that time had more prep school students than college students. But still, coming from a program where I was one of 4 to being in 25 person classes, it was quite a culture shock. In an effort to fit in, I went to the Student Activities office and asked about starting up a College Republican chapter and joining SGA. Well, I had to have at least 5 people to start the CR chapter, but I could join SGA just by coming to the next meeting, so that’s what I did.

In what I still find as an extremely weird twist of fate, that was the week the 48th Brigade of the Georgia National Guard received deployment orders, taking quite a few GMC cadets, and all but one of the SGA officers, with them. So, I quickly went from trying to see what SGA was about, to being vice-president. Through that organization I formed many friendships I continue to enjoy through this day. I learned to speak in public without having a panic attack (kind of vital for me these days…). I went to my first conference, and while I was learning in the classroom, I learned just as much in the Student Activities office. I continued my involvement, and the next year was elected president.

As time moved forward, like it always does, I won a few awards, went to a few more conferences and retreats, and generally had the time of my life. I knew I would soon graduate, but that didn’t mean I was in any way looking forward to it. But graduate I did, moving on to my first congressional campaign over the summer, and starting at Georgia College as a junior political science major that fall.

Once again, time marched forward. Four years later, with my political science degree and a recently finished Master of Public Administration in hand, I met a friend for lunch at Amici’s. She wondered why I was so dressed up, so I told her that I had just interviewed to be part-time faculty at GMC until I found a full time job. Well, I got the position. And I was now a “peer” to all of the faculty who had taught and mentored me through the years. A few months later, I walked in faculty as my childhood best friend walked across the stage in his Marine blues to receive his degree from all the Army brass. I continued teaching once I got my full time job. And on into my second full time job. But things still change.

Due to my health issues, I have let my department chair know that I will not be returning for spring quarter. For the first time since fall of 2010, I will not be a faculty member at Georgia Military College. It is still a bit strange to comprehend, but GMC will always be a part of my life. I grew up there. I experienced my first take of leadership there.  It was my first professional job. And most importantly, I had my first date with my wife there.

I’m only going to be three blocks away, so I’m sure I will still be visiting often. And I hope that my former students continue to stay in touch as well.

Opera cum Fidelitate

Celebrating Graduation Weekend

In the next two days, more than 1300 people will go from being Georgia College students to being Georgia College Alumni. To celebrate the occasion, I put together a collage of graduations from my past.

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Top Left:

Receiving my Associate of Science in General Studies from Georgia Military College Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Faculty Dr. John Anderson in 2006.

Top Right:

With Ms. Claire Nichols (now Sanders), Instructor of Political Science, following my Undergraduate Commencement for Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2008.

Bottom Left:

Being hooded as part of the Graduate Commencement where I received my Master of Public Administration in 2010.

Middle Right:

With other members of my graduate cohort, Mike Taylor, Justin Mays, and Haly Hicks.

Bottom Right:

My first graduation as faculty (and only one I’ve participated in as faculty). With my good friend Joshua Rogers, who received Outstanding Graduate from Georgia Military College in 2011.

What to do in Milledgeville – Results

A couple of months ago, I did a post inviting others to contribute ideas of things for the Class of 2017 to during their time in Milledgeville. Today, their  time in Milledgeville begins. They have spent this rainy morning moving into the residence halls of Georgia College.

So, from the locals, staff, faculty, and alumni (and sometimes a mixture of all the above), here is a list of the suggestions as well as messages from some of the participants.

Academic

  • Go to your professor’s office hours
  • Build a relationship with your academic advisor
  • Use the Learning Center and supplemental instructors
  • Visit the Old Governor’s Mansion*
  • Visit the Old Capital Museum at GMC
  • Go on a Study Abroad!

Community

  • Enjoy the outdoors at the Oconee River Greenway*
  • Meet and form a relationship with a Milledgeville family.
  • Visit Lockerly Arboretum
  • Walk around Memory Hill Cemetery
  • Go on the Haunted Trolley Tour

Cultural

  • Go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show on campus
  • Go see a Jazz Band Performance
  • Tour Andalusia
  • Attend as many Musical concerts, theatre performances, dance performances, and literary readings as you can.

Dining

  • Eat a Smiley Face cookie from Ryals’ Bakery*
  • Attempt the XXX Hot Wings Challenge at The Brick
  • Get a Spicy Chicken Biscuit from Golden Pantry*
  • Try the Chicken Salad from Goodie Gallery
  • Eat Stuffed Sticks and Hefty Nachos from The Brick
  • Get a “Meat and three” meal from Country Buffet. “If you miss home, go here for comfort food.”
  • Get some Sweet and Sour Chicken from Lieu’s Peking
  • Velvet Elvis has great lunch specials
  • Get some frozen yogurt at Yumo Yogo
  • Try every restaurant downtown

Social

  • Play trivia at Buffington’s, Pickle Barrel, and Mellow Mushroom.
  • Get involved on campus (SGA, Judicial Board, political and academic organizations)
  • Cheer on the Georgia College athletic teams
  • Make use of the Wellness Center

* Multiple individuals suggested this activity

Messages

Enjoy your time as a GCSU student to the fullest! It’ll fly by and you’ll have a great education and some wonderful memories and friends (maybe even a spouse!) to take with you into the real world after you graduate!
~ Beth H., Class of 2010 and 2011

GET INVOLVED with your Student Government Association!!! Run for office, make new friends, and apply for the Student Judicial Board. There is no quicker or better way to have a say in the day to day issues that relate to all facets of GC life!
~ Justin T. Reeves, Former Attorney General, Class of 2010 (BA History) and 2012 (MPA)

Dear Class of 2017,

You are about to enter the best times of your life. From here on out, the choices you make today will indeed affect your tomorrow. College is the time people refer back to- the time they long for after the get into the “real world” and the place that will always hold a special place in your heart. Study Abroad at least 1 time- get involved in at least 1 campus RSO- and remember now is the time you get to completely reinvent yourself. You have the decision to choose to be something great- or spend your college time saying “man last night was so awesome- I don’t remember any of it”. Choose to make memories- not regrets. College is an opportunity to grow and change- but it will only happen if you let it. Never let someone else make decisions for you- about anything. This is your time to stand out- take it. If you ever find yourself in need of help- do the wise thing and simply ask someone. The only stupid questions are the ones you think about- but never ask. Learn from others mistakes and welcome to Georgia College!
~ Rachel Sullivan Pope, Class of 2006 and 2009

Welcome to Georgia College
~ Member of the Class of 2013

And with that, I will add my welcome. I look forward to working with you over the course of the upcoming semester as well as the next four years. If there is any I can do for you, please let me know. Welcome to the Bobcat Nation.
~ Daniel R. Simpson, Class of 2008 and 2010