Category Archives: Advising

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.


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.


  • 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!


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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


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

Welcome to CSS, Nadirah


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.

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

  • (478) 445-6294

Shayne Williams



  • Hyman, Jeremy S., and Lynn F. Jacobs. “10 Tips for Transferring From Community College.” U.S. News and World Report, 2009.
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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.


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.


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!

Homecoming Office Decorations

Last week was Homecoming at Georgia College, in the spirit of celebration, there is an office decorating contest. Typically dominated by Financial Aid, this year the Center for Student Success decided to give it a go. Well, it turns out it paid off, as we won the contest.

The theme for this year was “When in Rome, do as you have done in Milledgeville” by alumna Flannery O’Connor. 

This is the main entrance into our suite.

This is the main entrance into our suite.

This recreation of the Creation of Adam depects Flannery O'Connor and Thunder (the university mascot).

This recreation of the Creation of Adam depicts Flannery O’Connor and Thunder (the university mascot).

Part of the staff that handled the Decorations standing in front of the Fountain of Knowledge, complete with Thunder Bobbleheads.  Left to Right: Maria, Hannah, Elena, and Erin.

Part of the staff that handled the Decorations standing in front of the Fountain of Knowledge, complete with Thunder Bobbleheads.
Left to Right: Maria, Hannah, Elena, and Erin.

Thank a Mentor

Well, I just realized that Thank a Mentor Day was last week on January 17th. Since I can’t exactly go back and write a post on that date, I will just post it today.

4180_1099963553210_4331864_nMy mentor was known for striking terror into the hearts of both undergraduate and graduate students. His primary area was research methods, which is a challenge for most students anyway. Throw in the fact that you HAD to pass his class in order to graduate, and most people didn’t take the class until their last semester, a lot of students had to stay longer than they anticipated.

Not wanting that fate to befall me, I took the class the first semester of my senior year. For what ever reason, it clicked for me. I became one of six my entire time as an undergraduate who made an “A” in the course. This led to me receiving a graduate assistantship in the department to help tutor his students. And thus, I became the minion for the man feared by all political science, criminal justice, sociology, and public administration students and grad students at Georgia College.

Professor Jan Mabie, PhD, well below the sarcastic exterior, was as big of a cutup and as great of a mentor as could ever be found.  He taught me the way of The Force, er, research methodology using not the modern advances of Stata, SPSS, any other software package. Instead, we used an old DOS based program he wrote.

Most students felt tortured to take him once. I had him twice in undergrad, then at least once a semester in grad school covering everything from basic and advanced methods to personnel management. Most people, him included, questioned my sanity when I asked him to be my thesis chair. In retrospect, I don’t think he even read anything from my thesis except the methods section.

He retired last year, but without a doubt, I can see his influence today in my teaching and research today. I have been to a conference and have to constantly remind myself that not everyone was taught methods, and to not let the “poor idiot” have it for leaving something off the slide.

Every fall, when the “minions of morons” descend upon campus, I will be reminded of him. Every time I watch a science show, I mentally start reciting the “Assumptions of the Western Analytic Tradition.” Whenever I look at a cross-tab, I will still call it a contingency table in my head. And whenever I start nerding out over data and a scatter plot, I will be grateful I was trained by one of the best, and quite possibly the most old-school, in the business.

When he got this look going over your data, you were in trouble. (This was at another faculty member's retirement party.)

When he got this look going over your data, you were in trouble. (This was at another faculty member’s retirement party.)

This was the two of us at the first MPA Program Dinner my first year of grad school.

This was the two of us at the first MPA Program Dinner my first year of grad school.

Dr. Mabie has a group on Facebook dedicated to him, titled “Mabie You Can Make It.” Barron Webster (MPA 2008) wrote “The Legend of Jan Mabie” for the page. It may not mean as much to the people who had not been through the program and classes, but here it is.

The kind words of Dr. Jan Mabie reverberate in students’ minds for years after their Quantitative final is done and the last OurStat disc has been removed from those ancient laptops. He began his illustrious career at Georgia College in 1894 when our dear alma mater was known simply as the Georgia State College for Women. His notable students include Flannery O’Connor, Michael Digby, Amici Buffington, Galileo, and John Milledge.

In fact, an old legend in Milledgeville tells the tale of a young Flannery O’Connor who aspired to be a statistician. One day, she’d had her fair share of confusion over covariation and PRE measures of association. She lost her marbles finding T-scores and Z-scores and F Tests… and she took to writing as a way of releasing her anger and stress. Out of pure frustration was born one of the finest Southern Gothic authors ever to strike a typewriter.

As for the rest of us, we now have the tendency to correct our friends when they tell us “Don’t become a statistic!” Because you’re never a statistic- you’re a datum. If you need to know if there is a correlation between sex and salary with respect to education level, we’ll be there. Want to know how much of a correlation there is between education level and poverty in any county in Georgia? Give us a call. We’ll even construct the operational definition.

So the next time you’re confused about where to find the nearest “mature analytical community,” sit on the edge of the table. Scratch your chin with your eyes fixed upward and your head cocked like dear Dr. Mabie does. Close one eye and rub the top of your head too. And be grateful you’re being taught by one of the sharpest, most respectable, and illustrious minds Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University has ever seen- but please don’t mess up the laptops.

Academic Resolutions

Matt Might did a post yesterday about resolutions for grad students. While his suggestions are valuable, most of them are targeted at grad students. Which got me thinking, which of these apply to academics in general and which ones would I add?

Update your online identity

Something I try to do at the end of every semester is to go through and update things on my website. It may be as simple as updating the number of courses taught on my CV, or may include a complete makeover. Either way, it ensures that the content is updated and accurate.

If you do not have a professional website, now is the time to create one. There are a multitude of how-to sites to accomplish this [ProfHacker] [College Info Geek]. One of the comments the earlier mentioned blog post makes is “If you can’t be googled, you don’t exist.” This is very true. Every time I hear about a candidate or someone giving a talk, the first thing I do is Google their name. If I find nothing, their credibility automatically goes down in my eyes.  If I find a well coordinated blog, LinkedIn, and professional site, the credibility goes up.


This one may seem intuitive. But, when was the last time you sat down and wrote for the sake of writing? If you are in grad school, you write constantly. How can you make it better? If you are bogged down in a long paper, try writing something on a completely different topic just to get everything flowing again. Write for the joy of writing. The more you write, the better you get at it.


Don’t only read (good luck surviving in the academy without it) but read something different. I read articles from several different fields. It gives a new prospective on my own research and broadens my interest beyond what is typically seen as normal.

Don’t forget to find time for pleasure reading as well. When I finished grad school, I realized I hadn’t read fiction in two years. That’s how I spent most of that summer; I had to re-find my love of reading.

As the new year begins, it is a time to figure out what has worked for you and what needs to be done differently. As the new semester begins, it is a chance to make a mid-year correction to teaching style. Overall, it is a chance for new beginnings. Make the most of it.


Merry Christmas, Everyone

With one of the joys of academia, today is my last day of work for the year. It has been a rather amazing one. My center moved it its new location. It grew from from eleven to sixteen people. I got to teach my first full section of Politics and Society at Georgia College (with 80 students). Now, we are in the middle of an office remodel (well, at least new windows) which hopefully will be completed before students return in January. In all, it has been a wonderful year. I feel I am finally getting the hang of this advising thing, and getting better as an instructor as well.

So, as I prepare to leave for the holiday break, I would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday, a merry Christmas, and good new year.

See you in January.

Attendance Matters

As instructors, and as advisors, we teach attendance over and over again. One of my professors even included a bonus question on every assignment, “The number one factor in student success in college is attending class.” This information is nothing new, but sometimes it is good just to see how right you are in a certain area.

I took my three courses where I tracked attendance for the fall (two were at Georgia College, one was at Georgia Military College) and compared the attendance to the final grades. I had to do it as a percentage of total classes because it was different courses, different institutions, and different meeting schedules, but the results are obvious. While there were some students who attended class and didn’t turn in all (or any) of the assignments, the correlation between the two measures are quite striking.