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Mountain Lines October 2011

YHC Student Homecoming Committee Plans Week of Exciting Events

A committee comprised of 14 Young Harris College students representing Greek organizations, the Campus Activities Board (CAB), Student Government Association and residential and commuter students, are planning an exciting week of activities for Homecoming 2011. The all-new event, which will be held Friday-Saturday, Nov. 11-12, will be presented in collaboration with the offices of Student Development and Alumni Services and the Department of Athletics.

“I wanted to be on the Homecoming student committee because I was excited to have a traditional Homecoming that allows students and alumni to interact and also boosts school spirit,” said Lacey Cosper, a junior allied health major from Eatonton. “I am looking forward to having a week of fun activities that gets everyone involved and allows students to have a really enjoyable and memorable week.”

Throughout the week, student organizations will compete to earn the title of first-ever Homecoming Week Champions by participating in a variety of challenges. Any registered student organization can form a team, and organizations may also partner with each other. Some funding is available through the Office of Student Activities to support costs for the teams.

Events include a contest to display signs on the YHC Lawn that best demonstrate the Homecoming theme “Mountain Lion pride” on Monday, Nov. 7, a trivia game on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and a lip sync challenge on Thursday, Nov. 10. The organizations will also take part in a car-decorating competition and a challenge to create “spirit signs” that will be displayed in the YHC Arena during the basketball games on Saturday, Nov. 12.

Organizations will be awarded points for attendance at these competitions as well as other events throughout the week, including a block party and announcement of the Homecoming Court on Monday, CAB’s Coffeehouse on Tuesday evening, and the women’s soccer game on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. Students will also be encouraged to attend a casino night hosted by CAB on Saturday evening.

The Homecoming weekend will kick off with a student-led pep rally and bonfire on Friday night and will continue on Saturday with a parade at 10 a.m. that is open to the public and will feature cars decorated by students participating in the Homecoming Week challenge.

In addition, the Office of Alumni Services will host a celebratory pre-game picnic for alumni, while the Office of Campus Activities will host tailgating festivities prior to the basketball games in the YHC Recreation and Fitness Center. The women’s basketball team will take on Reinhardt University on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. and the men’s basketball team will play Bryan College at 4 p.m.

The Homecoming Week Champions and spirit sign competition winners will be announced during the games, and the Homecoming Queen and King will be crowned. In addition, the Office of Alumni Services will host a special reception for all former basketball alumni, and an Alumni Spirit Challenge will also be held during the basketball games.

“Homecoming is a special time for any school, but it's particularly exciting right now for Young Harris College,” said Homecoming student committee member James Dalton, a senior biology major from Augusta. “This first-ever fall Homecoming will give the College a chance to showcase an active campus while also letting alumni witness all the growth that Young Harris has undergone during the last several years.”

Information packets that include competition rules and information regarding how to nominate students for Homecoming Court will be emailed to organization presidents before Monday, Oct. 10.

New Purple and White Club Co-Chairs Gear up for 2011-2012 Campaign 

Mark Brunner, Ph.D., assistant professor of education, and Lynne Grady, director of counseling and psychological services, will serve as the 2011-2012 faculty and staff co-chairs of the Purple and White Club, which recognizes the annual giving efforts of Young Harris College faculty and staff. The co-chairs will raise awareness about the 2011-2012 campaign among all departments, divisions and offices on campus.

For the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the Purple and White Club had 163 full-time faculty and staff members, with staff giving at 100 percent and faculty giving at 97 percent.

The number of faculty and staff who make annual contributions to the College is critical to the success of the College’s fundraising efforts. External donors and foundations who are considering making a gift to the College often ask about the percentage and total number of faculty and staff who give back to the institution.

A high percentage of internal support indicates to outside donors that the College community is supportive of what the institution is doing, what it stands for and where it is headed and consider themselves a part of its growth and success.

 “Although I am a relatively new faculty member, I am inspired by the level of giving and the overwhelming support staff and faculty have provided,” Dr. Brunner said. “With 98.79 percent of the staff and faculty giving to the Purple and White Club during the last academic year, this strong message of support helps educate those outside the College community as to the level of commitment that exists among all campus employees.”

Annual gifts may be made to the College’s Annual Fund, the Capital Campaign, a scholarship or an established fund, such as Friends of the Arts. The College’s fiscal year runs July 1 to June 30; gifts made on or before June 30, 2012, will be credited to the current 2011-2012 fiscal year.

“Of special interest to me is the ability to personally direct my gift to any one of a number of worthy campus accounts,” Dr. Brunner said. “The fact that staff and faculty can target a fund on campus that has personal significance is empowering to those who give and to those who ultimately receive.”

Each department that achieves 100 percent giving will be listed in donor reports, including the annual President’s Giving Report, and will be announced at the spring Board of Trustees meeting.

“Funding the fulfillment of student dreams is a satisfying investment and dramatically impacts society. As we combine our gifts, we are a proactive force for change,” Grady said. “Together we face an array of possible futures, while we also share many common objectives. Gifts to Young Harris College reflect our belief that, by working together, the future can and will be influenced.”

Dr. Mark Brunner, assistant professor of education, and Lynne Grady, director of counseling and psychological services, will serve as the 2011-2012 faculty and staff co-chairs of the Purple and White Club.

Office of Religious Life Hosts Annual Spiritual Life Retreat


Ali Neese, senior
Communications and Marketing Intern

The Office of Religious Life and the Inter-Religious Council sponsored the annual Spiritual Life Retreat (SLR) at Camp Glisson in Dahlonega, Sept. 9-11. The retreat was attended by 85 Young Harris College students, as well as several faculty and staff members.

The theme for the weekend event, “Unity,” was discussed in nine large and small group sessions designed to strengthen and challenge students’ faith in God. According to Campus Minister and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Rev. Dr. Tim Moore, the theme was selected as an extension of the Office of Religious Life’s theme of “One” for this academic year that promotes togetherness within the YHC community.

“The most memorable moments during the weekend were the ones when students took time to care for each other, pray for each other and support one another. This type of generosity of spirit builds a community of faithful students, faculty and staff willing to risk life and faith together,” Dr. Moore said. “It is only within such a community defined by supportive care that vulnerability may be experienced, and, in my estimation, vulnerability is an essential component to authentic growth in faith.”

The weekend began on Friday evening with a large group session that introduced the theme and allowed students to get to know one another, followed by a scavenger hunt that revealed the students’ small group leaders. The night concluded with a worship session in Camp Glisson’s lakeside amphitheater and the traditional late-night run to Waffle House.

On Saturday, the group enjoyed a chilly creek walk to Camp Glisson’s waterfall and each person had the opportunity to take a turn down the zip line or climb the rock wall. That evening, the “tacky prom” dance, a tradition in which participants are encouraged to forgo style and dress in their most zany outfits, was followed by a time of teaching and worship for the entire group.

“Before coming to the retreat, I was a little apprehensive because I didn’t know what to expect,” said Mary Elizabeth Maxwell, a junior biology major from Carrollton and first-time SLR participant. “It ended up being the most amazing worship-filled trip that I have ever been on. It was so much better than I expected.”

Returning SLR attendee Jessie Robinette, a sophomore early childhood education major from Madison, was “excited and honored” when asked to serve as a small group leader for the event.

“By leading my small group, I learned that I am able to take on bigger leadership roles,” Robinette said. “My favorite part of SLR was definitely the fellowship with my classmates. Having two straight days of pure worship and fellowship was amazing.”

The Spiritual Life Retreat is one of many events hosted by the Office of Religious Life this semester that allow students to experience fellowship and grow in faith. On Thursday, Oct. 13, Dr. Moore will lead a trip for students exploring calls to ministry; a summer ministry jobs fair will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 16; and a special Thanksgiving celebration will take place on Sunday, Nov. 20. For more information about these events, contact Dr. Moore at (706) 379-5166 or

To stay connected, follow the Office of Religious Life on Twitter at

Click here to view more photos of the 2011 Spiritual Life Retreat.

Megan Powell, a junior communication studies major from Cleveland, Ga., Erica Neese, a sophomore religious studies major from Marietta, and Sarah Deese, a junior communication studies major from Roswell, attended the annual Spiritual Life Retreat.

On Saturday, the group took the traditional creek walk to the waterfall at Camp Glisson.

Student Government Association Announces New Senate and Future Outlook

Kyle Huneycutt, junior
Communications and Marketing Intern

The Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Board at Young Harris College kicked off the new school year by introducing several new officers in its ranks. Nearly every position has been filled by new representatives who will take the place of officers who finished terms at the end of the spring semester.

The YHC SGA Executive Board includes President Emalyn Cork, a junior biology major from Marietta, Vice President Audrey Ashworth, a senior business and public policy major from Watkinsville, Sergeant at Arms Stacy Kammer, a senior business and public policy major from Smyrna, Secretary Karissa Cross, a sophomore biology major from Murphy, N.C., Treasurer Victoria Neisler, a senior history major from Commerce, and Chaplain Nathan Hughes, a junior business and public policy major from Young Harris.

The SGA also includes three subcommittee officers: Academic Affairs Chair Allie Coker, a junior biology major from Clarkesville, Sustainability Chair Ashley Cross, a sophomore biology major from Murphy, N.C., and Student Development Chair Abby Powell, a sophomore biology major from Blairsville.

“We have a lot of new members, and with new members come new ideas. One of our main goals is to give the student body a larger voice so that every idea is heard,” Cork said. “Our new members are making this possible. I am very excited about what SGA has planned for this year.”

Five students were recently elected to the freshman senate to join the 12 sophomore, junior and senior senators serving on SGA. Roman Martin, a biology major from Cumming, Shaw Carter, a business and public policy major from Gainesville, Madison Perdue, a biology major from Loganville, Brittany Perkins, a business and public policy major from Lincolnton, and Maia Price, of Griffin, will represent the freshman class.

“After a committee has made a proposal, the senate discusses whether or not it should be accepted, and the more representation we have, the better,” Cross said. “The senate consists of five positions for each year of study. Although not all positions have been filled yet, we hope to change that as soon as possible.”

The SGA Executive Board recently hosted the organization’s annual retreat at the Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville, N.C., that was attended by SGA senators and advisor Bryan Hayse, Ph.D., associate dean of students, and focused on SGA operations and protocol.

“The new and returning officers learned all about how SGA operates, how to make proper proposals, how to discern the correct channels to go through and how to sharpen our focus and implement our goals,” Cork said.

The organization has made sustainability a priority this semester, recently implementing a new initiative for the SGA Green Fee in which students pay $5 each year to fund sustainability efforts at the College.

“In September, we finalized a Green Fee application process that will enable students, faculty and staff to submit suggestions regarding how to best utilize the budget provided to SGA by the Green Fee,” Cork said.

Additional priorities for the year include working toward revising the foreign language policy and determining the benefits of implementing the plus/minus grading system at the College.

Stay connected with SGA on Facebook at or follow on Twitter at

The YHC SGA Executive Board includes (from left to right) Sergeant at Arms Stacy Kammer, a senior business and public policy major from Smyrna, Secretary Karissa Cross, a sophomore biology major from Murphy, N.C., President Emalyn Cork, a junior biology major from Marietta, Vice President Audrey Ashworth, a senior business and public policy major from Watkinsville and Treasurer Victoria Neisler, a senior history major from Commerce.

YHC Department of Music Hosts Inaugural Band Institutes

This fall, the Department of Music at Young Harris College is hosting the first-ever YHC Band Institutes, which allow local middle and high school band students and their directors to receive training from the College’s faculty and students. YHC Senior Instructor of Music and Director of Bands Mary Land was instrumental in the creation of these institutes that will be held annually on the Young Harris College campus.

“I was searching for a way to offer an outreach opportunity to local school bands, as well as a way for our music education students to give back to these area schools while also gaining additional teaching experience,” Land said. “Plus, I felt that getting middle and high school students onto our campus, interacting with our students and working with our faculty would be the best form of recruitment.”

On Sept. 10, nearly 90 sixth-graders and their band directors attended the YHC Beginning Band Institute. During the event, which focused on basic fundamentals for beginning instrumentalists, participants were separated into instrument sectionals and taught by YHC faculty and students. Instructors included Assistant Professor of Music Karen Calloway, flute, Adjunct Instructor of Music Cheryl Star, flute, Assistant Professor of Music Leigh Miller, D.M.A., clarinet, Adjunct Instructor of Music Mike Campbell, D.A., saxophone, and Adjunct Instructor of Music Eric Brown, percussion. 

“Our YHC students gained priceless teaching experience, and the participants gained skills and knowledge that moved them to the top of their band classes at home,” Land said. “Many people were introduced to the tremendous charm of our campus during the event, and I am confident that students from all grade levels who attend these institutes will become interested in attending YHC when it becomes time to choose a college.”

The YHC Middle School Honor Band Festival will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5. Middle school band musicians who have been nominated by their directors will participate in rehearsals and clinics followed by a performance at 6 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium of the Clegg Fine Arts Building. Erin Cole, who serves as band director at Tapp Middle School in Cobb County, will be conducting.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, the YHC High School Band Institute will include sectional instruction designed to address specific elements of each instrument and provide preparation for District, All-State and college auditions.

During both institutes in November, participants will enjoy several featured performances by the Young Harris College Concert Band and small ensembles.

“As a result of these institutes, we are bringing students, parents and band directors to our campus and demonstrating to them that we have an exceptional music department,” Land said. “We are also developing credibility as a music education department through our teaching during these events.”

ACC 411: “Extra Benefit” Rules in Academic Matters

As previously discussed in the ACC 411, an extra benefit is defined as any special arrangement by an institutional employee or a representative of the institution's athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relative or friend a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation, such as athletic scholarships and competition-related expenses.

The general rule is that faculty members are not allowed to provide support services, benefits or treatment for a student-athlete that they would not provide for any other student. While some instances of extra benefits are obvious, such as the purchase of a car for a student-athlete, others may not be as clear.

For example, a faculty member is not permitted to:

  • purchase meals/drinks/snacks for student-athletes.
  • let student-athletes charge long-distance phone calls or faxes from office or home.
  • let student-athletes use computers or other facilities unless those opportunities are offered through a classroom experience to all students.
  • offer special academic courses for student-athletes.
  • create assignments for student-athletes that differ from those required of all other students in a class.
  • offer student-athletes incompletes or extra credit work unless the opportunities are available to all students, as identified in a course syllabus.
  • authorize a course waiver or substitution of academic requirements unless the same would be done for any other student under similar non-athletics-related circumstances.
  • authorize a grade change, unless for valid, non-athletics-related reasons.
  • handle any case of academic dishonesty or other prohibited classroom behavior by student-athletes in a manner any different from which you would handle such behavior by any other student.

Allowing such extra benefits puts the student-athlete, the team and the College in jeopardy. Not only would the student-athlete be penalized for receiving the extra benefit, but the institution would be guilty of a violation of NCAA rules.

On the other hand, faculty members should not refuse to provide support services for student-athletes that would normally or reasonably be provided to other students. For example, if a student-athlete must take a make-up examination because of a college-sponsored athletic competition and other students are afforded the opportunity to take a make-up examination under comparable circumstances, the student-athlete should be given the same opportunity.

When applying this rule, the easiest way to ensure that Young Harris College is in compliance with the legislation is to determine if the benefit is available to all students. If the answer is yes, it is permissible to allow the student-athlete to also receive the benefit.

For more information, contact YHC Senior Women's Administrator and Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance Jennifer Stearsman at (706) 379-5107 or

Faculty and Staff Notables

Assistant Professor of English Dr. Jim Bishop presented a paper, titled “The Big Kill: Transatlantic Influences in Southern Frontier Humor,” at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment conference in Bloomington, Ind., June 25.

YHC President Cathy Cox served as the keynote speaker for the University of Georgia Alumni Association’s inaugural “40 Under 40” awards luncheon for up-and-coming leaders held in Atlanta, Sept. 15. President Cox also spoke to the Sunrise Rotary Club about the YHC transformation to four-year status at the invitation of YHC alumnus Bud Clegg, ’55, in Dahlonega, Sept. 8.

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Dr. Eric Dickman facilitated a discussion panel between sophomore history major Alyssa Lowery, of Conyers, Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Jennifer Schroeder, and Vice President for Planning and Assessment, Chief of Staff and Instructor of English Rosemary Royston, ’89, titled “Does higher education enhance or undermine our personal religious commitments?” at the inaugural meeting for SIGHT (Seekers' Interfaith Group for Honoring Thought), Aug. 23. Dr. Dickman also recently reviewed numerous articles for two prestigious philosophy and religion journals, Erkenntis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy and Sophia: International Journal of Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysical Theology and Ethics. He submitted a manuscript to the journal Literature and Theology titled “The Questions of Jesus: Human or Divine?” that he presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in November 2010. Dr. Dickman also presented a paper, titled “Faith or Friendship: On Integrating Possibilities for Self-Realization in Kierkegaard and Aristotle,” at the 6th Annual Conference of Religion, Literature and the Arts held at The University of Iowa, Aug. 26-28.

In June 2011, Dr. Joy Goldsmith, communication studies department chair and associate professor of communication studies, signed a contract with Brazos Press, a division of Baker Publishing, to coauthor the book Speaking of Dying: Recovering the Church’s Voice in the Face of Death.Coauthors include Dr. Fred Craddock, who spoke at YHC’s first Baccalaureate Service in May, and Dr. Goldsmith’s father, Dr. Dale Goldsmith, an independent scholar and retired faculty and academic vice president at McPherson College and Oklahoma Panhandle State University. The manuscript, which has been in process for three years, is expected to be included in the summer 2012 catalog. Dr. Goldsmith’s coauthored research, titled “The COMFORT Initiative: Palliative Nursing and the Centrality of Nursing,” was included in presentations at a summit co-hosted by the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research in Bethesda, Md., Aug. 11. Two of Dr. Goldsmith’s research projects, titled “The Impact of Family Communication Patterns on Hospice Caregivers” and “Palliative Care and Hospice Nurses as PhotoVoice Researchers,” have been accepted for the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare meeting in Chicago, Ill., Oct. 16-19.

An essay by Dr. Steve Harvey, titled “Blood Mountain,” first published in Ascent, was recognized as one of the Notable Essays of 2010 in Best American Essays. A remembrance written by Dr. Harvey in honor of mountain fiddler J. P. Fraley is featured in a recent edition of Sing Out.

Instructor of Religion Adam Neal graduated summa cum laude from Liberty University with his second master’s degree, a master of arts in theological studies.

Adjunct Instructor of History Kyle Owenby will present a lecture, titled “The Coming of Churches to the Mountains in the 1800s,” at the Union County Courthouse in Blairsville, Oct. 4. The lecture will discuss how various Protestant groups who were heirs to Luther’s Reformation established themselves in the north Georgia Mountains.

Foreign Language Department Chair and Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Diana Santiago co-presented a session, titled “Study Abroad and Developing Global Citizens,” at the Harlaxton Conference for Partner Colleges and Universities in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, June 28-30. Dr. Santiago also received a contract for her second book, titled Voz narrativa e ironia en la obra de Juan Garcia Hortelano, in Madrid, Spain, that is scheduled to be released in winter 2012.

Assistant Professor of History Dr. Natalia Starostina will present a paper, titled “Making a Ski Resort Chamonix and Reinventing a New Woman in Post-1918 France,” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Convention in Atlanta, Nov. 4. At the same panel, her advisee and senior history major Connie Wallace, of Hiawassee, will make a presentation, titled “French Women on Citizenship and Equality in the Epoch of French Revolution,” that is based on a paper written for Dr. Starostina’s “Modern France” course.

History Department Chair and Associate Professor of History Dr. Thomas Stearns will present a paper, titled “Adaptation Ideal:  Aldous Huxley’s Edgy Pride and Prejudice Script of 1940,” at the national conference of the Literature and Film Association (LFA) in New Britain, Conn., Oct. 12-14. This is his second paper that will be presented before the LFA, an organization that includes both national and international film scholars.