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Today@YHC February 2013

Alumni Spotlight: Chris and Dale Dyer

The historic campus nestled in the “Enchanted Valley” has held a lot of meaning for Young Harris College alumni Dale, ’83, and Chris, ’83, Dyer, over the last three decades. The pair met on campus and married in the nearby Sharp United Methodist Church in 1986. More recently, they have regularly frequented the campus to visit their two daughters, Lauren, ’09, and Tori, ’15, who also decided to become part of the YHC family.

For both Chris and Dale, the tight-knit community was an important factor in their decision to attend YHC. A native of Greensboro, Dale was looking for a small school where she could easily meet new people and get involved. Chris originally planned to move from his hometown of Blairsville to attend college in Mississippi, but ultimately decided that he wanted to remain close to home.

“I enjoyed the smallness of the College and the fact that you really got to know your classmates and teachers on a personal level, not just as a face in the crowd,” Chris explained. “At YHC, it seemed like everyone had something in common—it was just so easy to connect with people and become friends.”

Chris and Dale have fond memories of living in Winship Hall and Manget Hall, respectively, during their student days. While Chris commuted to campus during his second year, he often found himself hanging around in the student lounge or staying in friends’ residence hall rooms because he simply didn’t want to leave.

The pair both enjoyed competing in intramural sports at YHC, and Dale was a member of the Alpha Iota sorority. Both credit their time at YHC for many of the life lessons they learned and the friendships they made.

“Even though it has been 30 years since I graduated from YHC, I still have a great appreciation for the professors who made class interesting and made each student feel important,” said Dale. “I can still recall Dr. Bob Nichols’ lecture on the real cost per mile of driving a car, and Dr. David Roebuck taking our political science club on a memorable trip to Washington, D.C., during spring break.”

The Dyers met while taking an introductory English course taught by YHC Associate Professor of English Janice Moore during the fall of 1981. A friendship blossomed, and they began dating a year later. When it came time to choose where to wed in 1986, the couple agreed that Young Harris was where they wanted to spend their special day.

“When we got married, Trisha Yearwood had not yet reached celebrity status. She was one of our classmates at YHC, and we were aware of her talent,” recalled Dale. “We contacted her, and she gladly returned to YHC to sing and play guitar at our wedding. That was really special.”

After graduating from YHC, the Dyers both went on to earn bachelor’s degrees from the University of Georgia—Dale in criminal justice and Chris in agriculture. Dale currently works for the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, while Chris is a senior strategic account manager for Pfizer Animal Health. The pair resides in Blairsville, allowing them to stay connected with their alma mater.

“We have been fortunate to live so close to campus and be able to see the changes and growth over the decades as it happens,” said Chris. “Our daughter, Tori, lives in the new Village apartments on campus, and to see her accommodations compared to what was there 30 years ago is crazy.”

The Dyers’ daughters both earned spots on the YHC softball team and took after their parents by becoming highly involved on campus. After graduating from YHC, Lauren earned an education degree from the University of Georgia and accepted a teaching position at Ridgeland High School in Walker County, where she also coaches women’s basketball. Tori is currently active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Athletic Advisory Committee and Student Ambassadors at YHC. 

“It has been great to see both of our daughters attend our alma mater and be involved in many activities,” said Chris. “We encouraged them to live on campus in order to get the full experience of college life and be able to meet the people who are sure to become their lifelong friends.”

5 Questions for… Dr. Bill Brown

The Office of Alumni Services recently posed five questions to Bill Brown, Ed.D., who currently serves as dean of the Division of Education, chair of the Department of Education and professor of education. Dr. Brown taught secondary science in public schools for 20 years, and has previously helmed education programs at Lindsey Wilson College and Shorter College. At YHC, Dr. Brown heads up the College’s Teacher Preparation Program, overseeing recently established four-year degrees in early childhood education, middle grades education and music education, along with several certification programs. Find out what Dr. Brown loves about being part of the YHC community and what it’s been like to establish YHC’s fifth academic division. 

What are you up to these days?
For the last five years, I have been primarily involved with building the Teacher Preparation Program at Young Harris College. In addition, I have been pursuing a passion for Southern roots cultural music. In particular, I have presented sessions on bluegrass music of the north Georgia area on a semi-regular basis at the International Country Music Conference at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. I enjoy spending my spare time at my home in Tennessee and getting together with friends to play music. 

What brought you to YHC in 2008 and what is it about the College that made you want to serve on the faculty for nearly five years and counting?
The opportunity and challenge of putting together a new Teacher Preparation Program at an institution that was moving from two-year to four-year status was very enticing. Basically, there was a blank slate. When I saw the majors that were either in place or would be in the near future, I saw the possibility for a full Teacher Preparation Program, as opposed to incorporating the programs into the fabric of the institution in a piecemeal fashion. To me, this was a much more efficient and effective way to bring teacher preparation into the picture at YHC.

Many alumni didn’t have the opportunity to take advantage of the exciting Teacher Preparation Program that was opened to students in Fall 2011. What was it like creating these new majors and certifications, and what do you think sets YHC’s program apart?
It has been very gratifying to see the full program emerge. From the beginning, I have received great support from the arts and sciences faculties in the production of the vision, as well as a strong partnership to make sure the programs are supported and have academic integrity. Of course, we have also had wonderful support from our public school partners—especially those educators and administrators of Towns and Union counties—and the education specialists of our outside accreditor, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC). This endeavor has involved many stakeholders who have always been supportive and encouraging.

The Division of Education became the College’s fifth academic division in Fall 2012. What have been some of your most memorable moments at the College and what are your plans for the future of the education program at YHC?
There have been many memorable moments as we’ve constructed the Teacher Preparation Program. Bringing in the education faculty and seeing the contributions that each one provided has certainly been exciting. Dr. Mark Brunner, Dr. Sharon Jackson, Ashley Carr and Dr. John Wayman have all brought specific areas of expertise to us. Jennifer Manous, our administrative and data assistant, has brought a stability to the daily workings of the division, as well as to the collection and organization of data for the Georgia PSC. This academic year marks our first full year of operation, and will produce a total of 13 program completers. The recent fall semester was very special because we saw the first student teachers for our unit. I am really looking forward to the May 2013 Commencement ceremony and getting to see each of our program graduates recognized. However, I must say that the most memorable moment for me up to this point was receiving the approval to open programs by the Georgia PSC after our developmental review in February 2011. This was indeed validation of all stakeholders for their cooperative efforts in getting the Teacher Preparation Program in place and open to candidates.

Early childhood education, middle grades education and music education are just a few of many majors the College has recently added and will continue to add in the years to come. What has the experience been like watching the College grow and what do you hope the future holds for YHC?
The entire process has been very fulfilling, and I look forward to the potential being realized that is so evident at Young Harris College. There is strong leadership, an outstanding faculty, wonderful students and many opportunities for growth in the southern Appalachian region. In the near future, I hope a partnership with North Carolina will allow us to conduct field and clinical experiences with our neighbors just over the state line. I also would love to see articulation agreements with two-year institutions in Georgia, North Carolina and possibly even Tennessee and South Carolina, so that students may move seamlessly from those institutions to our Teacher Preparation Program. Of course, there is also the potential for graduate programs—perhaps an M.A.T. in early childhood education or a more general M.Ed.—to elevate our teacher certifications to master’s degree levels. We have our PSC initial performance review scheduled for February 2014, and I feel quite certain we will be ready to move on these types of initiatives when the time comes.

Alumni Buzz: Dr. Margaret "Peggy" P. Thrasher

I first became smitten with Young Harris College as a preteen. I attended Homecoming with my mother, Clyde Arrendale Pleasants, ’26, and we attended a meeting in the Chapel. The atmosphere was friendly and everyone sang YHC’s alma mater with gusto, which made quite an impression on me. Later on, my brother, Jim Pleasants, ’56, came “across the mountain” from Rabun County to attend YHC, and I learned more about the College’s charm from him. Not too long after that, it was my turn—and in the fall of 1957, Young Harris College became the place for me.

As a student at YHC, I became a Susan B. and got involved with the Dorcas Society, Enotah Echoes newspaper and the Fay Clegg Circle, the only existing junior branch of the Women’s Society of Christian Service. I was also a member of the “Supreme Court,” a group that heard students’ appeal cases when they felt they had received unfair disciplinary measures.

When I return to the Enchanted Valley, I am reminded of the cherished friends I made, and I continue to appreciate the opportunity I had to learn from dedicated, caring professors. I often recall many fond memories of the campus events I attended and the activities I became involved in. (Even though I had to sign out of my residence hall and sign in at the library or wherever I went on campus, I didn’t mind!) Each visit to YHC delights me, and I have enjoyed attending Alumni Weekend and watching the College develop through the years.

Young Harris College has been positively transformed into a four-year institution under the outstanding leadership of YHC President Cathy Cox. The campus is alive with bright, friendly and industrious students who are kept busy with academics, athletics and cultural programming. If you visit the campus, I’m sure you will be delighted. I encourage you to attend a Mountain Lions basketball game or other sporting event, attend Homecoming or Alumni Weekend and enjoy the top-notch fine arts programming. You can also always visit the College’s website,, to find out what’s new.

After working in public education for 46 years—19 spent teaching and 27 spent in administration—I have retired and returned to Rabun County. I enjoy serving on the YHC Alumni Board and YHC Board of Associates. The Alumni Board is dedicated to uniting alumni, former students and friends of YHC to foster and perpetuate all the traditions and change that YHC represents. The Board of Associates is a group of local business and civic leaders who act as ambassadors for the College. This board is the driving force behind YHC’s Local Scholarship Campaign, which provides financial support to students from nearby mountain counties.  Working together, we feel we can make a solid contribution to the future of deserving students from our own communities.

It is so important for alumni to give back to our alma mater. Any amount you give truly does count, whether it is $5 or $500. Personally, I enjoy contributing to the Local Scholarship Campaign and the Class Scholarship Challenge (come on, Class of 1959!). You can find out more about ways to give and even make a gift online by visiting

While you consider the many ways you can support YHC—from monetary gifts to simply attending events on campus—I encourage you to reflect on the last lines of our beloved alma mater: “Tho’ time may pass o’er these dear halls, we’ll still come back to thee. And still we’ll cherish mem’ries of our days at YHC.”

All my best,

Dr. Margaret “Peggy” P. Thrasher, ’59

Young Harris College Celebrates MLK Day

Seventeen Young Harris College faculty, staff and students visited The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and The Carter Center in Atlanta on Jan. 19 to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which was nationally observed on Jan. 21. The event was sponsored by S.E.R.V.E. (Service, Empowerment, Responsibility, Voice and Engagement).

“I hope students were inspired and moved by these two relevant and significant individuals who dared to speak and act for those who were voiceless, oppressed or discriminated against,” said Lecturer of Service Learning and Outdoor Leadership, Director of Academic Service Learning and Bonner Leaders Program Director Joseph Pate, Ph.D. “These two men embody the mission and values we hope to instill in YHC students so that when they leave our community, they are focused on serving others, empowering communities and impacting global change.”

The outing began with a tour of The Carter Center, a charitable organization founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to advance peace and health worldwide. The center features a permanent exhibit regarding significant events that occurred during Carter’s life and political career, photographs and historical memorabilia from Carter’s presidency and an exact replica of the Oval Office.

That afternoon, the group toured The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the surrounding neighborhood, including King’s childhood home, gravesite and Ebenezer Baptist Church where King, his father and grandfather served as pastors.

“This is the second time I have been a part of this trip, and I have come back more inspired than I did last year,” said Karen Rodriguez, a senior business and public policy major from Springfield, Mo. “It was a very humbling experience to learn more about these two amazing men and all that they accomplished.”

“The impact President Jimmy Carter and Martin Luther King, Jr., have had on history was such an eye-opener for me,” added Danielle Tully, a junior biology major from Hayesville, N.C. “I appreciated not only how accessible the trip was for students, but also the opportunity it provided for us to expand our knowledge of important historical figures.” 

In addition to this excursion, YHC also hosted an inspiring lecture by Grady Health Foundation President Lisa Borders titled “Faith, Politics and Civil Rights” on Jan. 22 in honor of MLK Day. She shared lessons learned from her grandfather, the late leading Atlanta civil rights leader Rev. Dr. William Holmes Borders, as well as her personal journey through the integration of schools and breaking of other civil rights barriers in Atlanta.

S.E.R.V.E. will sponsor a service event on Saturday, Feb. 9, at Branan Lodge, a retirement community in Blairsville, that will allow students to interact with residents. The group will also co-sponsor two service-based trips during spring break in March and collaborate with the College’s Sustainability Committee and Student Government Association to host service events to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 20. 

Seventeen Young Harris College faculty, staff and students visited The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change on Jan. 19 to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which was nationally observed on Jan. 21.

The Swingin' Medallions Return to Young Harris College Big Dance
Concert to benefit Local Scholarship Campaign


The Young Harris College Board of Associates will present the third annual Young Harris College Big Dance Saturday, March 9, in the YHC Recreation and Fitness Center to benefit the YHC Local Scholarship Campaign, which provides scholarships for local students. Members of the YHC community are invited to enjoy a fun evening of beach music featuring The Swingin’ Medallions live in concert. Doors open at 6 p.m., and music begins at 7:30 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Piedmont Heart Institute, Piedmont Physicians, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, BB&T, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, The Copper Door, Fieldstone Resort, Holiday Inn Express Hiawassee, Britt McAfee Law Firm, Mountain Graphics and Wal-Mart in Blairsville.

Patrons may bring their own food and beverage, or pre-order from a variety of dining packages by The Copper Door. This year’s event will also include a new table decorating contest. Entry is free and winners will receive a table at next year’s Big Dance.
“This annual event has allowed us to help raise scholarship funds for many deserving local students who truly appreciate the extra financial assistance,” said YHC Board of Associates Big Dance Committee Co-Chair Judy Fullerton. “We hope that everyone comes out to enjoy this fun evening at YHC—and that all the tables will be decked out for the this year’s new contest.”

Famous for their signature beach music sound, The Swingin’ Medallions have been based out of the Greenwood, S.C., area since the early 1960s. After a few years of touring colleges from the Carolinas to the Louisiana Bayou, John McElrath took the group to Charlotte, N.C., to record “Double Shot (of My Baby's Love),” which has been a party classic for college students for decades. Top 40 hits for the group include “She Drives Me Out Of My Mind” and “Hey, Hey, Baby.”

The members of the Swingin’ Medallions have changed during the last 30 years, but the high energy, party-style stage performance of the first Medallions has been passed down to the band that performs today. The popularity of the current Medallions stage show has earned them the unofficial title of “The Party Band of the South.”

Tables for eight are available for $225, and individual tickets are available for $40. To register for the event online, visit or contact the Office of Advancement at (706) 379-5173.

About the Local Scholarship Campaign
More than 200 students from the counties of Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Rabun, Towns and Union counties in Georgia and Cherokee and Clay counties in North Carolina are currently enrolled at Young Harris College. Reflecting a commitment by the College and the local community to these students, the Local Scholarship Campaign was established to raise funds to support the educational goals of local students at Young Harris College.

The Young Harris College Board of Associates, a group of local business and civic leaders who serve as ambassadors for the College as well as a sounding board for the community, leads this effort. Each fall the Board of Associates launches the annual Local Scholarship Campaign in an effort to assist in providing aid to the students coming to Young Harris College from these seven communities.

Young Harris College Biology Major Wins Award for Paper Presentation


Young Harris College senior biology major Kacey Miller, of Kingsland, recently presented a paper at the Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in Jekyll Island, Jan. 22-24, and was awarded third place in the student paper division.

“Attending the conference was such a great experience. I got to see many presentations and talk to several people who gave me advice about my future endeavors,” said Miller. “I felt very honored and nervous to be the only undergraduate student presenting, and I was glad that they were impressed with our research.”

Miller co-authored the paper, titled “Population Characteristics and Habitat Preferences of a State-Endangered Crayfish Cambarus parrishi in the upper Hiwassee River,” with fellow senior biology major Amber Johnson, of Marietta, and YHC Assistant Professor of Biology Johnathan Davis, Ph. D.

“YHC biology majors have the option of conducting senior research projects in collaboration with faculty members, and this paper is the result of Kacey and Amber’s hard work over the past year,” explained Dr. Davis. “I hope that they came to appreciate the process of research, and the level of determination and commitment that is required in completing a field project.”

Shortly after Dr. Davis began working at YHC in August 2011, he immediately began looking for potential research projects. He soon discovered that the Cambarus parrishi, an endangered crayfish species in the state of Georgia, could be found in small tributary creeks of the Hiwassee River.

“Kacey and Amber worked very hard to collect these crayfish year-round, even stomping through streams in rainy, wintery conditions,” said Dr. Davis. “I like how students can come into a research project wide-eyed with minimal knowledge of the subject matter and process, and by the end of the project they have complete ownership of the research.”

The group collected data so that the state of Georgia can better assess the conservation status of the species and develop an appropriate monitoring program or conservation plan. Johnson’s portion of the project dealt with the type of habitat preferred, while Miller’s portion dealt with population metrics such as growth rate and reproduction.

“It was very rewarding to conduct research with a fellow student and a faculty member. This kind of collaboration is one of the things that makes YHC so special as an undergraduate institution,” said Miller. “Science is all about working with peers and other researchers to expand knowledge and ideas, and doing research like this is so much more engaging and rewarding than just learning in a classroom.”

In addition to conducting student research, Miller is very active on campus as a START Orientation Leader, peer mentor and member of the Student Government Association. She is currently applying for graduate school to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant.

Miller also hopes to present the trio’s research at at the spring meeting of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society in Nashville, Tenn., this month and at the annual meeting of the Georgia Academy of Science meeting in Valdosta this March.

“The experiences I have had at YHC are priceless. There are not many colleges that allow you to hike part of the Appalachian Trail identifying plants or snorkel down a stream looking at fish for class,” Miller said. “These experiences not only make our time at YHC fun and exciting, but also make biology majors better candidates for whatever degrees and careers we pursue after we graduate.”

YHC senior biology major Kacey Miller, of Kingsland, was awarded third place in the student paper division for her presentation at the Georgia American Fisheries Society meeting in Jekyll Island.

Students Selected for Georgia All College Band and All College Chorus

Sixteen Young Harris College students were selected to perform in the Georgia All College Band and Georgia All College Chorus, comprised of student musicians representing colleges and universities throughout the state. The students performed during the Georgia Music Educators Association’s (GMEA) Annual In Service Conference held in Savannah, Jan. 24-27.

Students selected for the All College Band include music education majors Rachel Bettis, flute, a junior from Dawsonville, Allison Arnold, flute, a junior from Young Harris, Joanna Burrell, clarinet, a sophomore from Dawsonville, Lindsey Yearwood, clarinet, a sophomore from Douglasville, Sally Petty, horn, a junior from Cumming, Patrick Young, tuba, a sophomore from Dawsonville, and music majors Adham Hamilton, bassoon, a sophomore from Powder Springs, and Rolando Fernandez, trumpet, a senior from Canton.

Students selected to perform in the All College Chorus include freshman music education major Sarah Stogsdill, of Shalimar, Fla., freshman theatre major Carrie Moll, of Suwanee, freshman music major Courtney Farmer, of Hiawassee, freshman music education major Codi Wayand, of New Port Richey, Fla., freshman theatre major LaDareon Copeland, of Centerville, freshman theatre major Zachary Waters, of Calhoun, freshman music education major John-Michael Thomas, of Clarksville, and freshman music major Andrew Smith, of Blairsville.

All College Band students were selected based on a recorded audition piece ranked by instrument-specific professors from Georgia colleges and universities. Students were selected to participate in the All College Chorus through director recommendation based on vocal ability, musical experience and intended field of study.

“It is amazing that 16 Young Harris College students earned the opportunity to perform in these elite ensembles,” YHC Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education Coordinator John Wayman, Ph.D., said. “Our students are among the best, and they truly demonstrated their talents as they performed with other top students from higher education institutions across the state. We may be a small college, but our students pack a talented punch.”

(From left to right) YHC students Patrick Young, of Dawsonville, Sally Petty, of Cumming, Joanna Burrell, of Dawsonville, Rachel Bettis, of Dawsonville, Lindsey Yearwood, of Douglasville, Rolando Fernandez, of Canton, Alison Arnold, of Young Harris, and Adham Hamilton, of Powder Springs.

(Front row, left to right) YHC students Codi Wayand, of New Port Richey, Fla., Courtney Farmer, of Hiawassee, Carrie Moll, of Suwanee, LaDareon Copeland, of Centerville, (back row, left to right) Zach Waters, of Calhoun, Andrew Smith, of Blairsville, Sarah Stogsdill, of Shalimar, Fla., YHC Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education Coordinator Dr. John Wayman and John-Michael Thomas, of Clarksville.

Young Harris College Theatre Major Completes Professional Film Work 


Young Harris College student Stephanie Nichols, a sophomore theatre major from Douglasville, recently worked as head production assistant for the film “Promise,” which is slated to premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2013. 

“Working on this project was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Nichols. “I gained wonderful memories, incredible work experience and friends that I will keep with me for a while. It was also a great addition to my résumé, especially as I try to start building professional theatre and film credits.”

Set in Georgia’s historic Liberty County, “Promise” is a Christian mission film that shares the story of how a young boy learned to become a man of God during the 1930s. The film juxtaposes the natural beauty of the coastal southeast with the harsh times of the Depression era.

Nichols learned about the opportunity to get involved with the production through YHC Theatre Technical Director Rob Sturgess. She started out with an internship position, but was soon promoted to head production assistant shortly after arriving on set in Savannah for the one-week shoot in December.

“I assisted the director of photography and other crew members on a daily basis,” Nichols explained. “Sometimes that meant entertaining the younger actors on set, and other times it meant arriving early to set to prepare meals for everyone. I also drove from the film set to the location that housed the break rooms and dressing rooms several times a day.”

As a freshman at YHC, Nichols served as the assistant stage manager for the 2012 spring musical “ Sweet Charity.” She is highly involved in Theatre Young Harris’ Mainstage Series this year, serving as an electrician for “Jack,” “Museum” and “The Producers,” as well as stage manager for “Becky’s New Car.”

“My involvement in 99 percent of YHC’s theatre productions is behind the scenes,” she said. “You can usually find me backstage dressed in all black with a headset attached to me or up in the tech booth operating the light board—or you can just spot my name in the program.”

While she logs countless hours in Dobbs Theatre and Glenn Auditorium throughout the year, Nichols is also a hard-working student-athlete and member of YHC’s women’s cross country team.

“I’ve always loved theatre from the time I acted in church plays as a child, but it wasn’t until I came to YHC that I realized my deeper passion was being involved in the technical aspects of the theatre,” said Nichols. “My experience at YHC has been extremely rewarding, and I will be able to take so much that I’ve learned here with me when I graduate that will benefit me in my career.”

After graduating from YHC, Nichols hopes to pursue a career as a stage manager, electrician or light board operator for a theatre company while also working as a freelance film production assistant. Her work ethic and drive aren’t going unnoticed as she gains valuable credentials both at YHC and beyond. 

“Stephanie brings a strong mixture of good attitude, hard work and willingness to improve that we hope to foster in all of our graduates,” said Sturgess.

To find out more about “Promise,” visit

YHC student Stephanie Nichols, of Douglasville, (front row, second from left) spent a week in Savannah working as head production assistant for the film "Promise" in December.

Nichols assisted the director of photography and other crew members during the shoot.

Young Harris College Students Create Juried Exhibition at Campus Gate Art Gallery


Young Harris College’s Campus Gate Art Gallery (CGAG) is currently hosting “Snap it. Send it. Win it.,” a mobile phone photography contest and exhibition that features the work of aspiring and professional artists. This unique show also highlights the efforts of YHC students and gallery assistants Kyle Huneycutt, a senior art and English major from Blairsville, and Audrey McLendon, a sophomore art major from Lilburn, who organized the show.

This marks the first time YHC students have been in charge of the planning and implementation of an exhibition at the CGAG. Huneycutt and McLendon managed a budget, contacted sponsors and venues, designed and distributed promotional materials, managed submissions and curated the show.

“Not only did I learn a great deal about art in general through this process, but I also got to see exactly what needs to be done to put on a gallery exhibition,” said McLendon. “I definitely know what it means now to see an idea from start to finish—and what it takes to make it happen. With this project, I gained more artistic motivation and enriched my ability to think outside the box.”

Huneycutt and McLendon began planning the show in January 2012 with the assistance of CGAG Director and Adjunct Instructor of Art Scott Dean. They marked another CGAG first by deciding to host an open exhibition in order to create an intriguing showcase of images from across the globe.

“One of the gallery’s main goals is to expose students to many kinds of art, introducing them to diverse artists and showing them how art is constantly changing,” explained Huneycutt. “Photography is an art form that has always been challenged, but the invention of smartphones has made it even more of a hot topic. Everyone now has a tool to take amazing pictures and the ability to share those pictures with the world in a matter of seconds.”

The competition included five categories: architecture, people, rhythm, “no app” and an open category. The juror for the show was Maria Kelly, who currently serves as curatorial assistant of photography and exhibitions at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

“I really enjoyed actually setting up the exhibition, because Audrey and I had the entire gallery to do whatever we wanted,” said Huneycutt. “I was able to take what I have learned during my time as a gallery assistant and apply it to this show. It was a lot of fun to come up with ideas together and see the finished result.”

During the opening reception and awards ceremony on Jan. 24, each category winner was recognized along with the overall grand prize winner and recipient of a “People’s Choice Award” that was voted on during the event.

Three students studying under the tutelage of YHC alumnus and Emmy-Award winning graphic designer Stan Anderson, ’73, who currently serves as the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design graduate director and associate professor of graphic design at Georgia State University, received top honors and were on hand to receive their awards.
“I am very proud that Audrey and Kyle were committed to making the exhibition a success and overcame all of the challenges involved in planning and implementing a show of this scope,” said Dean. “They broadened their skill sets, and now have something unique and substantial to include on their résumés and in their portfolios when they search for internships and jobs.”

Huneycutt will be the first recipient of a baccalaureate degree in art from YHC this May, and hopes to marry his passion for art and literature by working at a publishing house. McLendon plans to pursue a career in travel photography and hopes to work for National Geographic.

The exhibit will be on display through Friday, Feb. 15, and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

YHC students and gallery assistants Kyle Huneycutt, of Blairsville, and Audrey McLendon, of Lilburn, planned and implemented “Snap it. Send it. Win it." at the Campus Gate Art Gallery.

Faculty Notables


Assistant Professor of History Dr. Natalia Starostina presented a lecture titled “On Railway Advertising in Interwar France” at the Institute of Railway Studies and Transport History at the National Railway Museum in York, England, Dec. 5. She presented a paper titled “Russian émigrés, Nostalgia and the Rise of the Myth of the Belle Époque in Twentieth-Century France” at “The Heritage of Immigration in France and Europe: Cultural and Social Issues,” a European conference organized by the Association Génériques in Paris, France, Dec. 10-11. Dr. Starostina's paper titled “I Was Fortunate to Understand and to Feel Nature: The Search for Beauty in the Cultural Identity of a Soviet Citizen in Postwar Years” was presented at the Saint-Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 12 (presentation in absentia). She also presented her paper titled “The Reinvention of Winter Sports and the Redefinition of a Modern Woman” at an international workshop titled “Innovation in Physical and Sport Activities in the Mountains in the 20th and 21st Centuries” at Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, Dec. 14.

Communication Studies Department Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Studies Dr. Jennifer Hallett and Associate Professor of Communication Studies Dr. Joy Goldsmith will serve as panel moderators at the Georgia Communication Association’s 82nd Annual Convention at Dalton State College in Dalton, Feb. 22-23.

Instructor of Astronomy and Director of the O. Wayne Rollins Planetarium Steve Morgan traveled to Norway in December to view and photograph the aurora borealis (or the “northern lights”). He also toured the northernmost planetarium in the world at the University of Tromsø.

Assistant Professor of History Dr. Matthew Byron will present a paper titled “For the Honor of Georgia: Dueling in Colonial Georgia” at the Georgia Association of Historians Annual Conference in St. Simon’s Island, Feb. 9. He will also present a paper titled “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction: the Rise of Dueling in Late 18th Century America” at the Society of Early Americanists Eighth Biennial Conference in Savannah, Feb. 28-March 2.

Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Johnathan Davis attended the Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in Jekyll Island, Jan. 22-24.