You are here

Mountain Lines February 2011

Second New Young Harris College Facility Earns LEED Certification

Young Harris College has been awarded LEED Certification for its new Recreation Center, by the Green Building Certification Institute. It is the second LEED-certified facility to open at Young Harris College as part of its transformation to a four-year college. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) project directory, YHC’s Recreation Center is only the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification.

The $14.4 million, 57,000-square-foot, two-story recreation and fitness facility opened in August 2010 and boasts an impressive 37-foot-high rock climbing wall beside a fully equipped weight room and fitness center. An elevated jogging track surrounds the state-of-the-art 1,100-purple-seat, NCAA-regulation basketball and volleyball arena.

The Recreation Center is also home to the Balance Café—a healthy food and juice bar, and multipurpose classrooms for yoga, dance and aerobics. Ample office space and locker rooms are available for use by the athletics program, and wide expanses of windows allow guests to take in the breathtaking surrounding mountain views.

The Green Building Certification Institute is a third-party reviewer for the USGBC, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization committed to promoting national sustainability through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System to provide building owners and operators with a framework of tools and performance criteria for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of high performance green buildings.

“As we continue to add new facilities to our growing campus, we are committed to sustainable design practices that reduce the College’s carbon footprint,” YHC President Cathy Cox said. “It is a challenge to design a large multi-purpose facility, such as our Recreation Center, that adheres to strict LEED standards, but we are proud that Young Harris College is leading the way and setting the example for sustainable growth in north Georgia.”

Brailsford and Dunlavey served as program manager through the design and construction of the project. Led by Chet Roach, the Brailsford and Dunlavey team was responsible for the development of and adherence to a LEED plan while managing the design and construction teams working on the project. Acting as a representative for Young Harris College, Roach and his team provided information to College administration throughout the process in order for the College to make the most informed decisions possible as related to LEED credits targeted and achieved.

“As evidenced by the successful pursuit of this tremendous feat, Young Harris College continues to be an exemplary environmental steward in the state of Georgia and in higher education,” Roach said. “Throughout the design and construction of the Recreation Center, YHC was steadfast in its implementation of energy efficient building systems and environmentally friendly operating policies. While many institutions are bound by mandated sustainable design guidelines, YHC is not—yet the College refuses to compromise its conviction that sustainable practices are consistent with its commitment to its students, its community and its overall mission.”

Part of the effort to achieve LEED certification included investment in energy-efficient mechanical systems that will reduce ongoing operation costs of the facility, air quality monitoring throughout the project, the use of daylighting to lower energy usage to light the interior and installation of environmentally friendly wood flooring for the arena and environmentally friendly carpet.

Hardin Construction Company served as the general contractor for the project. The company is also committed to sustainable design and construction.
“This is our team’s second LEED-certified project at YHC, and we feel extremely honored to have the opportunity to work with such a forward-thinking and environmentally conscientious owner,” said Frances Locke, project manager with Hardin. “As general contractors committed to sustainable building practices, we applaud owners who consistently make this important commitment.”

LEED standards also call for local materials to be used when available, and the new building made a significant positive impact on the local economy. More than $3.2 million, or approximately 27% of the project’s construction costs, was spent locally among several counties surrounding the College.

Additionally, the large majority of non-local workers stayed at local hotels and contributed to the overall economic well-being of the community through the purchase of meals and other services in the area. Hardin Construction Company’s staff members have also rented local properties for housing since June 2008, providing a steady income stream for local property owners.

“We are happy that we were able to once again focus our new construction and College growth in a way that benefits and supports the local economy,” President Cox added.

In August 2009, a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Enotah Hall, opened as Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this level of certification, according to the USGBC project directory. A new village of upperclassmen apartments is currently under construction and is set to open in August 2011. It is also expected to earn LEED certification.

The project team for Young Harris College’s Recreation Center included:

  • Young Harris College (Young Harris, Ga.), owner
  • Hughes Group Architects (Sterling, Va.), architect
  • Hardin Construction Company (Atlanta), general contractor
  • Eberly & Associates, Inc. (Atlanta), civil engineer and landscape architect
  • Ehlert Bryan (McLean, Va.), structural engineer
  • Spencer Bristol (Norcross, Ga.), MEP engineer
  • Brailsford & Dunlavey (Charlotte, N.C.), owner’s representative.

Theatre Young Harris to Present Shakespeare’s Romantic Comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Young Harris College’s Theatre Young Harris will present seven performances of an innovative, updated version of Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Performances are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 17, through Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 2 p.m., and Thursday, Feb. 24, through Saturday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. All performances will take place in Dobbs Theatre located inside Goolsby Center on the YHC campus. Tickets are $10 or $5 with YHC ID.

Shakespeare’s classic tale weaves together the adventures—and misadventures—of love, magic and mistaken identity that unfold for four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors who find themselves in a moonlight forest inhabited by mischievous fairies. Theatre Young Harris’ highly anticipated production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will feature a unique “re-envisioning” of this timeless story.

“We decided to set the play in 1910 New York City because we fell in love with the Art Nouveau style of decoration which was prominent during this time period,” said the play’s director, Assistant Professor of Theatre Rachel Chaves, Ph.D. “The blending of industrial and organic forms in the art style reminded us of the interplay between the civic, law-bound world of Theseus’ court and the magical forest the fairies inhabit.”

Theatre Young Harris’ production will tell the story of Theseus, an industry giant comparable to J.P. Morgan, who has agreed to marry the daughter of one of his competitors in the steel business to solidify a merger. The planning of the pair’s wedding, along with a few wayward lovers and mischievous fairies, sparks the action for the play.

“This play is one of Shakespeare’s most charming and enduring comedies,” Dr. Chaves said. “It speaks of love at all its stages, from the heady bliss of newfound romance to the mature relationship which requires compromise to thrive. It is a play fit for anyone who loves love.”

The production features freshman Matt Jones of Hiram as Puck, sophomore Sarin Rossi of Fayetteville, as Hermia, senior Michelle Honaker of Blairsville as Helena, senior Ryan Bender of Braselton as Lysander, sophomore Sam Walker of Epping, England, as Demetrius, senior Misty Barber of Nashville as Titania, junior Brandon Engelskirchen of Kannapolis, N.C., as Bottom, junior Austin Freeman of Hartwell as Theseus, sophomore Ashley Ware of Dacula as Hippolita, junior Josiah Bridges of Jefferson as Egeus, junior Jordan Fleming of Marietta as Philostrate, sophomore Tory Gravitt of Cumming as Peaseblossom, senior Stephanie Sexton of Cumming as Cobweb, sophomore Nicole Conrad of Young Harris as Moth, freshman Alyssa Lowery of Conyers as Mustardseed, junior Nancy Soule of Covington as Quince, junior Tyler Ogburn of Blairsville as Flute, freshman Haley Hoopingarner of Woodstock as Snout, senior Hannah Guest of Crawford as Snug and sophomore Chase Alford of Carrollton as Starveling.

The role of Oberon will be played by Theatre Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Theatre Eddie Collins.

“The challenge for the students is the language, as speaking in blank verse can be intimidating to young actors at first,” Dr. Chaves said. “These actors are some of the most hard-working students on campus, and they have committed themselves full-force to the project. I have no doubt that the result will be delightful.”

Several cast members also serve on the creative team for the production. Bridges is the assistant director, Barber serves as a choreographer and Ogburn is the assistant costume designer. Senior music major Seth Peters of Loganville is composing original music for the play.

Theatre Young Harris is a performing arts organization of Young Harris College. Each season, the theatre company presents a full lineup of notable productions, including full-length musicals, innovative dramas, classic plays, children’s shows and more. Auditions are open to students, faculty and staff of Young Harris College as well as the community. Theatre Young Harris is led by Eddie Collins, chair of the theatre department at Young Harris College.

Tickets are on sale now through the Young Harris College Box Office located in the Goolsby Center lobby. Box office hours are Monday-Friday, 3-5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online anytime at

Young Harris College Participates in MLK Day of Service

Young Harris College recently hosted a special day of service on Jan. 22 to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day which took place on Jan. 17. Approximately 70 faculty, staff and students engaged in a variety of volunteer efforts in the local community throughout the day. The event was sponsored by S.E.R.V.E. (Service, Empowerment, Responsibility, Voice and Engagement), a committee comprised of student and staff representatives from the College’s Bonner Leaders Program, Office of Religious Life and Office of Campus Activities.

“It’s important to host events like the MLK Day of Service every year because it helps the College build community partnership,” Director of Campus Activities Rouseline Emmanuel said. “Also, the experience and joy students get from helping others in need is irreplaceable and will be something they always remember.”

The group of volunteers finished construction of affordable housing in the Wesley Meadows neighborhood; helped complete an outdoor adventure-based training course for Niyelo at Towns County High School by painting, mulching, repairing and organizing the course; and walked, bathed and fed animals at the Mountain Shelter Humane Society.

“Serving at the Humane Society was a blast,” said senior Matthew Kammerer of Loganville. “With such a huge turnout we were able to help in many different ways, from scrubbing dog runs, to making enrichment treats, to walking each and every one of the dogs.”

“One of the goals of YHC is to contribute to the quality of life of our local community,” explained Assistant Professor of Education Mark Brunner, Ph.D. “Participating in this event provided us with an opportunity to contribute, in a small way, to our community. The fact that so many students turned up in cold temperatures to assist the community was inspiring to me.”

S.E.R.V.E. sponsors one major service-oriented event each month. The organization will sponsor a clean-up day of the Lake Chatuge shore on March 26 and will collaborate with the College’s Sustainability Committee, Roots & Shoots and Student Government Association to host service events to celebrate Earth Day on April 16.

A group of volunteers helped complete an outdoor adventure-based training course for Niyelo at Towns County High School by painting, mulching, repairing and organizing the course. Front row (left to right): YHC Women’s Soccer Assistant Coach Spencer Nunnally, sophomore Jacob Davis, of Dalton, Towns County Family Connection staff member Jenny Stowers, sophomore Antoine Saunders, of Douglasville, and junior Katie Holcomb, of Hampton. Second row (left to right): Senior Katie Marlowe, of Clermont, sophomore Lauren Joiner, of Gainesville, junior Tyler Ogburn, of Blairsville, and junior David Agori-Iwe, of Marietta.

From left to right: Senior Katelyn Elizabeth Sharp, of Sylvania, and senior Tara Shiver, of Covington, spent the day volunteering at the Mountain Shelter Humane Society.

Click here to view more photos of the MLK Day of Service.

Young Harris College to Host Ethics Awareness Week

Young Harris College will host Ethics Awareness Week, Monday-Friday, Feb. 21-25, sponsored by the Ethics Across the Curriculum program. The conference will feature lectures and presentations by YHC faculty and guest speakers, film showings and special displays in Duckworth Library.

“The goal of this event is to open an informed discussion among our community members about what it means to live morally,” Associate Professor of Philosophy and Ethics Across the Curriculum Coordinator Jamie Watson, Ph.D., said. “Through lectures, discussions, films and displays, participants will be faced with hard questions about right and wrong and have an opportunity to consider some meaningful answers.”

The weeklong event will highlight five ethics-related topics, including “Ethics and Religion,” “The Morality of Living Well,” “Animal Welfare,” “The Value of the Environment” and “Moral Issues in Gender and Sexuality.”

The conference will kick off on Monday, Feb. 21, with a lecture by Dr. Watson titled “Reasoning in Ethics and The Euthyphro Dilemma.” That evening, Assistant Professor of Religion Eric Dickman, Ph.D., will present “A Common Ground: Buddhist Compassion and Levinas’s Responsibility to the Other.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, Adjunct Instructor of Physical Education Ki Curtis will present an afternoon lecture, titled “The Yoga of a Healthy Diet.” Director of Student Health Services Linda Kneiss, R.N., will present “Healthy Eating and Wellbeing: Who’s Responsibility Is It?” that evening, followed by a film showing of Super-Size Me. This 2004 documentary directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock depicts a 30-day period during which he eats only McDonald’s food.

Guest lecturer Robert Bass, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, will present “Pascal in the Kitchen: Betting on the Ethics of Eating” on Wednesday, Feb. 23. Dr. Watson will present “A Response to Robert Bass on Animal Welfare,” that evening, followed by a film showing of Food, Inc., a 2008 documentary that examines corporate farming in the United States.

On Thursday, Feb. 24, The Young Harris College Sustainability Committee will host a table in Grace Rollins Campus Restaurant during lunchtime that features information regarding the College’s sustainability efforts. That evening, Assistant Professor of English James Bishop, Ph.D., will present “Dystopias and Ecotopias: Environmental Futures in Literature and Film,” followed by a film showing of Wall-E, a 2008 Disney/Pixar film that tells the story of a robot who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth in the future.

The conference will conclude on Friday, Feb. 25, with “A Hot Meal: A Conversation about Sex (Sexuality and the Church) over Lunch,” a lecture by Campus Minister and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Rev. Dr. Tim Moore, followed by student reflection workshops in the afternoon. The conference will conclude with a closed lecture for educators titled "Understanding Feminist Approaches and What Exactly They Bring to the Table" by guest lecturer Megan McGrew, a graduate student at Florida State University.

The Ethics Across the Curriculum program at Young Harris College was established in 2008. This program encourages professors in all disciplines to incorporate the study of ethics into their courses and often includes workshops and luncheons on ethics in practice, ethical theories, moral reasoning and teaching ethics.

Students, academic professionals and community members are encouraged to attend the conference.

YHC Communication Studies Major Receives Student Journalism Awards

Young Harris College freshman communication studies major Hailey Silvey, of Young Harris, recently received first place in the Best Entertainment Feature category and third place in the Best Features Story category for the 2010 Georgia College Press Association (GCPA) “Better Newspaper” competition. These awards mark the first time in nearly 20 years that a writer from Young Harris College’s student newspaper, Enotah Echoes, has won an award in this competition.

The GCPA announced the winners of the annual competition during the 2011 GCPA’s Press Institute at The Classic Center in Athens, Feb. 4-5. Assistant Professor of Media Communication and Enotah Echoes Faculty Advisor Nick Bowman, Ph.D., and a group of 11 YHC journalism students attended the conference. During the event, students had the opportunity to work alongside professional journalists to gain a better understanding of the field and attend workshops designed to critique their work.

“Winning this award means so much to me. I've always loved writing, and knowing that my writing could win two state awards makes me feel good and lets me know that my hard work really is paying off,” Silvey said.

“While I’m very excited for Hailey, I’m even more excited about what this means for YHC. The newspaper was completely overhauled in August, and students were struggling with learning a new craft while trying to create a new product,” Dr. Bowman said. “This award shows students, faculty and staff that they can be proud of a product that produces award-winning, informative and entertaining content. Our goal this year was to try to win one award, and Hailey single-handedly doubled that goal.”

Silvey is a graduate of Towns County High School. In addition to her responsibilities as an Enotah Echoes staff writer, she also serves as a Student Ambassador and as vice president of the commuter student organization at the College.

Silvey plans to double-major in communication studies and psychology and hopes to work as a psychologist while possibly also writing books on the side. In the meantime, she enjoys writing articles for the Campus Life and Arts & Entertainment sections of Enotah Echoes.

“I like being involved with the student newspaper because it lets me find out more about things that are going on around campus,” Silvey said. “I like knowing that I can help answer the questions that people might have about things that are going on around campus.”

“Hailey came onto the newspaper staff as a freshman last semester and really dived right into it,” Dr. Bowman said. “She was never afraid to step up and cover a variety of stories and she’s got a real natural talent at getting the ‘story within the story.’ She’s a rookie at all of this, but she’s not afraid to learn the craft.”

Silvey’s award-winning story, titled Campus Hauntings,” revealed many ghost and haunting stories on the Young Harris College campus including tales involving previous YHC President Charles Clegg, ’27, and noted poet and YHC alumnus and former instructor Byron Herbert Reece, ’40.

“Beyond the subject matter, what I really enjoyed about her story was the narrative. Hailey was able to turn a newspaper story into a balanced piece of prose that was both entertaining and informative—the perfect features piece,” Dr. Bowman said. “She has been doing more features-based work for Enotah Echoes, and her strong point is telling stories about people. She has a knack for finding the relevance and uniqueness in all sorts of stories.”

Young Harris College freshman communication studies major Hailey Silvey, of Young Harris, recently received first place in the Best Entertainment Feature category and third place in the Best Features Story category for the 2010 Georgia College Press Association (GCPA) “Better Newspaper” competition.

Assistant Professor of Media Communication and Enotah Echoes Faculty Advisor Nick Bowman, Ph.D., and a group of 11 YHC journalism students attended the the 2011 GCPA’s Press Institute at The Classic Center in Athens, Feb. 4-5.

Young Harris College Alumna Finds Calling in Christian Broadcasting


Jessie Hodge, ’08, started playing golf during her senior year of high school in the south Georgia town of Douglas, Ga., and discovered she had a natural talent for the game. While playing at the State Regional Golf Tournament, she was approached by a golf scout for Young Harris College. After touring the College, Hodge accepted a scholarship to attend YHC and become a member of the inaugural women’s golf team in 2006.

“Although I didn't realize it at the time, some of my fondest memories of YHC were created during golf practices and tournaments,” Hodge said. “The men’s and women’s teams were like one big family.  We all loved the golf trips and treasure the memories made during our time together.”

During her sophomore year, Hodge and her teammates were invited to participate in the NJCAA Tournament held at the LPGA International Golf Club in Daytona Beach, Fla. As the team rapidly grew, Hodge recalls the support she felt from the YHC faculty and staff.

“The faculty and staff were very friendly, caring and supportive of both academics and athletics,” Hodge said. “They worked closely together to make sure our academic performance remained as our major focus and made accommodations for athletes to be away for sports events. They cared about us as individuals.”

While Hodge initially planned to major in computer science, she ultimately pursued a degree in business at YHC. While her studies and golf kept her busy, participating in church-related activities at the College also remained a priority for Hodge.

“I was very involved in church ministry and feel this is where I began to understand what God was calling me to pursue—broadcast/church media,” she said. “My interest in broadcasting began during my youth. I was involved in my home church technology team throughout my middle and high school years. I knew this was an area that I enjoyed and intuitively found that I excelled in.”

After graduating from YHC in 2008, Hodge had the opportunity not only to further her education in her desired field, but also to be a part of another inaugural golf team at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn. She earned her B.A. in telecommunications and broadcast media with minors in religion and business in 2010.

An internship at Daystar Television Network in Dallas, Texas, led Hodge to accept a full-time position at the company’s headquarters upon graduation from Lee University. Daystar has emerged as the fastest-growing and one of two largest Christian television networks in the world, operating more than 70 television stations in major markets across the United States.  

“I absolutely love working at DayStar,” Hodge said. “I love traveling and have been blessed to accompany DayStar to Israel and India thus far. Having these opportunities are more than I could’ve ever dreamed of. I have seen things that will forever be engrained in my mind and heart. I can’t wait to see more of the world.”

Hodge still enjoys playing golf in her spare time and hopes to be able to participate in local tournaments and teach young girls to pursue golf as a sport. She also remains extremely involved in church activities, sings in the choir and participates in various ministries. 

Since graduating from YHC, Hodge has returned to Young Harris every year to visit her lifelong friends and “adopted family” during summer and Christmas holidays.

“Although it is a six-hour trip to Young Harris from my home in Douglas, the bonds created while at YHC have made north Georgia feel like my home, too, Hodge said. “I was blessed to have a wonderful family in Young Harris take me under their wing and make me a part of their family. Young Harris will always be a part of me and has a very special place in my heart.”

ACC 411: GIA Limits

The term GIA stands for "grant-in-aid" and serves as the NCAA's term for a “full-ride” scholarship. Most student-athletes at the Division II level do not get all tuition and fees paid for by the institution’s athletics department. This is because the NCAA places limits on the amount of scholarship dollars each sport is permitted to award.

A full scholarship, in NCCA terms, is called a full “equivalency.” Each team has a set number of equivalencies that can be offered to student-athletes. The equivalency limits are generally much lower than the number of student-athletes required to fill a roster.

A student-athlete is permitted to receive both athletic and academic scholarship money. However, unless a student-athlete meets the standard for academic scholarship set by the NCAA (3.5 GPA or test scores equaling 1140 SAT/25 ACT), the academic scholarship counts towards the team’s equivalency limit.

The NCAA limits and approximate roster sizes for sports offered by Young Harris College are:

  • Baseball – 9.0 (Roster size 30-35)
  • Softball – 7.2 (Roster size 22-25)
  • Men’s Cross County – 5.0 (Roster size 8-10)
  • Women’s Cross County – 5.0 (Roster size 8-10)
  • Men’s Tennis – 4.5 (Roster size 8-10)
  • Women’s Tennis – 6.0 (Roster size 8-10)
  • Men’s Golf – 3.6 (Roster size 6-10)
  • Women’s Golf – 5.4 (Roster size 6-10)
  • Men’s Soccer – 9.0 (Roster size 22-25)
  • Women’s Soccer – 9.9 (Roster size 22-25)
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball – 10.0 (Roster size 12-15)

For more information, contact YHC Compliance Officer Jennifer Stearsman at (706) 379-5107 or

Faculty and Staff Notables

Dr. Nick Bowman, assistant professor of communication studies, and Rev. Dr. Tim Moore, campus minister and assistant professor of religion, led a workshop, titled “New media = new members: Using new technologies to reach, form, and sustain new communities of faith,” regarding social media and religion at the Waynesville District Leadership conference in Franklin, N.C., Jan. 23.

Cathy Cox, president, attended a meeting for the University Senate of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education hosted by Paine College in Augusta, Jan. 26-27. She was recently elected to the University Senate and is serving on the institutional review committee. President Cox has also been elected chair of the Georgia Independent College Association (GICA) for 2011. She and the new staff president of GICA, Dr. Susanna Baxter, and the presidents of the 25 member institutions, have begun an intense lobbying effort with the Georgia General Assembly to preserve the HOPE scholarship and the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) for Georgia students attending private colleges.

Dr. Jennifer Hallett, assistant professor of communication studies, Lynne Nation, associate professor of mathematics, and Dr. Linda Jones, associate professor of biology, attended the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Institute on Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., Feb. 4-6. Dr. Hallett also attended the Basic Course Director’s Conference hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s communication department in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 27-29.

Mary Land, senior instructor of music and director of bands, presented two sessions, titled “Best Teaching Tips and Pedagogy For The Music Class” and “Preparing For Student Teaching: What You Should Know Before You Go!,” at the Alabama Music Educators Association In Service Conference in Montgomery, Ala., Jan. 20. She also attended the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference in Savannah, Jan. 27-29. Land served as a contributing author for the book Teaching Music Through Performance In Band, Volume 8, that was published in December 2010. She wrote chapters regarding concert programming for this series that serves as a resource for band directors.            

A poem titled “Dictum” by Rosemary Royston, ’89, vice president for planning and assessment and chief of staff, was a finalist in the James Baker Hall Memorial poetry contest and was published in the December 2010 issue of The New Southerner. Royston’s poem “Propagation” was published in Alehouse, 2011, No. 5, and her poem “Witness” will be published in the 2011 spring issue of Coal Hill Review.