Issues by Date: October 2019

Lance Simpson and Dnika Joseph at the Reunion Brunch

Lance Simpson (09C) and Dnika Joseph (09C) share a hug at the annual reunion brunch. Photo by student Matthew McConnell.

Berry was the place to be Oct. 4-6 as alumni, students, parents and friends joined faculty and staff for the 105th celebration of Mountain Day. Those who couldn’t make it back took part via social media, posting hundreds of photos using the #mtnday19 and #cupcakesformartha hashtags.

On-campus highlights included traditional favorites such as Friday’s Mountain Day Golf Scramble and Olympics and Saturday’s picnic, Grand March and Marthapalooza carnival. There were also games featuring the men’s and women’s soccer teams and sold-out performances of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, presented by the Berry College Theatre Co.

Hundreds of alumni turned out for reunion events at the WinShape Hub and Oak Hill’s Christopher Browning Pavilion, and a crowd of more than 400 students and family members attended the Class of 2020 Breakfast hosted by senior class officers and the Berry alumni office.

Mariel Trosa celebrates Mountain Day in China

Mariel Trosa (15C) celebrates Mountain Day in China.

On campus and online, alumni and friends once again raised “Cupcakes for Martha” in honor of Martha Berry’s birthday (search #cupcakesformartha on Instagram and Facebook to see photos). Student entrepreneur Jorie Hodapp supplied hundreds of sweet treats for distribution in Krannert Center and also took the time to provide a quick baking lesson for President Steve Briggs, which you can watch here.

The ever-popular Mountain Day t-shirt soared – literally – as alumni from as far away as California, Colorado, Texas, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Ohio took advantage of a new option to purchase shirts online and have them shipped to their homes. Many of those alums then joined us in spirit by posting selfies in their shirts with the hashtag #mtnday19.

Thanks again to everyone who joined us this year, both on the mountain and digitally! We’re especially grateful to our Mountain Day sponsor, Plainville Brick Company, and other community partners for their role in helping to make the event a success.

If you missed the fun this year, don’t worry! We have several more alumni events scheduled this fall. Watch our Facebook page and your email inbox for updates!

Related: Reunion Photos

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Student Malikye Lacey works on a robot as part of an engineering course.

INNOVATIVE LEARNING: Student Malikye Lacey works on a computer-automated robot as part of an engineering course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics Zachary Lindsey.

We know we don’t have to convince you of the quality and value of a Berry education, but it’s always exciting to hear others bragging about us. The most recent source of praise is U.S. News and World Report, which included the following distinctions for Berry in its annual “best colleges” issue:

No. 1 – Best Value Schools (academic quality vs. net cost of attendance)

No. 2 – Best Undergraduate Teaching

No. 4 – Regional Universities in the South

No. 10 – Most Innovative Schools

This recognition – much of it peer-driven – comes on the heels of similar praise from the likes of The Princeton Review and College Factual (highlighted in our previous issue).

The evidence remains clear – Berry is a fantastic institution of higher learning (and beautiful too!).

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Evelyn Hamilton and Beverly Philpot SmithTrailblazers Gala Logo Evelyn Hamilton (69C), left, and Dr. Beverly Philpot Smith (69C, FS) made history a half-century ago as Berry’s first African-American graduates. This fall, the college’s African-American Alumni Chapter is commemorating their legacy with the Trailblazer Gala. The dinner celebration will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at Oak Hill’s Christopher Browning Pavilion, beginning at 6 p.m.

Both women have distinguished themselves in service to their professions and communities in the years since graduating from Berry. Hamilton spent 34 years with the State of Georgia, Floyd County Department of Family and Children Services, while Smith is a longtime educator whose many career highlights include work at Berry as a faculty member and Pathways Program director. A scholarship for Berry students has been funded in their honor.

“I know Dr. Smith and Ms. Hamilton personally, and they are both such dynamic people,” said Director of Alumni Relations Jennifer Tucker Beard (93C, 00G). “They’ve done a lot in their careers and in their lives, and it is great we are now able to honor them.”

The gala will feature keynote remarks by Judge Glenda Hatchett, a trailblazer in her own right who has distinguished herself on the bench, in corporate service and as star of her own Emmy-nominated television series. Other program highlights include a video tribute to the two honorees.

Visit www.berry.edu/trailblazer if you are interested in attending. The last day to register is Nov. 7.

We are pleased to acknowledge our partners at Georgia Power for their generous sponsorship support.

Reporting by student Kendall Aronson

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Kevin Renshler Portrait

Kevin Renshler

Marc Hunsaker Portrait

Marc Hunsaker

Entrepreneurship and personal and professional development are the focus of two recent appointments meant to build on historic strengths and further develop opportunities for students.

Dr. Kevin Renshler is the inaugural director of the Center for Student Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, a major priority of Berry’s LifeReady Campaign. Dr. Marc Hunsaker, meanwhile, will lead the newly formed Center for Personal and Professional Development.

Renshler has an impressive background working with students to advance skills in business, creativity and engagement, most recently serving as associate director of MiddCORE and professor of practice at Middlebury College. At Berry, he will work to enhance the entrepreneurial development of students and revamp the start-up process for student-operated enterprises, among other duties.

Hunsaker comes to Berry from Michigan State University, where he served as purpose and career design consultant for the university’s Career Services Network. Responsibilities in his new role include integrating and strengthening existing programs related to professional learning experiences, career advising, internships and mentoring. He will also lead the college’s work program, now called LifeWorks.

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Berry Volleyball Celebration

WORTH A VIEW: It’s been another exciting fall for Berry athletics, punctuated by national rankings in volleyball and football. Fans can enjoy enhanced live-streams of both sports thanks to a new partnership between Viking Fusion and the college’s sports information office.

Students gain valuable experience while producing sports programming for alumni and other fans.

Students gain valuable experience producing sports programming for alumni and other fans. Photo by student Andrea Hill.

Do you love Berry sports but simply can’t make it back for events as often as you’d like? Not to worry! Thanks to a new partnership between the college’s sports information office and Viking Fusion, you can now enjoy a premium viewing experience from the comfort of your favorite easy chair.

Most Berry home events are already live-streamed, but the new collaboration is delivering what organizers describe as an “ESPN3-quality broadcast” with multiple camera angles, interviews and other enhanced features.

All home football games and conference volleyball matches are already available in the new format, with women’s and men’s basketball following in early November and softball next spring.

“No other school in our league is doing anything like this,” said Blake Childers (15C), director of sports information and promotions. “We’re excited to be the first ones who are able to bring the viewers a broadcast like this.”

Steven Hames, Viking Fusion adviser, said plans for the collaboration were set in motion by the acquisition of a new piece of equipment called a JVC switcher.

“With this switcher, we are now able to provide replays and do even more enhanced graphics and things that we were not able to do before,” he said. “That adds a whole lot to the viewing experience.”

In addition to providing greater visibility for Berry’s student-athletes and an improved viewing experience for alumni and other fans of Viking athletics, the partnership also provides valuable work opportunities for students in sports communication and other majors.

Go to berryvikings.com to view these free productions.

By student writer Cassie LaJeunesse

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Student-Operated Enterprises Storefront in Bookstore

Student-Operated Enterprises Storefront

A storefront in the Berry College bookstore is providing a new avenue of experience for  student-operated enterprises while also making it easier to purchase Angus beef, cage-free eggs, cheese, hand-woven creations, honey, handcrafted furniture and other items produced by Berry students.

Previously, products were only available online and at occasional events such as on-campus markets held each fall and spring.

“We have sales experience and marketing experience, and now we are pairing that with retail marketing, staffing and cash management experience,” said senior Ben Lord, student director of the enterprises program. “There are a lot more moving parts when you’re running a store, and students are involved with every part of the process.”

Lord appreciates the opportunity the storefront provides for customers to talk directly with the students who developed the products they are purchasing.

“They’re not just purchasing the product itself,” he said. “They’re purchasing part of Berry’s culture.”

The store is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday. Click here to learn more about the products available through student-operated enterprises and to shop online.

Student media coverage

Story by student Kendall Aronson; photos by student Rette Solomon

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Jennifer Murray Chapman with a Dolphin at Epcot

Glenn GarridoGlenn Garrido (14C) and Jennifer Murray Chapman (00C) followed very different paths at Berry, but both have led to careers at one of the most magical places on earth: Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort.

Garrido (right) is the park video crew chief, charged with maintaining video show elements and managing equipment and training for other videographers. He got his start at Disney as part of the Disney College Program and afterwards knew he wanted to make it a career. His experience as a Berry communication major working with Viking Fusion helped prepare him for a job he loves.

“As cheesy as it sounds, getting to make magic is the best part of my job,” Garrido said. “Being a part of a team that will do some big show that guests get to see and experience and then seeing their reactions – the joy that it brings is amazing to me.”

Chapman (top) is the education manager for the guest animal experience team at The Seas with Nemo and Friends. She trains new cast members, develops educational programs and manages revenue. Like Garrido, she also loves being part of a team that makes a difference and brings joy to guests every day. Her studies in animal behavior as a psychology major at Berry have helped her in her position.

“The caring atmosphere at Berry really set me up for success,” she said. “I loved my time at Berry and all the amazing people I met there.”

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Dr. Craig E. Johnson brought his unique perspective on leadership to the Berry campus Oct. 3 as the latest speaker in the Cecil B. Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture Series. The author of Organizational Ethics: A Practical Approach and Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light or Shadow took students and others guests on “A Walk on the Shadow Side of Leadership” during his presentation in Krannert Center.

Johnson, an emeritus professor of leadership studies at George Fox University, has served in leadership positions at nonprofit organizations and has been an active participant in educational and service trips to Kenya, Rwanda, Honduras, Brazil, China and New Zealand. He is the recipient of George Fox University’s distinguished teaching award, as well as the outstanding graduate faculty researcher award in 2016.

While on campus, Johnson sat down for a brief on-campus interview (view above), sharing his thoughts on the current state of leadership and other topics.

“It’s certainly … been a dark time for leadership in terms of tribalism,” he stated. “We have more people displaced than ever before. There’s a rise of nationalism and so forth, but I’m with Desmond Tutu … I believe that light is stronger than darkness and life is stronger than death, so I think in the long run I’m optimistic.”

The Wright Lecture Series is an initiative of the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership, which is dedicated to helping students develop a better understanding of ethical leadership in all aspects of life. Programming is made possible through gifts to the LifeReady Campaign.

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First-Year Service Day Downtown MuralPAINTING THE TOWN: Freshman George Alameddine works on one of the murals painted by Berry students during First-Year Service Day. Photo by student Matthew McConnell.

It didn’t take long for First-Year Seminar students taught by Professor of Mathematics Dr. Ron Taylor and Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Casey Dexter to make their mark on the local community, painting two beautiful murals along the river walk near the Robert Redden Footbridge in downtown Rome.

The students painted the murals as part of First-Year Service Day, an annual event engaging hundreds of Berry’s newest students in projects all across Rome and Floyd County. This year, students and faculty members contributed time and energy at more than 30 sites, with projects ranging from washing dogs and building a puppy gym at PAWS to clearing brush at historic Zuber Cemetery and hosting a singalong for residents at Brookdale Senior Living.

Emma Wells (16C), director of Keep Rome Beautiful, originally approached First-Year Experience Director Katherine Powell with the idea for the murals. Associate Professor of Art Brad Adams came up with the design, drawing inspiration from wildlife indigenous to the Rome area. He also provided instruction to the students, noting that the project was a great way for them to contribute to something bigger than themselves.

“It really does enhance the space, and it connects a lot of different communities,” Adams said. “It’s interesting how a little bit of acrylic paint can really change a space.”

More coverage: New Murals add to Rome’s expanding collection

Story by student Kendall Aronson; photo by student Matthew McConnell

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