Issues by Date: December 2013

Georgia Traveler: Berry College SegmentViewers of Georgia Public Broadcasting got a crash course in all things Berry during the November episode of Georgia Traveler. Featured landmarks in the “Coolest Campus” segment included Oak Hill and the Ford Buildings. GPB also highlighted Berry’s Hollywood connections, as well as the campus dairy and associated student-operated enterprises. The tone of the piece was so very Berry that an oft-repeated bit of campus hyperbole found its way into the narrative (the deer-to-student ratio is much closer to 1-to-1 than the 7-to-1 reported). Click the image to view for yourself.

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Berry Women's Volleyball Team

A successful fall semester for Berry’s student-athletes culminated with a second consecutive Southern Athletic Association championship in women’s volleyball and the college’s first-ever NCAA Division III national tournament appearance. With honorable-mention All-Americans Stephanie Quinn and Emily Stromberg leading the charge, Mika Robinson’s Vikings posted a 26-8 record highlighted by a sparkling 16-1 mark against SAA competition and a first-round victory over Washington & Lee in the national tournament.

Also qualifying for nationals this fall was senior running standout Ryan James, a top-five finisher at the conference and regional levels who placed 56th overall among 275 competitors in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.

Other notable achievements included a 16-4 finish in women’s soccer (a 12-win improvement over 2012), senior men’s soccer player Josh Hughes’ selection as Berry’s first NCAA Division III Academic All-American, and an undefeated fall for the hunt seat and western equestrian teams.

Visit for ongoing coverage of Berry’s winter sports and more athletic news from fall, including numerous individual accolades and the women’s softball team’s participation in the local Challenger Sports Program for children and adults with special needs.

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This special season of giving provides the perfect opportunity to once more express our gratitude to the many alumni and friends whose unwavering support continues to make such a huge difference in the lives of Berry students. Your gifts make it possible for us to offer a one-of-a-kind educational experience that has earned Berry praise from our peers as America’s No. 1 “up-and-coming” liberal arts college.

We’re proud to list the names of all those who made a gift to Berry between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, on our annual Honor Roll of Donors. Our message to you, expressed perfectly by students in the accompanying video, is a simple one: You are appreciated! Thank you for your gift of opportunity.

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Brook BowersThe world’s largest online retailer will be Brook Bowers’ new home. Brook, a computer science major earning his degree this month, will move to Seattle in February to work for Amazon.

In March, Brook had applied for an internship with Amazon but never heard back. Then in October he received an email from an Amazon recruiter that said they were considering him for a software development engineer position.

The interview process was a multifaceted procedure that required Brook to take an online exam to test his skills with software code. An intimidating and rigorous on-site interview followed requiring him to solve software code problems in front of several interviewers. A few days later they offered him the job.

The Cumming, Ga., native said he is excited to move to a new city and gain experience.

“I got a glimpse of Amazon’s inner workings, and it was a very, very neat environment,” said Brook. “I am really looking forward to launching into the bigger scene of software development.”

Brook gained valuable experience on campus as a research assistant to Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Nadeem Hamid. He also worked on the Help Desk for the college’s information technology department.

“Brook getting a job at Amazon is a great testimony to his academic excellence, and it also speaks highly to the quality and rigor of the experience a student like him can get at Berry,” said Hamid. “We are very excited that our students are able to land such positions upon graduation.”

Story by Brittni Trollinger, student public relations assistant
Photo by student Mary Claire Stewart

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In January we shared the story of Alex Sorohan, a Berry student who became an advocate for safe driving after older brother Caleb lost his life in a text-and-driving accident. This fall, her message found a national audience as part of AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign. In the 60-second spot, Alex herself tells the story of Caleb’s death and subsequent efforts by the family to have texting and driving banned in Georgia. It has been featured on a variety of networks including MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Comedy Central, VH1 and BET.

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The Treves Family Audio Slideshow

A screen capture from "The Treves Family: An Uncommon Story," by student Mary Claire Stewart. Click image to access audio slideshow.

National honors have been piling up like falling leaves around the Viking Fusion studio this semester. The student-run site earned recognition as one of America’s “50 Best Student Press Websites” from College Media Matters and was runner-up to Kent State University as “TV Station of the Year,” as judged by the College Media Association. The latter organization also rewarded two individual productions with first-place awards: a Viking Fusion promo and senior Mary Claire Stewart’s audio slideshow The Treves Family: An Uncommon Story, which was part of the larger Jews of Florence multimedia project. An additional first-place honor – this one in the National Student Production Awards competition – went to Episode 5 of Going Up, a series co-created by current student Glenn Garrido-Olivar and recent graduate Nathan Sutton (13C).

Viking Fusion is a co-curricular multimedia website based in and managed by the Department of Communication.

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Deanna Bryant WhitfieldThe Berry College Office of Admissions cast its nets overseas this fall with help from Deanna Bryant Whitfield (95C), an alumna living with her husband, Maj. Marcus Whitfield (96C), at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, South Korea. Deanna reached out in October seeking admissions materials to be distributed at a college fair for students on the post, many of whom are the children of U.S. service members or Department of Defense civilians and contractors. She then represented Berry at the event, which also welcomed American high school students from nearby Camp Humphreys. Afterward, she distributed the remaining brochures to high school guidance counselors in the area.

We join our admissions friends in thanking Deanna and Marcus for their service to America and to Berry!

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David WarrenMusic education major David Warren has claimed the title of head conductor for the Illinois-based Phantom Regiment, a world-class drum and bugle corps sponsored by Drum Corps International. David earned the right to serve as head conductor for the 2014 marching season after surviving an extensive audition process involving 50 other corps members. In addition to his participation in the Phantom Regiment, the Carrollton, Ga., native also plays trombone in several Berry ensembles and serves as student manager of Ford Auditorium.

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Stan Pethel and Mary OutlawDr. Stan Pethel (far left) has been presented with an American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Plus Award in recognition of his distinguished career in music. The longtime professor of music and past chair of Berry’s fine arts department boasts an impressive 1,200 musical works in print for choirs, orchestras, symphonic bands, brass ensembles, and solo instruments with piano. Also earning praise this fall was Dr. Mary Outlaw, a longtime member of Berry’s teacher education faculty who was honored with the Charter Fellows Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Teaching.

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Dining with the DaughtersStill in need of last-minute gift ideas? We’ve got the perfect thing – Dining with the Daughters, a new cookbook by the Daughters of Berry. This is the ninth cookbook published by this special group, founded in 1939 by Martha Berry herself to help preserve the traditions and heritage of her schools. The new edition, produced by the Daughters of Berry in collaboration with Morris Press Cookbooks, combines historic favorites served to such notable campus guests as Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Ford and Amelia Earhart with newer delights crafted by Berry alumni. Order your copy online through the Oak Hill Gift Shop.

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Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon (center) caused quite a stir on campus during filming for the pilot episode of "The Following." Scroll to the blog footer to vote for your 'Berry' movie or television show.

In the October issue of the Alumni Accent, we decided to have a little Halloween fun by asking readers to tell us where on the Berry campus they would LEAST be surprised to run into a ghost. Perhaps not surprisingly, the historic Ford Buildings finished No. 1 with 33% of the vote. Next was the Stretch Road (hello Green Ghost!) with 27%, followed by the Hoge Building (12%), Hill Dining Hall (8%), Berry Chapels (7%), Campus Grounds (6%) and Viking Trail (4%).

We’ll stay with the holiday theme this month, though we promise the question has a brighter (as in bright lights of Hollywood!) tone. Scroll to the blog footer to take part.

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