As a senior at Oglethorpe, my current goals involve deciding where I want to go with my life, which paths I wish to embark upon and which journeys I will undertake. Ironically, on a physical plane, my navigational abilities are not exactly “present.” Maps and signs befuddle me, as do landmarks, and I can find myself getting lost in ways that are so bizarre as to be impressive… from a certain angle, that is. While my “impressive” skills at getting lost were no different at Georgia State’s Modern Media Conference (it took me half an hour to find the cafeteria), in a deeper sense, there was some direction to be found—the type of direction that every college senior ultimately desires.
I chose to attend Georgia State’s conference because of my editor position with The Tower literary magazine, as well as my internship with Oglethorpe’s Pegasus Creative (the University Communication department’s newly-launched student communications agency that gives us the opportunity to gain real world experience in a collaborative team environment). The conference, held September 28-29, was packed with more than 20 guest speakers from major media outlets such as CNN, ESPN, WSB-TV, HLN, and WXIA. I was accompanied by Director of Communications Renee Vary, Assistant Director Debbie Aiken ’12, and Pegasus Creative’s Web Content Development Intern Debra Bryant ’12 (who also came on behalf of The Nightcap, the Evening Degree Program’s newsletter.)
The four of us had numerous lectures to choose from, some headed by photojournalists, others by newspaper editors, and a few by the professors at Georgia State themselves. The variety of seminars offered went far beyond what I had anticipated, and I used up an entire booklet taking notes on what was discussed.
Throughout the course of the day, I was able to attend five sessions, ranging from a passionate lecture called “Get to the Damn Point!” (something which I have admittedly not done yet—read on!) to an informative presentation on what makes student government an exciting body to report on. (As a member of our school’s SGA, this was especially topical for me!). Journalist and Editor Michael Koretzky ended the conference with several stories concerning his own experiences in the professional world; he encouraged the audience to “be fired for the right reason,” before recounting several situations in which he was fired for just that.
So, what is the “darn” point of me writing this? Well, there are several points I wish to share with you—I had fun, I learned a lot, and I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future. Is this where I want to go with my life? Do I want to work in PR, journalism, broadcasting, or some other form of media? I don’t know, but I now see them as options, which puts me a step closer to finding my way than I was before.
I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about attending the 2012 Omicron Delta Kappa National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. this past summer. I, like probably every conference attendee, was intimidated about how I would fit in with some the best and brightest students in the United States. The ODK conference was replete with the future innovators, scholars and leaders who will make a difference in the world for decades to come. Fortunately, I can report that the 2012 ODK National Conference was an engaging, motivating event that showcased the quality of leadership that ODK as an organization embodies and fosters.
In all, more than 200 delegates from almost 30 states attended the conference. The national convention is required every two years in order to ratify any changes that the National Board of ODK has approved. ODK National President Betsy Holloway reported that ODK initiated 15 new circles, and 2800 new members. These increases represent the largest growth in the organization’s history. As well, ODK set a new record in fundraising for scholarships for student members, and announced a new partnership with Nationwide Insurance.
Most exciting, the national branding initiative was announced. In the past, national guidance on official representation of the ODK logo has been undefined. The new logo, seen below, is sleek, simple and dignified. We are looking forward to implementing the new logo anywhere we can.
Besides the new initiatives and announcements, the greatest benefit of attending the conference was the opportunity to share the challenges that our respective circles face. Participation, fundraising, and member selection are some of the common challenges for circles across the country. It was invaluable to hear how others have implemented creative and innovative solutions to these challenges. This experience will allow the Oglethorpe Circle of ODK to improve our effectiveness and make our circle even more vital to the leadership culture on campus.
The conference concluded with a celebratory awards dinner that rewarded those members who had made inspiring contributions to their respective communities and ODK at large. This year’s recipient of the Crown Laurel Circle Award was Col. Ralph Hauenstein who was given the award on the eve of his 100th birthday. Col. Hauenstein served his nation in the European theater under General Dwight Eisenhower as head of intelligence. His service to ODK and his nation was rousing and exemplifies the values of our organization.
For those who are unfamiliar with our organization, ODK is the only national leadership honor society in the United States that focuses specifically on leadership. Induction into the ODK circle is considered one of the highest honors that a student can attain while at Oglethorpe University. ODK is highly selective and only the top 35 percent of students based on GPA are permitted to compete for membership. ODK inducts only one to three percent of the student body per academic year. Initiates are drawn from all pillars of campus life according to the ODK charter; those pillars are scholarship, athletics, campus and community service, journalism, and creative and preforming arts. If you are interested in ODK membership feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Oglethorpe alumna Carlissa Carson ’05 has earned a spot on Diplomatic Courier’s “Top 99 Under 33 Foreign Policy Leaders” list for her “creativity, determination, and passion in tackling the world’s critical global challenges.” The global affairs magazine releases the annual list to highlight 99 leaders under the age of 33 who strive to impact the global community through use of their entrepreneurial talents. The list divides the leaders into seven categories, and Carlissa was distinguished as a “Practitioner” for her professionalism and skill in improving foreign policy.
Carlissa is an activist, military officer, and attorney for the Morgan Law Firm. She serves as the Regional Political Director of the Truman National Security Project (Southeast). She also sits on the Board of Directors for GA WAND, an organization that empowers women to speak persuasively on issues related to national security and environmental justice. She is a Judge Advocate in the Air National Guard and previously served nine years in the Army Reserve, including six years in military intelligence and three years as a Judge Advocate. As a Judge Advocate in the Army Reserve, she was Chief of International and Operational Law and a subject matter expert on the Commanding General’s Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Group.
With this stellar experience Carlissa cemented a spot on the list, and according to the Top 99 Under 33 Committee, has the potential to excel as a leader during her career and to leave a long lasting mark on her community.
Doesn’t that sound just like an Oglethorpe grad? Congratulations, Carlissa!
After 27 years of ranking colleges, the U.S. News list continues to be one of the most respected, with their many categories that help prospective students find the perfect fit for further education.
In addition to being ranked overall, Oglethorpe was also named by U.S. News as:
One of the top 40 National Liberal Arts Colleges for “ethnic diversity”
Among the best National Liberal Arts College in the nation, according to high school guidance counselors, experts in helping students to find where they will excel
Among the top National Liberal Arts Colleges in the category of best “A-Plus Schools for B Students”, where “spirit and hard work could make all the difference in admissions offices.” Oglethorpe’s commitment to providing the most “relevant, rigorous education” possible ensures that even non-A students thrive.
In 2010, Oglethorpe was spotlighted by U.S. News in “Roadtrip: Oglethorpe University,” an article that profiled the university’s “stories of community spirit.”
Some time ago, an aide to Todd Gaziano, one of the eight members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, contacted me about serving on the Commission’s Georgia Advisory Committee. I couldn’t say no; the opportunity was too interesting.
Well, since the beginning of the year, I’ve had two opportunities to see just how interesting the position could be. In the spring, I attended a Georgia Advisory Committee meeting here in Atlanta. We vetted and ultimately approved a very tentative report on the civil rights implications of school discipline in the state. Whether the disparate racial impact we found is caused by discrimination is a question we couldn’t answer on the basis of the evidence we had. We had hard questions, but no easy answers.
Then, back in mid-July, Commissioner Gaziano’s aide contacted me to ask if I’d be willing to participate as a panelist in a briefing on the civil rights implications of state immigration laws in Birmingham. Not quite knowing what to expect, but being an agreeable guy, always ready to learn, I said “sure.”
Don’t worry: I didn’t attract any attention, negative or positive, especially since my contribution to the day’s proceedings was to apply first principles (the consent of the governed, the rule of law, federalism, and separation of powers) to the vexed question of immigration policy. But my fellow panelists included one of the principal authors of all the controversial state immigration laws, state legislative leaders from Alabama and Georgia, and representatives of advocacy groups on both sides of the question.
And in the audience were demonstrators who, as the Commission chair told us, were exercising their First Amendment rights by interrupting the speakers with whom they disagreed.
It wasn’t exactly democratic deliberation at its finest, but, then, democratic deliberation rarely is. Everyone had the opportunity to speak. The demonstrators got the media attention they wanted. The news outlets got some dramatic footage. And the Commission—evidently deeply divided—saw its divisions replicated among the panelists and in the audience. Again, there were hard questions and no easy answers.
Dr. Joseph M. Knippenberg is a Professor of Politics at Oglethorpe University.
The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art has opened the doors for its newest exhibition, “Burden of Proof: National Identity and the Legacy of War,” which explores the juxtaposition of the American and Vietnamese experience of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. The exhibit will run through December 9.
Artists Dinh Q. Lê, Sheila Pree Bright, Keisha Luce and Kirk Torregrossa are featured, as well as Northern Vietnamese propaganda posters from The Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection. The exhibition was inspired by the campus-wide reading of Tim O’Brien’s book The Things They Carried, a fictionalized account of the author’s time as an American soldier in Vietnam.
“The cultural, physical, and emotional dissonance explored by these artists raise many questions regarding the burden of war,” said Elizabeth Peterson, curator and director of the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, “It’s a legacy that crosses borders and is carried through generations.” Peterson joined the museum in August 2012.
Bright’s Young American series features photographs of young adults in various poses with the American flag. Bright wants the body language of the models and the different positions of the flag to raise questions about what it means to be an American in Generation Y. Each photo is named after the person photographed and is accompanied by a personal statement which reflects the person’s ideas about being American.
Lê’s large-scale photographic collages contrast photos of the Vietnam war with iconic Hollywood imagery to contrast the realities of war with the Western perspective of it. Lê was born in Ha-Tien, Vietnam, emigrated to Los Angeles at age 10, and now splits his time between America and Vietnam. His collages are made up of photos woven together using traditional Vietnamese techniques and are inspired by his own memories of the war, both real from his childhood in Vietnam and imagined, inspired by American war movies.
Luce’s sculpture series Sum & Parts depict the malformed bodies of Vietnamese people living with the effects of long-term exposure to Agent Orange, an herbicide used in the Vietnam War. In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, she says, “they are difficult bodies to look at. Part of what I was trying to do is to bring this type of body—the war body—into the public sphere.”
Torregrossa’s photographs help to achieve this goal by allowing viewers to see both the sculptures and the people that inspired them. They document every step of the two month long Sum & Parts journey, and Torregrossa says of his series, “my intent is to craft a story that illustrates not only the horrible long-term effects of chemical warfare, but with resiliency and bravery, how the people involved soldier on.”
Independent news magazine Washington Monthly has released its annual list of Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation, and Oglethorpe University comes in at #49!
The magazine rates and ranks colleges in three different categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) and service (encouraging students to give something back to their community). Within the service category, OU was ranked #9 for providing a high number of staff supporting community service, the number of academic courses that incorporate service, and for providing scholarships for community service.
Oglethorpe provides numerous volunteer opportunities for its students throughout the year. Most recently, 350 freshman and first-year students participated in the annual Orientation Day of Service alongside faculty, staff and community volunteers. The group was spread out across Atlanta, volunteering with nine different nonprofit organizations. Five groups’ efforts went to environmental stewardship, lending a hand to Grant Park Conservacy, TREES Atlanta, Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative, Crop Mob Atlanta and Park Pride. Three groups volunteered at nonprofits that focus on homelessness and hunger issues: Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta, Senior Citizen Services of Atlanta and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. And, one group of 80 students helped to sort and pack books at Books for Africa.
Earlier this month, Oglethorpe also was named to Forbes magazine’s list of top colleges in the nation, and for six consecutive years has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
Following a national championship and top national D-III coach honors for Coach Jim Owens, the honors for the 2011-2012 Oglethorpe men’s golf team continue.
The Oglethorpe men’s golf team earned recognition as a Division III All-Academic Team for the 2012 season, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced recently.
To be eligible for recognition as an All-Academic Team, a squad must have a team grade-point average of 3.0 or better for the academic year. Oglethorpe is one of 27 teams to earn the honor this season.
The Petrels brought home their second national championship, in addition to their 10th SCAC title, in May. They return all but three players from last year’s squad next season.
Oglethorpe senior golfer Matt Rebitch recently was named a Division III Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Rebitch is one of 48 Division III golfers to earn the award this year.
A student-athlete who is eligible for a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar award is either a junior or senior academically and competes in at least two full years at the collegiate level, participates in at least 70 percent of his team’s competitive rounds or competes in the NCAA Championships, has a stroke average under 79 in Division III, and maintains a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2. A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university.
Rebitch helped the Stormy Petrels to their second NCAA championship in May, finishing in a tie for 40th in individual competition at the national tournament.
The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) named Oglethorpe freshman Anthony Maccaglia to its All-Nicklaus Team late last month. Maccaglia is one of 24 golfers named to the team, which awards the top men’s collegiate golfers in all divisions of college athletics (all three NCAA divisions, NAIA and NJCAA). He is the first Stormy Petrel ever named to the squad.
The accolade is another in a flurry that Maccaglia received after leading Oglethorpe to its second national championship in May. He was the NCAA individual champion, for which he won the Arnold Palmer Award. He also brought home the GCAA’s Phil Mickelson Award as the nation’s most outstanding freshman, and was named to the organization’s PING All-America First Team. His overall tournament score of five-under-par was the only individual below-par score posted over the course of the week.
Maccaglia also helped the Stormy Petrels to their 10th SCAC title in April, and earned SCAC Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-SCAC honors.
This summer’s short term, for-credit trip to Italy made an enormous impact on the students who participated. Following up on the original post by Dr. Jeffrey Collins, we now hear from three of those students, in their own words. [Part II] [Part III]
I didn’t think after my transfer to Oglethorpe I would have time to go abroad. Thinking about leaving yet another place was stressful in itself and felt like too much jumping around. My summer was going to be a busy one; I needed to get a list of things done, not only school oriented, but for my entire future in general. Being able to go to Italy this summer AND get a class credit sounded too good to be true.
The journey I took to Florence and Rome, wasn’t just “good,” it was an almost perfect balance of seeing, experiencing and feeling. Being a studio art major, I had a seriously touching experience. I had just taken the Art and Culture Core class this past spring with Professor Loehle. The class had covered, of course, dozens of topics and art pieces; however, we only got to experience these sights through a screen. I got to go to Rome and Florence and experience first hand an overwhelming amount of what I learned in the classroom this past spring.
I stood before masterpieces, ruins, churches, sculptures, etc. feeling knowledgeable and well informed, inspired and humbled. It felt really good. I was enamored standing in front of Botticelli’s Primavera—truly blown away by the mere sight of something so beautiful and, for the first time, out of my textbook. Seeing the David, a staggering 17-feet tall, with every detail carved down to a seemingly blood pumping vein in his hand—I didn’t move on to the next room for over 30 minutes.
Dr. Collins and Professor Loehle supplemented all this awe by guiding and helping me understand what I was truly taking in and on so many different and new levels. We had on this trip discussions, critiques, debates—everything teachers can bring to the classroom we used too, but in museums, in front of ruins or standing before a statue. My learning experiences at Oglethorpe came full circle while I was in Italy, this appreciation never leaving my heart and mind while touring these beautiful cities.
I learned my away around Rome and Florence on so many different and exciting levels. I could guide you to the Pantheon from our hotel, on the way giving you its history, and I could have a confident discussion on Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew and the revolutionary techniques he employed as an artist. I had a grasp of the culture along with an expanded mind. I was entirely out of my element, a visiting art student in a new country; however, I was constantly accompanied by a solid group of caring, ambitious and intelligent individuals, all there to fully experience Italy along with me. I got to form my own opinions, hear from other students in my group and absorb a new culture, all at the same time. I got the full ride on this trip, mind, body and soul. And to think I was getting a class credit the whole time was just the cherry on top.
It was an overall amazing, unforgettable two weeks of my life. I would recommend this trip to all students, especially the transfer students who are down on being unable to go to abroad during the school year! I am truly inspired and it feels awesome finding myself putting forth new efforts to keep this fire alive in my everyday motions. And so far, so good.