Cleo “Fifi” Sloan, a 2011 graduate of Oglethorpe, has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to attend Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London to study in the Masters of Arts in Art Business program, commencing in September 2013. The school is the educational wing of Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest auctioneers of art and jewelry.
Sloan joined Oglethorpe’s Evening Degree Program (EDP) in 2008 as a communications major and planned to pursue a career in the field of integrative medicine. However, once she took her first art history course, she says, “I realized that a passion for art steadily pumped through my veins, and there was nothing that I could do to suppress it.” With some encouragement from her mentor, Dr. Jeffrey Collins, she developed an Individually Planned Major (IPM) in Art Business. She says that she soon found herself “being molded into a prime candidate” for the Master in Arts Program at Sotheby’s.
While at OU Sloan served as the David Willis Presidential Fellow and received Oglethorpe’s coveted “Art History Achievement Award” for two consecutive years. She also participated in several study abroad programs in Oxford, Paris and Italy. She graduated in 2011 as the first EDP student in Oglethorpe’s history to graduate Magna Cum Laude with an IPM in Art Business.
Sloan’s advice for other adults considering continuing their education is this: “Dream, and dream big! And when you open your eyes, know that there are others at Oglethorpe who are dreaming big for you.”
On May 22, 1932, then New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt received a Doctor of Laws honorary degree from Oglethorpe University at the commencement ceremony held at the Fox Theatre. He gave a rousing speech about the state of the nation—and that speech went on to become historically significant as the beginning of the future President’s New Deal plan.
“The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need the courage of the young. Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you. May every one of us be granted the courage, the faith and the vision to give the best that is in us to that remaking!”
Thornwell Jacobs, the President of Oglethorpe at the time, chose to award Roosevelt with the honorary degree “in recognition of his high achievements in statesmanship, economics, and philanthropy.” (New York Times, March 28, 1931.)
FDR had deep connections to Georgia. He often visited the state for treatment of his paralytic illness. His personal retreat, Little White House, was built on his 1,750-acre farm at the top of Pine Mountain. The farm is now part of Georgia’s biggest state park that was named after him.
Our own President Schall also reflected on this speech in his personal blog.
President Roosevelt’s words withstand the test of time—and his entire Oglethorpe commencement speech is well worth the read!
The annual Georgia Undergraduate Research in Psychology Conference was recently hosted by nearby Kennesaw State University. More than 110 students from nearly 20 universities presented either research posters or talks. Many were honor students from their respective universities—which this year included universities from surrounding states as well.
The Oglethorpe Psychology Department was represented by seven students who had their work accepted for the conference: Jahnavi Delmonico, Julia Fukuda, Cassie Hendrix, Allison Moore, Justin Sabree, Brittany Weiner and Janet Wood. They presented a mixture of research posters and talks based on the original data they had collected in their respective studies from the past year. In addition, all of them participated in a juried competition sponsored by the Georgia Psychological Association (GPA) for best research at the conference. Judges consisted of executive members of the GPA and professors of research methodology.
For the fourth year in a row, an Oglethorpe student earned first place! Specifically, Cassie Hendrix submitted a study she completed during her “Theories of Personality” course on the effects of anxiety on people’s ability to correctly interpret the emotions expressed in facial expressions. She presented her research in a 250-seat auditorium, where she led the audience through a Powerpoint presentation of her study, followed by a question and answer session. Cassie and I (as her faculty sponsor) received certificates of recognition and Cassie received a cash award. She joins previous GPA-sponsored conference winners Ilana Olin and Mary Beth Bidgood (2009), Alyx Buonanotte (2010), and Balbir Khalsa and Brittany Weiner (2011).
Participants had the opportunity to attend all the talks and poster sessions, as well as listen to a keynote address and attend a career/graduate school panel discussion. It was an excellent opportunity to meet students and professors from other schools and to learn from fellow excellent researchers.
All of the students gained valuable experience, practiced publicly presenting and defending their work, and had a good time spending the day with each other and the department faculty. Congratulations to all of you!
Editor’s Note: The Oglethorpe University Psychology Department routinely encourages its students to submit original research they have designed and conducted to professional research conferences. Our students typically attend several conferences during their undergraduate education. Submitting one’s work for peer review by experts in the field and then defending that work in a professional setting is wonderful training for graduate school, professional schools (e.g., medical and law) and many careers.
OU shook things up this semester by adding a variety of short courses that focused on fun topics and experiences. Many students took advantage of the 13 one-time learning and recreational experiences, mostly taught by Oglethorpe staff.
This semester’s short courses have explored interesting topics like “How to Survive in the Woods…in a Hammock” with Jon Nooner, technical director for the Conant Performing Arts Center, and “Extreme Couponing” with Bre Berris, director of Greek affairs. Students indulged their sweet tooth with Kim-Marie John, Emerson Cafe’s baker, in a short course that introduced the art of decorating your own cupcake. Residence Life Coordinator Alyssa De Gazon led a short course discussion about the The Hunger Games book series. Students also toured Elm Street Gardens, a two-acre community organic garden, founded by alumnus Robert Currey, which provides food for hundreds of families in Hancock County, the poorest county in Georgia. Students also gathered to learn “Sign Language: 50 words you need to know”, a short course taught by Jay Gardiner, OU’s athletics director (pictured above). Gardiner shared his knowledge in a fun and interactive environment that left the students asking for more.
The short courses were so popular that there are already plans for them to return in the fall semester. The Office of Campus Life invites students to submit ideas for short courses. If there is a skill you would like to learn—or teach—send your suggestions to Kendra Hunter at email@example.com and the Office of Campus Life will do their best to make it happen!
Oglethorpe University welcomed the family of 1932 alum and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Luke Appling to the Brookhaven campus this past Saturday for “Luke Appling Day.” Four generations of the Appling family attended the celebration. Appling’s sister, Linda Appling Sumpter, tossed out the first pitch prior to the Petrels’ game against Birmingham-Southern.
“Luke Appling Day” was in observance of the inaugural “NCAA Division III Week,” an initiative launched to celebrate the division’s unique philosophy that equally values academics, athletics and student-athletes’ involvement in a full and rich campus life.
Lucius “Luke” Appling enjoyed a stellar college career at Oglethorpe and, in 1930, led the Stormy Petrels to a perfect 15-0 record. In his final game against collegiate competition, Appling went out in style, hitting three homeruns against Mercer University. Appling was signed to a professional contract and spent the next 20 seasons wearing the #4 jersey and playing shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. He made seven All-Star Appearances and won two American League batting titles, including hitting .388 in 1936 and being named the best shortstop in baseball. In 1964 he was elected into the Major League Baseball Hall Fame.
Among the attendees for Luke Appling Day were two of Appling’s three children—Linda Appling Sumpter and Carol Tribble. Their brother, Luke Appling III, was unable to attend but his daughter, Lisa Dunbar, was on hand for the occasion. Her daughter, Erin, Appling’s great grandchild, served as the Stormy Petrel Ball Girl for game. In addition to Lisa, six more of Luke Appling’s grandchildren were in attendance with their families.
The pregame reception included a historical display of artifacts depicting Appling’s career provided by the Oglethorpe University Archives. A booklet of press clippings detailing Appling’s meteoric rise in the world of baseball was presented to family members. Oglethorpe student-athletes joined the family members for a post-game cookout in the right field pavilion.
Attention all OU alumni, parents, students and friends—the latest issue of Oglethorpe’s award-winning Carillon magazine is here!
This issue delves into the role of liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century and features articles written by senior Foss Baker and Dr. Brian Patterson, assistant professor of computer science & mathematics, President Schall, and our new provost, Dr. Denise von Herrmann.
Read stories about Oglethorpe alumni using their liberal arts education—sometimes in unusual ways! Did you know an OU alum wrote the 2010 CMA Song of the Year? Or, that an OU alum’s thriving business was featured on HGTV, and that another alum is the editor of a top magazine?!
Get a sneak peek into the plans for a new student center. Learn about the freshman class’s new What the Dog Saw common reading program, and hear from the newest additions to the Office of Campus Life—Danny Glassmann, Kendra Hunter and Bre Berris—about the plans they have for student life at Oglethorpe.
Alumna Chloey Mayo’s “Oglethorpe in Lights” offers a glamorous twist on some campus events of Hollywood proportion with a review the TV shows, movies and commercials that have used OU as their backdrop.
Although an internship is a vital piece of any junior or senior’s college experience, finding and applying for the right one can be fraught with difficulty and second guessing. I have found that through my experience, sometimes college kids might be putting a little too much emphasis on finding the “perfect” internship and not enough on taking a few chances at the time in their life when it is best to do so.
My internship was not taken on a whim, and I certainly don’t advise that any students reading this take my advice to be advocating such a thing, but rather it was found in an unexpected place and was not in the same field that I had imagined myself trying to get an internship in during most of my college years.
Let me first say that my major was in economics, and while Oglethorpe University definitely has, in my eyes, the finest economics faculty in the city, I didn’t really see myself going forward in the field once my studies ended. Therefore I was at a bit of a crossroads when it came to potential career paths.
One day I was hanging out in the Goodman computer lab when I saw a posting on the bulletin board in the hallway for a search marketing internship. My curiosity was piqued as I had been discussing the world of internet marketing with a friend of mine merely a week or so earlier.
Having never really seen myself as a marketing type of person, I decided to take a chance. Because in my mind the worst that could happen was I would find the field not for me and start over from scratch, wiser and without having lost anything. Not to mention that it helped that the work done during this internship was well compensated, a rare sight in today’s world of unpaid internships.
When I began working for the company, a fast growing pest control e-business in Norcross known as Do My Own Pest Control, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had only a passing knowledge of the specific things that make search marketing so effective, and while the marketing classes at Oglethorpe had given me a good basis in the ideals behind getting one’s message out there, it soon became clear that I had a lot to learn about the ins and outs of what is known as “inbound marketing” that is such a vital portion of an e-commerce site’s success.
My primary duty during the internship was to write small and informative articles on the products and pests that the company deals with day to day. And it was here that my education from a liberal arts college such as Oglethorpe really began to show its worth. Being comfortable with and proficient in writing was a great skill to have, and one that many schools do not go to great lengths to impart on their students. In addition to the strength of the economics curriculum itself, the insistence on excelling at written communication through the core curriculum is one of the greatest things that Oglethorpe has to offer.
Taking a chance on the internship itself proved to be a good decision, as I enjoyed the work and found myself learning quite a bit about the world of search engines and search marketing. This was enhanced by the fact that the head of the internet marketing team at the company had weekly training sessions that were both informative and interesting to attend, and really helped to give more meaning to the more abstract writing I was doing for the job. It helped to know exactly why things on the internet are set up the way they are, and virtually all of this knowledge was new to me, having come from a scholastic background in economics.
As the internship wound down, I was beginning to worry about finding a full time job, but I felt more confident going into the job search with the skills I had acquired over the summer. Any worrying about job searching however was alleviated when I was offered a full-time position in the same marketing capacity that I had been assisting with as an intern.
So looking back, the combination of the skills I learned at Oglethorpe and the willingness to take a chance on an internship that wasn’t necessarily within my field of study led me to a job in which I’m very happy and learning new things about the world of e-commerce every day. So my advice to those students currently sweating over exams and internships, don’t worry so much…and consider taking the same sort of chance I did.
Sam Hutcheson ’11 is part of the search marketing team at DoMyOwnPestControl.com. Started in 2004, it is currently one of the fastest growing pest control companies in the United States.
John Burke, a 2011 Oglethorpe University graduate, released his first solo piano album this past fall. The OU Blog recently caught up with him to see how he managed to reach such a milestone so early in his career.
John: The album came out in October. It’s called “Synesthesia” and my goal was to provoke a sense of colors through music. All songs are named after colors and the album has a psychological edge to it that tests your mind while you’re enjoying the music.
It’s an instrumental album and I wrote and composed all the tracks. It took me about a year and a half to complete it. I actually found my inspiration during a study abroad trip to Spain I took while at OU.
OU Blog: So, Oglethorpe helped your development as an artist?
John: Yes. I chose OU because of its size and tight knit community. Looking back, I do not see myself being anywhere else but OU. I majored in Spanish and minored in Music. I also sang in the choir. Oglethorpe made it easy for me to balance between full academic load and music practice by providing access to the piano room on campus. I was able to steal little increments of time between classes to practice. It is a great place to thrive.
OU Blog: How did your love for music begin?
John: It started during my senior year in high school. My friends and I started a rock-and-roll/blues band named “Vinyl”. I had no formal schooling in music before OU. I just listened to music and tried to apply it by ear.
OU Blog: Impressive! What was the first tune you learned on piano?
John: The first tune I learned must have been “Imagine” by John Lennon. My favorite thing to play now is George Winston, whom I consider to be the most influential pianist in my life.
OU Blog: What’s your dream stage to perform on? Dream duet?
John: I would love to perform at Carnegie Hall. And a dream duet would be with Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for The Doors—piano and organ. And I would also love to compose an album for a blockbuster movie. I dream big. The sky is the limit.
OU Blog: You are obviously very talented. Do you have musical genes in your family?
John: My father is a musician; he currently leads and directs a band at church. He is my role model and motivation, and I can honestly say that if it were not for him I would not be where I am today.
OU Blog: How often and for how long do you practice? What advice would you give beginner musicians?
John: I practice every day, on a good day between 2-4 hours. Beginners, and even those with experience, should not stop practicing and always try new things and different styles. Practice and variety help you grow as an artist.
OU Blog: Music is a big part of your life. Do you have any other musical initiatives?
John: Yes, I am a choir director at a church in Brookhaven, and I have also taught music theory, reading music and also piano. I would like to spend more time teaching music and sharing my passion for it. It is very rewarding to reveal the beauty of music to someone else.
The album is available at www.johnburkemusic.com. John’s music also airs on Best Smooth Jazz and Best Smooth Grooves, two radio stations in the United Kingdom.