Like most college seniors—whether they’re budding writers, scientists, researchers, economists, artists, etc.—I want people to read and see my work, to ask questions, to challenge it. In other words, I want to be published. Thanks to Oglethorpe, I now have that chance.
The new Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Researchis a scholarly, peer-reviewed publication that promotes undergraduate research by preserving and making available the academic and creative inventions from our campus. The Journal serves as both a digital repository of scholarly output and a platform for publishing inventive and original works. Various types of submissions are accepted, including research articles, photography, book reviews, conference posters and more.
“It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I’ve done since starting at Oglethorpe,” said Ashley N. Dawson ’16, one of the first students to be published. “I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was a little girl, and the Journal and its supporters made that dream a reality. It truly is an amazing feeling to see your thoughts on the screen, and to know that people are reading them and sharing them with others.”
The Journal was started thanks to the efforts of Anne Salter, university librarian and director of Philip Weltner Library, and Laura Masce, university archivist. While attending a conference at Kennesaw State University, they learned about the idea and the possibility of partnering with the institution. Kennesaw would host the site, and Oglethorpe students would be able to send submissions to their own, separate journal for their alma mater.
“We began getting the faculty on board…and there was a lot of interest,” said Anne. “We were determined to do this.”
Being published is incredibly helpful for a resume, and the process for publication is simple: write your thesis, talk to your advisor, and then submit! A team of editors review the work and inform those who submit of any changes or problems before the work is published. The editors are David Evans, dean and assistant vice-president of library services at Kennesaw, and Oglethorpe faculty: Dr. Charles Baube, professor of biology; Dr. Michael Rulison, professor of physics; and Dr. Linda Taylor, professor of English.
Five freshman honors students, Derek C. Wolter ’16, Ashley N. Dawson ’16, Tali M. Schroeder ’16, Tabitha Clark ’16 and Grace B. Djokoto ’16, have already taken advantage of this opportunity, and the Journal is continuing to take submissions on a rolling basis.
“My article is about Inuit mythology and its influence in a children’s film,” said Tali. “Ms. Salter makes the publishing process very easy, and I would definitely recommend it to those who are unsure of submitting an article.”
“If you are seriously considering graduate school and doing original research,” added Anne, “coming to [Oglethorpe] is a great place to begin that research.”
Attention Oglethorpe students! Why not take advantage of this opportunity? There are many ways to learn more: contact Anne Salter, visit the Journal’s website, or you can even watch Weston Manders’ “This Week in Oglethorpe Arts” video episode that features interviews about the new Journal.
Last month, our campus celebrated Oglethorpe Day with the annual Petrels of Fire race around the quad in an attempt to beat the 12 chimes of the carillon bells. Another year went by without a “winner”, but unbeknownst to this reporter, there has indeed been someone who achieved this feat, and it’s time the story of this overlooked legend is told to all.
In 1998, Mark Olas ’01, who was a member of Oglethorpe’s soccer team and still holds the school’s record for the 400m, accomplished what many considered impossible: he crossed the finish line within 30.5 seconds, becoming the first and only Petrel to ever win the race.
Mark Olas '01 in his soccer jersey
“It was the only other time the race was run at 1:00 p.m. rather than at noon,” explained Cross Country Coach Bob Unger, who hosts the race each year. “The clock had not been properly reset as it was this year to ring twelve times at 1:00 p.m., (so) a former music instructor of the university (rang) the chimes manually.”
Coach Unger also had his stopwatch ready to ensure that the race lasted a full 30.92 seconds, which was the time allotted in previous years. But the manual ringing finished in less than 28 seconds, meaning that racers had nearly 3 more seconds to run after the bells had stopped ringing.
“As the crowd counted down the chimes and reached twelve—and no one had finished—a moan went up,” said Coach Unger. “I looked up to see Mark Olas leading the group to the finish. When he crossed the line, I stopped my watch at 30.5 seconds. He had beaten the bells!”
Sadly, few people realized Mark’s achievement that day, as most spectators assumed the race was already over. But Mark’s victory is certainly worth remembering and acknowledging—the only time in Oglethorpe history that the feat has been accomplished. It might be 15 years late, but congratulations, Mark! May your win inspire other students to attempt the impossible, to compete with their hearts, and to soar into victory.
As I waited for the conference to begin, I chatted with a group of students who had traveled more than 12 hours to attend. Fortunately, being in Atlanta afforded me this, and many similar opportunities, without an exhausting commute. When the other students attending began listing their majors, all fell under the communications umbrella. I was the lone psychology major. I questioned, how does that fit into the PR world? But, as the conference progressed, I began to learn that my major was just one of many angles to my own story I could share to promote my skills and attributes.
The keynote speaker at the conference was Jodie Charlop, an executive coach. She described her seemingly disjointed career path, but went on to explain the common themes in her repertoire of experiences. She encouraged us to work on weaving together our many experiences to create a story—our own story.
Similar to Charlop, my own resume reflects my exploration into what I should do in life and for a living. I have been a circulation assistant in a library, worked as a resident assistant, interned at a consulting company, and currently work with international students at EF (Education First) and in Oglethorpe’s Career Services office in addition to interning at Pegasus. Needless to say, with the exception of my current internship as the Public Relations Specialist at Pegasus Creative, the rest of my resume does not exactly fit the PR mold.
I began to understand how relevant Charlop’s talk was to me and my challenge. Throughout the rest of the day, as I began to attend more sessions, I began to think how I could use my major and variety of experiences as ways to stand out and be memorable.
During a session about PR niches and myths, PR professionals from companies like Moe’s and Children’s Health Care of Atlanta spoke about their stories and experience in PR. When asked about their backgrounds, all stated that they were undergrads in communications, with the exception of one, another psychology major. It was then I realized I was not an odd man out after all. The point of the breakfast presentation began to sink in. PR is about how a company is presented, and as aspiring PR professionals, we can utilize the same strategies when presenting ourselves. We only need to tell our story in a compelling way.
Dr. Ray also leads the effort for Oglethorpe’s music programming, finding outside professional groups to perform on campus. He brings these musicians to campus in part to inspire his students and give them the opportunity to hear a variety of music, courtesy of bands, orchestras, opera companies and more.
“We try to look for programs with connections to majors, preferably Core,” said Dr. Ray. “I make sure they all meet the highest standard of quality… Many classes build their lectures around the performances.”
One such performer was alumnus John Burke ’11, whom Dr. Ray describes as “amazing.” Thanks to Dr. Ray’s efforts to find these performers, 70% of music students, such as John, continue to embrace music in their post-grad lives.
This month, Dr. Ray has invited two stellar acts to the Oglethorpe campus: the Atlanta Concert Band and the Capitol City Opera. He describes the Atlanta Concert Band as being “for band music what the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is to orchestral music,” and adds that “the Capitol City Opera is a (local and inexpensive) showcase for good people in Atlanta… it has a great reputation.”
In order to encourage these musicians to perform, Dr. Ray has adopted a process of co-sponsorship. This means that performers are given a discount to use the Conant Center for Performing Arts in exchange for allowing the Oglethorpe community to listen for free (with a Petrel Pass!). On May 4, 2013, Georgia Philharmonic will also be on campus as part of a co-sponsorship, and Dr. Ray has more plans in the works, including an international music presentation.
“These performances help (advance) education,” said Dr. Ray, “and build a really great experience and public image… I believe that a university should offer a wakening of not only learning but lifelong passions.”
Be sure to come out to the Atlanta Concert Band’s performance on March 9 in Conant at 8 pm, and attend the Capitol City Opera performances on March 15 and 16 at 8 pm, and March 17 at 3 pm, also in the Conant Performing Arts Center!
Dr. Roarke Donnelly (center) with eight adventurous Oglethorpe students.
Hawaii is home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world, and a trip there can be as exciting as it is eye-opening.
“It has everything,” said Dona Kioseff ’14. “Waterfalls, rainforests, coral reefs… but the native species in Hawaii are going fast, and it’s a fight to keep them alive. “
Over winter break, Dona was one of eight students to venture to Hawaii as part of the class “Conservation Biology in Hawaii.” Led by Dr. Roarke Donnelly and Heather Staniszewski ’02, assistant director of the Center for Civic Engagement, the students learned about the island’s culture and rare wildlife, and questioned what could be done to protect its endangered species.
“The point is to give biology majors a chance to study biology in the field,” Dr. Donnelly explained. “I’m a conservation biologist, and a lot of my friends work there… I drum up research with them, (and) published an article with Chris Lepczyk, a professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in order to teach junior scientists how to do peer reviews.”
Students participated in everything from hiking to snorkeling, and were given the chance to see endangered animals, including the monk seal and several species of birds. Dona, who celebrated her 21st birthday on the island, fondly recalled the day that she swam with dolphins. Heather shared a notebook that she had filled with facts about ecotours and Hawaiian wildlife.
“We went for 13 days, which originally seemed overwhelming,” said Heather. “But it felt shorter and shorter the longer we were there… the island is so different from anything I’ve ever seen before.”
Thanks to Dr. Donnelly’s efforts, along with the assistance of Dr. Jeffrey Collins, the tour managed to be informative and entertaining while maintaining its eco-friendliness.
“When I go to Hawaii, I try to be as low impact as I can,” said Dr. Donnelly. “We go to places that do not provide luxury accommodations, very old facilities that require minimal maintenance.”
Biology majors were given preference for the trip, but Dr. Donnelly often takes biopsychology students, and even included a physics student this semester.
“Any biology major that has the chance to go should definitely go,” said Dona. “On our way back (to Georgia), we were already talking about our reunion trip back to Hawaii… it was definitely beautiful and a trip of a lifetime for sure, but at the same time, it’s sad… (Hawaii) needs us.”
Mr. Fred Agel '52 (center) is surrounded by Day of Service volunteers, gathered in his honor.
Chances are that you’ve met Fred Agel ’52, a devoted alumnus, loving family member, and incredibly generous person: he is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and the Board of Trustees, and you can often find him volunteering his free time in the library archives. November 19th was a special day for Fred, who celebrated his 85th birthday with friends, family… and a big surprise. To honor Fred and show how much they love and appreciate him, his entire family planned a Day of Service volunteer event with the OU community at Books for Africa.
“I hoped that we could find a way to work through OU since it has been, and continues to be, such an important part of my father’s life,” said Laurie Agel Amerson, Fred’s daughter. “I believe that my entire family has watched my father’s community service, and each and every one of us finds a way to be involved in our communities. He taught by example the importance of giving back, and three generations later, he is still teaching.”
The volunteer event on February 16th brought together more than 40 students, alumni, Center for Civic Engagement staff, and friends of Mr. Agel. Members of the newly established Thornwell Jacobs Societywere especially excited to join in, as the project not only highlighted their goals of integrity, initiative, and perseverance, but took place during Thornwell Jacobs’ birthday weekend.
“Celebrating Fred Agel is celebrating Oglethorpe,” said Ruwa Romman ’15, historian of the Jacobs Society. President Antonio Mantica ’15 said with a smile that, if Fred were a sophomore, he would be a prime candidate for membership in the Society.
In addition to the Day of Service, several departments have sent Fred thank you cards, and the baseball team (of which Fred is a former member) has given Fred a baseball, signed with all of the players’ names.
“This is a great way to celebrate his legacy,” said Heather Staniszewski ’02, assistant director of the Center for Civic Engagement, who helped plan the event. “It’s exciting to see family, alumni, and students working together in his honor.”
“The day was a huge success,” added Laurie. “My dad spent a lot of time just looking at everybody working and sorting books with a big smile on his face. The most wonderful thing for me was seeing all four generations of my family working side-by-side with OU students.”
An Oglethorpe education seeks to bring together classroom learning with real world experiences. The Art Department provides such an opportunity with short-term study trips, during which students can experience in person the art that many have only seen in textbooks. Their most recent trip to New York Cityprovided students the chance to see, sketch and photograph pieces by some of the world’s most famous artists.
In January 2013, Oglethorpe’s Art Department conducted its annual trip to New York. This 48-hour trip, led by Associate Professor of Art Alan Loehle, took students from the classroom environment and immersed them into the art world of New York.
Photo by Robert Findley
“This year’s trip was beyond successful,” says Loehle, a former NYC resident. “Despite the unpredictable weather, we covered a lot of ground in two days.” Starting at The Frick Collection, students observed 18th-century French decorative arts, Chinese Porcelain vases, Italian bronzes and masterpiece paintings executed by Titian, El Greco, Goya, Van Dyck, and of course, one of the most striking paintings by Hans Holbein the Younger, Sir Thomas More.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they viewed the ancient art of Greece, Sumeria, Egypt, and Roman antiquities while discovering the masks, textiles and weaponry of Africa and Oceania. “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” a featured exhibit of modern art, was a special treat. Making their way through rainy weather to Little Italy, the group brought day one to a close with a fabulous Italian dinner and an open discussion about exhibit highlights.
Photo by Robert Findley
The last day for the group was even more invigorating than the first as they navigated NYC’s museum and modern architecture circuit like the Contubernium marching to Cannae. From Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim, to Bunshaft’s Lever House and to modern art and architecture at MOMA, this vibrant group of 14 absorbed the city’s art world in just two days.
The students who participated in this year’s trip created a diverse group. Not all students were art majors and for a few students, this was their first trip to New York. Student Holly Bostick reflected on her first New York experience while sitting in the LaGuardia Airport. “This was my first time in New York. Though the weather was not what I’m used to and the train system was more complex, as an art history major I know that this is where I need to be. In two intense days, I have seen almost half of what I have learned in the classroom.”
Oglethorpe Day is an annual celebration of Oglethorpe University’s namesake and is a chance for the entire community to show its school spirit. Check out the photos, videos and comments below to relive it — or to feel like you were right here on campus!
See scenes from throughout the day in this photo album:
Our very own President Schall delivered this year’s Oglethorpe Day speech, titled, “Non nobis solum (not for ourselves alone): What is the Role of a University President in Liberal Society?” Watch it here:
President Larry Schall’s 2013 Oglethorpe Day Speech
Oglethorpe Day is an annualcelebrationof Oglethorpe University’s namesake, and as Dean Michelle Hall puts it, a “pride-in-my-school-and-organizations day.”
And this year, there are numerous ways to show your school pride. Student organizations (and maybe even some staff and faculty) will be decorating shopping carts for the parade of shopping cart floats (contact Kendra Hunter for more details). And, to celebrate President Schall’s affinity for wacky socks, the Programming Board is sponsoring a sock decorating event today in The Petrel’s Nest. Then, at 12:45 p.m. tomorrow, on Wednesday,February 13, put on your craziest socks and head to the quad for the exhilarating annualPetrels of Fire race!
While the race usually begins at noon sharp, this year it will begin at 1:00 p.m., due to class scheduling… which doesn’t mean that the bell will only ring once! It will ring 12 times, and runners will race around the quad in hopes of arriving back before the last bell tolls. To my knowledge, no one has ever won this race—maybe you will be the first?
This year's Oglethorpe Day speaker: President Schall
After the race, a surprise guest (a local celebrity!) will lead attendees to Conant Performing Arts Center for the Oglethorpe Day annual address. This year’s speech will be delivered by our own President Schall on the topic of “Non nobis solum (not for ourselves alone): What is the Role of a University President in Liberal Society?”
“We have a very student-centered president,” said Dean Hall. “Students know they are known and loved by their president…The theme (of his speech) will focus on how to make a difference, and that’s something we want all our students to think about.”
The occasion will include The Ogletones, our new a cappella group, and end with Oglethorpe’s Alma Mater and Fight Song (The Stormy Petrel March), courtesy of OU Winds and Singers. Attendees are then invited to enjoy Coke floats and peach cobbler and ice cream, all served in observance of the day’s Georgia theme.
“We’re building some more traditions into this tradition,” said Dean Hall, who went onto explain that the Presidents of other schools and organizations will be recognized during the event, and that the class with the most participants will win a prize. “Come if you want to support your class, if you are an athlete or the head of an organization… or if you just want to see what socks Dr. Schall is wearing.”
I know my curiosity has been piqued. Join us at Oglethorpe Day, this Wednesday, February 13th starting at 12:45 p.m. on the quad!
A five minute film is not easy to create, but according to the winners of Oglethorpe’s Campus MovieFest competition, those five minutes of film are worth all of the time and energy put into making them.
“This is my life,” said Christian Hartnett ’14, director of the Best Comedy winner, The Screenplay. “Videos, editing, everything that goes into film. That is what gives me purpose… this (competition) was something I really had to do.”
Campus MovieFest is the world’s largest student film festival and a premier outlet for the next generation of filmmakers. Oglethorpe’s Offices of Campus Life and and Student Government Associationwere integral in bringing the competition to OU, which began on January 23 and lasted barely a week. During this time, students were supplied with tripods, camcorders, and computers that were essential in bringing their movies to life. Then, after countless hours of writing, acting, filming and editing, students submitted their five-minute movies to CMF officials.
Best Picture director Hillary Heath '13 and writer Weatherly Richardson '13.
“It was a lot of fun and I think we learned a lot from the experience,” said theatre major Hillary Heath ’13, who directed the Best Picture winner, Getting Brain. “I’ve never shot a film before, (and) it was interesting to switch from theatre to film… I hope OU keeps doing this.”
On Thursday, February 7, 16 teams had the unique opportunity to screen their films in front of their peers. The overall winners (Trinity Pond Productions for Untitled Love Story, the Best Drama winner; Team Awesomesauce for The Screenplay, winner for Best Comedy; and Doing Stuff Badly for Getting Brain, Best Picture) are moving on to the next round, Hollywood!, where they will compete with winners from other colleges and universities around the country.
Best Comedy Director Christian Hartnett '14
“All of a sudden, my movie pops up, and I jumped three feet in the air,” said Christian. “All the hard work was worth it.”
The competition has had a tremendous impact on its winners, who are grateful for the experience and for those who offered help along the way.
“(Adjunct professor) David Patterson taught me everything I know,” said Christian. “He’s a great mentor.” Weatherly Richardson ’13, the writer of Getting Brain, similarly credited adjunct faculty Jessica Handler and her screenwriting class, which introduced her to the idea of professionally pursuing film.
“(Hillary and I) started our own production company and we’ve been wanting to do these films for a while,” said Weatherly. “I found out we’d won on Twitter, because I had to work. We kind of weren’t expecting this at all.”
All of the competitors interviewed expressed a desire to produce more films in the future and I, for one, am excited to see them. Congratulations to our winners, and best of luck in Hollywood!