SPRING 2010

                                             THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS


Photograph by Willis Treadwell
For the first time that anyone can remember, snow fell on campus on four different days
last winter. December 5, January 29, February 12, and March 2 each saw the white stuff
accumulate for an inch or two and then vanish almost as quickly as it came. It was a nice
change of scenery to see the campus blanketed in snow.
                                                       Message froM the President

                                              What’s the old saying – spring
                                              has sprung?

                                              It certainly has at Dalton State and in
                                              more ways than one. Good things are
                                              springing up all over campus, from the
                                              exemplary work being done in each of
                                              the seven schools of the college to the
                                              outstanding students who are making
                                              a difference on campus to our fantastic
                                              alumni and what they are achieving.

                                              One of the best things about spring is
                                              commencement – a time to reflect on          Dr. John O. Schwenn
                                              the achievements of our students and
                                              their impact on the institution. This spring, we’ll graduate more than
                                              600 students – a record. Some will enter the workforce and embark
                                              on their careers; others will pursue advanced degrees; some will even
Dalton State Magazine is published each
May and October by the Dalton State           return to Dalton State to earn an additional degree. No matter their
College Foundation for alumni and friends     circumstances, all of them will become a vital part of the Dalton State
of Dalton State College. Editorial offices    story and will earn the right to call themselves “Dalton State alumni.”
are located on campus in The James E.         We’re proud of each of them!
Brown Center, 550 College Drive, Dalton, GA
30720. Phone: (706) 272-4473.                 Another aspect of graduation is the college’s faculty and staff,
                                              and what they mean to us. It has been said that the heartbeat of a
Contents © 2010 by Dalton State College
Foundation, all rights reserved.              campus is its faculty – and that is true at Dalton State. Our faculty
                                              talent is second to none. They’re engaged in creative activity, research
President, Dalton State College               and publishing; they’re pursuing new teaching techniques to engage
John O. Schwenn                               new generations of students; they serve our communities; they are
                                              more than professors – they are mentors to our students. Our staff,
Chair, Dalton State College Foundation
Sara C. “Skeeter” Pierce                      too, goes above and beyond, ensuring the needs of our students and
                                              other constituents are met, and done with good cheer and a smile.
Director of Institutional Advancement
David J. Elrod ‘88                            The excitement of spring is manifested in another way with the
                                              welcoming of next year’s freshman class as they arrive for campus
Chair, Alumni Advisory Council                tours and registration for classes. These students – the future Class of
Jeff Clements ‘94
                                              2014 – look to be dynamic, thoughtful, high-achieving young people
Alumni Relations Coordinator                  who are anxious to begin their college careers. We look forward to
Joshua J. Wilson                              having them join the Dalton State family.

Layout and Design                             Spring has indeed sprung – it’s springing all over campus. I hope you
Second Shift Design, LLC, Duluth, GA          share my enthusiasm for the many gifts of spring and for the good
                                              things that are happening at Dalton State. d
Joe Barragan ’10, Alana Joyner,
Angela Lewis, Linda Massey ’72,
George Spence,Willis Treadwell

Jonathan M. Lampley

4   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
    SPRING 2010

                                                                                    THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI & FRIENDS

The 1971-72 DJC Roadrunners, left to right: Steve Hammontree, Tony Ingle, Steven Ludy, Andy Akin, Charles Powers, Jon Heath,
Rodney Aldridge, Tony Littles, Roger Rome, Larry Jackson, Mike Wade, Charles Palmer, Larry Cummings, David Rainey, and Cleo
Goodgame. Center: Coaches Melvyn Ottinger and Dick Coleman. Story on page 14.

Departments                                          Features                                             Alumni Central

6     Bandy Heritage Center                          12     Joe Barragan: Man On                          27     Alumni Advisory Council
      Archives: Truett Lomax                                Dalton State student scores with                     Engaging alums more closely with
      One man’s unique role in the                          new club soccer team                                 their alma mater
      history of Dalton State
                                                     14     Superbird: Coach Ottinger                     28     Alumni Profile:
8     Campus Tour                                           & His Roadrunners                                    Brandi Johnson
      A quick spin around George Rice                       A championship coach & a decade                      Hanging out with the governor
      Drive                                                 of basketball victories
                                                                                                          30     All About Alumni
35    In Memoriam                                    22     Student Scholarships                                 Who, what, where, when,
      Dalton State mourns the loss of                       Investing in today’s students pays                   and how
      three friends                                         big dividends later

About the cover: The Dalton Junior College Roadrunner basketball teams were 231-78 in ten years under legendary Coach Melvyn Ottinger. Playing at home,
in Death Valley, GA 30720, they were 120-11 in those same ten years.

                                                                                                            Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010           5
                                 B a n dy h e r i t a g e C e n t e r a r C h i v e s

    From the archives oF the Bandy heritage center For northwest georgia history and culture…

    Truett Lomax: Community Leader, Visionary, Friend
    By Dr. John D. Fowler

                                                               A visitor to Dalton State College today is surrounded
                                                               by a majestic mountain on one side and one of the
                                                               nation’s busiest interstates on the other; by crowds
                                                               of students and employees jostling along the wide
                                                               sidewalks en route to classes or work; and by lines of
                                                               cars parked one after the other along the streets. For
                                                               the new visitor, citizen, or student, it is hard to imagine
                                                               that a half century ago this same land was merely
                                                               forest and fields. Retired businessman Truett Lomax
                                                               does remember those early days and he should. He
                                                               played a key role in turning a dream of a local college
                                                               into the reality of today’s Dalton State.

                                                               Lomax served as the manager of the Dalton Chamber
                                                               of Commerce in the early 1960s when the idea to bring
                                                               a junior college to northwest Georgia first began to
                                                               develop in the minds of city fathers. Lomax recalls
                                                               that the community and especially the Chamber of
                                                               Commerce provided widespread support. These civic
                                                               leaders were blessed with the foresight to see that a
                                                               growing community such as Dalton needed a college
                                                               to educate its own and to serve the entire northwest
                                                               Georgia region.

                                                               After a good deal of thought, planning, research, and
                                                               debate, Dalton leaders petitioned the Board of Regents
                                                               for a college. In the early part of the decade, fierce
                                                               competition for a junior college arose among several
                                                               communities in northwest Georgia, including Dalton,
                                                               Calhoun, Rome, Kennesaw, Cartersville, and Marietta.
                                                               Ultimately, two towns were chosen – Kennesaw and
                                                               Dalton. Selection, however, was a grueling process.

                                                               In order to convince the Board of Regents to support
                                                               a junior college, a community had to agree to cover
                                                               the initial costs of land, buildings, and utilities. Lomax
                                                               and other members of the Chamber of Commerce,
                                    Cynthia and Truett Lomax   especially those serving on its Education Committee,

6   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
                           B a n dy h e r i t a g e C e n t e r a r C h i v e s

worked tirelessly with community leaders to                  Looking back over the four decades since the
convince local residents to vote in favor of a $1.8          college’s beginning, Lomax is proud of Dalton State
million bond issue to build the college. Dalton’s            and the community that supported its creation. He
visionaries correctly saw this step as an investment in      recalls that the Dalton newspaper, the Daily Citizen,
the future of Dalton and its citizens. Indeed, a junior      and its editor at the time, Mark Pace, vigorously
college would help set the economic, political, and          supported a vote in favor of the referendum. The
social future of this mountain community. During the         paper consistently ran ads demonstrating the need
months leading up to the referendum, Lomax even              for and benefits of a local college. Moreover, Lomax
sported a handkerchief in his suit pocket that read          remembers that citizens from all walks of life fought
“Vote Yes.”                                                  hard to see their dream of a college realized. These
                                                             efforts ensured that not only would the referendum
The bond referendum made it onto the ballot in
                                                             pass but also that it would pass in a landslide.
1965, and the May 11 results were staggering: 4,090
to 163 in favor, a margin of 26-1, far outpacing             Lomax hopes to see the college continue to grow
other communities across the state that had voted for        in size and reputation with the addition of new
colleges in their towns.                                     academic programs. Indeed, his love for the school
                                                             is a family tradition. His wife, Cynthia, earned an
Given the green light, local officials scouted three
                                                             Associate of Arts degree from Dalton State a few
locations around Dalton for the new college.
                                                             years ago, making her the oldest graduate of the
Ultimately, the current site along Interstate 75 proved
                                                             college thus far.
to be the best fit – primarily, because of the old
adage, “location, location, location.” The land was          Dalton State alumni, students, faculty and staff, and
situated in the center of the growing area, which            friends are grateful for the commitment of civic-
would promote accessibility and visibility. Also, four       minded individuals like Truett Lomax who worked
local landowners – Tom Swift, Glenn Bevil, Tom               hard to make northwest Georgia a better place
Lambert, and John T. Tibbs – agreed to donate the            for future generations. We are honored to call him
initial 136 acres that would form the core of the            Dalton State’s friend. d
campus at this prime location.

Dr. Fowler is the B.J. and Dicksie Bandy Chair in History and Director of the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest
Georgia History and Culture at Dalton State.
                                                                                       Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   7
                                                  CaMPus tour

    Bell Tower is Award Winner
    Dalton State College’s bell tower won the Georgia
    Chapter of the American Concrete Institute’s
    Special Category Award for 2009. The bell tower
    was the cover feature for The Georgia Contractor
    magazine’s January/February 2010 issue, where the
    news was first announced. Designed by Dalton-
    based architect Gregg Sims and built with private
    funds raised by the Dalton State College Foundation
    during its 2006-2008 Fulfilling the Vision campaign,
    the bell tower was the first pre-cast concrete project
    in the United States to use a photocatalytic cement
    that reacts with sunlight to clean itself. The bell
    tower was completed in April 2009.

       Wachovia Bank Adds to Scholarship Endowment

       Wachovia Bank recently added $10,000 to the             Shown making the presentation are, left to right,
       Wachovia Bank Scholarship Endowment for                 friends of Wachovia and Dalton State Chang
       Business Excellence at Dalton State. “We are            Yim, Virginia Travillian, Danny Simmons, Linda
       thrilled with their latest gift,” says President John   Blackman, Wachovia Market President Susan
       Schwenn. “Thanks to Wachovia’s generosity, we           Brown, Dalton State President John Schwenn, Lee
       will be able to assist additional students majoring     Daniel, Sis Brown, and Dalton State Director of
       in business and those students, in turn, will           Institutional Advancement David Elrod.
       positively impact the local business community
       when they graduate.”

8   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
                                             CaMPus tour

School of Business Earns Prestigious Accreditation
Dalton State’s School of Business has joined the elite     Dean Mayo likens Dalton State’s accreditation
rank of business schools by earning accreditation by       process to a fairly extensive home renovation.
AACSB International, the Association to Advance
                                                           “My husband and I once bought a small, turn-of-the-
Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB is the
                                                           century [20th century] home that needed a complete
premier accrediting organization for business
                                                           renovation,” she recalls. “There are many similarities
schools worldwide.
                                                           between renovating that house and pursuing the
“AACSB accreditation is the gold standard,” says Dr.       AACSB accreditation. A quality outcome was the
Donna Mayo, Dean of the School of Business. “This          driving force….we took a lot of great ideas, created
ensures that our program has attained the highest          a plan, and got to work….we had a dedicated
standards of teaching and learning, research, and          team….we worked many nights and weekends….
scholarship, and that ongoing quality-monitoring           we took a lot of risks, some of which paid off while
processes are in place to maintain those standards.”       others did not….some days we were in awe of our
                                                           handiwork and some days we were busy redoing our
AACSB accreditation is held by only 579 business
                                                           handiwork….we spent more money than we thought
schools in 35 countries, including the United States,
                                                           we would….we wondered if we would ever finish
representing less than 5% of all business schools in
                                                           the process.”
the world. Dalton State joins 46 undergraduate-only
institutions accredited by AACSB International.            But finish they did, and earlier this semester Dean
                                                           Mayo and School of Business faculty, staff, students,
“This achievement is particularly exceptional for
                                                           alumni, and donors celebrated their achievement.
a very young business school,” says Dean Mayo.
Dalton State admitted its first juniors in the School of    “The investment we made in that house 27 years
Business in 1999.                                          ago yielded a significant return,” she notes. “We plan
                                                           to have the same return for the School of Business
Earning the prestigious accreditation required eight
                                                           and Dalton State with our AACSB accreditation.”
years of work by School of Business faculty and
staff, numerous multi-day site visits by other AACSB-
accredited program deans, and reports after reports
and statistics upon statistics pertaining to faculty
teaching and scholarship, professional development,
and student achievement in the business school.

With all that was involved, Dean Mayo says she’s often
asked why Dalton State sought AACSB accreditation.

“For the same reason that businesses seek quality
certifications such as ISO 9000, 14000, or Six Sigma:
we want to provide our students with the best
business education so they can be excellent
employees and productive citizens. External
                                                           Dr. Donna Mayo, Dean of the School of Business and
validation assures quality.”                               Professor of Marketing (Photo courtesy of Angela Lewis/
                                                           Chattanooga Times Free Press)
                                                                                     Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   9
                                                 CaMPus tour

     School of Business                                      Dalton State students doing their on-site practica,
                                                             and Valley Point teachers served as professional
     Students in Associate Professor of Marketing Steve      mentors to the teacher education majors.
     LeMay’s fall semester Marketing Research class
     completed a survey research project to identify         Dean Merry Boggs wrote and received a $13,500
     various segments of the bridal market and then met      grant from the Library of Congress’s Teaching with
     to discuss the results with Scott Rogers, Director      Primary Sources (TPS) Eastern Region to assist
     of Strategic Planning for David’s Bridal, the largest   Dalton State’s teacher education majors and local
     full-service bridal retailer in the U.S. According to   public school teachers with using primary sources to
     Rogers, the company plans to use the research in its    enhance their classroom instruction in Social Studies.
     strategic planning.                                     The TPS program aids K-12 teachers in building
                                                             student literacy, critical thinking skills, and content
     Instructor of Accounting Jamie Connors is the           knowledge with instruction based on the Library
     faculty sponsor for a partnership with the University   of Congress’s collection of 13.5 million digitized
     of Georgia to provide Volunteer Income Tax              primary sources.
     Assistance (VITA) in northwest Georgia. VITA offers
     free tax help to low- and moderate-income families
     who cannot prepare their own tax returns, and
                                                             School of Liberal Arts
     Dalton State accounting majors will be staffing the     Associate Professor of Communication Barbara
     local VITA site. The students receive significant       Tucker published a novel, Traveling Through, that
     real-world experience and become IRS-certified          explores how Christians relate to government, how
     tax-preparation volunteers.                             politics affect our lives, and whether we really see the
                                                             people we think we know.
     The School of Business is part of the recently
     formed Non-Profit Partnership with the United Way       Associate Professor of English Marsha Mathews’s
     of Northwest Georgia and other agencies. Dean           first book of poetry, Northbound Single-Lane, will
     Donna Mayo, Sesquicentennial Chair and Professor        be released in May. A cross-genre writer, she is also
     of Management Marilyn Helms, DSC Foundation             completing a novel, Blood Feather, and writing a
     Chair in Accounting John Trussel, Associate             young adult novel, Teen Passage.
     Professor of Marketing Steve LeMay, and Lecturer
     of Business Ben Laughter will direct workshops on       Assistant Professor of English Jonathan Lampley
     organizational development topics for non-profit        penned two articles for The Essential Cult TV
     agencies in northwest Georgia.                          Reader published in December by the University of
                                                             Kentucky Press. “Dark Shadows” and “The Twilight
                                                             Zone,” two of Lampley’s favorite shows, were his topics.
     School of Education
                                                             Associate Professor of Sociology Hassan Elnajjar
     The School of Education continues its partnerships
                                                             submitted a written Expert Declaration in federal
     with public schools through a pilot program with
                                                             court in California for an immigration case last
     Whitfield County’s Valley Point Elementary. In spring
                                                             semester. He will testify on that case this spring as an
     semester, Assistant Professor of Education Debbie
                                                             expert on the Middle East, marking his third delivery of
     Baxter, Dean and Professor of Education Merry
                                                             expert testimony in federal courts on immigration issues.
     Boggs, Assistant Professor of Education Orenda
     Gregory, Assistant Professor of Education Lynn          The March 2010 issue of the American Psychological
     Murphy, and Instructor of Education Carol Pate          Association’s Monitor on Psychology featured an
     taught teacher education courses at Valley Point for    interview with Professor of Psychology Christy Price

10   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
                                              CaMPus tour

on engaging Generation Y or millennial students in         today it houses 33. “The growth in the School of
the classroom with social networking applications          Sciences and Mathematics is due to the addition
and dynamic teaching methods.                              of the bachelor’s programs and the growth of the
                                                           college as a whole,” says Dean Randall Griffus.
School of Nursing                                          “Most of the credit for our success recruiting new
                                                           faculty goes to the existing faculty. They sell the
The School of Nursing’s new partnership with               college during the interview process.” Over the past
Dalton’s Hamilton Medical Center will provide              five years, the School has added faculty with Ph.D.’s
Dalton State students hands-on clinical training by        from Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Notre Dame,
experienced nurses. The first of its kind in the region,   Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, Boston College, West
the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) was developed           Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Auburn, North Carolina
to maximize learning outcomes while also providing         State, Oregon State, Tennessee, Central Florida,
Hamilton access to Dalton State nursing faculty.           Wisconsin, and Oxford University.
“This is a novel unit devoted to a new concept in
clinical teaching and learning,” says Dean Cordia
                                                           School of Social Work
Starling. “It incorporates one-on-one mentoring of
students and is facilitated by a clinical instructor       Dean David Boyle retired last semester after 8½
from Dalton State. Students have the opportunity for       years at Dalton State. He helped start the college’s
an intense learning experience that is more reflective     Social Work program and served as its first dean. Still
of the working environment of a registered nurse.”         active in the social work field as a consultant, Dr.
The DEU has been so well received by students,             Boyle also enjoys the research and writing of local
faculty, hospital staff, and patients that plans are       history, and working on his farm.
underway to expand the concept to a second service
area inside Hamilton.                                      School of Technology
                                                           The Adult Education Program in the School of
School of Sciences and Mathematics
                                                           Technology is one of only four in Georgia selected
Last year the School of Sciences and Mathematics           to participate in the national Standards in Action
collaborated with public school systems in Catoosa,        initiative, a two-year project sponsored by the U.S.
Murray, and Walker Counties to provide 60 hours of         Department of Education to develop innovative
course content and delivery training to more than 60       teaching materials and implement content standards
teachers from grades 3 through 12. The partnership         in the delivery of adult basic education, GED prep
was funded by a $164,000 grant from the Georgia            and other adult secondary education, and English
Department of Education. Assistant Professors of           language acquisition. Dalton State’s Adult Education
Mathematics Bob Clay and Tim Hawkins, and                  Program Director, Sherry Riley, will oversee the pilot
School of Education Assistant Professor Sharon             program on campus.
Beavers, along with Dalton-based Phelps Consulting,
                                                           One hundred percent of the fall semester Class of
provided the training.
                                                           2009’s Licensed Practical Nursing majors passed
Two years ago, the first baccalaureates in Biology         the NCLEX-PN state licensure examination on the
and Mathematics were offered. Last year, a                 first attempt this year, compared with the national
bachelor’s degree in Chemistry was added. Today,           average first-time pass rate of 86%. Congratulations
there are 299 majors in those programs, with a 10%         to the Class of 2009 LPNs!
enrollment growth projected for next year. When the
programs began, the School was home to 25 faculty;
                                                                                  Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   11
                                           Joe Barragan
                                                Man On

                                                             Just before fall semester last year,
                                                              Dalton State students Joe Barragan
                                                              and Jesus Lerma met for the first
                                                              time. Learning that they had common
                                                              sports interests, New York-native
                                                             Joe invited Jesus to watch a Yankees
                                                           baseball game on TV and the two bonded.
                                            They talked about their wishes to play intercollegiate
                                            sports at Dalton State. Both soccer fans, they hit on
                                            the idea of forming a club soccer team, which would
                                            allow Dalton State students to play other college teams
                                            without the expenses and regulations of full-fledged
                                            intercollegiate athletics. They took their idea to Dalton
                                            State’s Director of Campus Recreation, Garrett Burgner,
                                            and he liked it enough to clear them to proceed.
                                            Joe and Jesus had ambition: they wanted to play teams
                                            in the southeastern United States. Joe made a few phone
                                            calls. Before long, he had other club soccer teams signed
                                            up to play a Dalton State team that didn’t exist yet.
                                            Forty-three Dalton State students tried out for
                                            the team; a second round of tryouts carved the
                                            final roster to 20. The team members elected
                                            Joe coach and Jesus assistant coach.
                                            “We only had time for two practices the week before
                                            our first game,” Joe recalls, a match they dropped
                                            to Kennesaw State, 3-1. “We needed more training.
                                            We were good, we had played soccer before, but not
                                            together, not as a team. We needed some work.” So
                                            he instituted practices that began before sun-up, and
                                            kept afternoon practices as well, to prepare the team.
                                            Noting that some of the players did not know each
                                            other, he paired up players and had them hang out

12   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
Dalton State’s 2009 Club Soccer Team, bottom row, left to right: Sergio Martinez, Saul Maldonado, Bryan Smith, Mario Acosta,
Eric Cruz, Hector Holguin, Rene Preciado, and Jonathan Luna. Top row, left to right: Joe Barragan, Ruben Uribe, Jose Valdovi-
nos, Fred Rosillo, Eric Perez, Carlos Fraire, Caleb Tatum, Eduardo Aguero, Freddy Preciado, Jesus Lerma, Nestor Gonzalez, and
Ivan Gardea. Not pictured: Wueiner Perez

with each other during the day. By the second game,              and Vanderbilt, and a rematch with UTC, carried
an away match versus the University of Tennessee                 the team to the end of its season in December, when
at Chattanooga, “you could just feel it – our morale             it was set to play the University of Tennessee at
was really high.” Dalton State won 4-3. “We were so              Knoxville, one of the top 5 club soccer teams in
excited, we wanted to go back and play Kennesaw                  the southeast. The Tennessee game “was the best
again,” Joe says, still smiling with the pride of                game we ever played,” Joe remembers, noting how
a coach who’s seen the best in his players. “Our                 Dalton State took an early lead – “we dominated!”
spirits were really high after that UTC game.”                   – and the score see-sawed back and forth before
                                                                 the clock ran out and the Vols were on top, 4-3.
The 1-1 team went into its third game against Emory
University hungry for another win, but the game                  The excitement of the season is evident when Joe
ended in a tie, which frustrated Joe because it was              reminisces about it now. He has a lot of coach in
the first game played in Dalton and in front of a                him, and speaks with pride about “our team” and
hometown crowd of about 150 people. Joe “felt                    the lessons he learned during the season: discipline,
the weight of that tie” but the Emory game taught                planning, practicing, team-building, and the
him a lesson. “We really needed conditioning. Our                logistics of uniforms, scheduling, and team travel.
skill was better than the teams we were playing,                 “We’ll do it again, no doubt,” he says, with all
but their conditioning was better than ours.”                    the optimism of a coach who believes in his team.
                                                                 In fact, he has already scheduled tryouts for the
Dalton State’s club soccer team competed in a round
                                                                 first week of fall semester. “We felt the college’s
robin tournament in Statesboro where they played
                                                                 support” this past season, Joe reflects. “And we
Georgia Southern (lost 6-2) and Columbus State (won
                                                                 want Dalton State to be better known – sports
4-2) with an 11-man roster due to several injuries.
                                                                 will attract more students here. We’re ready.” d
Matches with Middle Tennessee State University

                                                                                          Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   13
                                                      by David J. Elrod ’88

14   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
I  n the history of Dalton State College, certain
   names loom large. Like Elvis, they have ascended
to one-word status. Gignilliat and Roberts are former
                                                          “For what we did,” he recalls now, four decades later,
                                                          “it was unbelievable.”

presidents; Bandy, Pope, Lorberbaum, and Brown
are late citizens of regional prominence. Some            WARM-UP
professors, too, have gained similar rank:
Christie, Weathersby, Phelps.                             Ottinger grew up in Tennessee’s Cocke County, east
                                                          of the Great Smoky Mountains. “As long as I can
And yet one name in the college’s history is              remember, I’ve played with a basketball,” he recalls,
recognized by only a letter, a vowel: O. As in Coach      noting how “we had a goal on the side of our barn
O. O for Ottinger.                                        and I’d come home from school and shoot baskets
A charter faculty member of Dalton Junior College,        until dark. I’d play in the mud, in the rain, I didn’t
Melvyn Ottinger came here in 1967 from Shorter            care. I just loved basketball.”
College in Rome. He stayed through the institution’s      He was an athletic standout at Parrottsville High
metamorphosis from DJC to Dalton College to               School, lettering in basketball and baseball. He
Dalton State College. In his first decade here, he also   was on the All-State basketball team, and in his
coached basketball.                                       junior year was the state’s leading scorer and Most
O coached the DJC Roadrunners basketball teams            Outstanding Player. In his 1958 graduating class of
for all ten years of their existence, from 1968 to        37 students, only Ottinger and another classmate
1978. In that time, he compiled a 231-78 record, a        went to college. Ottinger was class valedictorian.
marvelous .747 winning percentage. He sat astride         “In Parrottsville,” Ottinger once told the Dalton
one of the nation’s top junior college programs,          Daily Citizen, “you graduated from high school,
and his teams held national top-ten rankings in           married your high school sweetheart, and spent the
eight of the ten years that they played. DJC won          rest of your life farming there.”
division championships in 1970 and 1974, state
championships in 1970 and 1972, and regional              Not Ottinger. He went to Shorter College on a
championships in 1972 and 1973. Ottinger coached his      basketball scholarship. He became a star, leading
teams to two national championship tournaments,           the nation with a 90.1% free throw completion in
and after the fantastic 1971-72 race to the top, his      the 1960 season and taking MVP honors that year.
Roadrunners were ranked second in the nation.             Ottinger started three seasons there, averaged 15
Ottinger earned statewide Coach of the Year honors        points per game, and was a two-time All-Conference
in 1970 and again in 1972. During the same period,        honoree. He also excelled at tennis, baseball, and
he was named an Outstanding Young Man of America          volleyball. By graduation, Ottinger had lettered ten
in 1970 and a Personality of the South in 1971.           times in four sports. In 2009, he was inducted into
                                                          the Shorter College Athletic Hall of Fame.

                                                                                Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   15
     As an undergrad, Ottinger met Marilyn Ziegler, a         In early 1968, DJC students were gearing up to vote
     co-ed from Bradenton, Florida. They married after        for the Eagles or the Mountain Lions as the college
     they both graduated from Shorter in June 1962.           mascot. That didn’t make sense to Ottinger: these
     He completed a graduate fellowship at Clemson            were common mascots and he wanted something
     University in 1964, and returned to Shorter to begin     unique. He launched his own campaign for a write-
     coaching. He amassed a 35-5 record in two years as       in candidate, the roadrunner, popular at the time as
     the men’s freshman basketball coach.                     a Warner Brothers cartoon character, and engaged
                                                              in some person-to-person politicking to persuade
     A few miles to the northeast, Dalton Junior College      students to support the roadrunner.
     was nearing completion and administrators were
     recruiting faculty and staff, and                                           In a letter to the University
     looking for a good basketball                                               System of Georgia central
     coach. Ottinger got a call,          “We didn’t have                        office, then-President Gignilliat
     traveled to Dalton to interview,                                            announced the news: “The college
     and the rest is literally Dalton
                                          anything to offer                      students have voted to use the
     State history.                       except the chance                      roadrunner as the cognomen for
                                                                                 Dalton Junior College. Webster’s
     When Coach O arrived here in           to be a part of                      dictionary defines the roadrunner
     1967, not everything was ready
     on the college’s opening day.
                                            something special.”                  as follows: ‘n: a largely terrestrial
                                                                                 bird (Geococcyx californianus)
     “The gym wasn’t finished in                                                 of the cuckoo family that is a
     ’67,” he recalls. “It wasn’t ready                                          speedy runner and ranges from
     when the college opened, so we had some tough           California to Mexico and eastward to Texas….’
     P.E. classes: Chinese checkers, cards….volleyball in    The roadrunner is a peculiar fitting nickname for
     the parking lot….” He chuckles at the memory. The       a commuting college,” Gignilliat concluded, “and I
     gymnasium opened in 1968.                               would like to adopt it to describe our student body.
     A major in biology at Shorter and Clemson,              You may disregard the reference to the cuckoo.”
     Ottinger taught the subject his first year and in years Some people on campus and in the community
     thereafter. Outside of the classroom, he had plenty     couldn’t forget about the cuckoo, though, and
     to keep himself busy preparing for the first hoops      raised concerns about its suitability as a college
     season which would start the following year. He         mascot. An anonymous letter to the editor of the
     completed the stacks of paperwork for DJC to join       campus newspaper at the time applauded the choice.
     the National Junior College Athletic Association,       “Clocked at 15 miles an hour, head out-thrust, tail
     scheduled games, and worked out the logistics of        streaming behind, in an instant I can swerve into
     team travel, insurance, and equipment.                  a turn, using my tail as a brake or rudder for an
     He spent that first year recruiting all over the         unbelievably fast stop. Can you possibly imagine a
     state and quickly earned a reputation as a tireless      better nickname for a basketball team?” When asked
     promoter for a little junior college no one had ever     about the letter-writer’s anonymity now, Ottinger
     heard of. “That was the fun part, but it was tough.      just smiles.
     We didn’t have anything to offer except the chance       That spring, Ottinger also had a hand in the matter
     to be a part of something special.” He saw 110 high      of the school colors, which had to be decided so
     school games that year. Some high schools he visited     he could order uniforms to outfit the team. He
     two and three times to persuade a potential recruit to   was attracted to the black and silver of the NFL’s
     sign with him. “They thought I worked there I was        Oakland Raiders and thought the colors looked
     there so often.” Ottinger says.                          classy. He opted for navy and silver, instead, and
     While Ottinger focused primarily on recruiting,          went into a student council meeting where a vote
     he was also involved in the selection of the college     was scheduled to be taken on DJC’s new colors. “I
     mascot and colors.                                       don’t know what colors you’re going to vote on,” he

16   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
                                                      The ottinger & Roadrunner Record
                                                season    reCord    Post-season aCtivity
                                                1968-69   12-12
                                                1969-70   30-4      • Georgia Junior College Northern
                                                                      Division Champion
                                                                    • Georgia Junior College State Champion
                                                                    • Region XVII Runner-up
                                                                    • Ranked 12th nationwide in final NJCAA poll
                                                1970-71   20-9
                                                1971-72   35-2      • Georgia Junior College State Champion
                                                                    • Region XVII Champion
                                                                    • Placed 12th in National Junior College Tournament
                                                                    • Ranked 2nd nationwide in final NJCAA poll
                                                1972-73   28-7      • Georgia Junior College State Runner-up
                                                                    • Region XVII Champion
                                                                    • Placed 10th in National Junior College Tournament
                                                1973-74   27-6      • Georgia Junior College Northern Division Champion
                                                                    • Ranked 17th nationwide in final NJCAA poll
                                                1974-75   18-10
                                                1975-76   23-7
                                                1976-77   24-7
                                                1977-78   14-14

told the students, “but I’ve already ordered navy and     remembers. “They started the Roadrunner Tip-off
silver uniforms.” So there was no vote. The school        Club that provided funding for trips and other things
colors were navy and silver.                              we needed.” The local newspaper covered every
                                                          game, home and away, and included editorials in
The basketball program’s first budget was $5,000,         support of the team. The local Volkswagen dealership
not an ungenerous sum for a first-year program just       loaned a couple of vans – “crazy yellow and white” –
getting off the ground at a new junior college in the     for the players to travel to away games. Later, players
1960’s. “A pair of Converse All-Stars cost $4.95,”        would eat free at Burger King or Western Sizzlin;
Ottinger recalls.                                         other local restaurants offered meals at half-price.
He didn’t have an assistant his first year, so he did     Burch Beckler, founder of Beckler’s Carpet, “was
everything, including selling ads for the souvenir        our number one supporter,” Ottinger says. Beckler’s
programs and handwriting recruiting letters on a          Carpet sponsored the annual Carpet City Classic,
TV tray at home while he watched Oakland Raider           an invitational tournament held on campus each
games on Sunday afternoons. “I sold season tickets        December. “On road trips in those early years, we’d
door to door in the first year. After that [because DJC   travel in two vans and two Lincolns,” Ottinger
was winning so many games], I didn’t have to call on      recalls. “Burch had two Lincoln Mark IV coupes.
anybody – we’d just send them a bill.”                    He’d drive one and his son, Randy [who played
“I spoke at every civic club in town, [I spoke at]        for Ottinger], would drive the other one.” The
churches. There was nothing else but the college          Roadrunners were going in style.
in this area. I was energetic,” Ottinger remembers.
“Back then, I was only 27. I didn’t know you were
not supposed to work 24/7, which I did.”                  TIP-oFF
From the start, the Roadrunners enjoyed deep and          Ottinger was cautiously optimistic for his first season
wide community support. The Dalton Jaycees held           at DJC. He lowered expectations with a local sports
cookouts and fundraisers for the team, Ottinger           reporter. “It’s going to be hard for us to win since we

                                                                                   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010    17
     have no experience, but with a little luck we could       for their scoring
     finish near or slightly above .500.” And that’s exactly   ability. Coach O
     what the 1968-69 Roadrunners did, with a 12-12 record.    himself was tagged
                                                               “The Head Bird” by
     They dropped their first two games, one away and          local media.
     one at home, and then earned their first-ever victory
     on November 20, eight days before Thanksgiving,           Taking a bye in the
     with a 100-96 win at home. Three days later,              first round, the Head
     Ottinger led his team to a 78-77 win over defending       Bird coached his
     state champion DeKalb Junior College, a “shocking         Superbirds to a 97-84
     victory,” in the words of a local sportswriter.           win over Gainesville
     Before the season was over, Ottinger’s first-year         in the tournament’s
     Roadrunners sat atop the Northern Division of             second round. In the
     the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association           third round, O’s team
     Conference for several weeks and defeated DeKalb          snatched the game
     again, 100-88.                                            from DeKalb, 92-
                                                               90, as a Roadrunner
     His second season was practically a fairytale.            field goal ripped the
     Ottinger turned in a 26-3 regular season record,          net with two seconds
     the best in the state, including a 17-game winning        remaining. The state
     streak. DJC made its first appearance in the national     championship game,
     polls, climbing as high as 11th, and earned a trip to     versus Abraham
     the junior college state championship tournament.         Baldwin Agricultural
     Arriving at the contest in Statesboro, O’s team had       College, had the
     earned a new nickname – “Superbirds” – so-called          Roadrunners down
                                                               49-41 at the half, but
                                                               ended up as a 85-78 victory, an astonishing feat for
                                                               a team that no one had ever heard of just a year and
                                                               a half earlier. For his part, Ottinger was named the
                                                               Atlanta Tip-Off Club’s Coach of the Year.
                                                               Midway through the 1969-70 season, a brilliant
                                                               new paint job was added to the Roadrunners’ home
                                                               court. “Death Valley, GA 30720” was emblazoned
                                                               on the bleacher-less south wall of the gym, a
                                                               verbal welcome mat for foes who might think the
                                                               Roadrunners were a pushover.
                                                               “I wasn’t a rebel, but I didn’t want to be like everyone
                                                               else, either,” Ottinger says now. “I decided if someone
                                                               was going to beat us, they’d have to out-coach us,
                                                               because they weren’t going to out-work us. And
                                                               nobody was going to out-hustle us, that was for sure.”
                                                               “Death Valley,” along with Coach O’s competitive
                                                               streak, would become an essential ingredient of the
                                                               Roadrunners’ hustle. It was all part of O’s unique
                                                               talent for psyching out his opponents and throwing
                                                               them off their stride.

18   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
“We did anything we could to gain an advantage           to run players around the campus for missing shots
– except cheat,” he points out, and cites as his first   even during practice. During one practice, his players
evidence something that must have been a lot of fun      weren’t making their free throws. Ottinger stepped
to witness.                                              in and shot 10 for 10 – blindfolded. Even routing
                                                         a conference rival was sometimes not enough.
“Our guys would come out wearing one blue shoe           Following a 123-109 victory, Ottinger credited the
and one white shoe. The other team would spend           opponent’s 109 points to DJC’s lackluster defense.
the whole first half of the game wondering where we      “That’s the worst game we’ve ever played,” he said.
bought those shoes.”
                                                    During games, Ottinger’s competitive streak would
“We’d turn up the thermostat in the gym, just to    flare up and he would, in his words, “get wild.” He
watch them sweat.”                                  paced rapidly up and down the sidelines, grabbed
“If we could have had fireworks, we’d have shot     players by their jerseys and gave them “little pep
those off, too,” Ottinger says,                                            talks,” and even shouted at
still a little wistful that the fire                                       referees. Once, he was assessed
marshal prohibited such behavior.                                          three technical fouls three
                                        “We’d turn up the                  minutes after tip-off, and was
Later, the repertoire was                                                  ejected from the game. He
expanded when pre-game warm-
                                        thermostat in the                  watched the rest through a
ups were done with the soulful          gym, just to watch                 glass pane in a door just off the
theme from “Shaft” pulsing                                                 gym floor.
through the air.                        them sweat.”
                                                                           Coach O’s third season at
Ottinger routinely had his players                                         the Roadrunner helm was a
shake hands with the opposing                                              transition year: his team went
coach, an uncommon sight at the time. He became     20 and 9. But it was a building year, too, one in
so well-known for this bit of sportsmanship that    which the foundation was laid for the biggest year
another coach once pre-empted Ottinger and tried to of his career, the magical 1971-72 season when
beat DJC to the pre-game handshake. O jumped into Ottinger’s Roadrunners put DJC on the national
the coach’s arms and kissed him on the cheek. “That basketball map.
got our guys fired up,” he later said.
Decades later, when called out on the edginess of        SCoRE!
some of these stunts, Ottinger admitted that “I don’t
know that I would have done that stuff if we were 2      If any one season is associated with Coach O and
and 25. Whatever we did, we could back it up.”           his Roadrunners, surely it is his fourth one, when his
                                                         Superbirds were ranked as high as number two in the
He could get the best out of his players. “It is most    nation, won their second state title and first regional
important that a coach have good rapport with his        championship, and rode a 34-game winning streak
players,” he said in an interview then. “And the only    all the way to the National Junior College Athletic
way you can do that is to be there to talk to them       Association championship tournament.
and help them any way you can.” His players agreed,
one of them noting in the same interview that “we        The pre-season coaches’ poll had DJC picked to
have something special here. We have a feeling for       finish first in the region and the state. Ottinger knew
each other because of Coach Ottinger. He lets us tell    the spot he was in. “The pressure is there and will be
it like we think it is and he listens.” “We know that    there all year long, but we’ve got back a nucleus of
he’s behind us,” said another.                           sophomores and I feel like they can take it.”
O was also a demanding taskmaster. He held five-         Coach O’s 1971-72 team was the stuff of local
nights-a-week study halls in the gym. He was known       legend. It included one junior college All-American

                                                                                Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   19
                                                              people,” noting that capacity was 1,200. “We kept
                                                              that gym jam-packed,” and would ring the court with
                                                              folding chairs just to accommodate the crowds. After
                                                              one game, Ottinger pointed out to a reporter that
                                                              some of the crowd “stood on tables and sat in the
                                                              aisles and in the floor…” Even on away games, “we
                                                              took more fans with us than the home team would
                                                              have in their bleachers,” O remembers.
                                                              The DJC gymnasium (it took the name Bandy in
                                                              1970) where Ottinger’s Roadrunners played was a
                                                              place of good karma. Over ten years, the record at
                                                              home was 120-11, with four of the losses occurring
                                                              in the first year. Ottinger was 54-4 at home in his
     and four starters who had played for Ottinger the        first four seasons at DJC. Then, as now, bleachers
     previous year. The lone freshman starter, Roger          were only on the north side of the court, providing
     Rome, had been ranked the 6th best high school           for some unintended coziness between Roadrunner
     player in the state, and was a dual All-American in      fans and their opponents. Recruits would ask
     basketball and football. Sophomore Rodney Aldridge       “how big is your gym?” and Ottinger would deflect
     had been ranked the best high school player in the       it, telling them instead how supportive the local
     state, and was sought by 50 colleges when Ottinger       community was of Roadrunner basketball.
     signed him. In his second season playing for Ottinger,   Ottinger could be superstitious. He wore a black
     Jon “Buck” Heath would pick up statewide and             suit for 25 straight games “because we won 25
     regional player-of-the-year honors for his scoring       games. I didn’t quit wearing it to games until we
     prowess, and rewrite the Roadrunner record books.        lost.” The same suit? “You could have combed your
     David Rainey and Charles Palmer rounded out the          hair looking in it, it was so shiny.” He once drove
     sophomores starting for Ottinger on his 1971-72 squad.   through a neighbor’s yard because a black cat lay in
     The local paper noted that O’s season would be           his driveway. On road trips, if he saw a black cat in
     unique. “While most college coaches are worried          the road, he’d make a U-turn and take another route
     about things such as depth, speed, talent, cohesion,     to his destination. In a later season, winning had
     and opponents, Ottinger’s main concern is with           become so routine that when the Roadrunners lost
     scouts of senior colleges.”                              two consecutive Saturday games, Ottinger called it
                                                              “the Saturday night jinx.”
     On any given night, a dozen or more Division
     I scouts joined the spectators in Death Valley,          The only jinx of the 1971-72 season was on the
     reviewing the talent that Ottinger had recruited to      Roadrunners’ opponents. Ottinger’s team won every
     northwest Georgia. By year’s end, Aldridge had more      one of its regular season games that year, won its
     than 70 offers before settling on the University of      three state tournament games to win the Georgia
     Hawaii; Heath was courted by 118 schools, then           junior college title, and won its three regional
     signed with Western Kentucky. One night, Ottinger’s      tournament games to claim the Georgia-Alabama
     home phone rang five times: Florida State, Western       region crown. That put the Roadrunner winning
     Kentucky, Wake Forest, Mercer, and UNC-Charlotte         streak at 34 games, the longest in the country, even
     were on the line. “I get about 15 calls a day, seven     outpacing the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers’ streak of
     days a week,” he confided to a reporter at the time.     33. It was the first time that a Georgia junior college
                                                              had ever had an unbeaten season.
     The thrill of that year was evident. “During home
     games, if you weren’t here by 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m.       With the regional title, the Superbirds and their
     start, you didn’t get in,” Ottinger recalls. “My only    Head Bird secured a spot in the national junior
     problem was that the gym would hold only so many         college championship tournament in Hutchinson,

20   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
Kansas, the first Georgia team to do so in 11 years.    prize and the regional trophy. They even had an
They were ranked number two in the nation. Dalton       encore at the national tournament. They finished
Mayor Charles Bramlett proclaimed the first week        10th.
of March as “Roadrunner Week” in honor of the
achievement. For Ottinger and most of his players,      The next five seasons were typical, except for a
the trip to Kansas was the first time they had flown    peculiar 18-10 mark that ended the 1975 campaign.
on a plane.                                             During his final five years as coach, Ottinger’s
                                                        Roadrunners lost only 44 times, a third of those in
In Hutchinson, Coach O discovered what he was up        the last season.
against. “That was the big time out there,” he said
later. “That was a whole new level.” His Roadrunners    “We were 12-2 when we found out they were
fell in the first round, 78-69, to Gulf Coast (FL)      dropping the program” in January 1977, Ottinger
Community College, a perennial powerhouse. The          remembers. The rapid growth of the college,
second game, by coincidence, was versus another         combined with the increasing expense of a full-
team with the roadrunner mascot, State Fair (MO)        fledged athletic program, forced the campus
Community College, which O’s birds won 90-83.           administration to make some tough decisions
But they were no longer playing in the championship     regarding the future of basketball. The program was
bracket – they were playing for honor. In their third   disbanded in the spring of 1978. Ottinger’s final
game, they fell to Arizona Western, 92-79, and the      season record was 14-14, for a .500 finish, exactly the
next day they went home with a season record of         same percentage as in his first year a decade earlier.
35-2, the two losses occurring only when they had       Ottinger continued at the college for another 22
run as fast as a DJC Roadrunner team would ever run.    years, teaching biology and P.E. courses. He retired in
O’s birds placed 11th in the tournament, but the        2000. Coach O was a sought-after interview subject
final national coaches’ poll had them at number two,    with the local press, and there were occasional
which must have provided at least some consolation      retrospectives in the local paper on the Roadrunners’
to Ottinger to be held in that kind of esteem by        glory days. People wanted to remember the good
his peers. That spring, Ottinger picked up coach of     times; the end of the program was never discussed.
the year honors from the Atlanta Tip-Off Club, the      Ottinger became a keeper of the flame for the
Georgia Junior College Athletic Association, and the    Roadrunners. In northwest Georgia and for scores of
Atlanta Journal-Constitution.                           young men he had coached, he grew into legend.
                                                                             This summer he’ll celebrate
                                                                             his 48th wedding anniversary
FINAL BUzzER                                                                 with Marilyn, and they’ll be
                                                                             surrounded by their children
Going into the 1972-1973                                                     and grandchildren, who are
season, Ottinger took stock of                                               the focus of their lives now.
his situation. In the last three                                             This coming fall, Coach O will
years, his Roadrunners had                                                   be back in Death Valley, GA
won 84 of 99 games, including                                                30720, when the Roadrunners
two state championships,                                                     gather for a tribute to their
the region conference title,                                                 beloved coach in honor of his
and a trip to the national                                                   70th birthday.
championship tournament.
Despite losing five of his top six players from         In a reflective mood recently on the floor of Bandy
the previous year, Ottinger knew that “our main         Gym, where it all happened, Ottinger recalled “how
problem is going to be morale and attitude, keeping     many times we ran, how many crowds we had….
everybody happy,” he told a sports reporter at the      those were the best ten years of my life.” d
time. “You can’t play 15 people.” The Roadrunners
posted a 28-7 record, claimed the state runner-up

                                                                               Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   21

     Student Scholarships: Today’s Investments, Tomorrow’s Dividends
     Forget 8 a.m. class times. That’s a cinch.
     Afternoon labs? No problem. Even parking pales        Scholarships marked with an asterisk (*) are endowed.
     in comparison to a college student’s number one       Arvine Phelps Memorial Scholarship*
                                                           Azeez Shaheen Foundation Scholarship*
     desire: money. And at Dalton State, there’s an
                                                           Bob E. Knisely Scholarship*
     office on campus that gives it away. Well, kind of.   Buchanan Family Scholarship*
                                                           Carlton Candler McCamy Memorial Scholarship*
     On the pages that follow, you’ll meet four            Carpet City Rotary Club Scholarship
     of the 85 Dalton State students who won a             City of Dalton Public Safety Scholarship*
     scholarship this year from the Dalton State           Derrell C. Roberts Memorial Scholarship*
     College Foundation, a non-profit organization         DHS Class of ’59 Scholarship
                                                           Dixie Hasty Kinard Scholarship*
     that supports the students, faculty, and academic
                                                           Don Bowen Scholarship*
     programs of Dalton State with funds raised            Earl “Buck” Benson Memorial Scholarship
     from alumni and other individuals, corporations,      Fincher-Loughridge Teacher Education Scholarship
     and foundations.                                      George Jones Scholarship*
                                                           Gibb Watts Memorial Scholarship*
     “The biggest myth about scholarships is that          Goizueta Foundation Scholarship*
     they’re just for A-students,” states Sara “Skeeter”   Hispanic/Latino Achievement Scholarship
     Pierce, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of            J&J Industries Scholarship
                                                           Johnnie & Peter Bakkum Scholarship*
     Trustees. “They’re not. We help hard-working
                                                           Jolly Family RETP Scholarship*
     students who are determined to succeed, who are       Kate McMillan Daniel Memorial Scholarship for Teachers*
     involved on campus and in their communities, or       Kay Lauman Nursing Scholarship*
     who need some financial support to attend classes.    Ken White Scholarship*
     With a record enrollment, the need for scholarships   Kenneth E. & Dottie S. Boring Nursing Scholarship*
                                                           Kiwanis Club of Dalton / Dr. Earl McGhee Scholarship*
     has never been greater than it is right now.”
                                                           Mary Bell Price Environmental Studies Scholarship*
                                                           Mayor David Pennington Scholarship
     “An investment in a Dalton State student today
                                                           Minor Family Nursing Scholarship
     can pay dividends for years to come,” notes           Murray Scholarship*
     President John Schwenn. “We are proud to have         MWE Scholarship in Teacher Education
     earned the support of so many donors who make         Norris & Billie Little Scholarship*
     an annual gift to sustain an award or who have        NW GA Chapter of the Georgia Society of CPA’s Scholarship
                                                           Ratner Foundation Scholarship*
     endowed a scholarship. Either way, it’s a win-
                                                           Rita Salazar Scholarship*
     win. The donors know they’re changing lives and       Robert W. Kinard Scholarship*
     the student graduates to become a productive          Roman Open Charities / James G. Freas Memorial Scholarship
     professional. That’s a good investment.”              Roman Open Charities / Ken Beaudoin Memorial Scholarship
                                                           Ronald S. Taylor Memorial Nursing Scholarship
     The DSC Foundation gratefully acknowledges            Roy Barrett Scholarship
     the following donors and scholarships for the         Ruth C. Boyle Scholarship*
     impact they have on Dalton State students. Some       Ryan Allan Acree Memorial Scholarship*
                                                           Stan & Janet Goodroe RETP Scholarship*
     scholarships support multiple students each year.     Wachovia Bank Scholarship for Business Excellence*
     For information on establishing a scholarship at      Walter M. & Fannie B. Jones Scholarship*
     Dalton State with an annual gift or endowment,        Wayne Bell Memorial Scholarship
     contact the Foundation at (706) 272-4473 or           W.W. Fincher Scholarship

22    Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010

When asked what she’s known for, nursing and communications
major Marisa Cardenas grits her teeth, winces, and says “for
being in a lot of pictures,” then shakes her head as if she’s trying
to shrug it off. It turns out that Marisa has “the look” campus
photographers like and so she’s asked to take part in numerous
photography sessions to capture campus scenes. “I know I’ve
been in too many pictures when someone I don’t know comes up
to me and says that they know me, they’ve seen my picture,”
she confides.

Born in Guatemala, Marisa and her mother came to the U.S.
when Marisa was three. They settled first in Florida and then
they moved to Ringgold, where they’ve lived ever since. Marisa’s
mother, an elementary school teacher back in Guatemala, stressed
the importance of education. “She’s gotten me to where I am
today,” Marisa says, obviously proud of her mom. “And she did it
by herself, as a single parent.”

Her mother taught Marisa English, and today Marisa’s diction rivals or           The FiLe on
exceeds that of American speakers. “And then we’d watch Spanish-language         MArisA CArdenAs….
soap operas,” she laughs, stressing that it was important she not lose her
                                                                                 Little-known fact: Any extra
native Spanish.                                                                  time I have, I read.

                                                                                 Listens to: Spanish rock, Regina
The double recipient of a Goizueta Scholarship and a Ratner Nursing              Spektor, indie music
Scholarship, Marisa majors in nursing to fulfill her desire to “be in a career
                                                                                 Favorite literary character: Elizabeth
where I can care for somebody. I want to be a certified nurse midwife or         Bennett and Scarlett O’Hara
a physician’s assistant.” Her ultimate goal is to work for Doctors Without
                                                                                 Admits to: I’m a sucker for
Borders, the global relief organization that delivers humanitarian aid to        romantic comedies.
victims of armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, or natural disasters. “I
                                                                                 Favorite toy as a child: I still have
want to be able to help people,” she says with passion and conviction. “I feel   my teddy bear named “Brownie.”
useless when I can’t.”
                                                                                 Breakfast: Coffee and maybe toast

In addition to the rigors of the nursing program, Marisa busies herself with     Favorite quote: “If life gives you
                                                                                 lemons, make lemonade.”
several campus organizations. For the past two years she’s been a SOAR
(Student Orientation Ambassador and Recruitment) leader, and she was the         Guilty pleasure: Chocolate

head of SOAR in 2009. She served two years with the Northwest Georgia            Would rather be: Helping out
Crescent Leadership Alliance, a group comprised of students from regional        in Haiti or Guatemala

colleges and universities who gather regularly to study leadership. She sits     Admires: My mother and my
on the Presidents’ Council for student organization leaders and the college’s    aunts, Vickie and Angelica

Disciplinary Council that adjudicates student offenses.                          Motto: Never give up.

The rewards for Marisa have been many, but one is greater than all the rest:
“I’ve gotten to know myself.”

                                                                                     Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   23

                                                              SAM PRESLEy: TEACHER MAN
                                                              Teacher education major Sam Presley has what it takes to make
                                                              an outstanding teacher someday, but he’d be an equally successful
                                                              salesman should he ever decide to go that route. When he came
                                                              to Dalton State as a freshman four years ago, he was the only
                                                              member in his family of seven to be here. Within two years, his
                                                              brother, two of his three sisters, and even his mother had enrolled,
                                                              all thanks to Sam’s powers of persuasion.

                                                              “I just told them how great it was,” he says, but somehow one
                                                              imagines that Sam didn’t leave it at that, going on to point out
                                                              “the small class sizes….affordability….instructors’ accessibility….
                                                              [and] the closeness to home and family” that Dalton State offered.

                                                              Sam was inspired to pursue teaching when he was a student
                                                              at Murray County High School and fell under the spell of his
                                                              11th and 12th grade literature teacher, the late Troy Beasley. “I
                                                              realized one day that his was the only class I enjoyed going to,”
                                                    Sam recalls, noting how Mr. Beasley would engage the class in discussion
                                                    and stimulate students’ thinking with high energy and enthusiasm for the
     The FiLe on                                    subject.
     sAM presLey….
                                                    “I wanted to be like him.” But Sam put his own spin on things. “I’m actually
     Little-known fact: I’m never
     happy with my hair.                            dating his daughter now,” he laughs.

     Motto: All that glitters is not gold.          At Dalton State, Sam cites one of his education professors, Dr. Lynn Murphy,
     Listens to: Rush Limbaugh                      as a role model and mentor. “Dr. Murphy embodies professionalism,” he
                                                    says, praising the professor’s well planned lesson structure and emphasis on
     Favorite literary character: Frodo Baggins
                                                    reaching out to students and fostering a team atmosphere.
     Known for: Easy-going nature
                                                    Earnest and focused, Sam spends his last semester in college putting in eight-
     Admits to: Not being serious enough
                                                    hour days doing his student teaching, prepping lesson plans and activities
     nickname: Samwise
                                                    for the upcoming days and weeks, or studying for a children’s literature
     Breakfast: Bacon and eggs                      course or a professional seminar required of all education majors in their
     Favorite quote: “If I find in myself desires   final semesters.
     which nothing in this world can satisfy,
     the only logical explanation is that I was     His schedule doesn’t leave much time for other pursuits, such as keeping up
     made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis          with politics, going to the movies, or golf. “My clubs are in the attic,” he
     Admires: Mom and Dad                           says, noting that he stored them there this past winter when he realized just
                                                    how busy he was going to be until graduation.
     dream job: Teacher

                                                    This year’s recipient of the Ryan Allan Acree Memorial Scholarship
                                                    confesses that he’s “always had a drive to help” and that he gets a certain
                                                    satisfaction in helping people. “It’s my dream to help other people
                                                    reach theirs.”

24   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010

Dalton State senior Ashley Bentley is a little different.
Not bad different, not weird different, but unique different. She
even says so.

Case in point: Ashley has been heard to say, “I loved
taking calculus.”

This aspiring mathematician is the recipient of this year’s Arvine
Phelps Memorial Scholarship, an award made annually to a
student majoring in math. Arvine Phelps was a charter member
of the faculty at then-Dalton Junior College, taught trigonometry
and calculus here for 27 years, and retired in 1995. He died in 2002.

When Ashley graduates this spring, she’ll be the first Dalton
State student ever to do so with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

She was recruited into the math program two years ago by Dr.
Randall Griffus, Dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics.
She was offered a DSC Foundation scholarship to stay at Dalton State
after she completed her associate’s degrees in physical education and math.
And because her name is at the top of the alphabet, and no one else in the
                                                                                    The FiLe on
                                                                                    AshLey BenTLey….
program has a surname beginning with ‘A,’ Bentley will be the first name
called at graduation to receive a baccalaureate in mathematics.                     Little-known fact: I always
                                                                                    wear a crazy hair-bow.
“Everybody’s got a special gift,” Ashley notes. “Mine’s math.”
                                                                                    Listens to: Mostly alternative,
                                                                                    Linkin Park & Evanesence
Currently enrolled in her final semester at Dalton State, Ashley is taking
Math 4602, Real Analysis II. She’s got Euclidian space, Riemann integrals,          Favorite literary character:
                                                                                    “The Little Mermaid”
and homomorphisms down pat. She had her Alphas, Betas, Deltas, and
Gammas knocked out a long time ago.                                                 Admits to: Nothing that will
                                                                                    get me in trouble
When she’s not in class, she’s tutoring other students in the math lab on           hometown: Chatsworth, but
campus. “I meet new people there – I met my best friend in the math lab.            originally from Wise, Virginia
I have regulars. When I’m in the math lab, I feel like I’m in the right place”      Breakfast: A sandwich from
                                                                                    IHOP or Subway or Panera
Her math lab experience has given her a taste of teaching, which fulfills her.
She wants to extend her study of math to a Ph.D., probably                          Guilty pleasure: Watching anime

in combinatorics – problem-solving using permutations and combinations,             in 10 years: I hope to be doing math.
or, as Ashley says, “how to count” – and to teach at the college level.             so relates to: My dad – I’ve
                                                                                    always been a daddy’s girl.
She’s earned A’s in every college math class except one, where she took a B. “I
                                                                                    Would rather be: Working for Disney
don’t think I’m smarter than anyone else,” she says thoughtfully, pausing to
think this through. “I just have the determination to pursue what I love – math.”

Even so, she knows her limits. “Some people are artists. I’m not an artist. I
can’t draw anything….but a graph.”

                                                                                       Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   25

                                                                 PARTH BRAHMBHATT: UPwARDLy MOBILE
                                                                Management major Parth Brahmbhatt says nothing has been
                                                                more essential to his college education than the communication
                                                                skills he’s mastered along the way. “Writing and speaking skills
                                                                are the two most important things for a college student and even
                                                                more so after college,” he states with the assuredness of a man
                                                                older than his 25 years. “They are absolutely the most valuable
                                                                things I’ve learned here.”

                                                                Articulate and engaging, Parth will employ those skills as he
                                                                pursues a legal career following his graduation from Dalton State
                                                                in May. He aspires to be an attorney in Washington, D.C., and
                                                                ultimately be an advisor to the president.

                                                                  Parth is a first-generation immigrant to the U.S. from his
                                                                  hometown of Ahmedabad in western India. His father died when
                                                                  Parth was four, so his mother raised him and his four older sisters,
                                                                  bringing the family to the U.S. when Parth was in the tenth grade.
                                                      “It was hard, but our mother embedded in us the value of education and the
                                                      financial stability it brings,” he recalls. Several of his sisters have master’s
     The FiLe on                                      degrees, including his sister, Bea, who preceded him as an alumna of
     pArTh BrAhMBhATT….
                                                      Dalton State.
     Little-known fact: Trilingual (English,
     Hindi, Gujarati, and trying to learn             Parth originally enrolled at Dalton State for two years. Then his
     as much Spanish as I can)                        entrepreneurial streak took over and he opened a small convenience store in
     Motto: Don’t think of the future                 Chattanooga. But his thirst for education was unquenched, and he returned
     – it comes soon enough!                          to Dalton State to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
     dream job: Advisor to the
                                                      When he came back, he was attending classes and working two jobs. “That’s
     President of the United States
                                                      when I applied for the scholarship,” he states, referring to his junior year
     Admires: Gandhi; Martin Luther King, Jr.         when he received the Ken White Scholarship. “The scholarship freed me to
     Breakfast: Indian chai                           pursue my education,” he says. A regular on the college’s Dean’s List, Parth
     Favorite toy as a child: A machine gun           earned his current award, one of the Roy Barrett Scholarships, for his senior
     my mother bought for me. I still have it.        year, ensuring him a clear path to graduation.
     Listens to: Hindi music
                                                      “One of the things that surprised me most was the teaching methods used
     so relates to: Michael J. Fox on “Family Ties”   by professors in the School of Business,” Parth admits. “They present us
     Known for: Playing tricks on people              with case studies like those used at more established and older business
                                                      schools, and they’re on a very high level.”
     Admits to: Cramming ten
     minutes before exams
                                                      As Parth prepares to graduate this spring, he’s already setting high standards
     Would rather be: Homer Simpson                   of his own. “Money’s never a goal of mine….but I hope I can be successful
     Favorite quote: “Gems don’t                      enough to come back and endow a huge scholarship to help other students
     shine without friction, nor does                 like me.”
     a man without obstacles.”

26   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
Dalton State Alumni Advisory Council
Last fall, the Alumni Relations office invited 15               bond. To be able to volunteer my time for an
Dalton State alumni to campus to discuss how the                institution so dear to me is very rewarding.”
college interacts with its alumni. These graduates
from various decades and majors were selected to                His attachments to Dalton State run deep, as do
serve on the college’s first Alumni Advisory Council.           those of other council members. All of them have
                                                                multiple stories about what the college means to
“As we look to expand our programming to our                    them and why they agreed to serve on the council.
growing alumni base, we’re seeking the input and                Clements’ story is typical.
feedback of the 10,000 Dalton State alums we’re
here to serve,” says Alumni Relations Coordinator               “I am very appreciative of the education I received
Josh Wilson. “It’s extremely important to us that               at Dalton State and I am additionally grateful for
Dalton State alumni have a say in the way we                    the opportunities that I had at the college. Some of
engage them through our communication pieces                    my deepest friendships were made at Dalton State. I
like the magazine and email newsletter, and with                was blessed to have professors who cared about me
reunions and special events throughout the year.                as a person and who wanted the best for me.”
The Alumni Advisory Council provides an effective               Clements believes that all alumni can play several
venue for that dialogue.”                                       roles in support of Dalton State.
Jeff Clements (’94) has been selected as Chair of the           “A strong alumni base has the potential to be a very
group and Nancy Whaley (‘74) serves as Vice Chair,              powerful voice for public advocacy on behalf of
each for two-year terms.                                        the college,” he says. “Further, the most important
“I wanted to be part of a group of people dedicated             aspect of any college is, of course, the education of
to help Dalton State be the best in all aspects,” says          its students. Therefore, if alumni are in a position to
Clements, who lives and practices law in Calhoun.               help students currently enrolled, then we as alumni
“All members of the council share that common                   should be willing to make that commitment.”
Members of the 2010 Dalton State Alumni Advisory Council shown seated (left to right): Kimberly Davis, Dudd Dempsey,
and Nancy Whaley. Standing (left to right): Ken White, Evitte Parrish, Jeff Carrier, Tim Jones, Hubert Marsh, Bob Oxford,
and Michael Williams. Not pictured: Bob Beavers, Mark Beckler, Jeff Clements, Mary Thelma Norris, and Corey Roy.

                                                                                         Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   27
                                           aluMni Profile

                                                                     Photo courtesy of Alana Joyner/Office of the Governor

                                           Suppose you’re going into a job interview.

                                           Suppose it’s a job you really, really want, and suppose that you
                                           already know a good bit about your potential employer.

                                           You’re pumped. You’ve rehearsed your answers, and you know
                                           that you’re ready for whatever the interviewer throws at you.

                                           Now suppose that the interviewer just so happens to be the
                                           governor of the State of Georgia.

                                           That actually did happen to Dalton State alumna Brandi Johnson early
                                           in 2009 when she interviewed for her current position as Executive
                                           Assistant to Governor Sonny Perdue’s Chief of Staff, Ed Holcombe.

                                           Having just completed a stint as a Legislative Assistant in the
                                           Governor’s Floor Leader’s Office in the Georgia State Senate, Brandi
                                           had been urged to apply for the Executive Assistant position by a
28   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
                                           aluMni Profile

colleague at the state capitol. She interviewed with      and statements, helped coordinate official events, and
Holcombe and Governor Perdue, and she got the job         assisted the governor’s official photographer, which
on her first try.                                         put her in close proximity to the Big Guy himself.

When asked now about the interview, Brandi hesitates,     “Governor Perdue is so normal!” she asserts,
obviously still overwhelmed by the experience.            pointing out that he sometimes wears cowboy boots
                                                          with his suits and pops in to various offices around
“Nerve-wracking, yet exciting,” she says. “As             the capitol to see how everyone is doing.
intimidating as an interview with the governor can
be, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”                       Brandi even caught an inside glimpse of national
                                                          politics when former president George W. Bush
One can only imagine.                                     visited Atlanta for a fundraiser in 2008: she drove
                                                          a 15-passenger press van full of national media
Originally planning a career as a fashion designer,       representatives and a Secret Service agent in the
Brandi grew up loving to sew and design clothes.          presidential motorcade, and was on the tarmac when
While in college, she worked as a graphic designer        the president deplaned from Air Force One.
for Brumlow Home, where she designed area rugs.
She found time to earn her Georgia real estate license    Following the fellowship, she took a job as Special
while juggling a job and her school responsibilities,     Assistant in the Governor’s Floor Leader’s Office in
and she worked for a while with ERA Team                  the State Senate, where she handled administrative
Advantage Realty in Calhoun. Then she heard about         matters, such as constituent inquiries and legislative
internship opportunities in state government.             research, as well as communications. She monitored
                                                          committee hearings and tracked the progress of bills
Brandi called up the governor’s office one day to see     through the General Assembly.
if there was an internship program. It turned out
there was, but the deadline for applications was only     From there she made the jump to working for
three days away.                                          Perdue’s Chief of Staff, where she will be until the
                                                          Perdue administration ends in early 2011.
“They told me to send in my resume, so I did, and I
got an internship,” she recalls, still marveling at how   When she’s not in the center of the action at the
fast things moved for her then.                           capitol, Brandi volunteers with the Atlanta Junior
                                                          League, a service organization focusing on women
She was assigned to the governor’s scheduling office.     and children, and participates in the Susan G. Komen
                                                          3-Day for the Cure, an annual 60-mile walk to raise
“That experience really opened doors that I never
                                                          money for breast cancer research. She walked in 2008
knew existed,” she says.
                                                          and 2009, and is planning to walk again later this year.
“Being surrounded by the political atmosphere was
                                                          Meanwhile, she puts in 10- and 11-hour workdays,
so invigorating: it helped me realize how much I
                                                          especially when the legislature is in session, and
love politics.”
                                                          continues to be amazed at where she is.
The internship was her first political experience.
                                                          “The excitement of the place….there’s always
When it concluded, Brandi applied for and was             something going on,” she says.
granted a full-time, six-month fellowship with the
                                                          “Everything [about this job] has completely surprised
governor’s press office. As a Governor’s Fellow, she
                                                          me,” she confides, but admits quickly that “I haven’t
communicated with the press, drafted briefings and
                                                          had time to really think about how all of this
media advisories, handled requests for interviews
                                                          happened. Things just kind of fell into my lap.” d
                                                                                 Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   29
                                                all aBout aluMni

     Randy Beckler ‘71
     In 1971, a little start-up airline called Southwest Airlines began flying; Jim Morrison of The Doors died in
     Paris; Walt Disney World opened in Florida; and a tall, lanky Dalton native named Randy Beckler graduated
     from Dalton Junior College.
     We caught up with Randy recently to see what he’s been up to. A glance around his office would indicate
     that he’s a professional hunter and fisherman: no less than 12 specimens populate the room, including a
     largemouth bass, a ringneck pheasant, a northern timberwolf, a black bear, a ground barren caribou, and a
     bull moose.
     Turns out instead that hunting’s just a hobby, and he’s spent his career in the retail floorcovering business,
     building on the tradition his father and mother started with Beckler’s Carpet, turning it into one of the
     largest floorcovering retailers in the country.
     Here’s the rest of the lowdown on Randy:

                                           THEN                                                     NOW
                                           Known for:                                               Known for:
                                           being Burch                                              Beckler’s Carpet;
                                           and Claudell                                             still being a
                                           Beckler’s son;                                           big fan of
                                           being a good                                             Roadrunner
                                           jumper in                                                basketball
                                                                                                    Listens to:
                                           Listened to:                                             country; can
                                           mostly pop and                                           occasionally
                                           country                                                  get into some
                                                                                                    classical music
        Admired: my Dad and Mom and DJC
        Roadrunner basketball Coach Melvyn Ottinger               Works: Beckler’s Carpet, CEO

        Wanted to be: hunting and fishing                         Children: two sons, Bryan and Mark, and three
                                                                  grandchildren plus one on the way
        Favorite movie or TV show: “It’s a Mad, Mad,
        Mad, Mad World”; “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”              Admires: my Mom and anybody who’s got good
                                                                  old fashioned common sense
        did for fun: hunting and fishing; basketball
                                                                  Wants to be more: involved with kids, especially
        drove: a ’69 gold Corvette                                young disadvantaged kids
        Married: DJC Homecoming Queen Beth                        does for fun: “hunt critters,” especially in
        Headrick (’71) the Saturday after their DJC               Montana – “they call it Big Sky country for a reason”
                                                                  Favorite movie or TV show: “The Blind Side”;
        Favorite class: American history with Terry               “Two and a Half Men”; “CSI-Miami”
        Christie – “he kept you on the edge of your seat”
                                                                  Appreciates: faith, family, health, and happiness
        Liked dJC because: it was small and everybody
        knew everybody else; on the basketball team,              something most people don’t know about him:
        we learned sportsmanship and teamwork                     he’s got a big soft spot for kids

30   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
                                          all aBout aluMni

Nathan Smith (’09) was
elected Chairman of the
Walker County Republican
Party in a special election
last August. Nathan lives
in Rossville, GA, and
works for UNUM as a
Programmer Analyst.

Jason Surratt (’06) married Mollie Jean Allen last fall.
Jason is an Assistant Department Manager for Shaw
Industries. The couple make their home in Dalton, GA.
                                                           Andy Foster (’05) returned to campus this
                                                           spring to speak with students in an American
                                                           Government class about his experience as the
                                                           Executive Director of the Georgia Athletic and
                                                           Entertainment Commission (GAEC).
                                                           GAEC regulates all combat sports in the state,
                                                           including boxing and mixed martial arts.
                                                           “We oversee everything from the types of gloves
                                                           fighters use, to the doctors and ambulances, to
                                                           the referees,” Andy said. He offered a quick lesson
                                                           on the difference between a regulatory rule and a
                                                           law, and discussed the relationship between GAEC,
                                                           the Attorney General’s office, and the Georgia
                                                           A former fighter himself, Andy began his
                                                           professional relationship with GAEC as a referee.
                                                           He was appointed GAEC’s Executive Director two
                                                           years ago. He loves his work.
                                                           It was one of his extracurricular activities as a
                                                           student at Dalton State that really prepped him
                                                           for the real world, he says, noting how College
                                                           Bowl coach Dr. Tom Deaton “always made
                                                           sure everything was complete, including our
                                                           paperwork. It taught me the importance of being
Dalton Police Department Chief Jason Parker, right,        prepared and having my own paperwork complete
congratulates the DPD’s newest sergeant, Dalton            before I go into a meeting.”
State alumnus Daniel Nicholson (’05). A ten-year           Andy concluded his class lecture with some sage
veteran of the department, Sergeant Nicholson had          advice: “Do what you’re good at, and if you keep
been assigned to the Drug Unit. Now that he has been       at it, you’ll be successful.” It was a lesson he
promoted, he will be serving as a supervisor in the        learned a number of years ago: “Do what you like.”
Patrol Division.
                                                                                Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   31
                                              all aBout aluMni

                                                              Julie Karash Pavlu (’03) was recently named General
      Gazing onto the campus flora and fauna through          Manager of the Hampton Inn – Dalton. Julie oversees
      the full-length windows in Roberts Library helped       all financial and management operations at the 124-
      Dalton State alumna Alicia Hughes Newberry (’04)        room hotel including sales, marketing strategies, and
      realize her life’s calling: protecting and conserving   guest services. The Rocky Face, GA, resident’s hobbies
      nature, especially locations where animal species       include traveling, photography, hiking, boating,
      are endangered or on the verge of extinction.           swimming, and spending time with family.
      Alicia works for the Florida Natural Areas Inventory
      as a GIS Analyst and Data Services Coordinator.
                                                              Barry Blevins (’03, ’01) and his family live in Calhoun,
      Based in Tallahassee, she creates maps using
                                                              GA. Last fall, Barry co-hosted a football pre-game show
      geographic information systems (GIS) software.
                                                              on Friday nights called “The Fearless Football Forecast”
      “I can view, interpret, query, and visualize spatial    on WJTH 101.7 FM and 900 AM. Barry works at
      data, and see relationships and patterns between        Century Bank and enjoys spending time with his family,
      the data,” she says. “In the environmental              watching football, fishing, and working in the yard.
      resources field, I have analyzed the spatial
      relationship of land cover and land use to the
      locations of endangered species to determine            Nina Geddings O’Neill (’02) is an Orientation and
      which locations are threatened by agriculture and       Mobility Specialist for the blind and visually impaired
      which are in good condition.”                           at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind in Jersey City, NJ.
                                                              Nina and her family reside in Hamilton, NJ.
      The Ellijay native came to geography indirectly.
      She initially majored in journalism because she
      loved to write. But then Dalton State geography         Joshua Roberts (’01), a teacher at Eastbrook Middle
      professor Dr. Tom Deaton told her about GIS. And        School, was recently recognized by Georgia Power
      biology professor Dr. James Adams inspired her          as one of Georgia’s best and brightest new teachers.
      to work in the natural sciences. She blended both       Joshua lives in Rome, GA.
      and landed in Tallahassee.
      She admits to being “very shy, so they may not
                                                              Carrie Martin Thomas (’01), of Epworth, GA, works
      have known it at the time, but their excellent
                                                              for Fannin Regional Hospital as a Registered Nurse in
      teaching skills and support put me on the path
                                                              the OR. Her hobbies include scrapbooking and crafts.
      that I’m on today.”
      Today, Alicia helps the State of Florida make
      conservation decisions.                                 Trina Johnson williams (’00, ’85) lives in Calhoun, GA,
                                                              with her husband and works at Cartersville Ob/Gyn
      “My ultimate goal is to make a difference in the
                                                              Associates as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. In
      world, just like Dr. Deaton and Dr. Adams did for
                                                              her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking.
      me, by helping to conserve and protect the land
      and the species that inhabit them.”
                                                              Kenneth “Ken” D. Keith (’98) joined Liberty National
                                                              Insurance Company in 2005 as an agent and is now a
                                                              Branch Manager. Ken and his wife live in North Richland
                                                              Hills, TX. They have three children and one grandson.
                                                              Ken loves to play the guitar and drums, and watch
                                                              college football.

32   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
                                           all aBout aluMni

Brad Denton (’98) was recently named Vice President       Shirley w. Hopkins (’90) recently retired as a
and Branch Manager of FSG Bank’s Ringgold branch.         pre-school director. She lives in Dalton, GA.
He currently serves as the co-chair of Leadership
Catoosa and has been involved with the Muscular
Dystrophy Association, Junior Achievement, and the                               1980s
Chickamauga Recreation Association. Brad and his
family live in Ringgold, GA.
                                                                                Ann wright Lasher (’88) is
                                                                                an Information and Security
Tammy Blanchard wilson (’97) is the Member Services                             Compliance Specialist for
Supervisor at Bradley Wellness Center. Tammy and her                            Acxiom Corporation. Ann’s
family live in Cohutta, GA, and like to camp, snow ski,                         work focuses on ensuring that
golf, run, and participate in their church.                                     new and existing projects,
                                                                                processes, and systems
                                                                                comply with Acxiom’s internal
Angela Jackson Runyon (’95) of Chattanooga, TN,
                                                                                information security policies.
likes 80’s music and all kinds of sports. She works at
Parkridge Valley Hospital as a Medical Assistant.           Ann writes: “I only became interested in
                                                            computers after taking a computer programming
                                                            course from Dr. James Head at Dalton State
Brandon D. Darnell (’93) lives in Dalton, GA, and           over 20 years ago. That initial spark of interest
works for Whitfield County Emergency Medical                eventually led to my successful IT security career.”
Services. Brandon is also a volunteer firefighter.
                                                            Outside of her work, Ann’s daughter keeps her
                                                            busy and entertained. “I love photographing her
Angela M. McClung (’92) is a special education              with my digital SLR camera so that I can share
teacher at Appoquinimink Early Childhood Center in          pictures with family and friends back home.”
Middleton, DE, where she lives with her husband.            Ann and her husband are both huge NFL fans and
                                                            attend games whenever they can. “Our ultimate
                                                            goal is to see a game in each NFL stadium
Melinda white Dill (’91) is a Meigs, GA, resident
                                                            around the country.” Ann’s husband roots for
who enjoys reading and going to yard sales and flea
                                                            the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Ann cheers on the
markets to look for “treasure.”
                                                            Atlanta Falcons. To date, Ann and her husband
                                                            have seen NFL games in Kansas City, Pittsburgh,
                                                            Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte. “We’re looking
  Tim Prince (’90) is a Budget Officer for United           forward to taking our daughter to her first NFL
  States Army Japan, I Corps (FWD) and 10th Area            game in the very near future,” Ann says.
  Support Group in Okinawa. After graduation, Tim
                                                            Ann and her family live in Roanoke, VA.
  completed a two year internship in Germany and
  then accepted a position in Korea. After being
  stationed in Korea for seven years, he moved to
  Hawaii to work as the financial manager for the
                                                          Nancy Lynn Sharp (’85) enjoys reading, cooking,
  Military Surface Deployment and Distribution
                                                          outdoor activities, and spending time with her family.
  Command. Tim writes: “I enjoy golf and salt water
                                                          The Calhoun, GA, resident is a Clinical Supervisor at
  fishing and taking part in the trips scheduled by
                                                          Gordon Hospital.
  the military in the different countries where I have
  been stationed.”

                                                                                  Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   33
                                                 all aBout aluMni

     Patricia Ridpath (’83) is retired but frequently writes for    Donald L. Ledford (’73) works for Sterne Agee, an
     five different newspapers. Patricia lives in Buckhannon, WV.   investment company. He lives in Anniston, AL.

                                                                    Robert “Bob” Fallis (’72) is the owner of Vogue
       Dr. Thomas “Tom” Price (’83) of Clinton, CT, is              Enterprises, Inc. Bob enjoys playing golf and lives in
       Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise            Dalton, GA.
       Science at Southern Connecticut State University.
       After completing his doctorate at Yale University,
                                                                    Marsha Butler Boyd (’72) resides in Ooltewah, TN.
       he remained on the faculty for the next fifteen
                                                                    She is a social worker for the Tennessee Department of
       years as a Research Scientist in the School of
                                                                    Children’s Services.
       Medicine. Then, six years ago Tom shifted his
       professional goal from research to teaching, which
       led him to Southern Connecticut State.                       Larry G. Harmon (’70) and Charme Butler Harmon
       Tom writes: “Outside of work, I have been a                  (’71) call Jasper, GA, home. Larry is the Executive
       professional musician for the last forty years and           Director of the North Georgia Regional Educational
       I am an avid motorcyclist. I am also father to               Service Agency and Charme works in the Gilmer County
       four grown children and six grandchildren, with              School System.
       another on the way, and now I have a wonderful
       four year old daughter at home.”                             Jimmy Lamar Davis (’70) co-founded Atlas Industries
                                                                    in 1976. Jim was in the inaugural class of three to
                                                                    graduate then-Dalton Junior College with a degree in
                                                                    tufted textiles management. He lives in Chatsworth, GA.
     Richard S. McEntyre (’83) resides in Plainville, GA. His
     hobbies include tennis, hiking, and photography.

     Cheryl Mayfield Mulkey (’81) of Ellijay, GA, enjoys
                                                                    Lynn Frost Smith (’69) and her husband, former DJC
     reading, gardening, cruising through flea markets, and
                                                                    Roadrunner basketball player william Gary Smith (’70),
     loom knitting. She works in Ellijay as a bookkeeper and
                                                                    welcomed another grandchild to the family last fall.
     office manager.
                                                                    Lynn and Gary live in Dalton, GA.

     Tommy Jerome “Jerry” Booker (’80) was one of
     Coach Melvyn Ottinger’s Roadrunner basketball players
     during the 1976-1977 season. He lives in Summerville, GA.

     Ruthie Ammari Pfeiffer (’78) is self-employed and
     living in Denver, CO.

     Patrick Allan Neblett (’77) lives with his wife in
     Waverly, TN, and works for Family Discount Pharmacy.
     In his spare time he enjoys fishing and motorcycling.

34   Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010
                                            in MeMoriaM

Mr. Roy Barrett
Dalton businessman and philanthropist Roy Barrett,
a friend to dozens of recent and future Dalton State
students, died in January at age 80. The founder of
Barrett Carpet Mills and then Barrett Properties, he
established the Roy Barrett Scholarships at Dalton
State in 2007.

“Mr. Barrett was very proud of his scholarship
recipients,” says David Elrod, Dalton State’s Director
of Institutional Advancement. “I think he got a
bigger kick out of it than the students did. He
would ask me throughout the year, ‘how are my
kids doing?’”

Mr. Barrett designed the scholarships to run through
2017, providing funding to assist scores of students.
His example was one of generosity and his gift was
exceedingly thoughtful. We mourn the loss of Mr.         Mr. Barrett, seated, last November at the annual DSC
                                                         Foundation Scholarship Recognition Dinner with three
Barrett, but are honored to perpetuate his memory        of his scholarship recipients, left to right, Amelia Atwell,
with these annual awards to our students.                Jonathan Marks, and Vallarie Pratt.

Mr. Art Taylor
Former Dalton State College Foundation Chair Art         A. Burran, who became president in 1995. David F.
Taylor died in January. He was 88.                       Hay was interim president between the two.

Elected by his fellow board members, Mr. Taylor          True to his salesman roots, Mr. Taylor was able to walk
chaired the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1994-      into a room and make friends instantly, and he was able
1995 between the administrations of presidents           to do this for the college both during and after his
Derrell C. Roberts, who retired in 1994, and James       term as Foundation Chair. He will be greatly missed.

Mrs. Wyleen Carroll Turner
Dalton State’s friend Wyleen Carroll Turner died         supporter of education in northwest Georgia,
in January at the age of 84. She and her husband,        especially for children and adults with
Jack, were major contributors during the DSC             developmental disabilities.
Foundation’s Fulfilling the Vision campaign in
                                                         People who had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Turner
                                                         knew a gracious lady whose smile radiated warmth
A pharmacist by training – she was one of two            and cheer. She was generous and kind, and never met
female graduates from Auburn University’s pharmacy       a stranger.
school in 1946 – Mrs. Turner was a longtime

                                                                                    Dalton State Magazine | Spring 2010   35
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