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CAH 40 Under 40

The Georgia Southern University Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018!

Out of 120,000 living alumni, nearly 50,000 are under 40 years old. 40 Under 40 honorees not only represent the excellence of the University’s young alumni but also demonstrate the positive contributions and remarkable achievements for which Georgia Southern and Armstrong graduates are known.

The College of Arts and Humanities boasts seven alums in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018. Listed below are those seven alumni.

Please join us in congratulating these outstanding young alumni.


Joseph Chiariello 2007 BFA, Graphic Design Graphic Designer – US Patriot Tactical, Columbia, South Carolina
Alex Grovenstein 2002 BS Public Relations Auctioneer – Self Employed, Statesboro, Georgia
Matthew Heil 2001 BM Performance Special Bandsman – US Army, Washington, District of Columbia
Jonathan Judy 2006 BS Public Relations Chief Technology and Information Officer- Tift County Board of Education, Tifton, Georgia
Memory Littles 2003 BS Broadcasting Director of Student Activities – Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia
Deborah Rodriguez Garcia 2010/2012 BA Modern Languages; Master of Arts in Modern Languages: Spanish Regional Education Program Coordinator – Mission Rabies, Global
Anthony Setari 2009 BA Writing and Linguistics Data Fellow, Research and Evaluation Specialist – District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington, District of Columbia


Georgia Southern Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art presents 2018 Faculty Exhibition

The Georgia Southern University Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art will open its 2018-19 exhibition season with its biennial Faculty Exhibition. The exhibition will run concurrently at the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses in August.

The 2018 Faculty Exhibition will feature a range of interdisciplinary works of art, design and research, created by the art and design faculty on each campus.

“This is always one of my favorite exhibitions to put together,” said Jason Hoelscher, gallery director of the Center for Art and Theatre on the Statesboro campus. “The Georgia Southern faculty has such a wide range of ideas, approaches and expertise that it’s always exciting to see the end result. The fact that this year, for the first time, we will have an intermingling of work by the faculty from both campuses on both campuses, should make for a dynamite exhibition.”

Raymond Gaddy, gallery director for the Fine Arts Gallery on the Armstrong Campus, said the exhibition is exciting because of the collaboration.

“Any exhibition that involves numerous artists who come from a variety of disciplines and perspectives is fun and challenging to put together,” Gaddy said. “This years’ faculty exhibition will be all the more exciting as we’ll be bringing two talented groups together. It promises to be a vibrant collaboration and a stimulating start to the new year and new partnership.”

In Statesboro, the exhibition will last from Aug. 13 to Sept. 14 at the Center for Art and Theatre’s Contemporary and University galleries. A reception will be held on Wednesday, September 5 from 5 to 7 p.m.

In Savannah, the exhibition will be on view from Aug. 13 to 31 in the Fine Arts Gallery inside the Fine Arts Hall. A reception will be held Wednesday, August 29 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

Two Georgia Southern communication arts alumni win at the Southeast Emmy Awards

Two Georgia Southern University College of Arts and Humanities alumni took home trophies at the Southeast Emmy Awards in June in Atlanta.

Jim O’Donnell, a 2012 communication arts graduate, received the Emmy for Director in a Newscast for his work as news director at WTOC in Savannah.

“I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am without the supportive people in my life and without my knowledge gained from Georgia Southern,” O’Donnell said. “I was unsure what I wanted to do after graduation, but luckily the university set me up with an internship at WTOC, and I’ve been able to work my way through multiple job titles ever since.”

Directing coverage of a recent tornado in the Savannah area helped secure O’Donnell the award.

“There was a tornado that broke out in Garden City one day, and I put my iPhone behind me to record video of my directing,” he said. “I recorded my audio and recorded the 11 p.m. newscast that went out to our viewers. I couldn’t believe that I had made it to this level of achievement so early on in my career.

Kelly Krammes, a 2010 communication arts graduate, won an Emmy along with her coworkers at WXIA/WATL-TV in Atlanta for Special Event Coverage in the Edited category for “From Start to Finish,” which covered the Peachtree Road Race.

“Atlanta is home to the world’s largest 10K — the (Atlanta Journal Constitution) Peachtree Road Race,” Krammes said. “‘From Start to Finish’ was an exciting opportunity to tell the stories behind the runners, and I’m honored to have been a part of the team recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Southeast Chapter for sharing those stories.”

Two other communication arts graduates were nominated for awards.

2010 graduate Danielle Jones was nominated along with her colleagues at WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina, for the Newscast — Daily award for the WIS News at 7.

Bree Haggard, a 2014 graduate, was nominated along with her colleagues in the Journalistic Enterprise category for their work on “Todd Kohlhepp: A Killer Among Us” at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The Department of Communication Arts is housed in the College of Arts and Humanities at Georgia Southern. The department offers degrees in theatre, communication studies, journalism, multimedia film and production and public relations.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit

Students, faculty recognized at 2018 Spring Award Ceremony

The Department of Writing and Linguistics recognized a faculty member and several students for their outstanding effort and achievement at the first-ever Spring Award Ceremony.

Natalie James, M.A., received the Dorothy Smith Golden Award for teaching excellence. This award is given in honor of Dorothy Smith Golden, a former professor who taught learning support at Georgia Southern University. Created in her memory by her husband, Bill, the award recognizes excellence in teaching that is informed by research and scholarship in the discipline, and is sensitive to the needs of students.

Darianne Perez, a writing and linguistics major, was awarded the David Starnes/George Brannen Scholarship named partly in honor of the Department of Writing and Linguistics faculty member David Starnes, M.A., who passed away in 2007. Contributed funds from friends and family of Starnes started a scholarship recognizing his contributions to the department.

George Brannen, who also contributed to the scholarship, returned to Georgia Southern after retirement and a more than a 30-year absence since enrolling at Georgia Southern College in the late 1960s to complete a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2015.

The Brannen Creative Writing Award in poetry and fiction was awarded to Tralen Rhone and Amir Alexander was given in Brannen’s honor.

The department also recognized students Matthew Howard, Olivia Hester, Rachel Doggett, Blakeley Bartee and Jonathan Baker for their creative works for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Intro Journals.

“I enjoyed hearing the student’s own voices as they read excerpts from their award-winning poems, fiction and essays,” said Janice Walker, interim chair for the Department of Writing and Linguistics. “I continue to be impressed by the work of our students and faculty and greatly appreciate the generosity that allows us to recognize them.”

The Department of Writing and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Humanities is the only freestanding writing department in the state of Georgia and offers a unique major that incorporates the fields of creative writing, linguistics, professional and technical writing and writing studies.

Center for Art & Theatre upgrades gallery lighting with $12K sustainability grant

The art galleries at the Georgia Southern University Statesboro Campus just got a little bit cooler.

The Center for Art & Theatre recently upgraded gallery lighting in an effort to reduce heat and physical waste produced by the bulbs and fixtures with the help of a $12,000 grant from the Georgia Southern Center for Sustainability, funded by student sustainability fees. The transition from halogen to LED lighting has a substantial effect on campus efficiency and sustainability.

Eighty-eight 250-watt, halogen bulbs and fixtures were replaced with cooler and more efficient 18-watt, LED bulbs and fixtures, which saves more than 20,000 watts of energy. The new lights will also last nearly a decade, about five times longer than the previous ones.

Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher said the new lights will help conserve energy on multiple levels.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Center for Sustainability — which means, by extension, the generosity of Georgia Southern students — the art galleries at the Center for Art and Theatre are much more efficient, sustainable and easier to work with,” Hoelscher said. “The old bulbs generated substantial amounts of heat-waste that kept the building’s air conditioner busy, but the new lights significantly reduce the heat. When you consider all 88 lights are on from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, it’s a big deal. This will lead to lowered utility costs for the University and the department based on a decrease in power for both bulbs and climate control systems.”