SGA President pursues master’s in public service

Kassie Jones, Berry’s former Student Government Association president, is headed to graduate school to earn her master’s in public service and administration. It’s a path that makes sense for this 2018 grad who has spent her time at Berry serving others.

It might seem Kassie has it all together, but she has faced challenges just like everyone else.

Her parents, who served in the military, experienced financial difficulties related to an active duty injury. So when Kassie was eight years old, her family moved across the country to her grandparents’ condominium, where the family had to share one bedroom. Kassie learned the values of hard work and determination watching her parents work to provide a successful future for her and her sister.

When Kassie arrived at Berry, her future was full of uncertainty. She did not come with a major, but instead found her way into a modern political philosophy class that changed her life. After failing the first paper, her professor, the late Dr. Peter Lawler, sat down with her and asked her to be a political science major. Kassie credits a lot of her development to the personal relationships she had with professors. Always ready for an adventure, she embraced the opportunity to travel to Morocco to co-present her research on democracy in Pakistan with fellow Berry student Jessie Moore. Kassie presented in front of professionals from all over the world and sat on a panel where she collaborated with a professor from the University of Nigeria.

Kassie jumped into the Student Government Association as a freshman running for class vice president, and was an integral part of campus decision-making to give students a voice. “SGA really gave me a second family at Berry,” she said. “From my job experience to just getting to know students, I really found my passion in wanting to help others and give back.”

Story by Anna Walker (18C)

A passion for language and mental health come together

Serving disadvantaged communities is something many Berry students are passionate about.  That’s why Abby Newman (class of 2018) is headed to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Afterwards, she hopes to be a mental health counselor and advocate for Hispanic and Latino immigrants. During her undergraduate time, Abby was the student director and teacher for Berry’s English as a Second Language Program, which provides free English classes to Hispanic adults. She was also a part of the Ralph George Scholarship program which allowed her to conduct research about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in native Spanish speakers learning English. She then presented her research at the annual conference for the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco. Abby’s Spanish instructor and academic advisor, Dr. David Slade (class of 1997), has greatly influenced her with his passion for language and culture. “In every class I have taken with him and in the study abroad trip to Guanacaste, Costa Rica, he imparts his knowledge, wisdom, empathy, and cultural humility to his students and to everyone he encounters.”

Story by Saif Sarfani (18C)

Associate Professor of Biology Renee’ Carleton

Dr. Renee Carleton recently presented at the Southeastern Society of Parasitologists meeting in Starkville, Miss.  And her student, Rachel Caldwell, presented a poster “It’s in the bag: holding bag composition affects avian stress response” on work they conducted over the last year. Dr. Carleton has also been selected as a review panelist for the National Science Foundation’s Major Instrumentation for Research grants.

During the busy Berry College Bald Eagle season, Dr. Carleton did a YouTube channel interview with  “Talented Talons 360”, spoke at the Magnolia Garden Club in Cartersville, did a live chat with second graders at Henderson Mill Elementary School in Atlanta,  spoke at the Euharlee Garden Club, participated in a live chat with North Layfette Elementary School students and spoke to Floyd Master Gardeners. She has a presentation at the EcoCenter in Rome, Ga., scheduled for July 12.

Assistant Professor of Nursing Rebecca Logan

Dr. Rebecca Logan and co-author Dr. Sharon Dormire of Texas A&M University published “Finding my Way: A Phenomenology of Fathering in the NICU” in Advances in Neonatal Care.

Associate Professor of Biology Reneé Carleton

Reneé Carleton, D.V.M., Ph.D., a 1993 graduate of the University of Florida veterinary college, recently received the Distinguished Service Award. After graduating from veterinary school, Carleton worked in private practice before joining the faculty in biological sciences at Florida Atlantic University. Subsequently, she earned a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology and management from the University of Georgia in 2007.

At Berry, Carleton teaches courses that draw on her background in veterinary medicine and serves as a role model and career advisor for pre-veterinary and biology students. Her research focuses on the study of avian parasites. She is president of the Northwest Georgia Veterinary Medical Association, editor of the Georgia Ornithological Society’s scientific journal, The Oriole, and secretary/treasurer of the Southeastern Society of Parasitologists.

Additionally, Carleton has been recognized for her community service and for her frequent public presentations on bluebirds, bald eagles and general ornithology.

 

A transfer to Berry leads to a home in the swim team

For 2018 grad Julie Brophy, Berry was nothing but welcoming. When Julie transferred to Berry in her sophomore year, the campus quickly became a second home to her. “Berry has made a difference in my life from day one,” says Julie. She believes that her experiences as part of the Berry Swim Team helped shape who she is today. “When I transferred to Berry, the swim team was extremely welcoming and made the transition easy. I am so grateful I had the chance to swim with them during my time here.” Julie also found a home in the Political Science department. After changing her major in her junior year, Julie faced several semesters of intense work to graduate on time. “The professors welcomed me into the program and helped me succeed every semester,” she says. “They motivated me every day. I was excited to go to class.” Beyond Berry, Julie has plans to teach either government or social studies.

Story by student social media assistant Shannon Rainey