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Next TU Talk to feature Mat Willey of Sweet Grass Dairy

The Thomas University Sustainability Committee will celebrate Earth Day with the next TU Talk at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 18, in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus.

The speaker will be Mat Willey of Sweet Grass Dairy presenting “Sustainability, Local Food and You.” Willey will talk about Sweet Grass Dairy’s initiatives working with a dairy herd, making cheeses and

TU Talks are free and open to the public.



Thomas University president to remain for three more years President Gary Bonvillian

The Thomas University Board of Trustees announced today that Dr. Gary Bonvillian will remain as President for at least three more years.

“I greatly appreciate the Board of Trustees at Thomas University giving me the opportunity to continue leading this fine university,” Bonvillian said. “We have certainly accomplished much over the past seven years, but there is more to come. Thomas University’s first commitment is always to this region. However, our expanding geographic reach has presented some unique opportunities for our students.”

Bonvillian became president of Thomas University on July 1, 2006. At that time TU had 685 students. Today TU has 1,124 domestic students and 287 students in China. Thomas University’s programmable land area grew from 29 acres in 2006 to the current 74 acres, which includes TU’s Magnolia Campus on Magnolia Street.

“Gary has worked diligently in his role not only as President of Thomas University but as a key member of the Thomasville and Thomas County community,” said Al Park, Chair of the Thomas University Board of Trustees. “He realizes that as Thomas University prospers, so does this area. He endeavors to make sure that Thomas University is a contributing member of the community. The Board of Trustees is very pleased that Gary agreed to extend his tenure with Thomas University. We are excited about what the future holds for Thomas University under his leadership.”



Thomas University Counseling honor society

donates school supplies to Vashti

Vashti donation

Members of the Rho Chi Sigma Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota at Thomas University held a school supplies drive to benefit the Vashti Center. The school supplies were presented to Katherine Comerford (second from left) of Vashti on Friday, April 12. Participating in the presentation are (from left) Stacie King, Rho Chi Sigma Chapter Vice President; Comerford; David Barnett, Rho Chi Sigma Chapter President; and Dr. Jim Patrick, Faculty Advisor for the Chapter and Chair of the TU Division of Counseling and Psychology.



TRiO SSS Student of the Year

Suzanne Bryant (left) receives the Thomas University TRiO Student Support Services of the Year Award from Jennifer Lindquist, Retention Coordinator, during a luncheon held Thursday, April 11.


Thomas University TRiO Student Support Services

honors graduating students

During an awards luncheon held Thursday, April 11, Thomas University TRiO Student Support Services honored graduating students who came through the program.

The most prestigious award presented, the TRiO Student of the Year Award, was presented to Suzanne Bryant of Coolidge, who will graduate on May 4 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work.  In presenting the award, Jennifer Lindquist, Retention Coordinator with the program, spoke of Bryant’s transformation as she overcame a low self-confidence and serious medical issues to earn her degree. Bryant’s professors applauded her dedication to learning and improving her abilities. While pursuing her degree Bryant has worked as a full-time Head Start paraprofessional. She is also a wife, a mother of two grown children and will soon be a grandmother.

Also during the program held at the Plaza Restaurant in Thomasville, other TRiO SSS students were recognized.

Presented by Natasha Powell, Success Coach, the TRiO Scholars Award recognizes participants who have made excellence a priority and been named to the President’s List, Dean’s List, Merit List or Achiever’s List. The Award was presented to Linda Baker of Tallahassee; Luvhina Bien-Aime of Lawrenceville, Ga.; Demetris Crump of Tallahassee; Cynthia Green of Bainbridge, Ga.; Regenia Hutchins of Thomasville; Catherine Jenkins of Thomasville; Hannah Lindquist of Boston; Joseph Morgan of Cairo; Keith Thomas of Thomasville; Roderick Carter of Thomasville; Benjamin Cook of Ochlocknee; Caitlin Fletcher of Thomasville; and Brenda Daniels of Thomasville.

The TRiO Resiliency Award recognizes participants who push through obstacles to continue their education. Recipients are recognized as role models for other students for their unrelenting determination to succeed. This year’s recipients were Helen Tew and Deanna Bujnowski.

The TRiO Leadership Award recognizes participants who demonstrate skills as a leader on and off campus. The recipients make a positive impact on TU and in the community. This year’s recipients are James Gass and Keith Thomas.

The Kathleen Duncan TRiO SSS Excellence in Mentoring Award, named in memory of Mrs. Duncan who worked in TRiO SSS for 18 years until her death in 2006, recognizes a participant who demonstrates exceptional ability in guiding the academic and/or professional growth of their peers while promoting student success. This year’s recipient is Luvhina Bien-Aime.

The TRiO Student Support Services Director’s Award recognizes participants who display a diligent will to persevere in the face of tremendous emotional and financial challenges while earning a bachelor’s degree. The recipients are Suzanne Bryant and Luvhina Bien-Aime. The award was presented by Faye Johnson, Director. 

The TRiO Student Support Services at Thomas University is an initiative to help first-generation, low-income students and students with disabilities to complete four-year degrees. The program is a student-focused center of excellence in academic advising, career exploration, disability services, mentoring, supplemental instruction, student development and tutoring. TRiO Student Support Services is funded by the United States Department of Education.



Hawthorne Effect makes lasting impression at TU


Dr. Steve Depaola, Associate Professor at Thomas University, and Dr. Gary Bonvillian, TU President, teamed up to present a TU Talk about the Hawthorne Effect at the TU Library on Wednesday April 10. The Hawthorne Effect was a well-known productivity study conducted at the Hawthorne Plant, which was owned by Western Electric and located near Chicago. As part of the lecture, Dr. Bonvillian presented the TU Library with an electrical relay, which was produced at the Hawthorne Plant during the time the study was conducted.



Turner featured in President’s Lecture Series

 Marta Jones Turner, Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations with Flowers Foods, was the featured speaker in the President’s Lecture Series at Thomas University on Tuesday, April 9. Turner presented “Culture and its Impact on an Organization’s Success” to a packed room in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus.



Rodriguez talks about dangers of social media

 Rob Rodriguez shared his expertise in the area of social media with Thomas University students, faculty and staff during a TU Talk presented Tuesday, April 10, in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus. Rodriguez, a TU alumnus, works with the Moultrie Police Department.



TU students inducted into Criminal Justice honor society

Six students in Thomas University’s Criminal Justice program were inducted as members of the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society during a ceremony held at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Ga., on Thursday, April 4. Students participated in the ceremony using Skype.

The Georgia Public Safety Training Center leadership of Director Tim Bearden and Deputy Director Keith Howard serves as a comprehensive training complex for use by all state and local public safety related units of government within the State of Georgia. This group is typically defined as law enforcement, corrections, fire service, communications/911, coroners, emergency management, rescue and other emergency service personnel.

Chip Battle, TU Division Chair of Criminal Justice, welcomed all attendees and recognized inductees for their academic accomplishments while managing demanding careers and supporting families.  

The opening speaker was Brigadier General J. Tim Williams, superintendent of the Georgia Department of Correction’s Headquarters Complex, State Office South at Tift College in Forsyth. The keynote speaker was Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia State Patrol. He told the inductees, many of whom serve as law enforcement officers, to work on questions of integrity every day.

Alpha Phi Sigma was founded in 1942. There are currently more than 360 chapters nationwide. To be accepted as a member into the Beta Epsilon Chapter at Thomas University, undergraduate students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, must have completed one-third of the total hours required for graduation, must rank in the top 35 percent of their class and have completed a minimum of four courses in the Criminal Justice curriculum. Undergraduate students with a declared major or minor in Criminal Justice may be considered for membership.

Scott Johnson serves as Chapter Advisor. Assistant Professor Lori Battle serves as Assistant Chapter Advisor.

Inductees included:

  • Levi Gilder of St. Simons Island, Ga.
  • Brandon Gurley of Sandy Springs, Ga.
  • Christopher Hosey of Cairo, Ga.
  • Danyelle Hoy of Bainbridge, Ga.
  • Timothy Lucas of Waycross, Ga.
  • Joseph Morgan of Cairo, Ga.



Next installment of TU President’s Lecture Series to feature Marta Turner

Marta Jones Turner, Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations with Flowers Foods, will be the featured speaker of the next installment of the Thomas University President’s Lecture Series. Turner will present “Culture and its Impact on an OTurnerrganization’s Success” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Campus Center on the TU’s Main Campus.

As Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations, Turner is responsible for the company’s investor relations, communications and consumer relations functions. She joined Flowers in 1978, holding the posts of manager of public relations, manager of corporate communications and director of communications. In 1997 Turner was named vice president of public affairs. She took on the additional responsibilities of investor relations when she was appointed vice president of communications and investor relations in 2000. In 2004 she was named senior vice president of corporate relations. Turner has served in her current position since 2008.

A native of Colquitt County, Turner holds a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens. She currently serves on the board of trustees for Archbold Hospital and is a member of the Thomasville Rotary Club. Turner previously served as board member and as board chairman for the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce, on the board of trustees and board chairman for the Thomasville Cultural Center (now Center for the Arts), and as a board member for Thomasville Landmarks.

The President’s Lecture series is open to the public. There is no admission fee.



ACTU to present ‘Greek Mythology: A Modern Retelling’ at TU on Wednesday

Arts for the Community at Thomas University (ACTU) will present “Greek Mythology: A Modern Retelling” as their spring theatre production on Wednesday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the outdoor playhouse on TU’s Main Campus.

The play includes excerpts from “The Iliad,” ‘The Odyssey,” and other Greek mythology.  In 30 minutes, five stories will unfold: Creation, the Titans, the Olympic gods, the creation of mankind and Pandora. Performers include Heather Clark, Justyn Watkins, Josh Heseltine, Brittany White, Louis Colaiacomo and Marc Alexis.

This one-act play is directed by Lisa Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Speech and Theatre.

The performance is free and open to the public. Seating will be on the lawn, so those planning to attend should bring blankets or low chairs. For additional information or special accommodations, please call (229) 227-6964 or e-mail



Next TU Talk to address ‘Pitfalls of Social Media’

Rob Rodriguez is on a mission to let people know that using Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest and other social media comes with a risk. He believes everyone should be aware of this risks involved with social media.

Rodriguez“If an individual is not active with social media, they are connected to a loved one or friend that is,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez will bring his message to Thomas University as part of the TU Talk series when he presents “Pitfalls of Social Media” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

Rodriguez graduated from Thomas University in 2012 with an associate degree in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the same field. He is an 18-year law enforcement veteran as well as a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy. Rodriguez currently works for the Moultrie Police Department and the Georgia Public safety Training Center.



 Thomas University students inducted into counseling honor society

 During a ceremony held Wednesday, March 27, in the Balfour Chapel on the Main Campus of Thomas University, students were inducted into the Rho Chi Sigma Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), an international counseling, academic and professional honor society.honor society inductees

Chi Sigma Iota’s mission is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, advocacy and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the profession of counseling. To become members, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and have completed at least 12 hours in a graduate counseling program.

Dr. Jim Patrick, Faculty Advisor and Chair of the Division of Counseling and Psychology, and Deryl Ouzts, director of Student Life, conducted the induction ceremony.

Inductees include:

  • S. Renee Dunnaway of Albany, Ga.
  • Carla George of Albany, Ga.
  • Latoya Jackson of Albany, Ga.
  • Loretta Shelton of Albany, Ga.
  • Tonya Slaughter of Albany, Ga.
  • Rhonda Aldridge of Bainbridge, Ga.
  • Lester Hayes of Bainbridge, Ga.
  • Annie F. Salami of Bainbridge, Ga.
  • Curtis Wallace of Bonaire, Ga.
  • Rick Barfield of Cairo, Ga.
  • Stacey Harris of Cairo, Ga.
  • Arlene McCullough of Cairo, Ga.
  • Gwendolyn Chappell Russell of Chesapeake, Va.
  • Jessica M. Calloway of Columbus, Ga.
  • Rochelle A. Golden-Davenport of Crestview, Fla.
  • Bernadette M. Bennett of Fredericksburg, Va.
  • Tierra J. Frazier of Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Rosalyn Carter of Kingsland, Ga.
  • Carla Bell of Leesburg, Ga.
  • Gwendolyn Ligon of Lilburn, Ga.
  • Shaquwanda Baker of Mannassas, Va.
  • Jessica Carter of Naylor, Ga.
  • Taresa L. Johnson of Red Oak, Ga.
  • Laura A. Lagemann of St. Louis, Mo.
  • Miracle Adkins of Stone Mountain, Ga.
  • Rodney J. Bee of Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Charlie E. Fields, Jr. of Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Fran Everett of Thomasville, Ga.
  • Christi Hughes of Thomasville, Ga.
  • Katherine Hunt of Thomasville, Ga.
  • Latoya Jackson of Thomasville, Ga.
  • David Barnett of Trenton, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Catina Dudley of Valdosta, Ga.
  • LaTeisha Reynolds of Valdosta, Ga.
  • Christina L. Martin of Wauchula, Fla.



Thomas University student art exhibit opens Friday

“Accretions: A Mixed-media Installation,” featuring artwork by Thomas University Studio Art students under the direction of Professor Rich Curtis, will open with a reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Bookshelf and Gallery in Thomasville. The event is open to the public. The exhibit will be on display through May 7.

string project

 Students Miriam Jackson (front), Katie Alligood (center) and Hannah Lindquist (back) install an artwork made of string for the exhibit.



 Art student Benjie Cook shares some of his sculpture artwork that will be on display in “Accretions.”




Jaycee Eunice places a piece of artwork for the exhibit.




Art student Ashley White puts a piece of artwork into position for the “Accretions” exhibit.



Science Café speaker talks about discovering woolly rhino fossils in Tibet


Dr. Yang Wang, a geochemist at Florida State University, presented “Journey to Tibet – Science and the Woolly Rhino” on March 26, in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus as part of Thomas University’s Science Café Series. Wang talked about the 2007 trek in which she participated when the group discovered the fossilized remains of a previously unknown and long-extinct species of woolly rhino in Tibet. The Science Café will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, in the Campus Center featuring Dr. Steve Acquah, Director of Global Educational Outreach for Science, Engineering and Technology at Florida State University.



 Next TU Science Café to focus on the Woolly Rhino

 The next installment of Thomas University’s Science Café series will feature Dr. Yang Wang, a geochemist at Florida State University, who will present “Journey to Tibet – Science and the Woolly Rhino” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus.

In 2007 Wang and a group of paleontologist from across the globe journeyed to the Zanda Basin in Tibet, located at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains. During the expedition, the scientists found the complete skull and lower jaw of the Tibetan wooly rhino (Coelodonta thibetana), a previously unknown and long-extinct animal.

Wang described the discovery as “the oldest, most primitive woolly rhino every found.”

The Tibetan woolly rhino was determined to have lived 3.7 million years ago. Before this discovery, the oldest woolly rhino found was 2.6 million years old.

Wang used a mass spectrometer at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University to examine the chemistry of the rhino’s fossilized teeth to determine its diet and the environment in which it lived.

The Science Café is open to the public. There is no admission charge. Participants who come at 6 p.m. can enjoy the $5 taco salad at the Hawk’s Nest or order from the menu. Drinks and light snacks will be provided in the Campus Center.

For more information, e-mail April D. Penton at



President of GICA to be keynote speaker at Thomas University Commencement

Dr. Susanna L. Baxter, President of the Georgia Independent College Association, will serve as the speaker during Thomas University’s annual Commencement on Saturday, May 4. The event will begin at 9 a.m. in the Ben Grace Historic Quadrangle on TU’s Main Campus.

Baxter joined the GICA in August 2010. Before that, she served as Chief Operating Officer for the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association for 10 years. Baxter also worked as the Dean of Students at Barton College in North Carolina. She earned bachelor’s degrees in Religion and Christian Education from Pfeiffer University. She also earned M.Ed. and Ed.D. degrees in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University.

While working in Tennessee, Baxter worked to establish the Coalition for College Cost Savings, a national group purchasing organization that provides a range of contracts for small- to medium-sized private colleges in an effort to reduce expenditures and improve efficiency.  She also worked to establish a statewide public and private college coalition to foster healthy and safe campuses with a focus on alcohol and other drug abuse prevention.

Baxter is a member of the Georgia Professional Lobbyist Association and the Atlanta Rotary Club. She and her husband, Mark R. Huffman, live in Atlanta with their young son.

During the Commencement ceremony, Thomas University will present associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees to graduating students.




One Million Bones project comes to Thomas University

Jane McPherson of One Million Bones-Tallahassee speaks at Thomas University on Tuesday, March 19, as part of the TU Talk series. During the presentation, participants learned about One Million Bones’ efforts to bring awareness to the mass violence, human rights violations and genocide happening throughout the world.


As part of the TU Talk on the One Million Bones programs, Participants also created bones from clay that will join others in a display in Washington, D.C., in June. Lending their creative talent to making bones from clay are Josh Korte (left), TU student, and Gabe Lopez, TU student and soccer player.



Jane McPherson of One Million Bones-Tallahassee chats with Rich Curtis, Thomas University Assistant Professor of Art, before the TU Talk on Tuesday. Curtis first heard about the One Million Bones Project in the summer of 2012 while visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the fall semester of 2012, his art students created bones that will be included in the display in Washington, D.C., in June 2013.




FSU cellist and pianist to perform Friday at TU

Arts for the Community at Thomas University (ACTU) will present a Friday at Noon recital featuring cellist Gregory Sauer and pianist Read Gainsford at noon on March 22 in the Balfour Chapel on the Thomas University campus at 1501 Millpond Road in Thomasville. The program will include works by Arvo Pärt, Benjamin Britten and Franz Schubert. 

A native of Davenport, Iowa, Sauer attended the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory. Sauer was a prizewinner in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and Ima Hogg National competitions. He has also performed concertos with many orchestras. 

Sauer currently holds the positions of principal cello of the Tallahassee Symphony and assistant principal of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.

Born in New Zealand, Read Gainsford began full-time music study with top piano teachers before receiving the top prize in the Television New Zealand Young Musician of the Year. Gainsford then relocated to London, where he won a place in the Advanced Solo Studies course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating with the prestigious Concert Recital Diploma (premier prix).

Both performers are on the music faculty at the Florida State University College of Music.

The concert is free and open to the public. A complimentary luncheon will follow the performance. For additional information, visit email or call (229) 227-6964.








Thomas University students participate in One Million Bones project

Students in Rich Curtis’ studio art class last fall participated in an unusual class project: They made bones. While the bones make up a partial skeleton, the exercise was more than just a study in ceramics; it was part of the One Million Bones project.

According to its website, One Million Bones is “a large-scale social arts practice” that uses art creation to share the word about genocides and other atrocities occurring in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma.

All the artwork bones collected will be displayed in a single installation of 1 million bones on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. June 8-10. The display is a way to remember victims and survivors as well as a means to raise awareness of the issue.

Through the Students Rebuild Challenge, every bone created will generate a $1 donation of up to $500,000 from the Bezos Family Foundation. The money will go to CARE for its work in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Curtis learned about One Million Bones in the summer of 2012 during a trip to Albuquerque, N.M., home to the organization’s headquarters. His students’ contributions to the project will be officially presented during a TU Talks presentation at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus. During the event, Jane McPherson with One Million Bones will share more about the organization’s mission. Participants will also be able to create their own bone works of art for the project.



Two TU students receive Archbold leadership awardAchbold leadership awards

Patricia Reese and Jo Ellen Smith were recognized as outstanding nursing students at Thomas University during an awards ceremony held Wednesday, March 13, in the Campus Center. Reese and Smith were both named recipients of the J.D. Archbold Memorial Hospital Outstanding Leadership and Achievement Award.

Reese, recipient of the undergraduate award, is a student from Tifton in TU’s RN-BSN program and a member of the Phi Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. She works as Certified Dialysis Nurse and traveled with a group of TU students and faculty to complete the community practicum in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. Reese recently completed a leadership project designed to minimize the use of restraints in the ICU environment.

In nominating her, TU nursing faculty members wrote, “Her interactions within the classroom and in the online discussions encourage others to think beyond the obvious and to consider alternatives using critical thinking and evidence-based practice.”

Smith, recipient of the graduate award, is a student from Ochlocknee in TU’s Master of Science in Nursing Degree program and a member of the Phi Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. Smith serves as a member of the Georgia VHA ICU Council, where nurse leaders from around the state collaborate to improve healthcare.

In nominating Smith, TU nursing faculty members mention her leadership qualities, including her work ethic and her self-motivation. In her workplace at a local hospital, Smith recognized that the need for a change to improve visiting hours policy for the Intensive Care Unit. The new hours improved patient satisfaction and the staff’s relationships with families and friends.



honor society induction 

Area students inducted into Thomas University chapter

of International Honor Society of Nursing

 Four Thomasville University students were inducted into the Phi Tau Chapter of the Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing during a ceremony held March 13 in the Campus Center on the Thomas University Main Campus. New members were inducted by Lyndria Jones, President of the Phi Tau Chapter.

 New members included undergraduate students Patricia Spires of Whigham, Sandra Battle of Bainbridge, and Charlotte Cross of Leesburg; and graduate student Glenda Diaz of Thomasville.

The Phi Tau Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing at Thomas University was chartered in March 2012. It serves to provide a mechanism for professional development, nursing education, and collaboration among the nurses located in rural Southwest Georgia, North Florida and throughout the world.  Since its inception, it has proven to be a strong and active organization of nursing students, graduates, and nurse leaders in the region.

For more information, contact the Thomas University Division of Nursing at (229) 227-6904.



CSWE reaffirms accreditation of Thomas University’s Social Work program

The Council on Social Work Education recently reaffirmed its accreditation of the Thomas University Social Work program through February 2021. The CSWE sets and enforces accreditation standards that ensure students are properly prepared for careers in Social Work. Thomas University’s program is one of 483 CSWE accredited baccalaureate Social Work programs.

“The Council for Social Work Education accreditation is the gold star for accreditation of Social Work programs,” said Dr. Ann Landis, TU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The extra effort of our Social Work faculty to gain continued professional accreditation of our BSW program ensures that TU graduates are prepared with the highest level of theoretical knowledge and skill as practitioners as Social Workers.”

The Thomas University Program's Self Study and Site Visit were successful due to the combined efforts of Dr. Debra Gresham, who chaired the Re-Accreditation effort, Dr. Susan Fowler, who penned the lengthy self-study section on Field Education, and Bill Milford, Division Chair, who formulated and wrote the Assessment section of the study.

“Accreditation standards by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) are the benchmarks by which social work programs are evaluated nationally,” Milford said. “CSWE holds notoriously high standards and has a self-study process that not only helps social work programs to evaluate their effectiveness, but also to reflect upon current trends and standards in social work education and to adapt their programs accordingly.  The eight-year reaffirmation is the maximum time period allowed and a tribute to the excellence of the report and program.

 “In 2008, CSWE adopted a new set of Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), which required all re-accrediting schools to adapt to this framework.  This new structure included the adoption of 10 Core Social Work Competencies and 41 Behavioral Indicators of mastery in these competencies.  Schools who adopted this framework needed to demonstrate how they were integrated into their curriculum, and especially how they were evaluated and measured to demonstrate mastery.”

 The CSWE accreditation status indicates that the Thomas University program is on the same high level of performance as other CSWE-accredited schools in the country. 

 “For Thomas University students graduating from the Bachelor of Social Work Degree Program, it means that they are eligible to apply to Master of Social Work (MSW) degree programs for ‘advanced standing’ status,” Milford continued. “This essentially reduces their time of study for their MSW down from two years to one year.  

 The Thomas University Bachelor of Social Work Degree Program currently has 65 upper division majors at the Thomasville campus and at the off-site location at Tallahassee Community College.




TU nursing prof to present at SNRS conference

Dr. Eleanor Hall, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Thomas University, will be one of the presenters at the 27th Annual Conference of the Southern Nursing Research Society that will be held Feb. 27-March 2 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

With the theme “Expanding Networks of Knowledge for Healthcare Providers,” the conference includes participants from the 14 states, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Bahamas that make up the SNRS region. The purpose of SNRS is to advance nursing research and share research findings while promoting the image of nursing as a scientific discipline.

Hall will participate in the Late Breaker Poster Session where she will present “Exploratory factor analysis of a Spanish version of the Blood Pressure Self-care Scale.” As part of her doctoral dissertation, Hall looked at adherence to hypertension treatment in the Latino migrant farm worker population in Southwest Georgia.

In order for her to conduct her research, Hall had to have the Blood Pressure Knowledge and Self-care Scales translated into Spanish as they were key to data collection for her dissertation. Following the data collection, Hall examined the reliability and validity of these two Spanish-version scales and determined that the Self-care scale had good reliability and validity. It is from this work that she will present her poster at the SNRS Conference.

Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Vanderbilt University, an RN diploma from Baptist Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, a master’s degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. in nursing from Georgia State University.



Researcher talks sharks at TU Science Café


Participants learned about giant eels, sixgill sharks and other creatures on Feb. 26 when Dr. Dean Grubbs of the Coastal and Marine Laboratory at Florida State University was the guest speaker during Thomas University’s monthly Science Café held in the Campus Center on the Main Campus. The next installment of the series will feature Dr. Yang Wang, a geochemist at Florida State University, who will present “Journey to Tibet – Science and the Woolly Rhino” at 6:30 p.m. March 26. For more information, contact April D. Penton at



TU Money and Banking students learn from

a Federal Reserve Bank researcher

Laurel Graefe, Researcher with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, spoke to students in Instructor Fred Jefferson’s Money and Banking class at Thomas University on Thursday, Feb. 21. Graefe’s presentation focused on the role of the central bank, the current economic cycle and how the economy is affecting the region.




Thomas University student named Social Work Student of the Year

Social Work Student of the Year Keith Thomas 

Keith Thomas of Thomasville (third from left), a senior Social Work major at Thomas University, recently received the Student Social Worker of the Year Award from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) South Georgia Unit. The award was presented at the organization’s annual conference held in Valdosta on Feb. 22-23. This award recognizes a student’s academic achievements and outstanding delivery of social services in the South Georgia area. Thomas will graduate in May with his Bachelor of Social Work degree. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Master of Social Work degree. Pictured are (from left), Bill Milford, Thomas University Social Work Division Chair; Dr. Susan Fowler, Thomas University Social Work Assistant Professor; Keith Thomas, award recipient; and Dr. Debra Gresham, Thomas University Social Work Assistant Professor.



Next TU Science Café takes a look at deep sea monsters

The next installment of Thomas University’s Science Café series will focus on ocean creatures when Dr. Dean Grubbs of the Coastal and Marine Laboratory at Florida State University presents “Sixgill Sharks, Giant Snake Eels and Other Deep Sea Monsters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico.”

Dr. Grubbs earned a Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from the College of William & Mary in 2001. His primary research interests include ichthyology and marine ecology. Much of Dr. Grubbs’ research addresses issues necessary for managing fisheries resources. He is currently conducting research projects in the central Pacific Ocean, the western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean investigating bluntnose sixgill sharks, bigeye sixgill sharks, deepwater stingrays and short-spined spurdogs.

The Science Café will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus.  Guests are welcome to arrive at 6 p.m. and enjoy the Science Café special of chicken and broccoli casserole and a salad for $5 in the Hawk’s Nest. There is no admission charge. Drinks and light snacks will be provided

The Science Café series is presented by the Thomas University Division of Education. For more information, contact April D. Penton at



TU President's Lecture Series kicks off

 The first installment of Thomas University’s new President’s Lecture Series kicked off Wednesday evening, Feb. 13, in the Campus Center on TU’s Main Campus. Dr. Gary Bonvillian, President of Thomas University, presented “Leadership Skills in a Global Economy.” The lecture series will continue on at 7 p.m. March 12 featuring Dr. Frank McElroy, Jr., President and CEO of Presbyterian Homes of Georgia. For more information about the President’s Lecture Series, contact Dr. Paul Wilkens at



Gunter speaks to TU students

Melody Gunter, assistant treasurer at Flowers Foods, was the guest speaker for students in Prof. Fred Jefferson’s Money and Banking Class at Thomas University on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Gunter’s presentation about derivatives as used by Flowers Foods to hedge commodity prices gave students a real-world application for knowledge obtained in the classroom.



Thomas University students recognized for academic achievement


The following students at Thomas University were named to the President’s List for Fall Semester 2012. President’s List students attend TU full-time and have a GPA of 4.0.

  David A. Astudillo, Tallahassee, FL

  Linda L. Baker, Tallahassee, FL

  Jason A. Baldwin, Thomasville, GA

  Justin Balke, Jacksonville, FL

  Katelyn M. Baxley, Tallahassee, FL

  Pamela D. Beckom, Milledgeville, GA

  Ulonda S. Benjamin, Tallahassee, FL

  Andrew J. Berg, Sebastian, FL

  Luis Daniel Berrios, Melbourne, FL

  Luvhina  Bien-Aime, Lawrenceville, GA

  Alyssa M. Bork, Powder Springs, GA

  William C. Bryan, Leary, GA

  Burton D. Burt, Gainesville, FL

  Felecia D. Cherry, Tallahassee, FL

  Morgan B. Colvin, Thomasville, GA

  Kasey Marie Cooper, Jacksonville, FL

  Demetris L. Crump, Tallahassee, FL

  Danny Cruz, Quincy, FL

  Lance Davis, Tallahassee, FL

  Debra D. Farr, Tallahassee, FL

  Amy N. Ford, Thomasville, GA

  Marchell H. Frazier, Leesburg, GA

  Joel Fussell, Fitzgerald, GA

  Amanda Gandy, Coolidge, GA

  Erica D. Graham, Albany, GA

  Joanna Waldrop Graves, Tifton, GA

  Cassie J. Graviett, Thomasville, GA

  Carla C. Green, Lafayette, GA

  Cynthia Harper Green, Bainbridge, GA

  Derrick D. Green, Cairo, GA

  Diane D. Hamon, Leesburg, GA

  Kirk R. Hampton, Sharpsburg, GA

  Debbie R. Herring, Moultrie, GA

  Crystal G. Hester, Cairo, GA

  Rilander Hines, Tallahassee, FL

  Brian Hodges, Sharpsburg, GA

  Andreas Hoffer, Ingolstedt, Germany

  Regenia D. Hutchins, Thomasville, GA

  Tyler Jackson, Monticello, FL

  Samuel James Wilkie Jackson, Toronto, Ontario

  Leigh Jenkins, Thomasville, GA

  Kayla C. Jordan, Thomasville, GA

  Hannah A. Lindquist, Boston, GA     

  Luciano Andres Lorca, Stockholm, Sweden

  Jessica Mae MacPhee, Langley, British Columbia, Canada

  Melissa N. Mathews, Pavo, GA

  Suzanne M. Miller, Thomasville, GA

  Carrie R. Moore, Alto, GA            

  Joseph E. Morgan, Cairo, GA

  Reem Atalla Moussa, Thomasville, GA

  Paul D. Newman, Moultrie, GA

  Elizabeth Oglesby, Thomasville, GA

  Holly M. Pait, Bainbridge, GA

  Teresa A. Palmer, Tallahassee, FL

  Nikolai J. Patrick, Tallahassee, FL

  Shaletta L. Pierce, Cairo, GA

  William C. Poppell, Bainbridge, GA

  Kescia L. Pride, Tallahassee, FL

  Michelle Rogers, Thomasville, GA

  Brent Slaughter, Trenton, FL

  Carina Spengler, Boeblingen, Germany

  Patricia Spires, Whigham, GA

  Lauren M. Strickland, Thomasville, GA

  Jeffrey Sweatt, Atlanta, GA

  James E. Teel, Hartwell, GA

  Keith T. Thomas, Thomasville, GA

  Jessica Thunberg, Kullavik, Sweden

  Lindsay B. Tompkins, Leesburg, GA

  Rony D. Touch, Thomasville, GA

  Nathaniel Walter, Thomasville, GA

  April D. Washington, Tennille, GA

  Gary Russell Watkins, Lutterworth, Leichestershire,   United Kingdom

  Don White Jr., Rincon, GA

  Jessica R. Widner, Tallahassee, FL

  Nathan Would, Cleethorpes, NE Cincs, United Kingdom

  Theresa L. Wright, Moultrie, GA




The following students were named to the Dean’s List for Fall Semester 2012. Dean’s List students attend TU full-time and have a GPA of 3.5 to 3.99.

  Justin Akins, Atlanta GA

  Katherine F. Alligood, Thomasville, GA

  Edward Armstrong, Cairo, GA

  Shawn D. Aten, Wildwood, FL

  Alan Baker, Jacksonville, FL

  Trenda Baker, Quincy, FL

  Cesar A. Ballesteros, Coconut Creek, FL

  Rebecca L. Beason, Thomasville, GA

  Traye T. Benjamin, Tifton, GA

  Taylor R. Benton, Thomasville, GA

  Matthew P. Brady, Brooksville, FL

  Kyle A. Brown, Baconton, GA

  Josh S. Bruijn, Tallahassee, FL

  Heather  L. Burnett, Macon, GA

  Laquita J. Camon, Ray City, GA

  Roderick D. Carter, Thomasville, GA

  Leah Cassidy, County Dublin, Ireland

  Selica A. Cochran, Boston, GA

  Hiram E. Collins, Thomasville, GA

  Benjamin T. Cook III, Ochlocknee, GA

  Angus Michael Cox, Huddersfield, United Kingdom

  Danielle L. Cyrus, Tallahassee, FL

  Audreka D.  Davis, Thomasville, GA

  Shawnary De Hoyos, Seffner, FL

  Zachary H. Deas, Jennings, FL

  Kiana Alexus Dixson, Thomasville, GA

  Habib Drammeh, Summerville, SC

  Jaycee A. Eunice, Moultrie, GA

  Caitlin P. Fletcher, Thomasville, GA

  Justin B. Flowers, Wewahitchka, FL

  Roger E. Gallegos, Ozark, AL

  Anna L. Gass, Thomasville, GA

  Levi C. Gilder, Mount Vernon, GA

  Brittany J. Harris, Thomasville, GA

  ShaNeidra Hayes, Leesburg, GA

  Nine Henriksson, Sweden

  Emma Jane Hewett, North Shields, England

  Todd D. Hinson, Duluth, GA

  Sarah E. Horne, Thomasville, GA

  Christopher E. Hosey, Cairo, GA

  Morgan N. Howard, Alexander City, AL

  Danyelle Hoy, Bainbridge, GA

  Brenda D.  Hubbard, Cairo, GA

  Joshua W. Huguley, Valdosta

  Shane Humphries, Midland, GA

  Emily Ingram, Cartersville, GA

  Rachel M. Ivancic, Royal Palm Beach, FL

  Miriam Jackson, Thomasville, GA

  Johnathan T. Jenkins, Cairo, GA

  Aimee Johnson, Rhine, GA

  Jessica B. Johnson, St. Petersburg, FL

  Ricardo D. Johnson, Thomasville, GA

  Elaina N. Kavouklis, Thomasville, GA

  Angela N. Kiker, Thomasville, GA

  Christopher P. Kitlas, Waldorf, MD

  Kayla Labbe, New Port Richey, FL

  Amanda M. Lanphere, Thomasville, GA

  Avery Lee, Snellville, GA

  Hugh R. Lee, Cairo, GA

  Danielle R. Lower, Sebring, FL

  Natalie S. Manning, Screven, GA

  Stanley B. McBride, Thomasville, GA

  Greig K. McCallum, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

  Kathleen E. McClenny, Tallahassee, FL

  Jonathan Taylor Moore, Tallahassee, FL

  Helene Muth, Tallahassee, FL

  Alexis R. Odom, Cairo, GA

  Wesley Odum, Cairo, GA

  Sheila D. Peach, Adel, GA

  Breana L. Pullara, Safety Harbor, FL

  Federico A. Salazar, Jacksonville, FL

  Luke Salmon, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom

  Amber N. Seago, Thomasville, GA

  Kallie A. Shirling, Tampa, FL

  Jessica A. Simpson, Ringgold, GA

  Joshua W. Slatton, Gibsonton, FL

  Ashlee L. Smith, Thomasville, GA

  Jason C. Stedham, Thomasville, GA

  Trent J. Stoker, Tampa, FL

  Nicholas S. Sutton, Thomasville, GA

  Casey M. Tuggle, Thomasville, GA

  Alexandra L. VanWagner, Lake Worth, FL

  Hjalmdis Olof Vilhjalmsdottir, Reykjavik, Iceland

  Joseph P. Vitello, Flagler Beach, FL

  Kenia L. Wagner, Tallahassee, FL

  Aaliyah A. Washington, Thomasville, GA

 Kayla J. Webb, Riverview, FL

  Kelli D. Weeks, Thomasville, GA

  Laura A. Wilcox, Thomasville, GA

  James T. Williams, Jr., Thomasville, GA

  Danielle B. Williamson, Thomasville, GA

  Tyler T. Willis, Thomasville, GA

  Adam Woollcott, Herne Bay, Kent, United Kingdom

  Christina Wynn, Marianna, FL

  Stephen N. Yanas, Oviedo, FL

  Taylor Yohner, Tallahassee, FL

  Kyndra T. Young, Thomasville, GA

  Tyler P. Yowell, Lawtey, FL





The following students were named to the Merit List for Fall Semester 2012. Merit List students attend TU part-time and have a GPA of 3.5 or better.

  Kortney A. Adams, Quitman, GA

  Warren Ballard, Thomasville, GA

  Deanna Barham, Quitman, GA

  Sandra G. Battle, Bainbridge, GA

  Shane Benefield, Tifton, GA

  Venus D. Benjamin, Tifton, GA

  Jason Berry, Thomasville, GA

  Brittany N. Blasko, Tallahassee, FL

  Brittiany Bledsoe, Bonaire, GA

  Jennifer S. Blount, Meansville, GA

  Tessie Brackins, Arlington, GA

  Victor Bush, Quitman, GA

  Ean G. Cain, Tallapoosa, GA

  Woody B. Cantrell, Rocky Face, GA

  Shelley Douglas Connell, Crawfordville, FL

  Kimberly L. Cooney-Gilbert, Pelham, GA

  Barbara M. Corriveau, Tallahassee, FL

  Kimberly B. Crews, Gretna, FL

  Tracy W. Crosby, Blackshear, GA

  Charlotte Rene Cross, Leesburg, GA

  Renae L. Daniel, Thomasville, GA

  Brenda Daniels, Thomasville, GA

  Christopher M. DeMoro, Valdosta, GA

  Krystle N. Dixon, Sparks, GA

  Jennifer A. Donalson-Baker, Cairo, GA

  Kimberly W. Fanning, Douglas, GA

  Melody C. Finley, Bainbridge, GA

  Robert C. Fisher, Jr., Marietta, GA

  Teresa Ann Fisher, Adel, GA

  Dori G. Griffin, Whigham, GA

  Brandon R. Gurley, Dallas, GA

  Wayne T. Hinson, Hartwell, GA

  Brittany Leigh Hobbs, Monticello, FL

  Anthony S. Holland, Brandon, FL

  Aleshia F. Hughes, Leesburg, GA

  James C. Humphrey, Forsyth, GA

  Kathryn A. Jones, Pelham, GA

  Richard C. Kennedy, Ochlocknee, GA

  Katrice R. Kimble, Jakin, GA

  Gemma E. Martin, Tallahassee, FL

  Sandra D. Martin, Pavo, GA

  Chad McAdams, Carrollton, GA

  Corey M. McCarthy, Jefferson, GA

  Gregory W. McCullough, Cairo, GA


  Rebecca M. McGuire, Cochran, GA

  Susan H. McKendree, Tallahassee, FL

  Ida Mendoza, Douglas, GA

  Cathy Miller, Thomasville, GA

  Joshua K. Moody, Thomasville, GA

  John E. Moore, Lyons, GA

  Vashawn R. Mosley, Bainbridge, GA

  Matthew R. Mundy, Sr., Naylor, GA

  Wendy R. Murray, Douglas, GA

  Tiffany Rayna Hampton Newsome, Pavo, GA

  Clay W. Nisley, Waycross, GA

  Keesha L. Nixon, Stone Mountain, GA

  Robert E. Odom, Jr., Cedartown, GA

  Jacob A. Odum, Tallahassee, FL

  Pamela J. Pierce, Albany, GA

  Angela G. Pittman, Vidalia, GA

  Laura A. Pollock, Whigham, GA

  Jennifer D. Powell, Bainbridge, GA

  Chase O. Price, Tallahassee, FL

  Lisa M. Prosser, Moultrie, GA

  Felicia O. Riley-Miles, Tallahassee, FL

  Margo N. Roberts, Macon, GA

  Robert E. Rodriguez, Albany, GA

  Teri H. Roessler, Madison, FL

  Samantha Sue Rutherford, Thomasville, GA

  Brent C. Sangster, Thomasville, GA

  Wendy L. Shiver, Fitzgerald, GA

  Alea F. Simmons, Cairo, GA

  Kellie K. Sines, Cairo, GA

  Pushpa Singh, Waycross, GA

  Milton E. Smith, Vidalia, GA

  Zaporia C. Smith, Thomasville, GA

  Jada R. Spraggins, Tallahassee, FL

  Daniel R. Stanaland, Ochlocknee, GA

  Danyel L. Thomaston, Thomasville, GA

  Melissa B. Thompson, Moultrie, GA

  Jasmine R. Tucker, Adel, GA

 Tara Vickers, Moultrie, GA

  Vanessa R. Wadsworth, Tallahassee, FL

  Justin P. Wells, Metter, GA

  Jennifer J. Whitston, Cotton, GA

  Jordan L. Williams, Thomasville, GA

  Lashametrice S. Williams, Jackson, GA

  Lucas N. Williams, Thomasville, GA




High-tech research

Science Cafe from Jan. 29

 Dr. Gregory Boebinger, Director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, speaks to audience members during Thomas University’s Science Café on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Boebinger’s presentation included discussion about current research projects at the MagLab and the role magnets play in current technology. The next TU Science Café will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Campus Center on TU’s Magnolia Campus featuring Dr. Dean Grubbs of the Coastal & Marine Lab at Florida State University. Dr. Grubbs will present “Sixgill Sharks, Giant Snake Eels and Other Deep Sea Monsters of the Northern Gulf of Mexico.” For more information about TU’s Science Café series, contact April Penton at



State Farm Agent Jamil Robertson to be title sponsor of TU Classic

 TU Classic title sponsor

 Thomas University officials recently announced that Thomasville State Farm Insurance Agent Jamil Robertson (left) will be the title sponsor of the TU Classic, which is slated for Nov. 16 and 17 at the gymnasium on the Thomas University Magnolia Campus. The TU Classic will feature men’s basketball teams from Thomas University, Embry-Riddle, Truett-McConnell and Point University. Joining Robertson are Stephen Cox, Head Coach of TU’s Men’s Basketball Team; Mike Lee, TU Athletics Director; Ashley Newberry and Tommy Hill, both of State Farm.



Thomas University to host College Goal Sunday

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form can be a challenge for college students and their families. On Sunday, Feb. 24, Thomas University will host College Goal Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. in TU's Library Computer Lab.

College Goal SundaySM is a volunteer program that provides free on-site professional assistance to students and families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Education that Engages... Empowers... TRANSFORMS

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