Department of Government and Sociology

In the Department of Government and Sociology, we will lead you on a path of exploration into the public sector— but we also lead you to a path of self-discovery as an active citizen in an ever-evolving world.  

From in depth courses on constitutionalism and public service systems to graduate degrees in public administration and criminal justice— you have endless opportunities to learn from some of the most dedicated and talented faculty at Georgia College. And your time in the programs won’t stop in the classroom. We cultivate a sense of independence and curiosity in our students, which leads to undergraduate research, public service projects and internships.

After graduating from Georgia College and the Department of Government and Sociology, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to not only enter into careers at the international to local levels— but to be a leader in the process. 

Department holds annual Outstanding Student and Faculty Award

The Department of Government and Sociology recognized its outstanding students and faculty during its annual award ceremony and dinner held on May 4, 2016.  In addition, new members were inducted to the Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.

Makayla Harrison and Alexa Williams were singled out as outstanding Criminal Justice majors.  In Political Science, Caroline Sport and Abigail Stout were recognized for their outstanding work.  Rounding out the undergraduates, Sociology students Diana Bacallao, Breon Haskett and Dillon Johnstone also received Outstanding Student awards.

Amongst the graduate students, Kimberly Chambers and Matthew Ponce received the Malcolm Moore MPA Award.  Accepting the Terry Wells MSCJ Award were Peter Martin and Morgan Worley.

For the first year, the department also recognized outstanding students in the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance program.  The students receiving an award were Allie Korzekwa and Natalie Flanders.

Following the student awards, the department’s 2016 Faculty Awards were announced.  Dr. Sara Doude was recognized for her outstanding contribution in teaching.  Dr. Roger Coate was singled out for his scholarship and Dr. Carrie Cook received recognition for her exceptional service.

The department congratulates these students and faculty and thanks them for their hard work and dedication.

Read on to learn more about some of these award recipients.

Criminal Justice

Alexa (Lexi) Williams is graduating with a double-major in Theatre and Criminal Justice. She is the student responsible for Tunnel of Oppression as its director and playwright. She has created and held workshops on Diversity for faculty and staff. She is Student Ambassador of the Year, a Newman Civic Fellows Award Nominee, Dean's List, Jimmy Carter's Campus Community Partnership Foundation Certificate of Merit recipient. She is a student Ambassador Diversity Trainer, Diversity Peer Educator, and Teaching Assistant for Theatre for Social Change. She was a student volunteer at the Georgia Democratic Caucus, Woodruff Arts Center Educator Conference, and Atlanta Center for Self-Sufficiency and served as President of the GC Model African Union.

Makayla Harrison is a sophomore Criminal Justice major from Grayson, GA. She is a quiet but exceptional student. In addition, she participates in GC intramural programs and loves having the opportunity to take part in the different sports offered, while getting to build relationships with other people on campus. She has taken on several leadership an mentoring roles with some of the freshman girls in her church. In the future, she has a desire to help people, especially kids, through her work.

Political Science

Abigail Stout is graduating with a B.A. in Political Science with minors in Spanish and Rhetoric.  She has participated in the Scholars of Distinction Program, mock trial, Pre-Law Society, multiple internships, was in the GEM leadership program, and was inducted into multiple honor societies.  After graduation she will attend Georgia State's Law School with the Dean's Scholarship.  

Caroline Sport is graduating with a B.A. in Political Science.  She is a member of the Pre-Law Society.  She has participated in mock trial as well as the American Democracy Project on campus.  She plans to attend Law School at Mercer after graduation.  


Diana Bacallao is a senior sociology major from Oconee County, GA who graduated in May.  Diana will be attending NC State in the Fall to get her master’s degree in student affairs.  She presented her capstone research on Student Engagement and Academic Success in a Summer Bridge Program: Exploring the Impact of Parental Education at the annual meetings of the Southern Sociological Society in Atlanta this April

Dillon Johnstone is a senior sociology major from Denton, TX, graduating in December 2016. He is the Community Partnership Manager for ENGAGE at GC and was a Truman Scholarship finalist.  With Breon Haskett, he presented his research on Policy Reframing Racial Projects: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effects Affirmative Action Has on Opinion of Public Policy at the annual meetings of the Southern Sociological Society in Atlanta this April. 

Breon Haskett is a senior double major in English and Sociology from Kennesaw, GA. He's the president of the Debunkers, on the executive board for African American Male Initiative, and interns at the GC Cultural Center.  His essay on the impact of a liberal arts education won honorable mention in the COPLAC competition and will be featured on their website.

NLA Award Recipients

Allie Korzekwa is from Maxeys, GA; she is graduating in December 2016 with a major in Psychology.  She has been involved in Psi Chi, the Honors Program, was the AMI Chair, Nonprofit Leadership Student Association, is a Graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program and Cofounder of Rivers of the World.  She received the Outstanding Sophomore in Psychology award in 2015.

Natalie Flanders is a Psychology major and Nonprofit Certificate student from Norcross, GA who will be graduating in December 2016. Natalie currently serves as the President of NLSA, and last year served as the community outreach chair, implementing an annual Networking With Nonprofits event for students to travel to Atlanta and tour nonprofits. Natalie also serves as the student Fellow for Engage and the Director of the mentoring program, Girl Talk, an organization that serves 70 high school girls five days a week at Early College, Baldwin High, and the Performance Learning Center. This year Natalie is the recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award, The 2016 Outstanding Student Contributor to Community-based Engaged Learning, a GC Daily Point of Light, and a Give Center Starfish Recipient.

Malcolm Moore MPA

Kimberly Chambers has been a Bobcat since the fall of 2012, and after graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science last spring she returned to Milledgeville to work while completing her MPA. Ms. Chambers is from Cumming, GA. She served in numerous leadership roles in her sorority Phi Mu, the Council of Student Ambassadors, and the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, but she has truly taken advantage of her time at Georgia College by presenting at the Georgia Political Science Association Conference in Fall 2014, and participating on the Mock Trial competition team for two years.  Kimberly’s dedication to her role as a Department of Government & Sociology Graduate Assistant has not gone unnoticed, and over the last school year she has developed a wonderful rapport with professors in the MPA program, administrators, younger students as well as her peers.  Just recently she worked with Dr. Min Kim and Dr. Costas Spirou and contributed to analysis on the 2016 State of the State Poll.  After completing an internship with the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and working as the Phi Mu Gamma Sigma House Director, Kimberly is reassured in her decision to pursue an administrative career with a government agency or a non-profit organization.

Matthew Ponce received his Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and Human Services in 2014 from Clayton State University. Immediately upon completing his undergraduate work Matthew enrolled at Georgia College in the MPA program. His interest in the Public Administration program at Georgia College derived from his desire to work in the public sector as a policy analysis and consultant. Matthew will be completing the program May 2016. He has high hopes of making a difference in the public sector at the state level. Throughout the entirety of his enrollment in the MPA program, Matthew has demonstrated a strong commitment to his studies and has been diligent in pursuing an understanding of what it takes to be a well-equipped public administrator.

Terry Wells MSCJ

Morgan Worley is an excellent student in the MSCJ program. In the future, she wants to work for the GBI or as a crime analyst in forensics.  Morgan displays exemplary competencies in research methods. Her project and final paper examined the impact of the media and pre-existing rape myths on perceptions of sexual assault survivors. She is proficient at all stages of research methods, including research design, operationalization, sampling, and instrument development. She is also knowledgeable about data analysis software, and has experience downloading and analyzing secondary data that addresses her research questions.

Faculty Awards


Dr. Sara Doude:  Dr. Doude’s students share that they feel her classes allow them to ask questions, about themselves and about the world, that they’ve never asked before.  They leave her classes better able to aspire to the best possible version of themselves that will then allow them to seek to create the best possible version of their part of the world.  She is insistent on remaining engaged in new scholarship and having her course content reflect the most relevant current topics, questions, and issues in criminal justice.  She also builds courses that encourage students to take this knowledge and use it to serve in and engage members of our community, including students conducting workshops on intimate partner violence in the local high school and a community policing panel discussion organized by her Senior Seminar students. 


Dr. Roger Coate:  Dr. Coate’s specific areas of expertise and research interests include: leadership and the role of the United States in the UN system, international organization reform, international administration, the role of civil society in global governance, nonprofit management, public-private partnerships, and U.S. multilateral foreign policy. He has published and presented widely on these topics over the course of his career and in the last year.  He is also an excellent mentor of undergraduate students, many of whom have gone on to graduate work in political science, law, and global governance. This year he had a peer-reviewed article on “Interdependence in International Organization and Global Governance,” which he published with former student Jeffrey A. Griffin [now at UNR] and colleague Steven Elliott-Gower. 


Dr. Carrie Cook:  Whenever a question comes up about a need for leadership, from someone who can be trusted to do it well, Dr. Cook’s name is almost always the first to come up.  She takes seriously the need to work collaboratively.   Her work on Project Brave is extensive and essential.  She is an incredible leader, who is passionate about her work and passionate about the need to include people from across campus and in the community.  This has included service projects she’s taken on with her students to raise funds and resources for victims of domestic violence. In this way she embodies the best of the profession, where she sees her research, teaching, and service as interconnected and reinforcing.  She is also always willing to mentor and advise new faculty, in our department and across campus.

Sociology class presents “Social Justice Jam”

Tuesday night at Blackbird Coffee, the students of Professor Brad Koch’s spring Sociology of Music course (SOCI 3950) put on the “Social Justice Jam.” Seven  musical acts from Georgia College and the local community performed primarily original material with an emphasis on issues of social problems and social justice, including substance abuse, sexuality, gender, race, and inclusivity. According to one member of the class, junior Mass Comm major Taylor Smith, “There was an awesome variety of artists and music styles, and the turnout was great! Dr. Koch added, “The goal for this final project of the semester was to have the students bring awareness to the topics that we had been studying throughout the semester. The students and I agree that the event exceeded our expectations. The 80+ people in the standing-room-only crowd were treated to some amazing musical talent and were exposed to some new ideas and critical ways of thinking about their worlds. I’m quite proud of what the students accomplished.” Dr. Koch also noted that attendees had already asked about whether there would be future Social Justice Jams, which he said is a distinct possibility.

See more pictures here.


Outstanding Sociology Major Receives honorable Mention in COPLAC Sponsored Competition

Breon Haskett recently was awarded Honorable Mention in the David J. Prior Award competition for outstanding student essay on the public liberal arts experience, sponsored by COPLAC.  He received recognition for his essay entitled “Conceit and the Liberal Arts Experience.” The theme of his essay was, “The value of a liberal arts education lies in the sharing of unlike ideas to further the knowledge of all those around us.”

Breon is a senior double major in Sociology and English who will be graduating in December 2016.  He, along with fellow Outstanding Sociology major Dillon Johnstone, also presented research at the Annual Meetings of the Southern Sociological Society in Atlanta on April 14, 2016.  Their paper was “Policy Reframing Racial Projects: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effects Affirmative Action Has on Opinion of Public Policy.” (Breon J. Haskett, Georgia College & State University; Dillon R. Johnstone, Georgia College & State University.)

Breon describes the benefits of studying sociology thusly, “Society is a complex and sometimes scary thing we are all dealing with. I drive to school based on rules made up a hundred years ago on roads built sixty years ago while wearing shoes manufactured just months ago halfway round the world. So much goes on without my say that I'm just supposed to deal with. All the people and time that go into me just getting up, showered, dressed, and sitting in class requires an enormous network of people I have never met and will never meet, and yet I got to class without seeing or talking to anyone. It's creepy. But sociology makes sense of these networks and institutions, how people interact and do what they need to get done. My experience with the sociology program has been that the world and its infinite complexity is that much less confusing. “


Sociology Student Presents at Annual Meetings

Diana Bacallao recently presented her research at the Annual Meetings of the Southern Sociological Society in Atlanta, GA.  Entitled “Student Engagement and Academic Success in a Summer Bridge Program: Exploring the Impact of Parental Education,”  the research explored the hypothesis that students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are able to successfully navigate the admissions process would be more academically engaged and therefore more successful at the end of the program.

Ms. Bacallao also presented her research at the GC Student Research Conference held on April 22, 2016.  Her paper has also been selected to represent Georgia College a the COPLAC Conference to be held on April 23, 2016.  Additionally Diana has been chosen, along with two other students, to receive the outstanding Sociology Major award for 2016.

It was an out of classroom experience which solidified Diana’s belief that she has chosen a field she has come to excel in:  “. . . I think the first time that I realized I kind of knew what I was talking about sociology-wise was in a bar in Salamanca, Spain around 2:30 in the morning.  I walked into a conversation that a couple of Australian acquaintances were having about Aborigines.  It quickly snowballed into a talk about Native Americans, and then African Americans, and then the United States’ education system, and then it may have turned into me holding a seminar about oppression and poverty.  A group discussion followed (seriously) where people from all over the world (seriously) were applying the systems I had just talked about to their own countries. It was surreal, and it wasn’t until 3 hours later on the walk home when the girl I was traveling with was like “Diana, that was awesome” until it really sunk in.” 

Diana will be graduating in May and plans to attend graduate school in Student Affairs at North Carolina State.    She explains her decision making process, “I’ve chosen to pursue a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. I think that my degree and classes in Sociology are the perfect prerequisite to working with students and institutions on a professional level. Because I am specifically interested in working with at risk students and helping institutions serve and retain them my sociology classes will give me an edge identifying how best to serve students in graduate school and beyond. I’m confident that the research I’ve been involved with for my capstone and the skills I’m learning in my Research Methods class will get me through [my graduate program].”


Political Science student presents at annual meeting

Hillary Hunnings, Political Science and Mass Communications double major presented a paper entitled, "Bystander, Observer, Participant: The United States and Humanitarian Intervention" at the International Studies Association Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in March.  The research, which was conducted with former GC political science Professor Dr. Jason Rich, examined domestic and international variables affecting patterns of U.S. humanitarian intervention in the world.

New Faculty Member Has Article Published

Amanda Reinke, Ph.D., Georgia College's new Anthropology professor, recently has an article published in the journal "Bronislaw Magazine."  Entitled "Of monsters and men: tech, startups and direct action in the San Francisco Bay Area," the article examines the downfall of direct action in addressing the roots of pervasive problems that have resulted from tensions rising in the San Francisco Bay Area, as incoming tech and startup workers displace longtime residents.

The article may be read here.

Election Talk: Voter ID and Voter Fraud
An election talk with political scientist Dr. Hank Edmondson (Government & Sociology)
Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 12-1pm
Russell Library (Times Talk Corner)

This talk is co-sponsored by the Ina Dillard Russell Library, the American Democracy Project, the Department of Government & Sociology and the Honors Program.

Election Talk: Is Trump a Populist?
An election talk with political scientist Dr. Hank Edmondson (Government & Sociology).
Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 12-1pm
Russell Library (Times Talk Corner)

This talk is co-sponsored by the Ina Dillard Library, American Democracy Project, the Department of Government & Sociology and the Honors Program.

GC's Constitution Week September 16, 19-23

Friday, Sept.16:  Constitution Day Festival – music and constitution-themed activities on Front Campus 11am-2pm.  

Monday, Sept. 19:  Hugh Thompson (Chief Justice, GA Supreme Court) to discuss access to justice and expansion of the GA Supreme Court (6-6:45pm); State Rep. Allen Peake to discuss medical marijuana and associated issues of federalism (6:45-7:30) 

Tuesday, Sept. 20:  Supreme Court Review panel

Wednesday, Sept. 21:  Times Talk (noon at Library – student discussion of Guns on Campus and Free Exercise / RFRA)

Wednesday, Sept. 21:  Guns on Campus Discussion – State Rep. Susan Holmes, State Rep. Stacey Godfrey Evans

Wednesday, Sept. 21:  Free Exercise / RFRA Discussion - State Rep. Stacey Godfrey Evans, State Sen. Josh McKoon

Thursday, Sept. 22:  Jason Carter and Josh Belinfante to discuss redistricting, voter identification, and voter registration

The Department of Government and Sociology at Georgia College is committed to providing all of its students with an education that offers in-depth study and a breath of experience through our programs.  Our faculty and curriculum focuses on engaging and challenging students to grow both academically and personally as they prepare for careers in their chosen fields or by continuing their studies at the graduate level.   The undergraduate programs include the BA major and minor in Criminal Justice, Political Science and Sociology, and a minor in Anthropology.  At the graduate level we offer two degrees, the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice.  

With 25 dedicated full-time faculty, the department prides itself on promoting a student-centered learning environment in pursuit of intellectual excellence.  As active scholars in their field, our faculty have been recognized with outstanding teaching, research and service awards.  Our programs share a commitment to the highest standards of academic quality and faculty work closely with students as teacher-scholars to advance their goals.  By embracing our liberal arts mission, we strive to create an academic environment that aims to assist the development of life-long and independent learners. 

Our students have opportunities to become involved in undergraduate research, public service projects, and internships.  They learn in and beyond the classroom through civic engagement, study abroad, work on archaeology sites, etc.  Several courses offer students opportunities to work with local citizens and public school students in citizenship and community-based programming.

Once again, welcome to the Department of Government and Sociology and on behalf of the faculty I invite you to contact us with any questions and encourage you to learn more about our work!

Carrie Cook, Ph.D.
Professor and Acting Chair


Georgia College and State University has been identified as having one of the most affordable online Master's degree programs in Public Administration for 2016. 

Editors selected programs from accredited universities and colleges based on graduate tuition prices and fees as published by NCES College Navigator.

Read more here.





Department of Government and Sociology
Arts and Sciences Room 2-03  |  Campus Box 18
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Phone: (478) 445-4562
Fax: (478) 445-5273