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GC Shades of Green Looks Back on 2011 Week of Events

The mission of Shades of Green at Georgia College is dedication to the promotion and education of sustainability through a collaborative effort with businesses that play an important role in protecting the environment and encouraging energy efficiency to create responsible citizen. The original Shades of Green Founding Board members (JaLynn Hudnall of Ravenwood Forest Consulting, Gerri McCord, Retired from J. Whitney Bunting College of Business Career Center, and Dr. Doreen Sams, Associate Marketing Professor at GC) in 2011 dedicated their efforts to providing GC students with valuable career networking opportunities relevant to GC students that could expand their career horizons outside of traditional channels. The Founding Board also dedicated their efforts to the creation and maintenance of a sustainable world through being to GC corporate leaders grounded in ethics and sustainability.

In 2011, for first time the event crossed an entire week. It began with the signing of a proclamation by the mayors of both Baldwin and Bibb counties. Then on Friday September 30, 2011 a four member panel session was held at the GC Macon Center, Size Six Stiletto Heels & a Pair of Birkenstocks, Carbon Footprints – Careers and Issues; followed on Saturday by a bike ride, Ride for the Green of It All held in the Bartram Forest supervised by Dan Chan, GC masters student and Meteorologist for the Georgia Forestry Commission. On Monday, General Motor’s representatives Araba and Rick brought the Chevy Volt and the Chevy Tahoe to campus offering test-drives to anyone interested and Valvoline’s representatives Bryan Obonna Quality Supervisor at the Ashland Consumer Markets and Jessie Simon Operations Manager Blending and Direct Market Facility College Park Georgia set up a display and shared information about NexGen Motor Oil. Also on Monday, a three-member panel, Driven to be Green – Alternatives in Transportation Careers and Issues, took place in the Magnolia Ballroom. Tuesday began with more test drives of the Chevy Volt and Tahoe and displays and discussions by the Environmental Science Club, Reduce, Recycle, Reuse which continued on Wednesday. Tuesday also offered the Women’s Leadership Forum with Ms. Melissa DeSota, Market Developer, Steelcase in Michigan, and then the four member Food Supply Panel Discussion – Sustainability of the Food Supply – Careers and Issues took place in the A&S Auditorium in the evening. On Wednesday, offered two sessions one in the A&S Auditorium (two member panel) Linking Technology Applications to Sustainable Water Supply – Careers and Issue and another in Beeson Basement Times Talk Sustainability of the U.S. Food Supply. Thursday, October 6th brought a three-member health care Panel to the week of sustainability Sustainable Health Care. Thursday ended with a wonderful production of An Enemy of the People, produced by Henrik Ibsen and adapted by Jimmy Holder and Paul Accettura under the direction of Theatre Chair, Karen Berman. Throughout the week, a display of the winning art from the high school Eco-Art contest was displayed in the College of Education Atrium and a poster session of Green Fee proposals was on display on the second floor of the Library. All events, except for the one at the Macon Center and the Women’s Leadership Forum were open to everyone.

In 2011 panelists included: Heather Alhadeff, Urban Design, Senior Transportation Planner for Perkins+Wills of Savannah Georgia; Jean Aycock, President/CEO for Oconee Regional Health Systems, Inc., Milledgeville Georgia; David Campbell, Interim Administrator of Perry Hospital and Executive Director of Managed Care and Physician Services, Perry Georgia; Leesa Carter, Executive Director, U.S. Green Building Council-Georgia Chapter, Atlanta Georgia; Naomi Davis, owner, Davis Farms, Roberta Georgia; Araba O.Dowell, Group Manager of SE Region Communications, General Motors
Atlanta Georgia; Susanne Fischer-Quinn, Corporate Communications Manager for MAGE SOLAR USA Dublin Georgia; Nell Fry, Sustainability Coordinator, GT Dining-Sodexo, Atlanta Georgia; Denise R. Grabowski, IACP, LEED AP, Symbiocity, Savannah Georgia; Pete Kelly, Environmental Control, Frito Lay, Perry Georgia; Mrs. Sherri Malone, M3V, LLC Milledgeville Georgia and Dr. Valerian Simianu, Ph.D. P.E. Vice President, M3V, LLC - Indianapolis Indiana; Charise Stephens, Executive Director, Middle Georgia Clean Cities Coalition, Macon Georgia; Janet Simoneaux, Environmental Director, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Southeast Toyota Distributors, Deerfield Beach Florida; Christopher Turner, Development Professional, Walton Rehab Hospital, Augusta Georgia; and  G. Michael Williams, Sysco, Atlanta Georgia.

Off-campus facilitators included: Carl Perazzola, Deputy Chief of the Air Force Corrosion Prevention & Control Office, Warner Robins Georgia and JaLynn Hudnall owner of Ravenwood Consulting, Warner Robins Georgia. Faculty participating as moderators or facilitators included: Dianne Chamblee, MSN, RN, NEA-BC. College of Health Sciences/School of Nursing, Nursing Faculty/Outreach Coordinator; Tanya Goette, Ph.D., Chair, Information Systems & Computer Science; Liz Havey, Study Abroad Advisor, International Education; and Dr. Kalina Manoylov, Assistant Professor of Biology, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. Faculty serving as supervisors for student participants included: Will Hobbs, Leisure Behavior Assistant Professor, Outdoor Education; Gregg Kaufman, Department of Government & Sociology, Instructor and Coordinator of Civic Engagement Projects; Other faculty participants included: Dr. Matthew Liao-Troth, Dean, J. Whitney Bunting College of Business; Dr. Dale Young Association Dean, J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, Dr. Doug Oetter, Associate Professor, Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy & Chair of the Sustainability Council; and Dr. William (Bill) Fisher, Chair, Associate Professor, Art Department.

Student Panelist/Facilitators/Contributors included Georgia College students: Lucas Newton, Masters Student Outdoor Education; Sarah Hazzard, senior Environmental Science major; Colin Maidonado, third year Environmental Science major; Hannah Sadowski, senior Environmental Science major; Matthias Jacob, exchange student Magdeburg University Germany; Nigel Sanyangore, Masters of Business Administration student from Zimbabwe; and University of Florida Masters of Art Ed second year masters student, Jeniffer Sams. Student event coordinators include: Student Supervisor, Emily Scarboro; Abbey Benton, senior Marketing major; Erin Fair, senior Marketing major; Jackie Hooper, senior Marketing major; Courtney Kennedy, Senior Marketing major and German Minor; Zachary Tuman, Senior in Marketing major; and Angel Watkins, senior Marketing major.

Event sponsors for 2011 Shades of Green Week were: J. Whitney Bunting College of Business, the Development Authority of Milledgeville and Baldwin County, Heart of Georgia Energy Coalition Warner Robins, Ravenwood Forest Consulting Warner Robins, Mr. Phil Sams and Dr. Doreen Sams Milledgeville, Mrs. Gerri McCord Macon, Keep Milledgeville Baldwin Beautiful, Sodexo, Bicycling Club of Milledgville Baldwin county, Georgia Forestry Comission, Honors Program of GC under the direction of Dr. Steve Elliott-Gower, Krogers Milledgeville, Museum of Arts and Science Macon, Dan Nainan Comedian and Voiceover Artist, 42nd Floor Custom Apparel & More, Salty Dog Carmels from Barbary Brix, and Wheeler’s Nursery, Inc. Macon.

The 2011-week of events was a success in that each event was well attended. From those who attended, the majority reported that overall he or she felt that the event they attended met or exceeded their expectations and that the week of events was a success. Areas that can be improved were identified and are being addressed in the 2013 event. Also, students who did not attend were surveyed to identify why they did not attend. These are also being addressed.

 Shades of Green provided GC students with educational resources on the importance of sustainability as well as providing them with networking opportunities with industry executives, such as Araba Dowell, General Motor’s Southeast Regional Manager of Communications. Thus, two Georgia College (GC) students, Angel Watkins and Emily Scarboro, took full advantage of the event as an opportunity to stand out.  Both women made such a great impression on GM’s representatives that the company gave them both a career opportunity of a lifetime. General Motors, a major sponsor of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Conference 2011 Career Development Exhibition, provided these two GC Marketing majors with   an all expense paid trip to the conference. General Motors decided they wanted to get to know the women a little bit better so the company provided them with a fully fueled 2011 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid to drive to Orlando, free passes to the PRSSA Conference, a hotel room at the Renaissance Hotel at Sea World, and food and expense money for the trip. The conference had many sessions that were beneficial to their academic careers. The conference also gave them career networking opportunities that otherwise could never have happened. “Ms. Dowell arranged for them to have dinner every night with various GM professionals. It was great, having an opportunity to actually get face-to-face with these folks it was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Angel. “I learned so much and have formed relationships with the corporate automotive-tech PR manager Jennie Ecclestone and the Miami GM PR agent Stephanie Camargo. I would never have had this opportunity if it weren’t for SOG and Araba Dowell.”  “Opportunities are never lost; someone will take the one you miss,” said Emily. “I have worked hard throughout my college career and I know if I can just get five minutes with a decision maker they will see I would be a valuable team member. Milton Berle said ‘If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door,’ thanks to Ms. Dowell, our carpentry skills are getting better every day.” 

Also, success is measured from the panelist/presenters perspective. For example, Ashland, Valvoline’s parent company posted an article “Going green on campus Collegians learn about environmental benefits of NextGen motor oil” on their website. Yet, another example comes from G. Michael Williams of Sysco in which he states, “I enjoyed the college symposium and I will be repeating it at Sysco for the new training class.”

The 2013 events will be a three-day event in the spring as GC Shades of Green has moved to flow from the Earth Week events. This year brought in opportunities for sponsorships that have not been available in the past and with larger sponsorships, greater successes are expected.

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