GC Shades of Green

2020/2021 Initiatives

Dr. Kalina Manoylov began serving as the Chairperson for the GC Shades of Green in 2020. Under her guidance and direction, the GC Shades of Green will research and address campus sustainability issues caused by COVID-19. Dr. Manoylov will address the Board prior to the opening of the 2020/2021 academic year to brainstorm how GC Shades of Green can have a positive impact in reducing the negative impacts on the natural environment of the solutions to face-to-face campus activities.


A member of the GC Shades of Green External Board has joined the City of Sparta as the Superintendent for the Wastewater department. Please join us in congratulation Amanda Martin-Aiken on this great career move

Trends for 2021

Trends for 2021


2021 Events

A new event is on the horizon! Watch for details here.

GC Shades of Green hosted a community information symposium on Thursday, March 25, 2021 beginning at 4:00 PM. The symposium will focus on aquatic invaders of Georgia lakes and will include two and a half hours of expert opinion, scientific presentations, and Q&A sessions on invasive primary producers in Georgia lakes. The link to the virtual meeting can be found here.

Aquatic Invaders Symposium Flyer
Purpose of the Organization

GC Shades of Green (GC SOG) is an organization dedicated to responsible leadership grounded in ethics, corporate and social responsibility for the creation and maintenance of a sustainable world. The mission of GC Shades is to develop environmentally responsible citizens through collaboration with the GC Sustainability Council, students, faculty, staff, community members, and strategic business partners. Thus, GC Shades of Green is dedicated to providing valuable transformative interdisciplinary learning opportunities outside of the classroom that expands knowledge beyond textbooks and lectures to influence.

GC SOG Constitution - constitution_for_shades_of_green_9_16_18.pdf

Executive Board of Directors
Doreen (Dee) Sams, Ph.D., Founder
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Dr. Sams is a Professor of Marketing at Georgia College & State University. She has a Ph.D. in marketing from University of South Florida. Dee teaches masters level International Business, and undergraduate level marketing research and digital analytics. Since 2005, she has supervised over 250 undergraduate marketing research projects for community partners across the country, several of which have been presented at conferences and/or published in journals. She has developed and conducted marketing study abroad programs in Spain since 2012. She serves in two administrative roles at the university in addition to serving as a marketing professor. She served as the Course Lead for the Georgia WebMBA (International Business course) since 2008 as well as the university faculty coordinator for Mentored Undergraduate Research & Creative Endeavors since 2012. Her personal academic research spans services marketing, brand communities, public policy, sustainability, pedagogy, and international issues. Her sustainability research includes a co-authored book chapter in Handbook of Sustainable Water Use and Management, eds Walter Leal Filho and Vakur Samer. She has presented at 60+ academic and practitioner conferences across multiple countries and States. She serves on the editorial review boards for multiple journals and conferences and has served as editor for a special edition of the Journal of Transformative Learning.

 Hashita Mahabadue, Ph.D. President

Dr. Mahabaduge is an Associate Professor of Physics at Georgia College & State University. Dr. Mahabaduge received his bachelor's degree from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and his doctoral degree from University of Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Mahabaduge spent two years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado as a postdoctoral researcher. Dr. Mahabaduge's primary research interests include fabrication and characterization of flexible CdTe solar cells. During his tenure at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory he was instrumental in fabricating the highest efficient flexible CdTe solar cell. Dr. Mahabaduge is an ardent supporter of undergraduate research and integrating research into curriculum. Dr. Mahabaduge guided his students to retrofit solar powered golf carts as part of their coursework and is in the process of expanding the solar powered golf cart fleet at Georgia College. Dr. Mahabaduge firmly believes energy education and training is vital to the achievement and maintenance of energy sustainability. As part of their course work, Dr. Mahabaduge guides his students to conduct workshops in renewable energy for K-12 students to train the next generation of renewable energy leaders.

Kalina Manoylov, Ph.D., Past President 

Dr. Manoylov is a professor of Biology at Georgia College & State University and an Adjunct associate professor at the University of Iowa. She has a Ph.D. in Zoology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior from Michigan State University. Her career began as a phycologist in Bulgaria working on anthropogenic alterations of diatom communities from the Black Sea Coast after Chernobyl. Currently, she uses algal community data to understand environmental changes and anthropogenic effects in different aquatic environments. She is a proponent of water conservation and scientific education. Dr. Manoylov resides in Georgia with her husband and two grown children.

Cameron Skinner, Board Member
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Cameron Skinner is the Sustainability Assistant for the Office of Sustainability at Georgia College & State University (GCSU). A proud alumnus of GCSU, he has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. Cameron focuses his work on the University’s waste management practices, where he helps to oversee the campus-wide recycling program, composting program, community garden, and other special projects. Cameron also has a passion for tackling systemic societal issues that cause food insecurities in select community populations, therefore, he also serves as the staff advisor for a program that works to recover perfectly edible, leftover food and redistribute it to food insecure individuals in the Milledgeville-Baldwin County and GCSU communities. Cameron is also an active member in various professional organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the Georgia Recycling Coalition (GRC).

Ronald Smith, MS, Secretary

Ron is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Marketing with Georgia College & State University.  Prior to coming to Georgia College and State University Ron’s most recent experience included serving as the Director of Marketing for Blue Bird Corporation, a leading manufacturer of school and activity buses in Fort Valley, Georgia.  His assignments beyond the job description included championing the product development and launch of the first OEM propane alternative fueled Green school bus in the industry, the Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision School Bus.  The Green Bus quickly penetrated seventeen States and three Provinces of Canada gaining $90 million in sales revenue.  Ron was also a contributing member of Blue Bird’s engineering based Product Review Board, active with the Dealer Advisory Council, responsible for coordinating sales & marketing presentations across North America, acted as Blue Bird Corporation’s representative to the school bus industry trade associations, and had the responsibility for Branding, Media, Product Management, Public Relations, Industry Trade Shows, Conferences, Sales Administration and Sponsorships.

Previous to joining Blue Bird, Ron was Director of Marketing for Sika Corporation, a global matrix organization and leading manufacturer and supplier of Specialty Chemicals Adhesives, Bonding Materials and Sealants for the Automotive OEM, OES and Aftermarket, Bus, Truck, Rail and Marine, Metal Building, Appliance & Components, and Building Materials markets.  Ron was hands-on in global and local product expert teams, the stage-gate product development process, established the marketing department, planned and executed all integrated marketing communications activities, and led new market research and product development efforts which resulted in the launch of seven new technologies, penetration of five new markets and double digit growth in each of his four years. 

Other product marketing positions have included Plastics Research Corporation, ABTCO Building Products, and Stanley Home Automation and Door Systems Divisions of The Stanley Works.

Ron earned his MBA and BSBA with a Marketing concentration from Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan.  He served four years with pride in the U.S. Air Force in Avionics with the Tactical Air Command and in Vietnam with the 4413th Armament, Electronics and Maintenance Squadron.  He resides with his wife Susan in Macon, Georgia where they are active in St. Joseph Catholic Church.  Ron is a Reader at Sunday Masses, and has served on the Pastoral Council.  They live on a golf course and love golf, and also enjoy Ballroom Dancing.  Ron has been a Board Member of the Greater Macon Chapter of USA Dance for which he also acted as an assistant instructor in beginning bronze level ballroom dance instruction, led member satisfaction surveys, and maintained the chapter’s Website.

Whitney Ginder, Ph.D., Event Chair

Dr. Whitney Ginder is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Georgia College & State University. She earned her doctoral degree from Auburn University. Dr. Ginder’s primary research interests include corporate social responsibility, sustainability, political consumerism, marginalized consumer populations, and the role of social media in consumer behavior and marketing. Her research has been published in Psychology & Marketing and has been presented at numerous scholarly conferences including American Marketing Association and American Collegiate Retailing Association, among others.

Dr. Ginder has an extensive professional background in retailing, including five years working as a buyer for Dillard’s, Inc. Her professional and scholarly backgrounds inform her approach to teaching and to fostering continued collaboration among industry, academia, and the local community.

Lori Hamilton, MS, Treasurer

Lori is the Chief Sustainability Officer in the Office of Sustainability, a unit within the Facilities Operations Department, at Georgia College. She has been at Georgia College for 18 years and has worked for Facilities Operations for 13 years with 5 of those years directly involved with Sustainability. Ms. Strawder is an adjunct instructor for the Information System & Computer Science Department in the College of Business and has taught Computers in Business since 2008. She received a B.A. in History and a B.G.S. in General Studies from Valdosta State University and a Master in Management Information Systems and a Master in Public Administration from Georgia College. Ms. Strawder has served on the Georgia College Sustainability Council since 2012 and as budget manager since 2013. Current memberships include the Sustainability Fee Program (formerly the Student Green Fee Committee), the Georgia Campus Sustainability Network, Georgia Recycling Coalition, Association of Energy Engineers and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Ms. Strawder has served as a board member for Shades of Green since 2014.

External Board Members
Amanda Martin Aiken, City of Milledgeville Wastewater Treatment Authority

Amanda Martin Akins is employed by City of Sparta as the Superintendent for the Wastewater Department. She previously held the position as the Industrial Pretreatment and FOG Coordinator for the City of Milledgeville until March 2021. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Georgia College and State University in 2010 with concentrations in Management, Marketing, and Accounting. Prior to this, she obtained her Associates of Science from Georgia Military College in Logistics Management and General Business. Mrs. Akins is also a State of Georgia certified Laboratory Analyst, Wastewater Class II Operator, and Master Tutor. In addition to being on the Board of Directors for Shades of Green, Mrs. Akins is on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern FOG Alliance and is their treasurer.

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Dr. Karen Berman was Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Georgia College for twelve years.  She published two book chapters, is Dean Emerita of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, is a Past President of ATHE, and is Artistic Director of Washington Women in Theatre. She received the Georgia Governor's Award for the Arts. She is an At-Large Councilor for the Council on Undergraduate Research. She has worked with Shades of Green on the original play Don’t Flush It and has worked with Dr. Doreen Sams and Dr. Kalina Manoylov on journal articles and presentations.

Jeniffer Sams,Academic Success Coach, GMC Global Online Campus, EdS Student Indiana University, MA University of Florida, BS East Tennessee State University, Phi Lambda Theta Member, Member AAUP, Member NAEA
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Jeniffer Sams is an accomplished professional with broad-based experience within the academic and business sectors. Background demonstrates success managing operational and administrative functions combined with a track-record of excellence providing art instruction at the collegiate level as well as the K-12 level. She frequently leads the development and implementation of environmental art programs and initiatives to drive interest and foster a love for the arts and the environment. She has a distinguished history serving as a member and advisor on a number of boards and committees. She is also adept in building relationships with internal and external partners within business, academia, and the community-at-large.

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Mr. Phil Sams has been involved in Georgia College & State Univ. (GCSU/GC), from the beginning of GC Shades of Green. Phil has served in GC Shades of Green roles of project management, various technical tasks, logistics, and other tasks as requested.

Mr. Sams is an AACSB, SACS certified instructor for a full range of Information Technology & Management Information Systems curriculum at the undergraduate level of 2 & 4 year college/university as of 2003. Mr. Sams taught at the University of South Florida as an instructor in 2004. He earned his Master of Science degree in Computer Management Information Systems (MS-MIS) from the University of South Florida in 2003. Mr. Sams also graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) from East Tennessee State University in 1989.

He is an innovative and experienced Senior Consultant and Instructor (retired) of software development and quality, who is able to contribute a unique blend of software quality assets to firms by increasing software ROI and quality while helping to decrease time-to-market. His primary consulting and instructing strengths are on Load & Performance testing and automated testing and framework designs and implementations.

Mr. Sams has a proven software ALM, consulting, and technical instruction background in which greater than 20% were returning students (2, 3, and 4 times), adding additional revenue and business. During a 15-month period, he taught over 550 students in seven (7) different courses, generating revenue in excess of $1,000,000. He has created and delivered “Train the Trainer” programs in Europe (e.g., London, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam) in 2007 and 2008, which resulted in the certification of 25 (out of 35) Borland SilkTest and SilkPerformer instructors in Europe.

Mr. Sams has both published in journals and presented conference papers including:

  • “ROA/ROI-Based Load And Performance Testing Best Practices Increasing Customer Satisfaction and Positive Word-of-Mouth Advertising” (Journal and Conference 2012),
  • “Software Security Assurance a Matter of Global Significance: within the Product Life Cycle Propositions” (Journal and Conference 2012),
  • “Improving Your Test Automation ROI Using Object-Oriented Testing Techniques with Rational Robot” Rational Users Conference 2005, and
  • “Software Good Enough To Ship” 2003.
Junior Board of Directors
Schuylar Bankey

My name is Schuylar Bankey. I am an environmental science major. Through my studies at Georgia College I have learned
why it is important to do my part to make our environment better and not compromise its future.  I want to help others understand why sustainability is important to future generations.

Female with light brown hair and blue suit
Paige Bunn

My name is Paige Bunn and I am a senior Marketing major. I have always aimed to practice environmentally conscious habits but became interested in sustainability while doing research for a course project. I was nominated for the GC SOG student board member position based on the research I conducted. I look forward to bringing more awareness for sustainability on the Georgia College campus. 

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Past GC Shades of Green Events
2019 Event
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2018 Event

Halimeda - "Lady Protector of the Sea" Creation by Jeniffer Sams, Doctoral Student, Indiana University.

run down building, water and Halimeda Science symbol with peoples faces inside it Art work and picture of artist
Picture of Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and text Member of Ecotones and text



Marketing Research student standing around the FOG Authority Vehicle

Don't Flush It Video

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Tree with Text Blue side bard with green writing People standing and sitting


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Lady with Baby other photos and flyer



A Real Plastic Women - Creation by Jeniffer Sams and Lorelei Brooks Huff.

A dress made out of recyclable plastics







The Emma Brodzik Scholarship is available to students who meet the following criteria:

Must ...

1) be a Georgia College & State University undergraduate, AND
2) be a first-semester Senior or rising Senior (last semester of Junior year), AND
3) have a university GPA of 3.25 or greater, AND
4) be in the process of earning or have earned the GC Sustainability Certificate, OR an Environmental Science major, OR a member in good standing with the Environmental Science Club, OR on the GC Sustainability Council, OR on the GC Sustainability Fee Program.

Scholarship details:

1) The call for applications will go out in September of each year as long as funds are available,
2) Applications are due to the Chair of the GC SOG by email to gcsog@gcsu.edu by February 15, 2021, with date TBD for each year as long as funding exists,
3) Applications are reviewed by all GC SOG Internal Executive Board Members,
4) The Internal Executive Board members will consider recommendations from the external Board and Junior Board members in their final award decision,
5) Awards will be announced at the Fall GC SOG event each year and publicized on GC Front Page, GC social media, and in the local press, etc.,
6) Awards will be available to the recipient the first day of classes in January of the year following the funding decision.

Click on the link to the PDF for the application. Fill out completely, follow instructions carefully for the items requiring Word documents to be included with the application, sign and date in your handwriting, scan to pdf and return gcsog@gcsu.edu no later than noon on 2/15/21.


2021 Emma Brodzik Scholarship Winner

Congratulations Savannah Taylor the 2021 Emma Brodzik Scholarship Winner

Female in Blue Dress

Savannah is a third year dual World Languages and Cultures, and Economics major who currently interns for the Georgia College Office of Sustainability as the campus garden manager. After being introduced to sustainable issues on campus through her involvement in the GCSU Gardening Club, Savannah gravitated towards work with both the Office of Sustainability and the GIVE Center on Campus. Savannah has been working to create opportunities for the campus and Baldwin school communities to work together through garden workdays, and has also assisted in launching the GIVE Goes Green program, which is meant to involve service organizations in sustainable efforts. Looking past undergraduate school, Savannah plans to pursue a masters in public affairs or economic development, and hopes to work with the US Department of State.

The Second Annual Emma Brodzik Scholarship Awarded 2019


Alexa is currently in the process of earning the Georgia College Sustainability Certificate, has already successfully completed 72 credit hours, and is taking 14 credit hours this semester. She has also completed scholarship qualifying courses including, but not limited to, IDST 20150 Sustainability, GEOG 3100 Intro Geographic Information, COB qualifying courses, ENSC 4400 Resource Use, and ENSC 4150 Environmental Hydrogeology, and has been an active member of the Environmental Science Club for the past five semesters.

Alexa has been an environmental enthusiast since her senior year in a high school, when a class in Marine Biology sparked an interest in the natural world and, in particular, the oceans. In answering the Emma Brodzik scholarship essay questions, she wrote that from the first semester at Georgia College and membership in the GC Environmental Science Club the candidate learned that others also cared about sustainable farming, protection of national parks and composting for which the candidate worked with friends at the GC West Campus in-vessel compost system.

Alexa has made on-going contributions to and participation, since her freshman year, in the Environmental Science Club, Gardening Club, Earth Action Team, volunteer work through the Office of Sustainability, and demonstrated leadership within the Environmental Science Club officer positions of “Office of Sustainability Liaison,” and now as “President of the Environmental Science Club.”

The First Annual Emma Brodzik Scholarship Awarded 2018

Emma was present at the premiere of the movie "Science Fair"  to award Nick Palmer with the very first Emma Brodzik Scholarship Award.