GC Shades of Green

Emma Brodzik started a new position as Global Sustainability Engagement Manager at Rheem Manufacturing

Emma Brodzik Global Sustainability Engagement Manager at Rheem

2022/2023 initiatives

Dr. Doreen (Dee) Sams will serve as Chairperson for GC Shades of Green in August 2022. The Executive Board met in April 2022 to discuss initiatives to bring to the full board. Initiatives will include bringing awareness to campus sustainability initiatives and the role of fast fashions' negative impact on the environment. Dr. Mary Kay Rickard and Dr. Dee Sams will work collaboratively to produce an event to benefit the community and bring awareness and knowledge of the costs to consumers and the natural environment. Dr. Sams will work with the committee to investigate the feasibility of joining the Green Chamber of the South. 

2021/2022 Initiatives

Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge began serving as the Chairperson for the GC Shades of Green in August 2021. Dr. Mahabaduge addressed the Board at the beginning of the 2021/2022 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. Under his guidance and direction, the GC Shades of Green addressed the impacts of renewable energy resources and education on and off campus at the November 2021  Solar Energy event.

During the Spring semester of 2022, Dr. Manoylov provided two webinar events. One on March 23rd with guest speaker, Dr. R Jan Stevenson, Michigan State University and a second on April 6th with guest speaker, Dr. Sylvia Lee, EPA Biologist in Washington DC. 

2020/2021 initiatives

Dr. Kalina Manoylov began serving as the Chairperson for the GC Shades of Green in August 2020. She met with the Board to brainstorm the year's initiative. 

2021 Events

GC Shades of Green hosted a panel discussion on Solar energy on Thursday, November 11, 2021 in the Pat Peterson Museum Education Room in Heritage Hall. Attendees learned more about the solar industry from four of Georgia College's very own alumni. Each of our guest speakers had actively conducted undergraduate research on solar technology and currently work in the solar energy industry. 

Spring 2022 events were produced and delivered by Dr. Kalina Manoylov. 

Georgia Power Endowed Professorship promotes environmental research, public education programs, and lectures on the Georgia College campus and the local community. High quality research of guest speakers, faculty and students is supporting programming in water quality and environmental sciences issues.

This year we combine discussions and talks related to the 50 year anniversary of the US Clean Water Act of 1972. The events were held via WebEx.

March 23rd with guest speaker, Dr. R Jan Stevenson, Michigan State University. Topic: Uses of algae in Bioassessment in the US.

April 6th meeting, the Emma Brodzik Scholarship – 2022 was awarded to Anna Lippy. Guest lecturer was Dr. Sylvia Lee, EPA Biologist in Washington DC. 


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 & GCSU Members
Female Professor
Doreen (Dee) Sams, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Board President (2022/2023), & Former Board President (since inception of GC SOG to 2019/2020)

Dee earned her doctoral degree in marketing with a subfield in statistics from University of South Florida in 2005. She holds a MBA from the University of South Florida with tracks in marketing, leading the customer driven organization. and International marketing. Dee taught masters level International Business, and undergraduate level marketing research and digital analytics. From 2005 until 2022, she taught and mentored over 300 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 from 2012-2018. She served in two administrative roles at the university in addition to serving as a marketing professor. She has served as the Course Lead for the Georgia WebMBA (International Business course) 2008-2021 as well as the university Coordinator for Mentored Undergraduate Research & Creative Endeavors since 2012-2022. 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. Under her leadership of MURACE since 2012, the university received the prestigious AURA Award from the Council or Undergraduate Research. A scholarship was created in her name by Dr. Karen Berman and Dr. Kalina Manoylov to be awarded to an undergraduate researcher at GCSU.  the 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. She has an extensive background in management and sales. She is currently collaborating with Dr. Mary Kay Rickard on two sustainability research endeavors 1) The Impact of Gentrification and 2) Food Insecurity.

 Kalina Manoylov, Ph.D., Co-Founder & Board President  (2020/2021) & Board Secretary (2023/2024)

Kalina earned her doctoral degree from the University of Michigan. She is a professor of Biology at Georgia College & State University and an Adjunct associate professor at the University of Iowa. Her Ph.D. is 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.

 Hashita Mahabadue, Ph.D., Board President (2021/2022) & Board Events Chair (2023/2024)

Hasitha 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.

Lori Hamilton, MS, GC SOG Treasurer (Since GC SOG Inception to Present)

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 24 years with the last 12 of those years directly involved with Sustainability. Ms. Hamilton 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. Hamilton 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, the Georgia Recycling Coalition, the Association of Energy Engineers and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Ms. Hamilton has served as a board member for Shades of Green since 2014.

Mary Kay Rickard, DBA, GC SOG Webmaster (2022/2023) Incoming President Elect (2023/2024)
Female Professor

Mary is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Georgia College & State University. She received her doctoral degree in Marketing from Kennesaw State University in 2014. Mary has 20 years of teaching experience and is currently teaching undergraduate professional selling, sales management, and marketing. She is the faculty advisor for the Sales Team. She has also developed and conducted marketing study abroad programs for 10 years visiting China, England, Spain, Hungary, and Prague. Mary’s previous industry experience is in wholesale and retail fashion, travel, and she has owned two service industry businesses.

Her research primarily focuses on sales, franchising, higher education, and sustainability. She is involved in several sustainability projects for the community, and she is working with Dr. Dee Sams on two of these projects. One is on the impact of gentrification and the second is on the perceptions of food insecurity in our community. She is also working with a student on a research project to complete her Certificate in Sustainability. They have worked together to analyze the campus-wide recycling program. The goal is to provide the university with information on ways of becoming more sustainable by providing achievable recommendations.​

Karen Berman, Ph.D., GCSU Theatre & Dance Chair Retired
Lady with dark hair and glasses wearing a black suit

Karen is the retired Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Georgia College where she served 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. Karen is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club. 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.

External Board Members
Jeniffer Sams, Ed.S., Indiana University & Eco-Artist
Female with blond hair and black streaks in it

Jeniffer  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 routinely volunteers at the Ruth Hartley Mosley Women's Center in Macon Georgia where she teaches under-resourced students eoc art. 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.

Philip (Phil) Sams, BSCS & MMIS 
Man in suit

Phil has been involved in Georgia College & State University's GC Shades of Green, from its beginning in 2008. Phil has served in GC Shades of Green roles of project management, various technical tasks, logistics, and other tasks as requested.

Phil 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
Positions Open for 2022-2023 Academic Year. 

Recommendations for student board members should be sent to Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge. 

Past GC Shades of Green Events
2022 Happenings

During the Spring semester of 2022 Dr. Manoylov provided two webinar events. One on March 23rd with guest speaker, Dr. R Jan Stevenson, Michigan State University and a second on April 6th with guest speaker, Dr. Sylvia Lee, EPA Biologist in Washington DC. 

2021 Happenings

Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge lead the charge for the GC Shades of Green in addressing the impacts of renewable energy resources and education on and off campus at the November 2021  Solar Energy event.

An article was published "Transformative Learning Science Experiences beyond the Classroom: A Longitudinal Case Study of One Organization’s Approach" authored by Doreen Sams, Kalina Manoylov, and Jeniffer Sams in The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Accepted for Publication March 22, 2021.

2020 Happenings

Aquatic Invaders of Georgia Lakes - a community information symposium of expert opinion, scientific presentations and Q&A on invasive primary producers in Georgia lakes with Dr. Kalina Manoylov, Dr. Eutychus Kariuki and student, Meagan Henderson.

2019 Happenings
map with shoes and text
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
2017 Happenings
Picture of Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and text Member of Ecotones and text


2016 Happenings
Marketing Research student standing around the FOG Authority Vehicle
2015 Happenings

Don't Flush It Video

Picture of three students at podium





2014 Happenings

Research presented in Kos, Greece by an undergraduate student, Ivan Manoylov, mentored by Drs. Sams and Parker and co-authored with undergraduate student, Emily Scarboro. “Sustainability Paradigm: Perspective of the Small Retailers,” Sustainable Development and Planning Conference, Wessex Institute of Technology.

2013 Happenings
Tree with Text Blue side bard with green writing People standing and sitting

"This was a great year for GC SOG and its students with large attendances at events and greater interest in participating in SO events. One outstanding outcome occurred when the SO’s founder and co-founder sponsored a student’s costs to Washington, DC to experience a national sustainability conference for practitioners. From participating in the event, new ideas emerged for future Environmental Sustainability offerings and opportunities for the GC SOG as well as research (TLE) for the student" (Sams, Manoylov, and Sams 2021).

2012 Happenings
Lady with Baby other photos and flyer

Article published in 2012 in the National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology publication. ARTICLE

2011 Happenings

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

A dress made out of recyclable plastics
2010 Happenings

The Board expanded from the three principle members by adding its first external board member (local nonprofit sustainability solutions owner).

2009 Happenings

In this year, Carl Perazzola, Chief Deputy of the US Air Force Corrosion Prevention expanded the event to include attendees from the campus and local communities. He was joined by a professor from Canada, Monica Ospina, who owned a environmental sustainability organization for small companies presented together.

2008 Happenings

Carl Perazzola, Chief Deputy of the US Air Force Corrosion Prevention spoke to MBA student on campus about his role in sustainability efforts.

Recent Publications on Sustainability

Doreen Sams, Kalina M. Manoylov, and Jeniffer Sams (2021) Transformative Learning Science Experiences beyond the Classroom: A Longitudinal Case Study of One Organization's Approach. The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum.


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 March 31, 2023, 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 3/31/23.


2021/2022 Emma Brodzik Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to Anna Lippy of the 2021/2022 Emma Brodzik Scholarship Winner!

College female

Anna is Environmental Science major who is in the process of earning a GC sustainability Certificate. She has completed the following courses toward earning the certificate: IDST 2050, Sustainability; ECON 2106, Principles of Macroeconomics; PHIL 2010, Survey of Philosophy; BIOL 2800, Ecology; ECON 3840, Economic Growth; GEOG 4400, Resource Use. It is clear that sustainability is important personally to Anna. Anna stated in her application that "outside of my career, I plan to lead by example like my older sister does by incorporating sustainable habits into my daily lifestyle. I hope to incorporate the housing elements I learned from my Sustainability class and SouthFace into the home I will live in so I can be environmentally conscious on multiple fronts. I think this will help bring fulfillment into my life, no matter where I’m living or what my job is." She also stated that “sustainability is important to me because it highlights the relationship between economics, environment, and ethics, also known as the triple bottom line. This relationship emphasizes that everyone is impacted by decisions, and thus a solution to our environmental crisis must include everyone.” “Overall, the classes that I have taken in pursuit of the Environmental Science degree and Certificate of Sustainability have given me a well-rounded understanding of how the world around me works on a macro and micro-scale. I know that there are various factors driving the systems we have in place, and that there are pros and cons to these systems. Since our society is so complex, there are a lot of variables to consider when evaluating solutions.”

2020/2021 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.

2018/2019 Annual Emma Brodzik Scholarship Award


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.”

2017/2018 Annual Emma Brodzik Scholarship Award

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