Monthly Archives: September 2020

Student Athletes Who will Never Know

COVID-19 sent all Piedmont student athletes home until this fall, but for some athletes there will be no return.

Each NCAA spring sport athlete was given an extra year of eligibility so seniors could return, but for two Piedmont baseball players, returning was not an option.

Will Janofsky and Nate Rotenberger played on the 2019 Lion’s baseball club. Both were seniors and had played on the team the past three seasons.  

Janofsky had a huge impact during his time at Piedmont as a late-inning reliever for the Lions. Through 16 appearances, Janofsky compiled a 2-2 record, picking up two saves, posting a 1.33 ERA and striking out  21. Janofsky was named twice to the USA South All-Academic Team (2017, 2018).

“The biggest reason for not returning is that I was ready to start developing my professional career and take that next step in my life,” Janofsky said. 

The decision was easy for Rotenberger, too. “I graduated at the end of the spring and got accepted into PT school,” he said. “It wasn’t much of a decision. Returning was out of the picture, my time at Piedmont was over.” 

Rotenberger came on strong his senior year, becoming a regular member of the Lions rotation. For his career, the pitcher posted a 3.45 ERA through four starts, striking out 12. He was a three-time USA South All-Academic player (2017, 2018, 2019).   

Although the decisions were easy to make, both said they will really miss their time on the field.  

“I’ll miss cutting up with all my teammates, cracking too many jokes, and the grind of preparing for competition,” Rotenberger said. “I always loved getting better with all my teammates and just having fun.” 

Janofsky said he will also miss his teammates, as well as the Piedmont campus. “I’ll miss Mrs. Melba in the caf, along with the comradery with the guys and the competitive atmosphere that was always involved with the team,” he said. 

Both athletes likely saw their last competitive action on the field as players, a feeling that isn’t lost on Rotenberger. “I’ll miss the competition aspect of the game,” he said.. “The thrill of standing on the mound with the ball in your hand is such a powerful feeling and I’ll forever wish I could throw one more pitch.” 

Are Baseball’s Unwritten Rules Morphing?

Expressing emotion in baseball creates joy, hate, and excitement. No matter if you are on the side of a huge win or a part of a lopsided loss, every baseball player has experienced both emotions. So it is easy to relate even to a MLB superstar. Fernando Tatis Jr stunned the world of Major League Baseball by hitting a grand slam against the Texas Rangers, but why were some people more angry than happy by this? On August 17th, The San Diego Padres matched up against the Texas Rangers and it was all Padres the whole game. The Padres running away with the game, up 10-3 late in the eighth inning, added to the bleeding. Fernando Tatis Jr, who is an early MVP candidate during this shortened 60 game season, came up to bat with the bases loaded and whacked a grand slam. This upset some of the “older generation” baseball minds in the game, but why? Because the count was 3-0 and the Padres were already up big late in the game. An old baseball head would say this incident are the things wrong with baseball now-a-days. They see it as lack of respect and sportsmanship.

According to CBS Sports, Rangers Manger, Chris Woodward said”I didn’t like it, personally. You’re up by seven in the eight inning: it’s typically not a good time to swing 3-0. It’s kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis. So just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not right. I don’t think we liked it as a group.”

Personally playing this game for 15 years, and all the experiences I have ever had, whether it being losing a game by 20 runs or winning by 20, you always must play the game with full effort. Now does that mean sportsmanship does not matter? Obviously not, sportsmanship in baseball is also about respecting the game, but playing the game half-hearted takes respect away from the game. We are talking about grown men getting paid millions of dollars to produce also, this is not tee-ball. Even in high school baseball there are pre-set mercy rules to show sportsmanship, so if the MLB wants to fix the problem to keep these soft, unwritten rules, then create a mercy rule. Because to ask an electrifying, 21 year old to not play at full speed every pitch should be an unwritten rule. 

Tatis unnecessarily apologized , in my opinion, to the media and the Texas Rangers after the game.

“I’ve been in this game since I was a kid, and I know a lot of unwritten rules,” Tatis said after the game. “And this time, I was kind of lost on this one. From those experiences, you have to learn. Probably next time, I’ll take a pitch. I love this game and I respect this game a lot. Every time I go out there, I just want to feel respect for everybody else. This game is hard for everyone, so why not just celebrate and have fun the way you wanna have fun?”

Tatis took the high road and apologized, which from a public perspective was the smartest stance to take. Especially when his own manager did not completely have his back to the media.

“Just so you know, a lot of our guys have green light 3-0,” Tingler, the Rangers third base coach added. “But in this game in particular, we had a little bit of a comfortable lead. We’re not trying to run up the score or anything like that.”

Claiming that Tatis was given the take sign from the third base coach, might be true, but not having his superstars back would not make me want to play for the man if I was Tatis. If Major League Baseball frowns upon this behavior, I believe ratings will go down and it will only support this mouth fed mentality we have in sports culture today. Not everyone gets playing time, not everyone gets to make the team, sports are for teaching life lessons, whether you are 5 years old or 55. All sports find ways to humble everyone, and if we always follow the unwritten rules, it will only be us who will suffer. 

Feature Story: Macey Higgins

There are many things that go into an athlete’s life, and many of them revolve around some sense of schedule. With the COVID-19 pandemic, everything like that changed this past spring semester with the cancellation of sports. Some athletes had to deal with their seasons getting canceled mid-season, and some were just beginning, but the routine of playing sports was suddenly halted, and the extended offseason began. Nobody knew how long it would be or how long it would last days, weeks or even months.

The Piedmont women’s lacrosse team was in full stride when the COVID-19 pandemic made its presence known in the sports world. “We were finally catching our momentum, and then the rug just got ripped out from under us,” said Piedmont Women’s Lacrosse Coach Kirsten Smith. “We will never know how the rest of the season would’ve gone. I am happy that our last game was such a great one, and we ended on a high note.”

The cancellation impacted athletes in different ways, such as Macey Higgins, a senior nursing major, who is currently battling an injury to her knee and quad. Her sophomore year, she partially tore her quad but persevered through the pain to finish the season with her team. Last year, she discovered that along with a torn quad, she is missing cartilage in her knee, which has caused her bones to rub together and causes pain when she plays.

“Although I have pain when I play, I love the game and my team too much to have surgery just yet,” she said. “Corona has put off the surgery I need, but I’m ready to be back at it with my team this coming spring, hopefully.”

With an extended offseason, Higgins and the Piedmont women’s lacrosse team have had to adjust to the circumstances when it comes to staying in shape and filling that void where practice and workouts once was. “Coach Smith did a good job with keeping in check of all of us and sending us workouts and suggestions of what we do over the summer,” Higgins said. “When we came back for the fall semester, we were all eager to get back to practice and get back together with the team.”

Given the circumstances of gyms being closed and being in quarantine, the act of staying in shape was relatively more difficult than usual. Getting that extra time off and having the ability to give her knee the rest it needed and proper rehab to continue her playing career for one more season. 

“The way I look at it, it was more of a blessing in disguise.This is my senior year and I am battling an injury but I am going to do anything to get to play one last time and quarantine allowed me to focus on my injury a little bit longer. Yeah our season got cut short, but everyone got a little bit extra rest and came back hungry and ready to start the season on a good note.”

Football or no football?

When you think of fall, you automatically think of the leaves changing, cooler weather, and pumpkin-spiced everything. There’s one thing I believe in particular that everyone is looking forward to this fall, and that is college football. Well, maybe.

With what many people consider an unofficial official college football season set to begin, and two of the Power-5 conferences delaying their seasons until the spring or having second thoughts about having a season, this season seems incomplete. The COVID-19 pandemic has really taken the sports world and turned it upside down when it comes to collegiate athletics. Yes, we have sports back, such as the NBA Bubble, MLB playing in empty stadiums and the NFL, but the only thing that is still up in the air is college football. The ACC, SEC, and BIG 12 have all agreed to play a conference-only schedule or a shortened schedule. Shortened schedules and conference-only schedules canceled or delayed some big-time games.

The bigger games will come later—unless they thrown off-course by the pandemic. That uncertainty, and the absence of some traditional bedrock programs, creates a conflicted backdrop. We’ve simply never been down a road like this before.

This season I am on both sides of the spectrum as one of my favorite teams, the Oregon Ducks, have opted out of the season as the PAC-12 has decided to cancel all fall sports. On the other hand, the Clemson Tigers in the ACC has been an advocate for getting the college football season up and going. I am highly disappointed that the PAC-12 has opted out of fall sports as the Ducks have had their best football recruitment class in school history this past offseason, as well as a majority of players coming back and putting off their draft eligibility for one more year just to play together one more time.

Clemson Tigers head football coach Dabo Swinney has been one of the most prominent voices for playing this season; he talked about how players were given the option to opt-out of the season due to the virus. Swinney said, “There are no Clemson players – and that includes walk-ons – who have decided against playing this season.” Clemson football had over 35 payers test positive for the COVID-19 virus, although only a select few were symptomatic. Dabo Swinney praised the medical and training staff of handling the situation at hand, “Their job was not only to get the Tigers back on track but also to set the tone for a college football season that was at that time – and still might be – in jeopardy going forward.”

That is how it is all over the country, one side or the other. One good thing that has come out of it all is that the NCAA granted everyone an extra year of eligibility to all of the seniors who it has affected. But college football, especially in the South, is more than just football; it is a livelihood for these fans. Waking up on Saturday mornings and either tailgating or sitting in front of the TV for the day is something that we have all been waiting for since January and is right around the corner. Or is it?

The Value in Being Different

“I was not born in this country. I didn’t grow up in any one particular religion and I’m gay.” I knew after hearing Wentworth say this that I was not alone and that I have the power to share my story and inspire people to value their uniqueness and learn to accept who we are as individuals.

I was 18 years old the first time watching Wentworth Millers’ speech about overcoming his struggles and what it was like for him being “different.” I’ve always had the feeling of being singular and different, growing up being a shy and quiet person, but some say they are some of the kindest people in the world. Why has it been so difficult for me to accept myself being “different”? There is great value in our differences, but I needed to accept the individual person that I am, and what makes me authentic.

The world tends to see what is different as something ugly and wrong as if anything “abnormal” is something needing to be fixed.

In high school, I wanted to feel like I was a part of something. I wanted to feel like I wasn’t singular or different. I tried hard to fit in, but trying to be something I wasn’t was emotionally draining for me. I had turned into this person I didn’t like for the purpose of trying to fit in, but at the same time I hated what I was, I hated being oversensitive, stupid, a daydreamer, and sad. I couldn’t stand being different and showing it to the world.

As teenagers, our worth is determined by the acceptance of society. I had to understand that criticism came not because I was wrong or different but because everyone has their own way of thinking and acting. Some people have a limited mindset that creates an inability to accept other differences. That was not my problem.

My problem was that I had given other people the power to control my self-esteem instead of finding acceptance and love within myself. I have had to start to forgive and love myself and look at myself through my eyes.

I have come to realize that I am beautiful just the way I am. Everyone is different in some way or another and there are few people who show it to the world. I challenge you to be beautifully different.

Global Handwashing Day

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by washing your hands

Piedmont College encourages students to participate in Global Handwashing Day on Oct. 15. It’s in your hands to keep everyone safe


News Provided By Piedmont College and the CDC Sep. 4, 2020, 2:41 ET


Piedmont College wants to motivate people around campus and the community to improve their

handwashing habits and understand the importance of washing your hands.

An article published by the CDC talks about how Global Handwashing Day has reduced the number of young children who get sick and helps them understand the importance of washing their hands, which keeps them and their community safe.

“Soap acts like a mediator between the water and the oil and grease on your hand,” said Dr. Juila Schmitz, biology professor at Piedmont College. “That’s why hot water and soap is better than hand sanitizer plus the rubbing action.”

According to another article from the CDC you need to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to be able to remove all the harmful germs and chemicals from your hands. Global Handwashing Day is intended to remind the public about how to properly wash their hands.

Washing your hands everyday will reduce the likelihood of you becoming contaminated with germs that can enter your body and can cause a serious illness,” said Beth Powell, a biologist from Averett University in Virginia.

On Thursday Oct. 15, Piedmont will be hosting a handwashing event in the Commons, as well as sponsoring a TikTok contest open to all students. A prize will be given to the student who posts the most informative and entertaining video about the importance of handwashing.

For more information about Global Handwashing Day and the event at Piedmont College, email Joe Dennis at  

# # #  

About Piedmont College  

One of the most dynamic small colleges in the Southeast, Piedmont is an independent liberal arts college of more than 2,260 students. The college’s four schools—Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing & Health Sciences—develop tomorrow’s leaders by engaging students in the classroom, in their community, and around the world. Founded in 1897, Piedmont offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degree programs at its Demorest residential campus in the foothills of the northeast Georgia mountains and at its Athens campus in the heart of Georgia’s Classic City. Information can be found at

Global Handwashing Day

Rowan Edmonds


Global Handwashing Day 

Dr. Julia Schmitz discusses the importance of handwashing. 

Demorest, Georgia, Sept. 4, 2020 – With the world in a pandemic, students and faculty at Piedmont College are collaborating to host an event on Oct. 15 for Global Handwashing Day. 

“You obviously can’t wash your hands constantly, but you definitely want to make sure you wash your hands before eating,” said Dr. Julia Schmitz, a biology professor at Piedmont College. “Pretty much all the time, whenever you can.” 

Until this year, Global Handwashing Day was just one of those fun little “holidays” that was always looked over. It was one of those things that would make someone mildly chuckle at the thought of having a day to celebrate and acknowledge handwashing. However, when the pandemic rolled around, handwashing became a little less goofy and a little more serious. 

“Most people know about the importance of washing hands, but many don’t know how to properly wash their hands,” said Joe Dennis, an assistant mass communications professor at Piedmont College. “It’s my hope that an event like this will help show people the proper way to wash their hands.” 

With a pandemic going on, stressing the importance of washing our hands has become even more critical than ever before. On Thursday, Oct.15, the college will recognize Global Handwashing Day by holding a handwashing event on campus, as well as hosting a TikTok video competition for students.  

For more information about the event, email Joe Dennis at For more information about handwashing, visit 

About Piedmont College – One of the most dynamic small colleges in the Southeast, Piedmont is an independent liberal arts college of more than 2,260 students. The college’s four schools – Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing & Health Sciences – develop tomorrow’s leaders by engaging students in the classroom, in their community, and around the world. Founded in 1897, Piedmont offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degree programs at its Demorest residential campus in the foothills of the northeast Georgia mountains and at its Athens campus in the heart of Georgia’s Classic City. Information can be found at 

The Impact of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Growing up, my dad would always tell me stories before I went to bed. A man flying around in a gold and red suit of armor, a super soldier over 100 years old who has a thing for shields, and a scientist with breathtaking anger management issues. I was never told the story about a princess who needed her Prince Charming, but rather the adventures of superheroes who would give their all to save the world. I was 7 years old when the first Iron Man made it to the big screen in May 2008, and being one of the youngest people in a room full of comic book nerds was exhilarating to me. At that point, the only Marvel movies that had been released were X-men, so only the true comic book fans knew about Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe started out as a small group of comic junkies and quickly grew into a massive franchise with millions of fans. The comics were mostly written by Stan Lee, the father of all things Marvel. He had a cameo in just about every movie up until his passing in November of 2018. Iron Man one was the first MCU movies that was released with Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., taking his role as the “god father of the MCU.” Downey made roughly $500,000 in this film, which is miniscule to what he made in his final film, Avengers Endgame, where he was paid $20 million upfront. The movie itself is currently the number one movie in the world and made $2.8 billion. It was an accumulation of 23 films released over a 12-year period, bringing an end to the characters we all know and love. That being said, no one needs to say goodbye to the Marvel films just yet. Plans for new movies are going to be released with all new heroes, villains, and plots. We will delve further into some of the newer marvel characters as well, always keeping the originals in our heart. 

The movies had such a massive impact on me, and I tried to use them as guidelines to my life. I wanted to have the heart to stand up for the little guy like Captain America and Spiderman, the ability to be a good leader even after making so many mistakes like Thor and King T’challa. I wanted to have the drive to be the best no matter what like Iron Man, but to also be disciplined like Black Widow. I, like many others, grew up with these movies and while I am sad to see this particular era come to an end, I am so excited to see what’s in store for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Global Hand Washing Day

A close up of a sign

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For Immediate Release

Sept. 4, 2020

For more information, press only:

PR Contact Name: Jaela Dodson

Phone number: 478-919-1422


For more information on Handwashing:


Clean Hands for All

Piedmont Professor Dr. Julia Schmitz enlightens students on effective handwashing

Demorest, Georgia, Sept. 4, 2020 — Piedmont College will be participating in Global Handwashing day on Oct. 15, helping to spread awareness for the best, and most effective way to fight germs and save lives.

“When you’re washing your hands with soap, the bacteria tends to stick to the grease and oils on your hands. The soap acts as a mediator,” said Dr. Julia Schmitz, biology professor at Piedmont College.

When debating whether to use hand sanitizer or soap, Dr. Schmitz said the chemical properties in both products produce effective results, but handwashing is clearly better. Hand Sanitizer contains alcohol and kills bacteria but, leaves a slight number of bacteria remaining on your hands.

Hand soap acts as a mediator between the oils on your hands and water. Rinsing hand soap allows for the bacteria to also rinse off your hands, unlike how hand sanitizer leaves the oils on your hands. Washing and rinsing with soap and water allows for bacteria to flow off of your hands for effective clean and sanitary finish. 

“We can’t tolerate as hot of the water we need to really effectively kill the germs,” said Schmitz. “But handwashing does remove more of the germs.”

Hot water is the better temperature to use when handwashing. Dr. Schmitz advises to use a temperature as hot as tolerable over cold water. Everyone should wash their hands constantly and thoroughly, but especially before, between and after cooking, when caring for someone who is sick, elderly or adolescent, and when handling garbage or pets. 

Global Handwashing Day is dedicated to increasing awareness and importance of handwashing with soap as an effective way to prevent disease. Piedmont College will be participating in the event by holding a handwashing exercise in the Commons, as well as hosting a TikTok video competition for students.

To spread awareness for effective handwashing, order free handwashing posters to enlighten others on the importance of fighting off germs by washing your hands. For more information on handwashing: .

National handwashing day is dedicated to increasing awareness and importance of handwashing with soap as an effective way to prevent disease.


Sports Feature: New Practice Facility?

With Piedmont’s student population growing every year, one area that is feeling the space crunch is athletics.

Student athletes from 22 different sports are forced to use the same fitness center space to work on their craft, in addition to all other non-athlete students on campus. The college hopes a proposed new practice facility will help alleviate that space crunch.

“It will give the student athletes a better chance to get their work in, more space to get work done is always a plus,” sophomore baseball player Nolan Ledbetter said.

The college purchased 80 acres of land, expanding the campus’ size by a whole 25 percent and

Athletic Director Jim Peeples hopes construction will begin soon on the complex. “You will see dirt moving if board will approve that sometime this spring,” he said.

Although to the naked eye it appears as if work is not happening on the new complex, Peeples assures students that work is being done. The major roadblock is that the property borders protected wetlands.

“The biggest part is the topographical survey, which we already have done,“ Peeples said.

Student athletes are eager for the opportunity to have a dedicated space for their workouts. End with a quote on from another student athlete (freshman or sophomore) about their hopes for a new facility.

The 80 acre property is rumored to give way to a new softball field, a running track, and other athletic facilities. Further information has not been released. So while its arrival is much anticipated, the new facility is seemingly far from completion.