Author Archives: cadennelms01


A person washing their hands in a sink (PHOTO// UNSPLASH)

Piedmont College to host their first Global Handwashing Day event on campus

Demorest, Georgia, Sept. 4, 2020– Piedmont College is hosting a Global Handwashing Day event on Thursday, Oct. 15 in the Commons to promote handwashing during COVID-19. Although hand sanitizing stations have popped up around campus during the pandemic, it is not as beneficial as washing with soap.

“Soap is a mixture of fat or oil, water, and then it has an alkali and that’s a basic salt”, said Julia Schmitz, biology professor at Piedmont College. “It’s the combination of all those and how it works to bind to the oil and grease on your hands as a surfactant and that’s what makes it more effective.”

On Global Handwashing Day, Piedmont will host a TikTok video contest, as well as a handwashing experiment in the Commons. The TikTok video contest will be open to Piedmont students and will encourage students to submit an informative and entertaining video emphasizing the importance of handwashing.

For more information about Piedmont’s Global Handwashing Day event, email Julia Schmitz 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

Having True Friendships is Hard

Being the only kid in a wheelchair in elementary school was difficult.

7 year old Caden Nelms holding a fish for the camera (PHOTO// CADEN NELMS)

When a 7-year-old kid sees a wheelchair for the first time, they are going to avoid it. According to, approximately 2.8 million kids have disabilities. Yet the conversation around disability, wheelchairs specifically, is not talked about enough with children. This is the reason I did not have many close friends growing up. There were kids that would tolerate being around me, but they would leave as soon as they had the chance. There were always people talking behind my back, specifically about how different I am because of something out of my control.

If someone does talk to me, they use the “baby” voice or act different. It is important for people to know how to act around people with disabilities. You should always talk directly to the person that has the disability, not to the aid. If the disabled person cannot talk, the aid will jump into the conversation. It is always okay to ask if someone with a disability needs help, but if they decline do not do it anyway. Respect their choice to be independent and do not force help onto that person. Never be ashamed to ask about someone’s disability, but remember they do not have to talk about their private life. There are other “rules” to follow when interacting with a disabled person.

A conversation needs to happen with children, so they know how to act around a disabled person. If they knew how to act, I think it would normalize true friendships with disabled people at a young age. I did not have true friendships, and it makes it hard when you are older to start making friendships.

College has been my chance to start fresh and make new friendships. Once people are older, they know how to act and can develop the friendships. It is still different and can be difficult to make friendships since I do need help sometimes, and people do not want to always help.

I share my story not to instill guilt in others, but in the hopes that future 7-year-olds in wheelchairs do not face the isolation that I faced.

Caden, The Wheelchair Kid

My name is Caden Nelms, A.K.A The Wheelchair Kid. You know because i’m in a wheelchair… you get the idea!

Anyways, I was born on July 24, 2001, which means I am a 19-year-old… in a wheelchair. I was born with disability called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which you have probably never heard of. My life as an infant and toddler were boring, just full of doctor visits and my parents tears.. oh, and a wheelchair.

I went to Mossy Creek Elementary school which is where I officially gained the title of you guessed it, “The Wheelchair Kid”. It has unfortunately stuck with me, but that could be because the wheelchair has too. Who knows. The only other memory of elementary school is my spinal infusion surgery in third grade. Sounds cool, right? No, it sucked.

Middle school was pretty normal besides that stupid name. The most interesting thing happening in middle school was when a teacher, Mrs. Parks, said she’d rather kill herself then work with students. She also told me my chair was “to annoying” and that I am not allowed to move in her classroom. Looking back, I am pretty sure she hated her life and my wheelchair.

In high school I drove a car for the first and last time and loved it! Four years later, I graduated and started my journey at Piedmont College. Since being here, the name I was given in elementary school is slowly starting to fade away, which is amazing.

I am happy to be at Piedmont and, believe it or not, I’m still in a wheelchair!

Symposium Presentation: Coronavirus Impact on Telecommunications


After a last-minute change in their entire presentation and research, seven mass communications students gave insight on telecommunications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students Joey Brovont, Alyssa Emmett, Cameron Graham, Matthew Leemann, Marion Mealor, Garrett Stafford and Cameron Verona, along with their Professor Melissa Jackson, delivered a presentation at the 2020 Piedmont Symposium that gave insight on how coronavirus is affecting the telecommunications world. 

“Millions of people around the world use apps like Zoom to continue to work and go to school.” said junior Garrett Stafford

Before coronavirus put society to a halt, the group had planned on discussing what they thought the future would look like in 25 years. They had planned to do a skit of them landing on Mars. Normally, the Symposium takes place on a stage in front of all attendees, not virtually.

Senior Marion Mealor noted how everyone relies on technology from the time people wake up.

“Technology has become a big part of my daily routine, and I am not alone in that.”

Professor Jackson echoes that same idea and commends senior Marion Mealor for starting off the presentation reminding everyone that our daily lives heavily involve technology.

“At the very beginning Marion Mealor did a wonderful introduction about how technology has become such a vital part of our daily lives,” Jackson said. “She related to the audience immediately and made that transition on into the pandemic and how it has changed our daily lives.”

Jackson continued talking about other group members and how they focused on different aspects of the presentation and research to bring to life this idea of a thorough look into what the Coronavirus is doing in the telecommunications world. 

“The other class members went from there. Each one picking up a different element,” she said.

With COVID-19 presenting itself as an obstacle, Piedmont students had to quickly evolve all future classes and events, such as the second annual Symposium. However, the group did find light in having to unexpectedly and quickly transitioning to using Zoom.“The fact that no one had ever presented on Zoom before made it fun,” Stafford said. “It was like we were all in this together learning something new.”

Kimberly Crawford: Working Toward Her Passion

Dean Kimberly Crawford (Image/Piedmont College Website)

Kimberly Crawford has worked hard for years, getting her to where she is now, the Dean of Student Life & Leadership. 

Dr. Crawford fell in love with the thought of being involved in higher education and received her master’s degree in teaching at Georgia College and State University. At first, she thought she wanted to be a teacher, however after being in the classroom for a while she started having doubts.

“While I was there and actually in a classroom, I had some doubts as far as, ‘I don’t know if teaching is going to be for me, but I am going to finish my masters,” said Crawford. 

After applying to multiple higher education jobs, she started her career as Student Activities Specialist at South Texas College. One of the roles this job involved was overseeing the gym on campus.

“We would have group fitness classes, programs, activities and intramurals,” said Crawford. “I taught aerobics, I taught spin class, I even was certified at that point in personal training.”

She transitioned to the student activities side of things after her dean at the time saw potential in her. She advised the Student Government Association and Campus Activities Board for four years, before transitioning to another job on campus. An opportunity came open to be the Director of Dual Enrollment Programs.

After transitioning into that position, Crawford oversaw a program for two years that allowed high school sophomores to graduate with an associate degree before graduating high school. 

Since starting at Piedmont more than four years ago, Crawford has been promoted three times. She started at Piedmont as Director of Student Activities which oversaw clubs and organizations, res life, and the fitness center. Within two years she was promoted to Associate Dean. 

Now, Crawford is the Dean of Student Life & Leadership and is proud to be able to work with students develop their lives outside of the classroom. Her job now consists of overseeing Greek life, student organizations, orientation, res life, fitness and rec, leadership, student commons, student life and honors leadership societies on campus. Although she is busy, she strives to remind everyone to always be kind to one another. 

“Be kind, be kind,” Said Crawford. “Because we are all different and unique and we all have different backgrounds and we all come from different places, spaces and have different experiences.”

Caden Nelms- Rolling Through Life

My name is Caden Nelms, and well I am just rolling through life! That might sound odd to people who do not know me, but I literally am rolling through my entire life with my wheelchair!

Most people always want to ask, “Why are you in a wheelchair?”, but are afraid to ask. So let me go ahead and explain. I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, commonly referred to as SMA, and this specific disability cause all muscles in the human body to be substantially weaker compared to a healthy human body. Having this disability, I used to stay fairly mad at the world until something changed me. God finally showed me that I can make a difference in other’s lives, no matter how small.  Since then, I have come to accept the disability and not let it hinder me, but rather help me advocate for others who either can not or are afraid to advocate for themselves.

I was born and raised my whole life in Cleveland, Georgia, and it has been amazing! I have always loved the small town vibes. I have three older brothers as well as 10 first cousins. My family is large and close to one another; at any given moment I can drive my chair down the road and see all of my first cousins in my Dad’s family. I graduated from White County High School where I found the love for Mass Communications.

Having a disability, I am very limited on career in which I can excel in. My sophomore year is when I found the Audio/Video/Technology/Film class at my high school. My Junior year, we got a new AVTF teacher, Kayla Everett, who graduated from the same high school, came to Piedmont College, graduated with a degree in Mass Communications and then unexpectedly came back to teach at the high school. She is the one who truly showed me my future in this field and even guided me here to Piedmont. My hopes for the future is that I can use whatever platform I have to advocate for others with disabilities.

When I graduated from high school I had a certificate in Microsoft PowerPoint and certified in Adobe Premiere Pro.