Author Archives: Connor Creedon

As Lions, We Stand as One

            As video-recorded examples of police brutality against African Americans have re-energized the Black Lives Matter movement across the country, American athletes of all races and ethnicities have increasingly taken public stances against racism and discrimination.

            Although not competing in the fall due to the global pandemic, Piedmont athletes — one of the most diverse subgroups of Piedmont College — are also taking a stand.    

             “We are all humans, and it’s unfair and extremely wrong for any one human to be treated differently than another,” says Jacob Balot, a sophomore cross country and track runner. “It is crazy to think that African Americans, as well as other races have to deal with something like being treated fairly in 2020”.

There have been global protests for justice over the deaths of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor. Many civilians believe that the killings of these two were uncalled for and severely overdone. Alvin Jacobs, a Piedmont senior and cross country and track runner, feels that the way police operate in our country is the start of the problem.

“Both [Floyd and Taylor] were killed by police when there was no reason for them to get so violent,” he said.

The incident involving George Floyd left him dead after allegedly trying to spend a counterfeit $20 and Breanna Taylor was sleeping when police executed a search warrant on her house. “The bottom line is that no one should have been killed for these incidents,” he said. “I am not saying no one did anything wrong, but I am saying that such a violent way of handling the situation is just flat out wrong.”

            With a diverse group of students and faculty on campus, Piedmont can be seen as a mixing pot for all different races and backgrounds. That especially applies to athletics, which Athletic Director Jim Peeples refers to as “one big family” who love each other and make sure that everyone knows it.

“Love is an action,” he said. “If everyone worldwide loved each other like how we all do on campus, that could solve a lot of problems.”

            With little competition happening on the fields, Piedmont has been largely immune to controversy surrounding professional sports — including actions such as kneeling or raising a fist during the national anthem. Peeples hopes that student athletes focus on enacting real change through their actions, rather than making sometimes-empty political statements.

            “What good has a politician actually done for you?”

Luck (or is it?) of the Irish

Seventeen NBA championships, the most of any team in the league. Thirty-five Hall of Fame inductees and counting. And a franchise that is known for a disciplined and organized style of play. Do any of these ring a bell for you?

Down here in the south, when I wear my Boston Celtics sweatshirts to our track meets, no one has ever said a word to me about “Go Celtics!” or “Booooo.” Last year at a meet in Virginia, I had at least 10 people comment on my sweatshirt. Now obviously, Virginia is closer to Boston than Georgia is. One thing is for sure though — if you go to a Hawks versus Celtics game here in Atlanta, you will see far more green than red.

No one can argue that the Celtics have a rich tradition, but what about now? As NBA fans know, the bubble was instituted in Orlando for the continuation of play leading into the playoffs, which is where we are now; specifically the second round. With a powerhouse lineup of teams such as the Rockets, Nuggets, Lakers, Clippers, Bucks and others, these playoffs are unique, but have offered some of the best games that I personally have seen in a while, especially from my Celtics.

After sweeping the strong and athletic Philadelphia 76ers 4-0 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Celtics moved on to face the Toronto Raptors with a full head of steam. With Jayson Tatum, the young star at forward averaging 27.2 points and 46% success rate from 3 point range, this is only the first impressive piece of the puzzle. Valuable assets like point guard Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown have stepped up big time too, averaging  23 and 19 points per game.

As a lifelong Celtics fan, this is the most exciting and focused team I have ever seen Boston put together. We have a great starting lineup, but it is so much more than that as well. Through the games played so far in the playoffs, coach Brad Stevens has been able to say after each game, “Our bench was really good tonight.”

It is always nice to have a star who can simply take over a game like Tatum can. The key is that the bench and rest of the team puts the stars in their position to shine. If there was as good a year for the Celtics to get their 18th ring, this would be that year. Of course, there are plenty of tough teams coming out of the West. The bottom line is that these teams have yet to meet playoff Tatum and Brown as they continue to steamroll through competition.

Chances are as the C’s climb higher into the playoffs, the competition will make things a little closer and definitely harder to pull out wins. The key will be to continue playing as a tight-knit team, and follow behind the leadership of the coaching staff, players like Walker and Tatum, as well as veterans who have been in these situations numerous times.

I know I will be glued to the TV as these playoffs continue, and the eyes of the world will be as well, more than ever in such a time where great basketball can give us all a break from the difficult reality.

Connor’s Autobiography

My name is Connor Creedon and I am a sophomore here at Piedmont. I am a sports communications major and so far I am enjoying what I have been learning here.

I am originally from Duluth, Georgia where my mom, dad, and sister are doing there best to stay busy while we live through these crazy and uncertain times. I spent the summer doing lawn word around my town as well as playing lots of video games.

Once I graduate from Piedmont, I hope to be able to get a job working in the behind the scenes areas of different sports outlets, rather than up front and in the focus of the camera. Things like video and audio production are interesting to me so maybe I will get involved with those once it’s time to step into the job world.

Currently I am also part of the cross country and track programs here at Piedmont, which is probably my favorite part. The team is full of fun people and watching the hard work pay off in the competitions is something that is really fulfilling. It is also a great way to spend time with my girlfriend who is also on the team so overall I love everything that comes with it.

This year I hope to become sharper at doing things such as video and audio production. Becoming a better writer in general is something that comes with lots of practice as well as trial and error. I hope to improve in that regard so hopefully I can have all of these skills come together and use them to benefit myself for years to come.

Sanitation Discussions in the Piedmont Symposium

As the coronavirus cripples the world, keeping hands clean has been emphasized by medical experts as one of the best ways to combat the spread of the virus. But what works better, hand sanitizer or hand soap?

Two Piedmont College nursing majors, Anna Owenby and Briana Sellers, explored this question at the 2020 Piedmont Symposium, presenting their research, “Hand Soap vs. Hand Sanitizer.”

The difference between cleaning your hands with hand sanitizer or hand soap is surprisingly somewhat of a grey area. Owenby and Sellers created the hypothesis that “hand sanitizer would kill more bacteria than hand soap.”

They explored the different levels of the soaps and sanitizers they tested against the germs in the lab. The idea of this experiment was to determine which of the two serve a better prupose in. During the experiment, Owenby said she was “shocked” to see “so much growth on the Agar plates” and for different types of bacteria to “appear in so many colonies after washing our hands.”

Sellers and Owenby conducted this study by washing their hands with Up & Up and SoftSoap hand soap and placing their hands on Agar plates, which allowed them to see the colonies of bacteria that grew which showed how clean their hands really were. The same process was done with the Swan and Personal Care brands of hand sanitizer.

What was surprising to find as a part of the results was how much bacteria was still present on their hands after washing or sanitizing. Owenby especially remembers how “hand sanitizer is known for killing 99.99% of germs and there was still so many colonies on the plate.”

These results really do make you realize that just rubbing some soap and water on your hands for 15 seconds isn’t enough to get the job done effectively. For Sellers, she was happy because she was “reassured that [her] hypothesis was correct.”

Since the experiment and research required different variants to soap and hand sanitizer, it was difficult to narrow down which brands would be able to demonstrate the most clear results. For certain circumstances like this, a little help from their faculty advisor, Dr. Julia Schmitz, was utilized.

 Schmitz, a biology professor,  was tasked with watching over the operations and making sure these students were able to carefully and properly execute their experiment. “I always like seeing the questions that students come up with to answer the main one,” she said. “It’s fun to see if the results they obtain match up with their hypothesis.”

 After examining the results, Schmitz said the three “talked about why this was and had conversations about what future experiments could come out of this project.”

 When it comes to cleanliness, trial and error to find the ultimate solution is definitely worth it. Owenby’s and Sellers’ experiment showed one important thing. “Clean hands will reduce the risk of acquiring [coronavirus] or transmitting it to others.”

A Haley Bolt Profile

Being more than just a student and making a difference in the lives of others is the main drives Haley Bolt’s purpose.

“I love what I do in school as well as the various responsibilities I have outside of it,” Bolt said.

Bolt isn’t your typical Piedmont College senior. She is a member of the cross country and track teams, but her main focus is in her academics. She is majoring in forensic science with a minor in criminal justice. While others may find themselves busy enough with the rigorous course load of this major alone, Bolt takes that extra step to apply her skills and knowledge in action with a job as a member of the Piedmont Campus Police.

Her career started in September of 2018 when she first joined the force and got acquainted with the basics. Since then, Bolt’s role has evolved to be simple, yet vital in the day-to-day operations of the office. “I assist in any calls, handle parking passes, log tickets and help people that come into the office looking for help,” she said. Bolt does the dirty work that isn’t the most glamourous, but without her the officers would have much more work on their hands. She also takes a great deal of pride in being part of an organization responsible for keeping 1,500 students and staff protected. “The new chief does a lot more to keep the campus and people on it safe and happy.”

With a little over a year’s experience serving Piedmont College, Bolt has been able to land herself other related jobs, such as an internship with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office over this past summer. She is also currently working another internship at the nearby Banks County Sheriff’s Office. Bolt says the best part about it is that “she’s getting real life experience and I’m learning how to do things cops do every day, so not the basic ‘watch but don’t touch’ things.”

To Bolt, this is crucial for applying herself in the future career field. “I get a lot of hands on experience.”

Although she is getting lots of standard police officer exposure, Bolt plans to take her career in a little bit of a different direction. “The way I want to go is I want to be a certified crime scene investigator.”

This sounds like a much bigger piece of the pie. “I would be in the field, but a little bit more of a lab rat as well. Basically it would be the best of both worlds.”

Bolt has the upmost support of her forensics professor,. Bruce Willis.  “The inquisitive nature of her questions exhibit a higher level of understanding.

About Me, Connor Creedon

My name is Connor Creedon and I am a Sports Communications major here at Piedmont College. I have a younger sister at home named Hannah who I miss very much but luckily she isn’t really that far away.

I was born and raised in Duluth, Georgia which is where I have been for my whole life until now. I stayed in the same elementary, middle, and high schools for all the years I had to be there. I graduated from Duluth High School and I was honestly really happy to be done with it. High school was where I got even closer with the friends I’ve known since I was born, so I am definitely really grateful for them. High school is also where I really got into sports. I played basketball and ran track as well as cross country all four years, and running is pretty much the reason that I am a student here today. I’ve also met so many great people here which has been awesome and I really love it here altogether.

Academically, I am interested in video production as well as sports. Ideally I would like to combine the two in some way but I am also very open to doing video production or just something along those lines in many different fields. I am pretty confident that I would want to work behind the camera, but I am not entirely sure on the specifics on where I want my career to go. All things considered, I am very confident in the fact that Piedmont is the place for me to be successful both academically and athletically, which is why I am so grateful and thankful that I am in this position.