Author Archives: chriscastro1210

Lions Pride: 2019 Alternative Spring Break

Instead of taking a traditional style Spring Break, a group of Piedmont College students embarked on a journey to help build houses for the Habitat for Humanity in Sebring, Florida.

“The goal of the Alternative Break program at Piedmont College is to provide students, faculty, and staff with a service opportunity outside of the Habersham County area,” said Dr. Kim Crawford, Associate Dean of Student Life.

Not just any regular Piedmont College student can attend an alternative spring break. The requirements are having a minimum GPA of 3.0, submit a student resume in person to the Director of Career Education, Lisa Mann, and get recommended by two Piedmont faculty or staff members. The total number of students that got to attend this year’s alternative spring break was 11.

“The application process required students to submit an essay on why they wanted to go on the trip and students had to complete a Compass Reflection form after the trip; to talk about their experience,” said Megan Ramsey, Compass Program Coordinator.

Students were asked to answer why they wanted to attend and even took the time to reflect on their personal experience and share anything they learned or took away from the trip.

Nicole Thomas, a junior mass communications major, said she loved to bond with others while volunteering and this experience is a great way to travel.

“This opportunity allowed me to learn more leadership skills and increased my appreciation of diversity,” said Thomas.

Savannah Cantrell, a junior art education major, emphasized that the 2019 Alternative Spring Break was one of the most humbling and rewarding activities she has ever participated in during her time at Piedmont. Although she worked hard each day, she reminded herself that these homes were potentially going to someone whose home was destroyed or have never owned their home.

“I learned to work alongside other Piedmont students while developing new relationships with the other team members on the construction site. The relationships I have built impacted me whether it was a Piedmont student, a Habitat for Humanity worker, or a Caravanner,” said Cantrell.

Alyssa Emmet, a junior mass communications major, said she found herself during this trip and capitalized on meeting people she would have never met without this trip.

“I learned several facts about Habitat for Humanity and found out I’m capable of doing more than I thought,” said Emmet.

Ashley Dean, a sophomore nursing major, found the opportunity to meet and work alongside many great people who are selfless with their time heartwarming.

“The most rewarding part of this whole experience was getting to meet some of the families that will be living in these houses that we helped to build,” said Dean.

Leslie Lopez, a sophomore business marketing major and graphic design minor always wanted to volunteer. She found that alternative spring break would be the perfect opportunity to explore and meet new people that have been volunteers for a while now.

“Alternative Spring Break reminded me to appreciate all the opportunities that I have. It also showed me the true meaning of “all help counts,” said Lopez.

Areli Albarran, a sophomore nursing major, applied because she wanted help to enhance her sense of vocation through the community service.

“Through the Alternative Spring I strengthened my leadership, communication, problem-solving skills,” said Albarran.

In the end, the students who attended the trip learned many things from home improvement to self-improvement, but one thing that will stay hard to perfect is to become one.

“It can be difficult for everyone to be on the same page, said Albarran.

Disaster Strikes Piedmont College: What Caused the Mysterious Fire?

On March 29, 2019, Piedmont’s Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Communications broke out in a devastating and unknown fire that killed 28 people. Seconds later a massive explosion near the theatre stage sent everyone in the building into a state of chaos calling for help.

The call came into the 911 Habersham center at around 10 a.m. and reported the fire and multiple injuries to Habersham EMA Director Lynne Smith.

“As things progressed we were requesting additional units, the coroner and mobile morgue,” said Smith.

Piedmont Police Chief Jim Andrews said agencies showing up at the scene of the disaster included the Cities of Demorest and Cornelia fire and police departments, Habersham County EMS and Medical Center, Sheriff’s Office, Habersham County Fire department, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Homeland security, 911/Emergency Management Agency, Habersham Search and Rescue and the District Two Public Health Administration. A helicopter, drones and rescue dogs also were at the scene searching for victims.

Local EMS ran into the buildings saving some of the victims and brought them to the medic station for immediate medical attention. Smoke was seen billowing from the Swanson Center by onlookers and the fire wouldn’t seem to give out.

“It took a lot to put out the fire, and there were over a hundred total victims injured in the fire,” said, Jason Davey, the assistant fire chief for Habersham County.

Rob Moore, the Public information officer for Campus Police, said, “there were 28 confirmed fatalities, and the bodies had to be removed from the building due to the severity of the fire.”

Everyone at the scene is in disbelief at what happened to one of the safest colleges in Georgia.

“At this moment, it is way to early to determine the cause of the fire and state fire investigators are in route to find out what really happened at the Swanson center.” Said Moore.

Zachary Moore: Greek Life is Life Changing

As one of the newest additions to the Student Affairs Department at Piedmont, Zachary Moore has introduced Greek Life to the students of Piedmont and intends to expand on this fraternity/sorority experience.

“Our mission is to empower members through diverse learning experiences to achieve academic excellence, engage with local and global communities, and cultivate leadership while fostering those lifelong relationships,” Moore said. “Greek Life is a life changer. It really does mean a bond with your organization and I know that if I ever need anything or anything is going on in my life that I have my fraternity brothers to lean on and help me out.”

In his senior year of college, Moore’s mom was diagnosed with cancer and his fraternity surprised him by helping him out with a philanthropy event. Although he planned the event by himself, Moore was thankful for the donations and support his brothers gave to him during this time.

Moore wasn’t always interested in Greek life. “At first I didn’t want to join a Greek organization because I didn’t drink, and I still don’t drink or party,” he said.

During his undergraduate orientation at Austin Peay State University, a young Moore came across the fraternity called Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) and he said. “The two people that were there were just very casual and welcoming,” he said. Moore ended up getting invited to an interview, but it actually wasn’t an interview and instead the fraternity surprised him and gave him a bid to join. Moore ended up graduating with a bachelor of science in communication.

Moore attended Ball State University in Indiana for graduate school, finishing with a master of arts in student affairs administration in higher education. When looking for a job Moore missed the southern culture and hoped to return to his roots. Moore found Piedmont to be the perfect fit and feels lucky to have found this job.

“I am really fortunate to have hit my three favorite components of student affairs with orientation, Greek Life, and student activities,” he said.

Will Sargent a sophomore sports communication major who works with Moore as a member of the fraternity said, Moore has been a tremendous help to the program.

“I think his position with the school is really beneficial to Greek Life here. Whether he is helping us with administration, planning out events, or whatever problem arises he is always very eager to help out in whatever way he can.”

Kobhe Macias a sophomore applied health science major who works with Moore on the Campus Activities Board (CAB) said, Moore is there for students, even when it’s not a work-related matter.

“Zac is a great person,” he said. “He is the type of person you can go to when you’re dealing with things and need guidance.”

Moore plans on creating a foundation where everyone on campus will find Greek life fresh and shy away from the stereotypical movie credentials.

“I want to see the organizations truly make a difference on the individual members and as well as leave an impact on campus.”

Christian Castro: The Story of a Mediocre Writer

My Life had always loved boring Gainesville, GA with its clumsy, curly city. It was a place where I felt happy and safe. I found it comforting that I finally found a home where I didn’t have to say goodbye.christian castro

My name is Christian Castro. I was born in Gainesville, Georgia on December 10, 1997, and my ethnicity is Puerto Rican. Growing up sports was a significant part of my life as I moved a lot as a child. I moved around because my dad had many job opportunities as an engineer. He was an entry engineer, facility engineer manager and now is a staff engineer today in Cornelia for Ethicon Inc. I lived in Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Switzerland, and Georgia. One thing I can take away from being in these different areas across the world is that they all have one thing in common, sports unites them all.

(keep in mind my writing skills were awful in middle school and high school)

When I first arrived at Piedmont college, I was an undecided major, and I explored every major. I took English 1101 & 1102 my Freshman year and surprised myself with my writing getting A’s. I didn’t enjoy writing so in the spring of 2018; they added a new sports communication major and decided to try the class out. When I joined Joe’s Sports Communication and Society class. I started to then enjoy my writing and put the passion I had towards sports on paper. I ended up enjoying what the sports communication major had in store and declared it my major in the fall of 2018. I consider myself to be a mediocre writer and hope to learn a lot in this class.

My favorite sports are baseball, basketball, football, and soccer. My favorite teams to watch are Braves in the MLB, Falcons in the NFL, and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. I keep up with a lot of trades in sports and try and see if any underdog teams can come out their slumps as I always cheer for the underdog.

I used to play a lot of sports, but I stopped playing sports on a team when I was 17 years old as I felt I wasn’t good enough to compete at a high level. I still play them from time to time as a hobby and for fun. My passion for sports has always been there, and I’m trying to see if I might like writing for sports as a future job.