Author Archives: emmarti25

Photojournalism Practice

Long shot: Leaving Swanson Center in the fall. Photo taken by Madison

Medium: Working hard or hardly working? Photo taken by Madison

Medium: Lamp or Lumière? The world may never know. Photo taken by Madison

Medium: Smiling in the shade. Photo taken by Emma

Close-Up: Moss in the morning. Photo taken by Emma

Wildcard: Love is in the air (and in the flowers). Photo taken by Emma

Piedmont College To Host Global Hand Washing Day Event

A close up of a sign

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Writer Emma Marti Contact Emma Marti Telephone 470-778-9157 Cell 678-315-1015 Email Website  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 4, 2020

Global handwashing day

Students and faculty of Piedmont College come together to celebrate Global Handwashing Day.

Demorest, Georgia, September 4, 2020– In order to prepare for Global Handwashing Day, held on Oct. 15, Piedmont College Associate Professor of Biology Julia Schmitz is hoping to educate students on proper handwashing techniques.

“When you’re washing your hands with soap, the bacteria tend to stick to the grease in the oils on your hands and the oil acts as a mediator,” said Schmitz. “At the same time you’re rinsing off the oil, you’re also rinsing off the germs that are connected to the oil and the grease on your hands.”

Global Handwashing Day is held every year on Oct. 15. This is the first time that Piedmont College is participating in an event like Global Handwashing Day, COVID-19 being a major factor in the participation. The school is hosting different events throughout the day to encourage handwashing and educate the Piedmont community on how they can properly wash their hands.

Dennis is collaborating with Schmitz for the event. While Schmitz and her team handle planning the day, Dennis’ team works on promoting the activity to gain experience in public relations.

“I think it will be interesting to see students simulate washing their hands with the ink and gloves to discover all the places they miss,” Dennis said. “I’m hoping that students can gain awareness of not only the importance of washing their hands, but how to properly do it.”



Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, handwashing has become more of a priority for people. If they do not have the option to wash their hands, then using hand sanitizer is a good alternative. People should be aware, though, that hand washing is the best option because the germs get rinsed away with the water. With hand sanitizer, there is not that rinsing aspect, so the germs are still present.

This event will help the Piedmont community understand the importance of washing their hands by hosting experiments anyone can participate in. Additionally, a TikTok video competition will be held in which students can submit their most informative and entertaining videos regarding handwashing.

For more information about the 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

Will COVID-19 Kill Movies and TV Shows?

“Mulan.” “Tenet.” “The French Dispatch.” What do all these movies have in common? They all had to delay their release because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many industries have been impacted by the pandemic. The majority of them will be able to bounce back to business as usual once everything is said and done, but what about the ones that rely on people coming in close contact with each other? More or less, movies and TV shows are filmed in very close proximity and there are a lot of people on set. When the virus hit, it was clear that filming had to be put on pause to ensure everyone involved would be safe. Many movies decided it would be best to delay their premiere or to only have their premiere online.

Obviously, it would not be safe to have a red carpet movie premier during a pandemic. What about the normal viewings of movies? When the virus first landed in the United States, it was obvious that business as usual was going to be put on halt for the time being. After almost six months, movie theaters are starting to open again.

When Habersham Hills Cinema reopened, I was ecstatic. In my first year at Piedmont, I found myself going to the theater to watch movies like “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” or “1917” whenever I had the time. So, on Aug. 30, my boyfriend and I went to watch “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I felt more than safe going to rewatch the first movie of one of my favorite franchises. The theater requests that patrons buy their tickets in advance in order to avoid large crowds in line, every other row is open, you are required to leave a few seats between people not in your party and masks are required throughout the experience. If movie theaters are taking all the right precautions and enforcing patrons to do the same, I believe that people should start going out and enjoying theaters again, if they feel safe enough to go.

Certain TV shows were able to work around the pandemic. “Parks and Recreation,” a show that ended five years ago, decided that now is the time to have a reunion to raise money for Feeding America during the pandemic. The original cast of the show came together virtually to put on a show for “Parks and Recreation” lovers as well as casual viewers of the show.

I remember sitting at my dinner table on April 30 and feeling excited to see what the cast came up with for this quarantine episode. Only a month into the pandemic and shows adapting to this new normal? I was excited and curious. I never watched the show, but I felt a sense of pride watching the show, that officially ended five years ago, adapt how they film so that their fans can get comfort from one of their favorite shows in such a confusing time.

Even if these industries are able to recover, what if the pandemic never ends? There are different scenarios about the future of the world after COVID. People will, hopefully, continue washing their hands and cleaning more regularly. From a personal standpoint, I will not feel as comfortable being so close to people, especially strangers. It is predicted that the virus will eventually become like the flu, we have to get the vaccine shot every year to prevent us from catching the virus. If that is what to come for us, how will Hollywood deal with it?

Story of My Life (Yes, I’m Referencing One Direction)

It all started when my mom met my dad. They fell in love and they had me. Hi, my name’s Emma Marti, and my life? It’s kind of crazy.

Me with a puppy (Cacahuate) in Ecuador

Now, my life isn’t all that crazy. I just spend more time than I’d like to admit watching TikToks and had to take the opportunity to make that reference. Like I mentioned, my name is Emma. I was born on September 25, 2000, I’m nineteen years old, an only child and I’ve lived in Georgia for my whole life (not necessarily by choice).

I love traveling! Some of my favorite places I’ve visited include the Lake District in northwest England, Edinburgh, Scotland, San Francisco and Patate, Ecuador. All of those trips I took with my high school, Greater Atlanta Christian School. I started attending GACS in second grade and graduated from there, despite moving to Flowery Branch at the beginning of junior year and having to drive for forty minutes (give or take) every day.

I decided that I was coming to Piedmont in April of 2019, pretty much the end of my senior year. I decided to come here because it’s close to home and I love the vibes of the campus. Plus, there are a bunch of opportunities for things I never thought I would have the chance to do!

I’m (currently) majoring in psychology, with hopes of either becoming a counselor or doing something relating to the government? I’m not too sure, but being a criminal profiler seems like a pretty cool job. I’m not a big sports type of gal, so I get involved with other types of organizations. I’m a member of the GB hall council, a member of ZTA, a staff writer for the Roar and a basketball cheerleader (despite popular belief).

Just because I mentioned One Direction in the title, I feel as though I should say that yes, I still love One Direction and no, I do not want them to get back together. They’re doing so much better releasing solo music, but I would still go to the reunion tour if they decide to do one.

I’m not really sure what else to say about me, so I’m just going to end it there.

Edited: During quarantine, I switched majors to Mass Communications and I still watch too many TikToks. Not so sure if I love traveling as much as I did when I originally wrote this, because I didn’t have to consider the threat of the ‘rona.

Shattering the Stained Glass Ceiling with Laura Alyssa Platé’s Symposium

Breaking glass may seem like an easy task, but Laura Alyssa Platé proves that it is harder than one might imagine, especially in the church.

Platé, a religion and history major, presented her senior capstone, “The Journey to Dismantling the Stained Glass Ceiling,” at the 2020 Piedmont Symposium. The glass ceiling refers to an invisible barrier that specifically affects women and minorities in their professional growth. When talking about the stained glass ceiling, Platé is specifically referring to the barrier for women and minorities and their professional growth in the church. This barrier still exists, Platé said, and her presentation focused on the steps needed to ensure this stained glass ceiling does not exist forever.

Platé’s idea for her capstone came in her first year at Piedmont when she took a class about the life of the biblical figure Paul. As the final paper in this class, the students had to pick a topic Paul talked about, do some research into his opinion and apply it to the modern world.

“For that paper, I chose to write about women in ministry. I loved writing that paper, that class is still one of my favorite classes because of that paper,” said Platé. “I chose that topic because I have struggled with a call and seeing where God wants me and wondering if that might be in ministry.”

Ministry can mean different things to different people, and for Platé, ministry has a personal definition through her father.

“If ministry means being a congregational minister, then there are churches where it’s still not allowed for me, which definitely hits close to home,” she said. “Also, I see my dad always support women in ministry when he was a Southern Baptist minister. He came out of the priesthood because of that.”

Tim Lytle, professor of philosophy and religion, is the faculty adviser for Platé’s Capstone presentation. Since all religion majors have to present their Capstones in the spring, Lytle had another student he was advising, John Hollis Meyer.

“They both did a great job in adapting their presentations to fit the time constraints and the media constraints of the Symposium,” said Lytle. “It wasn’t what we had hope for when planning the Symposium, but as a way to adapt to the current circumstances, it was a great success.”

Campus minister Tim Garvin-Leighton, more fondly known as Rev Tim, attended Platé’s Symposium presentation.

“Laura Alyssa’s topic is timely, as more and more women go into Christian ministry and many of them seek ordination. Her section on the redemption of Eve was fascinating,” said Garvin-Leighton. “I believe that she was able to convey her main point that women in ministry does not go against the Bible.”

Doing a presentation on something you’re passionate about can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you are able to research a topic you love, but on the other hand, you become aware that there are people who do not feel the same as you do. This is one of the biggest issues Platé faced when she was writing her Capstone.

“When I was going through my research, I had to force myself to read things that I disagreed with so that I could argue against them. I would think to myself, ‘you have to read this so you can explain why that’s not true,’” said Platé.

In order for women to have a place in ministry for the future, there are some changes that need to be made. One suggestion Platé makes is a separation of church politics and church theology.

“Even the people that believe that women should be in the church share culpability of the way that women aren’t allowed to leave their mark behind a pulpit,” said Platé. “My hope with that is that the conversation has to continue until there is a defined answer. Having people that are willing to have those hard conversations and not walk away from the table is really important.”

Meet Coach Elizabeth Elger

It took hurricane force, literally, to get Basketball Cheer Coach Elizabeth Elger to Piedmont College. 

“I was teaching in St. Thomas with my husband when the hurricanes came through and relocated us here,” she said. “So, if Hurricanes Irma and Maria had not happened, I would not be at Piedmont College.”

From Habersham County to the Northern Mariana Islands, Elger and her husband have taught for many years at different schools in various locations. 

Elger and her husband became teachers in 2005 and have been teaching ever since. After teaching in Habersham for five years, the Elgers decided to begin teaching internationally. They have lived internationally from 2010 to 2017 in places like Saipan, the Republic of Georgia and the island of St. Thomas. 

“After the hurricanes, we came back here to take a minute. We’ve been here for two and a half years, and we will move to Europe in August to teach abroad again,” said Elger.

The Elger family consists of more than just Elizabeth and her husband, Joey, who have been married for almost 16 years. They also have five children, two daughters and three sons. Their daughters are five and seven and their sons are twenty, nineteen and eighteen. 

Being at Piedmont for two years has given Elger some time to connect with her cheerleaders, especially the ones that she got to coach for two years straight. 

“My favorite moment from last year was the fact that Savannah Quinn resurrected the cheerleading team and did an awesome job with that. My favorite moment this year was to see how far we’ve progressed as a team from last year,” said Elger. “I’ve loved that I really got to develop a deeper relationship with each girl as individuals. Being the second-year coach, I think just knowing personalities and personal stories more so than just as cheerleaders is really awesome.”