Author Archives: jdodson

Global Hand Washing Day

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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.


I just wanted to be liked.

Jaela Dodson

Mass Communications. Theatre. Debate. Yearbook. CAB. NSLS. SAIL. 

At a young age, I was always futuristic, always outgoing, and always curious about the future. I was a happy kid, excited for the future, and rarely had a bad day. Everything was always in my favor and life seemed simple.

From the time of elementary school, I collectively had lots of friends. I was extremely outgoing, so much that my brother would make me ring the doorbell of all the neighborhood kids to come out and play. I knew nearly every kid in the neighborhood. I could easily walk up to new people and engage in warm conversation without feeling awkward. My extroverted personality made me susceptible for a large social network. Self-image and my personality were never things I was uncomfortable with. In fact, I was more than confident. 

By middle school, I became even more extroverted due to social media influence. Around this age social media was at its peak. Every middle schooler had an I-pod or smartphone with the ability to text or download the latest social media apps. Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook were the main social media platforms for middle schoolers. Everyone wanted the most followers, likes, friends, comments and views. Most of the time, we never knew who we were friends with. Sometimes it would be friends of friends, kids in the same grade or school as us, kids from other schools, or even other kids from the same city. Middle school social media was the spark of my stressor. Overwhelming anxiety weighed over me. How much of a social media influence can I contribute? Competition struck on whose pictures looked the most aesthetically pleasing, and who’s page had the most everything. The more followers, likes, and comments, the more socially acceptable you were. Outside of social media I had a large social network and was well liked and accepted, but it did not matter if I could not prove it online.

Constantly on edge I questioned myself.  Did I get enough likes? Should I delete it since I only got 100 views? Maybe I need more comments? How many followers should I try to get this week? The social life I once lived in person, strictly became an online platform. 

In high school my confidence completely plummeted. The once outgoing, happy, extroverted girl now felt anxious and depressed at the hands of social media. My social life interactions were rigorously done behind a screen. No longer socializing in person, I quickly became introverted and lonely. Unbearable anxiety to be and live the perfect Instagram model life. The excruciating anxiety lead me to thoughts and feelings of suicide, never feeling good enough. The future became a blur to me. I was miserable trying to keep up with the image of myself I wanted that I stopped feeling like I was living. The dreadful life I started living behind a screen made my real life never feel good enough. Never feeling good enough sent me on edge resulting in numerous failed overdose suicide attempts. 

Research shows that Social Media Hurts Girls More Than Boys. Experts evaluated social media as the trigger for a list of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior among youth. I was not surprised by the article’s conclusions. Many other girls in my age range suffered mental illness due to the stress of social media. Social media’s role is to help people discover and learn new information, share ideas, interact with new people. Although communication has made daily life easier, it has changed the way people live their life – some for good – some for bad. 

Often, I feel I am a victim of social media drowning. At one point my life was utterly controlled by the influence of social media. The confidence and happiness I once had was destroyed. My life never felt satisfied no matter many followers, likes, or comments I received. Anxiety became my new normal, and I had no way out. 

Five years later, I am now in college. With the help of counselors, I broke up with social media. The control social media once had on me was released. I have learned to be happy and confident with my image. Although I still deal with anxiety, it no longer weighs over my life. Looking back five years ago, I never would have thought I would be alive or where I am today. Social media broke me, but it also made me who I am today.

Social Media Hurts Girls More Than Boys

All about Jae

The beginning of my life started out in Warner Robins, GA, a small military town in middle Georgia. I’m the youngest and only girl of three older brothers. When I was 4 years old I moved to North Carolina where I spent the next 13 years of my life. Life in North Carolina was great but I still felt like I was missing something. My greatest most fond memories come from North Carolina. From 6 years old until now basketball and fitness has always been something I loved. Sports has truly made me who I am today: active, competitive, confident, versatile, etc. Although North Carolina was where I resided, went to school, and had friends, Georgia however, was always my true home. I spent numerous weekends and summers in Warner Robins so it was initially, my other home. I loved Georgia so much, I repeatedly told my parents I wanted to go to College in Georgia and live in Georgia for the rest of my life, which brings me where I am today. When I was a junior in high school, my second semester I transferred to a high school in Georgia. It definitely was not the best, but I made the best of it. In such a short time of living in Georgia, I decided what I wanted to major in, what school I wanted to attend, and all of my future goals. Living and going to college in Georgia has placed me in the best possible position for myself. I’ve accomplished so much towards my future since I’ve been here and I could not be more proud of myself. It’s funny to believe a location could change your whole mindset and outlook on life. Being in Georgia and at Piedmont has been the greatest transition I’ve gone through and I can’t wait to see what else the future holds!

Symposium Story: Website Design

COVID-19 forces Piemont Symposium students online but, with a good website, this is no problem. 

Piedmont College Technical and Design Theatre Arts double major Taylor Pope designs an extraordinary website exploiting her work and talent. 

“Building my own website has benefited me in that I got to use it as my professional portfolio”

Graduating in May, Pope has been searching and preparing for the job force after college. “I gave the link to my website to companies I interviewed with at the Southeastern Theatre Conference,” she said. 

Taylor Pope presented her session, “Professional website design: How it works” at the 2020 virtual Piedmont Symposium. During her presentation, Pope explained how she constructed her own website highlighting her experience in technical and design theatre over the past four years. Pope started the website after enrolling in Bill Gabelhausen’s audition techniques class. The curriculum includes preparing for professional work including, mock auditions, mock interviews, and website design. 

Each project Pope has been in is displayed on her website with details. For example, Pope showcases her work from a number of Piedmont productions.

“If you click on one it then takes you to the page that is for that show and shows you pictures and the work I did for that show.”

Although Pope’s website is built and ready for employers to navigate, there’s still more work to be done. The project took Pope an entire semester to complete and will continually need minimal work. As each project or job Pope embarks on, she must continue to update her website. “My website does not require much management. I really only need to update it as I add on more experience.” 

Pope wishes to continue in the Theatre Arts and Technical Theatre field after graduation. Having an easily accessible website has already helped Pope in the job force. Not only was making the website an assignment for the class but also gave Pope the chance to look back at all her work and accomplishments.

“I was very proud of Taylor’s website. She worked very hard and it showed.” A fellow classmate of Taylor said. 

Passion towards change

Kristi Koshuta, from Wisconsin looks past being so far away from home due to her love of education and students making it the core of her passion. 

“I love the size of Piedmont and being able to get to know so many students on campus.” 

Koshuta feels as though the students at Piedmont are part of her family. “I LOVE the students and the people that I work with and their passion for helping students succeed,” she said. 

Koshuta says she has always loved teaching and could not see herself doing anything else. Teaching math for 15 years at the high school level and eight years at the college level, Koshuta has always been involved in education. Director of student transition and success, Instructor of math and SAIL program coordinator at Piedmont College  Koshuta runs tutoring facilities and athlete student success at Lane Hall. Students are able to schedule tutoring appointments from a selection of subjects. Tutors are students Koshuta herself employs herself who have obtained an A average in that subject. 

Koshuta also founded the SAIL program that helps upcoming first-year college students connect, build relationships, develop leadership skills, and navigate college effectively.

 “Connecting with students and finding ways to empower them and help them be successful and grow.” 

The SAIL program has given Koshuta a new transition into education from a different perspective. “I fell in love with this! So the transition to creating and working with our SAIL Program was a natural transition.” 

The future is bright for the SAIL program, which started in 2018. “I would like to focus on more effectively expanding and enhancing the entire first-year experience for all incoming students.” 

Koshuta wishes to develop her programs and resources to fit all students wants and needs. Not only focusing on Piedmont itself, Koshuta focuses on  the surrounding communities and building relationships and connections to enhance programming. The decision to choose Piedmont where her husband John Koshuta is an assistant professor of nursing and health sciences, turned into a world of growth and opportunity for herself setting a foundation for Piedmont for years to come. Student success is Koshuta’s main priority and ambition.