Author Archives: nahomisolo

Making a Name for Themselves: Raspas El Tigre

All eyes on the tiger, Raspas El Tigre, located at 215 Hodges St in Cornelia, is getting the spotlight. It is not just an ice cream place; it is more than that.

Logo for Raspas El Tigre

“I go almost every day, and the day I crave it the most it’s closed,” said junior early education major Kate Trujillo. “The owners are sweet people, I always feel welcomed when I enter. Tigre-Mix, amazing, perfect for a hot sunny day.” 

Raspas El Tigre is owned by the Covarrubias family who values the importance of their customer service making sure customers feel comfortable. Habersham County, where Raspas El Tigre is located, is predominately white populated. People would believe that there would be a language barrier, however that is not the case. The Covarrubias are bilingual and so are most of the employees, so if a customer has a question, they are welcome to ask. “I tell our staff, don’t speak Spanish in front of them [non-Spanish speaking customers] because we know how to speak English,” said Mr. Covarrubias “That makes them more comfortable.”

Mrs. Covarrubias has experience of working in restaurants and would notice other servers’ reactions towards the customer and wanted to implement a preferable method at Raspas El Tigre. Employee communication skills are one of the top priorities for the Covarrubias. Having the experience, the Covarrubias apply the lessons they learned to their own establishments. 

“Ice cream shop” is what shows under Raspas El Tigre in Google Map however, “We don’t want to be seen as just ice cream shop,” said Mr. Covarrubias. “I want people to think of Raspas as antojitos [little cravings] in general.”

Although many people did recognize the ice cream first, there are more on the menu from pancakes, raspados [shaved ice], aguas frescas [fresh flavored waters], and more. “And they all are kind of crazy,” said Mrs. Covarrubias

They become inventive in their order to not just make it the typical. “Yeah, what’s a way we can do to make it more unique.”

They always end up adding something extra to keep their customers excited and come back to try something different. Piedmont students are starting to have a liking for their style. With this being said Raspas will soon have discounts for Piedmont students.

Mrs. Covarrubias (left) and Mr. Covarrubias (right) in front of Raspas El Tigre

“For a small little corner shop, they are amazing at providing new and interesting treats that the average American may not have had access to, due to growing chains and restaurants across the country taking up small business revenue,” said sophomore forensic science major Angel McDaniel. “They offer many choices of products, free samples of their ice cream, and are so friendly and patient!” 

The couple started selling from Mr. Covarrubias cousins’ driveway until they got their establishment. The Covarrubias mentioned the experience they went through being everywhere in getting Raspas to where they are right now. They supported each other and encouraged each other to keep going even when they would hit their lowest during their journey. 

“Raspas todavía no es lo que queremos que sea, [Raspas is still not what we want it to be]” said Mrs. Covarrubias.

There is a lot more to come from Raspas El Tigre, so keep an eye on the tiger.  

Braving Through the Storm With Julia DeMello.

Music is more than an art. It’s also about telling a story.  

Music major Julia DeMello took music to tell a story at the 2022 Piedmont Symposium.  

Doing, “a musical collage to tell the story of a storm,” DeMello focused her research on the Romantic Era, the music of today and her own compositions.  

“I used the music software Audacity to bring all the snippets of music together so they can better flow,” she said as she briefly explained her process.  

Audacity is a free program that records live audio and allows the user to edit audio. DeMello’s presentation investigated the different themes within each song and how each was a steppingstone through the story of the storm. Each song from the different eras was ordered by theme show the process of the story. 

“We are going to go on a musical journey together,” DeMello said as she started her presentation wanting the audience to imagine a storm. “Whether it is a literal storm we’ve seen or it’s a storm inside your head, there is some kind of conflict that is created.”  

DeMello cited her themes: isolation, contemplation, hope, fear, frustration and resolutions. As her soundscape played the audience could hear the flow of the music as it changes between the different sections, and could tell the change of mood as the storm started and then ended. These themes are the emotions one feels when going through a conflict and the process of the conflict being resolved. The presentation was intended to enlighten in a way for the ears to be appealed as the music played for the audience to relate to DeMello’s presentation.  

“There was an incredible level of detail provided via visual, verbal, and musical sources,” said her faculty mentor, music Professor Annand Sukumaran, “The integration and balance between each aspect attests to her craftsmanship and diligence. Julia’s recording of her own piano playing of quartal sequences and live suspended cymbal use added a compelling layer of seasoning. Especially wonderful to see was the connection she found between the musical history of her hometown and the subject matter of our music history class.”  

Sukumaran said he was proud to see DeMello presenting her presentation during the symposium. 

This presentation was for her class in Music History III, and Sukumaran motivated her to present it for symposium. “I encouraged students who submitted especially high-quality work to consider presenting at our symposium and am glad to see Julia pursue this opportunity.”  

DeMello said her project impacted her relationship with music. “It definitely made me think about music in a different way,” she said, adding that being able to sit and really dive into the music, and listening to the small sections, can really be impactful. 

Gabriel Gutierrez, Once A Lion, Always Part of The Pride.

Gabriel Gutierrez

From North Carolina to Georgia, Gabriel Gutierrez is here, and he is not going anywhere.  

“I am the only one here in Georgia in my family,” said Gutierrez, a first-generation college graduate and a part of the Piedmont community since 2014.  

Gabriel Gutierrez left his home state to study at Piedmont University in 2014. It was a big step for him and his family because he would be staying in an unknown place without having his family close for support. “Family is significant to me because it has shown the value of love and appreciation. I come from a big family, and we all have stayed together through thick and thin. We support each other, and we try to help each other out as much as we can when we can,” he said which made the decision even more difficult. Nonetheless, his admissions advisor gave a welcoming idea of Piedmont’s possibility of being a home for him, so he started his journey to Piedmont. He was initially going to stay for a couple of semesters; however, Gutierrez fell in love with the campus environment and the job he was offered. So, he decided to stay in Georgia. 

“It can be a new chapter, a new experience, so that was one of the big reasons that I decided to stay,” he said.  

Although Gutierrez had a chance to go back to North Carolina, he decided to stay due to the new job in admissions he received at the time. He wanted to help Hispanic students with the college process and he took charge of an event done at Piedmont called Día de Familia. He wanted to make a difference by working with students of the same ethnicity and help guide them with situations or issues he knew they would go through, because he was in their shoes once. From being a student at Piedmont to now working for the undergraduate admissions department, he has the resources to give these students needed. Gutierrez said, “One of the major things I have seen is helping parents understand the college process and financial aid information. I have helped the Hispanic community by continuing to host Día de la Familia and adding new things that I know are important to know when going through the college process.” He not only works with students but also acknowledges parents since they are also in need of help.  

“I have grown as a professional,” Gutierrez said.  Being part of Piedmont has taught him many things throughout the years.

Throughout his time at Piedmont, Gutierrez has taken opportunities to grow as a person. Especially when comparing what he used to do back in North Carolina, he has strengthened his people skills due to the interaction with students and colleagues. Gutierrez also learned to be versatile by staying up to date with any question a student might bring depending on their situation. He has created a sense of home with Piedmont.  

Even if Gutierrez is in a good place in his life right now, there was a time when no one believed he could go to college. He has turned the tables as he has now graduated from Piedmont and is turning the page for what life will bring for him.  

“I think it’s going to get better,” he says as he adds on what he wants to do in the future. “For the future, I hope to take Día de Familia to different schools instead of bringing the students to Piedmont. I would like to still host one big event on campus, and then move it to the high schools afterwards.” 

Nahomi Solorzano’s Non-Stop Climb


I believe that individuals go through hardships to grow and become today’s people. And keep growing as time goes on. In reality, every person in the world deals with some type of obstacle in their life. Mine happens to be where I came from. I am originally from Naucalpan, Mexico, and was brought to the United States at a young age. This complicated my future due to the lack of documentation, causing me to not do things like the people my age can do. This has been a constant obstacle I face in my daily life, but this same obstacle is also what has shaped me into who I am. I have grown to realize that even if I am undocumented, I still am human, I still can do what I set my mind to, and I still can achieve a future that I set my mind to.

Although it may seem I am upset or have some resentment of my situation, I am not. I am proud of my culture and where I come from; even though I have not set foot in my home country for more than nineteen years, it still has a place in my heart. It is more that I am more open and aware of myself and not just a paper that says I can be legal. I have been able to use this obstacle as a drive for my success, whether it be academically or personally. I have grown to be a different kind of person than if I did have my documentation and have the freedoms others do, but because I am like this is has been my push to help those like me and people that could be dealing with other kinds of situations. I have turned my weakness into my strength.

As for me now, I am attending college studying for my bachelor’s in psychology with a double minor in social justice and mass communication. I am a first-generation student out of my whole family. I am glad I am breaking the chain and being an example to my two younger sisters. I am the oldest of three girls; family is significant, so their support is essential to me. Being able to be an example to my sister and even to my younger cousins that no matter who Latinos and any other person can strive for a higher education than just a high school degree. I have always been a social butterfly and have not let fear or shyness stop me from doing things. I always try to make new friends and listen to them, I want to learn from them and it has always been interesting how different a person can be with the stories they tell. I am really outgoing and determined with anything I do. I was and still am the overachiever. I want to give more to test my limits and see if I have improved over the years or I need some work in some areas. I am also loud, but I promise that college has taught me to tone it down. I like to be very expressive because I just love to talk and am very passionate about so many topics. I like to be involved and do something worth learning different things by having experience hence joining the clubs here at Piedmont.

Present Time

I am looking forward to my future what is to come, but I am also happy to be in the present and live the moment. And right now I need to study.

“Adversity is preparation for greatness” – Andy Andrews

Andrews, A. (2004). The Young Traveler’s Gift, Thomas Nelson.